LumberJocks

IMPROVE YOUR POSTS (Reaching out to all members)

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Blog entry by stefang posted 02-11-2019 08:20 PM 2826 reads 3 times favorited 69 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently posted a comment to the Coffee Lounge forum about what seems to me a general slowdown in LJ postings. I have been a member since 2009 and I can remember far more activity not so very long ago. I was mostly inactive for a year due to health problems and I could see a big difference when I came back. From the comments to that post I can see that many others agree with me.

I’m not sure, but I think the lack of activity might have something to do with the quality of the postings and NOT the quality of the work. We can all up our game on that point, even if we only ever grunt to answer our wives/husbands questions. Admittedly there are still a lot of really good project and blogs posted here, so please don’t be offended if you are already doing your best, but be offended if you aren’t.

I don’t really know how others feel, but personally I like more than just a word or two describing the project, like ‘Here is a (followed by the generic name). That is usually pretty obvious from the photo. As a woodworker I want to know the story behind the project. The motivation, the wood species, tools used, etc. with at least more than one photo showing the project and work process. Remember, if we only wanted to see the finished bedroom dresser you just spent months building, we could just as well look at a furniture catalog. We want your story and we will find it interesting!

I don’t like blogs with just a lot of words either. Like any two year old I need pictures to get me interested in the story, especially if it’s about woodworking.

In short (in a long winded way) I am saying that interesting posts get more readers and more comments which stimulate dialog and hasten the learning process, not to mention the pleasure of conversing with other like minded souls.

Now I do realize that not everyone can or wants to write, so I’m not trying to single out those that can and those that can’t, but if you can, please do so. It’ll be a lot more fun for all of us whatever our skill level and it might also encourage others to post more too.

I hope you didn’t notice that there are no photos accompanying this blog! Thanks for reading, and hopefully replying, even if I only succeeded In making you mad at me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.



69 comments so far

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2918 posts in 1244 days


#1 posted 02-11-2019 08:34 PM

Mike I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments. It would be nice to get more info on the how’s, why’s and the thought process that went into the project.

As for – “I hope you didn’t notice that there are no photos accompanying this blog!” I did notice. A pic would help to sell the idea ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View stefang's profile

stefang

16595 posts in 3637 days


#2 posted 02-11-2019 08:42 PM

Bill Great photo and a really great idea, wish I had thought of that before I spent zillions on my table saw.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2918 posts in 1244 days


#3 posted 02-11-2019 08:45 PM

They should have titled that “Hybrid Woodworker” ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1865 posts in 3316 days


#4 posted 02-11-2019 08:45 PM

Iʻm glad you back in good health and back making sawdust again.

I agree with you. Telling how one built a project and the obstacles overcome while doing the project can be a teaching & learning moment for experienced as well as novice woodworkers.

Pictures (worth a thousand words) also help with describing the project and breaks up a bunch of words. Now that most of us have cell phones we can always take pictures while be build our projects. The problem comes when we get so involved with building a project that we forget to take progress photos. Iʻm guilty of that too. However, while Iʻm building a project I always have in the back of my mind the lumberjocks that will be reading about the project and take photos that would be of interesting to them.

For simple projects, giving dimensions is also helpful for others who may want to build a similar project.

When I write up a project I like to do it off line in a word processor with notes to myself where I want to include pictures to illustrate what Iʻm describing. Then when I log into LJ and start a project posting I will copy and paste what Iʻve wrote (and edited) into the posting tool. I will also insert photos where my notes are.

Before I post it I will give it a proof reading in PREVIEW before I hit the post button.

Another thing that some people miss is including TAGS (key words) for the projects. That makes it easier for people looking for projects.

Good project postings and the sharing of ideas and techniques is what makes Lumberjocks such a wonder site.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View hunter71's profile

hunter71

3361 posts in 3490 days


#5 posted 02-11-2019 08:48 PM

I agree 100%. I have always tried to interject some humor, self criticism, or ideas into my posts and ya’ll seem to respond to it well. Must be from my years as an outdoor writer?

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Andre's profile (online now)

Andre

2510 posts in 2109 days


#6 posted 02-11-2019 09:00 PM

Offense taken:) I resemble a lot of dem remarks, sum of us Rednecks have problems with two syllable words as well as cutting straight lines! Don’t git me started on them Videos, my old putor don’t know what too do with most of them!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8867 posts in 2631 days


#7 posted 02-11-2019 09:31 PM

Hi Mike,

I believe that you’re onto something, and I have an idea why that might be.

I think the whole concept of posting and sharing about a specialty topic (Woodworking in this case) on a themed website may be going the way of the Do-do bird, much in the same way woodworking magazines subscriptions are. Indeed, I’ve heard the same observation of decreased user activity on other woodworking sites (Sawmill Creek to be specific).

Here are the reasons I see:

#1) More and more people are “going pro”. Here’s what I mean.

Posting well edited (and humor filled) descriptions and well illustrated (lots of good pics) blogs of our woodshop activities is work. It takes time and even cuts into progress on ww projects. But who reaps the monetary benefit from all of that labor? (and if you tally up the blogs, projects, etc… it’s a LOT of labor). The onwers of the web site. Time have changed and hosting your own web site is much easier and cheaper than in times passed, and then lo and behold, you reap the monetary benefit of your labor yourself, as you post count grows and you get some ad revenue.

#2) When MTV came out, there was a cute (though annoying) song with the chorus “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Well I think it’s safe to say that video (Youtube) is killing the topic specific web forums. And this combines with reason #1, in that a lot of guys are starting up their own Youtube channels and putting up VLOGS (video blogs) where they also reap ad revenue. I personally watch and enjoy a lot of this content, though I don’t have near the time and patience to “go pro”. But there is real opportunity here and many of these guys have half a million or more subscribers. Then they get product endorsements and add revenue. They also achieve a form of celebrity status. They still hang out on Lumber Jocks and the like, but their emphasis changes to promoting their Youtube channel or personal web site. Just look at how many project postings tease you with some cool pics and then simply say “to find out more click here”

#3) As I said, Youtubers can actually make a decent living, and if they achieve celebrity status, they can make a really good living. Just look at all the no talent bimbos out there. They “leak” a sex tape and the next thing you know everybody is hounding their Youtube channels and Instagram and Facebook pages and they become “social media influencers”. Some even become multi-millionairs. And though I haven’t seen anybody doing woodworking in their birthday suite, I think the dynamic is still there. Look at the Wood Whisperer, Stumpy Nubs, and the Samurai Carpenter. These guys have numbers and stats that get advertisers attention in the ever ending battle for eyeballs. But it’s a full time gig for them, so why would they spend time creating content for somebody elses site.

#4) We’re getting older and every year there’s fewer and fewer of us interested in sites like Lumber Jocks. Why? IMO, it’s partly because the younger generations don’t have the attention span to read a long blog or project write up or a long winded forum reply like this one has turned into. They much prefer video content, and that means Youtube.

And there you have (what I think is) the rest of the story.

Specialty forums are not a growth industry, invest your IRA savings somewhere else.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8867 posts in 2631 days


#8 posted 02-11-2019 09:40 PM

PS… if you’re not posting for $ then what is your motivation?

Sharing of ideas, discussion, maybe some affirmation and comraderie.

But that’s hard to come buy these days as well… I’m currently bloging a Morris Chair build, and I put considerable effort into the pics and write up. I often get 400 looks and 2 comments. This leaves me to question “why bother”.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View stefang's profile

stefang

16595 posts in 3637 days


#9 posted 02-11-2019 10:02 PM

Andre Last time I heard they still teach rednecks how to read and write, even though I’m not too sure after reading your amusing comment.

Tyvekboy Thanks for the good wishes and your comments which I agree with.

Matt I mostly agree with you. I watch far more woodworking videos than ever before, but while I can make comments to a video there is no real dialog, and without any social dimension, which I think sites like this are really all about. I find that most of the videos are just a repeat of the same old things while we can get the whole picture on LJ. So I hope those video viewers will eventually discover us and join up. I can imagine though that many of the younger folks hardly get time in the shop not to mention writing about projects and blogs about it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16038 posts in 2921 days


#10 posted 02-11-2019 10:11 PM


But that s hard to come buy these days as well… I m currently bloging a Morris Chair build, and I put considerable effort into the pics and write up. I often get 400 looks and 2 comments. This leaves me to question “why bother”.

- Mainiac Matt

That’s one of the elephants in the room for sure!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View JayT's profile

JayT

6112 posts in 2514 days


#11 posted 02-11-2019 10:25 PM

Social media is a big factor.

It takes a fraction of the time to post a few pics to Instagram or Facebook than it does on LJ, plus they are video friendly. It’s also much easier to see what others are doing by what groups you join and who you follow and friend. Additionally, if I am trying to reach an audience, those sites allow me to show what I am working on to a lot more people in a much shorter time. Consider that in a few months on Instagram, I have far more followers than in over six years on LJ.

It is a different format and perspective, so I try to do appropriate content on each format—i.e. written work on LJ, videos and pic on other sites. It does mean,however, that I am now splitting the time I used to spend on LJ with other woodworking focused social media.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View htl's profile

htl

4546 posts in 1462 days


#12 posted 02-11-2019 10:33 PM

Deleted

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View F250's profile

F250

28 posts in 56 days


#13 posted 02-11-2019 10:40 PM

Being new to LJ, I’m not one bit dissuaded about either condensed comments on other’s posts or detailed posts about my own projects and threads. After having spent over 12 years on a truck forum for Ford diesels, I’m actually thrilled to have discovered this site to support my woodworking tendencies. I had just recently discovered the DIYchat forum, and it also has a large potential to support my DIY tendencies, but not so much on the specific woodworking front.

My hat’s off to you guys in here, and I look forward to continuing to expand my knowledge and expertise through your input.

-- Pete -- Bark less, Wag more, and SHOW COMPASSION to everyone you meet.

View htl's profile

htl

4546 posts in 1462 days


#14 posted 02-11-2019 11:14 PM

That’s this sites strength, all the combined info here and the members willingness to help others learn more for the love of wood working and nothing else.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

461 posts in 206 days


#15 posted 02-11-2019 11:28 PM

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. There seems to be many self proclaimed “newbies” on these topical sites. They seem to assume that if they buy the right tools and watch some videos they will become experts. Their questions often ask others to solve the most fundamental tasks of woodworking. I’m fairly new to this site because my primary interest is woodcarving, but at age 86 I’m not a newbie at woodworking. I’m rapidly losing interest in this site.

This is the backside of one of my carvings.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

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