Wednesday, 25 February 2009

"The web of life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together."

I had planned to share five websites/blogs/podcasts on Wednesdays but I'm not sure how that's going to work today. You see, yesterday I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck, perhaps a large semi loaded with evil germs of doomy-doom. I spent the day wrapped in a knitted shawl, swilling down chamomile tea and ingesting vast quantities of Vitamin C.

Today, however, is a wee bit more of a challenge. I woke up with conjunctivitis in my right eye. Oh, fun. At least it's a good thing I wasn't planning on going out in public anytime soon. Combine that with four hours of sleep and, yeah, this may be a short entry. We shall see.

Since this is my first post in my newly-reorganized Wonderful Web-day category, I think I will just share the really big time-sucks on the Internet.

1. Google Reader

Recently, I experienced large quantities of frustration (indicated by much gnashing of teeth and muttered cursing) because my RSS feeds were not updating. A couple of my Plurk buddies recommended Google Reader and I can say that my annoyances have been put aside (probably replaced by new ones, but that's another blog topic) and I am happily promoting the awesomeness that is Google Reader (cue angelic choir).

It took several days for me to get all of my blogs transferred over (adding new ones along the way, of course) but now I can immediately see not only which blogs have unread posts but also how many new posts there are. Pretty cool. I also like the home page that gives me a sampling of the latest updates.

So, if you have too many blogs to keep up with, you might want to give Google Reader a try.

2. Ravelry

Pretty much, if you are a knitter or crocheter, you know about this site. Ravelry describes itself as "...a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration." Other than the nails-on-the-chalkboard grammar of "where my stitches at?" I'm pretty impressed with what this site has accomplished. Unfortunately, once you start perusing everything possible, you will find that you need to hop in your TARDIS to get back those couple of hours that just slipped by.

I like to use Ravelry as a pattern resource and I do occasionally post on the forums. However, in my few short months of hanging out there, I have seen the potential for total immersion in the online community and I have tried to not let myself get sucked into that. One of my favourite parts is being able to check out what other knitters are saying about any particular pattern and peruse their pictures of those projects. It can be a great organizational tool and, of course, a neat place to meet lots and lots of knitters and designers.

You can find me at Ravelry as wombatknitter. In order to become a member, you need to request an invitation. As of this posting, there are 297,578 registered users. If you sign up now, though, you should receive your invitation in about five days.

3- Plurk and why it's not just another silly time-suck.

If you spend your days on the computer, you might enjoy a little contact with the outside world. The nice thing about Plurk is that you can make connections with other like-minded people and you can stay in your pajamas with no makeup on, if you choose. I jumped on the Plurk bandwagon back in November and now have 125 "friends" there. The overwhelming majority of them are knitters and I have actually made contacts there that are proving to be helful in by knitting/designing ventures. I'll keep y'all posted on that - it looks like I have a yarn store interested in carrying one of my designs.

You can find me on Plurk as WombatofDOOM.

4 - Facebook

Okay, you knew I had to throw in my worst offender in the black hole that is "where the frack did my day go?" What can I say other than...yep, it's fun. It can help you stay in touch with people even more easily than sending email and occasionally you might even be informed of some event that you really want to attend. But mostly, you'll probably just play games. And that's okay, long as you remember to eat and sleep once in a while.

So, I'm thinking next week we'll explore some of the odds bodkins sites I enjoy. You know the ones. Stuff like this...Craftastrophe!

No comments: