Woodworking blogs

After I finished building my treadle lathe (and blogging about it) I thought I would just post every now and again if something interesting turned up. But when I made the chess set, I found my posts nesting into series. This is great for focus, but I noticed that only a handful of blogs I read have this particular style. A lot of blog posts (especially non-woodworking ones) have a more stand-alone style which lets you dip in and out a little easier.

I welcome comments on what you think about the project-series style and if it is worth maintaining.

I guess my inner scientist has a lot to say about how I’m organising this blog. I like to follow a linear path:

  1. define the problem and review the literature
  2. describe methodology
  3. present results
  4. conclude with remarks about the experience and suggest direction for future work.

Throughout, I try to give credit to ideas that are not my own. I also like to revisit work to see where thing could have been done better

Scientific literature builds off the past and prevents the re-invention of the wheel (like this guy). But there is plenty of scope for someone who has studied the wheel finds a way to improve it (like this guy).

And just like with a scientific paper, I feel I should put effort into separating observations from interpretations. Internet sites (and 24-hour news channels, for that matter) do a particularly bad job at this. Opinions may be valid and interesting, but they should not to be mistaken for, or sold as, facts.

Maybe this blog will become a library of projects with enough information provided for anyone to repeat my ‘experiments’ or, better, improve on them.

—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-

Update 07/08/12: I have just been reading the breenbushdesign blog where every post has lots of links and a ‘more’ section, which is a reference / further reading list. I thought this was a great idea and worth mentioning in the context of blog organisation.


4 thoughts on “Woodworking blogs

  1. I agree with Chris, but I’d go even farther. If it’s interesting to you, it’s worth documenting. Besides, who says your blog needs to follow the the same model that other blogs use. If there is a rule book for this stuff, I’ve clearly never seen it…

    The beauty of blogging is that you can say what you want to say without being interrupted by someone who is not interested. Yet your words are saved to be read by others that might be.

  2. Thank you for the mention and the compliment. Although to be fair, I’m pretty sure I stole that idea of “More” at the end of each post from Popular Woodworking’s blogs, particularly Chris Schwarz. Their blog format has changed a little, but it used to be a common feature on each blog. As far as the links, it takes a little more time to assemble those, but I like doing it. I find myself reading some articles and blogs wishing I could click on more things.

    Regarding whether blog posts should be single events or serialized, as others have mentioned here, there are no rules in the blogosphere. If serialized posts work for you, go for it. I’ve run into this choice a few times. Do I document the building of something over three or four posts, or do just one post at the end when it’s built and highlight a few select parts of the build that I think might be interesting. The former takes a little more guts, because once you start you commit yourself to finishing (which can be a good form of motivation). If you make a big mistake then you can choose to document it or not, but if you don’t it may create a longer than expected lag between posts. If there is too much time between posts, some readers may fall off. The latter approach lets you build it and then decide if you think it’s worthy of the world to see. This approach makes you a assume a lot about the reader, though. What may seem pedestrian to you might be very interesting to many other woodworkers, and vice versa. If you wait untill the end and just show the finished piece and a couple of highlights, you run the risk of skipping steps along the build that might be of interest to a lot of your readers. But at least as bloggers we have these choices. The print industry is far more restrictive, and serialized articles almost never appear anymore (Adam Cherubini blogged about this a little while back).

    And I suppose ultimately you have to ask yourself who the blog is for – you or the reader? For me it’s a little of both. I’d be lying if I said that all my blog posts were things that I found personally compelling. Some of them were put forth because I thought they might be interest to others. And some were about things that I thought were cool, while fully realizing that everyone else would stop reading after the first sentence or two. But it’s my blog and I can do what I want. I’m certain this is what Al Gore had in my mind when he invented the internet.


    p.s. I’m glad I found your blog (or rather, you found mine), as a treadle lathe is on my (long) list of things to build for the shop. And documenting the build of it in a series of posts was absolutely the correct decision, in my opinion.

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