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Topic: Please Help with Craftster article  (Read 6742 times)
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« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2005 11:26:26 PM »

1.  What keeps you coming back to Craftster?

The totally inspiring people who post here and the amazing stuff they come up with & the friendly community feel of the board as a whole.

2.  What is it that makes Craftster unique or unlike other online communities?

I'm on other craft boards, but they are made up of much more "mainstream" folk, and are generally a much older lot too.  It's terrific to gab with crafty folks you have other stuff in common with too!

3.  When you think of Craftster, what do you think of?

A bunch of really cool talented chicks!

4.  Are there any parts of Craftster that you think deserve special attention?

The awesome demos people take the time to post!!
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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2005 12:58:43 PM »

First, I want to let you  know that I've decided to respond BEFORE I read the rest of this thread, because I don't want anyone else's responses to sway my answers!  So I apologize in advance if what I say repeats something someone else has already said!

Second, this sounds like a fascinating project.  Would love to hear about your conclusions.

Im particularly interested in a few things:
1.  What keeps you coming back to Craftster?
2.  What is it that makes Craftster unique or unlike other online communities?
3.  When you think of Craftster, what do you think of?
4.  Are there any parts of Craftster that you think deserve special attention?
Of course Im also interested in anything else that you have to say or add. 

I really appreciate any feedback you can give me.  If you want more information about the project or about my background and research, please PM me.  Big time thanks for even reading this!

1.  I like that it is a dynamic and ever-changing forum.  There is always something new and exciting.  And I feel like I can live vicariously through other people's projects, even when I don't have the skills/materials/money/time to try something myself.  Also, I love the supportive nature of the group.  If I finish a project, usually the closest I get to a compliment at home is a grunted "Huh, that's nice" from dear hubby.  More likely I'll end up provoking a whine about how I could be better spending my time on more productive things.  If I post the same project on Craftster, even if it's not great, I'm likely to get at least a few nice comments about it.
2. One thing that I think makes it unique is that the moderators are pretty firm about keeping us at least somewhat on-topic.  I've seen more than a few threads get shut down for being either blatantly off-topic or unproductive.  While this might not appeal to some, I like the focus.  There are other places to rant about whatever.  Craftster is a positive, crafty place almost all of the time!
3. With apologies to the crafty guys out there, I see Craftster as a sort of sisterhood.  Despite a wide age range, a world of nationalities, different belief systems, we all come together in a spirit of crafting.  I also see it as a fusion of traditional and modern modes, materials, and subjects.  Where but on Craftster can you find crocheted genitalia???
4.  Crocheted genitalia.  But seriously, I think every aspect of Craftster deserves attention.  If you're looking for some particular inspiration, reading through the swap boards and galleries always gives me an insight into just what kind of people are here on Craftster.

Thanks for a great chance to reflect.  And thanks, of course, to Leah for being sort of a matriarch (bet she didn't think of herself that way!) or at least the big sister of an incredible community!
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2005 01:28:53 PM »

This is an awesome project! Please post the final paper when it's done!!

1. I keep coming back to craftster because I feel like the people on here (most of em, anyway) actually get what I'm doing with my crafting- often people are either not interested in making what they can buy, or they just cannot believe that I made my shirt, jeans, wedding gift, etc. Its really nice when people understand where you are coming from.

2. The other online "communities" I know of are Livejournal, My Space, Friendster, etc. Those seem pointless, and more for adding up how many people you know and announcing it to others online. Craftster is so constructive, and inspiring.

3. Craftster makes me think, yes, of a community- I described it yesterday to a girl as a place to bounce ideas off like-minded folks and get feedback, etc.

4. Special attention should go to the section where people give each other business advice and ask questions related to selling their stuff- Here, people (and mostly women) are passing on what they've learned, and this advice about creating a business can change someone's life.

Also, the swap section should be mentioned- this is also very community oriented. It introduces us to total strangers, through making them a gift. I have plans to meet and hang out with a swap partner who just moved to my state. Oh! which reminds me of the boards for City guides. These connect people to others in their area.

« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2005 06:16:36 PM »


I'm rather new to Craftster membership, though I've been lurking for a while, and as a fellow academic (& feminist) I'd like to support your interesting project, even if my responses are similar to those above.  I think this is a fabulous website: it is really well-designed, maintained and opporated (more thanks to Leah & team), it is a great resource for methods, sources of materials, and ideas, and I do think of it as a community.

1. Why do I come back? Well for the reasons mentioned above. The tutorials are great and convincing. I agree with wifeofbath above that making clothes is somehow intimidating. I have sewed other items before, but only ventured into making clothes since finding this website and reading encouraging posts. I have more experience in printmaking, painting and sculpture, so am pleased to be able to return the favour of information where I am able to do so. The photos are great and inspire creativity. My own background is experimental physics, a highly competitive, male-dominated field. So I find this really a refreshing, encouraging, female-dominated (though I think it's great that there are crafty guys here too and hope they enjoy the sometimes flirtatious responses from women) site. It may seem strange that if I am not intimidated to build circuits and machines that I was intimidated to make clothes, but I needed to be told that it was okay to use the trial-and-error method and have my first attempts look a bit odd. The spectrum of skills, someone else mentioned above, is also nice. So I can think, "oh, this isn't so bad, I think I'm a bit more proficient than X and might aspire to making things like Y". I also am relieved to find a set of like-minded people. It is almost a stereotype that one can find a group of people into absolutely any bizarre fetish on the net, but I am pleased to learn that I am not the only one who obsessively collects seemingly useless things (like broken guitar strings) on the basis that I may one day make something with them. There are even suggestions about what I might do with said collection!
2. Craftster is unique because of the nature of the supportive community (even as mentioned above, when views do clash), the tutorials, the variety of subject matter and the swaps. It has a very different feel than other on-line communities. It is more useful and more supportive. People do feel comfortable to post almost anything (except insults)! The ethnic diversity of members, the variety of ages, and the diversity of lifestyles has been mentioned, so I'll point out the diversity of language. Members communicate despite various proficiencies, preference for American or British "dialects" (as a Canadian, I have the advantage of understanding both easily and enjoy the amusing discussion of the meaning of say, "loo tube") or even l33t. Many members have English as a second language and freely throw in bits of French, Spanish, and make themselves understood, or leave brief comments to fellow speakers of their own languages. I think I've seen Dutch and Swedish and a few words of Japanese. People are even encouraging about language ability. It is immediately understood that this is a safe environment to discuss projects that relate to a minority culture in every possible sense of those words.
3. A great source of ideas and information, a unique cast of characters and some great challenges to come. I've got to do a swap... and maybe one of the newly created challenges.
4. Deserving of attention? I think the boards about gifts/brain blockages are particularly interesting because they are less likely to contain tutorials, but nonetheless attract sufficient numbers of people just wanting to help out. I think it's a function of the sense of community created over the site as a whole that people donate their time and energy to strangers or those they may know only by their avatars (there's a fabulous word for you to consider).

Now if you can tell me how to incorporate the craftiness into my scientific career I'd be grateful! Wink So far, I'm the only one I know who thinks about colour theory when designing circuit boards. Best of luck with the research.

I opened an Etsy shop! Come visit http://minouette.etsy.com

(I have a wist too: http://minouette.wists.com)
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2005 08:07:37 AM »

1.  What keeps you coming back to Craftster?
I come back because no matter how long you spend, you haven't seen close to everything! There are so many unique ideas, from a newer perspective of crafting, as oppose to the doilies and teddy bears you are hit with from all sides of the crafting internet! Not to mention when I finish a project I'm proud of, and I know I'm not alone here, the first thing I think is "I can't wait to show the craftsters!" It's kinda like a very large secret club.
2.  What is it that makes Craftster unique or unlike other online communities?
Well like I said the style of crafting mostly done here is more from my generation and interests. Then of course there's the actual size of Craftster, I'm not sure there is a larger, more varied online craft community at all. I also really dig that Leah is super-involved and not some name at the bottom of the website. The swaps, knit/crochet-a-longs, and the craft challenges step the interaction up to far surpass anything else I've ever come across surfing the web for inspiration or some kindred souls to talk about buttons with.
3.  When you think of Craftster, what do you think of?
Money. Because after trolling the new posts I need some to fuel my refreshed creativity! I often find "Why didn't I think of that!?! That's so amazing." a frequent Craftster afterthought!
4.  Are there any parts of Craftster that you think deserve special attention?
I definatly think the swaps,tutorials, craft challenges and craft-a-longs should be spotlighted. I really think craftster revolutionized the online crafting community by extending interaction beyond just showing a picture of something you did. With the swaps you can physically hold something handmade by someone in a neighboring land or the other side of the globe. Knit and Crochet a longs are like having 100 friends there to slip you their tips and tricks for a pattern, help you when you're stuck, and compliment your new fabulous item while you compliment theirs. Tutorials allow you to put your own vision into something, and give the original designer a varied collection of things THEY themselves inspired. And the newest addition to Craftster awesomeness is the Craft Challenges! What could possibly be cooler than that? You get to problem-solve, take in some friendly competition, AND MAYBE win some cool stuff at the end.
I'll tell ya the message board at Martha Stewarts site has got NOTHING on us.

