From lemons we shall make lemonade!
I'm not going to go in to all the details here, because it's a whole blogpost in itself, but I am very glad that I took the decision to get a new community space set up when I did. I've been inviting people in phases (having all of you arrive at the same time didn't seem very wise), but if you've only just heard about it, don't worry, it's intended to be a group that anyone can join in with at any time.
The Hilltop Cloud Ravelry group will be retired, and any future community spin-alongs, prize threads and other group activities will be hosted in our new Mighty Network. This space has far more flexibility than the Ravelry group, and makes it much easier to pick out the parts that you are interested in. One of the options that it gives me is the ability to do some online teaching, and I will be investigating that more in coming months. The version I'm using isn't free to use, so teaching min-workshops and courses may well be one of the ways that I recoup this expense, and it will allow me to teach people who I'd never be able to go and teach in person.
The space is set up to be private, ie. I have to manually approve members, but in essence you should treat it like any other internet space. Only share things that you are happy for anyone (including employers and family members) to read. It uses Firstname Lastname as your user ID, but if you prefer to use a pseudonym for privacy reasons I am absolutely fine with that.
I'm going to do a brief guided tour below to show you how to get set up, this version is for desktop, but there's also a great mobile app. I'm normally very app resistant... if you can't make your website work on mobile then I'm not going to clutter up my phone... but I've found myself using this app lots over the past week. If you're using a mobile phone or tablet then the specific guide using the Mighty Networks app is here, but the basic function and icons are exactly the same.
Here's the screen you'll be greeted with when you follow this link.
Click on the Aqua button says "Request to Join"
Type in your chosen name in the boxes that say First name, Last name, and if you want you can add an avatar by clicking on the + symbol in the round circle (you can also do this later).
The next screen will ask for your email address, this remains private and only group hosts can access it.
You'll then be asked why you want to join, don't over think this part, just saying "I'm a spinner" is absolutely fine!
Once you're done click the green button at the top of the screen, and then you'll need to wait for me (or Kate who has moderated the Ravelry group for years) to approve you.
Once that's done (we're both in the UK so sometimes this might take a few hours), you'll get an email to confirm your membership.
When you click on the link in that email (if you don't get it after 24 hours check your spam/junk folder) you'll be greeted with this screen.
This is the home page, and where you'll end up whenever you log in. If you scroll down you'll see the latest posts made on the group.
If you want to start a new conversation then you can click on the text box at the top of the screen and start writing.
On the top right is all the things relating you your account. Here you can add your profile (you may want to include your old Ravelry username), and any other detail about yourself. You can also configure your notification options...
by default the option is to get notifications for lots of things, but you can configure that to suit the number of emails that works for you.
If you click on the Topics tab on the left hand side you'll find a series of sub-boards. If you're interested in something in particular then you can choose to "Follow" and you'll see that discussion thread as a priority in your feed.
If you click on one of those topics you'll be taken in to a thread of articles and posts. By default the feed view will show you the expanded view, but if you click on the icon on the right you can swap to a list view which gives you a summary of all the posts within that topic.
The 3 dots on the corner of any post allow you to save it to your account to refer back to.
You can comment in response to a specific post or article by using the speech bubble icon, or by typing in the text box below the post. If you just want to show your appreciation to a comment or any other content, click the heart symbol, which is called a Cheer! You can also reply to a comment that someone else has made by clicking on the text that says Reply when you hover over the bottom of their post.
If you go over to the left hand menu and click on Interests you can connect with other people who have selected their "Interest" in their profile. You can only pick one, but you can change it at any time, and if there's an interest you'd like me to add then I can do so!
I've blanked out some personal information as I don't have members permission to post that information here, but you'll be able see all of it as a member. Just use the text input box at the top of the screen to start talking.
Then below Interests is something called Spaces. This is where I'll put posts that I don't want to be viewable unless you choose to access them. There's no option to do Spoilers, so for things like the Time Travellers Club I want to set it up so you have to go looking for information, not stumble upon it!
If you're an international customer who has to wait a while for your parcels you may want to leave and join this space in order to access it once your parcel has arrived.
Once inside the layout is the same as in the rest of the group.... again, access at your own risk, there will be spoilers here, you choose when you want to look, but if you do look you will possibly see discussion and photos of fibre that might not have arrived yet.
Finally in the top left is the speech bubble icon which is the chat part of the group. You can use this for large group chats, or you can pick to have a private conversation with any other group member, just click on the plus icon and type in their name to search for them. (Again I've blurred out names for posting on this site). The chat section is private, and a way to have a one-to-one conversation with other members.
Please come and join us... there's lots of options, but you can use it in a way that works for you, and hopefully allows you to stay connected with other spinners. If you're not sure what to do then don't be afraid to press some buttons and see what they do. I promise that you can't break anything important... I'm the only one who can do that by clicking things!
If you're using the app then I'll get that guide written shortly.