Up until a few months ago I believed that the blogs were vanity pursuits - things produced more for the benefit of people who wrote them than the people they imagined read them. I still think that’s substantially correct but I had my mind changed when Ed Youngblood recently featured the Vintagent blog about Vintage Motorycles.
Now I’ve been reading and creating bike related material on the web for about 6 years now and I’m pretty tuned-in to other sources of information about vintage motorcycles on the web. Not much takes me by surprise but Vintagent’s blog did. It’s full of articles that are interesting and about subjects and material that are not covered elsewhere - what a find. I had no idea it existed and not only that, has existed for several years before I stumbled upon it.
The impact of this has been three fold. First, it has provided a new and regular source of information for me about something I love. Second, it has given my cynical, arrogant belief about the ‘worth’ of blogs a well-needed kicking. Third and most valuable, it has cured my writer’s block.
I have had a couple of BSA related websites running for about 6 years now. Development of these peaked in 2004 with the 50th anniversary celebrations of BSA’s big win at Daytona in 1954 for which I was part of the team that restored two old Daytona bikes for the event. Since then I’ve amassed a lot more information about BSA that I wanted to publish because, like the Daytona bikes story, it didn’t seem to be readily available anywhere else. My problem was that the web authoring package I used Microsoft Frontpage was replaced by a successor that had more features (and so more of a learning curve) than I needed so I looked around for alternatives.
I spent far too long looking at alternatives and fretting about the learning curve and the design of the new website before I realised that I a) possessed no design ability and b) was getting lazier as I got older and as a result I was doing nothing.
The answer wasn’t obvious until I looked at the Vintagent blog. The answer to having no aptitude for design is not to try designing at all – use a template. The answer to the learning curve problem is to use something that doesn’t require any learning anyway – if you can type, a blog offering will do everything for you. Add to that my long term requirements for something that is web based to make it easy to update from anywhere by me or a trusted deputy and with minimal effort will archive material and a blog gives me everything I need.
So here I go. Unlike most bloggers I have a lot of historic material in the old website to draw from at the start that should make it easy to programme entries ahead but let’s see if I can maintain the discipline.
And if anyone reads it!