Monday, 14 November 2016

An Endangered Species (AKA Zistle Trade)

Taking a break from moping and pouting about my favorite website to post a trade with one of the few die-hards left lurking around. I have a ton of cards that scans just don't do justice, but this is the opposite, they actually look better scanned than in-hand. Not true acetate cards, only the cloudy window is see through, but very cool cards, and the complete team set of 1997 E-X2000.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

On the Impending Death of Zistle and the Current State of My Collecting

I you are a reader of this blog you have undoubtedly seen multiple mentions of, and if you are familiar with zistle, you know that there is mass speculation surrounding a very long state of silence from the admins, very little to no website support, the lawsuit from Beckett and the little info that is out there leading most to believe that zistle has been sold to Beckett and will probably be shut down or just simply un-maintained to death.

This is crushing news to me as my finding zistle really lead to me getting back into the hobby to the level I am now. The hardest thing, probably with any collection, is knowing what you have and what you are looking to add.

I remember going through Beckett's organize, and this was the previous version which I found superior to the current rendition, and finding little things, cards missing images, cards with wrong images or bad scans, cards with the wrong team listed, cards I had that were not listed. All very minor things for a database of that size, but soon found that little was done to fix these. This among other things lead me to zistle, there I could add cards, add images and flags on errors were quickly dealt with, the people running the site seemed eager to help and interact, and with the base of the site being user submitted data, a person felt they were helping making the catalog better, more complete, more correct, actually contributing to something.

It was fun, it must have been, part of getting a new card was scanning it, posting it here and adding it to zistle. In the six plus years I used it I added 123,741 cards to the database, 22,611 images and had 45,253 flags accepted, it had to be fun to spend that much time on something.

Then we get to trades, and that is really why most of us blog isn't it. It's not just to show off what we got, it to interact as a part of a community. I completed 68 trades on zistle, that is a large percentage of the trading I do. Part of what lead me back into buy packs was for trade bait. It was so easy, enter a card as trade-able and check for people that wanted it, and you could go through and check want-list and trade-list, and see the cards, a little more stimulating that scrolling through a spreadsheet.

I will continue to use zistle until, one day, probably, it is just not there. Hopefully my spreadsheets are up to date at that point. I will continue to buy, but probably in smaller amounts, and probably mostly singles. I have tried other sites, most people seem to be migrating towards tradingcarddb, while it is an adequate site, I find it hard on the eyes, full of adds and hard to use. Being on that site feeling like driving a new car that runs fine, but isn't as nice as the one your previous had, the one you were used to and loved. And there is zero chance I will use Beckett, the name tastes like bile in my mount.

Speaking of Beckett, it is very disappointing that the biggest non-card producing name in the hobby is carrying itself the way it is. Their Organize feature is a joke compared to zistle, and instead of making themselves better, the just bully a small site, and with it a small community, out of existence. Zistle was free, but I paid for zistle gold just because I wanted to support the site, that's how things should work isn't it, you give a company money because you want to, not because you have too.

The frustrating part right now is not knowing, is zistle owned by beckett? Is it getting shut down? Maybe Beckett will realize the ill-will they creating and keep it up, assigning admins to keep it alive. Maybe something better will come along, who knows, as for now, I will wait, in a sort of limbo, buying here and there, but not nearly as much, maybe finding the odd trade, but not nearly as much, and still enjoy collecting, but not nearly as much.