Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spam, stalk, oops, & Find Your Friends on Etsy!

sean11 is busy as a swimming Swimmy, manic as a mouthy Moustache, effusive as a seasoned spam-erator, just bursting with endless Announcements about how you too can continue to do all of Etsy’s viral advertising for them for free! Here comes the Etsy bugle-call for the “new” Find Your Friends feature on Etsy!

Starting with a long list of anti-privacy settings, Etsy told you to add your Real Name, load your email address book, play hide&seek to find your new Account Security Settings all in anticipation of the new Find Your Friends icing-on-the-cupcake feature so you can annoy the hell out of everyone on your contact list!

sean11 can’t contain his excitement:
But here's the fun part: If you have access to Find Your Friends right now, anyone you connect with or invite to join will also be given access to Find Your Friends -- even if they didn't have access to it before. And those members will be able to extend access to their contacts, and so on. We are starting out small, with a small group of members (chosen at random) who have the power to spread this new feature far and wide in no time.

If that isn’t scary enough for you, Etsy throws ONE opt-out feature to rescue sellers from going down to the murky depths of Etsy-goes-totally-social — YOU CAN “GO DARK” and cut yourself off from this frenzied, Etsy-induced social mayhem!

sean11: If you don't want your Etsy username to be able to found by people with your email address, you can "go dark" and choose not to be findable by adjusting the Findability setting in your account privacy settings. Setting this to "No" means that your Etsy username will not be returned in results if someone with your email address imports their contacts to Etsy.

Not be findable!!!oooooooooh, aaaaaaaaaaaah, SCAAAARY!!!

What’s fucking scary? There isn’t one mention, one hint, one word in this fuckingly scary new feature that MENTIONS SELLING what you list on Etsy!?!

Don’t bother with making a comment in the skeletal Forums, don’t bother sending an email to the bottomless pit of Etsy not-CS, and don’t think for one second that your contact list isn’t going to be used for something you didn’t intend.

Etsy isn’t listening. Despite thousands of seller comments expressing concern over the huge changes to everything-BUT-selling, Etsy is swimming ahead without a second thought about anyone but Etsy. The $$$$$sunglasses they’re wearing have GONE DARK.


sark said...

I don't do the facebook. It's bad enough that I have a twitter and a tumblr. This whole thing reminds me of the Portlandia "Technology Loop" (go watch it )

I signed up on etsy to sell the stuff that I make, which I guess is an antiquated notion. Because it's not about selling shit anymore (as though it ever was). Now it's just a giant fucking popularity contest.

The funny thing is, I got rejected from a team application today by someone who has had an account for about 6 months and has sold a grand total of 2 items. What amuses me is that I look at their Circle number which was hovering around 15 and I just thought to myself, I have a couple hundred sales, lots of feedback, a respectable number next to my "circle" considering that I'm not a social darling - and this fuckwad is telling me that I don't qualify.

So, you know, I guess it worked...
And by "worked" I mean I know who will no longer (if ever) be featured in my treasuries or found in my favorites, or my fucking circle.

This is also why I hate teams, because at the end of the day, everything is high school, and some douche who has sold just about nothing will be telling you that your years of sales and 100% positive feedback don't mean shit.

But then, I knew that before I drank some koolaid and considered joining a team.

I can't wait to pop back in in 3 months and see the zero items listed in this person's shop, with their 2 sales... but hey, they're a team leader, so what the fuck do I know? Other than that they and their team are now on my shitlist.

The favoritism should be completely transparent at this point.

They aren't fucking making money being the arts and crafts ebay. So, it was time to try to be the arts and crafts facebook.

From the forum reaction, really, no one seems to want this circle number displayed on their shop page. I imagine that has something to do with those people whose souls are still chaste and shiny enough to hold out hope that the thing they signed up for was an online venue to buy and sell handmade (and vintage and supplies).

If we all drink enough koolaid and walk around in enough circles we'll forget all about those charges that keep showing up on our credit cards.

The only circular logic I have for this latest episode is one giant eye roll.

Broom Hilda said...

I think Rob Kalin finally needs to go in for that prescription for Adderall. He did say it was going to be Etsy's year to make it big or crash and burn, but I didn't seriously think they were going to go for the latter option until recently.

Etsy has absolutely no focus. These moves they're making make a some sense, but with the botched design and execution they come out like an owl with a cowl wrapped around it's eyes fumbling around in the dark.

Not to mention, it was weird to pair their plan to 'make Etsy more social' with the action of wadding up their existing community and stomping on it.

