WoodBuzz #2: Features to include on Woodbuzz?

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Blog entry by pashley posted 04-20-2010 04:34 PM 4342 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Still thinking about my own website... Part 2 of WoodBuzz series Part 3: WoodBuzz is now open on Ning! »

So, what features to include on Woodbuzz – my possibly upcoming woodworking website that is focused on reference, news, and other stuff? Here’s some ideas; I’d like yours.

• Plans. A picture of the piece, a brief description, indicate whether it’s free or paid, and a link to the site.

• Sketchup Plans. Your plans that you’d like to share with the community for free.

• Woodworking software. Planning software, like Sketchup, and related plugins; layout software; cost estimation software, etc.

• Style guides. What is “mission style”, and what shapes or materials do you usually see in it? What are Krenovian influences?

• Marketing help. Articles on how to market yourself, both on the web and at craft shows or showrooms; setting prices; ideas for things that sell, etc.

• Encylopedia. An alphabetically ordered description of terms – scarf joint, rabbet, Sam Maloof, and so on.

• Multimedia. Helpful videos or podcasts that entertain or teach.

• News. New woodworking products or recalls; news of woodworking schools, trade shows.

and of course, a forum.

Again, I think you can see the distinction from LJs. LJs is a community driven site, whereas mine would be content driven.

Are there any other features you’d like to see?

-- Have a blessed day!

6 comments so far

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3161 days

#1 posted 04-20-2010 06:12 PM

I think it would be neat to collect content – techniques/jigs/projects – based on a combination of skill level and available equipment.

Popular Woodworking has an “I can do that” series that requires a very small set of tools and is great for someone just getting started (although I suspect the info they provide on sharpening is not really enough for someone to end up with a block plane iron that is sharp enough to work well).

But what about someone that has a few pieces of equipment – including a portable or contractor table saw, and a router with a very basic table – but hasn’t stepped up to planer/jointer or bandsaw? “Woodworking for mere mortals” website done by Stevinmarin seems geared for those that have moved up to a bit more equipment, and I’m looking forward to see how his site develops. Still, I think there is room in this space for more content providers.

Then, of course, there is the shop that includes a planer/jointer, or another that has a significant investment in hand tools. How does one go from a tool collector to someone that can use these beasts with some level of skill?

-- Greg D.

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3593 days

#2 posted 04-20-2010 06:21 PM

The first step in creating a website is deciding what you want to do and who you want to serve, and it appears you haven’t clearly though that out yet. The next step is deciding your focus (based on the outcome of the first), and the laundry list above shows you haven’t clearly thought that out either.

FWW, who you previously compared your goals to, can provide such a broad range of content because they have a large paid staff and access to decades of content – you have neither. Just to produce the encyclopedia you discuss above is the work of months for the individual. (You’re going to need hundreds of photographs and pieces of artwork alone, not to mention tens of thousands of words of text.)

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3742 days

#3 posted 04-20-2010 07:48 PM

Thanks for the encouragement, Derek. :(

I’ve outlined what I want to do – provide reference/news/entertainment/etc for woodworkers which is currently unmet, in my opinion. The content is manifold, because woodworking is more than just plans our showing off projects.

And no, it won’t take me months of work to cobble this together; weeks, yes. It will be an ongoing project, of course, but I would hope to have a good measure of content up before “opening the doors”.

-- Have a blessed day!

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3593 days

#4 posted 04-21-2010 12:33 AM

You didn’t ask for encouragement, you asked for opinions. I don’t mean to discourage you, merely to present the facts.

I agree, you’ve outlined what you want to do and provided a laundry list of options – but you haven’t defined who you want to serve (‘woodworkers’ are a vast group), what their needs are, and how you intend to serve those needs.

And yes, unless it’s a full time job, you’re facing the work of months to assemble the content. As I pointed out, just the encyclopedia will require hundreds of articles and illustrations. A ‘style guide’ will require considerable research to determine what the experts in the field consider to be hallmarks are the style. (And where are you going to obtain legal illustrations for these?)

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3899 days

#5 posted 04-21-2010 02:00 AM

I agree with Derek. But my main concern is where this content is coming from.

Are you planning on writing it all yourself or are you just going to collect it from Lumberjocks, Fine Woodworking and other reputable publications where other people have done all the actual work?

Maybe its just me but what you are doing here is kind of like walking into a pizza restaurant and asking all of the customers what toppings you should serve at your own pizza restaurant across the street. If I was the manager i would be throwing you out the door.

Is it safe to assume you will be advertising your competing website (for free) in a Lumberjocks forum next?

-- Happy woodworking!

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3742 days

#6 posted 04-21-2010 03:39 AM

It’s not a competing website – it’s more like a companion site, if anything. Do you have features on LJ for plans, software or marketing help? Yes, you may have some blog postings or forum posting here and there, but certainly, no centralized info – that’s what I’m shooting for.

Again, this is a content driven site, whereas LJs is a community driven site. There is a big difference.

Where would I get the material? Well, the plans would simply be a reference – here’s what this guy is selling, and here’s his link to his site. As far as style guides, I would study other people’s interpretations of a style, and write articles about them.

What’s with all the pushback?

-- Have a blessed day!

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