SCB Stamp Collecting Blog - the premier resource for exclusive stamp information and news

About StampCollectingBlog.com

Hi,

I’m Keijo Kortelainen, the ‘ordinary stamp collector’ behind all the stories of Stamp Collecting Blog. I’m a 40+ years old family man (and proud father of 5 kids), small business owner (B2B services on web technologies & online marketing), and above all, a stamp collector from Central Finland.

Me and my stamps.

Me and my stamps.

I have collected stamps since the mid 1980’s – sometimes more, sometimes less passionately. Like most collectors I started by collecting the world as a kid, but then specialized to my own country (Finland).After several specialty filled years I switched back to collecting worldwide stamps, as it was (and still is) simply much more fun. These days I collect all countries and eras – from classics to recent issues. Also my wife’s a worldwide collector (but as she’s not that much into blogging, all you get in this blog is me, me, me… :lol:). If interested, You can take a look of our collection here.

If you want to get in touch with me, just drop me a comment anywhere on this blog. You can also get in touch with me trough various online communities, such as StampBoards, StampCommunity, FaceBook and SCB Facebook page, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn. Please DO NOT contact me with any of the following reasons: press releases, freebie offers / reviews, guest post requests, requests for links etc.

About Stamp Collecting Blog

Stamp Collecting Blog was launched on cold winter night in late January 2009. At the time I was experiencing some really hard times with my health (I’ve got a poorly responsive Ulcerative Colitis, something the modern medicine cannot truly treat or cure). I had been bed struck for about two months and had lost over 30kg’s in body weight in very short time. This naturally lead to issues with heart and other body parts, but most importantly I got extremely bored in doing nothing else than laying on the bed, waiting for some miracle to happen and the flare to end. So I started reading just about all things philatelic I could get my hands on – magazines, books, blogs, websites. And ultimately I realized how much *crap* is out there – most of it is seriously not worth reading.

I also realized that I could do so much better. So one of those days when I felt a bit better (my full recovery from this particular flare took over a year), I took my laptop, created the space for this blog, and started writing my thoughts about stamps, philately, collecting and life of collector in general. SCB was born.

I don’t have any particular plan or editorial to follow. I write about stamps and topics that genuinely interest me. I do updates when (and if) I have the time and health, and above all good story to share. Stamp Collecting Blog is about a hobby I love and feel passionate..

Over the years SCB has grown from humble personal blog into a somewhat popular community of stamp collectors around the world. And it has moved on beyond the concept of blog (though it is still very much the same one man band as in the beginning).  A major cornerstone was Feb 20th 2016 when SCB became a ‘walled garden’ (with hard paywall) where only registered subscribers may enter.   It may sound like a bizarre route to go (especially as most websites do anything to get more readers/visitors), but I firmly believe it was a required step for SCB to survive and evolve into the next level where it can exist independent of my contribution (in the end I am not getting any younger nor healthier, though I hope I’ve still got few decades enjoy the life). And with 1,000+ new subscribers (in just six months),  it seems a lot of you feel SCB is worth saving to future collector generations.

Me and SCB on press

I’ve written a spin-off article (summarizing various blog entries) about stamp inventory software solutions for February 2011 issue of Royal Mail British Philatelic Bulletin. Additionally I’ve done a series of articles about worldwide stamp forgeries for Stamp & Coin Magazine (UK).  I’ve also written some miscellaneous pieces for smaller publications. These days I put a heavy preference on writing for my blog only (anyone who’s worked with editors knows what I mean, LOL).

Me and my stamp collection were featured on May 2014 issue of Stamp Magazine in a story titled World Is Not Enough (pages 74-77). Additionally couple of philatelic bloggers have interviewed me. I’m always open for future interviews and co-operation as long as they provide some ‘added value’.

Related reads: Introduce yourself, Suggest a topic for the blog, Feedback for the blog

38 responses on “About StampCollectingBlog.com”
  1. Denis says:

    Hi,

    I’m stamps collector from Russia and I very like your blog.
    The articles you wrote are very helpful for me.
    Unfortunately a lot of people here in Russia that are collectors also do not know English (this is very often issue for the people who was born in USSR when we were out of the border)
    I would like to translate your articles you placed here and add them to Runet (sites in Russia’ part of the Internet).
    If you’re OK with that – I would like to translate them, and of course will add the links to this blog to keep your copyright.

    What do you think about?
    Thanks.

  2. Keijo says:

    Hi Denis,

    I have considered translating some of the articles to major languages (russian, german, spanish, france etc) a long time. And I have even tested up some “auto-translation” tools – but they appear to provide somewhat poor results (yes, the page content has been somewhat understandable, but grammar-wise they have been intolerable).

    As your suggestion…If You (or anybody else for that matter)wishes to translate some of the blog content to their first (native) language, then I’d suggest that the content, both original and ANY translated versions, would be hosted here at stampcollectingblog.com (for example stampcollectingblog.com/ru/which-of-these-stamps-went-up-in-value.php would contain Russian version of this page). The translated entries could be sent to me (by email, by file upload or some other means), and then I’d simply put them into proper place.

    I can’t / won’t provide money for any of the translations, but proper credit’s (name and possibly a link back to translator webpage if such exists) for the hard work would be always put in their place… And very likely it would become a very wiki-like system, where (at least in theory) anyone could contribute to translation work.

    How do you think about my counter-proposal?

  3. Denis says:

    Keijo,

    Yeah, I have the same experience with auto-translate tools and seems the software does not have enough “skills” to translate any materials in human-readable view. :(

    I want to clarify your suggestion:

    “the content, both original and ANY translated versions, would be hosted here at stampcollectingblog.com”

    Is this mean that I cannot place translated version on my site with keeping the link to your blog and your copyright? Simply adding the link to translated version on your site is not very good for Russia as not so many people know English and they will be confused to visit some English-language site.

    However I’m absolutely OK with following:
    1. I translate the text.
    2. Inform you that I did that and provide you translated version via mail
    3. Put the text of the translated version of the article on my site and write near the link to original version of the article (URL to your site) and add your copyright as author near the article.
    4. I do not care about getting the money for translation as I’m interesting in that.

    Of course you have any rights to add translated text on your own site or any other resources you want.

    Please, inform me if this works for you. Thank you in advance.
    Denis.

  4. Keijo says:

    Hi Denis,

    this mean that I cannot place translated version on my site with keeping the link to your blog and your copyright

    Sadly yes (and I did give this some serious time).

    The reason I’m against publishing my content outside this domain, is that I’ve (sadly already) experienced how badly things can go with such “open distribution”. By keeping all the pieces in one place, I wish (or at least hope to) to keep a far more better control in case of possible issues.

    …as not so many people know English and they will be confused to visit some English-language site

    I can do a partial solution /fix for this .. I’ll simply translate some key areas of “theme” to proper languages (so that instead of “Leave a reply” the translated Russian page would say for example “Добавить комментарий”)… But no, it would not remove all the English content from viewers of the translation. This blog is written and updated mainly in English, and as such it will also live on.

    Hope you’ll understand my point.
    best,
    -keijo-

  5. Denis says:

    Yes, sure.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  6. shaikh says:

    Hi

    I’m a writer and would like to do a guest blog on an amazing set of stamps being released in the UK very soon. How can I get in touch/email?

    Could you perhaps email me?

  7. Keijo says:

    @shaikh… Thanks for the offer, but no thank You…I’m not totally excluding the idea of having some guest bloggers / writers in future. But even in such case, they will be people I know & value as collectors.

  8. Jim Hall says:

    hello:

    I have just started or re-started my collecting interests, and wonder if you could have contest of sorts, about favorite stamp collecting stories or what stamp collecting means to me.
    I have also published on PhilatelicDataBase.Com in the past and I would like to add my feelings to your site as well.
    jim hall

  9. Keijo says:

    @Jim Hall

    Anything is possible. It all depends to a very large degree on how much resources (mainly time) and interest I can devote into such venture. After all, this blog is a personal website of mine and I have limited number of hours to put in. The main goal of this blog is to share my views about the challenges and pleasures of worldwide collecting. I’ve put some extra care to keep the blog and it’s content open for all: anyone can chime in about any topic any time as long as they keep the messages polite and legal. For example the “Ask anything about stamps, life etc.” section has a mountain of questions, opinions, stories from people reading the blog – and anyone can freely add their own messages for others to view.