It sure does seem like the VCs are calling the shots now. Investors know techy type businesses, but know nothing about the craft and art businesses of us Etsy sellers.

WhoKnewIt said...

"sean11: If you don't want your Etsy username to be able to found by people with your email address, you can "go dark" and choose not to be findable by adjusting the Findability setting in your account privacy settings. Setting this to "No" means that your Etsy username will not be returned in results if someone with your email address imports their contacts to Etsy."

Let me tell you something Sean baby...anyone that has my email address also has the link to get to my shop...but it's NOT on Etsy, it's on why would I even care? Idiots...

The New Bitch said...

Etsy: Where Everybody is a Nobody

Cloud said...

All's well that ends well... At least for me anyways. I'm on artfire now!

for the hell of it said...

Check out this interview with Breyer:

He "feels" that social commerce is the future.

connect with me on Etsybook said...

I've already started getting emails saying someone wants me to 'keep up with them on Etsy' or some crap.

Since when is 'keeping up' with someone seeing a list of junk on their shopping list or whatever? The 'circles' are absolutely impersonal.

As far as the spam mails though, they're total bullshit. It says 'you are receiving this because entered your name'.

What bullshit. Etsy said it the emails would not be like this. Of course I knew they were lying then, but it's always nice to see the proof.

setec astronomy said...

What I'm most furious, upset, and confused about is that I opted out of the Find feature - but when I logged into my gmail account the other day, up in the top right corner where it says my name IT NOW SAYS XXXX ON ETSY!!

How the hell does my Google gmail account, when I'm checking my mail and NOT logged into Etsy, suddenly say ON ETSY after my name?

Did someone Find me and now my gmail is permanently linked to Etsy somehow? This sucks, and I don't know how to make it go back to just my own name.

There must be some serious tracking cookies and privacy invasions going on within the new Etsy code. Time to close those shops and delete those email names. I don't trust Etsy, especially considering how grossly unprofessional their staff is. I'm sure our data isn't secure from simple personnel breaches.

The Funny One said...

Right you are sark about the popularity contest esp. with sean11's new quip "How many circles are you in?"--all too telling. Etsy is reduced to it's basic core - peer pressure and popularity. Toe the Etsy (boring, formulaic) line and enter the Fave Seller Starchamber.

Etsy is a complete waste of time. The only winner of this ridiculous peter pan contest is sean11 and Swimmy.

dizzy said...

While Etsy continues to "circle the drain" with all this social crap, I do hope that the sellers don't get too dizzy or distracted and take some time to start getting their business established elsewhere.

Sammy said...

I've only been on Etsy about 8 months, since last July. I've had three sales, despite a lot of promotion work and stress. My shop is now on permanent vacation, less than 6 months after I listed my first item. All the shit going on there has stressed me out even worse and made me really think Etsy's job apps say "You MUST be a fuckwit to work here." My point is, I'm new compared to lots of others, and it was a revolving door experience for me. If they can so thoroughly turn away a brand new seller with NO history with them, NO preconceived notions, NO previous grudges against them, they are really talented. In a fuckwitted sort of way.
Viva la ArtFire.

G33K GODDESS said...

::Roasts a marshmallow on a stick upon the flaming wreckage of

Anonymous said...

Hypocritical? You blast Etsy for shutting down forums and such, but you moderate all comments here and don't accept the ones that don't agree with your views. This warrants a longer blog post elsewhere obviously as this comment will never be read by anyone other than you.

for the hell of it said...


Ever since the forum shift and other BS changes have begun their repaid fire deployment, I have been getting periodic warnings and having my computer shut down by the internet to protect my computer from potential viruses and other malicious cyber stuff that goes bump in the night.

These occurances ONLY occur within the "community pages".

I also moved all of my email contacts into a folder, as a precautionary measure.

@sark, haven't you ever noticed that the NON sellers are most likely to be the CC's and a little too proud of their illusionary power, within a team or other BS area within the site. It works better for the long term to ignore the "gnats". If you acknowledge their presense, it only reinforces the illusions of importance. :)

I also believe that Kalin is little more than a puppet king, now, who is kept on a very short leash by Breyer. They turn him loose , very rarely for "crowd control", then pop him right back into his kennel. I'm sure, that as Kalin's perceived popularity continues to tank, he'll be less and less visible within the site.

I still feel that the staff is comprised of decent people, BUT, they are not the types to go up against the perceived power of the VC tier.

