Beyond Blue & The Shed

I’m not sure what to make of it, or if there is a hidden agenda behind it (I don’t trust politicians or their motivations!), but Beyond Blue and the Men’s Shed organisation has created an online shed called “The Shed Online” to join the battle against depression in men.

It sounds like a good idea – an online community of shed dwellers (and those who would have a shed if they could, but cannot for one reason or another).  Sharing ideas, discussing issues, swapping stories, seeking help from fellow shed dwellers.  Sounds excellent, and somehow….familiar.

But a politician (you can always remove a politician from politics, but not the politics from an ex-politician) like Jeff Kennett would never reinvent the wheel would they?  Currently it has 4 members online right now (including mine as I check the site out), and there is another out there with 1400 users online right now, based out of Geelong, with a member base (registered) of 59000.  7500 active (and that is a small fraction of total visitors to the site).  That site is The Woodwork Forums, and although the name focuses on woodworking, it takes in the whole gamut of shed dwelling activities.

So why would they ignore it, and instead try to create another version?  Seems such a waste, and all the people who will potentially join it will miss out on the collective contribution of over 100,000 threads, and over 1,000,000 posts.

Don’t get me wrong, the concept is excellent, but it is already a strong movement in Australia, so why would the Men’s Shed organisation (who must know the Woodwork Forums exist), and Beyond Blue ignore it, other than to score political brownie points?  They will have significantly better press coverage (and Jeff certainly helps that), but if the intentions are pure why did they not join forces?  I’m not trying to knock the idea – the online shed idea sounds brilliant 😉 but I’m just a little sad to see a reinvention of something that is already in existence and exceptionally successful.  They even have Shed TV.  Wonder where I’ve seen that before?

Anyway, if you are wanting to join the new community the links are above – I’m sure they could do with the membership!  And if you happen to mention the other resources already out there, well it will be interesting to see how refined their moderation team procedures are!!

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