Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Clickable Links A Security threat? Bullshit.

I want to clear something up.. Outside links on Etsy have been allowed. They were allowed for nearly 6 years without an issue.

Are they a security threat?

Fuck no.

Is it a bug that they've finally cleared up?

Fuck no, again.

Its all about making the Alexa traffic look good, honey. It has nothing to do about security threats, or a bug they've fixed. Its all about preventing people from clicking out or anywhere than where you actually are.

You can no longer link to blogs, articles, etc. Why? Because they don't want you clicking out of Etsy for anything. No life allowed outside of the little Etsy circle. Period. That is all it is. Making themselves look better on stats.

See the progression in backtracking here, here and here.

31 Comments:

SickofMiniCEO's said...

Oh, please. I have 3 words...Pot meet Kettle.

For the last year, sellers have been bitching their faces off about public favs, profiles, treasuries etc. all things that can allow buyers to Click out of their shops.

And now Etsy does it and it's time for the pitch forks and torches.....Again :S

If the sellers don't like it, well tough. Etsy has a right to stop outside links from clicking off their site, just as sellers got the right to Privatize everything under the sun, and complain why they can't be found.

I swear, I am so glad Etsy is taking the direction it's has. I am so sick of Corporate American and it's piss on everyone else attitude. I see this every time I hear a seller say things like,"I just want to sell my stuff" Or "The only people I want to talk to are my buyers" Right, only to get their money. Nice direction for the Handmade movement for sure. Let's not socialize unless you have your wallet open. Then I'll talk your fool head off.

Geez, if these sellers had their way Etsy would be closed doors, faceless and full of mini CEO's at a big fat desk diguised as a Grandma knitting sweaters. Capitolism at it's finest right there.

So, excuse me, if I congratulate Etsy for stopping people from leaving the site. Isn't that what all the bitching is about? People leaving? So Etsy stopped it. Get your head out of your A$$es and straighten up. Handmade is supposed be against corps. So lose the Corp. attitudes.

Jewelry On The Rocks said...

Oh THOSE links are the ones not allowed. All roads lead to Etsy and none lead away.

Anonymous said...

SickofMiniCEO, or course they have the right to block outgoing links.
But they don't have the right to lie about the reason, especially when it is THIS transparent. Why not just tell the truth: we used to allow it, we changed our minds, that is that.
Why make up these stupid lies about "security" and it being for our own safety?

Blocking the links is annoying, but the lies are actually offensive and insulting.

Seinfeld said...

It was insulting that they initially claimed it was a bug they had just cleared up. Glad to see they at least admitted it was a purposeful change.

Sure. They can change linking policies whenever they want. But don't pretend it's a bug, or for our own good.

Just own it.

You want to keep people on your site. That's fine. Own it.

Ryo said...

SickofMiniCEO... Bitch please. Get your etsy praising bullshit out of here.

The Funny One said...

You might have had a valid point to make MiniCEO's but it's the lack of coherence and overall site integrity at Etsy that makes this "tool" another irritation for visitors on top of dozens of other navigation hurdles that work to deter visitors from returning to Etsy to shop. From Search to Check Out, Etsy requires 4 to 10 times the number of clicks MORE than any other ecommerce site.

Layering on a lot of useless "social networking" features even adds a pile of extra clicks for every shop owner just to navigate around their own damn shops. It's insane.

Sellers AND visitors are forced to constantly adapt to the most convoluted, arcane, anti-sales, user un-friendly site for selling! Every single new click Etsy slaps on users spins buyers away from the site because it's so damn hard to use.

It may not show up right away, but the huge number of nav changes since January have already had a huge negative impact on traffic and sales. Etsy is actively pushing away buyers by the 100's of thousands every damn week.

Counting clicks on Etsy INCLUDES the hundreds of clicks each seller has to endure to maintain their shops and play the stupid new social games. The INCREASE in page views on Etsy could easily be 40-50% due to the navigation hurdles imposed by Etsy just on its sellers!!!

Blocking clicks OFF Etsy is something ecommerce sites learned NOT TO DO 6-7 YEARS AGO! It is the biggest no-no in online retail. You never piss off your visitors by locking them on to your page, period.

Etsy is operating in an alternate universe that is so anti-commerce and so anti-seller, I am shocked they're still in business.

If their horrible, negative, disgusting treatment of sellers isn't enough, they actively piss of a lot of people who just want to shop. Who the hell is running this company?

PermanentEtsyVacation said...

@SickofMiniCEO's: Way back in the Dark Ages when many of us signed up on Etsy, we signed up for a dynamic that put us in touch with other buyers and sellers. Teams were right there in the Forums, and I was on a week-long thread with one of my teams every day. Now that there are no more Teams in that same way, most of us have just Friended each other on FB, but a bunch of us miss the daily banter on our thread and how we could easily link to new listings and photos on Flickr and so on. Yeah, I guess we could do it on FB, but we had our Etsy group and it worked.

Same with selling: it WORKED. People could search for what they wanted and usually find it, and people ended up in my shop and bought from me. We didn't have to know each other's names, we didn't have to know who each other's Favorite Sellers and Hearted items were - a buyer bought, a seller made a sale, they could pursue a deeper and longer-term relationship if it suited them, and people were happy.

New people came to Etsy looking for handmade and once upon a time they found it; now they're wandering thru resellers, many of whom are featured on the Front Page while the rest of us small-time people actually making our own stuff (but whose photos aren't the right magazine-perfect shade of beige unless we actually lifted the photos FROM a magazine) get no promotion. Resellers who are called out remain in business while the people who got sick of flagging repeatedly and finally went public end up muted.

To most of us, Etsy has now become "closed doors, faceless and full of mini CEO's at a big fat desk diguised as a Grandma knitting sweaters." Heck, maybe it was the whole time and we were just snowed by Rokali reading us optimistic fairy tales making us feel like Etsy was something special - but it began as a really successful and enjoyable way to make some spare money and turn my hobby into something more. Now I feel like nothing more than a statistic clicking on stuff. It took me three clicks to get to my own shop this morning.

The bitching is about people leaving Etsy as buyers and sellers because Etsy is turning into a bunch of corporate pricks, NOT about people leaving the site by clicking a link. And perhaps if Etsy were to offer some appealing front pages and a Search that worked, people would want to come BACK?

SOS said...

Send..help... trapped... on .. etsy...

SOS said...

Oh, and MiniCEO's.. I have absolutely NO problem being social with anyone. Whether they want to buyer or not. I put my face on everything. But.. I DO NOT think Etsy's features are all that social nor wanted by most everyone customer or seller. They are just a pitiful try to keep their numbers(clicks,new users,sales,listings) growing. Well, it ain't working.

Discord Threads said...

Yet another reason I am soooo glad E closed my empty shop for me! In only 3 months at Artfire, I've made over $550... And no 3.5% going to Etsy anymore....

Anne Onymous said...

Umm, if by "clickable links" we're talking about the ones you type in that start with a href, then it's perfectly possible to inject all kinds of malice and evil into those. It's usually done in forms but it can be done in links. Judging from the riffraff that's been getting in over at Etsy lately, maybe they do have a problem.

Programmers who build and maintain sites used by the public usually know how to prevent that from happening. I don't have a clue as to how they do it these days, but I assume the programmers build in some checking and validation. If they want to offer this amenity for their sellers, they can do it. Otherwise, the semiliterate technospeak is the last we'll hear of it.

Now here's how dumb I am: I never had any "clickable links" because I had the impression they were grounds for instant exile.

sark said...

SickofMiniCEO's: really?
If you were smarter I guess you would have posted with a link to your etsy account so that they could feature you in the Finds. Because that was some nauseous ass kissing. And as a fellow seller, if that's how you feel about me, well, fuck you. Why would I want to socialize with you?

