MagKnits Follow-Up: What Happened & My Sweater

 Magknits is gone, and for a short time I panicked, because my sweater that I am knitting is a MagKnits pattern-Basic Black. Fortunately, the designer (Glenna) is going to repost the pattern on her blog. What a relief.

 Anyway, a lot of people are still asking questions about what exactly happened, which is easily evidenced by the crazy amounts of hits that I got yesterday. (About 10 times my normal traffic) I nearly had a heart attack when Casey hisself appeared on my comments to contribute to the conversation.

 I want to state, firstly, that I’m sorry that I created the impression that Ravelry destroyed or killed Magknits. My personal opinion is that its demise was inevitable, but happened sooner because of the conversations. Again, we can’t know.

 I was going to post my own further thoughts on the situation, but the thoughtful comments have outdone my own efforts, and I’ll post some excerpts from them.

 Phoenix said,

  • I think it’s a brief summary of what happened this week, but it’s worth pointing out that this week’s drama is just the tip of the iceberg. This particular pattern of testy complaints and testy replies have been a regular occurrence since at least last fall when I start to be aware of them. I stopped even reading the regular “Hey the new Magknits is up” threads because of the clear undercurrent of bad vibes months ago. Actually I stopped reading Magknits too, but that’s a different issue.This week was just the straw that broke the camel’s back for all involved and watching from the sidelines. Also while people may be tempted to lay blame at Ravelry’s door, I’d point out that the number of participants in those threads was relatively small compared to Magknits readership and the customer base of the other related enterprises. In the end only about 100 people responded to that thread, and the bulk of those were responses after the fact. Kerrie and Co. have been complaining for ages about the drain of Magknits on their time and resources. The writing has been on the wall about this for a very long time. I really can’t say I’m surprised at all.

 Becky said

  • I am sorry, and surprised, about MagKnits, too, for whatever the reason. Loved the patterns and have used several. Good summary, and personally, I don’t think it was Ravelry.Some might think it is sticking my head in the sand, but I prefer the threads there with more positive waves. My universe responds better to the positive, plus there are real negatives IRL to save my energy for.

 Jinniver had some paticularly interesting insight on the situation.

  • This is coming from a complete outsider who never even heard of Magknits until now, so take it for little it may be worth…That said, I did read the Ravelry thread you linked to, out of curiosity. The responses could mostly be put into three groups: the largest were people upset about the fact that they’d been given no warning that site was coming down; the second largest (of almost equal size) was split between cries for help and assistance with finding patterns; and the third and smallest were those defending the decision as it was made. What I found highly ironic was that most of the vitriol that I saw was to be found in that LAST group–beautifully captured by the “poke yourself in the eye with a double pointed needle” comment. Many of the Ravelers upset with the decision pointed out that it was a bad business move and said that the felt it could have been spiteful (as a non-user and late-comer, I agree). Some members of that third group then threw hissy fits (um, no pun intended) about the bashing and made nasty comments. Definitely need to stomp out dissent and free discussion, don’t we?I haven’t read any of the other threads, so I don’t know anything about the alleged problems with shipments and designer payments. But I have to say that the handling of the demise of Magknits alone is enough to ensure I won’t be dealing with either company. As many people on both sides of the argument pointed out, the creator of Magknits didn’t owe knitters anything. However, they violated the trust of those knitters, and they’re going to find that to be very hard to earn back.Fortunately, you got the sweater pattern, so at least some good came out of it!

 SweetP made a practical observation.

  • and is a sad fact of life on the internet that there is no guarantee of access forever. I’m quite shocked actually.

 Gail pointed out the vocal attitude of unhappy customers!

  • It seems silly to blame an object or site for the actions of individuals.That said, it is also of importance to know that for every 100 satisfied customers, there are a few (usually less than 5) who are unhappy and VOCAL about it. Those 100 happy folks are usually quiet about their happiness but those who are not happy are usually very willing to tell everyone that they are unhappy. It’s human nature – good and bad.Most business owners know this and work to solve problems quickly. The problem happens when the unhappy person posts their problems before the business owner/operator has the opportunity to fix the problem.

    In this time of instant everything, it is hard for some to wait any time for gratification. Shame on us all.

 Then, the immortal Casey chimed in!

