The Bobbys

January 22nd, 2008

Ravelry users! Have you voted in the Bobbys yet?

The Bobbys are the unofficial Ravelry awards that were dreamed up and brought to you by kateyj, crazycatladymel, InvisibleInsanity, Jesh, knit2gether, knitintensity, rewselene, Sherrie, smittenknitten.

You can vote for each category on the Bobbys group page. We just mailed 30 pounds of secret Ravelry prizes to kateyj (that’s 13.6 kg in metric-lands, 4.9 lbs on the moon). You know that you want your favorites to get the goodies, so go and vote! Polls will close January 28, 2008 at midnight Boston time!

The lucky winners will get recognition, secret goodies, and a whole year of Ravelry-fame.

The Categories for the 2007 Bobby Awards are…

  • Best Captioned Image
  • Best Free Pattern
  • Best Group Banner (artistic)
  • Best Group Name (creative)
  • Best KAL/CAL
  • Best Moderator
  • Craziest Stash
  • Funniest Ravatar
  • Funniest Forum Tag
  • Funniest Project Tags
  • Funniest Single Post
  • Funniest Thread
  • Funniest Ugh! Picture
  • Most Colorful Project
  • Most Creative Use Of Food Icons In One Post
  • Most Educational Crocheter
  • Most Educational Editor
  • Most Educational Knitter
  • Most Educational Ravelry Helper
  • Most Educational Spinner
  • Most Likely Was The Class Clown
  • Most Original Use Of The Word ‘Bob’
  • Most Original User Name
  • Most Projects With No Zzz’s
  • Most Ravelry Love In One Post
  • Most Tempting Ad
  • Most Unusual Project
  • Raveler Who Changes Their Ravatar the Most

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Who are Ravelry’s users?

January 17th, 2008

Jess and I just got back from TNNA and I really wanted to post the results from the survey that I did before we left. I apologize for the lackluster presentation – I didn’t want to delay any longer. Someone asked about the ages of Ravelry users in the forums and we thought that it would be fun to do a quick survey. BIG Thanks to all of the 11,000ish people that answered the survey.

It is important to note that this data comes from the survey responses of roughly 25% of Ravelry’s active users.

Edited to add the answers to the Monty Python question. Also, Ravelers who are reading this inside Ravelry – you can comment on this post by stopping by our blog.

Here we go:

ages

  • Average age: 37
  • Median age: 35
  • < 20: 2%
  • 20-29: 29%
  • 30-39: 32%
  • 40-49: 21%
  • 50-59: 13%
  • 60-69: 3%
  • 70 and above: <1%

We have many wonderful users above the age of 75 but my graph didn’t show ages with only 1 respondent…

knitting or crochet?

Crocheters are in the minority but their numbers are increasing.

years of experience

I’ve got more information (going back to 1 user who began in 1933) but I wanted to quickly share some interesting data about users who began to knit and crochet during the last few years. The question that we asked was:

In what year did you start [knitting|crocheting] seriously? (ie. may be after you first learned)

What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Results from the people who answered:

  • African or European?: 3207
  • something about… Shrubbery: 20
  • something about… Elderberries: 19
  • something about… Coconuts: 162
  • Laden or Unladen?: 151
  • 24 mph: 65
  • 25 mph: 9
  • forty-two: 56
  • forty-three: 45
  • Blue, no yellow!: 114

Many newcomers to Ravelry don’t realize that we have very active forums – the 6 main boards and 3200 group boards that make up our Forum Armada contain nearly 1.1 million posts. Ravelry’s isn’t a forum centered site, but the boards are a big part of what ties the community together.

I don’t really like the way that traditional (phpBB, vBulletin, etc) forums work so Ravelry contains my own twist on discussions. Here are a few things that people might not notice at first glance (with screenshots)

Every user gets a customizable forums section.

You start with the 6 main boards and each group that you join adds another board. You can arrange these boards into tabs and configure their size in a way that makes it easy for you to scan for new activity.


You can eavesdrop on all of the chatter.

Turn on the Radar and posts all over Ravelry will appear on the screen as they are written.
Radar was just a fun experiment but so many people love it that we are going to add improvements. I’ll also add a similar thing for all of the photos that are added to Ravelry (so that you can sit, knit or crochet, and watch a stream of FO and yarn pics pass by)

Magic links make stuff happen

There are some special shortcut for linking to Ravelry pages from forum posts. The magic links aren’t just time savers – in this example I linked to a user (Jess) and a pattern. After my post is submitted, Jess will get a Ravelry message (“Are your ears burning?”) so that she knows I am talking about her and the Korknisse pattern page will get a link to my post so that people interested in the pattern can find it later. This message is a bad example because it doesn’t actually say anything useful :)

There is a secret bubble

This one is just a small thing but it isn’t really explained anywhere. If you hover your mouse over an avatar for a while, you can see a little bit more about a user as well as link directly to their blog, projects, queue etc.. This actually works everywhere on Ravelry.

