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Where is Everyone?

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Chris Knight

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Where is everyone?

No - not you lot! I mean everyone else. If you add up the claimed readerships of our UK magazines and, working on the assumption that such folk are motivated to read about woodworking and look at pictures of it, it is plain that our beloved forum here is lacking several thousand members - even if you allow a substantial discount for the folk that would rather do woodwork than waffle about it.

There is no woodworking club anywhere near me as far as I know - which is a bit odd because there are two or three carving clubs (I just joined one) yet going by the number and frequency of magazine publications, woodwork beats woodcarving hands down for popularity - numerically speaking. So extrapolating these bits of data we may conclude there are many, many thousands of folk who do something with wood who either don't read mags, or if they do, still don't join us online.

Does it matter? Well yes, I reckon it does. I have been properly humbled by some of the work I have seen at a local carving group I joined, where the average age is quite a few years ahead of me! (And therein lies a clue no doubt). We are certainly missing the input of a very large number of very talented people who for one reason or another don't know how - or choose not - to engage in forums such as these. Today I visited the home of one of the members of my group and was quite blown away by the number and quality of his pieces and his every other word was a gem of instruction - I am still transcribing a few pointers for myself and I wish I had taken a tape recorder (or in the spirit of what I am talking about, I should say a solid state Dictaphone or summat).

Is it possible to encourage more of them to join? I really have no idea but I shall have a go at the next meeting of our carving group (it only meets once a month unfortunately and I have only been to one meeting so far) and see what appetite might be engendered with a bit of show and tell about the Internet and forums like this. I think an entree might be by offering to publish their newsletter. It's obviously a struggle for those without a computer, a word processor, a decent printer and a knowledge of how to print 50 copies of something with coloured photos!
 

Alf

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A good question, Chris.

I think you're right, that the age of many may mean they're not comfortable being online - or simply don't know how to find us. I have an friend who's a retired tutor on furnituremaking, and would love to pass on his knowledge, but he's not internet-enabled. :( Also he likes to actually get on making stuff, so... :wink: Don't laugh, but I think maybe the stereotypical "British reserve" may come into play too. It's a heck of a first step to declare "here I am" on a forum such as this. I know I still hesitate to post on every other forum I visit, apart from this one. Hard to credit perhaps, but true none the less. :p And look at how many people actually post on the US fora, and their base numbers are enormous compared to us. So maybe we don't do too badly.

Well I don't know any woodworkers to say "come and join in" to, so instead I say to all lurkers who maybe hesitate to take the plunge: come on in, the water's lovely. If you don't fancy that I, my inbox is always open - website@cornishworkshop.co.uk Oh, and don't give a second thought about your first post being a question, or indeed all your posts. IIRC my first post on UK Woodworking was to ask about wood suppliers (there's a classic for you!). We all learn something from the answers (like "There aren't any in Cornwall" in my case... :roll:).

Cheers, Alf
 

Woodythepecker

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A lot of the problem is we are sometimes afraid of trying something new, or taking that first step. Those of us who didn't grow up with computers and the internet find it much harder to find our way around pc's, games machines etc, etc, and thats before we get dropped into the world wide web. Yet put a 5 year old child in front of a computer and within a short space of time they are writing computer programs, and building great websites such as UKWORKSHOP.

I personally had never been on the internet until my son (who is also a member of this forum) went to work in the US last year and let me his laptop.
I'm here because he obviously told me about this site, but i do not know if i would have came across it otherwise. Even if i had known how to use a search engine would i have noticed it among all those others.

As for those who read woodworkers magazines finding us why not drop the Editors a line (or is it emails these days) and ask them if they could mention us in their magazine. Good Woodworking already print a part of our forum once a month so that is covered, and maybe KeithS could ask Mark Ramus the Editor of The Woodworker to mention us.

Do we have any members or luckers who have found us through Good Woodworking?

