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View Full Version : Tool sponsors ruin instagram makers



William Chain
07-30-2018, 9:28 PM
I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it seems to me that tool sponsors on instagram totally ruin makers content/channels or whatever you want to call it. In the last week or two alone, several makers have gone from good, entertaining, and helpful content to contrived crap to flog some tool or brand. A certain red tool company is the worst of it. How do I know there's a new "single occurrence" tool? I see it on the company's feed (fine, I signed up for that), then I see it on every. maker's. feed. All with exactly the same party line. It must just pay well to flog some unnecessary, overpriced while telling fellow makers to blow hard earned money on something you can get on amazon for 1/10th the price. But it comes with a pencil!!

Sadly, in the last few days several makers posted stuff to the effect of "I don't have to time to do X!" where X = making something at the heart of their hobby or business. Yet they did have time to generate an overly produced, contrived video flogging some new red, green, blue, or gold tool.

Again, I don't know why it bothers me so much, and I guess everyone has to make a living, but the sponsors totally ruin it.

glenn bradley
07-31-2018, 7:05 AM
In a society that saw paid cable TV providers start running commercials, yet failed to cry havoc and cancel their subscriptions, unsolicited information (advertising) will rule the day. "They" now know that not only will we stand for it, we'll pay them to show it to us. Why would they not do it in every venue available to them? The more popular the venue, the more people they can reach.

Mike Cutler
07-31-2018, 7:50 AM
It's just the way of the world.
Many years ago when I got my first cell phone, it was an LG flip phone, texting was relatively new, and I didn't get it as part of our "package". I didn't even think the phone could do texting.
About a year goes by and all of the sudden I got a $5.00 fee and 25 cents per word added to my bill for texting one month???? I called Verizon and asked them what this was.
Turns out that Verizon had been sending me texts, to advertise their texting packages, but I didn't know it, because i never knew to look for it. They were spamming me with advertising,and charging me for not having the service to realize that they were spamming me.
These charges were taken off the bill. ;)

Jim Becker
07-31-2018, 10:10 AM
While having sponsors can become more obtrusive when it comes to maker video, it's probably unrealistic to think that everyone is going to produce and provide content without being able to monetize it in some way. Folks have to make a living and sponsors help them do that. Making that content takes a lot of time and effort so they are just trying to get paid for it. All of us who work or have worked for a living have always enjoyed getting paid for it. ;)

While some folks do "cross some line" and get to where they are primarily hawking something, we all have the choice to not watch the video...

William Chain
07-31-2018, 11:48 AM
Oh I get it, everyone has to make a living. I've steadily cut my follow list down, its just some of these sponsors have reached a saturation point. It's a shame though, more junk and much less learning and fewer nice finished pieces to ogle. I'd much rather support the makers by buying plans or pieces than sift through the ads when you know they made nice stuff (and can show you how...) without the fancy toys.

I'd much rather see ads telling me where they got the great stock/materials they're using, or how to achieve that finish, or where I can pick up a copy of the plans for that table, or where I can see your pieces in person. A square is a square is a square. I've unfollowed 12 makers telling us about the latest square or ruler from you know who.


While having sponsors can become more obtrusive when it comes to maker video, it's probably unrealistic to think that everyone is going to produce and provide content without being able to monetize it in some way. Folks have to make a living and sponsors help them do that. Making that content takes a lot of time and effort so they are just trying to get paid for it. All of us who work or have worked for a living have always enjoyed getting paid for it. ;)

While some folks do "cross some line" and get to where they are primarily hawking something, we all have the choice to not watch the video...

Mark Bolton
07-31-2018, 2:27 PM
The content creators will tell you point blank the the expense and time of creating that content is high but the good creators (not meaning creating work, but creating content) can do it without being economically corrupted by commercial sponsors. There are many YouTube channels that I watch regularly that very clearly get tools and product from sponsors but their channels have enough demand that they simply will not become and advertising prostitute for anyone. They stay true to the model they setup when they started the channel in the first place. The woodwhisperer is a prime example of someone who has "used" the hobby to line their pockets masterfully. Someone who knows little about what they are doing, but is a very skilled marketeer.

Just unsubscribe and dont reward the practice. Support those who dont fall prey.

Simon MacGowen
08-01-2018, 5:25 PM
In this consumerism world, advertisers will stop at nothing to feed you product information. That is their job and that is how they can stay afloat. Instagram is just one of their means, and those content creators are part of their tool kits.

Some new tools (to me) would be a good match in my shop, but most are just modernized or fancy versions of what I have been using for decades. Like anything else, buyers beware, whatever the color is. I actually have a few sucker pals who enjoy buying tools to the point that sometimes I wonder if their motives were to hoard and resell their collections, as they hardly get any good pieces made.

