Ravelry is a website for knitters, crocheters, spinners, and other people into fibers, with close to 2.7 million users, or “Ravellers”, around the world. The site houses a rich database of patterns and reference information, ways to keep track of projects and stock of your yarns, and a forum for Ravellers to interact. In fact, Ravelry has been called “the best social network you’ve (probably) never heard of.”
What distinguishes Ravelry is just how tight-knit its community is. Mary-Heather Cogar, VP of Operations/Do-Gooder told us that "a lot of Ravellers have struck up friendships, sometimes in totally different countries, or met people in their own communities that they didn’t know were out there."
Ravelry has experienced exponential growth in its user base, but due to the company's efforts, the site has maintained a welcoming community spirit of connection and fun. That spirit can be traced directly to the team who runs the site and nurtures its community while remaining extremely thoughtful about how to build a positive, community-oriented company culture.
Sharing your progress is motivating and fun
The small, dispersed staff of Ravelry operates along principles of utility, connection, and fun — the same values that guide the greater Ravelry community. But as an all-remote team, it can often be tough to maintain a tight-knit culture based around your shared values.
For Mary-Heather, the answer is in being deliberate about choosing the tools you use to communicate. “We’ve had to find the tools that work for the business to stay in touch. iDoneThis has been great. There’s just something nice about recapping things that we’ve done at the end of the day. We realize how much everybody’s doing."
But iDoneThis's value goes beyond just sharing information. Mary-Heather learned that in using iDoneThis, shared knowledge on what's getting done can be an awesome launching point for sharing gratitude and feedback on the team's progress. "It’s motivating to get those digests in the morning and be like, ‘ooh!’, and it’s fun to go in and ‘like’ what your co-workers have done."
iDoneThis is fun because it reinforces what makes your job meaningful and rewarding. “We all just love the usefulness of [Ravelry], so that in itself is probably the most motivating — when you love your job and you think that you’re doing something that’s fun and useful,” Mary told us. iDoneThis brings the team's accomplishments of how they're doing useful work for their community into their inboxes, every day.
It’s motivating to get those digests in the morning and be like, ‘ooh!’, and it’s fun to go in and ‘like’ what your co-workers have done.
Improving small team communication alongside Campfire
Small teams can often fall into a false sense of security and assume they don't need to put effort into communication because they're small. Through team chat in Campfire, the Ravelry team gets a general impression of what people are working on. “We all know we work really hard,” Mary-Heather explained.
But they found that seeing a daily recap from iDoneThis turned out to be quite revealing, uncovering different workflows and improving knowledge about themselves, the team, and the business.
It’s pretty striking how it’s such a simple thing but improved communication a lot, even if your team is already close.
Those revelations and communication gains from having shared knowledge on what's getting done have been surprising: “We’re a small, close team, and I know that we’ve always felt like we’ve communicated and kept in touch with what we were all doing. But with iDoneThis, it’s pretty striking how it’s such a simple thing but improved communication a lot, even if your team is already close.”