Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dear Rokali

Go read, maybe post if you're inspired. Who knows, maybe this time it's not bullshit.

Rokali, I'm gonna make a quick post, since I know you are following a thread in bugs right now. I have actually been avoiding posting in the fora over the weekend, because I’ve honestly been wondering, what’s the use? But, since I know you are around, I’m taking a chance that you will care enough to respond here. I hope you will take a few moments to ponder the increasingly stormy climate in the fora – and the reasons behind it – and then perhaps address some of our concerns.

When you say
"Trust me, we're right there with you -- we want all this stuff to work flawlessly, and we do our absolute best to make sure of it." (quoted from bottom of this page )
are you referring only to the particular DNS/ISP issue, or are you referring to the Etsy experience as a whole? Because there are a lot of issues needing attention.

Have you taken a stroll through the rest of Bugs? Through Site Help? Through Ideas? Have you noted the many frustrations and requests for help, clarification, fixes? So much has gone wrong lately, added to the accumulation of many longstanding 'little' concerns (some are actually not little at all,) that users are at their wits end.

We have loved Etsy, been loyal and supportive, advertised and assisted in countless ways. In addition to promoting the overall site, here's a little tip-of-the-iceberg list to give you an idea of how devoted and committed Etsians are:

** flagging
** site help and bug-hunting
** newbie info (courtesy of sagittariusgallery, and a host of others)
** answers to FAQs
** contributions to the EtsyWiki ( )
** Etsy Mini gallery of shops ( )
** relevant search ( )
** front page treasuries ( , )
** 'hearts me' info-at-a-glance (Majaba - )
** site news (UEN - )
** site stats (EtsyTools, RIP)

To name just a *few* ways Etsy users - sellers *and* buyers - go the extra distance to benefit *everyone else* here.

As you can see, the community has a great way of pulling together and helping one another, but there is only so much we can accomplish. None of us are paid to do these things. We do them to fill gaps in Etsy services and features, because we NEED these things, and many more besides. How about a little Etsycorp love in return?

It appears as if Etsy has strayed far afield of its original mission statement, which is having a snowball negative effect. And it isn’t just the usual ‘vocal’ users who are dismayed – many members are coming out of the woodwork to voice their concerns. Etsy, for many, seems to be going to hell in a hand(made)basket. What do you say, Rokali, to those who are feeling demoralized and disenfranchised?

To quote a much-espoused sentiment:
"hope breaks your heart on this site."

Verybigjen's quote has struck a chord that still resonates.


impetuous said...

What violence has been done to Rokali's head?

maybe he needs a helmet...

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

It's going to take more than a helmet, impetuous ...

Feh. I'll believe in change when I see it. Sounds like more of the same flim flam and vision talk that we've had for a long, long time.

And no sign of Maria. My belief is that she's hiding at Etsy working on the buy out.

impetuous said...

The bottom line here is that Etsy wants to come to the forums and get all of their market research for free.

If Etsy has no intention of sharing the results of discussions that deem "valuable" that's just using people, plain and simple.

It seems to me, the "new way" of communicating should involve some back and forth but it will most likely be another email account like

S2 said...

Hm. Here's a thought. Maybe the "violence" comes down on you because IT'S YOUR SITE.

Don't tell us how much you'd like it to work. MAKE IT WORK.


I.usually.lurk said...

Maria must be losing her mind.
Evidently she's an accomplished, intelligent, educated business woman.

She is brought into Etsy as the COO and is met by dozens of unqualified, immature employees.
(Sure they are hip, cool, labs-loving, cupcake-eating, dry-ice experimenting fun kids who all must've kissed Rokali ass at some point to earn their employment... but is that a valid reason to keep them on the payroll??)

I am willing to give her time to clean up the mess and will see what changes are made in the next few weeks.

Yet I don't know why it's so crucial to "see" or "hear from" Maria.

Actions speak louder than words.
SHOW ME REAL CHANGE, don't just talk about it.

The rest of the crew --- Rokali, Revolving Dork, MaryMary, Danielle, et al. ... I've given up on them.
They deserve no more patience or charitable understanding.

Too little, too late, too many mistakes, too arrogant.

I hope Maria is orchestrating the buy out.

godot said...

I read it more that violence erupts inside his head when he sees us posting about the site. I think it drives him batty. It makes him angry.

godot said...

I totally agree with i.usually. lurk. I beleive Maria, with her financial knowledge was brought in to facilitate a smooth buy out, not improve the company.
I also think it will be sold to another company that is already public, since that is far easier than taking this company public on it's own.

jodie nicholson said...

Am I right in assuming that Maria is engaged to Swimmy?

just bitchy said...

Rokali is a dreamer with a Jesus complex.

That spells disaster for any business venture.

He makes my skin crawl.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

jodie: yes. You are correct.

I do keep wondering if something is going on behind the scenes and we're all going to get a big surprise sometime soon. The kind of surprise that will make this all make sense...the ignoring of user feedback, the absence of unified or consistent responses, the lack of acknowledgement of a three year anniversary...or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

The visionary behind the venture is often the person least suited to the task of making a business happen.

This Jesus needs a personal assistant. Or at least a dayplanner.

Or, ahem, ahem...a COO ;)

just bitchy said...

I also think Maria is there to slap some lipstick on this pig and get it ready for market.

A lick and a promise and "poof" etsy is now in the hands of an actual business person/entity.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Hmm. Okay, well I'm all for staying tuned to see what transpires in the Storque...but I hate the Storque. Honestly it represents everything I hate about Etsy in its current state: a whole bunch of time wasted on bullshit.

Guess I'll just have to taste the bile and see if it's all worth the wait...

just bitchy said...

If I spent time on the storque in addition to trying to find tidbits of actual information on the forums I wouldn't get anything done.

The storque is PR fluff at it's worst. Generally it's useless fluff dressed up as useful information which is insulting and it's an embarrassment regularly.

To use the forums and the storque to share important information is a HUGE mistake.

bastet2329 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Malevolent One said...

Every one of Rokali's comments I read just looks like this:

"blah blah blah VISION blah blah blah TRYING blah blah blah MAYBE blah blah blah SWIMMY blah blah blah..."

How can someone say so much and yet say so little?

Kali said...

Same old, same old.

Dear Rob,

Please sell Etsy. Take the money and run. Then you won't have to listen to people complain about how badly everything is run.


ps - Please take the Revolting Dork with you. He couldn't code his way out of an Apple IIe, and is likely to be canned the minute you take that crappy elevator down to the street for the final time. It's just kinder to take him with you.

Ivydee said...

"The articles will not lay our a master timeline and say what all our priorities are right now. That comes *after* we talk about how things are changing, and implement those changes."

So once again, a lot of talk with no substance and no accountability. I'm tired of the speeches, I want to see results.

godot said...

Now Matt will be up all night writing those Storque artiles that Rokali said we'd see this week.

How can one company talk and play so much and do so little?

sidha said...

"My belief is that she's hiding at Etsy working on the buy out."


Unless they hire drunk monkeys there is no way the New Boss will be like the Old Boss.

I *pray* for a buy out.
I can't freakin' wait!

staceyjean said...

Yet I don't know why it's so crucial to "see" or "hear from" Maria.

Actions speak louder than words.
SHOW ME REAL CHANGE, don't just talk about it.


as impressive as she sounds, she probably, HOPEFULLY, knows this. I'd honestly rather NOT see her on the forums, 'specially now that we know she's the one reorganizing etsy from the inside out. she has the experience, and i mean it... i think that some kudos are in order for etsy swallowing it's pride and hiring an expert.

i like to hold out for optimism.

i still believe that handmade is a viable thing to market.

eclipse said...

"i think that some kudos are in order for etsy swallowing it's pride and hiring an expert."

I bet five dollars it was NOT their choice to hire her. I think the investors who forked over the 27 mil made it conditional on hiring a C.O.O.

yes ma' ma'am said...

Every one of his replies sounded like Peanuts parents & teachers.....

staceyjean said...

possibly... but it's not out of the ordinary for a company to refuse to do what the investors suggest, and then go belly up.

godot said...

It's a lot easier to sell a company when you have a financial grown up at the helm.

I think Rokali is only months away from his golden parachute.

godot said...

staceyjean, jim breyer does not give money without assurances in return.
He put together a group of investors who gave the 27Mil. In this day and age, no investor gives that kind of money without calling all the shots.

Grace said...

Sidha, from your mouth to G-d's ears! I've been praying for a buyout for months now. Please, soon, in our days! Amen!

PS: and vacation mode too, please?

impetuous said...

All the evidence points to a buy out.

Since Rokali has already made it clear that they are not going to reveal plans or timetables I can't imagine what these articles are going to explain or how they are going to help things.

