We’re making progress on the Lost Art Press forum.
Chris found us a platform, called Muut. It is cutting-edge and looks pretty slick. Muut also has some invisible features that appealed to us, such as its infinite archiving of posts (nothing can be edited or deleted, except by me, after you post it), and its broader safeguards towards user integrity.
John worked like a bear last week to get the platform fully embedded into the site. Thanks to his efforts, you will be able to post to the forum simply by logging in with your existing LAP store credentials. The forum is already embedded in the product page for each book. And eventually links to the most relevant discussions will also be integrated into our blog posts.
We have tentatively scheduled the forum’s full beta release for Monday, Sept. 14. On that date, Chris, John and I will respond real-time to all questions LAP. Kind of like a Reddit-style AMA discussion within the new forum itself. More details to come.
Why do you still have to wait a few more weeks? Well, even though everything has gone smoothly so far, I am not quite ready to jump full-in. There are some technical kinks I’m still working out, some more CSS to embed, and some things I don’t like about Muut that their coders are helping me with. (For example, I’m obsessively organized, but Muut is designed to be automatically indexed and automatically categorized – my worst nightmare!)
I also anticipate some unforeseen glitches. In other words, I know there are knots hidden underneath the face grain. Will you help start planing it for me? You can use a limited preview of the forum here. For the preview, I have disabled all of the categories and sub-categories save the channels on “Workbenches” and “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.” If you check it out now you can get in early on the conversations. Send me your impressions.
Finally, use of the forum (and of the LAP site more broadly) will henceforth be governed by a set of rules. (Cue the tomato-throwing.) Most of you already follow these previously unspoken guidelines. But the demise of past woodworking forums spurred us to put these in print. And I will enforce them vigorously. (I already deleted three posts on the blog in the past day – did you notice, you otherwise-nice people making jokes about the blind and deaf? Oh, and I deleted one of Chris’s comments, too. Sorry Chris – rules are rules.)
The following is our draft of the new Terms of Service for participating in the Lost Art Press community:
Welcome to the digital home of Lost Art Press (LAP). We strive to treat you as a guest in our house. We ask that you behave accordingly. Therefore, your use of the LAP web site is contingent upon the following Terms of Service:
- Use of the forum is governed solely by the owners of LAP. The forum moderator(s) will delete any post that violates the following rules. Repeat violations will result in the deletion and deactivation of your LAP account.
- This is a woodworking forum. Only woodworking will be discussed.
- No political, religious or social commentary of any sort. This restriction includes users’ quotations, signature lines and avatars. If it’s not woodworking, don’t post it.
- No sexist, racist or hateful language.
- No bullying, harassment or intimidation. LAP welcomes woodworkers of all skill levels. If you don’t have anything helpful to say, don’t say anything.
- No solicitation, advertising, self-promotion or spamming. Links to external websites are permitted only if they are directly relevant to a discussion.
- No profanity.
- No anonymous posts. To ensure integrity, users must login to their Lost Art Press account in order to post to the forum. If you do not already have a LAP account, you can create one here for free. We will not share your name or personal information with any third parties. Fake or duplicate LAP accounts will be deleted.
- When in doubt, see Rule No. 1.
– Brian Clites, your forum moderator and author of TheWoodProf.com