People think I’m strange. I’m at least convinced of it. To some, I am a weirdo who has a passion for data entry for the sake of data entry. If I was entering things like medical records or working on a closed database that nobody would see, I would agree. Given the interconnectivity of our database, though, I am doing so much more.
Every time I add a record to the database, I’m introducing it to the world. Some of these might be unknown and open up whole new worlds for collectors to explore. Others are known, but are so scarce that nobody else has been able to make a submission for it so far. Some of the music I am documenting now may not be in demand. It is impossible to know what styles of music will be in demand in the future. There’s even a chance that through documenting this stuff, it might help otherwise disconnected collectors to form a scene. That might start a full fledged revival.
Tangibly, being a contributor has benefitted my collection to a large degree.
Dealers and stores often are looking for help with getting items added to the database so that they can list them for sale. Use your contribution skills to get you into record store back rooms, storage units and other exclusive digging spots. You get all the database credit for adding their rare and interesting items. Usually you can exchange that labor for cash or rare records you encounter while doing so. I have had a lot of success making these arrangements. Show them that their listings will get more reach as items will show on every associated artist and company. They’ll also have the piece of mind that there shouldn’t be any confusion and potential costly returns due to vague or inaccurate information on submission pages that you have made.
As a collector, I found early on that being actively involved with contribution was beneficial.
Sure, someone else can and probably eventually will do it for you. Probably, at least. Maybe they’ll be thorough, maybe it’ll all be edged in as quickly and poorly as possible just to list it for sale. Some items you might be holding onto for some time before they’re contributed. During that time, you might accidentally buy it again or miss an opportunity to upgrade to a better copy, as I have. I have also found that, with more data on items in my database, I’m also able to find new records I didn’t know about. Session musicians, mastering engineers, recording studios, producers… all these add up and will highlight those pages when searching. For example, the bassist William Allen shows up on 13 items in my collection I own and like. That association helped me discover Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers.
This will help ensure that the work done here can last well into the future. In a future blog post, I will be exploring how to load the database (and/or your collection, contributions, or any other exportable data) locally on your computer. It is my hope that with some simple tutorials, you will have the freedom to experiment with and use the data independently to further your own knowledge and research. Until then, keep at it! We’re all building this great place together and each edit helps us all find out more and more every day.