Some of the typospherians already wrote some hints and pieces about the discussions with Jos Llegrand. These discussions are about connecting the differences between younger and older collectors. “What is it that binds us, where are we going to talk about when we meet?”
Apparently there are a lot of assumptions. Assumptions that might not be true, but nobody knows, because the bridge doesn’t seem to be build yet. Am I a collector? Yes. Am I a blogger? Yes, also. But the blogging thing was something that I did before I started collecting typewriters. And to me this blog is mostly a place to put information or share experiences and thoughts, not only to communicate with others but also so I can find them back again. It’s about typewriters a lot lately, but also about other subjects.
The more experienced collectors are, like me, people who have an interest in the same subject (whether they blog or not). So why would I treat them any other than I would like to be treated myself? Why should me talking with a more experienced collector be any different than them talking to each other? Sure, there is an age difference, but when talking about 50 till 100 year old machines this shouldn’t matter right? The machines are still the same.
I can understand that the blogging thing isn’t for everybody. It’s like having a conversation with each other through letters written to the entire internet. But it can be fast and there is indeed a lot of information to be found. There are times, I can hardly keep up with it myself. So why to expect someone less attached to a wired keyboard can? I don’t and I also don’t think the answer to non-bloggers should only be: “read our blogs, it’s all up there”.
Maybe this difference between collectors is mostly something coming out of the minds of more experienced and non-blogging collectors? Is the blogging seriously scaring them away? Or do they have assumptions about the way bloggers collect so they can’t ever live up to their expectations? And why is that? Because other than age, I don’t know if these assumed differences really exist because I haven’t met a lot of these non-blogging more experienced collectors yet.
These discussions are giving me more questions than answers. I seriously doubt if the blogging and non-blogging collectors are that different. I imagine focusing on the differences instead of communicating and sharing is a problem in every community of interests. Just replace the subject of typewriters by hacker or UNIX admin or whatever and we can start this whole conversation all over again.
 I just realized I run into a lot of these kind of discussions inside communities lately. I wonder if it’s related to my age or the beginning of a new era (less “us vs. them”, more “together”).