Monday, December 15, 2008

Canada Post delivers (part 2)

Last night I blogged the first part of this blogpost, Canada Post delivers, in which I described the sim in general, to summarize it, Canada Post has build a retail city in Second Life housing not only their own shop, but also 10 of the most prominent retailers in Canada including Toys R Us, Skymall and Brookstone. As a dozen companies in one blogpost would be a bit too much, I stopped at the general introduction in the previous blogpost and would like to zero in on Canada Post itself in this one.

Canada Post setup shop on the corner of Maple Street and Hudson Avenue on the venture called Maple Grove which can be found on the Solar sim. The modern office houses a postoffice on the ground floor and a lounge on the 2nd floor.

The postoffice has a welcoming desk where you can design your own stamps and the walls are lined with lockers. Point of focus in this shop are four large adscreens on which Canada Posts advertises its services. Being in business of mail delivery, this off course means stamps. In the virtual postoffice you can buy a set of holiday stamps, the 2008 collection or a stamp collecting starter kit and the 2008 Holiday Commemorative Coin Gift Set.

In real life stamps and stamp collecting are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. In the Netherlands stamps aren't what they used to be anymore. Nowadays we just have stickers and ordinary stamps which you have to wet the glue have become a niche thing.

Stamp Collectors are usually regarded as old men who live in the past, generally a type you won't see in Second Life. This image of course isn't true. A wide variety of people collect stamps, including tech savvy metaversians, though they will probably be a minority in Second Life. In the real world, stamp collecting is a big hobby with over 20 million collectors in the United States alone (according to wikipedia).

Especially to small and exotic countries, stamps are an important source of revenues, just like selling their TLD's like .nu and .tk. Often the stamps are colorfull, elaborate designs produced in limited edition for stamp collectors and the production far exceeds the domestic postal needs.

I myself might be one of those very few metaverse explorers who loves stamps as well. Though I'm not a dedicated collector of Canadian stamps I do have a few pages filled with Canadian stamps and wouldn't mind getting my hands on the 2008 set or the holiday set. I do have a few christmas stamp sets from Canada, and they're actually quite lovely. As a collector I focus on Dutch stamps, trying to complete the collection. Keeping up with new productions is quite easy, just subscribe to it, but the sport usually is in collecting the older stamps. Often series of stamps from before 1920 can get very pricey, for example the Dutch series of 1899-1921 featuring Queen Wilhelmina.

An overview of the history of Canadian stamps can be found in the Canadian Postal Archives and starts with the collection of the Province of Canada, 1851-1867.

In short, since I like stamps, I like the shop Canadian Post has set up, but doubt it will become a top attraction in Second Life. Perhaps more can be expected of this presence in combination with the other shops featured on this retail sim, but I'll get to that in a later post.

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