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Forum topic by Rob posted 02-17-2014 08:46 PM 1476 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


02-17-2014 08:46 PM

Update: the site is now live and open to all woodworkers!

http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

Original post:


If you haven’t already, please sign up and vote to get the the Woodworking Stack Exchange proposal started.

If it gets enough of a following, it could become a great woodworking resource. If you aren’t familiar with the Stack Exchange format, it’s basically a Q&A site where the best and/or most thorough answers are voted to the top by community members. Related questions are cross-referenced and duplicates are merged or linked when they’re exact matches. The best part about the system is that you don’t have to read through pages and pages of forum posts to find your answer.

How to help get the site started: # Visit http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/61927/woodworking and sign up # There are lots of sample questions already posted. Review all the questions currently there and vote for your favorite questions which are best suited for a Q&A-style format. The so-called “best” types of questions are those involving issues that many people are likely to encounter, and for which it’s possible to write a concise yet thorough and authoritative answer (though it is possible to go into much more detail for those who are interested). # Post some of your own specific woodworking questions that you or your friends have had. # Check back on the site periodically. If the site makes it to the next phase, you will be able to “commit” to it and will be invited to participate in the closed beta when it advances to that stage!

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com


15 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7174 posts in 2042 days


#1 posted 02-17-2014 10:23 PM

All proposals must be submitted to

“I am The Greatest” first.

Please be respectful and ask:
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/97238

aka: NinjaAssassin

Thank you for your continued guidance o Great One!

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#2 posted 10-20-2014 05:14 PM

Update: the Woodworking Stack Exchange has just entered the commitment phase! If you’re interested in helping jump-start the site, commit now to be eligible for the beta when it launches.

If you’re not familiar with the Stack Exchange FAQ format, the basic premise is that the best answers get upvoted to the top by the community, and each person who asks a question gets to choose the “best” answer. Good questions also get upvoted. As your reputation increases on the site, you unlock new features such as the ability to post comments and edit tags, and eventually various moderator privileges.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#3 posted 03-10-2015 05:59 AM

The Woodworking Stack Exchange has now reached 100% commitment, which means it will launch soon in beta! I’m not sure if you can still commit at this point, but if you want to be one of the first to get to use the new site when it launches, give it a shot!

You know all those technical woodworking-related questions that get asked over and over and OVER again, and everyone keeps posting the same answers? That’s what StackExchange aims to solve. The best answers get voted to the top and duplicate questions are closed and cross-linked. Sometimes there is no single definitive best answer, such as in product purchasing recommendations. That’s when you come back to LumberJocks.

It’s amazing how well the system has worked for other topics, ranging from computer programming questions to sci-fi/fantasy worlds to DIY/home improvement. I’m hoping the beta goes great so the site can launch to the public.

See the original post in this thread for instructions on how to join.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#4 posted 03-30-2015 10:44 PM

Just wanted to post a brief update, the Woodworking Stack Exchange is officially open to the public as of today. Please check it out…and if you’re so inclined, ask or answer some questions!

http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2708 days


#5 posted 03-30-2015 11:14 PM

I prefer a site dedicated to woodworkers, by woodworkers; not by the general public. There are already enough woodworking site to go around. I don’t feel we need another.

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#6 posted 03-31-2015 01:14 AM


I prefer a site dedicated to woodworkers, by woodworkers; not by the general public. There are already enough woodworking site to go around. I don t feel we need another.

- MrRon

The idea of the site is that the questions and answers are written by woodworkers. 200 woodworkers had to commit to using and maintaining the site before it even launched. Members of the site are no less woodworkers than members of LumberJocks—though due to LumberJocks.com’s many years in operation, the woodworkers here currently have much more collective experience.

I certainly understand your point that there are already a lot of woodworking sites out there, but most of them fall into one of 3 categories: static reference, blog, or forum. All have their pros and cons.

StackExchange works similar to a forum, but it differentiates itself in a couple key ways: the maintenance is crowdsourced, and the best questions and answers are voted to the top. This means the majority of questions are properly categorized, cross-referenced, and edited for clarity.

Related or duplicate questions are linked to one another, so instead of having people ask the same questions over and over again and getting different answers depending on who’s online that day, you can often find a single definitive answer to your question even if you’re not quite sure what to search for. As you start typing out your question, the website automatically finds similar questions and offers them as suggestions.

How many times have you tried searching a forum for an answer, only to have to wade through pages upon pages of replies, with only a few really good answers sprinkled in a sea of side discussions and political debates? That’s why people just ask the same questions over and over again—even though many questions have definitive answers, it’s impossible to quickly find the best one or two answers just by cruising a normal forum thread. That’s the problem that Stack Exchange solves.

Forums and social media will continue to be the best online mediums for socializing with like-minded people, but when you just want a quick answer so you can get back out to the shop and make some sawdust, check out http://woodworking.stackexchange.com.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 857 days


#7 posted 03-31-2015 02:29 AM

As a software engineer, I think I have a unique perspective on what stack exchange is and how it is VERY different from this awesome site.

When you’re coding, your speed and value to the company you work for these days is directly proportional to how quickly you can find a good answer to something that has you stuck. There was a time, not very long ago, when that meant sifting through library code that somebody else should have written better, and banging your head against the monitor again and again.

