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Anthony Piazza
Ms. Jennifer Murray
ENC1102
8 December 2014
A Survey of Vinyl Collecting Habits
I chose the website Discogs for my research topic because I am an active user who likes
knowing whats in my record collection at all times. Discogs, short for discographies, is a large
database that primarily catalogs physical music recordings. The website also features
Marketplace for buying and selling records and Collection to keep track of your collection.
In addition, the Community section includes groups, forums and a blog that instigate discourse
among Discogs users. The term release refers to the web page of any physical media item
added to the Discogs database. For this assignment and the rest of my portfolio, I will mainly
focus on the database and collecting aspects of Discogs.
I found my primary sources through the UCF Library databases and secondary sources
through web searches on Google. I also conducted a survey to gain insight on communication
habits of Discogs users. This research will help me elaborate on the points made in my rough
draft as well as allow me to back up facts with statistics from the survey. Initially, I wanted my
paper to focus on how Discogs compares to other databases. However, after seeing the results
from the survey I thought it might be interesting to compare the cataloging habits of Discogs
users with the habits of collectors who cataloged their records before Discogs was created.
Add Release. Discogs. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
This source is the form that Discogs users fill out when adding a new release to
the database. All 5 million items in the database were added through this form. The main
information that helps identify the release is closer to the top while secondary
information (such as genre and credits) is found near the bottom. The most important

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aspect of communication happens in the Notes section of the release form. While the
Release Notes are optional and provide additional information about the specific release,
the Submission Notes are required and give other users proof that the information you
provided is accurate. The audience for this form is any active member of Discogs who
finds a record not already in the database. This provides information about the types and
purposes of communication as well as how users handle errors in release forms. Efficient
communication in the Submission Notes results with releases getting verified faster.
Blog. Discogs. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
The Discogs blog is one of the main ways that Discogs communicates with its
users as a whole. The blog provides useful information on new features that are soon to
come to the website. Each month users can read a new post titled Top 30 Most
Expensive Items Sold on Discogs Marketplace, featuring rare items that were purchased
for sometimes thousands of dollars. Discogs also occasionally highlights sellers on their
blog with a Crate Diggers Featured Vendor article that tells their story. The audience of
the blog includes all Discogs users and any other collectors interested in the vinyl-related
material posted. The blog is a good example of additional forms of communication that
take place on Discogs. Aside from the communication that goes on between users, the
website itself is communicating directly to its users through blog posts. The different
types of posts all contribute to the discourse in a different way, but they all stir up
conversation in the community.
Gluskin, Matt. Cataloguing Records with Discogs. Wax Times. 27 May 2014. Web. 8 Dec.
2014.
Gluskin shows step-by-step how to find a release on Discogs and all the possible
problems one might encounter. He explains how to sift through the irrelevant results to
find the artist page and then the specific release. Looking at the spine to find the catalog
code and checking where the record was made are two examples that were provided. The
intended audience of this article is new Discogs users, as suggested by the step-by-step
guide and picture aids. While this source is not considered scholarly, I believe it is
credible and relevant to my discussion. I plan to use this article when discussing the
errors that occur when adding new releases. Accidentally typing one incorrect character
of the catalog code will often lead to a release that is completely unrelated. When users
find a release with an error, they check for the things Gluskin listed to find out what was
entered into the database incorrectly. This article will help me elaborate on what causes
users to correct mistakes in releases.
Guidelines. Discogs. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
The Guidelines are divided into 22 sections, each devoted to establishing strict
rules and procedures for fixing errors on Discogs. The first 13 sections cover the
individual parts of a release. The next four sections concern the actions you can perform
on a release as a whole. The last five sections cover a variety of topics, including

