RWD - Open letter to Art Benstein re. the future

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Open letter to Art Benstein re. the future

Dear Art,

I feel compelled to respond to a statement you made in a recent reply regarding your reduced participation here on the brickboard. I wish others to appreciate your situation as much as I do -I've been there myself.

First off, we are all so glad to know that you are alive and well and any fears we may have had were unfounded. No amount of thanks and accolades could ever convey how much all your friends on the brickboard appreciate you and everything you have done for us and the Volvo community at large. The totality of your efforts is beyond comprehension, likely even to you. You are also one of the earliest and longest serving contributors, going back some 20 years now (when brickboard 2.0 came along, you became user #27, I beat you by a day or two as user #20). There are many other current and past contributors who also deserve our undying gratitude, not to mention Jarrod, but you are an undeniable superstar.

I will quote part of your recent reply as this has special significance to me and is very apropos the current situation here.

"Really I'm here, but "anyone else" is doing fine as most of us are just looking for expedient solutions and bypasses to irritations, not the sort of root cause analysis to waste Jarrod's bandwidth. I'll post maybe if a question hasn't been covered a dozen times before with my photos and links."

That is precisely how I felt a few years ago when I made the decision to back away from my daily activities here on the brickboard. Thoughts of all my efforts disappearing into the ozone if the brickboard should close would have caused me even more dismay. As I recently mentioned to Jay, I know how much time I used to put in, especially when I was a moderator in the background and writing articles for the FAQ, so I have a pretty good idea how much more time you and others often invest and it boggles my mind. It is indeed a labour of love here, an investment we hope is reciprocated by the knowledge and appreciation of others. Our rewards as contributors are the satisfaction of helping others to the best of our abilities (as limited as mine sometimes may be), advancing our own skills and knowledge in the process, inspiring others to do likewise, and being able to participate and make acquaintances in a community of like minded people. If Don Foster is still following us (another great name from the past), I'll bet he got to a similar stage when he decided to step back.

The brickboard platform and forums, and especially the opinions forum, are a true form of early social media, predated by the likes of Usenet (remember alt.autos.volvo?), in parallel with the likes of Turbobricks and volvoforums.org.uk. I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience and learn so much about how to effectively participate in social media that was built alongside a combined Q&A and reference. In some ways, Jarrod was a bit of a visionary. Just as an example, you and I were among the early few here to stick our necks out and use our full real names -it helps keep me honest and behaved, just so long as strangers don't come to my door in the middle of the night seeking help or revenge. Today, I keep a relatively low profile on Facebook because of the lessons learned here, not the least of which is budgeting my time and making humour and sarcasm blatantly obvious lest one get misinterpreted and burned. Facebook would need to be much more customizable, with nested user groups and indexed, searchable document and video libraries, to be any kind of decent replacement and improvement over the brickboard platform. But I digress from your situation here at the moment.

My own recent increase in activity here is in part also due to concerns of brickboard's future based on Jarrod’s recent announcements (for those who haven't seen them, go looking now in the RWD forum All/All). At the risk of increasing Jarrod’s bandwidth costs due to my perennial verbosity and cutting too deeply into my available time, if I can stimulate more interest through both technical and social conversations, rather than giving out spark plug gaps for the millionth time, then perhaps that will encourage increased efforts by others, including Jarrod.

Art, you have more than earned a well deserved rest. I honestly don’t know how you've been able to keep it up this long at the level you do. I really have visions of a full blown Volvo war room and R&D facility in your house, laugh. The user base here does perhaps need to be tested to see if the current crop of contributors can continue to keep things running and if new contributors are willing to step forward. It's not just that the board has become perhaps a bit complacent, even a bit dependent on your expertise, I’m wondering if it may be a little intimidating for beginners to try stepping in with their size 6 shoes, hamstruck with awe and a bit of fear when they see size 14 boots in the same room. Jarrod also needs to be tested to see if he is willing and able to refurbish the ship and put it back on course. In the meantime, keep your flametrap clean and the wheels rolling. We’ll be jealously watching for you on TB.

Cheers -Dave

Dave -still with 940's, prev 740/240/140/120 You'd think I'd have learned by now


New 7 Open letter to Art Benstein re. the future
posted by  Dave Stevens  on Tue Apr 9 18:09 CST 2019 >
  • New 2 Kind words
    posted by  Art Benstein  on Wed Apr 10 12:00 CST 2019 >
    • New 1 Kind words
      posted by  Michael Yount  on Wed Apr 10 16:39 CST 2019 >
      • New 1 Kind words
        posted by  kittysgreyvolvo  on Thu Apr 11 08:46 CST 2019 >
    • New 1 Kind wishes
      posted by  Dave Stevens  on Thu Apr 11 01:11 CST 2019 >
      • New 1 Kind wishes
        posted by  oldduke  on Thu Apr 11 06:16 CST 2019 >

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