If you’re reading this post, you clearly have some knowledge of the internet, but there’s a whole world out there on social media: are you part of it? Here are a few of the best ways for a coin collector to get involved online.
Forums are one of the oldest forms of social media. Members of an online forum post messages and conversations on multiple topics. Forums are one of the best places for extended conversations, debates, and sharing of information. Most forums also host images, so collectors can share images of their coins, help identify coins that others post, and more. When finding a good forum to join, look for one with a clear-cut code of conduct and strong moderator presence: this helps ensure that the discussions remain civil and productive. There are many good forums out there; two of our favorites are CoinTalk and NumisSociety.
Facebook is a surprisingly good place to trade photos and knowledge (and jokes!) with other collectors. Some companies and collectors have pages that are worth following, and there are many coin collecting discussion groups. Check before joining: different groups may have different rules for posting and chatting. You can search Facebook for coin collecting groups to see which ones you like; some of our favorites are Coin Collectors and Coin collecting help. (You can follow us on Facebook, too!)
Twitter has been called the world’s biggest party line, and it’s easy to see why. With millions of users, all chatting away at each other, it’s a giant conversation. There are two good ways of following people with similar interests on Twitter. First, just find someone interesting and follow their account. You can find those people by searching phrases like “coin collecting,” searching the hashtag #coins, or seeing who follows the big numismatics accounts like Krause Publications.
Another good way is to use Twitter’s “lists” function. You can add anyone to a list whether you follow them or not, and a list can be a good way to focus your feed. For instance, we have a “numismatics” list, that is solely made up of accounts that provide a lot of great content about coins and coin collecting. When we pull up the list, we see only the tweets from people on the list. It’s a great way to see who is talking about what in the coin world. (You can see our list here and follow us here.)
There are a lot of coin collectors and hobbyists using Instagram; it’s one of the top image-sharing networks in the world. It uses hashtags in much the same way Twitter does, though the tags are not usually a prominent part of the text. Follow us on Instagram to see what everyone is sharing!
Blogs and websites are still the best places for long-form content, like articles and essays. There are many great coin collecting blogs around, from big names like Krause Publications’ Numismatic News, down to individual collectors like Blind Coin Collector. It doesn’t have to be a major chore to keep up with all your favorite blogs, either. Look into using a feedreader (Feedly is an excellent one.) All you have to do is enter the blogs and websites you want to keep up with; the reader will show you when the sites have updated and let you read the new post right there, without going to a new page.
Basic do’s and don’ts:
Do: be friendly. Most people on social media are there for the same reason you are: to make friends and share interests.
Don’t: get into public fights. It can be tempting to sling a witty takedown to the person who just posted something unbearably ignorant, but the best policy is just to let it slide. It’s easy to get sucked down into a maelstrom of negativity; don’t ruin your social media experience. Block individuals who cause you problems, and move on.
Do: share great content. Whether it’s something you’ve written, a great blog post you saw, or just a picture of the latest addition to your collection, share things that are worth seeing. There’s a lot of empty fluff on the internet, and everyone appreciates something with some substance.
Don’t: repost everything. Reposting or retweeting some things is great; after all, you want to share stuff you enjoyed! But if your account is only stuff you’ve shared, it’s hard to start conversations with other people. Post your own ideas, too!