Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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January 9th, 2016 at 08:04 am

Pattern or Tutorial

The Question: What are the definitions and standards for instructional
materials came up in a “group”

Answer: They do not exist. … But they should….

This is by no means an exact answer, but I guess – a lot of opinion and a few facts.

Almost daily, I get email, phone calls, or PM’ s from my customers who bought some publication and find it wanting. It never ceases to amaze me the crap that is offered for sale – and I have lost sleep while wondering if they are that much of an amateur or if the author just did not care. I suspect usually a combination of both – especially lately.

Long ago I had a business partner who like to say “Cheap can cost you dear” and I have had the pleasure to work with many old school industry professionals on many different career paths who understood that and so worked towards raising the bar on publications and product.

So a better way to put that might be: There is a difference between Frugal & Cheap =

In beadwork, unlike in the YARNandTHREAD community, (knit, crochet, weaving, sewing etc) there are no National/International Academic “society” and there is no bead specific industry group and there are no organizations remaining professional organizations for “craft” professionals as exist for those who work with fibers and fabrics.

Without those types of organizations, Academic, Professional and Trade, only with a working partnership of 2 or more = there is no viable way to set standards – so it is continues to be the wild west. Even, to the best of my knowledge, the Japanese who have standards for just about everything do not for beads sizing

Realistically there is absolutely no incentive for such organizations to come into being and then to develop standards and work toward getting those accepted. Frankly if it had to happen again in fiber, I doubt it would be possible to get it done today because of the combination of lack of those willing to do what has to be done – at significant personal expense ( dollars and time ) and the apparent unwillingness of the majority consumers to bear the cost of more comprehensive instructional materials. So too small a market for quality.

Hell few know as well as i do that it is almost dangerous to even suggest that at the very least, accurate information should be norm. Because those who do so are often excoriated, ridiculed and told they are mean and nasty Certainly anyone “in the business” knows the risks of not only having higher expectations, but expecting those with a product to meet them. Not the least of which is to have those who offer substandard products and information lobbying a group admin to remove the person and then name call or otherwise harm their reputation.

Personally, I will not buy an instructional materials unless there some way I can see a sample of the quality of the publication. Ideally it should be a complimentary work – and it can be very basic – that will demonstrate the kinds of learning aids that will be included in their product.

I am a fanatic about the details – and if the sample work does not bother to reflect care and concern for enabling the buyer – then I am not interested.

If their offerings are clearly copies of anther’s work

I believe the sales description should include a list of “skills needed” as specific as possible and not some vague or arbitrary and undefined references such “beginner”, advanced beginner, intermediate, etc.

I know many would like an exact list of “materials used” available prior to sale but that is a multi-sided discussion unto itself.

What is included – charts, graphs, illustrations, etc should be mentioned.

Who is the audience? Obviously if the seller is the author and is selling direct to consumers, then their product had better be geared to that niche and have what is needed for those with the skills needed to successfully complete the product.

However, many of the free patterns offered by bead and other manufacturers of products used in the making are not really intended for use by consumers – they are meant to inspire you and it is expected that additional and instruction will be provided by the entity who sells you the supplies.

I absolutely agree Videos should be a supplement not a substitute for well written instructions.

At the same time, you the buyer have some responsibility as well. If you want certain features included then you have to be willing to pay for them.

Wow this got way longer than I planned, so stepping off this soapbox is likely going to at least result in a sprained if not broken ankle

Probably need to edit this more – but really do hope you will consider that there is more to your purchasing choices – instructional or supplies – than just price.

originally posted to the FaceBook group BWAN (not mine) 2016-Jan-08

 

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