A few weeks ago I decided I could go to Sock Summit after all. Registration for classes and other events happened this morning. If you've been around Ravelry today you may already know that it did not exactly run smoothly. Some people, myself included, found themselves banging their heads against the keyboard at server issues. When I first got onto registration I only got into one class that I wanted and scrounged one more.
I was one of the lucky ones who was at the right place at the right time when the server coughed up spaces in previously sold out classes and eventually got the things I wanted. So take that as a caveat to what I am going to say next.
I am, frankly, disgusted by some of the behavior exhibited on Ravelry today. I know people are disappointed and I do not begrudge them their right to express as much but the personal attacks on the organizers, even suggesting boycotting their books or products, make me sad. Organizing an event like this is a lot of work and they deserve better than that. Here are some observations:
1. No system is perfect. Example, the Vancouver 2010 lottery system. There are thousands of people who were disappointed to not get a single ticket in that allocation. Each and every time there is more demand than supply, there will be disappointed people.
2. There is only so much you can do to increase supply. Sock Summit is limited by the number of hours available, the availability of teachers and most of all, the limits of the facility. Building/fire codes will only allow so many people in a room. Again, some Olympic venues hold over 20,000 people and they are still sold out. I believe that the SS organizers knew going in that classes were going to fill fast but short of holding them in a stadium, what were they supposed to do?
3. Servers crash. Technology fails. It happens sometimes despite our best efforts.
4. People make mistakes. Even if some of this could have been avoided through something Tina or Stephanie could have done, it is not fair to attack them. People make mistakes all the time, especially when they're trying something for the first time. They then take those mistakes and learn from them. I bet SS is doing a lot of learning at the moment.
5. No one is entitled to anything (notwithstanding the SS team's entitlement to a few stiff drinks) no matter how much they saved, how hard they worked or what they sacrificed in order to go. No one is more worthy than anyone else. In fact, we are not entitled to Sock Summit at all.
Is it strange that I am sorely tempted to try and organize a knitting event in Vancouver?