Also note the little “educational”, “interesting” etc. vote boxes. We love those things.

One more screenshot for the road

Nothing crazy here – just illustrating a few things: a simple and clean board overview, RSS feed for new topics, tags for easy browsing and procrastination, and the watchful eyes of the moderators (heh).

A new year!

January 4th, 2008

Wow. We made it to 2008. I can’t believe that this little “for fun” project has turned into something so big!

  • 1 year ago Jess and I started tinkering around with ideas and code on nights and weekends.
  • 6 months ago Ravelry became full time work.
  • 3 months ago we pumped up the invites and have since gone from 16,000 users to 59,000 users.

You guys may be tired of all of the statistics that I post but I can’t help but share the numbers that we’re starting off the new year with: 1.5 million page views per day (that was yesterday, at least), a total of 1.2 million photos (thanks Flickr!), 1 million forum posts, 411,000 projects, 38,700 patterns, and 16,700 yarns. Egads! Thank you all for coming over and sharing your work and your ideas.

We also have to send out a HUGE thank you to everybody that donated money to Ravelry this year. There is absolutely no way that we could have done this on our terms without your support and I’m glad that we listened to you and put that donate button up. Jess and I feel very lucky because we have had the freedom to stick to our ideals and build the site that we envisioned. Thank you all so very much.

..and let’s not forget the many hundreds of you that have so generously shared your time and your brains with us. The Ravelry Army is an amazing force: sooper editors, volunteer editors, Ravelry and group moderators, email and chat helpers, friendly and helpful forum posters, wiki editors, the BobBoosters and the Ravelry Welcome Wagon, the class clowns in CPaA. We appreciate you all and we never stop being thankful for your hard work, your friendship, and the good vibes that you bring to the site. Jess and I would have exhausted ourselves and fizzled out LONG ago if you guys weren’t here to help.

oh – we’re going to have a very busy start to 2008! Here is the agenda so far:

Upcoming Ravelry Events

  • Jan 1 : The Bobby Award nominations opened up on the 1st! The Bobbys are a Ravelry awards event that was dreamed up by Snarky Designs kateyj. Categories range from “Craziest Stash” to “Most Educational Crocheter” – check out the Bobbys group for nominations and more information.
  • Jan 11th – 13th : We will be wandering around at TNNA in Long Beach, CA and meeting folks.
  • Jan ?? : Ravelry open house event – a fun virtual party for Ravelers and guests! January came so fast but I still really want to do this and I’ll be working really hard to make this happen in Jan. Ravelers – see this forum thread for more information
  • Feb 21 – 24 : Jess and I will have a fun Ravelry booth at STITCHES West.
    We’re hoping to have some special guests, lots of goodies, a meetup, more to come. Keep an eye on the Stitches West 2008 group.

On top of all that – there will be plenty of time for coding. Ravelry is far from finished and there are all kinds of good things on the way.

Happy new year!

Happy Christmas!

December 24th, 2007

Jess and I have a small gift for you all: a little chuckle at Bob’s expense.

We’ve got all kinds of Ravelry factoids to share with people – who has the most stash? who has the longest queue? most socks? most posts marked as ‘funny’ or ‘educational’?

Here is one tidbit that people who haven’t joined Ravelry yet can enjoy: what are the most popular outgoing links? Here are the top 10 for December 1-7 (not including the new MagKnits and the new Knitty)

  1. The World’s Biggest Stash? over at Mochimochi Blog
  2. My So Called Scarf is still going strong
  3. DROPS Design’s pattern a day advent calendar
  4. knitbritt pointed out sassafrass’ Needle Chain Link necklace and a ton of people clicked over to Etsy to check it out.
  5. We Love Holiday Sweaters was #5. Are you guys bored at work or what? ;)
  6. People seem to like sensationalist stories about poo.
  7. Yep. Brora cashmere socks are expensive.
  8. kissyourshadow has a neat stripe generator
  9. Kate Gilbert’s Bird in Hand mittens
  10. And the last one… knitwear in The Golden Compass.

oh – Jess and I are definitely coming to TNNA and STITCHES West in January and February. We’ll even have a booth at STITCHES – just like a real company! I don’t know what we’ll put in our booth, perhaps Ravelry buttons and other goodies?

If you are in Ravelry and you are planning on attending one of these, make sure to check out the TNNA Long Beach and STITCHES West 2008 groups.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you West Coast Ravelers :)

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!

Dsc 0008

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:

Img 2243 Img 2244

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.