  • What phoenix said ) I don’t think that the disappearance was because of Ravelry users – I was very surprised that MagKnits put out a new issue at all because I thought that the end was near.Of course, the sudden disappearance may not have been a coincidence. Perhaps it was always planned for this week, perhaps it is a statement or an emotional reaction, we may never know…

 And Casey is exactly right. We will never know.

 However, the bright side is that the designers with published Magknits patterns seem to be making a big effort to make their patterns available again, so I’m sure that all the frantic people who found my blog by looking for the Miss Muffet pattern will be able to get that pattern!

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April 8, 2008. Tags: , , . ravelry, Snark Editorial, Uncategorized.

6 Comments

  1. jinniver replied:

    I’ll add to what I said: I think this tale illustrates both the positive and the negative impact that the Internet can have on business of any type. The positive is that Ravelry provided a forum for individuals to air their grievances, which were then addressed. The negative is that because it APPEARED to require that public airing before the store owner and partner responded, the store gained a reputation for not being trustworthy. Certainly, Ravelry is not to blame, nor, in my opinion, are the people who posted their complaints. All of the ones I saw on the initial thread (which I have since read, because I abhor people commenting on something without as much info as possible, so it behooves me to avoid doing so!) indicated that the individual had tried other means. The store owner’s posts conceeded that point. So I feel the posters were well within their rights to go public.

    And in the 10 pages of posts I made it through before I went cross-eyed, I was actually surprised at how civil the discourse was. There was some sniping, yes. And there were some harsh words. But I didn’t feel there was anything said that was out of line. Hands were thrown in the air in horror when someone used the word “fraud,” because they’d met the store owner personally and she was such a nice person! Well, Merriam-Webster defines fraud as “any act, expression, omission, or concealment calculated to deceive another to his or her disadvantage.” I will leave aside the speculation about the store owner’s excuses, because it was only speculation, but at the very least, the store owner was aware that neither her shipping solution nor her email system were working, and yet she continued to make promises that required both. Making a promise you know you might not be able to keep, to me, is fraud, no matter how nice the promise maker is nor how well intentioned. It appears that she fully intends to make things right, and I hope she’s able to.

    Back to my point about the positive/negative effect of the Internet… Any company that wants to stay in business would be well-advised to keep the power of the Internet uppermost in their thoughts. Case in point: I once wrote a blog post entitled “F@#$ you, [online travel company].” (Immature, but heartfelt.) We had just moved from Virginia to Texas via Pennsylvania, and had experienced problems with several hotel reservations. Once, the company had failed to actually make the reservation with the hotel, and we’d sat in the lobby for several hours with an exhausted, starving, and screaming 2-month-old while they screwed around fixing it. Later, we had needed to reroute our track unexpectedly due to a little bit of inclement weather (also known as Hurricane Katrina). The online travel company charged us for making the change because we didn’t give them enough advance notice. You’d think a Category 5 hurricane would get you a break, especially considering our earlier experiences, but apparently not.

    Imagine my surprise when the very first comment was from someone in that travel company’s customer service department, complete with a name and phone number to call so they could make it right. I called (half suspecting it was a prank), and within 24 hours we were refunded both the cost of the first hotel stay and the change fee. Great customer service…but I should have gotten it in the first place. Instead, it took going public with my grievance to get someone to treat me well. But that was a company that clearly understood the power of the Internet and wanted to do all they could to protect their name.

  2. jinniver replied:

    Oh, wow. This is why I should not start a comment, leave to feed the baby and put the children to bed, and then come back to finish without reading what I wrote. That qualifies as a blog post, and this isn’t my blog. Sorry, Genuine–feel free to edit/delete as you see fit.

  3. ajrox92 replied:

    Very interesting. I was one of the people that started spazzing when I realized that the pattern for Jaywalkers was on there! Thank goodness for Google and their cached pages!

  4. Magknits is Dead: Tempers, Tongues & Sweaters « The Lumpy Sweater replied:

    […] 8, 2008 Further updates on the situation are here and […]

  5. Anne replied:

    I have a new Universal Rule of Internet: nothing lasts forever, except Paris Hilton videos and embarrassing pictures of one drunk in college.

  6. Kerrie Says It From Hipknits Blog: Confirms What I’ve Thought « The Lumpy Sweater replied:

    […] Magknits Follow-Up: What Happened & My Sweater […]

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