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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations 
June 16-17, 2001:

It really IS the World Wide Web.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
Not only can stamp collectors get a wealth of information on 
the Internet about philately -- that's the fancy name for the 
hobby -- but they can get it direct from the postal 
administrations that issue the stamps. 

And many countries maintain philatelic sites in ENGLISH -- 
even if that's not one of the official languages. Germany and 
the Netherlands? Ja. Portugal? Sim. Israel? Cain -- it just 
climbed aboard the band-wagon.  Even LATVIA and PAKISTAN have 
English-language sites on the Internet.

Why? Because not only are there many stamp collectors -- that 
is, potential customers -- in English-speaking countries, but 
English also is pretty much the language of the Internet.

Sure, there are hold-outs -- for example, Spain and Mexico only 
have sites in Spanish...and while France has an English section 
on its postal site, it doesn't include stamp collecting.

Here's a tip when surfing a site in a foreign language: Look for 
a small British flag. That seems to be the symbol for English 

And that's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News.

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