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Where are they going?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by JTknives, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    I have noticed over the many years I have been part of this forum somthing that disturbs me. This is the fact that we seam to be loosing great smiths. I’m not talking about them retiring or passing away. I’m talking about them just tossing in the towel on the forum. This saddens me becaus I remember what it was like back in the day. I’m not sure what is causing this trend but I hope it’s not somthing permanent. I do know some feal like the forum has just become a place where newbs come to scrape up information and run. I don’t mind the influx of new faces. As long as thy are here to learn and contribute. I have noticed as the number of newbies goes up so has the number of pro smiths gone down. Is there a connection, I hope not. I would like to hold onto as many experanced smiths here as possible. Sorry if this is kinda random. I just was thinking back to the ol days. If anyone has any thoughts, please share.
  2. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Just ask some who left, they will tell you.

    Knifemakers can use Facebook, Instagram and not have to deal with the drama of forum nonsense.
    TLR, Coy Ranch, SBuzek and 2 others like this.
  3. Aidenag


    Apr 16, 2009
    This got brought up a while back, and i'll say same things i did then.

    1. Forums are a dying breed. They are like the internet equivalent of the little nickle, or classified section of a newspaper. are they useful? yes, are they relevant? not like they used to be.

    2. Membership isn't free for makers. This is the largest factor by far. a decade ago, when forums like this were still the main method of communicating for hobbies and groups, that was ok. In fact it was hugely beneficial for a maker as the return on advertising, sales, and overall PR was worth it. Now, not so much. And when the content creators stop posting their amazing skills, showing WIP's, tutorials, and in general useful information, the forum dies more and more. Really bad business model honestly. You can't charge those who make the site useful, while not charging those who don't. This site monetizes the same way clubs do at single ladies nights. Only instead of charging the guys, this site charges the ladies. at some point your going to run out of ladies...

    2. Facebook, instagram, twitter, etc are huge drains on this site. And why wouldn't they be, they are free, offer literal millions of times more potential eyeballs viewing the content, and are trendy compared to a forum that still functions like it's 1997. There are knifemakers on instagram with over 200,000 followers, and it costs said knifemakers nothing for that reach, reach that gets them beyond a knife specific forum too. From a marketing standpoint, any maker trying to promote themselves, is doing it wrong being here more than on other platforms. Not to say this site doesn't still have use, and purpose, but that degree of purpose is shrinking fast.

    3. Moderation. Things have definitely improved last year or so. But for a while there, damn near every single post had some mod telling someone they didn't have permission to do X or say X. Nothing kills content like scaring away content creators.

    4. Forum drama. nuff said.

    That's my take at least.
  4. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Some of it is personality conflicts. I spoke with a great maker who explained at bladeshow west why he left the forum. It was not because the forum is outdated or anything. It was because of clickish groups, and personality conflicts. He is missed! Nd many others too.
  5. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    I’m a member here not to sell knives or get exposure but it’s allways been kinda like family. Us knife makers don’t have much of a social life. Yeah I sell a box of mettle here and there but like I said I’m not a member for financial gain. It just kinda feals like that family part has been going away.
  6. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I think social media is the biggest issue. As said, there are so many free alternatives. Some don't like the rules on posting for non-paying members. Facebook has been a place where people can reach friends and bar dissenters, so it works well for many people.
    There are also many more competing forums. It was just Bladeforums at one time, then Knifedogs, and Hypefreeblades, and now all sorts of specialty forums.
    razor-edge-knives likes this.
  7. J. Doyle

    J. Doyle Bladesmith/Knifemaker

    Feb 17, 2008
    I'd need both hands to count the ones I know first-hand who left because of armchair experts here who give TONS of 'advice', much of it contradictory to proven methods and processes, yet have zero photo evidence of their work to show they knew what they were talking about.

    Or in a few cases, the photo evidence that was available showed that they should be heeding advice rather than giving it.

    Or to simplify it to more general terms.....personality conflicts.
  8. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker

    Dec 7, 2006
    AVigil and P.Brewster like this.
  9. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    Many of the specialty knife forums have either died or never really taken off. Sometimes they just die for reasons of never getting traction and other times, the have died for forum drama reasons. Forums seem to be like church denominations. Someone always has some issue, so we end up with 2000 little forums, few of which survive for long. I cannot attest to that usual place because I was one of hundreds that was banned for life for making some humorous but snide comment on here years ago about some person. My question has always been how do you get seen on Instagram or Facebook?
  10. Pinoy Knife

    Pinoy Knife

    Aug 9, 2002
    i may be out of place here
    but i used to be a "Paid Member" here for many years.
    i tried to contribute every once ion a while with real honest info,then i started getting "Infractions"
    WTF for no one would tell me!!!! finally one of the many MODs said it was because there was still a link to my expired website in my signature (how childish not to just tell me)
    i joined this forum around 1997 !!!
    many times as momma used to say "If you aint got nothing nice to say Shut Up"
    i think the forums should welcome people and info ,not say you did not pay us so go away.
    i joined other forums and "Instagram" where i average hundreds of views /likes on any post.
  11. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    By the time a makers achieves a level of proficiency that he can "teach" here, he has accumulated peer contacts through the forum and shows - he can make a direct phone call/text/email for the advanced info and get a good answer from a good source.

    Plus the whole Karda pushing the membership $$$ drive drove others off.