Honestly, all I am waiting for is, we will be doing xxx and expect it to be finished by xxx. I am sure from there, with regular updates, Etsy would find they are dealing with a very forgiving crowd.

staceyjean said...

so, bascially... you're saying that jum breyer gets on the board, and then starts this chain of events...

is this the business plan?

that's from january.

ShrugItOff said...

Rokali back in thread right now...says rumor of buy out are false!

eclipse said...

Just a theoretical question:
If a company was in negotiations for a buyout, would they tell the public before anything was final? That would likely put the kibosh on the deal, I would guess. If the company buying them was publicly traded for example, then releasing any hints about possible mergers could be insider trading. Or something. I am not that up on all the financial stuff but isn't that kind of thing usually kept hush hush?

Not saying he's lying, just saying that *if* it was about to be sold, he would probably deny it anyway.
I don't personally think anyone would be willing to meet the price to pay back the investors, at this point. Etsy aren't even profitable yet!

ShrugItOff said...

Rokali stays up late. Bet he checks this blog every 20 minutes for new comments too.

"Hi Rob!"

stace said...

yeh, even he says they are barely breaking even.

but i found it a little odd that in january his mission statement was to "be an independent, publicly traded company, focused on all things handmade."

and that's straight from the horses mouth. not the rumor mill.

ebbandflo said...

"We're in the process of getting on the right track for the next five years. It's a different track than we've been on."


so how is this track going to be different? better communication and customer service OR abandoning the mission statement ......

as i said in the thread, i am all agog!

Grace said...

eclipse said:

"I don't personally think anyone would be willing to meet the price to pay back the investors, at this point. Etsy aren't even profitable yet!"

Etsy may not be profitable yet, but anyone with half a brain can see that the *potential* for profit here is HUGE! That's what makes me crazy. The idea of Etsy is so freakin' brilliant, that you almost have to TRY to ruin it. That's what makes the incompetence so painful. With the right structure, this could be a smooth running money machine for all involved, a veritable license to print cash.

And yet, it's drowning in a sea of idiots. Come on investors, throw us a rope and pull us out!

impetuous said...

Rokali is in the forums agaaaain!

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Publicly traded...well that's interesting. Because when you are publicly traded, you have an obligation to COMMUNICATE with shareholders, and shareholders don't like it when you blow sunshine up their asses and don't follow through. Neither do sellers of course. And WE think of ourselves as shareholders, even if Etsy, at this point, does not.

Yarn Girl Stuff said...

This sounds like the same stuff we've heard time and time again. Fluff without action or detail.

I am SO the boss of you! said...

We've heard all of this crap before. Rokali seriously makes my skin crawl and he really doesn't have a clue or maybe he does and just pretends to be a brainless hyperactive swimmy wannabe..

I think it would be funny, yet, not surprising if there is a buy out by the end of this year. That would explain a lot.

I for one would be very relieved that the company is no longer being run by monkeys.

Oh and yes, take Revolving Dork, the hairy accordion playing, faux coder with you. I beg.

Kali said...

There's too many real rules that Etsycorp would have to follow to go public.

And besides, that's so 90's business method, I'm surprised Etsycorp would even consider it.

sillywabbit said...

And besides, that's so 90's business method, I'm surprised Etsycorp would even consider it.

Ah but but by the time this gets all worked out it will be "vintage" therefore "hip"


sillywabbit said...

Rokali says:
I'm not a fan of fluff.

uh, yeah right.

Storque is 99.9% fluff cleverly disguising the really important information.

We don't need info on classes, or cupcake parties, or how to burn the flesh off our bones w/ acid etching tutorials.

We need answers to our questions, and to be dealt with straight up like the adults that we are. (ok, so some are only masquarading as adults, but you get my point.)

Elizabeth said...

GM had me at hello. ;)

godot said...

It wouls be hard for etsy to go public. It would be easy to be aquired by Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

I doubt Rokali has the final say anymore. My "informed" guess will be that Maria and Jim Breyer will make that decision.

27 said...

Let's face it, Etsy has jumped the shark.

foraminute said...

godot, it doesn't work that way. Investors take a seat on the board and the board makes decisions together as a team. No doubt that Jim and Maria are helping to coach Rob and his staff.

Both Jim and Maria have extremely impressive ecommerce experience. But investors do not take over and start to call the shots. They simply lend their professional knowledge and experience and the board comes to agreements together.

Etsy now has two major names in the world of ecommerce on it's side now.

whattomorrowbrings said...

