Just a few words about all the woodworking magazines that are going belly up. I wanted to put them out as blog in hope of creating a wider discussion of this topic. I think it is important that we as woodworkers provide some feedback to the those trying to make a living providing woodworking information, so I hope some of them will be reading this.
These comments are my own thinking and attitude about the situation, but I’m sure others have a lot more to contribute to the discussion. it would be interesting to hear your views on the subject, so please don’t be afraid to join in.
When I first started in woodworking in 1996 with my newly purchased lathe I had only a woodworking book from England translated to Norwegian from 1973. However it was a darned good book and almost all of the techniques that are taught in the various woodworking magazines are encompassed in that book, even to this day. I learned basic turning from it and a lot of other stuff.
I eventually became aware of the American woodturners Association Magazine which I subscribed to where I learned a lot more, and finally a woodworking friend of mine introduced me to FWW mag. which was really an inspiration to get heavier into general woodworking. Again I learned a lot and even though they didn’t contain much more than my first woodworking book, the articles were a lot more inspiring and much better presented. I dropped my FWW subscription about 4 years ago, but I still have all the issues from 1996 up to 2010. I have read them so much that I can remember most of the articles and pretty much which issue they were in, so I still refer to them occasionally. I still subscribe to the FWW website.
It is sad that the magazines are failing and the ones who are still in the game are having to reinvent themselves by providing good net content. How we get our information is constantly changing. We began with clay tablets, moved to parchment and eventually to paper, then along came radio, tv, and now the internet. Who knows what’s next, but we do know that information is a lot like electricity, in that it flows the path of least resistance. Just think, even PC’s are pretty much outdated already! Personally I love the net because much of the content is coming from ordinary folks who though they may not be accomplished master woodworkers, they can still provide us with creative inspiration, and they often bring expertise from their day jobs to their woodworking to come up with fresh ideas that we can all benefit from. In addition to that, I can search for the things I’m interested in without paying for a lot of content that is not relevant for me.
Personally, I think it is a positive thing that purveyors of woodworking info have to work hard to produce information that we still find valuable and that we are willing to pay for. Same old, same old will no longer cut it. The only sad part I see is that some great people will be looking for new jobs, but this is what happens in almost every industry and we can’t change that.
Thanks for reading!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.