-----------
I missed this latest fracas. On the side of the benefit of the doubt, which is a really thin margin based on reputation... I'd like to think that some jackhole has been posting spammy virus links all over etsy or something with keystroke technology and whatnot, and that's why they made the change about the links...

Yeah, that's a huge serving of benefit of the doubt.

How this turns into me being a miniCEO because I signed up on etsy to SELL my fucking products which evidently makes me evil. WTF? The tagline used to be the place to BUY and SELL... not to fuck around and chat and otherwise just waste electricity.

Trust me, the less time I spend fucking around and socializing on etsy - ironically, the more I sell on etsy. But then, I'm not obsessed with this cult of handmade bullshit. Don't get me wrong, I make my own shit, I just call it art and get the fuck over myself.

Somewhere, down in the nebulous dregs of my profile is a dead URL for my blog. It's been there forever... it's also always been dead (as far as links are concerned). I was under the impression that the only place that non-etsy live links happened were the forums... and well, they eviscerated the forums, so what's the point anyway?

I don't post in the forums much or at all, so, I mean, I don't exactly lose a lot from this. But some random jackhole telling me I'm a hypocrite for wanting to just sell shit on a site that was originally designed as a destination to sell shit is just a little too ripe, idiotic, and hypocritical. It's not unlike the pot calling the kettle black.

Of course, in closing "apostrophe s" is to denote possession, not to denote plural. Should have been typed as "SickofMiniCEOs" not "SickofMiniCEO's". Otherwise I have a comment about a dangling participle...

The Funny One said...

Lots of good points, and it underlines one huge, 7-yr-old problem at Etsy - they rarely if ever do any user surveys, they never test major changes (TT, constant FP tweaks) and they actively censor the abbreviated forums and team threads so there is no regular review of their performance. Their end users are actively ignored, actively censored, and actively punished.

Etsy is so out of sinc because they have no interest in their end users. It's a vanity site to tickle their own egos.

Etsy is known today as the company that takes what users tell them and does just the opposite, out of spite.

Resellers on Etsy? The more they're flagged and outed on Regretsy, the more Etsy digs in to "protect" them.

SickofMiniCEO's said...

Oh yes. I am so going to miss Ms. Buyer. You see, she clicked in from Sally's blog, but then Clicked out on Betty's Blog because Betty was having a bloody Giveaway. We haven't heard from her since.

We also can't forget poor Henry who clicked out on a FB Fanpage linked, got sucked into the Fanpage Whirlpool of Death. We're about to form a search party.

I love spammers and scammers with there buy my crap at this website. I almost cry when I think about their links not working.

But what I will miss the most is the disgruntled Etsy Bitches with their, "Come to my Artfire shop. I made 2 sales in a week with no fees. And if you open a shop here and bring your buyers, I'll give you a discount because Etsy Sucks!!! YAY!!"

Or my personal fav "Come see what the Zibbet CEO is doing now to make thier site look WAY better then Etsy. Bring your buyers!!!"

Yeah, I will miss 'em gosh darn it. But now I will bask in the knowledge that you all got what you deserved and no one will be able to lure buyers out on a whim. People will now have to use blogs and FB for what was intended and that was to bring people to Etsy not away from it.

I have benefitted quite well using this method, you should give it a try instead of giving your links to anyone who wants it and them come to the forums daily saying "Where are all the buyer? It must be Etsy's fault because there are too many links out of our shops"

Yes, Etsy should have been straight forward, but I guess "There, that'll fix ya" wouldn't have sounded too professional in my opinion.

Rose said...

The Funny One said:

"Resellers on Etsy? The more they're flagged and outed on Regretsy, the more Etsy digs in to 'protect' them."

-------------------------------
Yes, but reading the comments on the Regretsy articles, one gets the feeling that a lot of Etsy sellers are dismayed, jumping ship and going to Artfire, Zibbet and other sites.

