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 facebook.com/wia2011) 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 woodtalkonline.com (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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