You know those conversations you end up having in the pub, where after a couple of beers you end up saying "you know what there should be? There should be a site that does X" (where X can be anything at all)
I've had so many of those over the years, and never quite managed to work up the free time / motivation to actually get on and put the ideas into practice..... (and then what's tended to happen is that a couple of years later, someone else goes and does them and makes a fortune, but that's just sods law)
Well a few months ago, I decided enough was enough, and the next time I had one of those ideas, I should just stop talking about it and actually do it - so in my evening and weekends here and there, I've been noodling away on a couple of ideas, mainly just for my own amusement, and to keep me in the habit of actually following through on things.
So here's one of them - Cragwag - a climbing news aggregator.
Those of you who know me in person know that I'm a keen amateur climber. I'm under no illusions - I'm definitely in the "amateur" category for good reason :) - but it struck me that although there's a "definitive" go-to site for uk-centric climbing news ( UK Climbing.com ) it's still editorially filtered - an editor keeps himself up to date on everything that's going on in the scene, and then publishes what he thinks is significant.
That's all well and good, but typically what's significant is what's going on at the forefront of ability. I felt there was also a place for the (admittedly by-now-a-little-cliched) long tail of climbing-related blogs - unfiltered, un-edited, everybody's tales. Whether of heart-stopping epics in the Himalaya, or scrabbling up a Stanage slab. If you felt it enough to blog about it, then someone wants to hear about it.
Plus it was an experiment in automatic news tagging and cross-relating of posts based on content, so it was kind of techie fun too. Which is important :) I'd like to do something with a crowd-sourced google map and iphone gps too, but that's much more experimental. Need to learn the iPhone SDK first...
So that's Cragwag - all the climbing news from punters and pros alike. Just for fun, for the sake of an experiment, and - to paraphprase the most famous answer to "why?" of all time - because it wasn't there :) Yay!