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Welcome to Woodworking! I'm not a moderator or anything (yet...), but I just wanted to welcome everyone with the first one of the first Meta posts, and also point out a few housekeeping lessons I've learned from being a long-time engaged user of a number of Stack Exchange sites.

This is my first private beta, but from the types of questions I've seen already, this has the potential to be a really cool site. Obviously, with a dearth of previous questions, askers have limited existing tags from which to choose, and will likely end up making new ones to fit their particular situation. However, even in the first hour, we're already getting partial duplicates ( and ), misspellings ( and ), and possible redundancies ( should possibly be just ?). We should have a discussion about tag formatting, singular vs. plural forms, and all that, perhaps toward the end of the private beta so we can be ready for public access.

One of the most important activities you can do on any SE site (along with asking high-quality questions and giving high-quality answers) is editing. Remember that all contributions here are licensed CC-BY-SA, and we are all free to clean things up. Yes, there have been long debates on Meta.SE and some of the site-specific metas like Meta.SO on how far edits should go, how much community members can do that might change the original author's intent, etc. However, it is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, to fix spelling and grammar errors, add/remove tags, improve formatting, and generally clean up questions and answers. If in doubt, ask the OP (Original Poster) or bring it up here.

Finally, internal discussion is key to keeping a site alive and relevant. Our definition on Area51 was certainly a good start, but we want to keep asking ourselves what the true aim of the site is, its target audience, and whether we need to broaden/narrow its scope after a while. Keep up the Meta discussions, use chat (once it's set up, not sure if it's ready yet), keep commenting on questions and answers, offer constructive critiques, and help your fellow woodworkers out!

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    Yes, chat is up. – J. Musser Mar 17 '15 at 16:18
  • @J.Musser thanks - I'm at work currently and all SE chat is blocked, so I couldn't test it. – MattDMo Mar 17 '15 at 16:21
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With keeping the new WW beta clean, I'll make a statement about editing, whether a question or an answer. Everyone should keep in mind that the SE is a world wide community. While we will be getting a lot of varied people asking/answering questions, how they ask/answer questions will be just as varied. This site is based on the English language. While we here in America would like to think we have mastered the language, there are others who would not see that quite the same way. If someone in a Q/A uses a different spelling of a word than we are used to, it doesn't mean it automatically needs to be edited. For instance, in the UK & Europe, they might use the word "tyre" instead of "tire", or place the "er" as an "re" at the end of a word (ie: litre v. liter). This to me is local color and depends on where you are from. Are either of these things wrong? Absolutely not. Please take this into account when seeing such things and looking for the edit button. We don't need to change how a person says something if it is completely understandable the way it is.

On a similar note, I've seen where people who are not native to the English language write a Q/A and it gets all kinds of down-votes. It is my belief these down-votes come because the author's command of the English language is not that great. The problem is the question itself was sound and on-topic. Please be gentle in these situations and help the OP to create a better Q/A and not just shoot them down mid-stride. This is a great way to drive people away from the site instead of drawing them in like we all would like to see.

Above all, remember the SE way of things: Be Nice. It seems we have a very good start in that direction. I hope we will continue down that road and this SE will flourish like so many others.

Lastly I'll just say, welcome to the site: Now go out and throw some wood together! :D

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    I agree about not shooting down English as a second language questions. If it is comprehensible, then it should be edited so it's not so painful for others to read. I myself couldn't imagine trying to get help with woodworking in a non-native language. – drs Mar 18 '15 at 14:53
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    Also, about WW in particular, two more things spring to mind related to an international audience: First, most of the world doesn't use inches and feet, but the metric system, and secondly, words can have different meanings in local varieties: As far as I know, in English, a “planer” is the tool which in American English is called a “jointer.” Somehow I assume the site will probably standardize on the American vernacular, but it may be useful to point out such pitfalls someplace. E.g., cooking.SE is rather good at having temperatures both in Fahrenheit and Celsius. – Christopher Creutzig Mar 20 '15 at 17:56
  • @ChristopherCreutzig ... I frequent the Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair SE site quite extensively. There are a LOT of different things which Americans call car which the Brits call something totally different (ie: boot v. trunk; hood v. bonnet; etc). We seem to do okay with these differences. I would assume we can make due with the differences here as well. Agree with your statement overall. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 20 '15 at 19:27
  • @Paulster2 Does that include using the same word for two closely related, but decidedly distinct, things? – Christopher Creutzig Mar 20 '15 at 20:36
  • @ChristopherCreutzig ... I don't know exactly where that comes into play, but if the two words are similar, but are completely different in meaning, we should err on the side of caution and ask the individual exactly what they mean. That's what comments are for, I'd think :D – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 20 '15 at 21:09

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