Regards

Woody
 

Aragorn

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I did grow up with computers and was online not that long after the internet started becoming popular, yet when I joined UKW at the beginning of last year, it was the first forum I joined :oops: I have only recently joined my second forum, and have posted on there just a few times.
I found UKW by accident, and I was wanting to sell a machine if I remember rightly.
I had bought and read mags for years, but even a mention in there for a forum might not have been enough to get me started:
For some time beforehand, I was intimidated by the idea of posting on a forum. This one (thank 'eavens) is so friendly and welcoming that it encourged me to post a bit more, and of course now I'm hooked :roll:
For me, making that first step was something to put off and add to the tuit.
Sheesh, I just signed up for ebay only yesterday, and won my first bid!
 

Keith Smith

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Woody I've mentioned this forum a few times in The Woodworker I don't know how much it helps. At Ask the Trades web site we get a LOT of "guests" who have a look but don't join or post, I should imagine it's the same here.

With a bit of luck the forthcoming competition will generate more publicity and perhaps if we can put more of a "face" on the forum it may encourage others to join.

One thing I have noticed though which may conversely put people off is the standards on this site have improved noticeably in the last year. Just look at the work that members are posting, in the last few weeks we have had the competition entries, several really top rate kitchens, I could go on and on, even had a dog kennel :lol: and this high standard may encourage people to look rather than post.

Keith
 

davidc1075

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I have recently joined this forum and I would agree that there is considerable knowledge and a very high standard with most of the the other members who post on this forum. This puts me off from posting more of my stupid "how do you do that" questions and "I've messed up how do I fix it" questions. But if people don't mind more posts such as this then I for one will post more as long as it doesn't upset others who think that such questions will devalue the quality of this site.

Either way keep it going I look forward to reading the posts every evening and I have found everyone who has replied to my questions very helpful. Thanks Dave.
 

Noel

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David, don't you dare stop asking questions!!! There's no such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid answer...Anyways, everyday is a school day, ie, learn something new everyday.
 

Charley

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5 year old child in front of a computer and within a short space of time they are writing computer programs, and building great websites such as UKWORKSHOP
I know my spelling isn't the best, but you think this site was done by a 5 year old? :shock: :p

This puts me off from posting more of my stupid "how do you do that" questions and "I've messed up how do I fix it" questions.
David, this is one of the main reasons this forum is here. If you look through the forum there are loads of "how do I" threads. We've all asked them and I think nearly every regular member here has posted a "help, I've messed up, how can I fix it?" thread.
 
A

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Alf":2gvo8kyn said:
A good question, Chris.

I think you're right, that the age of many may mean they're not comfortable being online - or simply don't know how to find us. Cheers, Alf
This is, I think the main reason. I have been using the internet since its very earliest (anorak) days and been woodworking for fun for even longer.

I first came across UKW last year by complete accident and this is the first forum I joined - and only one I visit
 

tim

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I used to feel guilty that out of the 300 or so odd posts I have made at least 75% (possibly much more) have been asking questions rather than providing answers or pointing people in some sort of right direction. More recently I have thought what the hell - I am sure some of the more shy members or lurkers are pleased that there is someone who is happy to display his ignorance!! Also its how I learn - and boy have I learned a lot in the few months I have been a member.

One question Charley :Is it worth checking the search criteria and expanding it to be more encompassing? For a long time (3 years) I posted and read more regularly on the Fine woodworking forum in the US - simply because it was advertised in the mag and also when searching for forums and sites in the Uk, nothing really showed up that looked like there was much going on. The only reason I found this was through GWW last year.

It is a great forum with a real sense of community and it has helped me no end in solving probs and seeing through some of the darker days of setting up a furniture making business where I work alone and not having the benefit of being able to ask for advice or direction face to face. Thanks for being 'the water cooler'.

If I can help broaden this forum's reach, please let me know.

T
 

tim

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Chris,
One thought re clubs is that maybe woodworking as a whole is too genaralised to draw enough people of the same areas of interest and abilities to make it worthwhile and appealing to all in the class.

It seems that the same probs are found here re clubs - there are turning and carving clubs everywhere but the only furniture making offerings tend to be of the nightschool variety or NVQ type. These tend to be either too basic or have large chunks of ancillary training eg business etc and are two or three years long!!