If Etsy protects all of its resellers, then Etsy's reputation will continue to spiral down in reputation (I'm surprised it hasn't reached a critical mass YET with front page favoritism, coral-gate, privacy-gate, Rape card-gate, profile page-gate, Glamour-gate and the Inc article on Kalin. All of that plus the reseller take-over hasn't totally killed the site yet? Amazing!).

I agree with The Funny One-- it has to be a vanity site with this many disasters -- perhaps Etsy is twisting its numbers (it wouldn't be the first time a corp did it).

Toaster said...

Links are now clickable again, but a little 'omg you're leaving Etsy!' popup appears first. What I find hilarious is this part of ndisanto's post announcing links were clickable again:

"This was my mistake; caused by misinterpreting a request from our security team. I'm glad everyone spoke up about this being strange, but I will admit that I was a bit upset when some of you questioned my honesty. I promise I'll always be up front and truthful. Unfortunately I can't promise to never make a mistake, but when I do I'll try to fix them asap!"

You hurt his feelings, everyone :,(

Evermore Organics said...

If Etsy wants people to be more social, why can't they let us link to our blogs? That's a BIG way people socialize with each other. Etsy did away with forums for the most part, so um, how are they expecting us to be social? Randomly convo-ing each other? I still don't get this "social selling" thing; where IS it?

RitaPlace said...

The Funny One said...

Etsy is so out of sinc because they have no interest in their end users. It's a vanity site to tickle their own egos.
------------------------------------
Well, I'd use a term more naughty than tickle, but, yeah, that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

All Wired Up TOO said...

My give a damn is busted..I just can't care anymore..I'M permanently removed from etsy..and I like it like that..
(More etsy users should follow suit..it feels SO very good!)
VIVA ART FIRE!

eclipse said...

Anne Onymous said...

Umm, if by "clickable links" we're talking about the ones you type in that start with a href, then it's perfectly possible to inject all kinds of malice and evil into those.
----------------
Anne, what you are describing is HTML. HTML has NEVER worked in any part of Etsy, not in shops or in the forums.
What HAS always worked in the forums (not in shops, only in forums , teams, and storque comments) is that when you post a simple url, it is autoconverted into a clickable link.
The poster did not add any code to make it clickable. The poster did not use HTML. The poster has no opportunity to add any exploits into their link. All they do is post a simple plaintext web address (URL) and ETSY THEMSELVES converted that into a live active link. Without the poster doing anything, the link was converted.

Has no one even used the forums in the past 5 years?

PermanentEtsyVacation said...

So, CEO, you're complaining about complainers, on a site where the complainers go, and YOU'RE referencing the saying about pots and kettles? Looked in a mirror lately?

If Etsy as it stands works for you, fine, go play in that sandbox and sell stuff. Why the hell are you Here if There works so well if not to stir up hornets' nests the way you think nobody else should be? I'm pretty sure you're not going to change anyone's mind over here.

Once again Etsy threw a change at its membership, this time with no announcement, let alone testing the waters first, and the speed with which they withdrew the change says they recognized what a dumb idiotic idea it was in the first place, and how lame an excuse they had for doing so. At least they showed that they CAN make changes, and that they DO listen on select occasions. And now I'm sure all the people still waiting for answers about use of their personal information will be all optimistic again that perhaps Rokali will pop in on those threads once again... uh-huh.

The Funny One said...

Etsy has a very simple, trite and fast-is-furious format that clearly benefits a small subset of sellers, most of whom have agreed to adopt the Etsy tricks for selling. If they are then accepted into the Etsy clique, they reap more benefits from promotions that have been designed to reinforce the Etsy Way.

It's all formulaic based on their slipshod, lazy interpretations of traffic and sales patterns. Really just a half-assed method for product development that manufacturers have use for decades.

However, while Etsy is touted as a site for HANDMADE, their entire format is based on herding willing sellers into a product model that blasts the very definition of handmade out of the water.

