I started writing here in 2005 that will be seven years by the end of this year. That is a long time and a lot of material; a lot of subjects covered.
The reason I started writing here was simple, I had gathered a lot of knowledge over the years spent building bicycle frames; I felt I needed to share that knowledge. There must be millions of people like me all over the world, doing something or other, and along the way learned how to do that something a certain way.
This knowledge is often not written down and when these people are gone, that knowledge will be gone also. I felt this was a damn shame, because knowledge passed on from one generation to the next is how humankind got from chasing their food with a stick, to where we are today.
However, the thing I find alarming is that our knowledge today is growing at such a rate, that old information becomes outdated at a faster rate. We are producing products that are almost obsolete by the time they are shipped from the factory to the store. Apple’s I-Pad is a good example.
The other thing concerns me is, does anyone really care about what I or anyone else did forty or fifty years ago, when most people are not interested in what was done last year, or even six months ago? I am talking here from a bicycle industry standpoint.
I know my regular readers will say they are interested, and I believe most genuinely are; otherwise they would not keep on coming back. But is the knowledge gathered here only of value from an entertainment standpoint?
Most of those who visit here and learn something about bicycles are no different from bird watchers, people who grow roses, brew beer or collect stamps. Part of the enjoyment of engaging in a hobby is becoming an expert in that particular subject.
This blog gets around 1,500 to 2,000 hits a day from all over the world; most of these hits come from search engines. Type in any question about bicycles and chances are I have written about it at sometime or other, and that article will pop up in a search.
Many hits come from forums where people are discussing some aspect or other of the bicycle, sooner or later someone will post a link to an article I have written. Then the term “Retro-grouch” will pop up, and I wonder, “Is that how people really see me?”
I left the bike business in 1993 so naturally stuff I write about pre-dates that, but does that make me a retro-grouch? To me a retro-grouch is someone stuck in the past that will not move forward. When I was in the bike business I always questioned the status quo, and often went against what everyone else was doing.
The robots that drive the search engines will only pick up my blog if I keep writing new stuff. At some point I will become too old, too tired, or simply run out of stuff to write about.
When I stop writing, within a year this blog will disappear from the search engines. Publishing in book form is no better; there are so many books published each year that most only reach a limited audience, and who remembers a book that was published last year?
I think the point I am trying to make is that when I started writing here I did so because I thought what I had to offer had some value. I still believe that is true; it is just my reasons for thinking so has changed.
What do you think? Does the speed of advancement in today’s technological environment make knowledge obsolete at a faster rate?