Now to use SCU terms, I understand there's a First World and a Second World and get the purpose behind both. I'm mostly a First World collector, but I dabble a bit in the Second World. But there's so much that's wrong with both Worlds, that there's enough negativity to go around. We've gone from having enough cases of cards in the early 90's to have a case for every person in China to now trying to make the most limited, most expensive product ever available. And I think we're heading towards a happy medium right now. Like Gellman said, I think there is a conscious effort on the part of the manufacturers, or at least Upper Deck, to make their product better and make the collectors happy. And I think what most collectors are looking for are being able to get their money out of the product they buy. Of course this applies a lot more to Second World Collectors than First World, but both are looking to get value, be it financial, emotional, sentimental, whatever, from their cards. And I think we're heading towards that. Some of that credit has to go to the Bloggers, both big and small. While we as a blogging community may not be able to sit and dictate where product should go, we have seen that the higher ups in the industry do take notice, read the blogs (maybe even this one!) and even comment on them or do an interview or two. Where the blogs make the biggest difference is in transparency. If there were no blogs and all we saw were Beckett's video breaks, the Beckett message board, Topps Rip Parties and all the other propaganda being spewed by the conglomerates then I think all you would have is a bunch of disappointed sheep. But the community allows us to agree, differ and discuss all of the aspects of the hobby and if need be, take someone to task for it. If the major players in the hobby are all in collusion, then there needs to be a neutral voice out there, speaking what everyone is thinking and until the invention of the Internet, this wasn't possible or if it was, it was available to a very limited group of people. Now with mass media, everyone can have a voice. Even if some are less prolific than others, it still allows collectors of all types to be heard by another collector at least which will hopefully will lead to discussion of the hobby in whatever aspect is being touched upon. Unfortunately, that does often lend itself to more discussion about the negative than the positive.
There is a lot of negativity in and about collecting on the blogs these days, but there is some good as well. The problem is that the negativity is more fun to talk about, it's more newsworthy and gets more people riled up. When there's a good story about one of the blogger's kids getting a pack of cards and being completely content with that David Eckstein base card or bloggers helping out other bloggers unsolicited, it goes unnoticed. Yes, there's a lot wrong with the hobby, but there's a lot of good being done and it often gets overshadowed because it's a lot more fun to berate Topps for a gimmick base card that no one will ever pull than to find the positive in the simplicity that a pack of cards can bring.