Another week, another survey, this time a snapshot of the top ten web applications as voted by around 3,000 participants from around the world. Most of the entries are little surprise, with the likes of Gmail, Flicker, Twitter and Facebook all appearing as expected, but sitting at number five is an unexpected entry: Ravelry, ‘a knit and crochet community’ that offers a rather impressive user experience underpinned by ‘the usual search and Google map thingies‘, online shopping, project books, displays of finished work, pattern sharing, personal messaging and discussion boards. Their own stats from Google analytics are supported by those from Alexa showing a rapidly growing user base, with up to a thousand users invited every day and a waiting list of over seven thousand. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider that Wikipedia: speedy delete decision….
What makes this site so interesting, of course, is the thoroughly non-techie nature of its subject matter and the naturalness of computer use implied amongst its user base. The way in which well designed sites such as this can draw together users from around the world and support their communities should have some very valuable lessons for learning communities.