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Blog entry by Don posted 02-10-2007 01:45 AM 1174 reads 0 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I think it’s fantastic that every day sees more members joining LumberJocks. This community is made up of likeminded individuals, wanting to share their woodworking knowledge and learn from the experience of others.

So what makes a LumberJock?

Last May, Mark DeCou posted a blog entitled, “You know you’re a LumberJock, if/when…... That thread continues to run to this day and at Mark’s instigation, solicits some very humorous responses.

But I would like to look at another aspect of this question with reference to our growing membership. Obi recently noted that we now have four hundred members. ( At the time of posting this blog, there are 406 members.) But have you looked at this more closely? The greater majority of our members are ‘lurkers’. I define a lurker as being a member who joins, but never or rarely posts. I assume that these members visit LumberJocks, read the posts and the comments, but move on without contributing. Since this blog/forum site does not provide “whose on line” information, there is no way for a member to know if these ‘lurkers’ ever return after joining. Only 123, or 31% of the membership have made more than two posts. And only 96 others have made one or two posts. This means that 219 members have posted – the rest are inactive.

Now don’t get me wrong, people can choose to be active, semi-active or inactive – it’s up to them. There is, no doubt, some benefit from vicarious membership. One can sit back, read and learn and/or enjoy the friendly banter of active members. But the real value in membership is to share. There would be no learning if there was no sharing and there would be no vicarious experience to enjoy if there was no participation.

Some of the inactive members might argue that they have insufficient woodworking experience to contribute. In my opinion, this is nonsense. A unique characteristic of the LumberJock experience is the way in which wanabies, newbies, apprentices, hobbyists, weekend warriors, recreational woodworkers, professional woodworkers, wood artists and any other nomenclature you can think of that describes a person interested in working with wood, share together. And they do so in a spirit of friendship, respect and dignity with a strong underpinning of community. So from where I sit, ones level of woodworking experience should not be an issue.

I want to encourage those of you who visit, read, and leave to become active members. In fact, I would like to propose that membership should be defined by activity. We might call this ‘participating membership’. Joining gives you the privilege of participating; participating maintains your membership. It would work like this. Unless a member posts a minimum of once per month, their membership lapses to ‘inactive’. An inactive member would be identified by an asterisk next to their name. Of course, this could easily be removed by positing.

So, you know you are a LumberJock Participating Member when you contribute by posting. There you have it – simple!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/



28 comments so far

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3703 days


#1 posted 02-10-2007 01:57 AM

There ya go, Don. Startin trouble.

To all the non participating “Lurkers” as Don calls them, he only does this because he lives too far away to throw rocks at him.

But he is a fine craftsman and has more posts than anybody, because …
LIFE IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT !

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3793 days


#2 posted 02-10-2007 02:06 AM

There is a week in Jan devoted to “delurking”... I’ll admit I’m a lurker on other blogs (learning what I can, or seeking entertainment), but obviously not here. I have a hard time not being actively involved somewhere, and at this time and place in my life, here I am.

I’m not sure where I fall in the woodworking spectrum, but, like everyone else I feel I have lessons to learn, as well as some to share.
I”m impressed with how much we’ve grown over the past several months. I had almost no luck finding other woodworking bloggers a year ago. I mentioned to my wife that there had to be a bunch of us ready to take over the mantles from our grandfathers before us (who only had “This Old House” to guide them. Now we have entire channels on TV and online) surely there were other websavvy woodworkers, and here we are!

Nothing wrong with having such a large audience, but the stage is huge, c’mon up!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 3713 days


#3 posted 02-10-2007 02:24 AM

Come on Don, some people just are not bloggers, face it. and to kick them out because they are bashful or just awkward at wrighting is the wrong thing to do.We are being elitists.
If not for Mark almost dragging stuff, by asking questions and offering help to me, he kept me going and kept me involved,I would have quite. .we Need to encourage people to join and help them get by instead of putting roadblocks in their way.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3703 days


#4 posted 02-10-2007 02:26 AM

Don didnt say we couldnt keep them. The world is a stage and we need someone to watch and see how it’s done

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3703 days


#5 posted 02-10-2007 02:29 AM

I just realized that the first hunnerd or so, were people that got an e-mail saying “Check out my new website” So they felt obligated. The most recent ones are true Lumberjocks.

I only post anything so I can see my work on the internet, so I can see my picture in the most active column, and I can see my words written down on the internet for all to see.

This is as close to famous as Im going to get since they took my picture down from the wall at the Post Office

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3867 days


#6 posted 02-10-2007 02:43 AM

Lets look at Debbie, Here is someone who considered herself a Newbee, Wannabe. And she started asking questions, Willing to show some things that she tried, that she maybe felt insecure about (My feeling, not necessarly hers). She has grown. (Of course her job requires her to make life changes, so maybe she was more willing that some other people.)

I’ve been on other web sites, signed up, asked a question and then wondered later – What was that web site that I asked the question.

It was not that I didn’t want an answer, I may not have been impressed enough to follow up.

We want to grow in our abilities, skills, techniques, and in doing so we ask questions, quible about litle things, and applaud big things.

I’ll let you play in my sandbox, If I can play in yours.

I won’t loan you my tools, but I’ll help you.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3867 days


#7 posted 02-10-2007 02:50 AM

Obi; have you done a search for your name on Google to see how famous you are?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3703 days


#8 posted 02-10-2007 02:50 AM

But Debbie jumped in here with both … hands. She was talkin up a storm. She’s a friendly sort… can’t help but love her.