The company's decision makers are now the Board of Directors. Any change will need to come from them. AND they will only consider a shift if it can be proved out to be profitable.

BiteMe said...

Sean is a fucking asshole puppet and needs to find a job where he can learn how to treat people who JUST WANT TO SELL THEIR GREAT THINGS.
Boo on Sean and the rest of the stepford staff members.

Anonymous said...

As soon as I heard of the emails/spam/circle things, I got two new email accounts for my shops. They have NO contacts for Etsy to pillage and profit from. They have my first initial and my very common maiden name - not my current name. Let em look for someone with that particular name - they will find several hundred thousand in the US alone.
I would be curious who the terd is that Sark dealt with.
But in regard to Etsy, you can't fix stupid.

igetitnow said...

What could be better than circles? Sellers with crappy products can circle you and buyers can click right out of your shop.

I saw that interview "for the hell of it posted" At least we see where sean11 gets his great ideas.

Even if they are crappy he still gets paid every month, unlike those of us who make their living making handmade.

breyer's bitch said...

Showing circles on your shop is what, move 200 that nobody wants but Etsy? I'm sure their response is the usual, "we think it will be good for you and we're doing tests on it, and no we won't remove it, so shut up".

Maybe they'll pop their head up from reading some test graph one day to realize that half their sellers left because we're sick of having stupid crap we don't want forced on us.

The Funny One said...

It doesn't really matter who's pulling the strings to manipulate Etsy into an ill-fitted social site, it's the motivation behind it - profits. With rapidy declining profits, going social means adding ad content = scoring more money for Etsy.
It will never work because Etsy isn't built on goodwill, good reputation, or quality customer service. It's built on scamming a majority of (willing) people to fork over lots of money for nothing AND continue to do all of Etsy's marketing and advertising for free.
Circles, teams, suggested, & find friends and every other trick Etsy adds is targeted to benefit the 1% sellers that Etsy promotes, that's it. Most of it will not increase sales because it's merely internal mktg within a small group of promoted sellers who buy from each other.
Ad money may boost Etsy's profit margins, but bet your asses that the ads won't have anything to do with handmade or selling handmade.
Etsy's been very successful scamming lots of would be sellers, but they won't be able to uphold ads-without-payoffs. Etsy may have fooled a lot of people for 7 years, but when they enter the ad-money world, it's a completely different story.
There won't have the audience or the reputation to support it.

Lucy said...

I'm amazed by the amount of sellers that don't have a second shop or more set up at elsewhere. It's been obvious to me with the front page repeats and complaints about it for years that Etsy doesn't listen to the sellers. Unfortunately, the longer I've been there the more I'm proven right.

I still make my largest sales on Etsy, but I do have store fronts elsewhere and when Etsy hits the unbearable point pulling the plug won't be too much of a problem. I have to think long term for my shop, since Etsy is only thinking of themselves.

furious said...

It's maddening to see resellers that have been circled hundreds of times over. Do the idiots adding them to their circles not realize that they are putting up an ad for the reseller in their own shops? Even more infuriating is that nearly all of the resellers I've seen have zero favorites(they aren't there to buy!)...making circling them POINTLESS if using this feature as it was meant to be used.

I've never had any sort of list of sellers I won't buy from...but you can bet your ass that going forward I will. Assholes.

Lavenderlemon said...

Sark I agree with your comment,its all high school! I haven't been meeting people like usual ( because of the forums) and anyways when i went into the forums I just randomly talked about things I didnt really make any friends. So i guess iam an ETSY Looser in there books because I am not in any circles!! This is so frustrating Iam going to drink my tea and go fix my tags on my items and hope that helps me get some views!

Miranda said...

I've moved over to Cargoh - they're juried (therefore no resellers), they helped me fix a problem when setting up my shop within an hour, and promoted me on their facebook page before I had even had the chance to list five items. Haven't sold anything yet, but I've had more views within a week than I ever did with Etsy.

Violets new Vintage said...

One good result from all the stupid E changes is that people like me started to amp up their own web sites. There are so many Etsy sellers ready to leave and so many people using Weebly for their own sites that 'Show us Your Weebly' is becoming a very common sight on a few forums.

Mildred P. Stotts said...

I still can't figure out what the best alternative to Etsy is.

So far creating my own web shop and advertising it myself seems like a good alternative to paying fees at a community marketplace and hoping they'll bring in shoppers.

Artfire seems kind of tin-pot (the design and consistency of design is not good).

