Wednesday, 13 July 2011

13/7: Pin Trading Lists

I've been thinking for a while as to how I can create a 'database' of sponsor and internal pins that collectors can use to log their wants and offers so that pin trading becomes a little easier.

I didn't want to use a paid service (remember all this is self-funded), and didn't want to rely on free online databases with limitations. I also didn't want to assume everyone had the latest software on their machines - let's not even start on machine specifications and browser versions.

Anyway, I think I have a fairly basic but easy to use system using Google Spreadsheets which I hope is available to most if not all of us. Apologies if I have disenfranchised anyone by using this software, but believe me I have tried to make it as accessible as possible.

I have created two spreadsheets (one for sponsor and one for internal), where all the available pins are listed down the left hand side, and the pin trader's name and email address are listed along the top. Each person can maintain their wants and offers by typing into the rows under their name.

Now this relies on everyone being sensible and only changing their data, and not deliberately trying to mess it up. Edit access will be restricted to those who email me and ask for access, but everyone can read it. Remember if you use it and and give me an email address, that email address will be visible to the world so you may want to create a special one for the purpose.

Take a look at the following link

If you would like to use it, drop your name and email to and I'll add you on - then you can start updating your wants and offers.

I've taken the liberty of adding regular contributors Wookie and Timo as an example of what the sheet would look like with more than just me on there.

If people think this idea will work, I'll add the link as an option from the website.

Up until now, some readers have been using the message board to list their wants and offers, but sometimes it's hard to keep up when pins come and go from your collection. I hope you agree, this way will be better in the long run.

If you do register and start using the lists, please don't be tempted to edit the structure. If you think something could be better, just email me and we can see what could be changed.

Let me know what you think.

Update : I've just found out that in order to sign-in and edit the sheet you need to have a Google account. I hadn't noticed before as the London Pin semail is based on Google Mail, so it never occurred to me. So if you want to log your wants and offers, I'm afraid I need to ask you to set up a free Google account. At least you won't have to share your normal email address with the world. Sorry for the confusion.


Pippin said...

Paul, you’ve come up trumps again!

I have tried to keep up to date with everybody's requirements on my own spreadsheets, but this will certainly be a huge improvement on what I've been doing to date. Sometimes I have found it difficult to determine the pins that are wanted or on offer, because of the way they have been described or referenced, but now everything will be standardised at once central location.

I would suggest making columns A, B and C much narrower, as on my laptop I can only see part of column D. It would be useful to see at least four names at the same time, in order to compare their requirements side by side.

A trading list is a great idea and, no doubt, it will become much improved over time.

wookie said...

All that I can see is the 17 lines of instructions - nothing about me or timo.......
I'm using google chrome before you ask :)

Paul said...

Wookie, you're looking at the first sheet. Somewhere at the bottom of the screen are the links for the sponsored and the internal pins. Click on either of those to see the list.

Paul said...

Pippin, columns adjusted - see what you think.

Pippin said...

Paul, it looks great on my 30" CAD workstation screen in the office. I'll check again with my laptop from home this evening.

May I request the addition of auto-filtering on the columns? Filtering will allow easier comparison of our own "wants" with other people's "offers", particularly when they are spread out down the columns.

wookie said...

Ah found it. I think it's a pretty poor effort really - you should be able to hover the cursor over the pin ID number and it shows you a picture of the pin :-)

I guess you'd better register me then as it has my name on a column.......