Plans for the near future or how to stay focused

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Blog entry by Martin Sojka posted 01-10-2007 10:32 PM 1388 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As some of you may noticed in the recent days our site’s grow doesn’t have only advantages – some issues are related to it as well. We’ve experienced few site downtimes this week. Fortunately they lasted only few minutes.. and some minor problems (not full site downtime) few hours. Our hosting company ( is providing us excellent service so far but they had to upgrade their servers this week which resulted in less than hour downtime on Monday – but they managed to fix everything promptly. Other problems were caused by some coding errors on my side. I’m sure we will spot more of similar problems as the activity here grows. Just be sure that I’m notified about any problem by email and if I’m not sleeping I’m working on fixing it ;) And don’‘t hesitate to contact me through my profile or directly by email if you spot anything suspicious going on here.

As Ethan said in one of his today’s post it’d be wise to not spread the scope of the site too much – too fast. I’m pretty happy with the current core features – projects, blogs, forums. These features in itself ensure that our LumberJocks site is unique and worth visiting. Hope you agree with me ;) So in the coming weeks I’m planning to focus more on tuning and improving these core features to make them even better and more enjoyable for you. This work will include things like:

  • finish the Awards voting process ;)
  • private messages – LumberJocks Mail – this has been the most requested upgrade in the recent weeks. Expect this to be released soon
  • having the ability to mark the forum topics as closed or resolved – this will help our Trade & Swap Forum
  • preparing the short guide about including the pictures in your comments, blog entries etc.
  • put more emphasis on the tags. Tags should serve as the natural categorization mechanism on this site as the number of projects grow.
  • improve the code to ensure better stability

In addition to these I will need to finally implement some monetization ideas. As you can see this site is costing me more money as well as more time as we grow. We have Awards sponsored by yours truly, I have hosting bills to pay each month – and these will increase dramatically down the road. So even the pure maintenance costs are higher and higher, not to mention that I’d like this site to grow and reveal its true potential. It is still unbelievable to me how fast the number of LumberJocks is growing without any big advertising money – just a pure word of mouth.. Thank you all for that! But no worries, it is not my plan to mess up our LumberJocks site with huge amount of ads. I want to implement unobtrusive monetization techniques which can even benefit you, e.g.

  • some ads served by Google Adsense with some kind of revenue sharing model which will reward those of you who loves writing
  • our own line of cool T-Shirt designs ( You know you’re a lumberjock, if/when…... ;)
  • affiliate stores – you will be able to buy tools, hardware, accessories, books, magazines through LJ
  • sponsorship of some site sections

So this sounds like a plan for the coming weeks. I wanted to share this with you. Feel free to discuss anything mentioned in this post.

Oh and don’t forget that time is ticking away and there are only some 20 days before the entry deadline in our Winter Awards. I’m sure we can manage to have much more than 20 entries in each category ;)

10 comments so far

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4175 days

#1 posted 01-10-2007 11:09 PM

Martin, I for one, really appreciate your dedication to making this site terrific.

I actually started posting here after doing so for five years on a very large Australian woodworking forum. The success of that forum became its problem – too many posters -thing became impersonal, and the massive choice of categories became just too difficult to keep up with.

I don’t know how you avoid this eventuating, but it’s great to be involved in LJ whilst it’s truly a community.

Thanks again.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4312 days

#2 posted 01-11-2007 12:14 AM

Just wanted to say thanks and offer my support for whatever you want to do financialy!

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4271 days

#3 posted 01-11-2007 12:31 AM


As I stated in my interview, that you so graciously asked me to do. I checked out the LumberJocks site and saw that it was a mix of seasoned craftsman as well as beginners and all were treated equally and with respect towards each other. I found it was a great place to showcase what work a woodworker is proud of and a place to exchange ideas as well as experiences. I still believe this is true and will continue with the path you have chosen for LumberJocks.

I too would like to offer my many thanks for LumberJocks.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4154 days

#4 posted 01-11-2007 04:36 AM


I realize I am very new here and to this whole blog life. I must say I am very impressed and truely am greatful for your efforts and unshelfish shareing of your talents ,ideas and money. You go out of your way to make this make this a warm and unique experence. Some how just a thank you seems to fall short for all your hard work.

Thank you.


-- Dusty

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4175 days

#5 posted 01-11-2007 05:14 AM

Martin, I believe Google ads will generate some revenue. It’s slow at first because I understand you only get a commission on clicks. Until the readership of this site builds, you are not likely to realize much of a return.

I’ve often wondered if there was a way for site owners to capitalize on links placed by members posting commercial sites in testimonial. As a matter of fact, I tend to be a little reticent to post commercial links. Are you OK with that?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4325 days

#6 posted 01-11-2007 05:29 AM

I’m more inclined to provide links to the “little guy.” the one who doesn’t benefit from advertising, or world-wide name recognition. But that said. I’m all for anything that can keep this site self-maintaining if not profitable, without ruining everything that makes it so great for the community we’ve fostered.

I’m leery of some of the other sites just by their sheer size, and while we’ve grown considerably, the only thing thats really changed is the amount of traffic, fortunatly not the flavor of this place.

I’m grateful for this site you’ve built us Martin. You’ve filled a niche that didn’t exist, given voice and comraderie to a group that would have been hard pressed to find each other, let alone share and communicate, less than a year ago. I’m excitied to see what can become.

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

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4297 days

#7 posted 01-11-2007 05:58 AM

Martin, I’ve been having a great time on this site. I was a little bit shy about showing my projects at first, & trying to write a proper story for them. I think reading a lot of the blogs, & comments here has helped me a lot in expressing myself in writing. I think the rest of us have the same feelings. There’s a great camaraderie growing here.
You’ve also very helpful to everybody, & I think things are going to start to turn in your favor, & start rewarding you for all of your endeavors.
It looks like you’re going to be busier yet, the way the new sign ups are coming in.
I’m no business man, but I believe you’ll be doing the right thing to make this start paying off for you.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 4470 days

#8 posted 01-11-2007 08:55 AM

Thank you all for your kind words and for the encouragement as well. I know it will be hard to manage the site’s grow in the future. But I believe that with the proper communication we can handle it.

Don, I have no problem when anybody is posting commercial links if they are the part of helpful posts – as opposed to some unsolicited advertising.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4159 days

#9 posted 01-11-2007 12:57 PM

As a really,really, really beginner woodworker I, too, want to give a big thank you. After only a few days of being a member I can see the benefits of being a part of this sharing/caring supportive group.
Thank you again.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 4470 days

#10 posted 01-14-2007 11:27 AM

After re-reading all of your nice comments I see that the biggest challenge will be to manage the site’s own growth. I believe that by staying focused we can do it.

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