I've been coming to this site for several months now myself...
I do appreciate however, when a builder specifies how in the project pocket hole joinery was used...
I own the first made Kreg Jig,and it serves its purpose. That being said,my shop does NOT revolve around this tool !! This tool,like any other tool,compliments the shop. BUT,IT'S NOT THE ENTIRE SHOP.
Why worry about it? Unless following specific plans with step by step instructions (which I find quite boring), no two people would use exactly the same procedures and tools to complete a project. I enjoy looking at all the projects, if I decide to build a version of one of them, I will then adapt it to work with my skill level, methods and the tools and materials available to me. I may even decide to build all or part of it with metal even though the original design was executed entirely in wood. For me building any project whether wood, leather, metal or dirt is all about creativity and imagination, not following "connect the dot" instructions to make an exact copy of someone else's creation.
Very interesting thread. First off, thanks for creating it, "Alien Digital Ink". I think it's an important issue for the community to at least discuss! First of all, let me explain the purpose of this community website for the record... as it says on the homepage: "A friendly social community for Kreg Jig owners to share stories, project ideas, tips, and tricks for using their Kreg Jig." So far, I think everyone agrees that the site has been a huge success and has turned into a great resource for Kreg Jig owners everywhere! We're very proud of what the site has become only a few months after starting it, and very appreciative to all members that have participated and told their unique Kreg Story for everyone else to learn from... that's really what it's all about. I think that wherever this thread ends up going... this is the most important thing to remember.
Now, that being said... let me give you my thoughts and concerns regarding the issue at hand.
1) We have no interest in 'ruling' this community with an iron fist. Unless things change dramatically for the worse, we wont' be deleting projects simply because they were not built with a Kreg product or because it does not fit a extremely narrow view of 'relevant to the community'. We really want members to feel like this is an open community where they can share and discuss anything they choose.
2) Our primary hope for this site was that it would INSPIRE new Kreg Jig owners to start building. To provide them with project ideas, helpful tips, and advice directly from more experienced Kreg Jig owners. Because of this, obviously the most effective/interesting/valuable projects will be those built with a Kreg Jig which has photos showing how exactly it was built.
3) The concern that many non-Kreg projects are being posted is a real valid one. From our perspective, it is ok that there are projects here that aren't built with the Kreg Jig, (they're still very inspirational/educational) but it would be beneficial if these projects were described as such. This is a somewhat 'exclusive' community as it's for individuals who own a Kreg Jig, and as the thread starter and Anthony mentioned, it's slightly confusing for some when you're trying to figure out how something was built with Pocket-Holes, when there are no photos of the 'business side' of the project, and you end up finding out that it wasn't actually even built with a Kreg Jig! This can be frustrating.
4) The forums might be a good example of the balance we should shoot for... there are something like 6 or 7 sections devoted to the Kreg Jig, and a couple devoted to 'Miscellaneous' or 'General Woodworking'. These are essential parts of the site, but are balanced accordingly.
So, what's the best way to move forward?
1) I think we can all agree that it would be great if members posting projects could make it a bigger effort to show post photos of the underside ('business side') of their projects so that other members can learn from how the project was built and assembled.
2) I think we can all also probably agree that it would be best if the vast majority of the projects posted were in fact built with a Kreg Jig to limit any confusion to less-experienced members. As for the projects not built with the Kreg Jig, it would be great if this fact could at least be addressed by the poster so that excess confusion can be mitigated.
3) How does this happen? We will not be 'forcing' this to happen, obviously. My hope would be that it happens more organically... I think if the most involved and frequent visitors of this community (that's probably YOU if you've read this far already) would be willing to try and make this the 'public norm' by doing so in their own posts, by commenting and asking questions of other members (as I did in this instance) accordingly, by starting threads like this, etc. It would quickly become the 'new norm'. What we need is a few leaders to step up and ask members posting projects to share more photos of the underside, to specify how it was built, etc. I think with your help, we can make this community more useful, more user friendly, and full of more relevant content... because that's what it's all about! Being a great resource for all types of Kreg Jig owners or future owners!
Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on this topic! I'd love to hear more of your opinions... as you're the ones who use the site on a daily basis. How do you think the 'balance' of the content has been so far on the Kreg Jig Owners' Community? Is it confusing when you can't figure out how a project was built? Are there too many non-Kreg Jig projects... or not enough? Are the steps I laid out above logical? Do you agree with the course of action?
Thanks to everyone for discussing this issue! Just more evidence that we've got some of the best community members out there!
Until next time, good luck and good woodworking!