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Win This Dwyane Wade Autograph from Autograph University

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated – I loved reading your ideas! We’ve emailed our randomly selected winner.

Autograph University recently had its second birthday and in the spirit of the season I have two words for each and every reader of this site—THANK YOU! It’s difficult to put into words what your participation—your questions, comments, emails, tweets—means to me. Autograph Unviversity is more than a blog, it’s a community and I appreciate your being a part of it.

As a small token of gratitude I want to add this amazing Dwyane Wade autographed book to one of your collections.

Dwyane Wade autographed book

All you need to do for a chance to win is leave a comment and tell me your idea for a future Autograph University blog post or project. I want to hear your ideas.

I will randomly choose a winner on Black Friday at 10pm EDT (no need to wait in line). One comment per person and please use a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

I look forward to reading your comments. Have fun, good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

About the author: is the founder of Autograph University. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and 1-year-old son. Follow him on Twitter at @mattraymond or on Google+.

85 comments… add one

  • Jake L November 19, 2012, 9:46 pm

    how about a post about best/worst hotels to graph at in various cities?

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Jake

    • Matt Raymond November 19, 2012, 9:47 pm

      Thanks for the idea Jake! Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  • Adam November 19, 2012, 9:49 pm

    How about bio on other graphers/readers? For starters, I’m sure you know quite a few interesting graphers from Boston. Take your pick, there are plenty of characters running around!

    Happy Holidays,
    Adam

    • Matt Raymond November 19, 2012, 9:51 pm

      I really like that idea Adam, thanks. I certainly know a few characters :)

  • Alex T November 19, 2012, 9:52 pm

    Hey Matt,

    I know it would be a local-centric blog, but how about tips to get graphs at the Garden before/after Celts games. I’d love that.

    Keep up the good work! I’m an avid reader of AU and love it.

    - Alex

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:24 pm

      Thanks Alex, I really appreciate the feedback and thanks for the post idea.

  • david grass November 19, 2012, 9:53 pm

    I never did get Wade when I lived in Toronto.

  • Greg November 19, 2012, 9:56 pm

    I think any IP grapher can tell you that persistence is key to a successful experience. I’m sure everyone has encountered that prickly security guard or the threats from a rent-a-cop and thought there chances at obtaining that big star’s autograph were slim, yet made an adjustment and pulled it off anyways. Maybe a short article or video about the common ways to get around these sorts of sticky situations would be a nice addition.

  • Drew November 19, 2012, 9:57 pm

    Maybe an Autograph Signers Hall of Fame. Maybe with maybe a yearly induction of two of the best signers from each sport.

    • Matt Raymond November 19, 2012, 10:26 pm

      Drew, have you been wire-tapping my brain?! You will see something along these lines in 2013… :)

  • Mark November 19, 2012, 10:09 pm

    I would like to see you bring in contributing bloggers. They would be like yourself, but from other cities – Midwest, South, West Coast. We wouldn’t need to hear from them regularly, just maybe once or twice a year to add even more variety than Autograph U already provides. There are enough good people out there with strong writing skills that would do it at no cost.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:22 pm

      Great suggestion Mark, I definitely want to give fellow collectors the chance to tell their stories. What kinds of posts would you most like to see from the guest writers?

  • Ken Katz November 19, 2012, 10:15 pm

    How about an “off season” post. You and I live in cities with multiple major sports but what people with only one team? We are baseball collectors foremost and I find we do the other sports/events. To see our fellow graphers as much as to get the graph.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:27 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion Ken. I wonder if a lot of one-season collectors do TTM, just thinking out loud :)

  • Jason Beachman November 19, 2012, 10:15 pm

    I think a great idea for a future Autograph university would be to get a comparison of in person successes compared to ttm sucsesses of HOF football players and why their football pro teams is what it is Happy Thanksgiving

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:19 pm

      Thanks Jason – a big undertaking to compile all the examples but it would be a very valuable resource.

