Ravelry does have something cool that Craftster lacks: Christian forums!
Yes, the twain overlap in some areas (no stash/projects/queque on Craftster, no join a group & have your own forum on Craftster). Both have forums and craft-a-longs and links to other things (although Ravelry is mostly links to patterns & shops right now, Craftster has tons more links to technique-related things). I don’t think they’re alike enough to ever compare well, but forum-wise, something can be said.
There aren’t as many rules on Ravelry about conduct in the forums as yet. I think it’s because Ravelry does not run into the same sorts of problems that Craftster has (spam, etc. –really, what spammer would wait over a month to be invited?). The volume on Ravelry is also controlled and much lower (Craftster easily tops 100,000 members, guests not included). Wandering ‘off-topic’ at will is okay. 🙂
Craftster’s philosophy is unfortunately of a new age bent: no off-topic (non-crafty) chatting, no commenting on other people’s lifestyle decisions in public (including the illegal and self-abusive), tolerance across the board stuff. Issues come up in the Friends of Craftster board because some people post things that are offensive, and unfortunately, with this philosophy, they don’t know where to draw the line and right now, they’re trying to figure out how to make certain features publicly acceptable (the latest was a Holocaust-related thing).
There’s some childish behavior that goes on about beliefs on Craftster. Every time a Christian-theme swap comes up on Craftster, the atheistic swappers must unite and start up a swap in response because it’s apparently offensive to see the Christian swap jump up to the most recent spot! *gasp* It can’t be ignored!
With Craftster, one’s exposure to certain things depends on self-control. No one’s going to force me to access Craftster by one specific URL and confine me to a framed format so that I MUST see the day’s “Hot Topic” (which might not be to hot to me–okay, often not). I often go directly to the knitting board or to a thread if I’ve got the notification e-mail.
So I’ve found something to have fun on Ravelry, post-stashing agony. 🙂