Guidelines for new project postings

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Forum topic by jsheaney posted 04-08-2011 06:46 AM 2156 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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141 posts in 3984 days

04-08-2011 06:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: project suggestion new posting post help guideline guidelines rule rules

There was a recent thread regarding posting new projects. The result of the discussion was somewhat of a consensus that there should be some guidelines for posting new projects on the initial screen when one selects an option to create a new project. The purpose of this topic is to come up with ideas for what these guidelines might be.

Note that the project screen currently only has one rule and no guidelines. Since the rule comes from the management, I am not going to suggest eliminating it or adding new rules. However, I do think the rule could be reworded to make it seem somewhat less harsh. What follows is my first attempt at replacement text. Please comment on wording changes, additional guidelines or voting against any particular ones.


The following are rules and guidelines for posting new projects. Rules may not be violated and will result in the removal of the project. Guidelines are suggestions that will improve the quality of your project posting and make it more useful to your fellow LumberJocks.

Rule 1: The project must be complete and made of wood. Otherwise, please post it as a forum topic or a blog.

Guideline 1: If you have a set of similar projects (e.g. a collection of cutting boards) and plan on posting one picture of each, collect them together into one project.

Guideline 2: More pictures is better than less. You can post up to six pictures in one project.

Guideline 3: If you have a number of separate projects ready to post (maybe because you are posting for the first time), consider posting them over a period of time. Limiting yourself to one project an hour or two projects a day will prevent the home page from being flooded with your projects. This is more fair to others posting projects and is more enjoyable for the other LumberJocks.

Guideline 4: Take the time to write a good description of your project. The other members are probably going to respond with questions if you don’t. LumberJocks typically want to know about the kinds of wood, joinery details and the type of finish. Interesting details about the tools used or jigs created are also appreciated.

Guideline 5: Take the time to look at other projects and take note of what makes a project posting better.

Thank you! We appreciate your time and effort!

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

21 replies so far

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 2629 days

#1 posted 04-08-2011 07:20 AM

Sounds very good to me. The only thing I would say is what others echoed on the old post. Guideline 3 should not be necessary or altered if there were an option to add projects without them being listed on the projects page. If the addition of a “post only to my projects file” isn’t something do-able for the website, then I say leave it. I don’t really think it bothers that many people to see one persons projects clumped together.

Just my humble opinion.


-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3037 days

#2 posted 04-08-2011 07:36 AM

Sounds good to me. I do have to say that even with the complaints on how the projects are being posted, this site is 100 times better than all the other sites I used to meander through. With somewhere around 60 new projects a day and most from different people I don’t see how anybody’s project is going to be on the front page very long. Even the person that post 5 projects at a time there is 5 more people right behind them posting. I just hope that if I post a project that two years down the line I might just help someone. Not that my projects are spectacular by any means but it might spark an idea in there head.

What really helps is that when you post a project that you state what that project is in the thread’s title and that you tag it properly. So that when other are searching for a specific type of project they get a better search result. How many you post in a day is irrelevant if you don’t tag it properly and give it an appropriate title. I am not saying anyone isn’t but I feel it is more important then how many one posts in a day.

Anyways, I think you have some good guidelines there.

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3751 days

#3 posted 04-08-2011 03:14 PM

Playing devil’s advocate here- the situation persists with the very plainly stated short rule. How many posters are going to read thru the expanded version? Probably as many as read the software license agreement when installing a new computer program.

Do you think a link to here -and plainly marked- on each of the “New” entry pages (Blogs, Projects, Reviews, Forums) would make any difference. Although, I think I answered my own question with the above statement.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View ClayandNancy's profile


519 posts in 3011 days

#4 posted 04-08-2011 03:39 PM

Is there any thought as to LJ’s posting and re-posting the same project under a different title. I’ve seen a couple of posts that are basically the same, pics might be of a different angle but there’s nothing new.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3070 days

#5 posted 04-08-2011 03:40 PM

I always want to encourage people to post projects and I try to look at each project that is posted. However, it is almost getting to be too much.

I would suggest that management actually enforce a rule that says no more than 1 project per day. It seems like there could be an edit that checks to see if the LJ has posted a project in the last 24 hours. If so, the LJ should receive a message telling him/her that they cannot post a project until 24 hours has passed since the last posting.

