Ravelry- the State of Things

May 17th, 2007

Just two weeks ago, I put a post up on the Ravelry blog letting our beta testers (at that time a little under 100 people) that it was okay to talk about the site on their blogs. We needed a few more testers and thought we would get maybe 1000 people who would be willing to put up with some bugs to get a head start… well, we were wrong.

Earlier tonight, the invite request list has exceeded 4,500 people.

Casey and I are so thrilled that our little website idea has resonated with so many knitters and crocheters out there. It is such a great feeling to know that all our hard work for the past few months has been worthwhile… that Ravelers are having fun organizing, playing and meeting new people. It is like a dream come true. We have had to pinch ourselves more than once during the past couple weeks.

I have heard some things through the blog grapevine that people are unhappy though- I have not checked the blogs out myself because, frankly, I do not have time. I spend all day and all night working on Ravelry and Casey works on it almost the minute that he walks in the door at night. (yes, he has a real day job on top of this!)

I know that we should have just taken the invite request list down at some point but this is our first time doing this and we just got caught up with the excitement of it all. We are not a large corporate entity with a business plan- we are a guy and a girl who had an idea and are pulling it off the best that we can.

So I would just like to ask for a smidge more of everyone’s patience. I know that everyone is anxious to get into Ravelry and get started! We want you all in just as badly!

We are aiming to have the whole waiting list into Ravelry within the next month- Casey is making improvements to the site so that it can handle that many users and we are working out a way that we can make some money to help with the costs of running a much larger website.

Thank you all… really.

[Edited to add: If you would like to be super prepared for when your Ravelry invite arrives, you could get all of your knitting/ crochet projects and stash into Flickr. That will make it much easier for you to get started at Ravelry- most of the getting started period for me was getting everything I wanted into Flickr, finding the pattern and yarn info, etc. Just an idea!)

[Edited to add on 6/4: Please read this page for more info on what is happening with your invite request! Thank you!]

 

59 Responses to “Ravelry- the State of Things”

  1. Sherry Says:

    Wow!! Congrats on the great success of Ravelry. I love it and really appreciate all the hard work you and Casey have put into it!!!

  2. Sandra Says:

    Do not let the rumblings bother you! You two hang in there and don’t forget to ask for help when you need it πŸ™‚

    *hug*

  3. Daisy Says:

    I’m excited about this and I’ve seen lots of people just as eager as I am. Not too many serious grumbles and those that are grumbling probably don’t know the first thing about the technical aspects of this kind of project. I’m amazed, from what I have seen, that you have been able to create such a feature rich application. I’m merely a dabbler in coding but I can recognize the vast amount of work and planning involved in this project. Kuddos to you and if you are ever looking for someone to help out with tweaking on the back end let me know. πŸ™‚

  4. Stacie Says:

    Just put your fingers in your ears and go LALALALALALALALAAAAA!!! You two are doing a great job πŸ™‚

  5. Hazel Says:

    Okay, I’ll admit that I am one of those people who mentioned it on my blog. I haven’t been complaining – just impatient which is a character trait that I apply to my whole life. I am happy to wait until you get to my name in the list.

    I will follow you advice about flickr though – that will certainly keep me busy in the mean time!

    Thank you for bringing such a great tool to the community!

  6. Christie Says:

    I can’t believe that anyone would have anything negative to say. The suggestion of getting everything into Flickr before hand is a great one!

  7. Will Blog For Yarn » ** frecklegirl ** » Blog Archive » Ravelry- the State of Things Says:

    […] ** frecklegirl ** » Blog Archive » Ravelry- the State of Things […]

  8. Camille Says:

    Just a note to tell you you are doing an awesome job.

    One note to your tech department: I could never get the waiting list function to work in Firefox. After weeks of whining to my husband about it, he suggested the obvious, opening it in Internet Explorer. Ooops! Just thought you might want to know. So I guess that puts me on the notify list, which is just as well. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for providing a great service to the yarn-addicted community! I look forward to playing and will try to enjoy this exercise in patience. lol.

  9. Carole Says:

    I feel so lucky to be one of the beta testers! Just so you know, I haven’t heard anything negative at all, just praise and adoration.

  10. mel Says:

    We can be patient πŸ˜‰ It’s a testament to your hard work that everyone is so eager to get in – CONGRATULATIONS, that is just huge!

