Vie's Inn of Wonders' Awards

Interview CSOTY 2008-winner

Content Site of the Year 2008: World Paper Currency Gallery (opens in new window)Content Site of the Year 2008-award

We are very pleased to have with us Arvind Agarwal, Webmaster of World Paper Currency Gallery, that won our Content Site of the Year-award 2008...

Arvind, how did the idea start to create a site about currency?

Arvind Agarwal: I have been collecting paper currency from around the world for over the last 15 years. As I came to enjoy the variety of currency, I decided to create this Web site to share my collection. I started by surfing the internet to get some idea of what is available. I did find some sites, but they were very specific to either one country or to one continent. Most of these sites had detailed information about the countries, but not about their financial system. So, I decided to create my own site where I try to consolidate all the relevant information, which I had collected over the years.
Having over 30 years of Information Technology system designing experience certainly helped me a lot to design this site.

I can imagine... And how do you collect the abundance of information you post on the site?

Arvind: As you may already know, paper currency collection is still a relatively new hobby, compared to stamp and coin collecting. Little information about paper currency is available. I spent countless hours attending seminars on paper currency, going through books to understand what happened to those countries (over 100) that do not exist anymore. I found most of the information on the internet, but it was all scattered. I have been traveling around the world since I was eighteen. During that period I have gained lots of information about currencies of various countries of each continent. I gathered all the information that I had, plus detailed information of each currency and the history behind it.
This was not easy. It took lots of discipline, time, and a lot of hard work. I have invested a lot of my own money to buy all these paper currency of the world. Even today, there are very few catalogues available on World Paper Currency, as compared to Stamps and Coin collection. There are so many expositions, exclusively for Stamps and Coin collections every month around the world. In all these years I have not come across a single Seminar just for World Paper Currency.

Yes, I can understand your reasoning if you put it that way... Now what is the main objective the site wants to achieve?

Arvind: As a collector, I found that there was very little information on Paper currency. All the sources which were available, were either very few or scattered. Being an avid collector, I was very frustrated and disappointed to find so little information on paper currency. I spent months to get detailed information on just one specific currency. Therefore, I wanted to create a site where everyone could learn more about each continent. My site has tried to eliminate this problem. I have used my personal knowledge and other sources as the internet, books and talking to various experts whom I met, when I was attending currency shows to display historical and modern paper currency of each country, and at the same time provide information to educate all who are interested to promote this relatively young hobby.

I see... Are there any future goals or projects you definitely want to accomplish?

Arvind: To meet certain international standard, I want to make this site 508 compliant. I would like to make this site a multi-lingual. I have decided to translate it into German language.

always important to comply with those... Now how important is recognition (like awards) for you?

Arvind: This site was created for reasons I have already mentioned above. When we go to school to learn something, it is incomplete until you are tested on it. These exams decide your strengths and weaknesses. To me these awards inspire and encourage me to do my best and keep going until I am there. Frankly, I have been able to achieve all this, only because of the expertise and valuable input from all the AP's. These awards helped me to bring my project to the present level of success and keep going to even do better.
To me personally, awards and comments from the AP's (Award Programs) are extremely important. I have received many great ideas, from many different AP's (including your AP) to further enhance my site. At home, at work and every other field in life, everyone wants to have their efforts appreciated. It provides encouragement to work even harder. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone who has given me their award and valuable suggestions to further improve my site. I could not have achieved or reached this level of success without all of your HELP. Thank you everybody for taking the time to evaluate my site.
I like this idea so much that I have decided to start my own AP very soon. This will be my way of giving back of what I have received from the award community. I am very pleased and honored to have been chosen as Content Site of the Year 2008.

I'm looking forward to see that project in action. With this I'd like to thank you, Arvind Agarwal, for this interview and I wish you and your wonderful site all the best in the future...

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