  • Nick November 19, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Hey Matt,

    How about a guest page where we could submit some photos of our favorite or most unique graphed items. When I hear about a signing coming up I’m always checking ebay for examples of signed items from that person … or just unique ideas in general.

    Thanks,

    Nick

  • James November 19, 2012, 10:24 pm

    Hi Matt,

    I’d love to see something on minor league baseball.

    Something along the lines of a Day in the Life of a Farm Team Grapher.

    Not sure how it is everywhere else, but around my area – when we guys get together it’s like a little family reunion and we’re happy to see each other and have a blast getting stuff signed during bp and before games.

    Just a thought!

    Love your blogs and THANK YOU for 2 great years of reading material.

    – James

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:16 pm

      That means a lot, thanks James. Thank you for being a loyal reader for two years. I love hearing about that camaraderie, it’s far too rare in this hobby. Definitely something worth highlighting.

  • Shane November 19, 2012, 10:28 pm

    I think a unique blog section would be an area to compare fake vs real signatures. Its unfortunate that our hobby sees a lot of forgeries nowadays and with people spending significant amounts of money to obtain hard to find autographs its important to know when an autograph is truly authentic. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:15 pm

      Hi Shane, thanks for sharing your idea. I think authenticity is an important issue that definitely deserves some coverage.

  • Edmund November 19, 2012, 10:44 pm

    All my ideas have either been listed above already, or you’ve done them yourself in the past.

    I like the idea about expanding to other cities the best. We all know how the dynamics can change from venue to venue, so going from city to city would be even more drastic. I’ve graphed San Antonio, Houston, and Arlington, and have never had the same experience twice. The (baseball) graphers in SA will help you out, and Houston won’t acknowledge you unless you’re in the regular click. In Arlington, they’re harder to spot, but once everyone gets on the same page it goes smoothly.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:14 pm

      I really like that idea Edmund. It would be cool to experience the graphing environments throughout the country through the eyes/words of a local.

  • Jason Seidman November 19, 2012, 10:47 pm

    How bout a tutorial on how to get musician autographs?

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:12 pm

      Great idea, definitely a different beast than athletes. Thanks Jason.

  • Kyle H November 19, 2012, 10:53 pm

    How about a database that shows if athletes/celebs are good signers IP

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:11 pm

      Big project but it would be a heck of a resource. Thanks for the idea Kyle.

  • Derek November 19, 2012, 11:03 pm

    More videos of celebritys/athletes while they are signing autographs

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:10 pm

      Great idea, thanks Derek. I’m definitely looking to do more with video. I can think of at least one video I have of an athlete graphing that deserves its own post…

  • Scott November 19, 2012, 11:24 pm

    How about “ghost writers/guest writers”? What I mean is like someone describing the opportunities they get in their area. I think everyone think they live in the BEST autograph area in the country (& other days the worst). I am in Dallas & it is great, I mean I’ve met several Champion NASCAR drivers, 10 Dallas Cowboys who won a combined 18 Super Bowl (winning) rings (3 of the Hall of Famers & another 1 or two who probably should be), some of the most beautiful Women in the world (approx 15 DC Cheerleaders) & that’s all been in this month of November & ALL FREE (this with a full-time job, family & undergoing 2 surgeries, meaning I missed plenty of opportunities this month as well). However, I bet that people in New York area or Los Angeles probably had shots at many Tony Winners or Grammy Winners or Golden Globes or Oscars.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:08 pm

      Hi Scott, I really like your idea of a regional report on what opportunities are available and the health of the hobby. You also make me think about spotlighting collectors who have overcome obstacles/responsibilities to graph. For example, “Graphing tips for new dads” :)

  • Jason November 20, 2012, 1:28 am

    i think a post about new creative items to get autographs would be great, i mean there is a huge community of graphers so surely someone can come up with something cool. sure the usual items are great but that one idea could start a trend, like i know just the twill numbers are somewhat new i guess or either i havent seen them very much.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:05 pm

      Interesting Jason, thanks for the idea. On some of the boards I’ve seen at least one guy get his original artwork signed which is think is a really amazing way to build a collection.

