This is an exciting time to be a Hard Rock pin collector, thanks to our new partnership with the team at hobbyDB! Ten months have passed since the pin catalog moved to hobbyDB. Like many of you, we have been working to better understand the new platform and what we can do with it. The new site has many more capabilities and much more flexibility, with enhancements being added every month.
This is our new-and-improved pin collector clubhouse for years to come. In time, we will be able to use hobbyDB for all aspects of trading, buying, selling, and organizing our collections. Many of these abilities are already in place. The best change is that because hobbyDB has treated Hard Rock pin collectors as a priority and as partners from day one, we all can influence how our clubhouse looks and functions.
Read on for a summary of what has happened so far this year, what is coming soon, and how you can get more involved if you like!
Improvements to Pin Catalog Management
Like the old catalog, the new one has opportunities for improvement. The hobbyDB team is doing its part (and then some!) by consistently enhancing the site. We need to do our part as well, especially on the subject of publishing. After a dropoff in the first several months of the catalog transition, publishing has returned to a healthy level. That is encouraging, but we see potential for much more.
Our #1 goal at the moment, to add the greatest value to everyone’s use of the catalog, is to ensure that more pins are published sooner. To that end, we have launched several major changes to how the pin catalog is managed. While these will take time to take full effect, work is underway.
The roles involved in Hard Rock pin catalog publishing are now as follows:
- New as of November
- Can add pins to catalog
- 23 people assigned to this new role yesterday
You are invited to be a Contributor! If interested, please go to this help page, watch the two videos there, then complete the form at the bottom
Pin Master Apprentice (PMA)
- New as of September
- Entry-level Pin Master role; same duties as PM
- Partners with an experienced mentor
- Moves to PM after demonstrating ability
- Going forward, candidates to be identified from pool of Contributors
Pin Master (PM)
- Primary publisher and editor for each Hard Rock location
- New (work in progress): Ensures that new pins are published within two weeks of release
- Receives automatic emails when others submit pins for assigned location
- Responsible for editing to ensure that listings follow catalog standards
- Goal (work in progress): All locations (nearly 350!) — open, closed or never opened — will have an assigned PM
- New: You can contact PMs with catalog questions. From a pin listing, click on the releasing location under Related Subjects, then scroll down and click on the Curator’s avatar to go to that person’s Showcase, then click on the Contact link under the Curator’s name
Pin Master Advisory Board (PMAB)
- Pin Master leadership team, formerly an advisory panel on old site
- Responsible for improving catalog user experience, primarily by making PM personnel decisions, setting entry standards and partnering with hobbyDB to prioritize user feedback
More About PMAB
We aim to be more communicative, transparent and accountable to you going forward. This is more important now because the catalog transition to a dynamic third-party website has caused our role to change. We are now more deeply involved in shaping the catalog user experience for Hard Rock pins, and we take that responsibility seriously.
Current board members all are longtime Hard Rock pin collectors, plus hobbyDB CEO Christian Braun:
- Dave Nathan (Dave Nathan)
- Jordan Rosenblatt (JR1015)
- Michael Candland (fishingfool999)
- Leslie Dorman (blossomgirl)
- Lisa Hoffman (dez9rlady)
- Paul McKelvey (wsbudman9)
- Philip Blythe (PHILIPBLYTHE)
- Richard Huizinga (Richard Huizinga)
- Roddy McGeoch (Roderick McGeoch)
- Christian Braun / hobbyDB representative (Joschik)
Our doors are always open to your feedback. Look for more communication from us going forward and you can contact us via our Showcases listed above.
Other Pin Catalog Changes
Verified by Pin Master
New this week: Pin Masters can now look at their pin listings and publicly confirm that each one is accurate and complete. This process adds the verification date, the Pin Master’s user ID and a link to his or her Showcase, where he or she can be contacted.
Separation of Pins and Buttons
Based on collector feedback, in the next two weeks hobbyDB will separate buttons and pins. Buttons will have their own product type, similar to glassware and magnets.
Unlike the old catalog, listings on hobbyDB can be useful as price guides. The site automatically records prices for all sales that occur on hobbyDB. The site also has the ability to display prices archived on eBay, and it will soon have that ability for other sales channels. Here is a good example:
For prices other than hobbyDB sales to display, someone needs to briefly match the price with the database entry. We have a tool that preselects these, so the only thing needed from a human is a quick visual check. Currently, we are a few thousand price points behind, and eBay deletes the photos after some time.
If you are interested in helping with assigning prices,
please contact hobbyDB
Your Showcase just keeps getting better and better! Work in progress includes new tabs for items for sale and trade, ability to select your default tab, and personalized lists. For example, Carmen Santos, Pin Master for HRC San Juan, Puerto Rico, could create her “Top 10 Puerto Rican HRC Collectibles” or her “Top 10 Favorite Pins of All Time.”
The #1 remaining need, based on your feedback, is the ability to search by year. Example: Show all Boston pins from 2008. Another top request is for search to pick up the text of the long description. These are priorities and will be implemented in Q1.
Pro tip: Some search tools are not yet well-known. For example, if you want to see pins from the original London Cafe and exclude the new location at London Piccadilly Circus, one way to do that is by entering the following into the search box:
Hard Rock Cafe London -Piccadilly (note no space between minus sign and Piccadilly)
A Better Way to Trade
The hobbyDB team has heard you loudly and clearly that we need a more intuitive and efficient way to use the site for trading. The team is eager to hear any ideas you have about what that should look like.
Other Hard Rock News
In addition to pins in the database, you may have noticed the publishing of magnets, glassware, bears and other Hard Rock collectibles. It is not the usual responsibility of the Pin Masters to oversee these items. To better leverage expertise in the community, hobbyDB has assigned some curators for Hard Rock categories other than pins:
– Bears: Chris Fairbairn (parboychris) and Stephanie Bridges (smarshall530)
– Buttons: See above; work in progress
– Magnets: Carmen Fazio (hrc4faz)
– T-Shirts: Work in progress; let us know if interested
– Glassware: 5 new Shotmasters; read about them here – they even got their own badges –
Lou Nuccio (HRC-WORLDWIDE) has been named editor of this specialized site built by hobbyDB, www.HRCcollector.com (this site), which includes a database and marketplace for all hobbyDB items related to Hard Rock Cafe.
That’s all we have for now. Lots of exciting improvements! If you want to get more involved, whether by becoming a Contributor, adding prices, or expanding your use of hobbyDB for your collection, please let us or the hobbyDB team know how we can help.