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. Thank you all again for being here.
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
Expression through knitting and crocheting
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.
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.
More to come!
Here’s to our growth. I look forward to Open Ravel improving and continuing to be a useful resource for us all.