This is a quiet time, or is it? Maybe the right question is: quiet for whom?
It seems to me that there is this growing gap between what the front end of websites do, and what the back end is doing.
The front end (and by that I mean what we call the “front page”) tends to be very product-oriented:
“Here is XYZ. It has ABC features. Here are DEF benchmarks. This is what we think of it. End of story. Next.”
The back-end, on the other hand, tends to be very results-oriented. It looks to the front end for a little buying guidance (and does that less and less as time goes by), but that’s about it.
It seems like the front end, which originated as a sort of counterculture to the PC Magazines of the world, are become less-competent and more editorially-vulnerable online versions of it, and the impulse that created them is now more likely to be found in some forum.
It’s almost like the spinal cord has been severed, and the head just babbles away, but the body does what it wants to do, and the head doesn’t seem to care.
Or maybe it’s more like the British and the American colonies.
A Different World
The back end, on the other hand, tends to have much different concerns. To a large degree, the focus is less, “What should I buy?” but rather, “Now I have it, how do I make it work (or work well)?”
In a very real sense, the front end gives a piece of equipment the once-over and gets the ball rolling, and the back end ends up as guinea pigs. The reviewers might find a problem, the guinea pigs will find it.
There’s a good reason for that most of the time. No reviewer with one particular piece of equipment used one way for a limited period of time can possibly find out what a hundred people testing something a hundred different ways and doing a hundred different things with a thousand different pieces of equipment are going to find out.
So there’s plenty of gold out there.
But . . . .
All That Gold Is Dissolved In the Ocean
It’s true. There are millions of tons of gold dissolved in the ocean. Trillions and trillions of dollars worth of it at today’s prices.
So why aren’t you running to the beach and getting rich? You have to filter over 12 million tons of seawater to get an ounce of gold.
Forums aren’t nearly as bad, but it seems that way sometimes.
I could go into a few pages as to why, and what the problems are, but I suspect you don’t care. 🙂 Let’s just leave it at: it’s very difficult and time-consuming to extract nuggets of good data out of the tons of raw data you’ll find in a forum. It’s a lot harder than running a few benchmarks.
The Abit Experiment
We know review sites inherently can’t get the whole job done, even under the best of circumstances, and the current environment certainly is not that.
We know that the real field testing occurs and is reported at the back end, but we need to come up with something better than panning for gold in the ocean. I’ve tried it in the past and mostly ended up with migraines.
A few days ago, I ran across something which indicated that capacitors on Abits weren’t too good, so I put up an inquiry about that.
The responses I’ve gotten sort of illustrate the panning in the gold problem. I have tons of notes essentially saying, “Huh? I’ve had five Abit boards, never a problem.” I have another ton of notes saying, “Of course. This is common knowledge. My Abit capacitors always swell up like starving babies, would you like me to send you a few?”
Nonetheless, trying to figure this out seems to be less of a problem than poring through forums.
For a long time, we’ve known about all that gold in the ocean. As time goes on, we realize more and more that the real action and information people want is going to be found in the ocean, not on Website Island. We think it would be a great service to get some nuggets out of that ocean. I personally suspect more than a few of you would happily trade one such report for three or more rants of mine. 🙂
But damn, it’s hard panning seawater!
I’m asking you to put on your thinking caps and ponder this. Are there ways to get at least some of the nuggets without going through all the seawater?