A Woodworker’s Forum 101
At one point, a writer will reach his most dreaded end. Don’t get the impression that someone’s going to die. It’s not someone but something-the source of his creative ideas. Like any writer, a woodworker may experience the same fate; but like any writer, he must device a way to resuscitate his arresting ingenuity to make his creative juices flowing again.
There are various ways to keep your well of ideas from drying. You can read home furniture books and the like. You can subscribe to woodworking magazines. You can also attend architectural woodwork exhibits and other related events. But one interesting way of getting great ideas is by joining a woodwork forum.
But first, you should know what exactly a forum is. What can you get from joining one? Basically, a forum is a public meeting place for open discussion of various topics. It is designed to bring people from across the industry who knows the most about a specific technology or topic and who can revolutionize an idea or give direction and solution to a particular issue. In your case, you should look for one that is specifically intended to your general interest and that is woodworking. Online, a forum is also known as a bulletin board or discussion area.
Forums are varied in nature. However, its primary objective is to make an available area where users or members can interact with their questions, answers and discussions on a certain topic. They are also intended as idea-generators that will help the users get a new energy focused on moving forward.
There are thousands and thousands of topical forums that abound online. Each usually addresses a topic and tries to keep the discussions on topic. However, this can often vary from one forum to another.
Here are other things that will enlighten you before joining a forum:
• There is a limit in attendance usually 75-85 people to allow opportunities for discussion.
• Some forums are by invitation only. You may have to apply and submit information about yourself and your experience related to your chosen forum. Your application will then be reviewed by the forum committee which will select the attendees based on who will contribute the most to the discussion.
• To encourage open discussion, confidentiality is kept. Usually, you are assigned or allowed to choose your on username or member ID before letting you post on the forum. Nothing is published from the forum except probably a brief summary with the consensus of all users.
• Since you will be dealing with a number of people, you should expect a lot of discussion and interaction. Making formal presentations is not necessarily and sometimes an informal statement of the issue is much appreciated. The discussion is normally started by group leaders and then breakout groups are often used to discuss the topics in a smaller group.
By now, you are already aware of what a forum is and what it requires. You have probably gone searching for the right woodwork forums that suit your interests. Perhaps, you have finally been accepted by one after the rigorous series of applications you have had. This only means that you are also ready to post with your questions, ideas, and the desire to opine, but on second thought not just yet.
To be sure that you are ready for postings, here are a few questions that you need to know before taking on that task in the forum.
• Slow down. Don’t start a thread in an impulse just yet. Ask yourself first if you have something worthwhile to contribute? If you have opinions, you better back it up with reason. If you have questions, it is helpful for other members who are willing to help you that you support your questions with enough details. And if you have opinions that you want to say, always remember to be tactful and respectful.
• Check whether your concerns have already been posted. The search button is very helpful on this. So, find the search button, type in some keywords and then click it. This will allow you to few the past threads posted a few days ago. Remember that it is better to post in an existing forum that to post a new one.
• Finally, ask yourself whether you are in the right forum? Read the general description of each forum before entering and posting your thoughts. You wouldn’t want to be an alien among a bunch of tailors when you are really interesting to be part of a woodwork forum right?