    It's interesting that Kevin C was driven out by ukulele boy but now they are both on Knife Dogs.
    Josh Rider and P.Brewster like this.
  12. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    The knifemakers I’ve talked to or interacted with always seem to be of good character and don’t want to name drop. It’s nothing different than a steel supplier selling garbage to a bunch of knifemakers. We don’t want to say bad things about him or his company publicly even though it’s obvious that the stuff has huge problems.

    It’s classy to keep names out of it, but the rest of the people suffer because of it.
    We lose amazing and talented makers and instead get the same bullshit artists.
    Not to say people don’t sometimes give incorrect advice once in a while, we’re all human after all. It’s the ones that do it over and over I think.

    I’m thankful that we still have the great ones that are still hanging on, but I fear they’re going to get tired of it soon enough and go somewhere else. I hope I’m wrong.
    Coy Ranch likes this.
  13. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    When BF representatives post in bold red letters to contributing knifemakers to stop being freeloaders because they do not pay $$$ for a knifemakers membership, even though they contribute content , those makers tend to leave and go elsewhere and take their experience with them.
    J. Hoffman, MJV, Coy Ranch and 2 others like this.
  14. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009

    Still waiting for all the promised pictures from some
    SBuzek likes this.
  15. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    That is a good point. I just looked and I have over 7k posts here. I’m not claiming anything I have posted is valuable but if you do the math it quickly adds up. 7,000 x 5min (some are WAY more and other much less) = 35,000 min of posting. That’s 583 hours. If we say $25hr thats 14,585 I could of made if I spent that time at work.

    But like I said befor I’m not here for monetary reasion. This form is my social life and friends. I do try and post things that I think others would enjoy seeing or learning.
    JMGates and Natlek like this.
  16. DevinT

    DevinT KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 29, 2010
    New makers discover something and share, and then few or no one responds, they feel disrespected. New makers are sometimes desperate to contribute.

    Veteran makers post to help new makers and then are challenged, they say that just because you’ve been making knives for a long time doesn’t mean you know how to make knives. Somehow decades of knife making and thousands of knives made, isn’t enough.

    The makers that aren’t new and are not yet old timers, think they are the Goldie locks of knife makers.

    It’s human nature to think another person is smart if they agree with you.

    I do think there is a lack of respect here sometimes.

  17. Augus7us


    Oct 9, 2014
    I've wondered about this myself.

    I think some of the drama from arm chair quarterbacks was a few years ago. I don't see too much of that now, do you guys? I see some misinformation in the new guy posts about things like "should I buy an angle grinder or 1x30 from HF". Seems mostly new guys offering newer guys advise. Nothing to ruffle feathers over though.

    As a few guys mentioned above, I think part of it is all the rules and the fact that to do anything on this site that is free on pretty much every other forum I am a member of, costs money here (signature, avatars, posting photos, etc). Most other sites also have sub forums dedicated to things like deal spotting and swapping tools, that is not ok here.

    Also the necro posting rule, while may seem minor, to me kills a lot of threads. I see new guys resurrecting old threads I've never read, that I'd like to comment on, and before I can its closed because it was old. Old threads like this are some of the most popular on other forums, because people resurrect them and new people see it for the first time. The most popular thread in shop talk is like this (what did you do in your shop today), how many posts are "That is awesome" or "I really like that handle". In addition to that, I don't feel locking threads stops necroposting.

    The other odd thing is, I don't see armchair posts in customs and I've noticed its taken a hit as well. A year or two ago you had to surf two pages to read all the new threads posted over a day. Now there are three days of posts on one page. Meanwhile other forums I'm a member of are still doing fine, check out garage journal or practical machinist, they don't seem to be slowing down any. Hell I posted a question over there yesterday and its already on page 3.

    To close out this long post I want to note that I've enjoyed posting and conversing with the folks on this site since I started trying to make knives years ago. I just miss learning stuff, before you could help a few new guys out and learn a thing or two on subjects such as tuning a folder, working mammoth, making your own carbon fiber. Now its a few of those mostly from the same few folks and a ton of what belt/grinder/steel should I start out with posts from guys that get the answers they need, that are already here in abundance, then disappear.

    Just my two cents.

  18. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    I think it would help if a person gives advice, show a picture of your work to back up your advice.
    There are a lot of new members here who I have never heard of. Showing a picture of your work verifies that you know what you are talking about.

    I also think it would help if everyone used their real name.
    hawkhead, P.Brewster and AVigil like this.
  19. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    I don't hustle work on BF, but I became a paying member just to be able to refer to my web site and other commercial ventures- so that I might be taken seriously. I may stop doing that when it's time to renew. I basically come here to help others. My reputation precedes me. I keep my mouth shut unless I know what I'm talking about. My advice is valuable-why am I paying to give it?
    Karda was one of the worst things for BF.
    And, like anything else, people's interest wanes. I have been an avid automatic knife collector for 50 years. On the collector's forums there are about a dozen people who have stayed active for the last 20 years. The rest just lost interest.
    Social media is the Devil, but it's just about necessary to survive in today's world.
    Wilfred17, Busto, Bigfattyt and 2 others like this.
  20. Richard338

    Richard338 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 3, 2005
    I for one appreciate all of the expertise that experienced makers have and the time it takes to post good advice.
    Other than some issues with image hosting, some old threads have been extremely valuable to me. I often search for numerous topics and go over certain posts or WIP repeatedly in great detail.
    ten-six likes this.

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