Sunday, August 26, 2007

The website-driven life

If you will indulge me one more time I'd like to discuss a topic which is only tangentally related to flightsimming, and is really more about hobbies/obsessions in general. As I find myself getting deeper and deeper into music again, the more I realize that much of it is driven by things that have been made available on the web. And this is very similar to how the whole flightsim experience started. I am sure that my experience is not unique.

It goes like this. You have your hobby. Maybe it's something new, or maybe something you've been doing for years. One day you go to your favorite search engine to answer some question regarding this hobby, and in the process you find not just the answer, but one or more interesting web sites. Over the following days and weeks you find that there is an incredible amount of wisdom, not to mention free stuff to download, and suddenly you find yourself committed to the hobby like never before.

If you're reading this page most likely you know about some of the better flightsimming sites. So, you know how something you read about in one of the forums can send you racing to the download page. Or, you read a thread about something you'd never really given much thought to, for example scenery design, and to your surprise you feel yourself being drawn into a new area of the hobby. Your to-do list gets longer and longer.

The site that's really gotten me going with music, classical guitar in particular, is called See the forums here. After spending some time reading these forums, I'm excited about new practice ideas, new music to check out, et cetera. Also, there's lots of sheet music to download and print out for free, the ultimate guitar "add on".

I think this is a curious phenomenon. Contrast this to the way life was only a decade ago. If you had a hobby, chances are your sources were very limited. Information was either very local or very centralized. You may have been dependent upon your local teacher, club, or hobby shop. Or perhaps a certain magazine or catalog defined the universe of what was available to enhance your hobby. Now, we are not limited by geography or institutional authority. An amateur musician or flightsimmer can get helpful advice from another amateur on the other side of the planet, within hours of raising the question.

Gotta go print out some more music...

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