Open Ravel's 1st Month

Hello, everybody!

We just passed our first month online and I’d like to give you an update on what’s happening behind the scenes and what we can expect in the near future.

First though, I want to say thank you. We recently reached 1,000 members and the support and positive reception for this website has been beyond motivating. I am incredibly grateful to all of you for embracing a positive environment where we can help each other and embrace our love of fiber arts.

So please, give yourself a hand. :slight_smile: Thank you all again for being here.

crochet-thank-you

Clarifying our purpose

Earlier this month we started a discussion about finding Suggestions for a better description. Our original site description didn’t reflect the range of talent within our community. Many of us are multi-talented crafters, and we would like to accurately reflect as much.

We have therefore changed our site description from

Open Ravel
Expression through knitting and crocheting

to

Open Ravel
Fiber arts for all

This not only more succinctly captures our purpose, but it offers an important double meaning: “for all” represents our welcoming nature for people of all backgrounds but also expresses support for the diversity of artist types within our community.

So, whether knitting or crocheting is your thing, or sewing, or macramé, or any other craft within the fiber arts world, we’re here for you!

Focusing on conversations

Our forum here has taken off very well, but we’ve always been aware of additional features that are needed. We recently launched #the-craft:patterns to start creating our own pattern collection and it is coming along wonderfully, though not without its challenges.

I’m going to keep pressing on with that effort, but I do want to take a step back and make sure that we’re keeping our community healthy. That means fostering community growth independently of working on larger features.

Some changes are coming to reflect this effort.

Making Open Ravel easier to use

I’ve been reading feedback and thinking about how to make Open Ravel easier to use. To this end, I’ve changed the default forum view on desktop to show the categories. This should help you find what you’re looking for much quicker.

We’re also restructuring our forum in general to better organize our discussions.

Adjusting Groups

Speaking of categorization, we’re going to remove the “Groups” parent category and split the existing group subforums between #the-craft and #general. Groups that are related to fiber arts will by default have a public forum, and groups that are related to other topics will by default have a private forum.

We hope this will better promote existing groups and help drive discussion.

We’re also looking for group leaders who would like to volunteer to grow discussion in their respective subforums.

Helping you make money

Our #marketplace has also been made more prominent, and if you are treating your art as a business, we would love to help you make money. Several of you have already used Open Ravel to facilitate transactions and I couldn’t be happier about that.

To further this goal, we’re going to be exploring additional ways to help you promote your business. More on this will come in separate posts.

Helping us make money

We’re still prioritizing building our community over monetization features. We do not currently run any advertisements or make money from transactions between members. We are running 100% off of donations.

To those of you who have donated, I very much appreciate you helping fund the website’s development. For those who haven’t yet, feel free to use the PayPal link below to donate whatever feels appropriate for the value we have provided to you thus far. :slight_smile:

https://www.paypal.me/openravel

More to come!

Here’s to our growth. :smiley: I look forward to Open Ravel improving and continuing to be a useful resource for us all. :slight_smile:

22 Likes

Very well said& it’s a honor to be a part of this group :grinning::hugs:

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Thanks so much for building this fiber community! The welcoming, supportive and positive tone here has been much needed and greatly appreciated. :slightly_smiling_face::yarn: :+1:t2:

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Thanks for all your hard work! It’s editing to be a part of something new. :slight_smile:
Regarding the groups, would it be possible to have the group topics display when someone clicks on the name of the group? For example, in the Number Knitting group, I had to add a link to where people could actually see the topics. As a user, I would expect that topics associated with a particular group are listed on that group page, but instead it just lists members.

And when I click on “Activity” on that page, I would expect to see the discussions in that group, but instead, it lists all the activity of all the different group members, which are totally unrelated topics.

However you decide to reorganize groups, it be be wonderful if the conversations about a particular group topic are easier to find.

Thanks again for building this new community!

4 Likes

Thanks for making the PayPal donation link accessible. I tried to donate but have to wait to look at my email. I’m not sure it got posted because I didn’t want to accidentally donate twice…me and button pressing.
I really enjoy the site.

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Thank you so much for all you have done to make this such a wonderful place! Very grateful for the amazing people met here!

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@KellyV thanks for the suggestions! I’ll see what I can do.

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Thank you for making such a nice place for crafters of all kinds! I like the new default forum view, and also that it’s easy to use even from a mobile phone. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what will happen here as we move on. Here’s to you! :coffee: :bouquet:
(you’re getting a coffee toast because it’s morning here.)

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Thank you for all you are doing to build this community - a positive place to share & learn.

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I was successful! Hurrah

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I think the format is beautiful and easy to navigate. Thank you for the hard work!!

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Thank you for your hard work!!! Looking forward to see this beautiful page grow in a positive way :slight_smile::heartpulse::two_hearts:

Hi there!
I haven’t been on in a while - studying for my A+ exam, redecorating some rooms in the house, kiddo starting Kindergarten, and, I’ll admit, binge playing The Sims! - and whoa! The site is looking AMAZING! It has truly taken off and I am very pleased with the progress. Happy to be here and I’ll try to log on to participate and contribute more now that things are settling down in our house. Keep up the good work and thank you for creating an open, inviting platform for all lovers of fiber arts!

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