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Electronic Hot Rodding

Electronic Hot Rodding

By LeRoi Tex Smith
Currently, in my field of journalism everything is in turmoil. It would seem that the traditional reading material form (print and paper) is on par with the famed dodo bird. During my years in the print business there has been a tremendous change in the process, but now it is really on the ropes. Newspapers and magazines are taking it on the chin, which you can see for yourself at your favorite news counter. If you even have such a news outlet anymore. Where once we had a dog fight to gain newsstand display space, now the retailer has far too much space with too few items to display.
It isn’t so much that the electronic medium has displaced the print versions of information dissemination, but that the electronic world is in its own convulsions. This will settle down, but meantime forms such as tablets and phones and I-net and so on are searching for the best way to get the customer attention. What I like is the immediacy of electronic publishing. 
Not many years ago, the only way a person could be updated on current affairs was the newspaper and the radio. Then, along came the theatre newsreel, but all of these forms were constrained by time lapses. Enter TV and all that changed overnight. What a convulsion that caused. Yet, nothing compared to now. The social media impact cannot be overstated, it has the potential to change the world within minutes of an event, and it it doing that in spades. For something such as the hot rod hobby, something like Hotline makes all the difference in how the hobby can warp and wingle within the space of one week. 
While it is possible now to share building ideas and practices within a few days of introduction, I see the real impact of e-rodding on the practice of the hobby rather than on the perception. Within hours of closing of the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, everyone worldwide can know every trend that appeared on the streets of Louisville.  This with the plus of excellent photo transmissions. And this is where Hotline will become THE centerpoint of hot rod information. Which will also tend to weed out the worst part about e-info. Where it was once said in this hobby that if it was not in Hot Rod magazine then it was not true, today it is too often derided if the source of info is the internet. Not so much now that a source such as Hotline exists to force the wannabes back into the closet. 
Of course, all this will serve to manifold the increase in the amount of information available. I see a real need in the electronic world for a much easier method of information storage at the reader level, that is, storing and retrieval as easy on the computer as it is on the printed page. For as long as forever without fear of material going off into the ethereal. This, alone, will increase a hundred fold the value of instant communications in our sport. 
On the other hand, it will also serve to create a brand new form of secretiveness. Speed secrets are going to become just that, and I’ll bet we see a kind of network of insiders to the hobby come to the fore of social media. All in all, it is truly a fascinating and fun time to be involved with hot rodding. I’ll just park my ride over here under a tree and watch it all come down. On my 3-inch expandable multi-verse double throwdown display zip tube interface of course.