Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 69

Thread: What has happened at Popular Woodworking magazine?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sebastopol, California
    Posts
    2,270
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    There are two other magazines that are worth looking at. The first is Furniture and Cabinetmaking (from the UK). It is a bit parochial, but often has interesting contemporary work as well as history and biographies. That was the fare of the late Woodwork, a magazine we all admired. The other mag is the Australian Wood Review. This has come up in recent years, and is in the FWW mold.

    Derek
    A semi-local (next town over) newsstand used to carry Australian Wood Review at an affordable price. I was delighted by it, and looked into subscribing, but the subscription cost was daunting. Alas, that newsstand shut down, and I haven't seen it since. It's too bad: there were enough differences from American practices to make it inspiring. I remember in particular a large European-style piece (secretary or tall chest of drawers or the like) made by an Australian of European ancestry and then painted by his work partner, an Australian of aboriginal ancestry, in traditional aboriginal style (very pointillist). It was stunning.

    I note that the subscription cost for Furniture and Cabinetmaking is equally daunting, at least in print form. I don't do well with digital text; I want something I can read anywhere, and I am not interested in buying an iPad.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Borger, Texas
    Posts
    1,131
    Hi Folks,

    Is it possible that all of the magazines folks like us read or use to read, such as popular mechanics, wood and shop, and the those mentioned above, are facing the same battle?

    I think the younger folks aren't the "do it yourself" types that our "non-spring chicken" generation is, and our generation was less so than our parents generation. The young folks are much more into computer stuff, etc., clearly not all, but a lot of them.

    School "manual training," woodworking shop, carpentry, metal shop, and general shop classes, as well as "home economics" for the girls, are going away. So, I think that the number of folks under 40 or 50, that had a basic introduction to woodworking, from a class in highschool, might be shrinking greatly.

    The internet is also a competition for the magazines, Youtube, etc., that has woodworking stuff.

    Is the world changing and the demand for information on hand tool woodworking is drifting down? I personally know of a few woodworkers, but only know of one who is interested in hand tool woodworking. Thus, is the world changing to the point that the demand for these types of magazines is greatly decreasing so that the magazines are trying different things in a despirate attempt to have a broader appeal, and thus increase circulation?

    Or, are these magazines being sold to conglomerates who do not have folks on the executive level who know the readership of such magazines, and in an unwise effort to "appeal to a broader base" they unwittingly lose the appeal to the solid base they have, and as a result are hastening the final end of such magazines? I am thinking we could be seeing the same sort of short sighted thinking by executives that lead to the "race to the bottom of quality" of woodworking hand tools that occurred in the 1960s.

    In short, is the readership of such magazines, and for this forum for example, consisting of us over 50 folks, and every year there are a few less of us who have an interest in woodworking, etc.? Or is it some of the other factors, such as some listed listed above or other?

    What do you think?

    Regards,

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 02-10-2019 at 4:51 PM.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    5,989
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    I may read a magazine for 5 - 10 minutes to switch off when in bed at night. Or keep a bunch on my iPad for long plane flights.

    I was extremely disappointed with the February edition. It was light years removed from the Popular Woodworking magazine under the guidance of Chris Schwarz. I read a magazine for article that make me think about what I am doing, offer a broader canvas by way of history to specific techniques, or teach/deminstrate more advanced skills. That edition was no different from Wood magazine, or something similar. I do not subscribe, or even read, magazines like that because they are for beginners.

    It is very likely that my subscription will not be renewed. I continue with Fine Woodworking as there remains a fine standard. I accept that they need to cater for a varied readership, and I think that they do this quite well.

    There are two other magazines that are worth looking at. The first is Furniture and Cabinetmaking (from the UK). It is a bit parochial, but often has interesting contemporary work as well as history and biographies. That was the fare of the late Woodwork, a magazine we all admired. The other mag is the Australian Wood Review. This has come up in recent years, and is in the FWW mold.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    I agree, Popular Woodworking is a mere shadow of it old self. Fine Woodworking is not much better.
    I am sad.

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post

    Or, are these magazines being sold to conglomerates who do not have folks on the executive level who know the readership of such magazines, and in an unwise effort to "appeal to a broader base" they unwittingly lose the appeal to the solid base they have, and as a result are hastening the final end of such magazines? I am thinking we could be seeing the same sort of short sighted thinking by executives that lead to the "race to the bottom of quality" of woodworking hand tools that occurred in the 1960s.

