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The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website
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Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Home Made Gear Website on 03/11/2006 13:53:29 MST Print View

Hey Everyone-
I'm working on a new project and need your help. What would your idea of the perfect homemade gear website be? What kinds of articles, features, themes, or motifs would you like to see? What kind of organization would you find the most appealing and easy to navigate? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

P.S. I'm not claiming that I'm going to create the "ultimate" website. I just want to see what your idea of the ultimate website would be and what you want that you can't find on the net right now. Thanks.

Edited by jasonklass on 03/12/2006 09:28:20 MST.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website..Why? on 03/11/2006 14:35:19 MST Print View

Jason, Why do we need yet another MYOG web site?
1. We have the MYOG Forum here.

2. You have the
Yahoo "Make Gear Group"


3. You have
Backpacking.net


4. You have a lot of individual BLOG's and other type sites.

If you want to be in charge of something why don't you send Ryan J. an email and outline a plan to expand the MYOG area at this site. You have a very large membership to start with.

I am not saying take over Jay's position but work with him and build what you think we need here.

Edited by bfornshell on 03/14/2006 00:01:25 MST.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website..Why? on 03/11/2006 16:09:05 MST Print View

Thanks for your comments Bill. That's kinda like asking me why I keep experimenting with different stove designs when the many I already have work just fine! I'm too adicted for that to register as logical! The main reason is that I have a clear vision of how it should be in terms of organization, style, content, theme, etc. You're right, there are a lot of great sites out there but I don't see exactly what I want anywhere on the net so, I have to make it. I suppose it's part of the same phenomenon that drives people to make their own gear in the first place; there's something they want that isn't commerically available. It would be nice to work with BPL but to be honest, I like the idea of having something that's mine. I just wanted to see what other people in the BP community think is a "good" website since I plan to open it up to article contributions. I want people to have a place to post real articles with a professional and standardized format; not just blog-type posts.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website on 03/11/2006 17:01:16 MST Print View

I don't think we "need" another homemade gear website, but why be so down on someone trying to create his own thing?

Surely, few of us would actually ask a beaming, pregnant woman why she's carrying yet another soul when there are already 5 billion people walking around?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
homemade gear site on 03/11/2006 18:24:41 MST Print View

agree with Benjamin on this one. Jason, go for it!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
homemade gear on 03/11/2006 18:26:32 MST Print View

something like that could be very beneficial. My and buddy and I have been toying with the idea of making gear and we both need all of the help and advice we could get. Well, me at least. LOL. Anyways if you did take that undertaking Jason go for it.

Edited by kennyhel77 on 03/11/2006 18:27:18 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
homemade gear on 03/11/2006 18:30:01 MST Print View

see I just learned something. I went to a url that had instructions for a pre filter and it was Jasons site. Great idea there.
Also now I know who ben2world on the lightweight backpacker is.

Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
go for it! on 03/11/2006 18:43:29 MST Print View

Yeah Jason, i think that website would be a great idea. how much time are you going to put into this idea? like are you going to do a lot of write ups for making your own gear? or have a lot of contributions from other peoples?
thanks!
mike!

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website on 03/11/2006 21:20:48 MST Print View

>What would your idea of the perfect homemade gear website be?


I like your website. It's clean, clear, and easily accessed. I visited all the pages just for fun, and I don't often do that with any site.

I like articles, how-to, etc. Go with what you enjoy; we'll follow. Ask around for others to contribute, because there are some good ideas out there that could use a home (I've got a lot of posts on BPL saved as snapshots because they don't exist in better format anywhere else). Feel free to tie your site into BPL posts, because I appreciate reading through a thread and then finding not just text in a post, but a link to a clean page that goes into detail with supporting photos.

I like simple projects because I don't have the tools or skills to mill titanium or things like that. Not that I don't like reading about those projects, but I'm more likely to actually build something simple.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website on 03/11/2006 23:20:05 MST Print View

Basic ideas, but they get overlooked so often:

-Table of contents/categories.
-Name the creation and the niche it fills... what it may replace or make easier.
-List the needed materials and where to find them. And on that note, think about assembling a sample MYOGers Recommended Toolkit.
-Time estimate
-Lots of quick-loading pictures or diagrams, that match up with the steps. Thumbnail them to larger versions if needed.
-Life-size printable patterns or schematics can make life easier.