I think Godot is right, foraminute. Maria is not an etsy investor she is the COO, as Rob is the CEO.

Did you ever look at the firm JB heads up, Accel Partners? Every company they "invest" in has gone public or been swallowed by a larger corporation.

foraminute said...

All three of them are members of the board.

These are the board members

Robert Kalin
CEO, Co-founder, Board Member

Fred Wilson

Jim Breyer
Board Member/Investor

Caterina Fake
Board member

Maria Thomas
COO, Board Member

Does this mean that the company isn't going public or getting sold? No.

impetuous said...

From RW with regard to the open forums.

"It allows for the circumstance where the founders of the company can be here, interact with you and address the concerns that you have. Individual staff members listen to feedback from the community and jump right in with their own thoughts or get some clarification if they themselves have questions."

Sorry RW you have lost me here. This is not a reality for the other side of the forums at all...time to reboot.

d-dawg said...

I know we're not supposed to attack other sellers. But can I just make a plea here to PussDaddy.


I know that you know when you're pushing buttons of sellers. You walk into a perfectly civil thread where people are discussing issues that effect them. You make sweeping generalizations. You underhandedly attack people you have problems with.

You have nothing to lose on Etsy. If you're banned tomorrow, you're not losing your store.

If you'd like to offer something constructive to a thread please do. But, if all you're going to do is tell sellers why they have no right to address concerns. You should start your own thread. You're not a seller. You've admitted you have no idea what sellers are talking about. You need to stop trying to stir the pot just because you think you're clever and people feed into your trash talking.


I like that no one but her own personal cheering section acknowledged her in this thread. Which means other people probably notice too.

She seems to be working to get people banned. Her attitude on the forums lately have been disgraceful.

Thank you for listening.

cuzisaidso said...

Rokali appears to be completely incapable of running a lemonade stand, let alone a real business.

I hope Maria knew what she was getting into when she left NPR for this job.

All I heard him say was that he had no answers right now and that discussions were going on. Sounds like a stalling tactic to me.

Keep the customers on board a while longer...

kreatedbykarina said...

I don't know---I've heard all of this before SOOOOOOOO many times from Admin...part of me keeps emotionally hanging on hoping that one day they just may own up to what they say...part of me knows that most of what is said by Admin is pure b.s when it comes to "hearing our concerns"

i.usually.lurk said...

---this comment is OT---

Dear d-dawg,
I feel your pain and understand why you're frustrated.

When I see posts by that person, I don't bother reading them. After many months, I know that there will be nothing of value written by her, so I skip over every word and any subsequent posts that address her by name.
Since she doesn't add anything intelligent to the conversation, it's quite easy to follow the rest of the thread.
Reading her babble is like trying to read the Angels site: waste of time.

---back to the topic at hand---

ShrugItOff said...

D.dawg, I hear you loud and clear and feel the same way. It's completely different when a SELLER is debating another seller because they are both equal in what they have to lose. PD is a self-admitted TROLL who loves to stir up trouble in every single thread. Be it by out and out snarking on every comment made or trying to get the thread locked. She really is a menace and should be banned. Of ALL the people who have been banned she is most deserving.

stace said...

you know... it's really weird that 6 months ago he wrote about going public, and then takes on two board members with experience in that area. [which he had the choice to accept the 27 million or let etsy sink].

but... as someone pointed out, i don't think you can go and tell people that you're going public and when..?? not sure that it has to do with insider trading... or what. we already know the company is barely breaking even. which makes it not exactly desirable at this time... but maybe jim and maria can change that.

i love to see etsy go public.

impetuous said...

The latest from Mary
"Hey guys!

Rob and Maria are hoping to have their articles published soon, hopefully this week earlier than later. We are excited that you are eager to hear from them both and they too are very excited to be able to address the Community with several parts of what they have been working on "behind the Etsy curtain."

Thanks so much for your patience while the articles are still in the editing and publishing stages,


Is it just me or is the build up to these "articles" a little over the top. I feel like I am waiting for a baby to be born.

Any time now! Rokali is very excited and Maria is 3 cm dilated! The articles will be here SOON!

These things BETTER be GOOD!

ShrugItOff said...

They won't be ("good" that is). Guarantee it will be more meaningless chatter about the big vision of Etsy.


impetuous said...

Only a poll can help me speculate.

stace said...

you know what... scratch that. i knew waaay ahead of time that google was going public.