    But still, in the end, the main focus of this blog is me and my collection. And that’s the way I like to keep it 😉

  10. Jim Hall says:

    Hello:
    I would like to be able to SEND you my duplicates of my world collection for YOU to GIVE away to other YOUNG STAMP COLLECTORS in YOUR AREA. I will send them to you, I will suffer the postage, so that someone in your country will have something for thier collection.

    All I need is your address and a response to this note!

    Please respond

    JIM

  11. Keijo says:

    @Jim Hall… I thank You for the generous offer, but (and I’ve written this before)…

    I’m just one guy middle of nowhere, and I have little/none means or interest to become a channel for donations to charity. Seriously. A lot of people may not think about it, but there’s quite a lot of work involved in accepting donations and pushing them onwards (been there, done that).

    That said, I have no objections IF somebody wants to give ME some free stamps (as a personal gift; as that is the only thing I can accept per Finnish legislation)… If anyone is interested of this option, my mailing address can be found on my exchange page.

    all the best,
    -keijo-

  12. Bill Coons says:

    Hi Keijo,

    I also have been a collector for over 25-30 years and collect various type of issues. My largest collection is Wildlife on Stamps which is comprised of issues of 10 or more stamps in a specific set or series. Also includes WWF Stamps & Maximum CardsI saw a blog, on your site, about Stamp Collecting Software and I also was not very happy with what I found–to complicated so I developed my own.

    How do I go about advertising my databases on this your website?

    Please give me feed back at your convienence.

    Regards,

    Bill

  13. Keijo says:

    @Bill… Interesting looking products. I’m bit puzzled by the screenshots that show Scott catalog numbers and values. Did you get a license from Amos/Scott in order to use them; or are they something end users are expected to type?

    Re, advertising on the blog… This has been asked by many in recent months, and I finally made a page about advertising on the blog. I recommend taking a look on it for starters. If interested, we can talk further details in private (simply follow the instrutions on advertising page)… I know the rates I’m asking are not of the cheapest kind, but in the end there’s no point for me to sign up individual advertisers at lower rates that this.

  14. H.N.D says:

    Can I promote my new stamp blog on your site. It would work intandem with yours and not be contradictory as I collect and trade new issues in mint condition – not to your style I think. Anyway, if not that is ok as well. Thanks for the great blog.

  15. Keijo says:

    @H.N.D.

    You can always contribute to discussion, and include your website URL in the comment box “Your website” field. A lot of people do this (with quite good success).

    You can also share any website/URL in comment contents IF it relates to page topic / discussion.

    And you can always suggest a website/blog to be added to my StumbleUpon list of stamp related websites (but as a word of warning, I very rarely accept new websites or anything with commercial nature. In order to end up on my recommended list, the blog/website has to provide lots of useful content/value).

    But everything else is a BIG no-no!

    These simple rules exist for reason: to avoid link/comment spam. Each week I have to delete anywhere between 5-20 comments because of their spammy nature. If you are interested what link/comment spam looks like, here’s a recent example. Just click to view this Google search results page (it will not harm your computer or privacy, I guarantee that). As you notice, the same message/comment has been added onto thousands of blogs. Of course this is not done manually, as there are dedicated programs to do all the hard work (locating blogs, adding comments etc). If you wonder why, it’s all due the old (and so usual) money & fame. Links attract random visitors, and above all they can result in much better visibility on search engine results. It’s sad that supposedly collector friendly websites (like coollectors.com in this case) rely on method like this. In my books they are plain evil :|… Anyway, if I see any comment unfit, I will simply hit the delete button. As simple as that….