Etsy tells sellers every single day to CONFORM to their formula and reinforces their agenda by actively punishing sellers who don't (by muting, banning and closing, or by ostracizing said sellers from all their selective promotions).

It's clique behavior that has had a significant impact over 7 years of manipulating handmade into an end product that no longer resembles handmade.

As mtraub's "workshop" proves, Etsy even wants sellers to use the same oblique styles for every word they write in their own stores. She's just pushing the same Etsy message that every seller who follows their formula can be the next QYDJ if they follow the Etsy rules so that every product price, description, source, and pix look the same as the next 100 fave Etsy sellers. (Which is why resellers and copying are growing epidemics.)

Etsy will never disclose shoppers' reactions to their bizarre presentation of the products on the site (and because they never survey their end users) -- but when buyers get tired of reading "story" descrips that don't disclose the product specs, will Etsy reimburse sellers for all those returned products that were NOT AS DESCRIBED? and NOT REALLY HANDMADE AS CLAIMED?

Etsy took handmade and turned it into a product produced to Etsy specs (commissioned without pmt up front), attached to fake descrips, pushing products that aren't what they say they are. We know this has decimated the reputation, quality, and pricing of the entire product category formerly known as real handmade.

Every seller can choose to push the Etsy-definition of handmade, but what the shopper sees on the other end is a neverending list of products that look the same, read the same and can't be trusted to be what they say they are.

The only difference is price, and that continues to go below the cost of products listed for sale.

Clue: Etsy always announces already-implemented site changes late on Friday afternoons and then take off for the weekend. This assures that Etsy never sees sellers' reactions until the damage has been done.

What other company treats its sellers with such disdain and disrespect?

theexitramp said...

Shit, I'll stand up right here and say YES! OUI OUI! I am a CAPITALIST! I'm not on Etsy to socialize, hear potloads of life stories and bawlfests from women who are willing to drop every intimate detail of their lives to a perfect stranger, just because they spent 10 bucks in their shop. Handmade people have families to feed and bills to pay,too, Sicko. Why should people who craft for a LIVING be treated any different than someone who sells anything else? Get off your "Come on people now, smile on your brother" cloud and drop the "we're so clever and classless and freeeee" bullcrap. There are better ways to find REAL friends and more meaningful ways to socialize than etsy.
That's why I love the male buyers-they're the ecommerce version of the zipless fuck. They find what they want, pay for it, and they're outta there. Because they have REAL LIVES-they don't haunt a flouncy website trying to find someone to be their friend. Grow up, for crissakes. It IS all about making money-and if it isn't, why does Etsy collect fees???

Anonymous said...

SickofMiniCEO's said...

___
We don't care what you said. You should not drink while posting.

Anne Onymous said...

@Eclipse--as I mentioned, I didn't have a freakin' clue because I thought all outbound links were no-nos. And I have no idea where I picked that up. As for the forums, well...I learned only a month into my stay at Etsy that the forums are about as useful as tits on a bull. That was when I couldn't figure out how to get postage set up.

But what you're saying just reinforces what jackasses they are. If Etsy was set up so that you could just type your URL and they made it into a link, then they certainly knew how to strip anything unseemly out of the URLs. So all that bullshit about security is precisely that--bullshit. And poorly worded bullshit at that. I guess if you just bring up the word "security," everybody is supposed to go "Ooooh!" and fall into line--or lean over to get screwed one more time.

A vagrant thought hit while I was typing this: I wonder when they're going to start offering us blogs...

stargazer said...

Hey!
MiniCEO guy.... The last time I heard someone come out with that level of arrogant boobery, it was the guy on the cover of INC.... Hmmm, are you a thirty something bi-polar carrot head? Knife collection? BTW - Do you actually know how to sharpen and use that thang? Or do you just wave it around to scare your employees when your meds aren't working?