I think it's great you're doing a paper on Craftster. In a couple years I think this website is going to take over the world.

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« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2005 09:06:45 AM »

1.  What keeps you coming back to Craftster?
I just found Craftster recently.  I quickly became addicted, because I love the projects that people come up with.  I love the 14 or so projects on the home page; its a great way to see what people are doing without sifting through lots of eh-so-so projects first.   

2.  What is it that makes Craftster unique or unlike other online communities?
I like it better than, say, livejournal communities devoted to knitting, because with Craftster, I can ignore posts with projects I don't want/can't do, and look at only the ones that interest me.  I don't have to read every post.  Of course, I think I only found Craftster through a Lj, so they aren't all bad.  But I don't have to have a lj, just a sign-in name, which is cool.  I also like that this website encompasses everyone's projects (screen printing to recipes), and that people are willing to post tutorials.  I don't know about other crafty message-board communities, but I assume they exist- I won't look for them though, because every crafty endevor is covered here in great detail. 

I like that we aren't sitting around arguing politics or discussing celebrities or talking about our cars.  I like that the website is so focused- I think when a board tries to cover everything, it willl cover nothing.  I guess one could argue that all the different types of crafts are the same thing, but they are all kept to their own boards, so I think it is totally different. 

3.  When you think of Craftster, what do you think of?
my tape measure brooch (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=22722.0).  I saw it, loved it, and made it because the instructions were clear, easy, and well thought- out.  I also think of all the icons I am begining to recognize, like people you recognize in class that you haven't talked to yet.

4.  Are there any parts of Craftster that you think deserve special attention?
I think there should be seperate board for projects with tutes.  If I have the urge to create now, I don't want to sift through a bunch of questions, or people describing possible/current projects, or pictures with no information as to how to make it.  Obviously, let's keep all these, as they are important, I just think the tutes should have their own section.  I also want an archive for projects featured on the front page (but I am new- is there one?). 

Of course Im also interested in anything else that you have to say or add. 
I love Craftster.  I like the openess of people, and the feedback (although I rarely see negetive feedback, which I think, if constructive, is good).  I like the free exchange of ideas. 
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« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2005 01:32:09 PM »

I may be a monkey wrench in your thesis- I dunno--- maybe a little addend--- but I'm one of probably the 3% of crafters that are males.  So you can add my answers in or disregard as needed...  whichever...

Im particularly interested in a few things:
1.  What keeps you coming back to Craftster?
2.  What is it that makes Craftster unique or unlike other online communities?
3.  When you think of Craftster, what do you think of?
4.  Are there any parts of Craftster that you think deserve special attention?
Of course Im also interested in anything else that you have to say or add. 

1.  Like a lot of people, I lurked on here for a long time before actually joining- and then posting...  I think Craftster's always fresh with ideas- it's a great sounding board for, "Hey, I was thinking of trying this- has anyone else?" or "Do you think this color works here?" or "Anyone have a pattern/stencil/etc. for..."  It's an incredible resource of a wide array of experience and talent- all willing to share (I'll get to that)- all at your fingertips.  With such an incredible knowledge base here- someone, somewhere is bound to have 'tried that before' or 'have done something similar.'

2.  I think it's the Craftster's willingness to share.  That's the really amazing part of this whole experience here- Craftster is a basic open forum, but the people using all seem to operate under the same edicts of honor:  Share your knowledge.  And that's amazing and rare.  And what's truly beautiful about the experience, is that it's done without aires- without expecting anything in return--- it's done for the love of Craft- and spreading that love to another...  It invokes a lot of self-empowerment to the individual.  If you'd asked me last year what crafts I was working on, I'd have pointed to my easle.  Now- I have my first sewing machine coming any day now from those wonderful men in brown- and I've already got all the suit and shirt and tie fabric cut for my first quilt!  NEVER could I have thought I could even consider doing this without the help of this place.  It's truly more a place- a community- than just a site.

