Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Award for Valor and Having a Pair of Big Brass Ones

We here at Etsy Bitch would like to highlight a very brave and blunt post by Creativeneurosis regarding who gets muted and who gets a slap on the wrist (again, and again):

Rob, you seem to be a fairly reasonable man, so I'll attempt reason with you. The incident that prompted the mutings was public. A ton of people saw, and those that didn't have a kazillion ways to find out. What everyone knows is that branded butterfly sent a few people some harassing convos. Two of those people told her publicly to cease and desist and I assume the others must have responded with the appropriately harsh convo she deserved. A short time later 5 of these sellers (including sherrytruitt who, if you recall spent a shitload of time compiling a list of concerns for the treehouse meeting, only to be completely ignored, and I'd bet my firstborn no one's apologized to her for it) are banned from the forums, meanwhile brandedbutterfly is roaming free.

This has lead to the widespread perception (or perhaps understanding) that admin plays favorites and punishes people who criticize the site. I think if there IS a justifiable explanation for the differential in punishment, you need to say it publicly (without naming names, there were at least 5 people banned if I recall), because we ALL saw it happen publicly and most of us are crying foul. Pretending it never happened won't make it go away. Banning people won't make people blind to the site's deficiencies. You've done this before, you will probably do it again, but really, you should stop. It's childish. If you don't want people to complain, just SAY SO. Own that shit. Otherwise you're simply making yourselves out to be hypocrites because you espouse the cause of "community" and then give the sellers the impression you couldn't care less about them.

Yes, maybe this is "calling out", but we ALL KNOW what happened, and all this innuendo is childish. Mute me if you want, I'm sick of all the pussyfooting that's happening here anyways.

For refusing to pussyfoot as well as having a pair of big brass ones, Etsy Bitch hereby awards Creativeneurosis an EB Award for Valor.

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

Well said, and let's not forget....Etsy also stated when trying to explain this latest round of mutings, warnings and other actions taken in the following weeks..........that Etsy collects and keeps information about sellers they have "punished" so that they can escalate the "degree of punishment" when they feel like doling them out.

Now, if that isn't scary, I don't know what is. This is the real source of Etsy's real attitude towards its sellers. And the result is----------each time Etsy retaliates against its very own sellers, fewer sellers are willing to promote Etsy, talk about Etsy, refer sellers or buyers to Etsy, and stay with the site. The quickest way to the dot.com scrapheap is to treat your customers like crap.

jodie nicholson said...

I was unmuted about 16 hours ago. I won't be returning to the forums. I find the way that Admin 'handles' them to be pretty pathetic and only serves to remind me on a daily basis just how appalling their customer service is.
People forward me emails they've received from Admin and my head just spins in disbelief at the idiocy.
I have no issue with the fact I was muted, I knew what I did was against the rules but this last week away from the fora has opened my eyes to what a pile of shit it actually is.
So, the butterfly and the cat in the asshat can have it all to themselves. They deserve it.

ebbandflo said...

let's not also forget that the ex-CEO has publicly stated that off-site activity is taken into consideration when determining whether or not an individual is suitable for the etsy community (tho' how this is done when it has also been stated that etsy does not have the time to monitor off-etsy sites is beyond me)

jodie nicholson said...

Etsy Bitch wouldn't exist if Etsy had its shit together. Ex-CEO's with their heads in the clouds would be wise to remember that.

impetuous said...

One of the best posts of the year! Congratulations on your award for valor! You said it like it is!


Pandora said...

Wow, that post was breathtaking! I am not worthy.

sugarstreetcafe said...

I love you. Please have an affair with me. I'll be your slave.

Ivydee said...

I saw that thread go down. I think there may have been a tear in my eye when I read that. Has anyone actually seen either of the two-trolls posting lately, or are they laying low now?

Julie said...

So, uh, has Creativeneurosis been muted yet? And if not, how long do you think it will take?

eclipse said...

That was such a great post, I wanted to stand up and cheer that someone wasn't afraid to say the truth.
The best part was
"If you don't want people to complain, just SAY SO. Own that shit."

I think this is really the biggest problem with Etsy's disciplinary process- the actions don't match the words. If you want to squash all criticism then just come out and SAY no criticism will be allowed. Legally they can censor speech on their private property any way they want to. The maddening thing is when they pretend it's allowed and pretend the rules are evenly applied and pretend they are fair and unbiased. When everyone can see that's not the case.

