I'm enjoying the evolution of ideas that are being shared and discussed on the various forums here. I've been fooling around with and interested in backpacking gear for over 40 years. The availability of information, ideas and materials, however, has really improved over the last 10 years or so as forums like BPL have evolved.
I don't think BPL was the first but it has certainly become the best (in my opinion) place to share ideas on gear. Where else could one discuss in great detail the pros and cons of various shoulder straps, waist belts, seam options, etc.?
Sometimes I'll see a retail product come to market that must, to some degree, have been inspired by the discussions that go on here. That's pretty cool.
My friends and I used to buy bottled beer that had a puzzle inside every bottle cap. We quickly discovered that the fastest way to solve the puzzles was for everyone to voice their thoughts at once. Each comment would trigger new thoughts by the others and most puzzles could be solved in seconds. Working alone it might take minutes to solve the puzzle or it might not be solved at all. These forums mimic that process.
Any thoughts on this topic?