    That's the biggest reason. If no one in upper management understands (or cares about) the audience and the craft they aren't capable of hiring or keeping anyone who does to produce the content. Quality of content is the least important thing to most people in publishing. At the highest levels it is all about numbers, making the people above you happy and keeping the people below you in line. That trickles down and you wind up with a staff that doesn't really know enough about their subject to be able to tell if what winds up in print is any good or not. What you're seeing is the publishing industry facing fundamental changes due to the internet and making all the wrong moves in response.

    Bob Lang

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    5,989
    I believe this is the author of the previous post.
    https://www.popularwoodworking.com/w...rkbench-plans/

    The magazine has really slipped. I don't take it anymore.
    Also, Fine Woodworking is not much better.
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 02-10-2019 at 10:01 PM.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
    Posts
    4,335
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I agree, Popular Woodworking is a mere shadow of it old self. Fine Woodworking is not much better.
    I am sad.
    Well said , Lowell!! I am sad too..
    Jerry

  7. #22
    Finally got a chance to page through the latest issue of PW quickly.

    Shave horse, bar stool, mitered credenza are the main projects featured.

    Guys. The first two projects (or similar) have been featured before the current editorial team was put in charge. And, all of them have been featured in FW. So, what are bad about the latest issue? Because they are not completed using traditional tools? Most FW projects are not completed with traditional tools either as far as I know.

    Simon

  8. #23
    I think F+W Media has been sold to a new owner again. The new owners probably came in and said "Wood and This Old House magazines have 4x the amount of subscribers than Pop Wood. That's who we need to be." So, off they went to redo the magazine to appeal to a broader audience. The ironic thing is that F+W had American Woodworker which they shuttered only to have the new Pop Wood mimic it.
    Last edited by mike v flaim; 02-10-2019 at 10:05 PM.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Hi Folks,

    Is it possible that all of the magazines folks like us read or use to read, such as popular mechanics, wood and shop, and the those mentioned above, are facing the same battle?

    I think the younger folks aren't the "do it yourself" types that our "non-spring chicken" generation is, and our generation was less so than our parents generation. The young folks are much more into computer stuff, etc., clearly not all, but a lot of them.

    School "manual training," woodworking shop, carpentry, metal shop, and general shop classes, as well as "home economics" for the girls, are going away. So, I think that the number of folks under 40 or 50, that had a basic introduction to woodworking, from a class in highschool, might be shrinking greatly.

    The internet is also a competition for the magazines, Youtube, etc., that has woodworking stuff.

    Is the world changing and the demand for information on hand tool woodworking is drifting down? I personally know of a few woodworkers, but only know of one who is interested in hand tool woodworking. Thus, is the world changing to the point that the demand for these types of magazines is greatly decreasing so that the magazines are trying different things in a despirate attempt to have a broader appeal, and thus increase circulation?

    Or, are these magazines being sold to conglomerates who do not have folks on the executive level who know the readership of such magazines, and in an unwise effort to "appeal to a broader base" they unwittingly lose the appeal to the solid base they have, and as a result are hastening the final end of such magazines? I am thinking we could be seeing the same sort of short sighted thinking by executives that lead to the "race to the bottom of quality" of woodworking hand tools that occurred in the 1960s.

    In short, is the readership of such magazines, and for this forum for example, consisting of us over 50 folks, and every year there are a few less of us who have an interest in woodworking, etc.? Or is it some of the other factors, such as some listed listed above or other?

    What do you think?

    Regards,

    Stew
    I'm in my early 30's and would agree that there are skills that the younger generation may not be as adept at as their parents, but vice versa. There is a reason for the hand tool resurgence though. It's a common thing for me to read about someone looking at hand tools and really appreciating their use and the process because they work in IT (I work in automation) because they sit in front of a computer or they want to unplug at times. There is another online woodworking forum that I participate in that has more than a million subscribers and seems like it's skewed to a younger demographic. On the other side, the DIY forum on that site has over 15 million subscribers. In those forums you might find someone who makes an arcade cabinet, but also puts together the computer inside to run it right along side something traditional.

    Everything in print is trying to adapt to the availability of information on the internet, not just the magazines that are losing subscribers. It's a fine line the magazines walk, how do you draw in younger subscribers? Maybe offer projects that involve a mix of hand tools all the way to CNCs and incorporated electronics, but then are they at risk of losing their older subscribers?