  11. Moe Says:

    Grumblings? There have been grumblings? I’ve been living in a bubble lately. The way I see it:
    Ravelry=free
    Ravelry=a great way to see what others are knitting
    Ravelry=nice tool for getting tips, yarn subs, notes on errors etc

    All of the above? Good.

    And also? I am in awe that you and Casey are even DOING THIS. I am still floored at the amount of work you two must be doing. AND you have a job. AND you have a Bob.

    ps. BTW, no matter how great you are and what an amazing job you’re doing, there will ALWAYS be somebody grumbling. Don’t sweat it.

  12. Steph VW Says:

    Jess – you and Casey are the best and so is Ravelry. You and the code-monkey are two very dedicated people. If Mr. Happy and I were to work on something as monumental as this, I think we would have to change our names to “B!tch and Mr. Cranky”.

    I think the rumblings are b/c everyone is just so darned excited that they can’t wait to get on and get going. And to those who are just generally whiney, I say:

    “Good things come to those who wait!”

  13. carrie m Says:

    4,500? wow! i didn’t realize!
    it’s such a great idea, and such a great resource. it will be unbelievable once everyone is on!

  14. Amy Boogie Says:

    Hooray for the success! I love your site. It kicks much ass.
    Just let me know when you want me to pay for my adspace.:)

  15. Allegra Says:

    thanks for the update! I am really looking forward to being able to use Ravelry, whenever that time comes! I think it’s great that so many people are interested in the site! Great idea about getting ready with Flickr too.

  16. Kate Says:

    Who’s complaining…. don’t make me kick their ass!

  17. Anastacia Says:

    If and when you get a chance, can you explain a little more about what we need to do as far as flickr is concerned? I don’t use flickr except for sometimes looking at other people’s photos. Are we supposed to take photos of our WIPs, you mean? Our yarn stash?? I’m a little clueless. Thanks so much for your time, and i look forward to joining ravelry when the time comes.

  18. Sarah Says:

    J – you and Casey are doing great! Don’t let any rumblings get to you, “they” probably just want in to see how fab it is for themselves and are having trouble being patient. You have so much to be proud of!

  19. Angela Says:

    I can’t wait to try it out. The buzz has been so great. Just remember that the critics are everywhere–don’t let it get you down. Clearly you’ve landed on something that resonates with people.

  20. Jody Says:

    I think you’re doing an amazing job with Ravelry. I love it! If the current craze is any indicatio – i think you both may be able to work on Ravelry full time in the very near future! Congrats!

  21. pixie Says:

    that is sooo awsume!!! AYYAYYA~!!!

  22. scout Says:

    Maybe the unhappy people get in last? πŸ˜‰ Just sayin’. Knowing how much blood, sweat and tears you two have put into this it makes me really mad to hear that there are unhappy people. *off to find these people*

  23. JulieFrick Says:

    Head down, power through. Seriously- pay no attention to grumblings. I can understand people being excited and wishing they were already there, but I canNOT understand folks sending any negativity your way, even indirectly. That’s like dissing Santa because your house wasn’t first on his list. He’ll get there, people! Hold your freakin’ horses!

  24. Holly Says:

    Sweetie, congratulations on the Ravelry success! I can’t wait to get my email from y’all to tell me I can play too! Don’t listen to the negative rumblings – 99.9% of everything that I’m hearing is totally positive about Ravelry AND all the hard work you and Casey have put into this.

    *hugs* πŸ™‚

    Now I’m taking your advice and am off to start a Flickr account to upload pics to…

  25. Sara Says:

    JulieFrick said it best!

    *huge hug* You and Casey are AMAZING!

  26. Debbie Says:

    Yay! I’m so happy for your success! I knew it would be a hit and your enthusiasm about it was one of the main reasons I knew it would be great. Just hang in there and don’t make yourself crazy. No need to rush around trying to appease people who don’t appreciate it. They’ll be the first ones complaining when some little thing goes wrong because you rushed the process to stop their whining in the first place. Just think of all the people who are willing to be patient so you guys can make Ravelry the best it can be before busting wide open. There are way more of those, thankfully.

    Congrats again!

