It’s a Whisperer Life
A little more than 5 years ago I was working in woodworking isolation. No one at my office was interested in the subject, I knew no one locally who enjoyed the craft, and all I had was Woodworks with David Marks on the DIY channel and sporadic airings of The New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abrams on my local PBS (a station that seems hell bent against woodworking programs and keeps cancelling them). The thought of looking online to find other woodworkers didn’t really appeal to me as I have never been a forum kind of person. Too many threads to follow and usually a lot of ranting and bickering among the personalities there. I came to find out later that the woodworking community is probably amongst the best when it comes to politeness online. (that doesn’t mean we don’t still have our trolls!)
Long story short, somehow I stumbled across some Italian dude with a soul patch and tattoos who was making these videos about woodworking. He was about my age physically and acted about my age (that of an 8 year old). This guy had posted 2 videos and it seemed like he was on a roll and there would be a lot more to come. The rest is history. The Wood Whisperer with Marc Spagnuolo is one of those online success stories that everyone strives to model their own business after. Few succeed in the way that Marc and his wife Nicole have, but regardless of that fact, they inspire thousands to give it a try. Like the guy writing this blog post right now.
I was always a big geek, mostly of the theatre variety. Any chance I got in school I would make a video presentation instead of the traditional written essays or oral reports. I even majored in a performance discipline in college, so here I sat inspired by what Marc was churning out each day and thought, “I can do that!” In 2008, The Renaissance Woodworker was born and I credit it’s founding to the inspiration of The Wood Whisperer. There is no doubt that Marc and Nicole have pushed many woodworkers to give that project a try or get that podcast off the ground. What I find interesting though is how much information I have found outside of woodworking thanks to this dynamic duo. Podcasting advice, web design, internet marketing, social networking, online gaming, French toast recipes, movies to see, new technology, video editing, and moreover marriage advice are all topics where I can point to something Marc and Nicole have shown me and I have put to great use. Especially that French Toast recipe!
Marc is a good friend of mine so I’m obviously biased, but I don’t think anyone can deny the shadow that he has cast not only over the woodworking world, but the internet business world. A sincere thanks to the Spagnuolos and I for one am buying stock early for any venture that Mateo gets involved in because that particular gene pool has the right stuff!
So when The Wood Whisperer site went down due to a malicious online attack (known as a DDoS: Distributed Denial of Service) many of us were left with a hole in our daily routine. You know that saying you never know what you have until it is gone? The last few days have been a scary peek into the world without The Wood Whisperer, although productivity in corporate America probably tripled without this distraction. While I have to thank Marc for the spike in traffic to my own site because people had nothing better to do, I can’t help but think of Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” and shudder at the thought of woodworking without The Wood Whisperer.
I realize that Marc’s footprint is very large and he is bound to attract the attention of internet unmentionables but now imagine that these attacks spread out to hit other favorite woodworking sites and they go down. So let’s band together and help Marc recover from this insanity (read his post on the Wood Talk Online forum) but at the same time let’s take a close look at our own security and contingency plans and hopefully shore up our own websites. This community that has exploded and grown to such an amazing phenomenon is too precious to let slip away because of some “Snot Nosed Wanker” (thanks Stu, love that)
Look out hackers, you have angered woodworkers everywhere and we have very, very sharp tools