Lost Art Press Forum: The Experiment has Ended

LAP_FINAL-ARTWORK_V1When we launched the Lost Art Press forum last fall we decided to make it a one-year experiment. This week, John and I are touring a printing plant that we use for Lost Art Press and we had a frank discussion about the forum during the four-hour drive.

The bottom line: We’re shutting it down.

While we’ve been generally happy with the forum in terms of its civility, it has also been a time suck for me, John and Meghan Bates. And when we ran the equation through the goose, we decided that monitoring the forum was a lot of effort that we’d rather spend on publishing books and writing blog entries.

So if you have a question about a book that stumps you, you can always send a message to help@lostartpress.com. Or you can leave a note on the blog. We will still do everything to help you, just like we have since we started this company since 2007.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the forum in a civil manner – it was greatly appreciated by all of us.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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42 Responses to Lost Art Press Forum: The Experiment has Ended

  1. Confused by the title. Thought you were ending the blog. I can handle the forum ending, but the blog is my favorite coffee fodder.

  2. Jason says:

    I’m disappointed to hear this, but I truly understand the decision, my partner and I having made a similar one just recently for our own business. Thank you for the time you’ve given us with the forum.

    I look forward to what’s coming next from LAP and Crucible.

  3. jessamyn says:

    I hear you, comments are tough work.

  4. I have to agree, the title and first sentence led me to believe the blog would be getting shut down; the forum I can handle, but this blog is a staple of my day! So, glad to hear it’s not being deleted, after a small heart attack.

  5. hgordon4 says:

    I too get the business aspect of it. Question: are you going to leave the forum up (not active, but searchable)? Not sure what your server / forum backend situation is.
    There’s a lot of good information in there. It would be a shame if it vanished.

  6. any chance the forum content can stay (just closed) there is a lot of good content?

  7. ralmcc7yahoocom says:

    Kind of bums me but from a business point, time you have to put into it, monitoring etc i see why.

  8. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

  9. Pengilly, Jay (pengilly@uidaho.edu) says:

    Will you continue with the email postings, or are they part of the blog? I for one have found them interesting and informative.
    Thanks for all that you do.

  10. gblogswild says:

    Not surprised. Forums only work when they work on their own. They can’t be babysat, no matter how much someone might want the honeymoon to last. Valiant effort, LAP!

  11. meanmna says:

    Ah man. Heart broken. This was the only real forum I was active in. Was part of my daily routine. Can anyone recommend an alternative forum that has a similar civility and feel as with this one?

  12. Eric R says:

    I like the blog.
    The Forum, I won’t miss.

  13. ouidavincent says:

    I am sad to read this, because I learned from the forum, are you archiving it or removing all of the posts, questions?

  14. q4hours says:

    Hi Chris, Thanks for letting us know the reasons and why. Many readers would like to know whether you are going to keep the existing content available for reference? I have book marked a couple of discussions that will help in future builds and would like to refer to the links and comments rather than print the whole discussion out. ta Nick

  15. jayedcoins says:

    I have to admit that this is disappointing. The forum was such a great way to learn about woodworking and exchange ideas with many friendly people, not the least of which are the LAP folks.

    Would you consider turning over the keys of the existing forum/Muut account to a group of moderators that would run it? I don’t suggest leaving it affiliated or funded by LAP in any way. Just the fact that now a couple dozen regular posters that used to be able to share ideas with each other have sort of lost their connection.

    I understand that wasn’t at all the intention, but it is a side effect. If there were a way to pass over the existing forum so it could live on with a disassociated/unofficial identity, I think it would be a great resource for those of us that like the tight knit feel of the old LAP forum, as compared to the somewhat scattered approaches of Reddit, Saw Mill Creek, etc.

    • meanmna says:

      I love the idea of continuing the forum turned over to independent moderators. I really liked that much of the discussion centered around the LAP books and projects. I’ll pleed for that as well and offer to assist in moderation. I understand not being able to keep it as the LAP forum, perhaps it could be rebranded as the “Anarchist Forum.”

      • jayedcoins says:

        Unfortunately, it looks like the Muut archive is incomplete. I’m guessing we’re past the point of recovery, even if the LAP team thought kindly on the idea.

        Let me clarify, I don’t mean to be bitter. We are all here because we love the work of LAP and because the LAP team is generally friendly, welcoming, and helpful. If anything, it’s a bummer to see the forum go specifically because the LAP team — and the fan community around it — was so welcoming and frankly felt real (“real” and “community” is not a feeling I get from the likes of Reddit).

        Either way, I signed up for WP account just for this, and I look forward to using it here with regularity. Hopefully, those of us that were a presence on the forum can keep some of our fun discussions going in the comments space moving forward.

      • gilgaron says:

        Moderating content isn’t too time consuming most of the time, but operating a forum with lots of readers can generate significant expense.

        • jessamyn says:

          My experience (running another nerd forum for a decade) has been that moderating a forum isn’t too time consuming until it suddenly IS, and that sort of timing can be unpredictable but often centers around times you’d rather not be moderating a forum like holidays and elections and late at night.

          • jayedcoins says:

            Totally, I have experienced the same thing. I sympathize with the decision made by the LAP team. I just would love for a way for us to retain the connections and keep the content alive. If moderation from a small slate of community members looking to carry the torch doesn’t work (or at some point breaks), then it is what it is. At that point it wouldn’t be a LAP concern.

            Either way, it seems we’re past that, so I look forward to hopefully being able to utilize the WP platform to keep some of our discussions going and still have the ability to ask Mr. Schwarz and co. the occasional “help!” question.

  16. Yes – Fun while it lasted. I too can see why your time is better spent elsewhere. 👍

  17. Bob Easton says:

    Oh, the stories I could tell about managing forums, such as when the forum collection I last managed came close to 600 individual forums with a total audience of 300,000 people … all INSIDE a corporation.

    It’s never an easy job, even with a group of very well behaved woodworking colleagues. Your decision is easily understood.

    Most of all MANY MANY THANKS for giving it a run!

  18. fedster9 says:

    Thanks for the forum and thanks for leaving it frozen in time for people to search the contents.

  19. kaunfried says:

    Thank you for keeping it going as long as you have. I’ll miss it but it’s just to much time. Can’t wait to see the next big project.

  20. holtdoa says:

    i wonder how much work was performed that we never saw? Weeding out trolls, off color stuff, and what not…

  21. franktiger says:

    Didn’t post much myself mainly because any questions I had about the craft or the books was already asked. I will miss it though, I enjoyed the back and forth of ideas and the different points of view.

  22. jfkriege says:

    Thank you for running the experiment for so long. It was a great place to learn and a pleasure to be a part of during its year. I am looking forward to the books and blog entries, and whatever else you have in store.

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