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Where Are They Now, Fall 2020


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4 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

one of the best no-bullshit forums I've ever experienced.

 

That's by design.  When Don started this thing in 2003, it was almost entirely pros talking shop with each other.  It was kind of intimidating for noobs because these were the names that were regularly appearing in Blade magazine.  Lots of ABS mastersmiths.  But, everyone was (mostly) fair and polite to one another, and to those of us noobs who dared to respectfully ask for help or critique.  As the years went by and more beginners found the forum, Don created the "Beginner's Place" subforum just for them so that the experienced smiths wouldn't be bothered with the repetitive questions if they didn't feel like looking at them.  Then something interesting happened:  Some of those noobs from 2003-2005 gained enough skill from the folks here and through hammer-ins that we started answering questions ourselves.  By the time Don retired in 2010, the forum had become more of an "Experienced amateurs and a few professionals talking about cool stuff and helping each other" thing.  Sometime between then and now, most of the pros and more than a few of the serious semi-pros dropped out, and more and more beginners found us, mostly because, as Dave pointed out, nine times out of ten if you google a bladesmithing question you're gonna get us as the first few links returned.  

 

Don founded this place based on no nonsense, truth, no (or very few) secrets, and respect for all as equals.  When Dave and the rest of the board selected by Don to take over had our first meeting to discuss things, we agreed that was what made this place special and thus we would strive to keep it that way.  It's a place you can ask any reasonable (and a few unreasonable!) questions about the craft and get a straight answer with no condescension or bullying.   

 

You guys make it an easy thing to moderate the place.  Don's rules about using real names for accounts is one of the bigger parts of that, you wouldn't believe how many people get turned away because they don't read that before they try to register.  In the entire history of the forum, only five people have been banned.  Don did one and I did the rest.  In all cases it was due to someone not showing respect.  Bullying in all but one case, the other was relentless misinformation.  

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I remember when I joined here, I DID NOT read the rule about using ones real name ( as an IT geek, that is a hard and fast NO WAY rule for me ) and I emailed Alan explaining the situation. 

I dont recall exactly the delay, but Alan replied to me same day and we worked it out to where I would have my account. No muss no fuss. And I had been on a couple forums already as I was just getting into things. 

Nowdays, the only time I ever hit up the other forums is to look into other things that are not entirely bladesmith related ( like general blacksmithing stuff ) which I rarely do to begin with. I got into this to line my walls with swords and other weapons I cant afford to buy. And to learn something I had wanted to learn since I was a small child. And the Community here on this page has been one of the best things for me to move foward, I just hope one day I can pay the debt back by helping other newbs out as well. 

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  • 1 month later...

I think this is the best forum, I've ever seen. By the way, guys, I want to tell you my story, I recently started making money on reselling on the Amazon. And I have money very well from this, but I don't spend a lot of time on it. In general, my main job is an engineer. In principle, I had enough money from this job, well, as they say, there is never a lot of money. Therefore, I decided to google where you can find side earnings, which will not take much time and came across this site side hustle ideas . Now I want to open my own business, because I have saved up money :)

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I came here after being insulted by the elitist attitudes on IFI that developed after I joined.

The respect and courtesy given to all here is the key for it's popularity.

May that, and the free flow of knowledge never end here...........................B)

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On 11/21/2020 at 2:13 PM, Clifford Brewer said:

I came here after being insulted by the elitist attitudes on IFI that developed after I joined.

The respect and courtesy given to all here is the key for it's popularity.

May that, and the free flow of knowledge never end here...........................B)

 

Amen.

 

I was regular on IFI from the KeenJunk days and finally had my fill.

 

I'd like to know how many folks I have referred to this site over the years. KInda like a family here... Addams family, maybe, but still family.

 

bladesmithsforum.com... the one Facebook couldn't kill.

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As time goes by things change!

however this place still has a large place in my heart and was part of an awakening I will always be gratefull for.

It still stands as a rare example of how one should behave and interact on the internet ...with passion , understanding and a leash on the ego.

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I've been on here for 13 years it seems :blink: Time flies :) I got to the point where I was just about to start making the stuff that I was working towards for many years, and then I became a father and that put a stop to it. I still have the desire to get back to it, but it's just not possible at this time, and probably won't be on a sufficient scale for years to come. And and at the moment it also doesn't help that I still have a house extension that needs to be finished. I guess that's just life as it happens for many. 

 

And yes, my attention is now shared between forums like this one and social media. However, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It's easy, as you have everything together. But I hate it for all the reasons that are becoming more apparent, and that hate is growing. So, I'm now spending more and more time on forums compared to social media. Forums are just way more suited for this kind of purpose, not just functionally, but also in maintaining a nice and friendly environment. And that's something that I've been missing lately.