Simon

Rick McQuay
08-01-2018, 10:35 PM
On Instagram I only follow people who post their own work. If they post t-shirts, advertising, someone else's work, memes, pet pictures, or any other crap; I unfollow unless they are good friends.

William Chain
08-02-2018, 10:56 AM
There are many YouTube channels that I watch regularly that very clearly get tools and product from sponsors but their channels have enough demand that they simply will not become an advertising prostitute for anyone.

Just unsubscribe and don't reward the practice. Support those who don't fall prey.

Your comments are spot on. Prior to my rant, I binned the ones that have gone too far, and added a bunch of furniture people that showcase work, not tools and other junk. I thought to myself that perhaps I was being too critical, and took a peek back at one of the "makers" I binned, and sure enough the first post back is a bunch o' sponsor tools hanging on a wall using a bunch o' sponsor hanging hardware. And a cute remark about running out of free hardware to hang their junk. What a pity, not enough free stuff. Nope, not being too critical, the decision to bin them was correct.

As for Mr. WW, he is so transparent with his self interest that I respect it. Would I buy a used car from him? No. But it was entertaining to read (his own post) that he divested in expensive green tools the minute the green tool maker stopped paying up. At least that was transparent.

Simon MacGowen
08-02-2018, 12:11 PM
If they post t-shirts, advertising, someone else's work, memes, pet pictures, or any other crap;

Sounds like the current textbook approach to creating media contents to attract visits!

Welcome to the Social Media era of woodworking.

The worst Instagram posts I have come across were not ad stuff or crap like mixing other topics into woodworking which is bad enough, but those who ignored questions (because their self-interests are about visits and views, not answering inquiries). What is the point of sharing but not clarifying?

Then, there are unbelievable (naive is not even the right word) followers whose comments make you wonder if they have any independent thinking ability at all. To exaggerate, if you had 100,000 followers and you cut your finger by accident and then said this was another way to check if the saw or blade was sharp, you would expect to see 2000 likes about your innovative way of checking sharpness!

Simon

Bob Bouis
08-02-2018, 1:02 PM
"Mr. WW" supports himself mostly by selling his videos directly to the people who want to watch them. That's the right way to "monetize" content, IMO. No shilling for anyone in the paid content, as far as I've seen.

It's a shame that doesn't seem to work for other kinds of content online. But I guess woodworking hobbyists have a lot of money to throw around.

Simon MacGowen
08-02-2018, 1:34 PM
"swoodworking hobbyists have a lot of money to throw around.

Not just in woodworking. A friend of mine showed me her new pair of hiking boots:$500+! She is a hobbyist hiker/climber.

Simon

William Chain
08-02-2018, 2:09 PM
I trust those are the most charming hiking boots in existence.



Not just in woodworking. A friend of mine showed me her new pair of hiking boots:$500+! She is a hobbyist hiker/climber.

Simon

Simon MacGowen
08-02-2018, 2:30 PM
I trust those are the most charming hiking boots in existence.
She mentioned about water repellent uppers, traditional Norwegian welt stitched (no idea what it was!) and blah blah blah. Hikers and climbers here probably can tell us if she was a big sucker spending that kind of money on a pair of boots (the same way how we might look at the next guy spending $300 on a coping saw).

Simon

Mark Bolton
08-02-2018, 2:31 PM
As for Mr. WW, he is so transparent with his self interest that I respect it. Would I buy a used car from him? No. But it was entertaining to read (his own post) that he divested in expensive green tools the minute the green tool maker stopped paying up. At least that was transparent.

I dont disagree that he is completely up front about treating his brand (moreso than his woodworking) as is income source for his family. For that I can do nothing but commend him. It may be a ridiculous peeve but I simply have a major problem with an individual adopting the handle "whisperer" which is a term typically relegated to someone like a horse whisperer who has such a massive breadth of knowledge and experience that just like there is no entity in the US to deem you a "master carpenter" or "master craftsman", you are bestowed that title by your peers, not yourself. No "master carpenter" uses that term to describe themselves. Others use it to describe them. Its an honor bestowed on someone by their peers. The ones who call themselves a "master carpenter" or "master craftsman" are immediately suspect. Master Plumber? Sure, Master Electrician? Sure. Master Mechanic? Sure. So Spagnolo appointing himself a master/whisperer of anything other than online marketing is simply pompous. I applaud his success, and his regular statements that he is no "master" and is always learning but anointing yourself with the moniker "the wood whisperer" when you simply got sick of your high dollar corporate job and decided to monetize your new found hobby with a couple of courses under your belt and then launch a career "teaching woodworking" while you cut your dovetails with the tails on the fronts and backs, and pins on the sides,... uhhh... youve lost me.

As I always say, masterful job at marketing and building a brand that now provides both incomes for his household and probably rarely if ever makes product because he needs to.