The Ebon Swan said...

I am stunned. Astounded. Impressed beyond all measure.

I'm beginning to wonder if more posts like those aren't in order. After all, they never delete threads, that steaming pile will be there for the ages.

Unless of course, they can turn off Barney long enough to find the delete button. It's the one that starts with a D as in doggie, Marymary.

pony-lo said...

magnificent post!

and so here it is:

Etsy.com - undiluted proof that showing absolutely no respect to your paying customers can still make you a success! yeah!

bitch-in-training said...

bows down to creativeneurosis!
Well said!

KreatedbyKarina said...

Unfortunately she just may up getting muted herself in response :(

Meringue--you can't leave the forums!!! Too many people enjoy interacting with you too much!

Curious said...

pony-lo said...

Etsy.com - undiluted proof that showing absolutely no respect to your paying customers can still make you a success! yeah!


Is Etsy a success yet? Have they turned a profit?

pony-lo said...

ah yes!

i wonder too, in reality, but they are very much a success at milking the dollars out of us!

life-during-wartime said...

Great post, well said, a courageous act!

I don't read the Etsy forums faithfully, but I do believe I've seen very few (if any) vomitted hairballs there recently. Is it possible that Etsy muted a troll? (Not that this would redeem their other mutings.)

eclipse said...

Curious- no, they aren't profitable yet. Many articles and interviews with Rokali over the past 2 years have predicted profitability by certain dates but then the date passes and the next article gives a new prediction or just says "almost in the black" or other optimistic euphemisms for unprofitable..

They do make a good income but their expenditures have just kept growing. The staff is bloated for a company this size, and many people have vague job descriptions that are sort of "busy work" where they work hard but don't really contribute anything to the bottom line. I think they could easily be profitable with about 20-30% staff cuts, without any real loss of productivity.

sherry said...

News of this post was sent to me from far and wide and I am way down the coast, on vacation. Thank you CN, simply thank you.

I think Jodie(Meringue) will concur that our in boxes overflowed while we were muted and trolls ran free.

I was truly astounded by the number of sellers who never post, but read the fora in hopes that change will come.

The hours I spent on the etsy fora will now be chanelled into my business, sherry truitt studios, not etsy, where I can affect no change at all.

Now, when I sell there, I know exactly the limitations, hope for nothing more and I will act accordingly.

It's been an eye opening experience, and I am grateful to EB, who gives a voice to those that may never otherwise be heard.

wristeroni said...

Creativeneurosis - if you're out there . . .
thanks for pwning Etsy. "Own that shit" is the best advice that they've ever been given.

creativeneurosis said...

brass balls sound painful...

i'm glad the post made some people feel better (a couple of the muted convo'd me to say thanks)... though I'm not sure I achieved anything, or what I really expected rob to say in response. I had just had enough of etsy pretending we're 5 and don't understand when they spell the big words. and anyways etsy isn't a significant source of my income so I figured I had nothing to lose by calling it as I saw it.

and no I'm not muted. not even warned. maybe I'm in the troll club and I didn't even know it...

pennyfabricart said...

Sherry, your wisdom of "hope for nothing more and act accordingly" has been my sense of Etsy, but I somehow feel that you've reached that position at a much greater cost than me.

Thank you for the many helpful posts you've provided for me in my Etsy learning curve.

Although I'm fairly dubious about Etsy as a viable venue, it has been peers like you who have made every second of my membership worthwhile.

Thank you.
-Lisa Penny

the stinky one said...

Well done creativeneurosis, and though you may not have been muted or warned, be aware that your post most certainly has been saved and you are 'on their radar' and any perceived misstep will be added and eventually thrown in your faces as 'proof' of you violating forum policy, so they can punish you.

And for those who are able to go back to the forums but won't on principle, you have just given Etsy exactly what it wanted. If you can't self-mute, they will be more than happy to do it for you.

The forums are nothing more than a crafter's mutual admiration society and 'let's pretend we are in business'group therapy.

curious too said...

Excellent post!

Morrigan said...

I liked this post. Creative, you used a favorite saying of mine - having a low tolerance for bullshit.

The Kinky One said...

Anonymous at 7:32

You must pick a name - any name, in order for your post to go through.

jodie nicholson said...

