Author Topic: Why so few posts on the forum?  (Read 615 times)

Ken Johnson

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Why so few posts on the forum?
« on: November 25, 2019, 02:49:42 PM »
I was wondering why we have so few posts to the forum.  Some years back it was common to see 1-2 posts in a given day.   We have catagories that have not had a post in 4 - 5 years.  Chapters with no posts in 3-4 years.

So what can be done.  I am suggesting a poll to get some idea of why people are not posting.
Other suggestions would be welcome.


Ken Johnson

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Why so few posts on the forum?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 04:18:49 PM »
I agree with Ken. This is what I think is happening. When I join SAPFM in the 1990's there were many interested members. But most were getting elder (50's and 60's I think, like me). Now many of them are either gone or simply do not have the interest they did 20+ years ago. Also, Colonial Williamsburg had 2 conferences in January in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Now there is only one conference.

Woodworking is also dying and so is people's interest in 18th century furniture. The younger generation is not interested in 18th c. furniture. I see them is the stores and they are more interested in their phones (they are married to their phones).

I don't know what the answer is if there even is an answer to this problem. I just think SAPFM members are not making as much furniture as they did in the 1990's and 2000's.

After 33 years we (my wife and I) retired our 18th c. furniture making business 5 years ago. I still make the furniture but now just for us.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd. (retired)

Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.


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Re: Why so few posts on the forum?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 07:49:45 PM »
I'm led to believe the majority of our members are of the demographic that has little use for social media, including these forum pages.  The lack of activity seems to prove that or perhaps they have other forums they're more interested in.


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Re: Why so few posts on the forum?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 09:55:58 PM »

Agree 100% about the "iPhone generation".  I'm trying to do something.....
Part of my mission with the Maine Coast Workshops ( is to introduce young folks to early American hand skills.  That's primarily what we'll be teaching.  I'm planning programs to generate interest and create incentives to attract high school and college age students.  I'm planning apprenticeships for the more promising kids who show motivation and interest.  But my main goal is to just introduce kids to the joys and satisfaction of making things with their own hands, as well as to gain an appreciation for our forebears and their amazing skills.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 09:58:47 PM by bbrown »
William Brown

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David Conley

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Re: Why so few posts on the forum?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2019, 03:06:18 AM »
I used to post quite often.  But lately, life, family and work has kept me very busy.  I have not had much piddling time to make furniture.
Being a novice, I used to run into woodworking problems all the time.  I would spend a lot of time just solving problems.  Sometime, just to make sure I had the right solution, I would pose the problem to the forum just to see what others thought about it, or what they would do to solve it.   Most of the time, someone on forum would have a way better solution, and that made me glad I had asked the question. 
We used to have more of these types of conversations.  People would post their questions, and that would start conversations.   Also, we used to list woodworking events, new books or supplies, news about people, news about suppliers, and we had several running dialog like “Dog on it”.
I think some people may be afraid to ask their basic questions for fear of embarrassing themselves.  I am not.  I am ignorant, not stupid.  But, I have run into people who think they are not worthy enough to be in SAPFM.  I then explain that that is exactly why I am in SAPFM.  I want to learn, and the best place to do that is to find the most knowledgeable people you can and then learn from them.
So to get the conversations going again, people just need to start posting.  If you are a novice like me, go ahead and ask your questions.  You will be very glad you did!  For the pros, post a special homemade jig, pictures of your latest project, a finishing experiment, repair work, a new tool, an old tool, something that went wrong, or an interesting solution. 
If you enjoy reading these posts and want to revive this form, then I request that you start a new forum topic within the next month.  And after that, make it a habit to post.  But we all have to start doing it, if we want to revive this forum.   
I just started a new thread about a mystery tool that I got in a bundle of chisels from Ebay about 10 years ago.  I could not figure it out until I needed it.  Then, it was the perfect tool!  See this thread in the Hand Tool section.
Cheers all,
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 04:57:47 PM by David Conley »

Mark Maleski

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Re: Why so few posts on the forum?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2019, 12:31:35 PM »
The online world has moved away from forums (and even blogs) and toward social media - Instagram and Twitter.   Forum participation everywhere is down.  Still, other forums have kept things going with a dedicated core of participants, perhaps we can do the same here?  I'm doing what I can to draw folks here from our chapter -- I came here today to grab a link to a topic that I'm emailing to participants of our latest chapter meeting.


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Re: Why so few posts on the forum?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 08:23:30 PM »
About 3-1/2 years ago I had one of those "life gets in the way" events that limited my time with my hobby, both in the shop and on the forums. But I'm back in the shop now - weather permitting.

Something I would like to see is a reconnection with the Cabinetmaker Shop in Colonial Williamsburg. They used to maintain a blog and post their projects here. That might generate some interest and conversation.
I was just in CW a couple of weeks ago and during one of several visits to the Hay's shop I asked them why we never hear from them anymore. I thought they were going to tell me how busy they are and just didn't have the time. To my surprise they all said they would like very much to be blogging and conversing with the members at SAPFM, but their wishes weren't being supported by CW. But they are working on changing that. They suggested that the members here, write to CW and express our desire for a connection to the Cabinetmaker Shop and I would include the Joiners Shop. Good stuff going on there too.
The only problem is that they couldn't tell me how to contact CW with suggestions. Hoping someone reading this might know how.

If all else fails, play dead.  -Red Green


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Re: Why so few posts on the forum?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2019, 11:56:39 AM »
After woodworking for more than 4 decades, being active in 3 wood working clubs, I have noticed a trend. The trend may just be regional to my area, Upstate New York,  As the clubs have aged, people have died off with very few younger members coming in. The youth of today don't care about wood working,  have the time or funds needed for wood working. They are more consumed with drugs, ETOH, vaping, etc.

This guy lives/works out of his mini-van and posted a video 6 days ago and since posting it has almost 1/2 million views with numerous responses. Blade-smithing and black smithing have more views on You Tube than woodworking.
As of the writing of this, 213 people have viewed the post but only a handful of people have responded. We are in an ever changing society with more things competing for the most limited resource - time.