It is with some regret that I post this to inform anyone who may have been following the "let's post some videos" initiative that I am rescinding my offer of services in this matter. I went into this thing not expecting compensation or even any tangible support from the SE head quarters but the amount of out and out resistance I have encountered has so embittered my opinion of the DIY Stack Exchange that I am not only giving up on the whole YouTube video concept but I am actually deleting my profile and moving on with my life.

I'm sure the SE staff will be thinking "who cares?" (or more likely not thinking anything because they'll never see it because Robert Cortaino will delete it) but consider this: I so believed in the viability of this idea and the promise of the Woodworking community that I was willing to write, film, and produce videos out of my own pocket, in my spare time just to try and help,,, and my interactions with the SE staff was so off putting that I am now washing my hands of the SE entirely.

I know you, the moderators, will want to dismiss this as just some lunatic having an unusually strong reaction to disappointment, but don't. Take a serious look at what happened here, ask yourself how you would react if you were me, or any of the thousands of people that selflessly contribute content to your site day in and day out. Ask yourself why anyone willing to contribute anything on a volunteer basis should put up with the way you treat the users here.

Sorry drs, I really wanted this to work, but I. am. out. Proposal: Woodworking


3 Answers 3


I am not really sure why you are a little up in arms about this. If you wanted to do a video for Woodworking and see how it flies, you just do it.

The thing about SE sites is that the scope of things, what makes a good question, what makes a good answer and how a site comes to be an asset to the internet, is up to the users of the site to define and implement. There are not a lot of rules, indeed the only rules for a site to become a site are that it is a question and answer site and that it meets the criteria to launch and get out of beta. While the powers that be have certain veto powers to close a site, they tend to let things develop unless it is obvious to them that a proposal is just plain garbage.

What I am getting at is that you frustrated yourself by believing that we needed to support you and that you needed some sort of permission to do what you had in mind. All you really needed to do was put something into the collective here and see if it worked. You did not need to ask anybody if you could do that, we have all been invited to help make a SE site here if we are interested. New and surprising things come along with every proposal and every launch.

So if you want to see if this video ideal of yours is a good ideal, go ahead and do it. Don't ask our permission you don't need it. If you want to get some type of SE logo on it, do a little research on fair use of trademarks. Simply put you can use a logo under certain editorial circumstances but you cant use a logo in a way that looks or even hints that your product is a product of or endorsed by, a trademark owner.

  • My vision of how it needed to work was dependent on the videos interacting with the site, something the staff here made it clear they were not interested in sanctioning until the idea was proven to work. But forget all that, more important is that I've received very little support from the community so it's like "what's the point? " Dec 8, 2014 at 17:24
  • 3
    Its not always easy here.
    – Jon
    Dec 9, 2014 at 1:37

I think that you're reacting to https://area51.meta.stackexchange.com/q/18932/85133 being closed. Many long-term SE users would have been able to predict this. It's closed because answering questions is off-topic according to the letter of the rules for Area51 discussion. Sites as large as this almost always enforce their rules strictly and SE is no exception. It's not personal and it has nothing to do with the concept of answering questions with videos. Simply, Area51 Discussion is (according to them) not a valid place to solicit the top 3 answers to a top-rated example question from a proposal.

I know what frustration feels like when a good idea seems like it is discouraged because of what appears to be lack of ambition or over-caution by those in charge---especially if that idea is your own. I know how this leads to disillusionment and even wanting to punish them in some way. But let me remind you why we're interested in Woodworking Q&A. We're not trying to make a better SE network, we're not to create a better way to show off our skills, nor are we trying to earn more magic internet points. We're here because we want to know more about woodworking. Removing yourself from this site doesn't help you achieve that goal (and remember how lousy woodworking forums are!).

Until the site enters beta, there probably won't be a good place to demonstrate video answers as you envisioned. Still, if you can stick with the proposal and even regain the motivation to create demonstration videos, I encourage you to do so. Videos made today may attract new committers and can likely be re-used to help answer real questions when the time comes.

  • 1
    +1 for "magic internet points" Jan 24, 2015 at 1:29
  • 1
    Good concepts but of course EVERYTHING on SE is personal.
    – blankip
    Mar 16, 2015 at 14:33
  • This is one of the best answers I've ever seen on any SE. I wish there was a way to "star" answers so that I could bookmark it for reading over and over again in future days. Apr 30, 2020 at 0:58

I went into this thing not expecting compensation or even any tangible support from the SE head quarters but the amount of out and out resistance I have encountered has so embittered my opinion of the DIY Stack Exchange that I am not only giving up on the whole YouTube video concept but I am actually deleting my profile and moving on with my life.

I'm sorry to hear that. I've been a member of Stack Exchange for over 6 years now, though, and I think I see where the problem is.

Stack Exchange started initially as a movement to improve computer programming Q&A sites, called Stack Overflow. It was designed bby programmers, for programmers, and one of the initial guiding principles that still strongly woven into the Stack Exchange DNA is that the various foods on one's plate never, ever, EVER touch each other.


The laser-like focus of each community allows experts to help in an environment free from tangential topics.

What happened is you were burned by this. Area51 is a community of experts devoted to building new Q&A sites. Questions about the proprosals, and how one might go about building a site are welcome.

Questions that are intended to create content for the site are not.

The problem you ran into was that the DNA of the site's community comes from other sites where users have to protect the site from tangential topics zealously. This may feel abrasive, resistant, or even abusive - particularly to members new to the Stack Exchange network.

Your question was closed because it simply doesn't belong here. The experts at building sites are not experts at creating content for a woodworking site, even if that's intended for building that site. So it doesn't belong here.

Your idea is great, you'll just have to develop it offsite. Bringing up the idea initially as you did was great, and you got some good response. Next you will have to swap emails or other contact details with those interested in working with you on this type of promotion, then go ahead and do it. There's no reason at this point to further involve the community here - if they are interested in generating woodworking content, they will see the initial post, contact you, and work with you. If not, they won't be distracted by an off-topic discussion that doesn't belong on this site.

I'm sorry to see you go, but I hope you'll give the woodworking site a second chance.

Keep in mind that as the community forms, the community itself chooses how it works. If you really want to help guide the principles of the woodworking site then you need to be a determined participant from the beginning of the site. In other words, if you don't like the way things are run here, consider taking that as a cue that you can improve this by working on the woodworking site right from the start.

I believe you'll ultimately be glad you did.

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