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I've been on a lot of forums over the years as I have a lot of hands-on hobbies.  It's actually unusual for me to stay as passionate about a hobby as long as I have with this one, so I understand why people move on.  People who do this for a living generally don't have time to "Play" on a forum, so I can see why those people move on as well.

 

The social media shift has bothered me for years.  FB and Insta are neat and a better place for revenue, but do not replace a forum like this in my opinion.  For me forums are a place to:

 

1. Learn quickly because of a massive amount of knowledge that has been shared and archived over years that is indexable and searchable

2. Contribute to that archive of knowledge so that others will have an easier path than I did

3. Have some comradery with people who have the same obscure interests that I do

 

Social media does a terrible job at the first two of these.  How in the heck is somebody supposed to learn the specifics of rebuilding a 1972 Triumph Spitfire brake master cylinder if the post isn't stored in a searchable format?  FB is a terrible way to archive knowledge on the effect of incubation temperature on male/female ratio for your tortoise eggs.  I rebuilt a 1929 Bandsaw almost 20 years ago on a forum, and still get the occasional email from someone on the same journey asking me questions.  That doesn't happen from an old FB post.

 

The social media platforms do a decent job of my 3rd bullet.  However, I find the comradery a bit hollow.  I can throw any piece of junk up on FB, and my friends will all "ooh and ahh" because they think I am cool just like my Mom does.  However, if I can get you guys to have the same reaction, it means something to me.

 

At any rate, I am quite thankful for this place and all of you.  I'll never be a wealthy man, so all I can contribute is my time and energy.  It is my sincerest hope that some of my ramblings and goofy projects will be valuable to someone else down the line.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

However, I find the comradery a bit hollow.  I can throw any piece of junk up on FB, and my friends will all "ooh and ahh" because they think I am cool just like my Mom does

I agree 100% (which is why I don't go through the effort of posting there.) 

I've wondered if this phenomenon is the cause or the effect of our society that overuses (IMO) superlatives.  Everything new, it seems, is "The best!!!"...or "Awesome!!!"...or.... We need to get back to a place where a critique isn't criticism.

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  • 1 month later...

For me it was an attention thing. I'm not actually super social. Even social media takes a certain toll. I was a late adopter to the Facebook move, but it was clear one had to go there at the time for marketing. Sadly, it's a thing one must do when one is really bad at getting to regular old j-o-b's on time. LOL. I actually deleted my first Facebook account, and then realized I had to suck it up and join the fray. It's become an increasingly toxic environment on more than one front and for more than one reason. No need to go into that here and now, but it's intrinsic to the site, and it always has been, albeit ever increasing along with much media. But I remember being quite shocked to see the vitriol I saw in some people who had been otherwise quite pleasant here even ten years ago. Over the past year I've deleted two personal FB accounts because the atmosphere was so toxic, and I'm trying to move away from Facebook as much as I can professionally. I've tried to spend more time here but then I get exhausted by all my other social media obligations.

 

So. Of course I've recently made the decision to produce more media content in order to focus on stories, song, and objects from said stories and songs. LOL.

 

But the forum is prominently linked on my upcoming revamped website and I'll make a point of being here more often.

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7 hours ago, J.Arthur Loose said:

Over the past year I've deleted two personal FB accounts because the atmosphere was so toxic, and I'm trying to move away from Facebook as much as I can professionally. I've tried to spend more time here but then I get exhausted by all my other social media obligations.

 

I force myself to take a 2-week break from online activities around Christmas every year.  I see it the same way I see the occasional "Dry Week" break from Scotch.  

 

I resumed my other online stuff after the new year, but decided to stay off of facebook for another 2 weeks.  After that I deactivated my account.  I have been in a much better frame of mind since I broke from it. 

 

The vitriol I saw spewing, from people that I know well enough to know that they aren't like that, convinced me that humans, this one included, are not capable of safely using that as a tool.

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I had literally unfollowed 45% of people in my personal feeds, and installed Socialfixer, which can block keywords and political posts and it was still a constant barrage of arguments, trolling and political escalation. The problem is that scrolling the feed and interacting is part of the algorithm, and part of the networking for bringing people into your biz page. Yet, for some reason, my followers stayed within about 20 on one side or the other of 3250 for over a decade. I suspect they just wanted money. But I can definitely agree that cancelling the personal pages improved my general well being. Facebook has serious boundary issues. And it’s fostering a climate that I literally would describe as collective cluster B mental illness, and it’s really not going anywhere good.

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