  27. elisa Says:

    I have to tell you that the features in Ravelry totally blow my mind. You guys have done such a thoughtful and thorough job that this will be a complete and total success. I’m dedicating my weekend to getting all my shit uploaded to flickr so I can really start playing. For now I am ridiculously entertained by looking at other people’s projects and stash, etc. You guys totally, totally, rule. πŸ˜‰

  28. Teri Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I had no idea how many folks you had on the waiting list. I’m looking forward to trying out someday but I’m not chomping at the bit. I’ve heard nothing but good things so don’t stress about unhappy people (some people are never happy).

    Congrats on your success! I’m looking forward to taking part!

  29. Carrie Says:

    Great post, Jess! We know you guys are working your tails off, so hang in there and we will deal with the grumblers. Hee. Just kidding.

    And also. 4500. Holy crap.

  30. Kate Says:

    I can’t wait to get my invite! I complained on my site about having to wait and all the bragging going on about how wonderful Ravelry is, but I was only complaining jokingly. I really am excited and as a previous software engineer I could be a great beta tester. πŸ˜‰ Don’t mind my whines though… I know the application is worth the wait.

  31. Lolly Says:

    You two are amazing πŸ™‚ Keep up the great great work!

  32. Nicola Says:

    Well!!! I’m writing to you from Co. Wicklow, Ireland and am moved by the general comment to de-lurk on a positive note.

    As a web designer I certainly can appreciate the amount of technical work that is required for a project like Ravelry (oh boy do I ever!) and as a knitter I can appreciate the impatience that users (i.e. us avid and addicted knitters) might display in wanting to get on board.

    I should point out that I haven’t got a blog (so therefore I’m not defending any blogging ethics) but while I’m fairly cynical about a number of things, (local government, politics, the middle- and the extreme-right), I have a deeply held heartfelt belief that knitters are benign and noble creatures and are generally a power for good.

    So…

    I think you should interpret any grumblings as just the Enthusiastic wanting to get on board the Fantastic (and if that doesn’t sound too much like a ‘Sex And The City’ soundbite – how about a ‘Knit And The City’?!)

    I eagerly awaiting access to the knit-community-and-project arena that is Revelry, and I thank you for your knitsight and generosity that makes it possible.

    Yours in Stitches,

    Nicola

  33. Nicola Says:

    Well!!! I’m writing to you from Co. Wicklow, Ireland and am moved by the general comment to de-lurk on a positive note.

    As a web designer I certainly can appreciate the amount of technical work that is required for a project like Ravelry (oh boy do I ever!) and as a knitter I can appreciate the impatience that users (i.e. us avid and addicted knitters) might display in wanting to get on board.

    I should point out that I haven’t got a blog (so therefore I’m not defending any blogging ethics) but while I’m fairly cynical about a number of things, (local government, politics, the middle- and the extreme-right), I have a deeply held heartfelt belief that knitters are benign and noble creatures and are generally a power for good.

    So…

    I think you should interpret any grumblings as just the Enthusiastic wanting to get on board the Fantastic (and if that doesn’t sound too much like a ‘Sex And The City’ soundbite – how about a ‘Knit And The City’?!)

    Along with many others (4,500 and I’m not a bit surprised!) I eagerly await access to the knit-community-and-project arena that is Revelry, and I thank you for your knitsight and generosity that makes it possible.

    Yours in Stitches,

    Nicola

  34. lori z Says:

    You guys have done an amazing job putting this website together.

    Until recently, I was one of the 4500 on your list, with growing impatience. Its hard to read people blog posts or listen to podcasts about how fabulous it is, when you cannot experience it yourself.

    Since I’ve now been able to tinker with it from the inside, I can understand why it has to grow somewhat slowly. Even though I do not know the inner workings of the coding/site architecture/etc, I can tell that even with the small number of people who are currently on the site, the site is feeling stressed and there are a few hiccups here and there. Working out the bugs before the site crashes it a great idea!

    I have the utmost faith that you two will get it running super smoothly and you’ll be prepared once the floodgates open. Keep up the hard work. You two have created an amazing site!

  35. Julia Says:

    I reckon the only ones really complaining are the ones who are still waiting to get in. Don’t be too hard on us, we’ve only heard great things and we will practice patience. Well, that and mucking around getting all our junk in Flickr.

