A Thanksgiving surprise

November 30th, 2007

Something amazing happened to us during the Thanksgiving holiday last weekend. Hundreds of Ravelers sprung a big surprise on us – they filled forum threads with thank you notes, buried our inboxes in donations, and sent cards, donations and beer to our PO box. They also came up with all kinds of funny and creative avatars to wear on the ThankRavelryDay that they threw for us.

Guys – you are awesome. Your thanks, appreciation, and excitement means a lot to us. One of the biggest rewards of Ravelry has been all of the good juju that Ravelers send our way. Jess and I are thankful for all of you – without you we’d just have an empty site. You fill Ravelry up with your creations and your conversations and you help us build and grow.

The thank you avatars were really cool and I wanted to share them with the world. I snagged all of the profile pics that were uploaded around Thanksgiving time and picked out the ones that were created for the occasion. I hope that I found them all!
*little edit* – this picture doesn’t really show how many of these avatars were on the site around the holiday weekend – these are all of the variations but I think that about 800 users put up a thank you avatar!

PS – For those of you who are still waiting to get a peek inside the site: the invite list is moving pretty quickly but if you are more interested in browsing than creating an account, keep an eye on this blog. We are thinking about having a little Open House event in January. We aren’t ready to open the site for real, but we thought that people might like to grab a (time limited) guest pass, pick up a cocktail and a snack, and stop in to take a look around. I’m sure that people will dress up their avatars for the occasion. There may even be door prizes :)

Tiny November Update

November 9th, 2007

Whoa.. We’ve been MIA for a while. Things have been a bit crazy over here in Ravelry-land. We’ve got *tons* of users now, we finally launched our extra-special and still-very-beta advertising system and we have been madly packing and shipping the thousands of beta T-shirts that we sold in September and October.

When will Ravelry be out of beta, you ask? We don’t have a date set. When we feel like Ravelry is “ready” the front gate (login page) will go away and anyone will be able to wander around the site and check it out without creating an account. There isn’t any reason to wait for that though – add your name to the list and get in sooner. Becoming a Ravelry member costs nothing!

We’re still churning out the invitations – 700ish invites are going out per day. It won’t be long before people will only have to wait for a few days after adding their name to the list. We now have 35,500 users and 265,000+ projects in Ravelry (175,000 of these are FOs with photos!).

Holy mackerel.

Rhinebeck Gratitude

October 23rd, 2007

It took me a while to get to this post- I have been in a bit of a post- Rhinebeck slump and Casey is in deadline mode. It is okay though because this past weekend was SO much fun!

First a big old thank you to all the Ravelers and friends who made it to the two meetups on Saturday and Sunday and to the big party on Saturday night! It really was so awesome to meet people in person- we both felt the Ravelry love in abundance.

I felt so happy walking around the festival and seeing everyone wearing their Ravelry buttons with their usernames!

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It made it feel like a big fiber-filled, happy reunion. We can’t wait to go to more festivals and fiber events so that we can meet more Ravelers!
Our party on Saturday night went so well, I had to pinch myself. Casey and I got up on the chairs to do our welcome speech and say thank you to our wonderful sponsors and this is what we saw:

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I almost fell off the chair.

Everyone was so happy and supportive and thrilled to be there. Okay, they may have been lubricated with the open bar that our awesome sponsors provided. ;)
Party Sponsors
HUGE thanks to our main sponsors, WEBS and Blue Moon Fiber Arts and our partner sponsors Berroco and The Loopy Ewe. We really couldn’t have had the party if it wasn’t for the support of these great people. We were especially happy to have these sponsors because they have been supporting the site since the very beginning.

Thank you also to the folks that donated awesome prizes to our giveaway raffle:

Finally, I want to give big hugs to Team Ravely. We could not have done any of it without your help! Steve for doing all the behind the scenes prep work for the party, Maya, Nichole, Erica and Kyle for handing out buttons and t-shirts at the festival, for making the party details all come together, and generally just keeping everything flowing smoothly. I don’t think they had any idea how busy we would be and Casey and I are so grateful.

Thank you also to BunnySquirrel Jess, Booksherpa Jen, and Suzanne17 for your help with the t-shirt pickup on Saturday and at the party. These three are totally awesome in the Ravelry Help! Chat and they were just as helpful in person.

I made a Ravelry Events group on Flickr- so if you have pictures of the party and the meetups, post them here!

(I also have a Flickr set of the rest of my Rhinebeck pictures here and I am going to post on my personal blog with my fiber haul very soon. Squish!)

Next year, we need a bigger venue for our party! I can’t wait.

Off to Rhinebeck!

October 19th, 2007

We’re madly packing stuff so that we can leave for NY Sheep and Wool in 10 minutes.

If you’re coming to Rhinebeck, we’ll see you there! We won’t have a booth, but I’m sure that we’ll run into you. Ravelers – you may want to keep an eye on the Rhinebeck Group for updates and chatter.

I’ll try to keep the invites flowing but I don’t know if we’ll be able to respond to emails.

Poor Bob can’t come – he is staying at his friend Dolly’s house.

Jess is old!

October 12th, 2007

PS – Regarding the title of the post – I’m really not a meanie :) I turned 30 a month ago and Jess has enjoyed picking on me. Until now. muahaha.

Catching our breath…

October 8th, 2007

Won’t it be nice when everyone has been invited and Ravelry is open to the public? Once that happens, I can use this space to write about new and exciting things that we are doing with the site. If you are in Ravelry and you don’t use the forums, be sure to check out the For the Love of Ravelry board at least once in a while. (What? You weren’t looking in there? Did you know about the radar? How about browsing FOs by color? Did you see the coffee mugs and steins of beer and wonder where they were coming from?)

To answer a frequently asked question – Yes! Once Ravelry is open, everyone will be able to browse the site. You will not need an account unless you’d like to have your own notebook (for projects, stash, etc), post in the forums, add comments to projects, that sort of thing. Accounts will be *free* and we hope that most of you will want to participate instead of just lurking.

The usual list of numbers:

We are still churning out the invites and it’s getting a bit crazy over here. The emails, forum posts, and chat messages are raining down on us but we are surviving. [ I really wanted to say something that included “blot out the sun” because Jess is in love with 300, but I couldn’t make it fit. ]

Anyway… We’ve sent out 4650 invitations since last Monday, October 1st. Waiting list sign ups are not slowing down *at all* but the invite rate is faster than the sign up rate, so there is no reason for the newly-enlisted to despair. We are up to nearly 21,000 users and at one point today we saw 643 people using Ravelry during the same 5 minute window. As far as usage goes, we’ve served up 5.5 million page views since Oct 1st. I almost feel bad! You guys *are* finding time to knit, crochet, eat, and sleep, right?

Oh, and Jess and I will be at Rhinebeck in a couple weeks – we hope to see you there!

Hopefully we’ll take a few photos while we are at the festival so that we can post something other than a Bob picture. I hope that you all aren’t too tired of Bob yet, I just have to add a little something to liven up this post!

….invites are moving right along

September 28th, 2007

Things are going well! We’ve sent out 2225 invites since Monday and I’m going to try to speed them up a wee bit more. People must have noticed that we’re adding people faster because the waiting list has been busy lately. How many of you are out there anyway??!? At the moment, we have 15,600 users and 17,797 people on the waiting list. Wow.

Jess and I would like to say a big Thank You to the folks that have been answering questions in the forums and helping newbies in the Help! chat (go Helpers!). I don’t think that we would have been able to accelerate the invites if it wasn’t for you all. Waiting list people – there will be a link to the Help! chat in your invitation in case you have trouble getting started.

We’d also like to thank all of the volunteer editors – the pattern and yarn databases are looking really good (SO MUCH better than they were at the beginning of the summer). You guys have managed to do a great job even though I keep changing things on you ;) And we can’t forget all of the users! Thank you for entering your projects, owning up to your stash, starting and joining groups, participating in discussions… Ravelry is a fun and useful place because of you!

Oh – and I just remembered that I never posted the hardware pr0n for the geeks out there.
We’ve got two big (dual quad core Xeons) from Silicon Mechanics
that are virtualized into a bunch of hosts (all running Gentoo Linux, of course!)
with Xen. Sometime I have to post a writeup of how I built this thing – it has been a really fun and challenging project so far!

Ravelers helped choose the hostnames – we’ve got names like swift, felt, thrum, gusset :)

Speeding up the invites

September 18th, 2007

We are now inviting 500-600 users a day! We’re now plowing through the clump of people that signed up after the Yarn Harlot posted about us in (eek) July. Thanks to all of the Ravelry users who have been helping newbies in the forums and the help chat – we wouldn’t be able to speed up the invites without your help.

Also, Jess and I did an podcast interview with Jenny and Nicole from Stash and Burn. I should warn you that it’s long – boy can we talk!
Here it is: Stash and Burn Episode 30: Ravel Rock.
Oh, and if podcasts aren’t your thing, you may still want to click over to see a new pic of Bob.

pssst!

September 16th, 2007

Guess what?

It is Casey’s birthday today and it’s a doozy- 3-0!

yippi!

Gremlins

September 11th, 2007

So Casey was up until the wee hours (after 4am) getting the site moved over to our new servers… but he must have had tired eyes because the login is broken for new members!

So sorry about that guys!

He came back to bed about a half hour ago so I am letting him sleep for a little bit before I wake him up to fix it.

Hang in there! He will take a look at it as soon as he is up.

More updates soon…

Casey’s update: okay, things should be all fixed now. I am sending out copies of the invites that went out this morning so that people know that they can try again.