Friday, April 10, 2009

I do not think this word means what you think it means...

Once are active in the "handmade" community you will notice that some terms are thrown about without care for their actual meanings, if they truly know them at all. This irritates me greatly.

Here's a few bugging me currently from Etsy:

"Indie": This is one of the many terms Etsy has been helpful in misappropriating from the music scene for the crafting corner. Let me say this clearly as I can: Craftig has always BEEN "indie" aka independent.

Indiemusic is a usually unsigned band producing it's own records their way without intervention of "the man" while being independent of a label or a small tiny label that isn't attached to a "big" label who helps bands make albums. It's use in crafting it just irritating as you can't be "indie" if there is no "major league". Crafting has always BEEN indie. There has never been commercial crafting. It's always been some woman (usually) in a corner making dolls, quilts or something. Sure there are quitling club but htey aren't sponsored by Penzoil or if you get my drift. And before you say it, I don't count Martha Stewart - unless you work for her.

Another term that they have taken out of context is "street team": Again it comes from music industry. A street team is a band of band fans, usually unpaid led by a compensated head usually, that you use with promises of tickets and schwag to get the word out *on the street* of your bands and concerts by plastering wall with posters, talking it up etc. Basically paying them in cheap comps to be your marketing slave.

In Etsy-land you do all the talking and promo and you get nothing back, least of all support from the staff or even acknowledgment of your efforts. It has even less of a reward than the marketing music weenies give. Rip off if you ask me.

My next irritation is Etsy's move to "merchandising" it's site. And it's most astounding thing to me yet.

They sell it as a way to enhance thier "themes" but what they are actually trying to get sellers to make items to fit *Etsy'* ideal product line that fits what *they* like. This has been a move they have been making increasingly since hiring some "retail guru" to help them develops an "Etsy brand" look and feel, except that 90% of the sellers on the site do not apply to their personal asethetics. (horsies, poppies, stamped silver discs, owls, mustaches, recycled books, cowls, mustard yellow, beige, grey, fingerless gloves, white porcelain... it goes on and on... but its obvious to see if you just watch the front page a few days as to what they like.)

What they fail to get is that Etsy is not a retailer with vendors they can request to provide a line of items with aesthetics to mesh with your current product line. They are not Target, or Crate & barrel! Etsy has yet to realize they not only do not HAVE a product line, but at it's ONLY "product" is the listing service they sell the sellers who are their real and ONLY customers.

The truth is that Etsy is the vendor. A vendor that needs to fill the needs required of it's customers and frankly, they aren't doing it. (TOOLS? Where? Repect? Ha!) Instead they are asking its customers, all crafters of every concentration, to adapt their products to look to their obvious and shallow list of likes with the promise of promo if they do. That is well, frankly, the opposite of art. And they don't even GET that.

They are dictating a 'look' that 99% of the sellers cannot compete with since Etsy has all but proven that their personal tastes outrank whatever you might be selling, and if you don't apply to it you have no chance in hell of being supported/promoted/given a fair shake with the dozens of opportunites they freely give to those few that DO fit.

And that sucks. A whole lot.

Whew , glad I got that off my chest.


rockcreekcreations said...

You so eloquently put into words what many of us think! thank you!!

M2bC said...

Well said!!!

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