    I do have a range advertising options for stamp dealers/auctioneers and others business looking for valid advertising solutions on my blog. (no longer valid/available)

  16. Jason Bramley says:

    Hi Keijo,

    I am putting together a graphic book and one of the chapters is specifically about postage stamps. I would like to show a sample of stamps year by year over the past century.
    I noticed some of your stamps on Google images and thought that you might be able to help.

    Could you contact me and I will let you know more about the project.

    Many thanks!

    Jason Bramley

  17. Keijo says:

    @Jason… Sounds interesting :) Please check your inbox for my email.

  18. Tjaša says:

    Dear Keijo,

    Could you e-mail me your e-mail address. Thank you!

    Tjaša

  19. Keijo says:

    @Tjaša… Done. Please check your inbox.

  20. Hendriks says:

    Hi Keijo,

    I’m a moderator of the philately sub on social news site reddit (www.reddit.com/r/philately). We have over 500 (and growing) active readers. Please think about submitting new blog posts (or old good ones) there. It will bring you some traffic, and will give us interesting things to read.

    Submitting a post is very easy, you just need a URL and a title.

    Thanks,

    Hendriks

  21. Keijo says:

    Hi Hendriks,

    actually I’m a quite active (=daily) reddit-reader, but mostly on work related (non-philatelic) branches. I do check the /r/philately few times a week though.

    As far as submissions go, I’ve thought about it couple of times, but my Karma really sucks (as I almost exclusively read, and don’t comment or participate otherwise). And secondly I’ve tried to avoid the route of ‘self-submissions’ because it very easily gets repetitive and somewhat boring. But I’ll give it some more thoughts… In the mean time, please feel free to submit any entries on the blog you feel worth sharing.

    -k-

  22. G. Hulings Darby says:

    In item #10, above, Jim Hall offered to send to you stamps for you to distribute to young collectors. You politely declined. However, the International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors (ISWSC) does accept such stamp donations. Stamp collecting supplies (glassines, stock pages, tongs, etc.) are also gratefully accepted. I suggest that anyone interested inform Mr. Richard Rizzo of this desire to contribute. Rich can then explain how and where to send the material. As most of the recipients are youngstsers, so-called large commemoratives are the most desired items. Contributors should understand that about 70% of the material will be distributed within the US.

    Anyone interested in applying for membership in the ISWSC should contact Dr. Joanne Berkowitz, Executive Director.

    Hulings

  23. Keijo says:

    @Hulings… Thanks for the addition. I hope you don’t mind me editing your message a bit. Placing email addresses (especially other than your own) on a public webpage is a non-favored practice because it just feeds the ‘spam bots’. Instead, I placed a link to ISWSC contact page.

    One question though…

    As most of the recipients are youngstsers, so-called large commemoratives are the most desired items.

    I do understand that there’s a limit on how many ‘Flag on the Porch’ or Machin definitives people can come accross / desire before getting utterly bored, but (and I say this with no offence), isn’t this basically the same as teaching youngsters that ‘definitives are rubbish’? There are well over 100K face different definitive stamps worldwide, that alone should be enough to keep any collector busy not to mention a youngster just starting out.

    -k-

  24. G. Hulings Darby says:

    Keijo:

    Your unwarranted misinterpretation of my positive statement that the ISWSC prefers donation of large commemoratives is both illogical and aggravating. (As I collect stamps issued before the end of 1940, the majority of my collection is, in fact, definitives.) While mystified at your seeming desire to twist the words of this reader, I’ll not acquiesce. In no case can a positive statement necessarily imply an oppositional negative one. Inferring the negative seems to be accepted practice in US politics; it has no place in stamp collecting.
     
    Thus, I restate the fact that the ISWSC prefers donations of large commemoratives for inclusion in the packets distributed to youngsters in the 8- to 12-year age cohort. (Definitives are admixed, but as a lesser percentage.) Kids being introduced to collecting generally prefer stamps featuring dolls and horses and Disney characters and dinosaurs and rocket ships. Once they are familiarized with the possibilities, some, like me, will want all eight varieties of GB Sc#135; others will happily stick with kittens and puppies. Please consider that Chevy dealers sell mostly sedans and SUV’s, but they still put a Corvette in the show window!