O.K. FOR ALL OF YOU NEW PEOPLEWE CAN’T SEE YOUR FACE SO IT’S O.K. TO JUST SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT.

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3703 days


#9 posted 02-10-2007 02:51 AM

I’m Worldwide, Karson. Page ONE on the Google

OH MY!!! Obiwan the Monk is on Page one too. I’M DOUBLE FAMOUS !!!

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 3643 days


#10 posted 02-10-2007 02:54 AM

Quote jockmike2: ”we Need to encourage people to join and help them get by instead of putting roadblocks in their way.”

Mark, I couldn’t agree more – ”encouragement” that is what I was attempting to do. I was not suggesting that we “kick them out”. As a matter of fact, I never suggested that we change their status at all, but rather that we simple reward active participation.

Quote me: Now don’t get me wrong, people can choose to be active, semi-active or inactive – it’s up to them.” _and ”I want to encourage those of you who visit, read, and leave to become active members.”_

Doesn’t look like discouragement to me.

Quote jockmike2: “We are being elitists.”

I’m not sure that this is a correct characterization of what I was saying. Is encouraging members to participate elitist? I don’t thing so; it’s the natural expectation of membership. If one simply wants to read and not participate, why join? The only privilege of membership is posting.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3781 days


#11 posted 02-10-2007 03:08 AM

I find it interesting we have 45 reads and 10 comments posted here and I haven’t even had 8 people read my blog yet and mine was posted first. Maybe I’m a little butt hurt, but what attracted me hear was the interest in woodworking. Let us not lose our focus.

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3672 days


#12 posted 02-10-2007 03:22 AM

“I want to encourage those of you who visit, read, and leave to become active members. In fact, I would like to propose that membership should be defined by activity. We might call this ‘participating membership’. Joining gives you the privilege of participating; participating maintains your membership. It would work like this. Unless a member posts a minimum of once per month, their membership lapses to ‘inactive’. An inactive member would be identified by an asterisk next to their name. Of course, this could easily be removed by positing.

I would like to propose that membership should be defined by activity.

Joining gives you the privilege of participating; participating maintains your membership.

Unless a member posts a minimum of once per month, their membership lapses to ‘inactive’.

An inactive member would be identified by an asterisk next to their name.

....and so who made you a god? Sounds like a bunch of rules to me; you have to do this, you have to do that and then where does it all stop….rules and lawmakers!

Ha! I’m just a woodworker wanting to work at wood and have some fun, while also earning a living at this thing called wood.

Some people lurk because they just don’t care about posting out loud and then some just come to read, doesn’t mean they can’t actively belong. Some people lurk without posting so they can contact an individual about buying a piece of ‘wood art’ by sending a private message. These are the ones who may not even be woodworkers, they just want to buy and so we need to be friendly to all! When we start sticking an ‘asterisk’ after names, what comes next….and then there were those of the ‘they have said crowd’ who also started sticking stars on people back then….

Well there it is, I just don’t have time for more rules since the ones who make the rules are always thinking of more rules to put on my plate. If I web surfed by here tonight and saw this book of rules being laid down, I would be surfing on out and forgetting this place.

I have found that the best way to encourage people to come to my house is by being friendly and inviting….if a guest or couple comes over to my place and doesn’t have a lot to say, well I do not tell them that unless they participate they will be removed from my active list of friends. What I do is I work to draw them out, and sometimes this means that I will become silent so that I can give them a chance to talk. In the end, some folks love to talk and are active talkers, while some folks love to listen and watch and are active listeners and watchers….but all are active!

Well just my two cents of opinion and I say no-more law, we once had a Bosten Tea Party for a king who wanted to tell us what we had to do…..

GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 3643 days


#13 posted 02-10-2007 03:53 AM

Opps, Frank, this is a new side of you.

I wasn’t making rules. I simply threw up a proposal for discussion that obviously doesn’t sit well with you.

Some time ago, Martin floated the idea of placing categories against posters names that would indicate the various activity levels. My suggestion, much more subtle, was that we do this in a more obscure way by simply noting with a symbol, those who are inactive members. I reiterate, I was attempting to encourage inactive members to become active. But I can’t help but question, why would someone join if they have no intention of posting?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3703 days


#14 posted 02-10-2007 04:09 AM

Hey, if they don’t want to play, they can watch. Those of us who have something to say can talk amongst ourselves. We’ve been doing long enough. Some people just aren’t talkers.

I’ll talk to anybody about anything.

I gotta go now, my friend Dennis, hurt his butt.

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3672 days


#15 posted 02-10-2007 04:10 AM

—-”But I can’t help but question, why would someone join if they have no intention of posting?”

Like I said Don, some folks come to buy and want to send a private message to an individual. These are not woodworkers, just the buying public and therefore some buyers want no attention, they just want the art! There are some buyers of ‘wood art’ who do not even buy what has been posted on the web, these are the ones who want the art in there home with no prior track record.

As far as a new side to me, well I just understand that I’m here to share with all the woodworkers here, but I also sell….and therefore I am wanting to encourage all people to come. To some this means being actively out in the open, and to others this means being active behind the scenes. I mean if someone is buying and not talking, I’m not going to tell them to wear an ‘asterisk’.

GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

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