Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More Information Wonkery

Did a little Snoopy Dance yesterday upon receiving notification of "winning" a Mont Tremblant. I’m thinking of calling her Le Quatrieme, which roughly translates from the French as "the fourth one", since she will be my fourth Silver Filigree.

I suspect that she’ll probably be the last horse I get this year, though, since it’s very likely that I’ve used up the last bit of good karma I had to get her. I’m not writing off The War Horse drawing or any of the eBay auctions on my watch list, yet, but I’d totally understand if I come up zero for everything else for the remainder of the month.

Which is fine, actually. Bills to pay, and all that.

I see that they shipped out the Stablemates Hermes models this week - and no surprise, someone turned around and sold one already, for a nice little profit. It’s nobody’s business but the buyer’s and the seller’s, I suppose, but I does make me wonder if the buyer was fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the distribution of the model.

It’s become quite clear to me that the information about Hermes hasn’t been as widely distributed as it should have been.

Sadly, this is rather typical of the online hobby, as a whole. One of the things that drives me absolutely crazy is that, in spite of its relatively small and self-contained nature of the online hobby, reliable information does not travel well within it. Information that is - or should be - widely known or generally accepted just isn’t.

It’s not too bad in places like Fallen-Leaves or Blab where, because of the format, anything and everything becomes grist for the mill. The problem there is more of the "operator error" type: there are individual members of those boards who seem phenomenally clueless, but the information is still theoretically available to them. And sometimes, a question from a genuinely uninformed hobbyist will sparks a worthwhile debate or discussion.

Whenever I take one of my semi-regular trips to places like Haynet, or Breyer’s Facebook page, however, I always find myself taking a deep breath before I click. Questions of fact you thought were answered months ago, and in excruciating detail, are still up for debate.

It’s partly the audience: these are the kind of places where low-information, low-involvement, or very narrowly focused hobbyists tend to congregate, and where high-information, high-involvement, more general interest hobbyists have largely fled for greener pastures. These places have become largely self-contained, and where new or revitalizing information rarely seems to venture.

Part of me wants to help out in some of the lower-information forums, but the very format of these places simply isn’t really designed to handle either extended discussions, or to aggregate information, as the current brouhaha going on in the NAMHSA-Discussion Yahoo Group illustrates all too well.

Transitioning these low-information hobbyists to more high-information formats would seem to be the solution to the problem, but it’s not as simple as that. Some people are very wedded to their information sources of choice - and very much against others.

I agree, in theory, that the Blab forum format would go a long way in tempering some of the periodic dust-ups that occur on the NAMHSA-Discussion list, but there is a not-insignificant group of hobbyists who’d rather eat live goldfish than even venture there. Either because of the reputation it has among certain classes of hobbyists, or because the format itself seems too overwhelming.

If I had time to create a non-partisan, model horse news hub, I’d do it, but I don’t. I barely have time to answer my e-mails or edit my link list, much less start a hub.


Anonymous said...

Thing with Hermes is I like the model, but I don't agree with a lot of what the ASPCA does (especially in regards to horses). So I'd much rather buy the model second hand than know I funded an organization I didn't agree with.

Anonymous said...

I think that Fallen Leaves is a more open minded and easier to deal with forum than Blab.

Blab seems to be run by a few opinionated individuals and to disagree with anything THEY say or to defend yourself --will just get a person kicked off the forum.

They will lie or do anything they can to justify their position,.

Julie said...

Congrats on winning Mont Tremblant!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on Mont Tremblant! I like your name idea, too.

"If I had time to create a non-partisan, model horse news hub, I’d do it, but I don’t. "

I would gladly join it if you ever did find the time. Blab is overrun by the popular opinion crowd and the amateur comedy clique, it's just not interesting or fun anymore for those of us wanting actual, objective hobby discussion.