My suggested numbers (i.e. 1 project every 24 hours) could be changed but I like the principle.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2689 days

#6 posted 04-08-2011 03:50 PM

Perhaps my method of viewing projects is different than most and so that’s why meta-moderation posts like this get under my skin. If you’re concerned about seeing every project, consider using Pulse or an RSS reader. Google Reader works fantastically to go through all the projects since the last time you checked.

Honestly, I love it when newbs serial-post 5 projects. The only people who don’t like this are those who feel the limelight has shifted off them too fast. Posting several projects was the first thing I wanted to do when I joined (since I had completed several in the time LJ registrations were closed), but after realizing it was a noob thing to do, I didn’t.

Dictating to people the quality needed for their writing or photos is a bit silly, especially by someone with 119 contribs (most, lately, which have been on this topic). Let the newbs be newbs and learn. That’s how most of us started in woodworking and in this forum.

Anyways.. sorry for the counterpoint. Just didn’t want it to get too snooty in here.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View HorizontalMike's profile


7755 posts in 2910 days

#7 posted 04-08-2011 04:13 PM

IMO, no amount of guidelines are going to help the Projects page. It is fast approaching critical mass and will become increasingly unusable in its present state. Once site administration acknowledges this then change will occur. Experience thus far leads me to believe that this change will likely occur later rather than sooner, but that is just my opinion. I surely hope that I am wrong about this…

I even PM’d Martin with the following:
Obviously, this posting issue brought up the hot topic of “Galleries.” Has any thought gone into allowing/creating a gallery or galleries in say the BLOGS or PROFILE areas of LJs?

FWIW, I really think some of the problem lies in:
1.) The lack of exposure (graphically) in BLOGS clips/summaries. Can’t scan images for interest until you actually click on a particular blog.

2. The inability to control ones own “Gallery” in their Profile. There is much more to be proud of in each person’s LJs experience than JUST an approved WOODEN PROJECT. The old parable “A picture is worth a thousand words” is very relevant.

Thanks for at least listening to my concerns.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 3984 days

#8 posted 04-08-2011 04:26 PM

I would appreciate it if this thread didn’t become another discussion about the merit of enforcing this, that or the other thing. That is a separate thread. This thread is intended to be about what guidelines produce better content in projects. There are no new rules here and nothing is intended to be enforced. It is just a set of helpful hints for people who have not posted before and who actually want some guidance. There is no need for this to be controversial. If you want to suggest actual rules or site changes, please create another topic.


Note that I specifically didn’t add anything about tags in this list because the choice of tags comes later in the process. This set of guidelines would be presented before you ever get to the project editing screen. Information about tags already exists there.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4214 days

#9 posted 04-08-2011 05:35 PM

I like your guidelines a lot. As you said, they would merely be suggestions, not rules to be enforced. As Lew pointed out, not everyone will read them. But surely some will, and it will at least be food for thought.

As Mike alluded to, there is just an enormous amount of content being posted to the site these days. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any way to make it like the “old days”, when one could keep up with all of it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3562 days

#10 posted 04-08-2011 08:01 PM

I started to respond to this this morning (Europe time), but thought better of it. Since then I’ve given this some thought…

The result of the discussion was somewhat of a consensus that there should be some guidelines for posting new projects on the initial screen when one selects an option to create a new project

I read the entire thread referenced, twice, and I’m not sure I agree that that was the consensus, but I don’t have a problem with having guidelines – personally I don’t think they’ll make much difference, but they probably (see below) won’t hurt.

What I’m confused about is what problem these guidelines are intended to solve?
If the problem is the “slew of projects from a single person” problem (that’s catchy), I don’t think a guideline will fix it – either the LJ community doesn’t like it, in which case it should be a rule, or it isn’t really that much of a problem so we don’t need a guideline.

Whilst I agree with the intent of guideline 4 (write a good description), it troubles me for 2 reasons…
1) People are going to write or they aren’t – I don’t think a guideline is going to make someone write stuff when they wouldn’t have done before
2) We have quite a few people whose first language isn’t American – I think there’s a danger they’ll find it intimidating to be told (or guided) to “Take the time to write a good description of your project”. I’d rather see the project with no commentary than to (probably not) find out that the project didn’t get posted because the creator didn’t feel confident enough to write a foreign language description.

I think guideline 3 is condescending to say the least – the posting page says “Add up to six pictures of this project” – I think that’s suggestion enough.

On the constructive side, the thing that I miss most in descriptions is the dimensions, so perhaps that could be mentioned in guideline 4.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View hairy's profile


2701 posts in 3528 days

#11 posted 04-08-2011 08:13 PM

-- My reality check bounced...