If anyone knows of anything that looks like it might fit the bill then please say so.

Cheers

Tim
 

UKTony

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davidc1075":2cm65e9i said:
This puts me off from posting more of my stupid "how do you do that" questions and "I've messed up how do I fix it" questions.
David, don't worry, i am the most stupid of the stupid, hasn't put me off yet 8) 8)
 

houtslager

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Noely wrote:
learn something new everyday.


or it might be time to get in your box.
this was the mentality of one of my MASTERS
he taught me the basics of FRENCH POLISHING :)
and as I progressed , he steered my technique to the extent
I could start my own business up in one of the most cut throat trades :shock:
- antique restorartion to the London Trade. I have continued to
have the SAME attitude - even after 20 odd years working with
wood , furniture, boats and other areas of this varied and fascinating world. I continue to learn from other workers of wood.

all the best from a LONDON based woodbutcher :p

PS; I have now fallen into the GREEN WOODWORKING TRAP :oops:

PPS; ANY 1 going to ALLY PALLY this SUNDAY ?
 

Martin

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Actually asking questions is the most intelligent thing you can do. There's not such thing as a dumb question IMO, and in anycase for every post that asks a question you can bet there are no end in the silent majority that were puzzling over the very same issue (which therefore gives the post real value). Questions such as these are what keeps these forums lively and interesting...

Martin.
 

ProShop

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I ran a company web site 3 years ago, and it took me and the hosting Co, the best part of 15 months to get even a reasonable number of visits or hits as their called. Getting to be on the first page of Google search engine took an awful lot of time and money, and when you get there it's even more difficult staying there.
And that's propably one reason why there aren't more people joining or viewing the site, as well as the reasons stated in the above posts.
Web site are like any magazines, companies, clubs etc if no one knows where you are, then no one will come.

I'm not suggesting that UK Workshop start an all out advertising campaign here :D , but just adding another reason for Chris's question "Where is everyone"

I read a trade article some months back about the growiing number of people buying woodworking machines and tools and
the numbers were quite staggering,..... so sometime real soon................................. :)
 

Midnight

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This puts me off from posting more of my stupid "how do you do that" questions and "I've messed up how do I fix it" questions.
David..

strange though it may seem, there's not a one of us here that hasn't asked rookie questions through either not knowing, or through needing advise in error correction... we've all had to learn one way or another... It's been my experience that the only time I come across new / different / better / safer techniques is through a bunch of us answering seemingly basic questions, each answer usually with a slightly different take on things.

As for boring through repeating common questions... if anyone grouches... tell em t go suck an egg... pay em no heed, we'll answer your question either directly or through directing to a previous thread... what's the point in having experience and not passing it on..???????
 

trevtheturner

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To reach the many unknown, would there be any mileage in seeking manufacturer/supplier/retailer sponsorship for a UKworkshop stand at the major shows which attract thousands? How often do we hear, "don't go on the Friday/Saturday 'cos if it's like last year you won't be able to move!' Obviously, I realise that it would involve much work, and people with the time and expertise to take it on and, of course, Charley's agreement/authority.

Probably a non-starter. Oh well, just a thought................

Trev.

(thinking: sponsorship...... many excellent voluntary and independent reviews of machines/tools/equipment by members in these forums.....)
 

Aragorn

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Another thought:
I really like the size of UKW! I can keep up with the number of posts each day, and there aren't too many sub-forums to accomodate the possible variety of interest that might come from a more swollen membership.
Another forum I look at is just huge. Much as I might like to reply to all the posts that concern my area of expertise, I'd just be typing all day and never get any thing else done!

I don't mean to discourage new members, let's just be careful what we wish for!
 
G

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I'm one of the older members referred to in an earlier post. I have no problems with the net . I have found,personally that the older I get,the more knowledge I accumulate the more I realise how little I truly know. Younger people generally are not interested in the outdated views of the older generation(I know, I was the same) so we do tend to watch, listen and learn rather than put forward ideas that are quite often pooh-poohed. This is not a rant at anyone just a general observation as I have found this forum very friendly and helpful.
 
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