  • Anthony Burris November 20, 2012, 4:12 am

    I would love to see a more writers as well. You seem to have Boston covered but I’m sure you have posters from all over USA and I would love to hear if anyone has meets outside USA. Maybe also have a list of upcoming events where we might be able to help others get sigs that might be hard in their area

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:04 pm

      Good stuff Anthony, I’m hearing a lot of demand to expand the roster of writers so I will explore that. I also appreciate your idea about helping other out, love the attitude.

  • Doug November 20, 2012, 4:45 am

    I’d like to riff off some of the ideas posted as they mimic thoughts in my head. I just copy/pasted a line from the posts above:
    1. “I would like to see you bring in contributing bloggers.”
    - Awesome idea and I’m sure as a new dad, it would free up some time/get more material to the site and give you minimal involvement.

    2. “I think a unique blog section would be an area to compare fake vs real signatures.”
    - Kind of a big undertaking considering unless you can find someone who has, let’s say a few Dwayne Wades, it’s not always easy to tell when you get it TTM. You could use certified cards/products from places like Steiner or UD but still work involved. Links might be easier. I’ve seen the same photo of someone signing used for a number of different photos. It doesn’t always guarantee the sig is legite.

    3. “How about a database that shows if athletes/celebs are good signers IP”
    - Huge undertaking and would require a screening process which would phase out someone that didn’t get one and starts hating on that player. It can be a very objective scenario.

    4. “i think a post about new creative items to get autographs would be great”
    - Creative and different is the first idea in my head. I just went to Supermegafest and saw many Highlander swords around the place because Adrian paul was there. I had a photo signed by Dave Prowse, the man IN the Vader suit for IV, V and Vi. Money prevented me from getting more people but had a nice quick chat with John Amos. I spent most of my allocated money on getting sketches and sigs from comic artists Paul Ryan, Joe Hebert, Jack Purcell and legend Jose Delbo.

    5. (Mine) With the new baby, I wanted to mention a TTM section. IP will always be part of the site, but I think most collectors attempt TTM and it could be something to expand on in the winter months where people may not be as willing to stand in the arctic cold hehehe

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:02 pm

      Awesome feedback Doug, excellent points all around and a feast for thought. Thank you!

  • Adam Mullinax November 20, 2012, 9:32 am

    How about a section with people putting interviews with professionals about their view on how people act around them for autographs and what they look for when they sign. Happy thanksgiving

  • Garrett November 20, 2012, 9:52 am

    Maybe once a week, bring in another ‘grapher to tell their latest graphing story, or maybe even their favorite one. Kind of like the book, but more as a new aspect of the blog.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    -Garrett

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:59 pm

      Love the idea, perhaps we could compile the stories in the Yearbook at the end of the year. Would you rather read the stories or listen to them (e.g., podcast)?

  • Steve November 20, 2012, 10:07 am

    Perhaps there could be a piece on attempting to get full card sets signed? I’m sure a lot of collectors besides me have tried it. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has actually come close to getting a card set of substantial size completely autographed.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Matt! Keep up the great work.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:58 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Steve and I like the idea. It’s something I’ve never attempted but the cool thing is we all collect differently and it’s worth spotlighting.

  • Daniel November 20, 2012, 10:48 am

    I would also like to hear from celebs about their viewpoints on autographs. That would be interesting. Thanks for the contest, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:56 pm

      I find it fascinating to get their perspective as well, looking to set up more interviews. Thanks Daniel.

  • Rick November 20, 2012, 11:21 am

    How about building a photo database of signatures? Also, best spots/times at various stadiums.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:55 pm

      That would be a great resource Rick, thanks for sharing your idea.