3.  My mother, frustrated as all hell trying to figure out how to crochet a baby blanket.  I remember her distinctly, in tears, with the hook in one hand- and a ball of yarn in her lap- I remember her frustrated as all hell, trying to remember how to make something that she'd done before, but couldn't recall exactly.  I know that frustration.  And I think, someone could be out there experiencing that, looking for an answer- "how do I do this?"--- and if you can make one mother not cry in a day--- then you can polish some of that tarnish off your halo. 

4. Yes, the interaction that extends beyond the mouse and keyboard...  Craft swaps- craft challenges- even the "show me your..." threads--- they all promote an awesome sense of community that you just don't find elsewhere.  I've seen too many other boards shrink to petty squabble and nit-picking.  Craftster's just not like that. 

"...those that matter do not judge and those that judge do not matter..."  -unknown

"Can I do this? Or do I look like some sort of gay superhero?" - Sterling
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2005 04:26:16 PM »

Thanks again to everyone who keeps responding and has responded to this.  Thommoose, I'm glad to hear from you.  While my focus is from a feminist theoretical perspective, that by no means limits it to women.  I've found that one of the interesting things about craftster is that people who appear different in many ways come together and bond over something that is often trivialized as "just crafts."  I know that I have corresponded with many people who I probably wouldn't meet in my regular day to day stuff.  I could keep going on and on and on about this, but that's why I'm doing the article in the first place.  Thanks again!!!
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2005 02:02:14 AM »

I'm particularly interested in a few things:
1.  What keeps you coming back to Craftster?
2.  What is it that makes Craftster unique or unlike other online communities?
3.  When you think of Craftster, what do you think of?
4.  Are there any parts of Craftster that you think deserve special attention?
Of course I'm also interested in anything else that you have to say or add. 

Before I answer the above questions, I'd like to mention that I went to Waldorf school for a little while when I was a kid and my favorite class was the one where they taught us to knit, crochet, cross stitch etc.  I loved that class best because while we were doing all this handwork we'd all sit (boys, girls alike) in a circle and talk about news, gossip, ideas, and everything.  Outside of the class we had our cliques but for some reason in this class everyone was equal and everyone was cool.  That was my first experience with handiwork and crafting and 10 years later when I decided to start picking up various crafts again that is what I went searching for.  It was very hard to find, but I think I found something like it and even better in Craftster.

1. I keep coming back to craftster because everyone else who comes here is so industrial and creative and seeing other people making cool things (and actually finishing them) gets my creative juices flowing.  I go in here and look at the various threads and it inspires me to do so many things that I wouldn't thing of doing otherwise.  It's like a spark that gets the fire started when I'm having trouble coming up with stuff on my own.

2.  As an online community I think Craftster is very unique because it is so supportive and, for the most part, pretty mature.  I'm a member of a fencing forum and it is completely different.  On that one there is a lot of criticism and occasional hostility that flies around.  Of course Craftster and Fencing.net are essentially different because is one is fueled by competitiveness and the other is fueled by creativity.  I think part of the difference is also because most of the people who post on Craftster are women (I know tons of guys write too---which is awesome, my boyfriend loves this site---but you have to admit, at least 80% of us are chics), and women are a little softer.

3.  When I think Craftster I think creativity, industriousness, women (and men) coming together to fight against our consumer culture.  Where everyone else buys things and throws things away, we'll make what we already have better.  We'll personalize things,  make them unique to us.  We can turn the ordinary into something amazing that will come alive.  When I think Craftster I thing "Wow, what a great idea, I think I'll go try that!"

4.  The tutorials and the pictures are definitely my favorite parts of craftster.  I love that people want to share their ideas and not just keep them to themselves.  I work with a lot of people who don't want to share ideas at all and it is totally stifling to the creative environment.  It works so much better when people share their ideas and pull inspiration from all over...the end result is always better.  I don't think it's plagiarism at all because no project is going to be the same---you aren't taking the other person's idea and using it, you are pulling inspiration from something they did and it will be influenced by your own vision.

Best wishes on your paper


Error has no light, but ignorance follows a false one.---Fortune Cookie
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2005 02:22:44 AM »

1.  What keeps you coming back to Craftster?I love being inspired by everyone's creations and getting new ideas for things to complete myself
2.  What is it that makes Craftster unique or unlike other online communities?Craftster has a friendly atmosphere everyone inspires everybody and you always get truthful and reassuring feedback
3.  When you think of Craftster, what do you think of?I think of great craft ideas and lovely people that are fun and like myself
4.  Are there any parts of Craftster that you think deserve special attention?I think all of Craftster is equal and fantastic!!!

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