Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Cataloging crisis (again)
So here's some unfortunate news: as far as cataloging my card collection is concerned, I'm pretty much back to square one right now.
A few years ago, I wrote about my excitement over discovering a site called Zistle, which allowed me to comfortably and efficiently document all my various collecting projects (mainly my mini-collections). But once again, the internet proved the whole we-can-never-have-nice-things aphorism true: as people who use(d) Zistle know, the site was bought out by Beckett and basically left to die amid copyright issues.
For lack of a better term, this sucks ass. Like many, many others, I put a lot of time, effort, and enjoyment into getting my collection together via Zistle. Not to mention that it damn well came in handy: while I pride myself on having a fairly good memory in relation to my cards, Zistle helped me fix my brain's missteps by showing me my collection(s) right then and there with nothing more than a few clicks.
Recently I was reminded of how much I missed Zistle by my buddy Jeff of "2x3 Heroes" fame, who, a couple months ago, was flying through the airport and stopped by the bookstore to chat and drop off a few cards he had for me.
While it's a cool card and I was happy Jeff had an extra copy to spare, I was about 98 percent sure I had the 2008 Upper Deck X Paulie at the top of this post already.
When I got home later that night, I discovered I was wrong, and that I actually needed the aforementioned Konerko, though I hardly faulted myself: Konerko's 2009 Upper Deck X card (which I indeed already had) features almost the exact same image with the same throwback jersey on an eerily similar design (sometimes I think card companies do these kinds of things to us as some kind of sick game).
Had Zistle still been its usual lively self, none of this confusion and shock would've been necessary.
True, Zistle isn't technically dead: I could still go on there right now and add these two new throwbacks from Jeff to my collection page if I so desired.
But it hardly seems worth it at this point, seeing as how it appears inevitable that Zistle will be gutted and/or shut down sometime soon. That, and new sets aren't being uploaded, which means that anything added to my mini-collections from late 2017 and forward was, is, and forever will be painfully absent from my collection pages.
As far as I'm concerned, to continue using Zistle at this point would only lead to wasted time and eventual despair.
So comes the inevitable question: what now?
Zistle was the first time I'd ever undertaken the massive task of cataloging my collection (even if only a portion of it). And while I enjoy giving myself card projects to complete, I don't know that I have it in me to do it all over again, at least not with the same level of time and commitment I put toward Zistle.
And even if I did, how would I do it? I've experimented with the Trading Card Database a bit, but I don't find the site very navigable or friendly with what I have in mind for my own cataloging means.
I guess only time will tell.
I'll probably tinker with a few things in the coming days/weeks/months, especially now that I have a bit more extra time on my hands. I'm leaning towards just opening some sort of spreadsheet and see where that takes me (although you can count the number of times I've actually used a spreadsheet in my life on one hand).
For now, I'll have to rely on my own memory and shake my fist at the tyrant known as Beckett whenever I acquire new items for my various collections, including everything you've seen in this post from Jeff (especially Stadium Club base/parallels/whatnot, because wow is Stadium Club packed with mini-collection stuff).
All I can say is: RIP, Zistle -- I'll always have you to thank for getting me off my lazy, disorganized butt and showing me that, against all odds, cataloging my collection could actually be fun.