Come in rec.kites, your time is up? (Gaffer MIA)

Subject Come in rec.kites, your time is up? (Gaffer MIA)
From (Andy Wardley)
Date Fri, 17 Apr 1998 08:29:40 GMT
Newsgroups rec.kites
David Lindgren <> wrote:
> Well, what are we missing?

The Internet is a great source of information.
The Internet is a great source of crap.

It's a non-trivial task (becoming more difficult by the day) to wade through all the crap to find the sweetcorn. Some people just don't have the time, effort, resources or desire to do that.

For many people, the Internet, and USENET in particular, has reached a point where it's too much effort for too little gain.

rec.kites is far better than many other newsgroups, but it's going the same way. I can't begin to explain what the Internet was like 10 years ago, nor can I begin to hint at the great wealth of information, insight and assistance that has come from people like Andrew Beattie and Ron Reich over the years. What I can tell you is that these people have gone and rec.kites is a worse place for it.

> If you think of any teacher - what does he/she do?  He teaches the
> same stuff to different people time after time.  He doesn't say to
> himself, "Well I have written a book on the subject, why do I have to
> give these classes any more when my pupils could just go away and read
> the book," he just gets on and teaches.

The teacher gets paid to do that.

> It is inevitable that with the number of connected people growing so
> rapidly, that the traffic to r.k will grow and the S/N (signal to
> noise) will decrease,

Absolutely. And when the S/N ratio drops below a certain threshold you find another way to communicate.

> Hell, there's a positive use for the 'net and and great web site that
> you posted yourself just recently.  I could go on all day listing all
> the useful kite web sites I have visited, but you can probably find
> them all linked off Gaffer's or Peter Peter's pages.

I agree absolutely 100%. The Internet is a great resource, the like of which the World has never seen before. But as you point out:

How did Gaffer's pages get there? Who's going to maintain them now? Will this resource still be this useful in 6 months time? Or in a year? Of course it won't. (Peter's will, I'm sure :-)

What people consistently fail to realise is that groups like this are generally good or bad based on the actions and behaviours of a few key people. The Internet became the great resource it is by the hard work of thousands of people like Andrew who had something to contribute and did so. Like it or not, Andrew was one of the main content providers of online kiting material.

Nowadays there are no barriers of entry to the Internet and we have millions of "consumers" and far too few content providers. Everyone wants something for nothing, or so it seems. And when one of the "elders" tries to stop the whole bloody thing from going down the toilet, you can guarantee that they'll get shot down in flames for being a fascist dictator.

rec.kites is a like a party. It started off with a bunch of like-minded people chatting and talking about an interest. At 11 o'clock the pubs closed and a whole new influx of people joined the party. They came in, changed the music, livened the place up a bit, passed round the beers and the snacks and everyone's having a great time drinking and dancing. But the original people have left and gone elsewhere to have their discussion. Parties are fun, but there's more to life than just drinking and dancing.

> I will leave you with a thought: If we were all to leave the internet
> forum when we had learned as much as we could/needed to/wanted to,
> then who would be there to provide the information once we have all
> left?

I disagree. In the Good Old Days, people joined the Internet because they had knowledge and wanted to share it. Nowadays, people join the Internet because they want to learn so much and in many cases, they have no desire to share anything at all. They've paid their $10 connection fee, they know their rights, now where's all this free knowledge for them to download?

People leave the Internet not because they've gained the knowledge they require but because they're tired of feeding it out to other people and getting very little in return.

> >Andy, I will take you as an example again (hope you don't mind :-) ).

Nope. Do I have to come and stand out at the front of the class?

> Let's say that you had given up using the internet/news/etc. at the
> beginning of the year.  How would you have told people about your new
> active bridle?  What would you have done?

Probably nothing at all. Why do I have to tell anyone about it? Why should I donate my limited free time and effort into designing and researching a bridle, writing it up, creating pictures to explain how it all works and then publishing it as a web page so that everyone can copy it, put it on their own kites, enjoy it, rip it off, sell it and make money from it?

And more importantly:

The answer is that the Internet stops being a fantastically useful resource.

> But of course, that is not what you are going to do primarily.  You
> will put it on your web site (I expect) for everyone to see in
> glorious technicolour and you will then go and post a message telling
> everyone to go look at your page (and if you don't post it, then I
> will).

Yes, I've resigned myself to the fact that I probably will...


Andy Wardley  <>     Signature regenerating.  Please remain seated.
      <>     For a good time: