This is a catalog of all known banana labels. We have collected 33,000 different labels and as far as possible all of this labels are scanned in best quality and are well organized in about 5,000 catalog entries. We know, it was a very giant effort to build it up. 4,500€ and about 3,000 hours of my time. This is the truth, it was and still is a really great invest.
After more than 5 years I thought I can take a breather and our community is experienced enought to add new labels with greate care and also help in the cost for the IT infrastructure. But this part is still unexpected low. Some collectors like Peter, Bert and few others help and I like to say thank you to this enganged collectors. But not many collectors follow this exampels.
The collectors should know that the catalog of all known banana labels needs a fast computer and computers cost money. This cost really exist. The situation is that only 50% of the cost are covered by the community and last year I had to pay the difference of 320€. I do not enjoy to write begging letters to split the cost or send reminders.
If you use this catalog for your hobby and if you like the community of all collectors that meet at this website, then you should know, it is not for free. This amount of money is too much to ignore and I like to have your feedback how far you are willing to help. If you do not like to spend money - what I complety accept - then we must talk what else you can do. To participate at the IT cost is on voluntary bases but not to ignore this issue.
The money for the IT and how to help in this issue is only one aspect. The major point for me is the time I have to spend to keep the catalog up to date, to maintain the IT infrastructure and to do all the user support.
- The collectors need support. They forget the passwort, they don't find labels in the catalog and add redundant labels or add at the wrong place of the 5000 different catalog entries. Many collectors still just send pictures of labels because they don't like to learn how to upload them to the catalog.
- The technology used need updates. There is the huge 1,2GB database, the 120,000 files & pictures and all the software components to send 75GB of data from the catalog to all the computer screens of the collectors each month.
- The new labels need to be added. I have added 14,000 labels to the catalog the last 5 years, that are 230 each month without a break.
This all takes between 10 and 20 hours a week or approximatly 600 hours per year. This is a really huge amout of hours I spend in front of the fucking computer screen. This sucks the fun out of my hobby.
I have explained the situation in many articles and wrote very often, that the catalog is NOT for free. Many ideas I have tested to get more support from the collectors and I asked very often for help.
- One idea was for example to close the trade lists for collectors having not enough helping points. The goal was that the collectos help a little bit to keep the catalog up to date before they care about the own collection and trades. It needs in average about 4000 to 5000 helping points each month to keep the catalog up to date and someone has to do it. But this idea was not successful and it only document that I'm leading this list very often with an unbeatable edge. It is very sad for me to see, that so many collectors fail to earn rediculous 5 helping points, grumble or threaten to leave the catalog.
- An other trial was to ask some collectos direct. You can not image what answers I got. One answer was for example "Collecting banana stickers is a hobby for me and not business" which is quita a problematic argument for cost that really exist and someone has to pay. An other collector I asked to send rediculous 10 labels for using the catalog and also this was rejected. That spoils all the fun, I do not see a benefit.
What do I want to say? To run this catalog of banana labels is for me expensive and very time consuming but I do have so far absolutly no advantage in doing this. Not even when trading banana labels. Just nothing for all the work. And it is even worst. After updating and maintaining the catalog I do not have fun to trade any more. I spend too much time infront of the computer. So I have to consider, that to provide this catalog of all known banana labels is very stupid. A lot of money and time and so far only disadvantages.
I will not continue the catalog like I have done it in the past.