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Old 08-03-2007, 04:24 PM   #21
kristinw
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Also, not only is it great to see how people have knitted different projects I like - but I buy yarn without a project in mind usually (it's a problem). So I can go to each yarn in my stash and see the all the projects that have been made with it. It is such a great wealth of information right at your fingertips. It is awesome!
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Old 08-03-2007, 05:32 PM   #22
Vendie
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Originally Posted by Susan P. View Post
Sounds like whomever developed this site really was creative and thorough and knew what knitters like to know. I often think forums..when you use them as a research resource..are great in revealing such things.
This is exactly why the site has been in beta for so long. They've been using those of us who signed up to be testers to really make the site as useful as possible. They've been wonderful in implementing suggestions, fixing bugs, and just creating a wonderful community. And the people who have offered to be editors have been great in fixing links and references, deleting duplicate yarns, etc.

I have to reiterate one of the better parts of the site, which is research ability. I've been interested in making some modifications to the Stag Bag from Knitting Daily, and I've been able to find some really good ideas from other knitters without having to scan hundreds of blogs. It's so helpful to know the quirks of a pattern, sizing issues, how it works in different yarns, etc. Having that information in one place is invaluable. It's also a great way to discover patterns you might not have been exposed to otherwise. I think all of this is what Jess and Casey have been trying to emphasize. Sure it's great to organize your own work and collection, but really, the thing that makes Ravelry truly unique is just the wealth of information at your fingertips.
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Old 08-03-2007, 09:53 PM   #23
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Vendie, Thanks for taking the time to explain that. I was actually in a meeting yesterday and spoke to a CEO about the fact that the large research companies here really don't yet 'get' the wealth of online communities and what they have to offer in terms of research insights and then outcomes. You've given a great exemplar in your explanation of how effective the Beta system is and then the brilliant outcomes that can emerge from knitters (the people who love the craft and want to better it) having direct opportunities to improve the system.

You and your fellow testers appear to have done an excellent job.

Two things. Is there much advertising on the site?? I'm also wondering how, and I guess this tags into the question re the advertising, the revelry folk are affording to run the site if its free. How are they accruing an income from it to maintain it?
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Old 08-03-2007, 10:18 PM   #24
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From their "About" page:

Quote:
The site will always be free for designers, independent dyers, spinners, crocheters and knitters! We want it to be an inclusive community- not just for those who can pay for it. Instead, we are planning to have tasteful and targeted ads- products and companies that we as a community will actually be interested in and want to support!
So, yes, there is advertising on the site. But it's not your typical Google ads or things that would otherwise not interest the fiber arts community (i.e. ads for online pharmacies or financial planning). The ads blend in quite nicely and are often supplied by independent dealers. For example, in the yarns section, the front page has a featured yarn (right now it's an indie dyer) and it displays a very tasteful photo with a description of this particular fiber artist and what he sells and what he's offering Ravelry users. On other pages, there are smaller ads from other indie dyers/shops. It's all very well done.

There was talk among the beta testers about whether or not the site should have a "Pro" element, like Flickr. What should "Pro" users get that normal users don't, etc. I think what Casey and Jess have decided to do is fore go the "Pro" element and leave it as a "give as you can/want" donation system. They truly appreciate the donations, but they never intended on making this a fee-for-service site.
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Old 08-03-2007, 10:31 PM   #25
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Once again..thanks for that. I would not support a 'pro' version either. There's an instant exclusive feel to that - the have and have not group - and if you want a truly cohesive community I think that feature best to avoid.
This is a wonderful example to many other fields. It was interesting talking to a CEO of a significant sporting/surf corporation about knitting He was truly quite interested tho and that was great.
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:56 AM   #26
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You know, the advertising is so tasteful that I haven't even noticed it!
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Old 08-04-2007, 10:57 AM   #27
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Okay, it sounds like a wonderful site. What is the link to be added to the wait list?
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Old 08-04-2007, 11:02 AM   #28
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Just go to www.ravelry.com...there's a spot to sign up as a tester. Chances are though, that they'll be opening up the site for everyone soon. I think they're just ironing out hardware/support issues at this point.
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Old 08-04-2007, 11:20 AM   #29
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I've signed up too! With all this talk about Ravelry, I had to check it out, and I was really impressed with what I saw. I figure I'm going to get my invite sometime in Nov or December, as there are only about 14,000 people ahead of me. But that's okay, I have a few other things on my plate to keep me busy.

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Old 08-04-2007, 09:24 PM   #30
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Just to ditto what everyone else has said, the research capabilities are phenomenal. I don't think I'll ever have to google a pattern or a yarn again! It's like a one-stop shop. And the possibilities for searching just seem to be multiplying all the time, as new features and new users are added. Search by pattern, by yarn, by designer, by popularity. Clicks on "Friends' Activity" and see what all your friends have been up to (what they've cast on, what they've added to their queue, what yarn they've stashed). The groups/forums are adding another dimension as well.

Here's a for instance on how cool the search stuff is. On vacation, I bought some Handmaiden Sea Silk simply b/c it called my name. Didn't know what I was going to do with it. Got on Ravelry. Searched under yarn for Sea Silk and got to look at every single project that anyone there was doing with that yarn. I saw a few shawls I liked, for instance the Gothic Leaf Shawl. It told me how many people were doing that particular shawl, and I could look at every one of those projects (those in Sea Silk, those not). See how people rated the pattern in terms of both difficulty and overall satisfaction. Could read people's notes about the pattern. Could follow links to other patterns by the same designer. Found a Gothic Leaf Shawl someone was working on that I particularly liked. Clicked on "Add to Favorites" so I won't lose track of it (now it's in my notebook). Clicked on "Comment" and sent a question to the knitter about it. After she answered my questions, then I clicked on "Add to Queue" and it asked me things like what yarn I was going to use, what needles, when I wanted to finish it. Then when I was ready to cast on, I went to my cue and clicked "Cast On." I didn't have to add any new information about yarn and needles, b/c it was all there.

That's just one small "for instance." Multiply that by many possible searches, and you can see why it's such a time suck!

Add to that the ability to catalog and organize your own stash, projects, and plans, and it is just completely amazing. And the more people who get added, the better it gets!
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