This post is part of a series of posts in One experiment a week project.
Setbacks: getting designers to collaborate will take some money
Last week I was looking for some designers willing to work with me on Crochet Along projects. I didn’t get many responses, but I learned something valuable nonetheless. I should have thought that was the case, but hindsight is 20/20! 🤔
So, the learnings are:
- Crochet Designers use Crochet Along projects to bring more users to their websites.
- I’ve seen a variety of approaches out there — some designers lean heavily into advertising, as evidenced by many many banners on their pages. Others, it seems, try to drive traffic to their premium content and other offerings. Either way, it’s not in their best interest to use an app to share their content.
- Also, and I’ve seen signs of this before, designers are very concerned about copyright issues, and rightfully so! Currently, they sell their patterns as PDFs. There’s no way to protect the PDF from being shared post-purchase.
Even though Crochet Along didn’t pay off as I expected, I had some other ideas:
- Protecting patterns in-app is (a little) easier than securing PDF. Although it’s possible to share your credentials, the app provides an additional value — keeping track of your progress. So two people can’t work on the same pattern simultaneously. Would this be a value add for Crochet Designers?
- Related to the idea above, and some findings from previous weeks (All-access pass), the app I’m developing could serve as a “private vault” of all patterns by this designer which only paying users would have access to. I doubt this would be a value enough by itself but in addition to some other functionality might be a possibility for a “white glove” service for Crochet Designers.
Continuing technical research
As I mentioned last week, Ravelry, the largest database of patterns, has an API that can provide access to data about patterns. Good news is, I’ve figured out no-code way to connect to it. Bad news, I don’t know how to trigger it automatically (without paying an overkill of $80/mo to Parabola that is 😂😂😂). Still, pretty exciting stuff!!!
Ravelry accessibility controversy drove some crocheters away
Some crocheters are using Airtable to keep track of their ongoing projects. This is exciting because there are products similar to Glideapps that can build on top of Airtable, and Glideapps itself is working on adding Airtable as a source of data. Something to explore further.
Connecting with Reddit community
In other news, I’ve started to connect with the Reddit crocheting community. They seem to have more relaxed rules and some dedicated spaces for promotion. I’m hopeful that this audience will be more open to some experiments!
This week I need to refactor some of my experimental tables from when I first started using Glideapps and find a way to hook up Parabola (or similar) to my app. For the discovery activities I’m planning on posting something on Reddit tomorrow (their self-promotion day) in hopes to find some designers to chat with.
Have an idea for an experiment or would like to be a part of the project? Or maybe you’re a crocheter yourself? Let me know your thoughts and ideas! I love collaboration!