July 14, 2008
Today, for the first time, Loopy shares the Limelight with another animal. Of course it’s a special animal, to be able to be featured in the Limelight. If you’re on Ravelry, you know Bob. Bob pretty much runs things over there. I think he lets Casey and Jess believe that they are connected to it, but we all know that Bob is the Brains behind it all. That, and he’s also the mucker-upper when things go awry. (Have’t you seen his image come up on your screen in times of trouble?) In this photo he’s modeling his first sweater. We like that it’s red. Good choice.
Loopy: Hi Bob! Finally I get to interview one of my own kind. Sort of. Thanks for being in the Limelight today. First question – what did your people do before they started Ravelry? Did they sit home and play with you all day, or did they have jobs where they went off to work?
Bob: Hi Loopy. When I was a puppy, Casey had a web development job. He left on the noisy scooter early in the morning and then when he was home he was working on Ravelry at night and didn’t have much time to play with me. Before I came, Jessica was working as a study abroad advisor and then quit that to go to school and take care of me. We went to the DOGPARK every day!! (I know when Jess and Casey are talking about the D-O-G-P-A-R-K even when they spell it out, because I am a super smart dog.)
Loopy: Well yes – you have to be smart to be the Brains behind Ravelry. No wonder you can spell, too. Were you in on the conversations when they first started talking about Ravelry? (Seriously, Bob – you can tell us. Who had the idea in the first place, and how long did they sit around discussing it before they had the beta-testing ready?)
Bob: Jess has a bit of a temper on her sometimes – she says bad words. It is usually when she has that tickle-string and the pointy-things, and sometimes when she is on the computer trying to find things to make with the tickle-things. I think before I was born, she couldn’t pet me when she got upset and couldn’t find things, so she would complain to Casey instead. He tried to find a way to make her happy when she couldn’t find the tickle-string information and decided to make a website all about it. I think a site about rawhides and DOGPARKS would have been better. Jessica keeps all the tickle-string in a basket on the floor. She says I can’t touch it, but she lets me smell it all I want. I especially like the string that smells like bunnies. I wish she had one that smelled like squirrels – that would be the best.
Loopy: I think a site about clover and PASTURES would be lovely, myself. And I have to say that I’m sort of glad you don’t prefer yarns that smell like sheep. But that’s just me. Are there things that make your people really frustrated with this job? (You know, like when you get into the system and mess things up?)
Bob: I think the things that are challenging change all the time. They haven’t done anything like Ravelry before so they are learning a lot as they go. Mostly they are all just very excited about Ravelry, and they always say things like, “Hey! I have an idea!” and also “so much to do!”
Loopy: I guess when you hear those two phrases, it probably means no DOGPARK for awhile, huh? What is your favorite feature on Ravelry? (Personally, we like the little icons that pop up when you type in certain words, but we REALLY think that you need a Loopy Sheep to pop up when someone types in “The Loopy Ewe”.)
Bob: I like all the people who start groups about me. Did you know there is a group for a Ravelry award named for me? And there are people who think I would make a good American President! There are also people who are Ravelry cheerleaders who also took my name. It makes me feel almost as good as when I get a good earscratching. I also like to look at the dog groups with all of the pictures – although I wish Casey would make it so I could smell them.
Loopy: I’d vote for you for President, Bob. You might be just what we need. I’m hoping that you get more time with your people now that Mary-Heather is helping out. How did she end up working at Ravelry?
Bob: Mary-Heather had been helping Jess and Casey for a long time on Ravelry – they have said how happy they are to have her working with them. It was very lucky they were able to make enough money to hire someone and MH was just leaving her job and she was exactly what they were looking for. It has been very nice – she helps them a lot.
Loopy: What do your people like to do in their spare time that has nothing to do with Ravelry or knitting? (Besides catering to you, of course.)
Bob: They like to take me in the car and go outside of the city. It is fun because then I can run and play fetch on really big lawns. They also read books a lot – more than they used to – so that is good. Sometimes they bring me into the city with them on the Vespa and we all like that very much. I have a special sling so can sit on Jessica’s lap on the scooter. I like to sniff the air and look at the smiling kids in cars. And Mary-Heather told me she likes to watch old movies with her sweetie and cook things.
Loopy: Wow – your Vespa rides sound fun! Maybe I’ll come visit so that I can get a Vespa ride, too. Speaking of traveling, sometimes we see Jess and Casey at different festivals and markets. Who takes care of you when they’re gone?
Bob: I go to stay with Aunt Erica and Uncle Kyle when they go away with their suitcases. It is very fun because I get to go to work with Kyle and his office has elevators. I like to run in the elevators and go exploring. The bell is just so exciting! They also play with me a lot and throw my toy for me over and over and over.
Loopy: You’re lucky to have good back-up people. They sound like a nice choice. Do you like cats? We have some cat-lovers who want to know.
Bob: I like to play with cats but they don’t like me very much, I don’t think. I especially like it when cats have big swishy tails!
Loopy: Hmmm – we might need to make sure to keep you away from Gracie and Zoe if you ever come visit. Where do you think Ravelry will be five years from now, and how will this affect you? (We’re thinking a customized doghouse would be in order.)
Bob: Wow, 5 years is a long time on the internet, even in dog years! Hopefully my people will have an office by a DOGPARK where we can go during the day!
Loopy: I’m sure you can work out a deal like that! Can you share any fun Rav Stats with us?
Bob: There are 19 Ravelers named Bob, including me. There are also lots of people with pets named Bob – Bob the cat, the other Bob the cat, Bob the bunny, Bob the swiminator (he’s a fish), and Bob the potted plant. The Boston Terrier group was the first group on Ravelry. Did you know that the Loopy Groupies was the 57th group on Ravelry? (Now there are over 6500 groups.) Also, congratulations to the Loopy Groupies – your 100,000th post was on July 3rd!
Loopy: 100,000th post? That’s a heck of a lot of talking out there in Loopy Groupie land! Anything else you’d like to add?
Bob: Most people don’t know that I am more than a mascot (although, clearly you do, Loopy.) I make sure that Casey is getting things right. Here is a photo of me supervising. Also, thank you to everyone who has sent me cards and dog treats and virtual scratchies. Being Ravelry’s mascot is hard work, but it is worth it.
Loopy: You’re so right. People have no idea how hard it is to be a mascot. That’s another reason I like you so much, Bob. You understand.