    Hulings 

  25. Keijo says:

    @Hulings… Like stated earlier, I made the question “in no offence”. So, please do not get insulted. As a father of five I am seriously concerned about how ‘adult guidance/example” affects the kids and their future attitudes/interests (and I’m not talking just about stamps, but on much wider scale as well). I am sure that us adults have got nothing but ‘good intentions’ when it comes to kids/youth, but whether or not we like it, kids would usually do much better without us adults messing up their act. Just my 5 cents worth.

    -k-

  26. T.Chavis says:

    Hello Keijo:I am really enjoying your blog – such great information for the newbie! Yesterday I bought a bag of stamps at a garage sale for $5 USD. I primarily purchased the bag due to my love of ephemera and my idea is to use some of it in my mixed media art. The stamps are from all over the world and very beautiful. I was looking at the stamp exchange – do you have a “wanted” section of countries/types you are looking for?I would be happy to send any stamps that are desired to a “good home” as my focus is not on money-making; I am just enjoying learning about stamp collecting and the history of the stamps themselves. Thanks for your time.
    TC

  27. Keijo says:

    @T.Chavis…. Thanks for the praise.

    Re the “wanted section” for my exchange… What works best is taking a look at the ‘my stamp collection’ section and checking country and era specific statistics. The lower the completion percentage for the country & era, the more likely the stamps will add to my collection. As a general rule I can says that the more ‘exotic and far-and-away the country (for example Vanuatu), the more likely it will add to my collection. But on the other hand I’m still missing thousands of ‘common’ stamps from France, Sweden etc. common places.

    -k-

  28. Hi mr. Keijo

    I have about one million stamps (very old- rare- mint, & …) around the world. More than 90% are  from Europe and USA. How can we connect to you ,to show them to you ? Thanks a lots from Tehran-iran.

  29. Keijo says:

    Hi Ashkan,

    Actually if you read the top of this page, it outlines a number of options (besides this blog) that you can get in touch with me. That said, the more important question is ‘why do you want to show me your stamps?’.

    If you simply want to show/share some nice stamp pictures, simply upload images to some social media/photosharing website and share the URL with me. For example Facebook works perfect for this.

    Or, if you want me to have a look of them and tell me about the estimated value, then head to my stamp appraisal page, or read some of the generic advice given.

    Or, if you want to swap stamps with me, then head to my stamp exchange.

    Or, if you are trying to locate a potential buyer / sell them to me, don’t waste your time. I do most of my buying strictly within EU (due to customs).

    Hope this advice helps.
    -k-

  30. Rocbo says:

    I got some used stamp from HK (some of the birds and world geo-park shows here http://www.hongkongpoststamps.hk/eng/stamps/definitive_stamps/index.htm )and also some from australia (animals)

    Are you interested? I am new and I got only 30+ unique stamp to exchange (can be more if dont mind duplicates).

    I would like to exchange stamps from your country, any kinds (prefer nature, scenery, animals, marine life, some colorful stuffs…etc)

    Rocbo

  31. Keijo says:

    Hi Robco,

    have you already checked my stamp exchange? If not, then that is the best place to start with.

  32. ian Billings says:

    Your financial model is your choice.  I shan’t pay to subscribe.  However this does mean that I can no longer see the article on which I commented last week, nor can I read the remaining comments on the same (Sri Lanka MPs) article.

    I’ll leave the link to yours on my own blog so that other collectors and dealers can make your own choice.  But my own blog remains free with over 2 million page views I think google ads are the best way to go.

  33. Keijo says:

    @Ian… Please do note that there is also a free subscription. And you can gain full access to Sri Lanka article with it.

    The philosophy (and my deep thinking) of having two different subscription types is that those interested of reading just few posts or topics can get along well with Free subscription; and those interested of ‘more’ need to go with Premium subscription (and pay for what the increased use of server resources).

