July 24, 2012

Repeat Ad Nauseaum – the Framebuilding Bubble

This topic comes up about every 2 years, but here’s the latest version over on ERichie hates protractors Velocipede Salon.

For what it’s worth, we get the same threads every few years on whichever of the framebuilding message boards is hot at the time (as an aside, when people tell me the MTBR board that I moderate is “boring”, I tell them “good.” We don’t want no drama.)

What’s interesting is not particularly the random chatter about the usual topics:
-“There are too many new builders”
-“Nobody makes any money”
-“It’s too easy to start being a builder now that it’s cool and you can learn all about it on teh interwebz”
-“We should start a guild/society/etc”
-etc, etc.

No, that stuff is basically boilerplate. What is interesting is that the reason the discussion began is that some builders aren’t participating in the forums like they used to. Which, to be fair, is totally normal. Internet forums about any specific topic that isn’t politics or religion pretty quickly (in a few years) run through all the possible permutations of “what is the best handlebar for my 29er” or “what flux do I use”, and then people lose interest.

The same challenge exists for blogs, of course, unless you go all meta like I’m doing here. There are only so many pictures of a toptube welded to a headtube that people want to see in their lives and after you’ve been building for almost a decade and blogging for more than half that time… it gets hard to come up with new material.

So hey, maybe tomorrow I’ll do a recipe. Hah!