Let’s Slow Down, Shall We?

Post - March 30, 2015

Dirty construction worker holding slow signMany of you have been with us since our 2006 beginnings. You’ve seen me evolve from a fresh-faced youth to a salt & pepper father of one (and one on the way) with a few more stress lines in his face than before. You’ve seen me move my shop no less than three times and you gave me your full support when I authored my first book nearly two years ago. We’ve been through a lot together! I’m sure you’ve also seen how the videos have changed over time. The original long-form detailed videos have become the stuff of The Wood Whisperer Guild and the free site gets much faster-paced project videos at a lower rate than in the past. While I’m doing my best to remedy the obvious LACK of video content on the free site (only so much I can do at this point), I am in complete control over the quality and composition of the videos I DO have time to release. Which brings me to the primary point of this long-winded post: I’m excited about the next project!

I have some spare time before the next Guild project in May and I’m trying to get some honey-do items off my list. Nicole and I have been without bathroom mirrors for a few months now and it’s time to design, build, and install two custom mirrors. I guess a mirror frame might not be all that exciting but what I’m particularly stoked about is my confident return to detailed videography. Over the last few years, the trend in online woodworking videos has moved toward pandering to the lowest common denominator in hopes of higher numbers and viral sharing. To clarify, I don’t mean “lowest common denominator” in a derogatory sense. I mean it quite literally as the largest group of people who might have an interest in watching a project go together. Much respect to the folks that enjoy that work and succeed at it, but if I’m being honest with myself, it’s just not the kind of content I want to produce.

So while the free site videos will always feature a faster pace and a little more aggressive editing than Guild videos, I will no longer give in to the temptation to simply run the video at 10x speed and call it done. I won’t be skipping important details because I think I’ll lose viewers. Instead, I’m going to show my bathroom and how I decided on the sizing of the mirror. I’ll show how I make the templates and sketch out the full-scale drawing. And then we’ll actually make the thing and install it. Will it be a 10 minute video or a 30 minute video? Who knows! It’s done when it’s done and it will take as long as it takes.

I don’t really read YouTube comments anymore so I won’t be there to hear people yell at me because the video is too long or because I talk too much or any other such drivel. In the mean time, I hope the folks who have come to expect high quality and detailed instruction will be happy with what I continue to produce here at TheWoodWhisperer.com. Those people are my primary audience and those are the people I hope to please with my content, even if it means accepting lower overall numbers and less exposure for my work. If non-woodworkers, armchair woodworkers, DIY’ers, makers, weekend warriors, or anyone else who discovers us on the internet happens to find the information useful or entertaining, then that’s just gravy. As always, all are welcome!

As one of the first online woodworking video producers, I’ve been part of this ever-growing and evolving online woodworking community for nearly a decade. As I watch shows come and go, it becomes something of a challenge to know which trends to follow and which ones to buck. I have been soul-searching and flip-flopping on this issue for a couple years now and it has become crystal clear to me that this is where I want to be and this is the kind of content that’s in my heart and mind. It’s really a matter of coming to terms with my place in this ecosystem and not being distracted or swept into the prevailing current. But I must tell you as a video producer with a mind for marketing, it’s no small feat to ignore the trends that would guarantee me more viewers and ultimately more money. But I’m in this for the long haul and I want to be a part of your woodworking journey for years to come. The only way I know to do that is to show you everything I know while providing opportunities for us to learn from one another.

So I hope this post puts a smile on your face and you’re looking forward to this return to old form. There will still be plenty of room for classic TWW nonsense too but we’ll no longer skimp on the important details that help make you a better informed woodworker. Let’s get it on!

UPDATE
I need to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by my comments about short-form content. I did my best to express my opinions about the current state of things without stepping on the toes of others. So let me state with absolute clarity that I fully support ALL of the woodworking videos that are being produced today and the communities that surround them. The service and entertainment these folks provide with their work is inspiring and necessary and we all have a place in this ecosystem. My only goal with this article was to express how I want to take my content in a different direction and I never intended to disparage those who choose a different path. I am very much a “live and let live” personality and I don’t believe in putting others down in an attempt to boost myself up. I find that sort of thing despicable. Frequent viewers/readers of mine will likely know that that wasn’t my intention but just in case, here you go. Thanks for your understanding.