    The only ‘loosing party’ in this change will be ‘random drive-by-visitors’ as they will be displayed just a ‘lightweight teaser’ of each page (instead of downloading megabytes of data from database). Based on that they are free to become either subscribers or bugger off. From my point of view it’s just smart use of server resources.
    (And as added bonus, all the bots, leechers, bulk downloaders etc. that have consumed huge amounts of bandwidth are ‘blocked out’ as well).

    -k-

  34. Hi Keijo,

    I just came to your blog accidentally – and it sounds very interesting to me and I was wondering if I could take the opportunity to introduce our Company “QENSIO” to you and maybe even your Readers.

    QENSIO is a market research Company that is based in Germany, Munich and is highly specializing in the field of quality measurements for different postal services.  That means that we are working with people from all over the world who receive (and/or send) test items (letters or small packages). This “job” is quite easy, not time-consuming, you don’t need any previous knowledge and of course you do not need to pay anything at all – on the contrary you will be rewarded with Bonus Points that can be exchanged against vouchers or other goods.

    And last but not least – you may enlarge your stamp collection….. If you are interested please just send me an email – I would be very happy to explain more!

    Kind regards,

    Kerstin

  35. Keijo says:

    @Kerstin… Thanks for dropping by. I’ve seen your introductions on StampBoards at least once or twice, and do know at least one collector who’s been active as your ‘tester’, so based on that I’d say you’re doing OK job. The only downside (at least from my perspective) is that you’re looking for participants who live in capitals or metropolitan areas (why oh why aren’t you testing also rural areas like Lake Sumiainen. Sigh…).

    But if anyone reading SCB wants to give this a try, clicking on Kerstin’s name on her post takes you to appropriate sign-up page explaining the terms-of service etc.

    -k-

  36. Luca says:

    Hi Keijo,

    I was trying to have a look at the stamp exchange page and the presentation slideshow but it seems that even to see that we have to sign\up or subscribe?

     

  37. Keijo says:

    @Luca… True. This is basically to keep the costs/use-of-resources in control. The exchange page is (and has always been) one of the most resource intensive pages on SCB with tons of pictures, comments and other stuff. There is absolutely no reason for the whole world to access these resources as they are aimed for those seriously interested /taking part to my exchange.

  38. Luca says:

    Keijo says:
    March 6, 2016 at 15:01
    @Luca… True. This is basically to keep the costs/use-of-resources in control. The exchange page is (and has always been) one of the most resource intensive pages on SCB with tons of pictures, comments and other stuff. There is absolutely no reason for the whole world to access these resources as they are aimed for those seriously interested /taking part to my exchange.

    ok, thanks for the answer Keijo

Leave a new response

All responses are moderated before publishing. Responses should be respectful of other voices in the discussion and remain on topic. All buy/sell messages will be deleted, as well as questions about stamp values (you can always get yourself a stamp catalog from public library or get your stamps valued at local dealer/clubs/collectors). If You want to share an picture/photo, use the Insert image option below. Please share only images of items that you own/have in your collection. Stampcollectingblog.com reserves the right to edit or delete comments that violate these policies.

And finally... A small IQ test. Please click the picture that is NOT a postage stamp. Then press the "Submit Comment" button below images.

Stamp imageStamp imageStamp imageStamp image

All original content and images of this blog is under copyright protection; any kind of reproduction of full contents without permission of the owner is hereby denied. All Rights Reserved © Keijo Kortelainen, 2009-2016. All photos of stamps in this blog are enlargements or reductions of original stamps from private collection of author of the blog (unless otherwise stated). The designs of stamps and postmarks are copyright of issuing postal authorities and their designers. The comments / discussion on this blog are copyright of their retrospective authors, and represent the opinion of their authors. When submitting content of any type to this Website, you agree that you assign to this Website and its successors perpetual and unlimited license free of charge to host, store, publish, reproduce, publicly display or otherwise use any content and materials of any type provided or contributed by You. Catalog numbers (Scott, Michel, SG etc) are the copyrighted property of their publishers. | See our privacy policy