On the hobbyDB Database, Subjects are the basis for all of the interconnection on the site. The concept of a "subject" is something that cannot be owned by an average collector, think characters like Batman or Buzz Lightyear, companies like Mattel or Hard Rock Cafe, and even actors and film franchises like Chris Pratt or The Avengers.
Collectibles (AKA the stuff you as a collector actually own) can be connected to these related subjects to make the database easy to browse and search. As an example, let's say I'm a Marvel collector. If I visit the Marvel subject page on hobbyDB, I'll see all of the different collectible items associated with Marvel, from Pez dispensers, comics to model cars and everything in between. Also listed on these subject pages are other subjects also related to Marvel, like Actors, Artists, Characters, Films, Games, and more.
Subjects are the glue that binds the hobbyDB database together, and make it easy for collectors of all kinds to find collectibles based on the way they collect -- by brand, actor, character, company, and so on. This is why it is important that subjects are created and added to carefully in order to maintain the collector-centric organization and search-ability of the database.
- Searchable on the site.
- The common links that bind collectibles (the stuff you can own) to fandoms (the incarnation of "why" and "what" you collect).
- Intangible. In most cases, a subject is something you can't put on the shelf and collect. It's the idea behind the thing on your shelf.
Subjects are not...
- Own-able. You can't own Buzz Lightyear the fictional character, but as a collector, you can own an action figure of him.
- Mutually exclusive. A collectible can have multiple related subjects.
You can currently search subjects by clicking on the "Search Subjects" link on the lefthand side of the database -
When you go to the current Subject section you will note a new filter that allows to select Verified Subjects or not verified subjects or all -
It is set as default to Yes so that new users only get to see subjects that are "presentable" (like on Wikipedia Subjects can be created on the fly when you add for example a book by an author we do not yet have on hobbyDB).
As a Contributor (or above) on hobbyDB you'll most commonly encounter subjects while adding an item to the database, under the section "Related Subjects". Multiple subjects can be assigned to a single item, take for example an Iron Man action figure. It is related to the subjects Robert Downey Jr., Marvel Comics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the Iron Man character.
Here are some best practices when assigning subjects:
- Always search for a subject before creating a new one for an item or items. We are generally using the full name so "Corgi Toys" versus "Corgi". We also drop legal entities such as "Shell Ltd" or "Shell GmbH" so just use "Shell".
- Check your spelling! Its all too common to find a misspelled subject with one item attributed to it. This is because the subject creator mistyped the subject while attributing an item to it, creating a second, incorrect subject in the database.
- Make sure to add the right subject in the right field. So "Indianapolis 2015" is not a series but a race and has to go into Related Races or if that is not on the form Related Subjects. If the company made a series of Indianapolis 2015 items than Series should have the official name and if that is indeed "Indianapolis 2015" it should have the brand as an identifier (more on this below).
You will also notice that you can type any word of the subject to see all the different options.
What makes the perfect subject page?
When creating subjects, please make sure that they have the full name (including middle initial), at least one photo (if it's a person, make sure the photo only has the person of interest in it), a quick description, related subjects, parent subjects (if applicable) and a subject identifier. Parent subject and Identifier are optional A subject could have more than one Parent subject, a typical example is a Basketball player that played for two NBA teams.
So what's a subject identifier?
With the breadth and depth of hobbyDB's coverage, we inevitably wound up with lots of subjects that have the same or similar names - but are related to entirely different things! For example, is this the Mainline series from Hot Wheels or the series of the same name by Matchbox? Is this Avengers subject the Movie or the Comic Series? This is where identifiers come in - they show on the subject page, the search results, and when you're adding an item and will let you see at a glance whether you're in the right place or not!
You can add a subject identifier when you're editing a subject like so -
Here's an example of subject identifier in the search results -
This is also especially helpful when you're adding a subject to an item as the Identifier shows within the subject search. Here' an example -
Another important field is the "Also Known As" field - Take for example, Spider-man, who is also known as Peter Parker. Make sure to add other nicknames, or previously known as names to your subjects.
Once you have the perfect subject page, verify it so members see the most accurate data
Once you feel like the subject you're working on is complete, you can go ahead and verify it. For a more detailed walkthrough of verifying subjects, click here.
To verify a subject, scroll to the bottom of the page and click verify -
This will automatically verify the subject, so that members know that it's been double-checked by one of our members that care (you!). For more details, click here.