A web community closing

by Simon St. Laurent

Related link: http://www.wwforum.com/cgi-bin/forum_main/ptools2.cgi

If it's past midnight on February 28, 2003, the link above won't work. Its keeper has retired, leaving a community of people with fond memories of a place where they learned and shared information about woodworking.

I spend a lot of my web surfing time on woodworking sites, and it's a nice contrast to the technical communities in which I participate. Everyone has their own opinions, of course, but the style of conversation and the kinds of decisions people make based on these boards are very different.

Badger Pond's been one of my favorite sites for about three years now, at the top of my bookmarks list in all of my browsers. It's been a closely-moderated site, and the "Head Badger", Wayne Miller, has put in endless hours working on the site. The Power Tool Forum and the Neanderthal Forum (Hand Tools) have both generated strong communities. "Ponder Picnics" and meetings at woodworking shows are common, and I first learned how to work with a lathe at one of those picnics.

The last day has been mostly farewells. People have been discussing where they'll go after the Pond closes, making plans for a few more gatherings, and celebrating what they've learned. The archives will be available on CD, and some features - notably the shop tours and articles, have already found new homes.

While the Pond is closing, there are lots of other woodworking forums out there. I haven't yet figured out where I'll hang out, but I read all of these from time to time:

Even with all these to explore, it's pretty strange when the one you consider home closes its doors. Thanks to Wayne for a lot of good years!

Have any of your favorite electronic communities closed?