I have to say, this is one of my favorite of Maggie Mason's ideas:
I'd like to collect decaying mansions and move them all to one neighborhood so I can repaint them and plant trees in the front years. Unfortunately, I don't have a few million laying around for my mansion collecting just yet, so I'll have to settle for perusing real estate ads and whimpering.
Start your own virtual collection of items that are too unwieldy or too expensive to collect in real life. What your passion--airplanes, modern art, pricey jewelry--pick twenty pieces for your online collection and rotate them out as the mood strikes you.
How cool is that idea?
I took several days to think about what I wanted to virtually collect. Art is really tempting--I mean, since it's virtual, I could have anything I wanted! Or dogs--I could get representatives from 20 breeds if I only had to virtually feed and walk them! But at the end of the day, what I'd really like to collect is historical artifacts. Stuff that I absolutely agree should be in a museum in real life, but should live in my house virtually.
So here is my virtual artifacts collection, or at least a start to it:
1. Original report from the first U.S. women's rights convention, Seneca Falls, New York, July 19-20, 1848.
Currently housed at the Women's Rights National Historical Park at Seneca Falls.
3. Letters between Mother Jones and John Mitchell, 1902. Currently housed at the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives.
4. Program for the 1913 Suffrage Parade. Currently housed at the Library of Congress.
5. Thomas Edison's film of Annie Oakley, 1894. Currently housed at the Library of Congress.
7. Soviet propaganda posters, Bokshevik Era, 1917-1921. Housed all over, though rare.
That's probably enough, to start. Don't want to get greedy.