Since the beginning of the week, many blogs, sites (and certainly magazines next months) are reproducing and commenting a letter from the president of the French Republic adressed to philatelists (my God ! has not this man speak about everything yet ?), I compare the very little I know about the French philatelic universe and the rest of the world's philately. [Only one link with the reproducion of the letter].
The president enjoys and supports the idea of states-general of the philately... Maybe actors of the French philately think they don't meet enough ? 17 Octobre at La Poste, 23 octobre for the Grand Prix, etc. On the other hand, if these states-general find the same kind of solutions to problems like the last states-general of the monarchy, it will please me very much (even if the president-collector won't).
From my ridiculous point of view, excentred from the French philatelic pond, two considerations.
First, I think that any pretended miracle solution is vain if it doesn't have consequences on the French philatelic economy : a book cost a lot to be produced, the market is thin, and the communication to non-philatelists thinner. Comparatively, the documentary wealth of the United Kingdom philatelic institutional websites helped non philatelists to find some intels without efforts The British Postal Museum & Archives, The British Philatelic Trust, The British Library. Then, a philatelic book in English (more complete, more precise, illustrated, more expensive of course) is in Amazon websites' stock and is available longer than a French book at a specialized library in Paris.
Secondly, I see that solutions are amongst us, without they are to be shout out loud (but I won't try to impeach an entrepreneur to shout out loud his new products) :
* if you can read only one text of Jean-François Brun et Michèle Chauvet, let it be chapter 20 ("Documentation et recherche", pages 780-799) of their Introduction à l'histoire postale [de France] de 1848 à 1878. To follow the historians' rules to always justify, source, proove, reference an information will paint with a touch of serious the French philately as a discipline creator of knowledges. A French scientific who is a philatelist too will be a better popular commercial for philately in France than a president's letter.
* with pleasure, philatelic magazines come out the all-French topics closet to use the knowledges and capacities of their generalist professional redactors and those of their specialist amateur one-time writers. It is a pleasure for me because if the only professional in philately are stamp dealers, non philatelist media will only speak about philately for the price at auctions of a rarity (without wanting to tell the story behind it) or because a speculation caused by a discreet issue of a stamp by La Poste. To show that postal history is all over the world is a chance to catch new collectors first interested in this part of the world (that's why my only disappointment in Brun and Chauvet's book is the title that forgets to precise "of France").
* to use all means. Television and internet (see the links in my right column) can be read by non philatelists, people who won't spend 5 € for a monthly philatelic magazine or wait in line more than 20 minutes to buy a stamp today because of the first day cancellation. After reading Claude Jamet's thoughts about the Stamp Festival 2007, why do the local philatelic associations continue to pay to organize first day ceremonies when it's La Poste who earn all the money ? Shouldn't these associations lobby television's local offices for a special exhibitions or to interviewed a collector who can speak with stamps about a regional topic or a topic that the news put up front ? Like this, philately will be more present on national television because local offices would have pictures in stock. Non philatelist viewers will after a while act and go to see before it is been showed on tv.
Signed : Yaka Fokon
(will I be the only one to say advices I won't do myself at this estates-general ?