Tip Sheet: Five ways to enjoy The National from afar


By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

Between the National Sports Collectors Convention and Lollapalooza, thousands of collectors and music lovers will descend upon the greater Chicago area this week. Thousands more will not.

While we can’t claim to offer much help in remotely enjoying Eminem, The Foo Fighters, Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket and the rest of the ferocious festival lineup (except for maybe this), we have a few pointers for the collecting crowd.

With reasons sound and abound, scores of hobbyists just won’t wind up in the windy city for the annual show — but that doesn’t mean that they have to miss out on all the action.  Thanks to the miracle of social media and other electronically-driven means, collectors can follow the frenzy on the home front.

Below, you’ll find a few ways to keep up with The National without actually going to The National …

Listen to the little birdie.
If you haven’t jumped on the Twitter bandwagon by now, the National ought to be the impetus. Fellow Beckett editor Chris Olds and I will be using our accounts to deliver the latest breaking (and deliciously random) finds from the event.  Searching for hashtags #NSCC, #collect and #thehobby should keep you up to speed with the trending tidbits, and following the following accounts should help you get your fill of short-form show news:

Beckett Editors:

Industry feeds:

(Feel free to comment with your Twitter account if you plan on tweeting live from the show.)

For good reason, Facebook is the most formidable form of social media. In this case, most, if not all manufacturers and hobby voices will be posting pictures, quipping comments and tagging like nobody’s business. Be sure to befriend and follow the appropriate people and pages — but most importantly, get ready to click the “Like” button.

Put your friends to work.
Whether you engage in the collecting community online or at a hobby shop, chances are you know somebody, or somebody who knows somebody going to the show. If you find an autograph guest — fully listed at nsccshow.com — whose signature you’re just dying to grab, send someone you know and trust to procure that precious penmanship.

Aside from signatures, some collectors even send friends (again, trustworthy ones) with cash and shopping list in hand to snag desirable swag from the memorabilia Mecca.

Stay with the stream.
Notwithstanding a little lag here and there, podcasts, Ustream broadcasts and other stream-based services are the best means of savoring the National’s sensory appeal in real time. Collectors can find these on-location podcasts by way of Google, iTunes, Ustream and other media-hunting hubs. As for the senses of smell, touch and taste — try busting a wax box while eating a Chicago dog or a hot beef sandwich during the streaming session.

Get bombarded on Beckett.com.
As the Beckett booth operates in a flurry of magazine slinging, grading and slabbing, web visitors can expect a similar hustle and flow. Surely dabbing sweat from our brows, we’ll be hunched over laptops, loading Beckett.com/news with photo galleries, videos, interviews and every NSCC nugget we can muster while we’re at the show.


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  1. CNR 1 August, 2011 at 21:28

    Can’t wait to see all the self-important card bloggers and forum owners at the show. To these rubes: your site is awful.

  2. DPM 2 August, 2011 at 20:30

    Won’t be able to make it this year, but check out the DPM Blog as I’ll be following all the Blogs, Twiiters, and forums and posting the links for you to check out, Have fun collectors hope to see you in Baltimore next year.

  3. JayBee Anama 3 August, 2011 at 11:09

    And this “self-important card blogger” can’t wait to meet you CNR. I’ll be there on Friday and Saturday. You can follow me then at @bdj610.

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