Constructive Critiques Threads in a.b.p.w

Bruce Brooks started a promising thread in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking "How Will I Learn If No One Says It's Ugly" and PM6564 has volunteered to be a sacrificial lamb with his "An exercise in critiques" post.
Most of us who are recreational woodworkers probably work basically in isolation. And most of us I'd bet are self taught, gleaning what we can from books and magazines with a bit of Norm or Roy thrown in. The opportunities for constructive critiques of our pieces by other, more experienced woodworkers, is sorely lacking. We might get feedback from a spouse, friends and relatives (not necessarily mutually exclusive categories) but seldom from woodworking peers, the people with the knowledge AND the vocabulary to describe what might need changing, why, suggestions on what changes to consider making as well as what works in the piece submitted for critiqueing (sp?).
One of the holes in rec.woodworking is that it doesn't permit images, other than primitive ASCII diagrams, since, as often noted, it's a "text only" group. a.b.p.f and a.b.p.f have been basically "pictures only", with little descriptive text accompanying the images posted or in responses to posted pictures of pieces.
In the latter groups "if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything" seems the norm and so critiqueing (sp?) has been minimal. I sure hope Bruce's and PM6564's posts are the beginnings of what can be a very valuable resource for us. Constructive criticism can make the next piece better or at least some food for thought.
Check it out if you're interested.
charlie b
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No "e." Not that I'm being critical.... -- Ernie
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words. Now theey aree a dimee a dozeen. Ya gotta usee theem someplacee.
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If you'd like to donate them to a worthy cause, see http://gadsby.hypermart.net /. -- Ernie
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Thanks!! Ernie, that is so cool. I showed it to my daughter and have encouraged her to read it as well.
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wrote:
snip of "Invitiation to critique" introduction...

Charlie,
As valuable as this experience has the potential to be for the woodworker who submits a photo for feedback, I think the real payoff of this will be seen in the improvement, over time, of the commentors' abilities to effectively communicate their opinions.
Clearly, endless posts of "NICE PIECE", "GOOD WORK", etc. do little to improve the craftsman's work, (notwithstanding the value of an encouraging word), but overgeneralisations in constructive comments are, I believe, little better because they do _nothing_ to improve the commenter's communication skills.
It's easy to toss off a comment like "Nice piece, but the aprons look a bit funny to me." It takes a bit more thought, (and thoughtfullness), to expand that statement into something along the lines of "You might want to try orienting your table aprons so the grain goes up in the middle and slopes down at each end, rather than the reverse as you've done here. Sometimes, when using woods with strong grain patterns, aprons with grains going up at the ends seems to give the table a "drooping" quality. By reversing your grain orientation, you can give your table a visually appealing "uplifting" appearance."
It's not about the woodworking, it's a people thing.
If this excersise helps posters here stretch their abilities in written communication, it will have succeeded in showing the best quality of Usenet.
Looking forward to it, Michael Baglio Chapel Hill
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wrote:

I hold my hand up to posting in the style you eschew, but then I do that as a newbie, and know no better. What you seem to seek would require experience, and therefore must come from others who has some. From what you say, they chose to remain silent for the most part.
I can see that it may be better, for me go back to merely lurking. I can do english, and thought, I just don't have the experience to make the content more useful in the way that would add more than a compliment.
Nice job! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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wrote:

Gnube, I think that would be unfortunate. Reading the wREC is only half the fun. If you only lurk, you'll miss out on all the opportunities to type some horrendously stupid statement and have the flamers tell ya what an idiot you are. It doesn't take too long reading this newsgroup to start thinking some of the regular posters here have asbestos shop aprons. ;>

What's wrong with a compliment? The reason I said "notwithstanding the value of an encouraging word" in my original post was to emphasize just how important they are. :)

See?
Best, Michael Baglio Chapel Hill
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My critique is of the group as a whole ,it is supposedly for BINARIES ,PICTURES and not TEXT . Text should be posted in this group unless it directly pertains to a BINARY ....mjh
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Personally, I'd rather have people post pictures there and then we can discuss them at length. Imagine a place where we could talk about woodworking without all the off topic crap and "where do I find a plan for a pukey duck" posts.
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Fri, Aug 1, 2003, 2:14pm (EDT-4) snipped-for-privacy@accesscom.com (charlieb) Bruce Brooks started a promising thread in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking <snip>
To me, at least, "binaries" and "pictures" are the operational words there. Most of us who are recreational woodworkers probably work basically in isolation. <snip>
I much prefer it that way.
One of the holes in rec.woodworking is that it doesn't permit images, <snip> One of the strong points you should say. And, you CAN post pictures here. You just do it with a link. I would like to see people posting the links to a.b.p.f and a.b.p.f when they have something there, rather than just saying go there. Easy enough: news:alt.binaries.pictures.furniture news:alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking
In the latter groups "if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything" seems the norm and so critiqueing (sp?) has been minimal. <snip>
Most people confuse critiquing something with calling it ugly, or putting someone down. Personally, I don't need some idiot from across the globe telling me what I just made is ugly. Same way, I believe he doesn't need some idiot telling what he made is ugly. Me, I know if something I made is ugly - and really don't care what someone else thinks about it. I don't set about to make ugly things, but some of my jigs, etc., could probably be accurately described as ugly. They work, so that's top priority. But the guy across the world, maybe it is ugly, but it also might be the first thing the guy (or woman - guy in this case used bisexually - is that the right word? LMAO) has made on his own, so he thinks it looks great. Why bust his bubble? He'll be able to look at it soon enough and see it's ugly. Now, if he had made some really crummy joints say, then you could mention a better way of doing it next time.
I say if someone posts something and you think it's ugly, just don't say anything. BUT, if someone posts something and asks for comments on specifics, joints, fasteners, etc., then I would say give some constructive criticism. Check it out if you're interested.
Maybe if it shows up here. I only go to a.b.p.w. and/or a.b.p.f. to check the pictures.
JOAT Everything happens for a reason, except possibly football. - Lu-Tze
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 23 Jul 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/JOATorJackOfAll/page4.html
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