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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On The (Vast) Silent Majority

I have been on the Internet since the early days.  By luck of birth and predilection, I get to say, "I was there when..."  The woodworking thing came many years later.

This post is on the differences in online verbosity between the general woodworker and the general technical professional.

I peruse a number of woodworking and technical sites on a weekly basis.  Frequent thoughtful (and not so much so) posting on tech sites is the norm.  In stark contrast are the woodworking sites.  My experience is that 20 responses to some posted content is a banner event.

There are, of course, exceptions.  The forums at must be mentioned as one such exception.

When I started blogging, I naturally assumed that like minded folks would stumble upon the blog and offer comments.  A very naive assumption.  There are many reasons for the differences in loquaciousness between techies and woodworkers, but I believe the biggest issue is community size.  There are simply a lot more techies than woodworkers and techies by their nature are online all the time.

Enough sociological rambling.  The point I'm getting at is what for me is a natural medium of communication--online exchange--is not for most other folks, woodworkers included.

My naive desire for an interactive woodworking blogging venture has necessarily changed to become more of a public diary to myself.  The focus always has been on learning woodworking, featuring the mistakes made on the way and that is not going to change.  I am, however, going to branch out into other areas of Making.  Did I just turn a verb into a noun?  One more try:  I am, however, going to expand blog coverage into other areas of craft and making.  I may not be very talented, but I do try a lot of different things.

Woodworking is not going away, in fact, I just pulled a splinter from the side of my thumb that must have got there last night.  In addition to woodworking, I'll post other projects that are worked on.  Party on, Garth!


  1. I look forward to seeing your progress into "making". There are some really neat things to combine tech with other made things, and always enjoy seeing how woodworkers on this route, since they generally do interesting things (at least to me...)

    I also understand your comments issue. And will offer my perspective. I have long read many woodworking blogs (via RSS feeds) and just the minor step of going to the page to leave a comment is a micro-interaction hindrance, and that speaks nothing to the fact that in RSS readers you can't see the comments so can't even know there is a potential conversation going on, unless you go "the extra mile". It wasn't until I started blogging and I realized how much I appreciated getting comments that I made a conscious effort to leave comments, if for no other reason than to encourage the writers to continue, but also I think woodworking blogs are more akin to magazine articles which are generally considered to be static and without conversation.

    Second, I've found that Instagram is an excellent place for this conversation, and if you aren't there, you might consider joining. Instagram puts the comments right there, so it's easy to join in, and the photo-centric nature of it encourages you to actually have some project advancement to share/discuss. Twitter is similar, though it never took with me, too erratic and unstructured.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jeremy! I don't get the appeal of Twitter, but have dabbled in Instagram. I'll look into how easily I can integrate Instagram into the workflow. I believe you can only post through a mobile app.

      Regardless, I look forward to sharing more of my interests in the future. ☺

  2. G'day Scott!
    I'll second Jeremy - I'm using an RSS Newsfeed App too, and it is a bit cumbersome to check for comments let alone post one. I'll take this as a reminder to give more feedback, maybe even quit using the newsfee. I noted that I miss out on the blogs designs, blogrolls etc.
    To be perfectly honest, the thought has been crossing my mind that Twitter and Instagram are effectively reducing bloggers as more and more join that online community. But I know for a fact that I learned a lot more from reading blogs than from flipping through photos with little notes below!
    So keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your "public diary!"


    1. Thank you for the support! I will not be leaving the blogosphere any time soon. I may dabble in video, but I begrudge the time it takes to edit a final product.