  36. Casey Says:

    “I can tell that even with the small number of people who are currently on the site, the site is feeling stressed and there are a few hiccups here and there”

    erm. I can’t say that I agree with the “stressed” part πŸ™‚ We’ve always planned on handling a large amount of users and I think that we are in good shape. Hiccups, yeah – there are plenty of bugs (thus the beta testing) so it’s not uncommon for people to find something that nets them a “Crappers!” message or a 404.

  37. RandomRanter Says:

    As one of the waiters, I concur with those who say any grumblings are likely of the I-can’t-wait variety. I think everyone gets that you guys are two busy people and we are so grateful that you not only had this idea but have taken the time and energy to put this together for all of us to enjoy.

  38. yuvee Says:

    I’m so so glad that you invited me, it’s such a great place to belong to.

  39. Jenny Says:

    Don’t let it get to you. I’m enjoying it so much right now as I get set up!

  40. Suz Says:

    Um, pay no attention to Scout! We’re not “unhappy” people, just anxious and excited people! I for one cannot wait to get in!

    Would there be a way to implement a “donations welcome” sort of a “tip jar” feature for any users who may want to help defray some of the cost or put toward larger server or whatever needs you have? You know we knitters do tend to be a generous bunch. πŸ˜‰

  41. schrodinger Says:

    Four THOUSAND five HUNDRED people!!! Holy crap!!

    I’m sorry to hear there has been grumblings, I hope that it doesn’t get to you. I’m sure it’s not personal. I think that it’s the excitment about the wonderful site you have both produced and it just shows the eagerness of those to join. You guys are doing great work and I’m not the first to say that that I’m astounded by the massive amount of effort and ingenuity going into it. As Sandra said, don’t be shy in asking for help.

  42. Anne Says:

    You guys are doing a FANTASTIC job. I can’t even imagine how you manage it all! I think everyone’s just really excited – I know I was!

  43. Stacey Says:

    I haven’t mentioned Ravelry on my blog because I just felt that while word of mouth is good, I didn’t want to bring ANY MORE invite requests your way just yet. But you guys really should be impressed with yourselves. I remember back when you were just toying with the idea…and look at it now. It really is fabulous.

  44. emily jan Says:

    Wow! 4,500 people! That’s such great news. I’ve read through eveyone else’s letters and I couldn’t agree more Γ’β‚¬β€œ you guys are doing a huge, mountain-moving, revolutionary-type thing, by yourselves, and you’re doing an awesome, AWESOME job. The whinging is a testament to your brilliant work, and you can take a little comfort in the fact that big, billion dollar companies would KILL to acheieve the kind of viral popularity which Ravelry is rapidly attracting!

    And from someone else who works in the web design/development arena, DON’T let anyone push you to launch before you’re ready. It’s easier to troubleshoot when the app is still smaller! Congratulations guys!

  45. maurene Says:

    i’m so proud of you and casey! as for any complaining that may be going on in blogland…i will say what you and casey are much too nice to say, “calm the hell down bitches! everyone will get their turn!” love, maurene.

  46. Nonnahs Says:

    I haven’t heard any negative comments, and I can’t even imagine any. Hang in there! You and Casey are doing a great job- the site is amazing!

  47. Tina Says:

    Congratulations on your success with Ravelry. I am anxiously waiting for my invitation to join the fun. So many of the bloggers I read and the Podcasts I listen too are talking about it and it all sounds so interesting and fun. I canÒ€ℒt wait to experience it first hand.

    Thanks for giving us an update on the number of people waiting to join. I was starting to get worried that my request to join got lost in cyber space, but now that I know it probably is just in the mist of all the other anxious knitters I can relax a little bit and wait my turn. I will keep myself occupied with more knitting and getting pictures and information ready to be uploaded the moment I get the word.

    Thanks for all your hard work; I know it is going to be a fantastic resource for all knitters.

  48. Mary-Heather Says:

    Ravelry is beyond awesome already. I just wanted to chime in as another cheerleader here – you and Casey are doing an amazing job, your moderators are helpful, and when the site is ready for all to join, your hard work will have made it that much better! I didn’t even know I *needed* Ravelry till I started playing with it. Y’all rock!

  49. Chelsey Says:

    I can’t wait. I understand, though, that it’s a lot of work and will sit here waiting patiently for my invite. This is such a great idea and I’m soooo excited!