  • jason November 20, 2012, 11:22 am

    maybe have someone talk about graphing college athletes.i alot of people focus on certain universitys

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:55 pm

      I like it, thanks Jason. Graphing college (and sometimes prep) has certainly been a way I’ve got superstars before they blew up.

  • Craig November 20, 2012, 11:23 am

    Any information is great.Knowledge is key in getting graphs.Happy Thanksgiving

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:54 pm

      You are so right, knowledge is key. Thanks for the comment Craig and happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  • Marc November 20, 2012, 11:53 am

    Matt,
    I really enjoy your work. How about an article on people who have super collections of certain teams or players? Such as, I just completed an autograph collection of every guy who wore a Phillies uniform from 1950-2012. There are lots of others out there with all kind of specialties.
    Have a good holiday.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:53 pm

      I really like the idea of spotlighting collectors and collections – thanks Marc.

  • Dylan November 20, 2012, 12:10 pm

    Hey Matt,

    I love your site! I would love to see a post, or interviews, with Athletes or Celebrities who collect autographs. I remember an episode of MTV Cribs where Shaq showed everyone his signed jersey collection! I think everyone would love to read about the unique collectables that only celebrities have obtained. Keep up the great work and Happy Turkey Day!

    -Dylan

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:52 pm

      Great idea Dylan. I’ve really enjoyed the interviews I’ve done and the question of what they collect has come up. Definitely looking to do many more in the future. Thanks and happy Thanksgiving to you.

  • kerry outen November 20, 2012, 12:12 pm

    I like the idea the guy up top has about how good people are TTM. although another cool idea would be to expand that and see TTM and in person. For example I went to the Jets/Rams this weekend and I heard from 100 people what a jerk Sam Bradford was. I didn’t believe it until I saw it first hand But by me telling that story maybe Sam has someone who had a good experience with him they can pass along. A way to compare notes on how good a signer they are In person and TTM.

  • Kevin November 20, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Hey Matt,
    I was thinking about a great project you could do would be the 2012 Olympic Basketball teams. If you got every player on the womens and mens teams to sign something, I think that would be pretty awesome!
    Thanks for the contest! Good Luck to everyone!

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:50 pm

      That would be quite a project! I was thinking of “project” more like the Autograph University Yearbook – perhaps something we could all collaborate on that is bigger than a single post. Thanks for the comments Kevin and good luck to you.

  • AJ K. November 20, 2012, 6:23 pm

    Hey Matt -

    My idea is your 1st & 2nd team of autographs and honorable mention, done at the end of each year, for IP/TTM. Have sports, entertainment, political, etc. as the five categories. Think it’d be interesting to see it, and also gives the chance for your readers to comment with theirs.

    Thanks!

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:48 pm

      Thanks AJ. So would this be the top items I got signed or the top signers in each category?

  • Zachary November 20, 2012, 6:27 pm

    How about a “Matt’s Favorite Things” article naming your favorite supplies, autographed items, things to get signed, athletes, places, stores, etc. It would be timely for the holiday season as well!

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 9:47 pm

      Neat idea. I like the holiday wishlist angle, thanks Zachary.

  • Jeffrey Robison November 20, 2012, 10:23 pm

    I think there are a lot of great ideas. I don’t graph in person, only through the mail. I love to read stories about the interactions that graphers have had with athletes. I am more interested in the good ones rather than “he is a jerk”. We all have stuff going on that brings us down so why not focus on the things that make us happy.

    • Matt Raymond November 20, 2012, 10:30 pm

      I love your attitude Jeffrey and thanks for the comments.

  • Kyle November 21, 2012, 6:56 am

    Keep up the good work. I’d love to see more stuff with basketball legends. Maybe a piece on the now defunct ABA.

  • kerry outen November 21, 2012, 8:21 am

    Oh another topic would be “How has twitter changed your collecting/autograph experience” There are so many stories of athletes meeting fans through twitter now its an interesting topic.

