I’ve been thinking about the net and the fiber community lately, for no real reason other than that, well, I guess I’m often thinking about that sort of thing.
As long as I’ve been online (which goes back to the era when .com was the least populous domain and email addresses were often bang paths and even some connectivity providers did it with modems), the same social dynamics have been in play in every online scene. You’ve got the net.curmudgeons talking about how it’s not like it used to be, the newbies making stupid mistakes despite all sorts of earnestness, a chorus of people saying “But did you read the FAQ?” You have recurring flamewars that devolve into flamewars about whether or not to have a flamewar. People come and go and folks wonder where they came from and where they went. Small, cozy groups turn into big, anonymous-seeming institutions. Groups split, and merge, get more active, die down to nothingness and disappear. Thriving subcultures pop up unexpectedly in the strangest of places. A handful of people devote tons and tons of time to making community stuff go, and hordes of people are able to avail themselves of those things. Sometimes folks doing that kind of stuff burn out and scenes change forever. Sometimes things get too big and noisy to really function well anymore. Sometimes you just can’t find the signal you’re looking for amid all the noise.
There are lots and lots of fabulous folks in the fiber world online, and lost of wonderful resources. And lots of us take the ones we know about for granted, and assume everyone already knows about them. Sometimes we’ll discover new ones and become addicted to them, but not stop to think of mentioning them to our other pals. I’m terrible about updating the links to blogs I read, for instance. I read TONS of you who I haven’t linked to yet.
So I’ve decided I’m going to make an effort to do a Shout-Out Saturday thing every week. What does this mean? Every Saturday, I’ll give a shout-out (or several shouts out!) to folks whose online fiber work I appreciate. With Shout-Out Saturdays, I want to take a moment to say thank you to the people making efforts, bringing fiber stuff into my online life, working on fiber community, and so forth.
So, here are my first shout-outs:
Sandra Rude is a production weaver, who does a variety of things, and talks in very understandable ways about technical weaving topics. Her photos are amazing, as is her work. I’m really fond of her recent Fire Scarf series. While there are a fair number of things you can find online about more basic weaving topics, Sandra is one of very few people covering more difficult topics, more advanced stuff, higher-end weaving.
Sarah is a real powerhouse. Seriously. Just look:
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been googling for some rather random thing (you know, like “leafy lace pattern chart vintage oak leaf roses vine edging” and the answer’s at knitting-and.com, and it’s there because of work Sarah did transcribing, documenting, and so forth. Sarah’s the woman behind the Knitting Wiki… for which I’ve promised content and not yet delivered, *cough*!
If you think I answer a lot of questions on lists, in forums, whatever, check out Amelia. Seriously. All that, and she has a fabulous shop!
Ellen is writing about fibers, quite a bit about fibers. Ever wonder “What’s so great about Merino anyway?” Check out Sheepwreck.
I don’t know how she does it, but Marcy finds the most amazing historical, cross-cultural, ethnographic, anthropological, and archaeological spinning content and images of anybody I know. And I know a lot of people with that set of interests! I’ve seen things pictured at her blog that I’d never even heard of before, and believe me, that’s saying a lot.
So to the five of you this morning, I say thank you. Each one of you contributes to my online fiber world in tremendous ways, and I’m glad you’re there (whether you read this blog or not!)
Tune in next Saturday for more shouts out.