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Suppose I Scheduled a Meeting and Nobody Came?

by Lloyd A. de Vries

I woke up from a nap Sunday afternoon with a start: I'd forgotten The Virtual Stamp Club meeting at Americover exactly one week earlier. Worse, no one complained!

Later, I realized that I had attended the meeting, and one person, American Philatelic Society executive director Ken Martin, had shown up.

It's funny the tricks your subconscious will play on you. Ken and I pretty much talked about what I had expected the meeting would be about: The present and future of The Virtual Stamp Club, after its short-lived ownership by Stanley Gibbons U.S. (bidStart).

I was surprised more people weren't at the meeting. Perhaps it's because The VSC is now in limbo right now, something resembling "The Twilight Zone."

Is a club a club if it no longer has members? Does The Virtual Stamp Club still have members?

Right now, The Virtual Stamp Club consists of this website, period. It no longer has a message board. The reasons are a long story, which I won't go into here and now. The message board to which the website links is the former VSC message board, but it is managed and operated by other people now, and has a new name. I have no official status there whatsoever.

For the first time in 20 years, I don't check a message board/roundtable/forum the moment I wake up, nor in the middle of my sleep period. It's not the last thing I do at night. I don't feel I have to check the board while visiting relatives and friends.

It's a strange feeling!

Instead, I'm putting my time and effort into the website, which, truth be told, had often been neglected in favor of the message board's demands. I think we can continue to make The Virtual Stamp Club a top English-language source for stamp collecting news and information, just without the discussion (and arguments).

I used to refer to The VSC as an online magazine (the website) with a Letters to the Editor section (the message board) on steroids. But steroids often cause other problems, so taking a step back, waiting, and reassessing is probably a good thing.

Will The Virtual Stamp Club again have a message board? Quite likely. When? Not in the immediate future. There are no plans for one at this time.

Is it still a "club?" It's probably still as much of one as the auto clubs. Its future is still unfolding.

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