I definitely like your site so far. Keep the projects coming.
-Mark

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website..Why? on 03/12/2006 04:10:17 MST Print View

Jason,

I only offer the following because it seems that you want to know what BPL Forum participants think. Otherwise, I'd just as soon keep the following opinions to myself. However, if anything in it proves useful, then it has been worthwhile posting this despite the fact that I know I am going to run the risk of "taking fire" from others for what I write below.

I'm a bit ambivalent about this whole JK MYOG website thing and can't figure out where I stand.

On the one hand, more than once, you've posted in these Forums about your own website. On the surface, it sounds a little like "sheep stealing". Can't say that's your motive though. Your response(s) to some inquiries about "Why?" are something to the effect of "Because it's mine" - blunt, honest, doesn't sound good (to me at least); it speaks volumes actually. In the same vein, the "Ultimate" designation, to me at least, doesn't come across properly. Something more humble, like "An Introduction to Homemade Gear" or some such name is kinder and gentler. If it's the "Ultimate", then it will become known as such w/o you having to call it that. "Let another's lips praise you and not your own" is the idea here.

Now, having stated all this, on the otherhand, b2w has unknowingly gotten me to look at your website. Since I think highly of him and believed that he would not be violating BPL Forum policy by posting a link here, I thought I would take a quick look at your website and leave if you were commercially oriented or just trying to drum up business for yourself here in these forums.

I have pretty much steered clear of your website, but have recently taken a brief look at it - nice website. Saw a "Visitor Counter", but in my quick "look-see", saw nothing that tied that counter to financial gain. The project that I looked at (viz. ben's pre-filter) was so simple that even I could do it and still have ten fingers intact afterwards. To my mind, this is good. I was glad to see that one didn't have to be a professional craftsman to reap benefits from your website. Look's like it is a good place for individuals ("The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind ahead" - Igor I. Sikorsky, Pioneer Aviator) to post ideas and a good place for them to be easily categorized and located by users.

So, I guess in the end, it's just my personal preference that some of the descriptive language be toned down just a bit. If I understand BPL policy, since you're not commercial in nature, then you're not violating any BPL Forum rules. Now, whether or not this is a pre-cursor to turning yours into a commercial site once you have established a following, only you known. I sure don't, nor am I insinuating here that you are - it would be very foolish of me to do so, since I don't know your intentions. It's just something I wonder about, that's all. I would hope that if you want to get involved in a commercial website that you would establish a different one and only link from it to your MYOG website, NOT turn your MYOG website into a commerical one. If you do turn commercial, consider giving those who posted ideas to it, a free membership or some other "perk" since it would be their efforts that enabled the site to become viable.

Bottom Line: IMHO, nice website; different format than the BPL Forums; looks like it will prove useful to many. Hope many people will contribute to it and that it will remain "commercial free".

Hope these comments are understood in the spirit in which they are offered and in some fashion prove beneficial. These comments are only my opinion and as such rightly shouldn't carry much weight with anyone else, nor persuade, dissuade, or otherwise influence other's opinions and decisions.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: Re: Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website..Why? on 03/12/2006 09:13:41 MST Print View

Hi Paul. I appreciate the honesty of your comments. Your point about the language uding "ultimate" was also brought up by someone else so let me clarify. I wasn't trying to say that I'M going to make the ultimate home made gear website. I was trying to get people to picture their ideal of the ultimate site and then tell me what features it would have so that I could see what people want that's not out there yet. When collecting information like this, it's common to get people to imagine their ideal paradigm to elict what properties that paradigm would have. Unfortunately, my wording lead some people to infer that I was arrogant or something. My only intention was to get people to think about their ideal home made gear website and what it would look like. That's it.

I don't want the focus to be commercial. It's going to be a place for people to share their ideas in a more sophisticated format than a blog of forum. I don't want to dominate it with my ideas. I'd eventually like to have most of the articles written by other contributers. There are a lot of people out there who have a lot better ideas than I do but they're never going to make a website. So, they just stick it on on some low-tech web page and can't do things like diagrams overlapping pictures, etc. I want to give people like that an opportunity to put their ideas in a venue where they can display their ideas in a better format.

