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Thread: Whats with all the Forums

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Whats with all the Forums

    Hi All

    Please help educate me. I am technically literate but somehow stupid and naive when it comes to some things on the web.

    I am trying to understand why there are so many forums for say WW on the web and why you would join more than one. I can understand say a spinny guy joining his local association one and then a general one but why would you join 3 or more of similar type. How can you participate in so many? Do you just cut and paste your same posts at the various sites.

    I am definitely missing something here I simply dont get it. Then I suppose the owner of the various sites survives on the advertising to cover costs and provide an income.

    I admit to joining another site if someone has posted a link with pictures that one cannot see unless you are a member but that does not mean I have "joined to participate".

    Please help me out here I seem to be missing something that is obvious.

    Also I tend to try to put forward a substantive response when I can, if you participate in so many sites this has to end up being something close to a grunt or a groan response, what is the value to the other parties on the forum of that. Dont get me wrong I am not refering to words of encouragement etc.

    Please enlighten me and I hope others out there that have not asked these "stupid" questions.

    Its a bit like these social networking sites. I mean how many can you maintain you contacts on, howmany sites with what purpose do you join.

    Somehow the term social butterfly comes to mind.

    How can you possibly get to "know and understand" the people you are communicating with if you are spread so thin.

    Help Help Help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Rob, when you eat ice cream do you only EVER eat ONE flavour?

    I am a big fan of Chocolate and Vanilla (well made ice cream) I don't go for the other wild combos, not my thing, I'll occasionally like some Rum Raisin, but that is about it.

    I am a member here, and at The Wood Works, I helped to start this place, and I've been with the bunch over at TWW when it was called "The Oak" and that place went back to 1996

    Other than That, there are a few turning forums I belong to, but that is a much narrower interest.

    Basically I keep to Family Woodworking and TWW, they are VERY different sites, the atmosphere in each is markedly different, and I like them both for different reasons.

    I have a Yanagicho Aparto Reno thread over at TWW as well, and while some of my posts are certainly cut and paste between the two sites, the discussions and the side tracks we take are certainly NOT the same

    I hope that helps.

    No stupid questions my friend!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    Like stu said ... every place has its "feel"

    In forums, I actively participate in 3. I am much more selective with my responses sometimes because I just don't have the time to post a reasoned response. Thankfully, most of the posts I pass up are quickly answered with the information I would have given by someone else.

    I have three forums -, here and SMC. I post the most over on because I have been there the longest. I'd put FWW at 2nd most, but always gaining. The more friends I make here the more time I spend. It's also nice that several friends from the other forums are here as well. It's all about relationships to me. I have really close friends over there and some of them aren't on here. If they were all in one place, I would be, too :P

    Now ... don't ask me about Yahoo groups ... I'm a member of at least 30 yahoo groups. Mostly I lurk and absorb the flow of information. I moderate one and participate a fair amount on it. But lately my posts on those boards has gone way down. I blame that on my metalworking exploration these days - most of the wood stuff has been reduced to make room for yet another hobby!

    Everyone works a little different - I like the different kinds of information available at each of the three forums I go to regularly. I can also attest that every one of them has a certain amount of predictability. The same question asked at all three forums can predictably get a different type of overall response at each one. I'll give you an example..

    Festool. A question about Festool here will be pretty evenly balanced for/against/neutral and more of a "That's a choice you have to make" kind of response from most of the replies. Over on SMC, it could likely turn into an all-out war between the supporters vs. the detractors. Over on, you can almost bet that it'll all be "They're overpriced!!!" with a couple of folks stating that it's a choice you have to make.

    Another type of difference I've noticed is in the nature of the responses. Here, the replies are almost always very diplomatic and everyone seems to try to avoid confrontational-type statements. Over on SMC, you'll get a whole range of responses from "Go for it" to "What a stupid idea". And on you'll usually get what I view as down-to-earth responses that pull no punches. If it's a bad idea, you'll hear it. If it's a good idea, you'll hear that, too.

    They all have their good, bad and ugly. When one is being particularly more ugly than the others, i don't hang out there as much. So far, this place doesn't seem to get ugly very often (i can remember maybe once or twice?) and they're usually isolated events. The other two, well, sometimes I avoid 'em when the mob gets a little more unruly than I care to watch.

    Boy ... your question sure opened the floodgates for me ... I'll get up off the therapist couch, now TYVM!!!
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Now Ron, I belong to a couple and i will admit it is for self interest. The fact is you can learn a lot from people and the bigger the cross section the more opportunities there are to learn something. Many times I am interested in as many opinions as i can find. It gives one more options and also different perspectives on how to do something. I find inspiration in viewing the talented work others do and when i can, I offer advice for those areas I have some knowledge or expertise.

    You can waste huge amounts of time perusing the net, but my TV broke and I haven't replaced it. Now thats a time waster. I grew up without one and did a lot of varied things too the point where many who casually knew me thought i was BS-ing them. I heard more than once, "theres no way one person could have done all those things" Well, I beg to differ. I may be a jack-of-all-trades, but I have learned and studied many things and am richer for the experience. I am VERY grateful to all of the fine people I have learned from on the net!!! If only I had more TIME.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!
    Funny you mention the Oak Stu. That was the first WW forum I ever joined. About the last time I went to the Oak was about the time when the founder had gotten ill and died. I was so sad for his passing. It was a great place but some clicks started and I just didn't feel I fit in anymore and I went over to WOOD's forum. WOOD was nice but too big and you had to be PC all the time. The rules were very strict and Marlen runs a tight ship. I finally got tired of the advertising. I joined SMC but never participated because I found FWW and been happy ever sense! Some times it gets a little slow but That's OK with me as it gives me a chance to catch up!

    All in all though, I just don't have time to try to keep up with more than this forum and a local general living forum. Like dude.... did you hear what the cops found in the back bedroom down the street!!
    Last edited by Royall Clark; 03-19-2009 at 04:49 PM.

    What goes around, comes around.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    I "belong" to a lot of forums. I particpate in only a few. I will use to Kayak forums as excellent examples. One is a very general forum about building all types of kayaks. The second it a very specific traditional Greenland style kayak forum. They are very much into traditional boats and traditional methods. These guys would use seal skins to cover their boats if they could find them. The other group pretty much any method goes.

    I have little to offer to the traditional group but I learn a lot.
    The first I offer input too and learn from also.
    I enjoy them both but they are opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Same with woodworking. I find I am posting less and less and just reading looking for information and tips. I find that on one forum I like don't like the people and their (lack of) manners, but I learn more tricks and tidbit there than here. There are a few pro's there that I have learned trust what they say. I watch for their posts.

    FWW is totally different and much more civil. Not as in depth as often but I still learn and can offer things here.

    One I read seems to have no interest in my kayaks, so I don't post on them there any more. Here there is some interest so I post here. Sometimes I do post a woodworking project on more than one forum.

    It kind of like having more than one friend. Each one is different and I talk different things with different people.
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 03-19-2009 at 05:32 PM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    Its extremely hard for novice woodworkers to post their work and not feel intimidated, on any woodworking site.
    Once you decide to post on any site, its up to the posters there to meet your work, inquiries, with sincerity and encouragement, or just yeah, I know that, what do ya need to know.

    I believe different people feel different comfort levels on some sites, and others display different levels of tolerances.

    I have not posted any of my work anywhere except here, sort of a punishment to you guys(hehehehe), but Im also comfortable with the active posters here, and understand most of the fine craftsmen that populate a place like this, have developed a certain level of tolerance for the repetitive questions of novices.
    I dont think someone like me impresses any long time woodworking craftsmen, but I believe, and this is a big issue for alot of posters, there is a certain level of comaradery and easygoingness on this site to make it a nice place to hang out.(I hope Im not wrong )Im not knocking other sites,.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post

    It kind of like having more than one friend. Each one is different and I talk different things with different people.
    Very well put Jeff!

    What goes around, comes around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    Are you guys telling me there are OTHER forums in the Intarwebs? This is amazing news! When did this happen?

    As has been touched on here, each forum has a different personality, depending on the participants and management. I check three or four forums daily, and post some in all of them. There are a few other forums that I check occasionally, but don't post much on. I have friends on all of them, and there is indeed some crossover among those friends and forums. Family Woodworking gets the lion's share of my time and attention, but other places have their merits too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Colorado Springs, CO

    My reason

    My primary form is SMC as most of you may already know. It was the first forum for me and I have tons of friends there. I got started over here BC I noticed that this place was created by some of the SMC plank-owners. I wouldn’t have known except a very old thread got brought up with my name on it called “the bomb”.

    Long story short, I got a free 1220vs lathe from SMC and was cast into the vortex (not ever to return…but I still do Flatwork). When I looked at that old thread I noticed some names of folks who no longer post on SMC. That is what lead me here.

    When I requested membership here, Vaughn already knew of me and my work but I had no idea who he was.

    I have spent tons of time on SMC building my album, report, and friendships and I am actively participating in three nation wide projects there but I like you guys just as much. Bernie and Steve Slumpf among many others such as Glen Bradley are on very active SMC and here. Jason Beam is active on SMC too but I will disagree with his comment about being called stupid on SMC. It is against the TOS and if you call someone stupid the mods will move your post. Not to say the mods catch everything but in my experience they catch most all of it and correct it quickly. In fact, many folks who I have found that don’t like SMC got into it with the MODS or the owner about something (add topic here) and left. I bet you could find that in most any forum though.

    I also go to some of the forums BC they are specialty forums. Like
    International Association of Penn Turners

    With these you can find info on advanced stuff more easily. Most of the folks in these specialty forums only do that one thing (Kind of like Lie Nielson just does hand tools). Not to say that no one here knows a great deal about pens or scrolling, but the overall talent pool is vastly greater in the specialty forums.

    Family Woodworking is my down home, down to earth place and that is why I am happy here. I do make double posts on the forums BC I feel I should be sharing with both of you all but I only do that with projects/pics not general posts. I have almost 3000 posts on SMC since I joined in Feb of last year and there is no way I could do that with 2 forums!

    Everything is better with inlay or marquetry!

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