When google happened, that whole thing got a lot better, software engineers started collaborating better. The whole thing took another quantum leap when stack exchange came along and helped us organize that collaboration to the point where about 90 percent of the time when you get stuck on something, the solution comes from about 5 minutes of stack exchange rather than an hour of googling…or a day or two of ripping your hair out.

Stack exchange for woodworkers is NOT about discussing anything. It does NOT replace the camaraderie and wisdom of a site like this one.

What it CAN do is give you a place to go to get an immediate answer to a very specific question like “what size bolt do I need to pick up at HD today to replace the one that fell out of the handle of my xyz drill press and got sucked up by my dust collector this morning. Or “I’m trying to put together this stupid sander I bought at HF this morning and I can’t tell if part 123 goes on top of 124 or underneath 124.”

It is definitely NOT for discussing the pros and cons of a particular type of joint or why pussy willow doesn’t taste good. ;)

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View benchbuilder's profile

benchbuilder

265 posts in 1915 days


#8 posted 03-31-2015 02:26 PM

Its a great idea, whats the difference if your a woodworker or just a guy needing advice or help on a project. With woodworkers on the site anyone can find an answer for their project or problem. That is the reason for the new site isnt it??

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#9 posted 03-31-2015 03:25 PM

Jeff, thanks for sharing that take on the site. The Woodworking Stack Exchange site really is more of a quick technical resource on woodworking rather than a place to share in camaraderie, ask for product recommendations, or discuss at length the virtues of one type of joinery over another when many different types of joints would be equally suitable.

MrRon, I think I realize your source of confusion now. I had mentioned before that the site is now “open to the public” but what I meant was that any woodworker (or really anyone interested in woodworking) is now free to join. For the past couple weeks, it was in “private” beta and you had to either receive an invitation or you had to be one of the first couple hundred people who had committed to using the site during the months leading up to the beta launch. But as benchbuilder said, it doesn’t matter if you’re a woodworker or just someone needing advice on a project. The new site is just a quick and easy way to find definitive answers to certain types of woodworking-related questions. I would like to think our hope is that anyone from the general public who gets started on basic projects would eventually catch the bug and delve deeper into woodworking.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2708 days


#10 posted 03-31-2015 05:26 PM

I think it depends a lot on a person’s level of experience. After reviewing some of the questions, I see the same questions asked on other websites. I prefer to read all responses to a question and judge for myself the right answer. As they say, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. I don’t need an “expert” to tell me the right way. My woodworking expertise goes back 60+ years, so any questions I may have are very few.There are many with thousands of “basic” questions such as “what blade to use to rip a board”, or “right tilt vs left tilt”. This question has been asked over and over with the same answer. I don’t have the time or patience to answer such basic questions. Basically, I would advise everyone to do the research; not depend on a forum to “give” you the answer. With the power of the internet, 99.9% of all questions can be found by doing a little research.People are just to lazy to look for themselves. They want someone else to give them the quick answer. I guess it’s a generation issue. My presence on these sites is to share my 80 years of wisdom and experience, not to research the answers for others.

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#11 posted 03-31-2015 06:39 PM

Ron, I guess it’s all in how you look at it. You answer plenty of questions here on LumberJocks and I’m probably missing something but I don’t see how that’s any different from answering questions on any other site. If you already know the answer to a question, you don’t need to do any research, regardless of whether you’re answering questions on a Stack Exchange site or on a more typical forum.

Maybe you don’t see much value in the woodworking.stackexchange.com right now because the questions aren’t interesting to you, but it is in its infancy and I would encourage you to check back after a while. I’ve used other Stack Exchange websites for the past 6 years and once the site has a good knowledge base of common questions and answers, the Stack Exchange system dramatically increases the efficiency of self-researching a question.

The system works so well that I often do my research for software development questions on Stack Overflow before checking Google, because Google usually sends me to Stack Overflow anyway.

Once the site has a good base of common questions, it also becomes more difficult to ask a question that hasn’t already been asked. Through the process of writing a good question that differentiates your current problem from the existing questions, you often do find your own answer—and if not, there’s usually someone with more experience who can share their own wisdom and experience, as you like to do.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1470 posts in 2103 days


#12 posted 03-31-2015 07:31 PM

I thought this was something like the plane, saw and mallet exchanges – but this time one in which woodworkers exchanged stacks of something (wood maybe).

-Paul

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#13 posted 03-31-2015 08:13 PM

Ha, Paul, that would be awesome! I’m not sure if I could afford the shipping though…

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1059 posts in 1454 days


#14 posted 03-31-2015 08:41 PM

Rob you way over complicated the password security. I almost said to hell with it – that’s just some silly assed requirements.

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#15 posted 03-31-2015 09:57 PM

OSU, sorry for the hassle, but I actually didn’t develop or set up the software for the site…I’m just one of the people who has been pushing to get it started. Did you create a new Stack Exchange password or did you link to a different account (google, yahoo, etc.) to log in?

In any case, thanks for putting up with the frustration and I hope you find the site helpful, or at least enjoyable.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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