yesterday ravelry shut down one of the "big six" forums called "remnants. one of the first groups established on ravelry, it was the group where a question or comment was posted that didn't fit into any of the other craft groups - yarns, patterns, techniques, needlework on the net, and for the love of ravelry (where techy Qs about the site went).
over the past 3 years, more intimate groups were established, ranging from craft-oriented ones regarding specific techniques, yarns, and shops, to non-craft groups about tv shows, music, even people. i once belonged to a group about girls who wear glasses, and i've even seen a group created for people who hate toaster ovens (!!). just type whatever you're interested in, and there's usually a group for that (although, strangely, there isn't a group for goldfrapp fans. but that's okay).
as more groups were established on ravelry, people still visited "town square". n00bs were directed there as a sort of initiation and a way to learn about ravelry. i remember poking around the groups myself when i joined but i moved away as i discovered groups and people who shared my love for the tv show knitty gritty, knit picks interchangeable needles and snoopy.
one forum i didn't follow but heard much ado about was the group remnants. questions of the mundane and strange were here - do you time your knitting? what about historical knits? what are the best handles for a knitted bag? these safe questions gave way to "bizarre movies you saw against your will" to "jay leno took my needles!" to "my sister is missing in florida". it's amazing what someone will put out there for millions of strangers to read.
in one group i frequent, we would grump about threads where someone announced they were pregnant. a big thread came out months ago, where a woman wrote that she had a pregnancy test in her purse and she didn't know what to do with it (she wasn't stupid, she just hadn't planned to get pregnant). complete strangers followed this woman's thread, offering to make her baby things (never mind that apparently she is a knit designer herself), giving advice (often conflicting) and waiting on baited breath for this child to be born (any day now, apparently). another thread from a month ago had a woman complaining that not only was she knocked up, but she told millions of strangers before she even told her significant other. really? must you announce to everyone around the world that not only did you spread your legs for someone, but you got knocked up by accident, you don't really want the baby, and you're afraid of telling your boyfriend? um, the last time i checked, there's a group (or two or three) for that on ravelry. what attention hoars. i swear, every time i went to remnants i lost IQ points.
anyway, TPTB at ravelry discovered that more people read and commented in the remnants group more than any other group in ravelry. the stream must have been astronomical and dizzying. they also noticed that many of the things posted there belonged in already established groups, so they chose to take down the group, as to encourage these people to branch out into other groups.
well, you'd have thought the world was ending. people wailed and gnashed their teeth at the loss of their precious remnants. many threatened they'd never use ravelry again becos it was the only thing they used ravelry for. some people openly admitted that they didn't care about the patterns sort feature, or yarn directory, or any of the other useful tools that ravelry was originally designed for. they spent their time following the lives of others. dear lord, what a time suck.
in the SAHM group i'm in, women admitted that they devoured remnants becos they were lonely. their husbands didn't help them, they had no RL friends, so they made friends in remnants. i found this so profoundly sad. the reason i joined the SAHM group, or SAI, or the desperate housewives groups, was to meet people who shared common interests with me. i have friends in the HAPL group that if we lived closer, we'd have playdates and knit nights together. these women basically admitted that instead of using the groups for support (which is why i joined SAHMs and the reason the groups were set up in the first place) you'd rather hear someone make a stupid comment then watch in fascination as the phantom disagreers tore this comment and poster apart. nice way to spend your time!
so the angry ones established a new remnants (apply named "remrants") and apparently you can join only by invitation. way to be inclusive!
the largest groups on ravelry are anthropologie knits, lace knitters, ISO and destash yarn, sock knitters anonymous and knitpicks lovers. more people posted in remnants than in these groups combined. that's sad. and so so pathetic.
a while back i read a knit designer's blog where he bemoaned the fact that ravelry was letting in "just anyone". this was **3** years ago. while ravelry wasn't established for the whims of veteran designers and yarn manufacturers, it was to be a place for knitters and crocheters to come together to share and learn from one another, and to have fun at it too. i see where he's coming from. there are a lot of us on ravelry for the love of the craft, but apparently more use it for the social aspects of it.
i'm glad remnants went away. it was one place online that made me feel worse about myself instead of better. and ravelry is too smart a site for that crap.