Home > Uncategorized > Why not a ravelry for people who work out?

Why not a ravelry for people who work out?

May 28, 2015

Do you know about ravelry? If you’re a knitter or crocheter (or weaver or spinner) you probably do.

It’s kind of like a Facebook for knitters, but much less creepy, because it’s the exact kind of information you want to be sharing, and the exact kind of showcasing of others that you want to be peering at.

It’s an amazing success story. Started in 2007 by a husband and wife team, it now boasts more than 4 million users worldwide, representing 5 billion kilometers of yarn. Each person who is registered gets to create a profile consisting of their projects, complete with notes or even a blog about their trials and tribulations making it, and of course lots of fantastic pictures of their work in progress.

A user can also show off their “stash,” which is to say their backup yarn, which they can trade with others, and they can have a list of favorite projects or designs of others, and even a library list of books and patterns that they have. There’s ample opportunity to comment on how beautiful other people’s projects are – and knitters are very generous with praise – and there are forums for general discussions.

One last thing. There are group projects, where knitters do projects together, often led by a designer who “surprises” them with little pieces of the pattern at a time. It’s a fun idea called a “knit-along.”

OK, so here’s the idea. Why doesn’t someone start a ravelry for people who work out?

I’m convinced that people who work out are almost like knitters. They have little projects that they like to obsess over, they plan them extensively, they like to keep track of progress, they love talking to other worker-outers about their plans, and they like to do stuff in groups led by a master worker-outer.

I’m sure there currently are discussion forums for people who love keeping track of their miles or whatever, but I’m pretty sure nothing as extensive and as thoughtful as ravelry exists. I’m talking about a place where you create a “workout profile” and upload your fitbit data if you want, to create graphs of your cumulative miles, and your friends who are also training for that triathlon can also put their graphs up, and you can discuss workout clothes and which weighted vests are the best.

I know a little bit about this world because once I competed in a sprint triathlon and it was definitely as obsessive as my lifelong knitting hobby. Plus, now a good friend of mine works out a lot and constantly wants to talk to me about weighted vests, and I’m always thinking to myself, “there must be a community somewhere for this guy to talk about weighted vests!? Why not a ravelry for workouters?”.

Just think: instead of knit-alongs, you’d have surprise workout regiments (that sounds kind of fun!). Instead of pictures of half-done works in progress, you’d have graphs and pictures of sweaty t-shirts (that sounds kind of gross, but I still think people would dig it). And instead of completed projects where the knitted sweater is showcased on the cute kid, you’d have a little electronic badge saying, “Amy completed the New York City Triathlon!”

In terms of business model, it would be a lot like ravelry: free for users, funded by incredible ad opportunities for things that obsessive people actually really want, when they want them. Although it’s fair to say that the ads I see for silk/cashmere blend yarns that appear on ravelry are kind of predatory. But they definitely work.

Free business idea for y’all, I hope you like it.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Gordo
    May 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Strava – maybe not quite as social as you imagine, but for workout geeks it’s as social as it gets.


  2. Julie
    May 28, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I think this exists – check out Map My Fitness – you can have friends, join challenges, earn achievements, compete against each other, etc.


  3. May 28, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Fitocracy is kind of like this. I’ve been on the site for a few years now, and I would say at least it used to be like that. They’re trying to get the business profitable now, so I feel like it’s moved away from just being about the community. But you can still track workouts, earn badges, chat with people about weighted vests (or sprint triathlons, or running, or powerlifting, or…).


  4. dotkaye
    May 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Problem is, knitting is typically less competitive than tri-geeks are..

    The competition on Strava has actually killed people – see discussion at


    The (free) workout/training log part of slowtwitch.com has never really taken off.
    I think it is partly because tri workout plans can be sold; another part is that racers don’t want their competition to know how they are training. There is a fairly substantial business around selling workout plans and coaching, with lots of players. See also TrainingPeaks.com.
    The slowtwitch forums are busy, though – send your friend here, for obsessive discussions on all things tri 😉
    Weighted vest questions will probably bring out the scornful nasties though, so prepare some flameproofing first..


  5. Auros
    May 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I know we have a regional board where folks post Bay Area hikes, and I think you can contact other users to organize group hikes.

    I also have, this past week, discovered, and let all of my free time get consumed by, a social augmented reality game called Ingress, which is kind of like a combination between Risk, geocaching, and a sci-fi role-playing game. People coördinate big group hike events to seize strategically valuable remote locations, and there are kind of urban-hike events as well, like around Golden Gate Park. (The relevant locations tend to be denser where there’s more population.)


  6. May 28, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Strava is the place where runners and triathletes track results, compete, and even socialize. Strava users tend to be type A, so there is much more trash talking than genuine social experience.


  7. May 29, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Maybe beginnertriathlete.com? You can port over your workout data from Training Peaks, Garmin, and others. People can check out your workout log. There are regional message boards as well as general ones. Even a gear swap/sell board.

    Or nerdfitness kind of comes close, but there’s no actual workout data functionality. It’s just a large community of nerds with group 6 week challenges and discussions.


  8. May 29, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I love Ravelry. It is beautiful in its functionality.


  9. Matt Woods Weber
    May 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    How about dailymile.com? It is basically facebook (circa 2006) for people who work out.


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