The hours I spent on the etsy fora will now be chanelled into my business, sherry truitt studios, not etsy, where I can affect no change at all.

Now, when I sell there, I know exactly the limitations, hope for nothing more and I will act accordingly.
I feel exactly the same way. When you have to fight for a year for Etsy to apply something as simple as the USD addition and get nothing but bullshit answers from Admin about why it hasn't been done yet, well, that says a lot about them right there.
Then Admin writes an article about customer service and how to look up to the big guys for how to treat customers??
What an absolute joke they are.
So, like Sherry, I now will just accept my limitations on Etsy and build Meringue on the wholesale side, using Etsy only as a window.
I knew I wouldn't be returning to the fora when someone gave me the link to the thread where people were thanking Admin for the 'Renew Items' change. How stupid can people be?

Grace said...

What we need is a forum for people who don't want to interact on Etsy anymore, but we met on Etsy and still want that friendly chat and banter.

I have to confess that I do miss the late night silliness in Etc., and besides, all my favorite people seem to be getting muted over there.

EB is awesome, but it's not really the right format for just hanging out and being silly.

jodie nicholson said...

An EB forum perhaps?

justalongfortheride said...

It's hard for me to believe that I'm actually saying this, but...I agree with the forum mutings. This is not a "playing favorites" issue at all. Convos are private, and bringing private drama to public fora is incredibly tacky and pointless. I mean, convo an admin and tell them you've received a harassing convo, or ignore it. Handle it like an adult. This is not an Etsy issue--this is a personal one. Besides that, at least two of the banned deserved it long before this. Not only did they crawl my ass when I didn't deserve it, they've crawled the asses of many an undeserving newbie. The internet is a confusing place when you're not used to it, and there's no need to be mean and condescending when you can be helpful and supportive. And there's no need to call someone out and create drama when that someone had the decency not to call YOU out in public.

Anonymous said...

CN, I watched that one go down, too, and was admiring you for your forthrightness. There comes a time when a person has to put it out there as they see it, and consequences be damned.
Being muted for a week affected me not a bit-- I worked on my website, and applied and was accepted to a couple of juried sites.
If Etsy wants the forums to be part of their PR message, it will be about as effective as the Storque articles and be focussed on the same group of dreamers with their heads in the sand: people who feed the coffers with their relisting fees and cheerleader mindset. It's too bad, because it is enabling.
Interested in being treated like a professional? Not on Etsy, not until they have decided whether or not they are professionals. I see it as being represented by people who can't decide if they want to work or play.
Some representation.

I will post in promotions, and I will post if something needs to be said about re-selling, but once stated on that subject is plenty. Those who do not want to hear the truth will always be defensive-- and they take any discussion about the site's faults as personal to them. Stupid? yes, but they'll figure it out.

theoriginalwtf said...

justalong, even if you think the mutings were warranted, do you really think it's fair that BB wasn't muted as well?

justalongfortheride said...

theoriginalwtf, I don't feel that she should've gotten forum muted, because she didn't do anything in that thread to deserve muting. However, if she was using convos to harass/threaten others, then she should have had her ability to send convos taken away for the same length of time as the forum posters were muted. Fair's fair.

jodie nicholson said...

Justfortheridealong, as I've said...I don't disagree with being muted either.
I publicly told BB that I didn't appreciate her bullshit convo because:
(a) in her convo she told me not to convo her (never have, never will)
(b) immediately prior to her sending me that convo, she started a thread in Site Help on how to forward convos to abuse@etsy
(c) I forwarded her convo to Admin and was simply thanked for doing that.

If you think me telling her publicly not to send crap via convo is childish...hey, whatever. But I'm not going to send you a crazy convo just because you said it. I'm not going to start a bunch of whackadoo threads that keep the gossip wheels turning.
No, I'll do it publicly so that there can be no mistake about the facts.
I did it the way I did it with good reason because I've learned from others who have been stung.

jodie nicholson said...

And there's no need to call someone out and create drama when that someone had the decency not to call YOU out in public.
There was nothing for her to call me out on.
But she has referred to other posts in the same thread as bullshit and other posters as assholes. And that's all there, publicly, for the world to see.


jodie nicholson said...

Ah crap, that read wrong.
When I say she's referred to other posts in the same thread, I mean the one she's posting in at that time....I wasn't referring to the one I got muted for.

BB has let loose in a few threads that I've seen.