Ask a friend

A month ago I set out to amass temporary expertise about balance bikes, with aim to confidently learn which sort to buy, and recommend.

A month later, I think I’m done with the temporary expertise idea. It’s not as easy as it was a few years back. Ease being the reason the investment is worth the temporary status.

The amount of time I’ve spent though, reading terrible forums, spammy reviews, manufacture spiel and simply trying to navigate various Google search result types, has just not been worth the result of still having no idea which bike I think might actually be good. Let alone which might be best.

I conclude that there was a golden age for temporary expertise, and that when Alex and I discussed it 2010, we were approaching the end of it. A decade of maturing after the dot com bubble burst, the web, and Google in particular, had gotten pretty good at policing itself and making clear-ish when people were telling lies and when others had decent information. 

The sites that made it to the top of search were, for the most part, the ones that most people actually valued. And the market of review sites managing to turn a profit was still low enough maybe to keep the bar high. Only if you really cared about your subject and persisted could you build enough rank, of any sort.

Searching and reading the web now though feels very different to ‘back then’ and generally, my experiences of searching and researching a new subject recently has led me not only to give up on that search, but also slightly on the web as an easily navigable resource.

That’s a petty grand statement, granted, but the balance bike experience, along with two other searches in areas I do actually know about (cameras and BMX bikes) have left me feeling that it’s not worth it. Or, more specifically, that it’s not worth it until I’ve simply asked advice of someone I know first.

Then, armed with a real life recommendation, I’ve (nearly) been sorted and able to use the web like I feel I used to: Quickly, efficiently and with an end result that I felt gave value.

Thanks then to all those parents I’ve asked that led me to believing that, for a 2 years old, Micro Scooters are perhaps the best bet for now.

And to Brendan for his recent proof and promotion of the quality of the awfully named (and impenetrable via web search only) world of the Sony a6000 and accompanying 1.8 35mm lens.

And to Mike Wong (who I know and trust) owner of FTB, and in turn to Mario who led me to Nic who sold me his second hand FTB frame.

[And with that, Mathew concluded his post, and published it onto the web…]