Meet Shannon Rogers, Our WIA ‘Embedded Social Media’ Reporter

This year as we swing into high gear for all things Woodworking in America (WIA), you’ll see a new name on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and more – Shannon Rogers has graciously agreed to be the Woodworking in America “Embedded Social Media Reporter.” On our new WIA Facebook page (you’ll find it at he’s the fellow posting as “Woodworking in America 2011.”

Shannon’s background makes him the ideal person for this job. He spent years in the IT field, then left to pursue a career in online media and Internet marketing. Why? Because he’d inherited a set of tools from his wife’s grandfather, and didn’t know how to use them. So he went online to look for information. But this was more than a decade ago, when online information was a lot harder to come by, so he launched The Renaissance Woodworker, a blog where he shares his woodworking discoveries, writes about tools, projects and more. And it got noticed – and got him a job as a project manager for a web marketing firm.

He combined his career and avocation when he became director of marketing for Gibson McIlvain lumber company, a 200-year-old lumber importer and wholesaler.

Last year, Shannon launched a new online woodworking project, The Hand Tool School, “a virtual woodworking apprenticeship.” The online school just completed its first 6-month semester of classes with 12 lessons, many practice exercises, and more than 14 hand-tool-built projects – more than 40 hours of video that’s available to student anywhere they’re connected to the Internet.

Shannon is also one of the co-hosts of the podcast Wood Talk Online (founded by Marc Spagnuolo and Matt Vanderlist) – and Wednesday evening, the three hosts are recording a podcast on which they’ll discuss Woodworking in America, with a look at the classes, and the “extra-curricular activities.” We’re not sure exactly when the podcast will be available – but look for it within the next few days at (and you’ll find links on Shannon’s blog (as well as other postings about the conference) at The Renaissance Woodworker.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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