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updating profiles, voting and FAQs. Also included on the webpage are links to the
Database Glossary and Quick Start Guide. While no author is listed, its safe to
assume the Guidelines were a collaborative effort written by the Discogs team to help
assimilate new users. The Guidelines provide useful information on how novices become
experts. It also goes into detail about the voting system on Discogs, such as how the
voting system works and how new members are unable to vote.
Gracon, David D. Exiled Records and Over-the-Counterculture: a Cultural Political Economic
Analysis of the Independent Record Store. ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing. 30
Sept. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
This dissertation is mainly about independent record stores, however there is a
section beginning on page 120 called Vinyl Records and Collecting that contains useful
information. It starts off by citing people who have noticed the emotional responses
music creates in people and how different music formats result with different responses.
Then Gracon explains why the vinyl comeback is happening. He also quotes Straw in
defining record collections as carriers of the information whose arrangement and
interpretation is part of the broader discourse about popular music (Gracon 125). The
audience of this source are the professionals Gracon is writing to earn his doctorate
degree in psychology, as well as any curious vinyl collectors who dont mind a lengthy
read. Gracons dissertation explains the social relations involved with collecting records.
Gracons explanation helped me create my own definition of what defines a record
collector. This chapter also contains a section that briefly deals with the recent increase in
vinyl sales.
Oliphint, Joel. Wax and Wane: the Tough Realities Behind Vinyls Comeback. Pitchfork. 28
July 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
The article mainly deals with the fact that the vinyl comeback has created a
challenge for the few remaining pressing plants. However, there are important quotes and
statistics about the comeback that relate back to vinyl collecting. For example, vinyl sales
have been consistently rising since 2008 and there were 6.1 million vinyl records sold last
year. The article quotes the production manager at Merge Records saying four years
ago, maybe half our releases would get an LP option. Now every release we do has a
vinyl format. Basically, Oliphint is examining the effects of vinyls resurgence on the
industry and pressing plants, along with quotes and statistics from the independent music
community. Oliphint describe the new wave of vinyl collectors and briefly explains the
cause of the comeback. Some topics that he did not cover are the relationship between
vinyl and indie music and how vinyl collectors feel about certain pressings. However, his
article is still a great representation of the how the vinyl comeback had an effect on
many.

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Piazza, Anthony. Discogs User Survey. Survey. 8 Dec. 2014.
To get a better understanding of the communication behaviors of Discogs users, I
conducted a survey. The survey was created through the website Survey Monkey and
contained six questions aimed at finding out which methods of communication users
engage in most frequently. The first five questions required an answer while the final
question was optional as it was aimed at a specific audience. At the time of this writing,
the survey has over 700 responses. The results from every question provided me with
new information that I previously did not know. I found the majority of Discogs users
started using the website when their collection had less than 100 items. This relates to the
idea that some collectors dont use Discogs since their collection is so large it would be a
tedious process to catalog them all. I also found that most users started using the website
to keep track of their collection, not to sell or buy. Most importantly, I learned that the
most common method of communication on Discogs is the interaction between sellers
and buyers in the Marketplace. The next question showed that the majority of users did
not have any difficulty learning or understanding the terminology of Discogs. The last
question was aimed at older collectors to see if cataloged their collection before the
website was created. The survey showed that most of these collectors did not catalog
their records, however those who did had similar methods. The most common method
was using Microsoft Excel. Other popular methods include recording releases in a
notebook and using older websites with the same goal of Discogs but are now inactive.
Reel, Monte. The Brazilian Bus Magnate Whos Buying Up All the Worlds Vinyl Records.
The New York Times. 09 Aug. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
While this source isnt directly related to Discogs, I feel that it is relevant to the
topic of record collecting. The article is about a successful businessman named Zero
Freitas who has amassed a record collection of over 3 million LPs. Freitas is quoted
saying Ive gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself, referring to his
record buying addiction. He also hired a team of college interns in an attempt to catalog
all of his records, estimating that it could take about 20 years. Reel explains that Freitass
obsession with vinyl stems from a stereo his father bought when he was young. This
source will be useful when I talk about record collecting in my paper. I can use this
article to provide an extreme of how seriously some people take the practice and tie it in
to the collecting habits of Discogs users.