Creative work is a funny thing. You need to be patient but not passive. Driven but not mindless. You need to set a direction and speed, but honor the unexpected and embrace those shifts which clarify.
But stepping too far from the original impetus for action often causes a sudden loss of momentum. The reverse slingshot effect as when you fall just outside the protected slipstream on a fast group ride.
Which is kinda where this whole Cyclofiend.com project currently sits.
With the acceleration of other efforts and focus over that last year or few, it kinda got spat out the back and is now just poking along by itself. There are a litany of excuses, which are all, ultimately merely excuses. I guess that means that it just doesn't matter how things got derailed. That doesn't mean I won't mention them now and again. It just means that they are getting examined and articulated without a lot of value judgement upon them. The question just keeps coming back to "what now"?
That's what has me a bit stumped. The internet, the web, online, social media have all changed dramatically since this project began (itself the morphing of a reasonably unrelated project itself.) There are venues such as Pinterest which didn't even exist when this started. Flickr has gone through a chunk-o-changes. The very nature of online discussion has morphed, acted upon by the major magnetic poles of twitter and facebook.
All of which I use, of course. So I'm not against any one of those ideas by itself - say the way I'm reasonably unimpressed by disc brakes on road bikes. They all have their places and their strengths.
That thought has me thinking about precisely what the strength of the cyclofiend.com galleries is. And few things I really like about it include:
- the "hands-on" nature of it - the fact that someone had to site down and deliberately choose 5 images which captured their bicycle.
- that the layout is simple and stark, with the emphasis on the bike and the words in each gallery, rather than the slickness of the frame.
- the unexpected friendships which have come from the interactions of receiving, processing and posting the photos.
- the 2009 Calendar project.
It would probably make sense to mention the things I didn't like. But, those really don't come to mind. Most of the "not likes" have to do with frustration at not posting my way through the backlog. Of there being a few folks who have patiently waited for their bikes to be posted, or updated or have errors in their listing fixed. And while there are "reasons" those things didn't occur, ultimately those are the types of excuses which I mentioned at the outset of this post. But, they do bug me.
They also cease to matter once action begins again. So, there's that.
I'm also reconsidering the scope and focus of things. This blog - cyclofiend.blogspot.com - was originally going to only focus on the new listings in the galleries. I'd played with some methods of generating an RSS of the four gallery update pages, but none of them worked particularly well. And though I still use and enjoy RSS, it's become a slightly neglected aspect of design and implementation in the broader sense these days. (Though I'll just pause a second here to say that feedly has happily replaced the retired google Reader. It's not the same, but has taken what I like about RSS and incorporated some slick, intuitive interface design.) It's ended up with a more varied set of posts - again, mostly because there just haven't been any posts to share.
My other blog - ramblings.cyclofiend.com has chugged along. There's almost 500 posts there. But, the technology of very much off the back. Again, back in I should probably just bite the bullet and shift over to a wordpress-based setup. Back in 2005, it was a nice benefit of my hosting company to include the blogging option, but the interface hasn't really gotten a face lift for way too long. And I haven't slapped on the coveralls and dug under the hood in at least 2 or three. It gets an ungodly amount of spam comment attempts - one of the benefit of being active since 2005 - but lacks anything remotely resembling a useful blocking tool.
The Ramblings blog has always been about more personal thoughts and topics, ride reports and such. I do like that separation and it's likely it will continue. For some reason, I've been a harsher editor there in the past year. Much of what got written didn't make the cut to be posted. Doesn't necessarily mean that what got posted was all that good, of course. Just that the stuff which got trashed was probably trying too hard, or read too forced, or just caught me wrong when I went back through it.
Or it was just that I was trying to make it do too much. Like voice acting, sometimes it ends up much better if you just let it roll. Which is really the only step that matters right now.
Thanks for being patient! Here's to the new year!