Shoply is a bit too simplistic.

Silkfair doesn't fit my image.

Cargoh seems to be run by hipster jerks, just like Etsy (except they swear a lot more).

Zibbet just seems like an Etsy clone, and I don't really trust people who just copy someone else's stuff without thinking twice about the details. Same goes for craftisart.

One thing is for sure: Etsy is dead as can be. Judging from the direction these dickwads are taking it, in two years Etsy will be a banner spam farm with popups trying to sell you Viagra.

The Funny One said...

Mildred, Your concerns about alternatives are real and important. ArtFire and Zibbet have shown that they interact and respond to seller-concerns, but mktplc sites, so far, have basically failed the handmade artisans and the handmade product. Instead of using the unique product/sold direct as the basis of a good ecommerce model, most sites have morphed into a RETAIL model that never served the needs of handmade.
Instead of developing organically with the product as the center theme, they used a format that never fit. It still doesn't.

I do think that all the time and energy many artisans have wasted on Etsy have stunted the development of other sites that would have been better. Etsy has not only destroyed handmade, they've sapped energy that could have been better spent off Etsy.

Sites that mimic Etsy are looking at the profits, not the product. They haven't even skimmed the potential of handmade, and those mistakes are largely, sadly, irreversible. Handmade prices are the most tragic casualty.

for the hell of it. said...

Just for future reference, anyone who is considering Shoply, Liad has appeared in Fred Wilson's blog on more than one occasion, and his comments do have Shoply as part of his "signiture".

I would be a bit suspect of Shoply.

WolfCreekMill said...

The Funny one nailed that commentary..I left etsy because the changes I saw comming - I posted the first "san telmo" ? thread..I sell my services on the back story of my "retail/craft" operations. Every change they are making kills the back-story and seperates the person from the shop - exactly the oposite of the stated goal of making this a "market" experiance.

Handmade sells better when there is a connection to who made also sells at a better price. Incredibly it seems the emphisis even among sellers = volume...which is the one place handmade has the most trouble competing.

I am on AF because the I like the tools there best...and I have a huge bio and gallery pages where connection with the "seller/maker" can still happen.

Cirles = activity (just as the name implies) activity is not = to progress.

artmaker said...

I tried an experiment and OMG!

I have two shops on etsy. The second has it's own email set up just for that. But my first uses my primary account. Same one my friends, family, business relations and everyone are on.

The day they announced this data mining email dig thing I promptly set up a new email just for my first shop and REMOVED my personal one.

Then the day they offered the opt out button I opted out. but first, just to test this, in each email account I put as my one and only contact, my OTHER email account. One shop email has the other and vise versa.

So Sean announced the find your friends thing.
Thankfully you are prompted to allow it. But thinking it's only going to allow it to find my one and only contact, me, I allowed.

Well! NO! It dug into my REMOVED email.
I immediately opted right back out but WTH????

I emailed SEAN back in Feb.
Since then several of my forum posts have been closed. And I got yet another official warning.
(I changed my avitar to a cat saying "etsy bites the hand that feeds it." Guess the truth hurts so they removed it and I got a warning.

Still no reply to my email. Just another slap.

And yea.... I'm on artfire now.

Tired of Fools said...

Well, everyone, save one, who posted above me pretty much sums up my opinion about circle jerking and Etsy as a whole, as well as Rokali being their puppet and most likely he'll be the scapegoat too. Oh well, he made the decision to make a deal with the devil and take his money.

Thank goodness for ArtFire and Zibbet.

No treasuries, favorites are private, no circles save the few poor souls who circled me (I did not reciprocate and convo'd them as to why), opted out of find me e-mail (anyone who I want to find me already can), and my real name is not on my shop either. Why I even keep one shop there is beyond me except that I do get sales but no thanks to Etsy.

I have been promoting ArtFire and Zibbet exclusively but still have more sales on Etsy despite all the grief Etsy has given everyone.

I'm concerned about what Sectec Astronomy said regarding his/her Gmail account. That is scary and if it isn't illegal, it should be.

Best comment above me: "You can't fix stupid."

Thanks, Etsy Bitch for giving us a safe place to vent.

Former Etsy Seller said...

In the same thread about circles and privacy, or lack thereof, I found this priceless post though:


ProtectYourself said...

I can find my own REAL friends just fine. The way this fucked up overpopulated world is, the number of dangerous people is in direct proportion. Why someone would think that opening up their life to just about anyone is a good idea is about to learn the hard way.