After reading Geoffrey Butterworth's ultimate book, I too have just joined IGKT - the forum part anyway. About 2 hours ago, so I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. Here's my first post
Things that surprised me:
Before making my first post, I searched for "Versa-Vice". IGKT forum came up with one entry. One. Okay, it's not the most well-known knot in the world but... this was a hint of things to come. When I searched for "Versa-Vice" on the front page of IGKT, it came up with ... nothing. No links at all.
Why is there not an easy-reference, complete encyclopedia of knots here? I was expecting to find the equivalent of ABOK on-line, with colour pictures and clear descriptions. Something along the lines of wiki - perhaps wiki increasingly fulfills that function? I recognise that this sort of thing takes a lot of time, and often it involves volunteers doing things for the love of it rather than for money, so I must bite my lip.
I note that there are people creating things like Knotmaker
. These things are marvellous. Could they be integrated into the website? I am also intrigued by the steps being taken by various people here to create a more rigorous nomenclature for knots.
Why is a subscription required to be a full member? That is how things were ten years ago. Every other forum of which I am a member is free. They finance themselves through advertising. Are there not enough suppliers of knotting books, ropes, etc to bring in a reasonable income? Can anything be set up with Google? Amazon?
Why is there still a newsletter, Knotting Matters
? I am guessing it goes out on paper, in an envelope? I will allow, however, that if it serves as a summary of the best of recent developments in the knotting world (eg new knots, new test results, etc) then it serves a useful purpose. On any forum you care to mention, the problem is sometimes that you have to wade through a lot of guff and repetition to find the interesting gems. NB, I am not criticising others here, I am one of the biggest producers of guff around!
All in all, I am grateful for the existence of IGKT, but feel it is almost Victorian in its outlook (good in some ways, not so good in others). Having said that, the fact that you are asking for feedback is a very good sign for the future.
I hope I am not upsetting anyone here, but whilst it is good to remember the contributions of those who have gone before, I am not sure that the front page of a modern website should contain an immediate link to a list of previous members who have died. This is not the sort of thing that will get "young people" (can hardly believe I've just used that phrase!) on board.
Similarly, whilst it is good to have a list of objectives, does it need to be so stuffy? A simple mission statement is best. And do we need a list on the front page of the Honorary Membership Secretary, Honorary Treasurer etc? I recognise that these roles need to filled, but listing them on the front page gives the feel of a pre-war golf club.
"IGKT.net" is a meaningful name - to those who already know it. By all means keep the IGKT name, but consider buying a better website name. I notice knotting.com
appears to be available. It wouldn't be cheap of course.
IGKT had a huge head start in the race to dominate the online world of knots. But it has trod water while other sites have grown to fill the void. It has some good people on board however, and its name still commands authority, so could regain or strengthen its number one position. But if it does not take action, other sites, such as wiki, or sub-forums of places like 24hourcampfire
will put it permanently on the side-lines. Which would be a shame.
There is plenty of knot information out there on the net. Much of it however is unreliable. And incorrect knots can kill. There needs to be an authoritative source. The world needs and wants an accessible (that rules out ABOK) authoritative source. IGKT should be it.
PS I acknowledge that it's a lot easier to put forward all these ideas than it is to execute them. Especially when it comes to writing computer code.