  50. A lot of pics to take | Living with Cat Hair Says:

    […] I’m very excited to say that I got my Ravelry invite today – thank you for creating a wonderful site, Frecklegirl!  I am amazed at the complexity, yet usability of the site.  I’ve only put in a few projects so far.  The original data entry is going to take a while but it will be so worth it.  Those of you waiting for an invite, be patient – its worth the wait. […]

  51. Elizabeth Says:

    Jes, I am SO. PROUD. of you and Casey. Seriously. This is magic in the making– let the grumblers slide– don’t spend a moment worrying about them– you guys deserve some serious down time when it goes full “live”– perhaps a swim in our fave lake . .? You’re always welcome — bob, too, obvs.

  52. Shannon Says:

    Ravelry is wonderful! I got my invite today and had so much fun and its so informative-you guys have done a terrific job. Its a great suggestion for people to get their Flickr stuff updated too. Thanks for that great site-I already made 2 new friends-and I have only been on it a few hours.

    -Shannon

  53. lomester Says:

    I think once the “waiting in line” peeps get in they are going to be so happy they are going to forget they ever grumbled!

    You guys are the best!

  54. Shannon Says:

    Hey-I just did a post about Ravelry over at my blog and I suggested that as people wait for their invites it might not be a bad idea to go through their blogs and dig up old needle size info, yarn, etc. and save a post in their blog as a draft-that way they are ready when their invites come and its really quite fun to do. Just a suggestion-from a very unorganized knitter!

    -Shannon

  55. Scarlett Says:

    Jess, don’t be discouraged by the grumblings. We grumble because we are SO fricking excited by the success of what you are creating that we want in like yesterday. You guys rock and we want to play!

    Sorry about Casey’s dad stroke. My father had several mini ones. My heart and prayers are with you today.

    Scarlett
    http://asiknit.blogspot.com

  56. Jennie Says:

    Ah! The answer to my question–thanks! Waiting patiently, or as patiently as I can, as one of the remaining thousands. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait!

  57. Any Mouse Knitter Says:

    I’m one of the people who isn’t greeting Ravelry as the greatest thing since sliced bread. The manner it’s being implemented really pisses me off. First it’s secretly started with some select little clique, then they’re told to let the world know that they’re the Golden People, the Insiders, the Cool People. They tell all us lowly peons, us outsiders, how wonderful it is and how much fun it is and how much time they’re spending there, and how we really would like it if we were just cool enough to be invited to join.

    So we peons beg for admission and our pleas just drop into the electronic void. No acknowledgment that we’ve asked, nothing. Only a little trickle of new Golden People boasting to us that they’ve been invited in and they just love it so much and it’s just too bad we haven’t been asked to join, with the implication that we haven’t been asked because we’re not worthy. More accurately, maybe, that they have been asked because they are worthy and only implying that everyone else isn’t.

    Maybe if the administrators responded to the requests, telling the applicants that they’d been added to the waiting list, maybe even giving their position on the list and occasionally announcing where the admins had gotten to on it, I might not be so pissed.

    Notice, however, that I’m making these comments anonymously and I haven’t said a word about it on my blog. I may be pissed, but I’m not stupid. None of you claiming that there aren’t any negative feelings about this have a shred of information to base your claims upon.

    (I know that some of my feelings about this are my own issues, but I’m apparently not the only one with such issues. I think it’s been handled badly.)

  58. penny Says:

    I had a very long babbling comment here about why naysayers should remember that while computers serve us these great pages every day, they push technology further than anyone ever planned for it to go. I wrote about how I sent a feature request listing “qualifications” that should bump me up the queue (hah hah hah) … and then I hit my track pad wrong and deleted the bloody thing.

    anyway … there will always be those that are upset they didn’t think of it first. they will think they are all knowing and thus think that they should be the boss of everything. some of them should. most of them shouldn’t.

    [btw thanks for not submitting yet to my request. i honestly wouldn’t have been able to test as you deserve — my life has been wacky.. i’ve done enough testing to be happy you have a small group and when you are ready you’ll open it up to more.]. i look forward one day to the finished product and signing up then. no, i won’t be one of the first, but that’s ok. i know who i am and where I stand for myself. do i want to be a cool kid? of course, but sometimes it’s nice to wait too. [er.. english is failing me tonight]

    my thoughts are with you and casey over the loss of grandpa. may his memory be a blessing.

  59. Betsy Says:

    I {heart} RAVELRY
    I DO NOT [heart} mean people