There’s a nice article in Slate about Ravelry, the social network for knitters.
The best social network you’ve (probably) never heard of is one-five-hundredth the size of Facebook. It has no video chat feature, it doesn’t let you check in to your favorite restaurant, and there are no games. The company that runs it has just four employees, one of whom is responsible for programming the entire operation. It has never taken any venture capital money and has no plans to go public. Despite these apparent shortcomings, the site’s members absolutely adore it.
My friend Lila told me about Ravelry soon after I started knitting, and wow, it’s amazing. I use it to catalog all my projects, so if I was really happy with that hat I made for Joanna and I want to make another one, I can go back and see what size needles I used. (4.)
I also use it to look for patterns – a couple of years ago I bought the yarn for this scarf, then when I wanted to start it last week I just searched for “scarf” on Ravelry, and it was the first one in the search results, out of 21,962. (If you go look at the guy’s blog post you’ll see why. It’s stunning.)
I’m sure this sort of site could be useful in other areas, too – the writer of the Slate piece mentions cooking, but there are so many hobbies where you can imagine people using a linked database.
Oh, and if you want to be friends on Ravelry, I am hey-helen. (Unlike this website, which is heyhelen. I wish I’d signed up on Ravelry as heyhelen…but I’ve been on there longer than I’ve had this URL.)