An Open Letter to the Tattoed Woodworker
Today Michael sent me a link that is not only disturbing, but needs to be shared.
Here it is;
Dear Tattoed Woodworker;
I confess that this is the first time I have seen your site. Your “final” post is heartfelt, sincere and it has not fallen on deaf ears. I am going to do my best to change your mind.
I first joked about the “Woodworking Taliban” about a year ago. Now I learn they have found a way to discourage you from sharing your woodworking experiences through their quotidian diatribes, mean spirited intent and stupidity.
As we approach our 26th year, we have been dealing with similar sentiment since year one…
Our first catalog that contained a prepaid business reply envelop arrived on doorsteps in 1984. When the first responses arrived, we received the following notes;
“Who the (insert f-bomb here) do you people think you are? We don’t need yuppie tools.”
And this little gem; “Thanks for the catalog, my friend has a pet shop and the pages from you (sic) catalog fit his bird cages perfectly.”
And then there were BRE’s that contained our entire catalog–this in hopes that we would be buried by insurmountable postage bills.
You are not alone.
Chris Schwarz reviewed a BCTW tool awhile back and had to filter the blog responses; “they were hateful and slanderous”. So what do we do? We don’t send advance review copies of our products to Chris any longer–neither one of us needs the aggravation. The next paragraph is more telling…
First, the Woodworking Taliban is more real than you think. Have you ever noticed threads where somebody has a tool that is so bad he must share it with the masses, instigating a chorus of boos, and as the thread wears on, a better solution (always for less money), a better product, a glowing review from a non-offending tool purveyor is posted by a woodorker? We in the industry call this the “payola posse”. These rabble grousers are PAID to sit around and plug away on forums. They exist here, Australia, England… Nice, tidy, informative and slimy.
Are woodworkers so stupid to believe this crap? Apparently so. But you don’t need to let them deter you.
I am asking that you reconsider your blog, and if I can help, I would be pleased to do so. I am going to begin with this post on my blog and few suggestions to help stem the tide of garbage on woodworking forums.
Don’t let the bastards win.
Bridge City Tool Works
Here’s my wish list;
1. Regarding forum and blog posts, make your posts worthy of others time. If it doesn’t contribute, don’t hit “send”.
2. If all you have to say is that you can’t afford something, you don’t need to share. Everybody votes with their pocket book.
3. Don’t sit back and be a passive observer. Address moronic posts until they go away. Ignoring them really is not an option. If you are a moderator, don’t approve them at all–every decision has an unintended consequence, and that goes for non-decisions too. Silence them at the source and the copycats will learn to copy something positive.
4. Take the time to write those sites who you feel the most kindred and ask them to add rules to the posting areas. “Contribute, Learn, Share” seems to me to be much more useful than “Bitch, Moan, Too Much Money”.
This is a start.
Consider lending a voice of encouragement to the Tattooed Woodworker and ask him to change his mind–the world is a better place if you do.
Now I can get back to work designing tools that nobody wants and entertain the thought of going out of business for 26 straight years.