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Posts
    544
    All you need to do is go to YouTube and see who the most popular "creators" or "makers" (whatever they call themselves) are, and what video's get the most views, and you will have your answers. The 'next' generation, as stated, wants everything fast, cheap, and built with whatever tools are already rusting in dad's garage. Compare video's by a very popular YouTuber who has 1.5 million subscribers, and builds projects in 10 minutes, at 16X speed, with ZERO detail, out of pallet wood from a dumpster or rusty metal from a torn down building........(compare) to some outstanding craftsmen/women who are making high quality furniture pieces and reproductions using expensive materials in shops with $100K worth of machinery and hand tools, who get a couple thousand views.

    The publishers have to sell magazines in large enough volume to stay on the shelves. I let my FWW subscription expire about 18 years ago, when they stopped doing "Fine" projects, and started doing cordless drill reviews. PW has been my favorite rag to look at, from time to time, but the people who made it a favorite, including Bob upstream in this thread, aren't writing the articles anymore. I really couldn't care less about the next cheapo tracksaw available at Lowes, or a $19 set of brad point bits made in china. If I pick up a magazine, open it up, and see the first 2 or 4 pages are advertisements for machines from the far east, I put it right back down on the rack and move on.

    We use to discuss this very topic 20 years ago over on "The Knots", which was FWW's online forum. Most of the writers in the magazine (if not all), and a lot of extremely talented woodworkers from around the world, participated there. That forum gave fantastic feedback to the magazine division about what the magazine SHOULD contain to continue to hold interest to people doing FINE woodworking. Taunton repaid us by closing down the forum. There's your publisher attitude in a nutshell.
    Jeff

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    7,199
    One can always wait around, and read through my next "Build" thread.....since I do a few, now and then. I don't do youtube.....so, you will just have to read along, and enjoy all the pictures...

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,021
    Steve, you are such a card. I see the gall bladder did not slow down your wit!

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
    Posts
    4,335
    Our world is changing as we speak.....Like losing a good friend. (sigh)
    Jerry

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DuBois, PA
    Posts
    1,551
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Heath View Post
    All you need to do is go to YouTube and see who the most popular "creators" or "makers" (whatever they call themselves) are, and what video's get the most views, and you will have your answers. The 'next' generation, as stated, wants everything fast, cheap, and built with whatever tools are already rusting in dad's garage. Compare video's by a very popular YouTuber who has 1.5 million subscribers, and builds projects in 10 minutes, at 16X speed, with ZERO detail, out of pallet wood from a dumpster or rusty metal from a torn down building........(compare) to some outstanding craftsmen/women who are making high quality furniture pieces and reproductions using expensive materials in shops with $100K worth of machinery and hand tools, who get a couple thousand views.

    The publishers have to sell magazines in large enough volume to stay on the shelves. I let my FWW subscription expire about 18 years ago, when they stopped doing "Fine" projects, and started doing cordless drill reviews. PW has been my favorite rag to look at, from time to time, but the people who made it a favorite, including Bob upstream in this thread, aren't writing the articles anymore. I really couldn't care less about the next cheapo tracksaw available at Lowes, or a $19 set of brad point bits made in china. If I pick up a magazine, open it up, and see the first 2 or 4 pages are advertisements for machines from the far east, I put it right back down on the rack and move on.

    We use to discuss this very topic 20 years ago over on "The Knots", which was FWW's online forum. Most of the writers in the magazine (if not all), and a lot of extremely talented woodworkers from around the world, participated there. That forum gave fantastic feedback to the magazine division about what the magazine SHOULD contain to continue to hold interest to people doing FINE woodworking. Taunton repaid us by closing down the forum. There's your publisher attitude in a nutshell.
    Was "Knots" 20 years ago already? I know way more than a decade, and that the last few years were dominated by a few posters, along with the horrid new forum software.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    744
    it's happening everywhere. Newspapers, catalogs magazines and probably other things are all going digital. While I like youtube videos I just don't lear from or enjoy digital magazines.

    I currently only have subscriptions to Woodworker's Journal (expires 6/19) and Woodsmith (expires sometime in 2020). Not sure if I'll renew, though I am thinking about the 2for1 offer on Woodcraft magazine. Need to look at one first to decide if it is worth it.

    Chris explains his exodus here - https://www.popularwoodworking.com/w...rogress-again/
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •