Google is the Quilter’s Best Friend (or is it?)
There was a new TV series during the fall season with the title “Librarians”. It was about a highly secret facility (library) which housed all the famous mythical items we only read about in books. It was supervised by a traditional, you might say “old school” Librarian who knew and respected the value of books. A new team was recruited to help protect the collections. I never understood what talents and skills the three had to be selected but nevertheless, they were chosen. When they were introduced to the Librarian his first comment was, “oh, a child of the annoying digital age”.
Regardless of our chronological ages we have all become children of the digital age. Digital is all around us and whether or not we asked for it or want it; it controls our lives in ways we never imagined. Dick Tracy’s wrist watch is no longer the technology of the future.
For quilters the digital age in the form of the Internet has changed the way we learn quilting. However, as with any new technology it is both good and not so good and should be used with caution, respect and a little bit of suspicion. I don’t doubt that the Internet has introduced more to quilting than any other form in our history. Thousands of videos, blogs and chat rooms are available with the tap of a finger. The caution is somewhat like the Biblical Tower of Babel where the one language of the people was confused into many languages. The somewhat seemingly conflicting information raises questions in all our minds. Which are correct? For example: there was a recent posting on one of the Facebook sites by a quilter asking where to find a certain animal design fabric. A quick Google search turned up 12 different sources. On the other hand another recent search for information about a certain quilting technique resulted in four totally different answers. These are just a two simple examples of good results and some not so good leading to questions and possible confusion.
What is one to do to successfully maneuvering through the digital library of information?
A few thoughts might be:
Do the research in order to gain basic information. Use Google and other search sites.
When asking the question, give sufficient details to get informed answers.
Make the effort to learn be it Internet, neighbor quilter, books, TV etc.
Ask specific questions. No more general questions like “I purchased some fabric and want to make quilt, what I do now?” This was an actual posting.
Give feedback when asked for with additional information or explanations.
Tell me whether it worked.
This has been another IMO from the mind of a Vintage Quilter.