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 3984 days

#12 posted 04-08-2011 08:52 PM

KnickKnack, maybe consensus wasn’t the best word. How about the conclusion was that guidelines can help without making things worse. Regardless, I would prefer that debate to happen elsewhere.

The purpose of guideline 4 is to get posters to think about what to add to the description. Seeing a checklist of options is handy. Case in point, I forgot about dimensions. That is exactly the purpose of this exercise.

It sounds like you think the start of #4 raises the bar too high. Can you suggest a better phrasing?

I don’t understand the characterization of #3 as condescending. I think the fact that there is a limit (necessarily) on the number of pictures, implies to some that less is better. I want posters to feel comfortable with the idea of posting several pictures. I welcome any rewording that keeps that central point without sounding condescending.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

View Rick's profile


9593 posts in 3028 days

#13 posted 04-09-2011 12:00 AM

My main concerns are:

1- If Anyone Posts in Projects there SHOULD BE a reasonably informative Dialogue that goes along with it. i.e. Type of wood, sizes, finish used, any Special details of the Project explained, complex joinery, etc. As expressed many times, it would prevent Numerous Projects by the Same person being Posted one right after the other that usually contain Little or No information. How does anyone “Learn” from that?

Because of this Very Good Topic, Thanks “js”. I’ve gone through a LOT of Projects the last few days. The Majority of “One Picture Postings. No Details” get very few if ANY comments. Following a bunch of “Same Poster, All in a Row” showed that out of six in a Row, 4 of them had “0” Comments and the other 2 had 1 and 3 Comments.

Looking at a Picture ONLY, is one thing. Learning from the Details Posted with it, is another. I believe it’s “The way to go.” and most of us “Learn” from that Information. Isn’t that one of the Main Purposes of this Site generally?

I also understand that this will probably NOT prevent the Speed at whigh the Front Page or Projects in general will move along. It’s just the shear number of Members and Subsequent Postings that cause that.

2- Pictures posted with the Project. Sometimes One Picture only. Sometimes up to Six. BUT! If the Pictures are Poor Quality, Chopped Off, Even Sideways, what does this say about the Posters Pride in his Posting or even His/Her Project? This type of situation has become MORE Prevelant over the last six months or so. Is it really all that difficult to Learn how to Set Up the Pictures Properly before Posting them?

Bottom Line: YES! I believe some Guidlines are Required to Advise or Help LJ’ers to Post in a more efficient manor. However I would prefer to see them as Simple as possibble and not Overwhelming.

Then we have that Sticky Point...If “Some” aren’t paying attention to the Directions already Posted (Yes. They are NOT all that clear or “Good”), will they make the Effort to read the new Ones and follow the Directions?

Thank You: Rick

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 3984 days

#14 posted 04-09-2011 06:42 AM

Rick, my inclination is the same as yours. I think the idea is that we want to promote the educational aspect of projects by providing helpful suggestions along those lines. But we also need to recognize that not everyone is interested in using this site the same way. As others have indicated, some people just want to have a place to post project into their gallery so they can point family and friends to it. It would be nice to have a feature that would allow one to add a project to a gallery without having to post it to the home page.

Personally, I think if we can induce more people to add multiple pictures and interesting descriptions, it will automatically govern the speed at which a single person can generate project posts. After all, it takes time to generate content and upload pictures.

With respect to your second point, I have to confess that I have a sideways picture in one of my projects. I rotated the picture on my computer, but for some reason it got rotated back when I uploaded it. I’m not really sure why that happened and I haven’t taken the time to figure it out. It makes me wonder if we shouldn’t also have tips, in addition to guidelines. For example, I find that I simply cannot upload more than a couple of images when I am creating a new post. My workaround is to create a project with just one or two pictures. Then I immediately edit it, add another picture and repost. I do this for as many pictures as I have and I do it as quickly as I can. I wonder if others have the same problem and that is why they only post one or two pictures.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3562 days

#15 posted 04-09-2011 08:43 AM

How about something along the lines of…

Guideline 4:
You can, of course, allow your work to speak for itself.
But you’re likely to get better feedback, and be contributing more to the community, if you add a description. Consider posting information about…
  • wood species used
  • joinery techniques
  • what finish you used, and why
  • project dimensions
  • any special challenges you met along the way, and how you overcame them
  • any special jigs you used

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

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