  • Sam Gillette November 21, 2012, 9:56 am

    Hey Matty,

    As a fellow SportsGraphing member i think an awesome idea would be to have an IP section on your site for people to post in like Sportsgraphing. That would make people feel like they are moving up the ranks in your autograph university just like the same concept with graph cash on SportsGraphing. Also a good idea would be to post a blog about whats the best pens to use on different items well graphing and post about blanks so users would be aware that some players refuse to sign blanks. Also maybe a section for upcoming events in the Boston area.

    Thanks,
    Sam
    (okajima5678)

    • Matt Raymond November 21, 2012, 1:46 pm

      Thanks Sam. Regarding the message board, there are a lot of forums out there (you mention Sportsgraphing.com which I enjoy) and I wonder how I could make the experience different/better or else it’s just another board. Any ideas?

      I covered silver markers recently but we certainly could expand that to talk about different pens/markers.
      http://www.autographu.com/how-to-choose-the-best-silver-marker-for-your-autographs/

      • Sam Gillette November 21, 2012, 6:11 pm

        I mean I think a good idea would be to maybe have an edit option on some blogs if possible were people could add to your post for markers and info on framing cause some people dont scroll all the way down to the comment section and you could approve the info before it be submitted into the blog.

        thanks,
        sam

  • Shane K. November 21, 2012, 10:19 am

    Hey Matt,

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned it before or not, but I think it would be awesome if there was a section where all of the current members and new members to your site could create their own personal “Graph Room” (like a trophy room) where everyone can post pictures and updates, etc. of their collections and their prized autographs. This way, everyone can individually have something to be proud of and where it would make it possible to share in a common area with other passionate members. The onus would be on the members to update and fill their “Graph Rooms” with pictures and such, so it would be a self-sustained resource requiring little upkeep from you. I just think it would be a popular thing for everyone to maintain and in turn, connect with members across the country with the same passion.

    Happy Holidays!
    Shane K.
    Bucknell University

    • Matt Raymond November 21, 2012, 1:42 pm

      That would be a cool section – thanks for submitting your idea Shane. Happy holidays to you too.

  • Toni Arakaki November 21, 2012, 1:01 pm

    Matt,
    I’d like to know of some players that carry their own Sharpies or only use certain color inks. I have been to Az Cards training camp and know the bigger named players are given black Sharpies by the staff. I usually have to have 2 items ready, one I want in blue and one I don’t care if it’s done in black handy.
    I also know that Jamaal Charles only signs in black and not blue, are there other players out there? Is there a way to get around Charles’ quirk? I collect my sets in blue and have only one idea I need to try if he ever makes Pro Bowl again (I live in HI)

    Toni

    ps
    Also great site. Found it on Sportscollectors.net

    • Matt Raymond November 21, 2012, 1:41 pm

      Interesting topic, thanks for the suggestion and feedback Toni!

  • Lauren November 22, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Hi there,
    I think you website is really interesting! I love collecting autographs and meeting celebrities in the Boston area as well (especially when the event is free :) ). I would love to see a page where fans can see upcoming events in the Boston area that are free- whether book signings, sports figures or other celebrity events- there can also be a section where fans can notify you and the rest of the community of upcoming events. I would also be interested in seeing locations of local tapings and screenings in Boston where you may have a chance at meeting a Celebrity. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!
    -Lauren

    • Matt Raymond November 23, 2012, 9:17 am

      Thanks for submitting your ideas Lauren, Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  • Jason Termechi November 23, 2012, 7:40 pm

    I’m a big NBA fan and haven’t had much graphing opportunities, but I would love to have a list of your top 10 best/worst signers in the NBA. I apologize if this has been done before.

  • Ryan L November 23, 2012, 9:56 pm

    I think it would be interesting to see you do more of a bimonthly autograph u yearbook type article where you question other very successful graphers and get their perspectives and tips on the hobby.

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