Woodworking can be a solitary and isolating pursuit, and one of the big changes the Internet has brought us is the ability to form connections with other woodworkers from across the country and around the world. One way to do this is through online forums such as WoodCentral, SawMill Creek or WoodNet. You can ask questions about tools or techniques, show off your work or gloat about a fantastic deal you got. As with anything else, online forums grow and change and there have been some recent changes you should know about.
LumberJocks was started about five years ago by Martin Sojka, and it has grown to include more than 20,000 users. Growth in a community is generally a good thing, but it brings along administrative chores and time-consuming maintenance. A few days ago, Martin announced that LumberJocks, along with two other community sites he owns, had joined Escalate Media. Martin will be staying with the site, and the move will allow him to focus on the creative side. You can read his announcement of the changes here.
There is also a new forum called the Burl, that’s worth a visit, started by a woodworking neighbor of ours, Michael Flaim. Frustrated by software changes that made another forum slow and difficult to use, Michael started the Burl using a more user-friendly platform, looking to continue the sense of community that had developed from the other site. It took a while to get rolling but this new forum has grown in the last few months, and many familiar folks from the other forum are appearing.
It’s an interesting group, with a lot of experienced and talented woodworkers contributing. Forums take on a life and personality of their own, and we wish the Burl well. It’s become a regular stop for me as I surf the net when I probably should be working. If you’re looking for a place to discuss all things woodworking, it’s worth a visit.
Visit the Burl at: http://www.theburlforum.com
If you have a favorite forum, or an opinion about online communities, you can use the comment button below to let us know what you think.