Here's something to consider. Artists make art. We come to Etsy to sell art. It is usually difficult for us to take the time out to sell the art we make. It takes away from the time making the art. NOW, we apparently need to add the amount of time it will take to lick a bunch of other people's balls to get them to come see our art. And take yet more time away from making our art. And we are supposed to be grateful for the opportunity to do this?

Capitalism in and of itself is not a bad thing, as long as cash is valued and not worshipped. Sadly, Etsy has gone over to mind numbing zombie creating cult worship. If you have any doubts, go watch that scary swimmie video again, where your malignant narcissistic self attempts to tell everyone else on why they should follow your 'vision' and believe what you tell them.

Oh yeah, looking at something with only one eye, inhibits your ability to see with any perspective at all. Just an artist comment.

Anyway, now I have a bunch of customers that I don't want to refer to my Etsy shop because I should be able to cycle them back to my own site. They are stuck in some sort of swimmy whirlpool. AND pissed. Just how often do you think they'll come back, if the site is more and more user hostile?

The whole purpose of 'handmade' WAS TO MAKE US ALL MINI-CEOS OF OUR OWN HANDMADE COMPANIES YOU NUMBSKULL. It was not to make us feudal worshipful slaves to your 'let the little fishies surround me' vision. The handmade movement was to educate the consumer and empower the ARTIST.

Yes, Etsy has a right to stop outside links from clicking off their site. But if you are going to insult your main customers, and THEIR customers, you really will have to get used to seeing folks move their shops. Life's tough, right?

Jewelry On The Rocks said...

ArtFire already gives us blogs on pro accounts, but they also provide a place to enter the URL for outside blogs that appears in each listing.

Anonymous said...

Anne Onymous said...
... I didn't have a freakin' clue because I thought all outbound links were no-nos. And I have no idea where I picked that up.
___
Few can figure Etsy out. They selectively enforce things.
_______

As for the forums, well...I learned only a month into my stay at Etsy that the forums are about as useful as tits on a bull.
___
The change to the forum structure ended the exchange of useful information between users. While most of us still meet online, its not at Etsy anymore. So much for the site as a social place.
Since the change to the forums, I have seen a lot more downright nastiness with people being jumped on. The cupcakes are the mean girls from middle school.

Cat Power said...

I received an email this afternoon from the 'Sense of Fashion' site where I have a few things listed, and it sounds like they are following Etsy with the No Outside Links policy.

Wonder if they are somehow connected, or just happen to think the same way. They are based, I believe, in Israel.

Anonymous said...

Links are allowed again now in forums and teams.
Apparently, the engineer who disabled them just misunderstood his instructions. The entire thing was a mistake.
Why they did not just say that in the first place instead of making up stories about "it was a bug", I will leave up to your own conclusions.
My conclusions? They are pathological liars and can only tell the truth as a very last resort.

Pants On Fire said...

Anonymous said...
...My conclusions? They are pathological liars and can only tell the truth as a very last resort.
-----------
Seem like an odd conclusion. I don't think they can tell the truth at all, even as a last resort.

Does anyone really believe after 2 round of lies (first, a bug; second, security) that they came out with the truth finally?

How does one simple misunderstanding of an instruction, by one person, become a code push that affects links across the entire forum (and Storque, right?). You mean no one else at all was involved in this fairly big change and code push? NO ONE ELSE saw or worked on this code push and saw the big misunderstanding, nor questioned it when they developed and posted lies #1 and #2?

I bet there was a meeting where everyone was baffled, "geez I didn't know people used links for anything important," "wow, I didn't think they'd get so mad," and then someone got a brilliant idea:
"Hey, anyone in engineering want to step up and take the blame for this one? Someone nobody ever sees in the forum maybe? You can apologize real nice, say you messed up, and ask the cupcakes for their humble forgiveness! It's worth a bonus next payday."

Now they're probably all ribbing him and laughing, and mock apologizing all over their soy lattes.

I don't buy it that one person can misunderstand one instruction, and it can grow into an applied coding and policy change by accident. Their pants are on fire.