Sadly much of the old guard on Youtube are being starved out because the medium has become so diluted but I guess even that falls back on them for not creating the content that keeps the views sky high allowing them to not cave to sponsor dollars. The machinist world is one that seems to stay relatively clean in that sense but the wood world has never seemed to have the same type of following perhaps because every tom dick and harry has a little wood shop in the corner of the basement so its not viewed the same as machinist work.

I also watch a lot of sailing videos (Im not a sailor and dont own a sailboat Im just always amazed at someone selling off everything, packing up, and trying to sail around the world not knowing a ton about sailing). The ones there seem to get their video views and patron dollars based highly on gratuitous cleavage and bikini shots for their video images and throughout the content lol. I'll bet you'll see more bikini clad chicks showing how to get sawdust out of their cleavage when it gets worse. ;-)

Van Huskey
08-03-2018, 3:59 AM
She mentioned about water repellent uppers, traditional Norwegian welt stitched (no idea what it was!) and blah blah blah. Hikers and climbers here probably can tell us if she was a big sucker spending that kind of money on a pair of boots (the same way how we might look at the next guy spending $300 on a coping saw).

Simon

I have bought several pairs of boots that were over 500 and a lot if adjusted to today's money. One has to keep in mind if one is a light weight backpacker, trekker or alpine climber the condition of your feet can literally be the difference between life and death. I have a pair of Scarpa Phantoms that cost about the same as a Laguna 14" bandsaw but saw my feet through ascents on Cho Oyu, Everest and Denali in the winter (when I was younger, broker and harder I wore what I could afford, usually the bare minimum). I will say when you get to $350 or more in a boot it should be a "technical" boot. If I am out strolling on a marked "tourist" trail I likely to just have a pair of running shoes, maybe trail running shoes but at most a pair of very lightweight hiking boots that I probably bought on clearance from Sierra Trading post, but the cell phone works, other people will happen by and I could crawl back to the car if I had to.

As for content creators and paid "commercials" I don't really mind since it is usually very obvious (I think youtube requires disclosures now) and I often find it useful. A case in point is a video by Marc (The Wood Whisperer) about the new(er) Powermatic tenon jig. Marc and his wife are possibly the king and queen of woodworking content monetization. The thing I found useful was he explained and showed exactly how to use it explaining pretty much every feature. This is something to that point nobody including Powermatic had done successfully. What he produced was an excellent 10 min (or so) commercial but it gave me all the info I was interested in, I didn't expect him to tell me every tiny flaw or if he the first one in and it was a lemon but I could see how it worked and it made sense. BTW it works just as advertised, while I have lots of ways to makes tenons it truly is a set it and get darn near perfect results jig. So I like in-depth "commercials" when they are well thought out.

Peter Kelly
08-05-2018, 10:34 AM
I trust those are the most charming hiking boots in existence.Strictly intended for social climbing.

Simon MacGowen
08-05-2018, 11:19 AM
Strictly intended for social climbing.

Indeed! She is a hobbyist climber, doing it on a weekend basis as a form of outing, meeting others of the same interest, etc. But she does it even in the winter time.

Simon

Thomas L Carpenter
08-05-2018, 1:18 PM
I have just started to use Instagram and only follow a couple of people. Who are your favorites? I don't own the most expensive tools nor do I own the cheapest and not really interested in folks telling me what to buy. Just tell me how to make something.

William Chain
08-06-2018, 10:12 PM
At this point I’m following furniture and furniture designers/builders. They sometimes post a how-to but the ones I follow are mostly progress on pieces, and some other stuff. I unfollowed anyone that flogged tools. That pared it down at lot. I gave up on the “makers”.

Edit: a new tool dropped today. Cue the praise from "makers" - Thomas, anyone who posts on that tool today is exactly what I'm talking about.


I have just started to use Instagram and only follow a couple of people. Who are your favorites? I don't own the most expensive tools nor do I own the cheapest and not really interested in folks telling me what to buy. Just tell me how to make something.

Stan Calow
08-07-2018, 6:34 PM
Not just in woodworking. A friend of mine showed me her new pair of hiking boots:$500+! She is a hobbyist hiker/climber.

Simon

I didn't know Festool made boots.

Simon MacGowen
08-07-2018, 6:37 PM
I didn't know Festool made boots.

She said her boots were made in Italy, not Germany. I think she would look at my Festool toys more or the less the same way I looked at her hiking gear, to be fair.

Simon

William Chain
08-20-2018, 10:20 PM
They got their hooks in another one of my preferred makers. Sigh, another one off the list. Overpriced square makers are turning every furniture and maker channel into the same series of dumb photos of squares. Great, you have seven of them. Iím sure it took all those to make the trestle work.