In reference to my post on backpacking.net, if you go back and re-read the reply you'll see that it was a joke (I need to start using those darn emoticons!). I do want to make something that's mine, but the main reason for wanting to create a website like this is because I haven't seen one out there and think it could benefit a lot of people with great ideas and no desire to put up their own web page. If I were doing this for ego, I certainly wouldn't pay for it out of my own pocket and offer it up for free to other contributers.

Anyway, I hope this clarifies what I'm trying to do. It's not going to be easy but that's why I enlisted the help of all the experienced backpackers on this forum. I really appreciate all the comments whether they're for or against it. Thanks everyone.

Edited by jasonklass on 03/12/2006 09:17:02 MST.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website on 03/12/2006 09:18:36 MST Print View

Thanks Doug. I'm like that too. I don't have a workshop so I enjoy simple projects that I can make with everyday items and simple tools. I'd really like to have a lot of articles like that. I've already gotten some good submissions along those lines.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: go for it! on 03/12/2006 09:25:44 MST Print View

Hi Dennis-
My hope is that the articles will mostly be written by others from the BP community. On my amateurish little website I have going now you'll see that the majority of the articles were written by me. This is because I only recently started asking around for submissions and needed SOMETHING to put in that section. I've already received articles from Japan, France, Canada, the U.S., Australia, and England that I haven't put up on the old website yet because I'm not sure if I want to put them up now only to have to transfer them to the new website. Maybe on the new one I could do something like have a section with my articles separate from other contributers? Or, do you think they should all be mixed in together?

As for time, well, it's going to have to be a labor of love because I don't plan to make any money off it. This means I'd be limited to evenings and weekends. It will probably take a while to get started but once it's up it shouldn't be that bad.

Thanks for your comments.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website..Why? on 03/12/2006 09:36:42 MST Print View

Hi Bill-
I do participate in a lot of forums like the ones you mentioned including some others like whiteblaze.net, etc. But my idea is to have a space that is solely dedicated to tinkering with gear. I find that when I'm looking for new ideas in blogs or forums, I have to wade through a lot of topics or questions I'm not interested in to pick out one or two ideas. I just think it would be nice to offer something a little more single-focused for those who don't want to scan 12 different forums to find what they're looking for. I'm not trying to compete with any other forum, just offer something different. P.S. I applied to join the Spuer Light Skunk Works. I hope they let me in!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website..Why? on 03/12/2006 10:55:17 MST Print View

Jason, great reply to my "concerns"/observations, specifically, "ultimate", "mine", commercial. Ultimate = now very clear to me what you meant = good goal to have; why do anything part-way; get feedback to make it the best possible for the most people; good.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Ultimate Home Made Gear Website..Why? on 03/12/2006 11:42:26 MST Print View

Thanks. It's almost as much work to keep up with the feedback as it is to make the actual site! But I agree, I want to do something more ambitious than the tiny site I have now. That one was more of a learning experience for me. Hopefully, I'll be able to put together something better based on all the great feedback I've gotten here.

Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
Re: home made gear website on 03/14/2006 07:36:26 MST Print View

Well for what it's worth, many of the ideas or improvements that have been mentioned are underway on this site. We have a table of contents page in the works, with links to the forums, articles, suppliers, and even material weights (give these some time please). The MYOG articles do start off with a table showing time, cost, weight, skill level, and equipment level. I have been searching for an affordable CAD program to create printable patterns and detailed sketches for articles.

Jason, I'm not trying to discourage you from your goals, and appreciate your motivation and enthusiasm. I just don't want folks to get the wrong impression about BPL; because we are trying to evolve and improve the MYOG section.

Great discussion, thanks!

Jay
MYOG

Edited by jham on 03/14/2006 07:38:22 MST.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: Re: home made gear website on 03/14/2006 08:36:23 MST Print View

Jay,

Regarding your search for an affordable CAD program.

Consider using the draw features in Microsoft Excel. I am a professional engineer in California and often add sketches to my calcs with this feature. The basic way to get started is to set the column widths to "1" and the row heights to "9.5". Now, with the utilities on the drawing toolbar, you can sketch as if you are working on graph paper.

Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.

clb at gerwick dot com

Casey
Berkeley, CA

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: home made gear website on 03/14/2006 09:50:43 MST Print View

Jay,

I have an unused new in box legal copy of TurboCad I’d be willing to part with. Not only does it do 2D Drafting but 2D modeling if your interested.

Regards

roger_alsborg@hotmail.com