Off-Topic: Social Networking

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Blog entry by ahpeditor posted 09-18-2008 08:24 PM 1223 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m a woodworker. I’m also an editor working for a company that publishes woodworking content. So I want to start with this disclaimer. My personal posts to the website have nothing whatsoever to do with my employer. All comments are my own. Period.

Now the important stuff. My first post isn’t about woodworking. It happens to be about social networking and sites like this and how they can help good, worthy causes. Let me explain.

This morning when I logged onto my computer at work and opened up my email, I noticed an email from Martin Sojka asked me to be his friend! I have to admit that I don’t understand all the inner workings of Facebook! I was confused.

I had to think for a minute.

“I don’t know anyone named Martin Sojka, do I?” I thought to myself.

Then I remembered he is the founder of this great (and rapidly growing) website. Great job Martin. I decided to log onto Lumberjocks after a long absence and investigate. (By the way, not sure what it will lead to, I accepted Martin’s offer of friendship!)

Then in a flurry of inspiration I posted the following comment on my profile page. I realized that it probably wouldn’t reach too many people there, so I started a blog page. Here’s the comment:

This morning I was surprised to find an email request from Martin Sojka to be my friend on Facebook, the social networking site. I joined Facebook just a few weeks ago to see what it was all about. I really have had little personal contact with Martin, except for a few shared emails back when he was starting Lumberjocks and I was developing a new woodworking blog for August Home Publishing, the company I work for as an associate editor, and the publisher of Woodsmith magazine, among others.

If you know anything about, it’s probably because we host our seminar video podcasts there. At one time, three to four editors were actively posting to the blog about their woodworking experiences, but lately and for a lot of reasons, the only posts have been monthly podcasts.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. In a couple of weeks, several friends and I will be walking to raise some money for a very special cause—the Walk to Defeat ALS.

Also known as Lou Gehrigs Disease, ALS has has hit my family hard. A year ago last January, my wife Lisa was diagnosed with ALS. Since then, it’s been hard to focus on anything but this terrible disease. Lisa is doing well. Although she is confined to a wheelchair, somehow she manages to keep a positive attitude and her strength and courage have been an incredible inspiration to me. That is why I decided to use this forum to ask for your help to defeat this disease and to help raise funds to provide local patient services.

If you decide to participate, you can donate to the National ALS Association, to your local chapter, or sign on as a member of Lisa's Angels. This is a group of family and friends who will be walking to raise money and awareness on Saturday, Oct 4th here in Des Moines.

I know this site is not about fund-raising. And it’s possible the moderators may decided to take this blog post down since it doesn’t have much to do with woodworking. But, if every LumberJock decided to donate just $10 to this cause, it would be an incredible success story.

And, needless to say, I would be very pleased and proud to have made a friend of Martin Sojka.

Joel Hess
Associate Editor
August Home Publishing Co.

-- Joel Hess, Associate Editor, August Home Publishing,

8 comments so far

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4294 days

#1 posted 09-19-2008 03:07 AM

Welcome back to LJ’s! it’s grown a lot since you first logged in. Martin sure has built a great place for our great (and still) small town like community to grow, prosper and support each other. He’s a good friend to all of us, as well as woodworking (gardening and home refurbishing) as a whole. to those who’ve met him really and only virtually.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3681 days

#2 posted 09-19-2008 08:42 AM

Hey! Welcome back! Scott is right, since you’ve been here last, it’s grown considerably. Martin has put together a great site, I consider him a friend of mine, too. I hope your walk is sucessfull, that’s a great cause.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View 's profile

593 posts in 3939 days

#3 posted 09-19-2008 01:26 PM

I’m very sorry to hear about your wife suffering this terrible disease, Joel. I do hope your Walk will be a total success and wish you well in this initiative.

On the other hand you have no reason to worry about this post being banned because it has nothing to do with woodworking. LumberJocks’ success is based on the community spirit that unite us all and we care as much—if not more—for the well being of our little community members as we do for how to cut a proper joint.

You are not the first that has written to tell us a health issue and we all have suffered along when someone has been ill or even died. Even if lots of folks don’t comment on it, rest assured that plenty will read this post and, hopefully, donate to your cause.

Good luck and all the best for you and, especially, your wife.

View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3766 days

#4 posted 09-24-2008 02:39 AM

Welcome to LJs and good luck to you and yours. You’ll gain many a prayer too with your post and hopefully some $ too. Again, good luck and may your God be with you in this time of struggle.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4031 days

#5 posted 09-24-2008 03:04 AM

Glad you’re with us. Our prayers are with you and yours.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4128 days

#6 posted 09-29-2008 06:46 PM

ditto to all of the above.
Best wishes to you and your family and to the fundraising events.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3955 days

#7 posted 09-29-2008 07:11 PM

Just in case you didn’t know, you’re not the only one here from August Home.


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View ahpeditor's profile


5 posts in 4243 days

#8 posted 10-01-2008 05:10 PM

Thanks for all the welcomes, best wishes, and offers of prayers. Lisa and I are grateful for the support. For obvious reasons, we are passionate about this cause and feel that any help we can offer is well deserved. Unfortunately, this disease isn’t as glamorous as some and doesn’t get the attention (read: funding) it deserves.

Woodworkers as a whole are wonderful people. Thanks again for your support.

Joel Hess

-- Joel Hess, Associate Editor, August Home Publishing,

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