To win at the Etsy game, put a heavy aqua filter on *everything*. EVERYTHING. Do it! Now!
Dear Etsy Photographers,
Photos of your cat are neither "abstract" nor "surreal". And it'd be a stretch to call them "interesting". Categorize accordingly.
Alternately, save them for rec.arts.kittens.mew.mew.mew
I found a new site called Uber. It's kind of a social networking/self-publishing site - it seems like a less red-light-district Myspace. I might do something with it later, especially if they build in hooks to more things. I can't be fucked to update fifteen different places daily. I have no life but that doesn't mean I have infinite time, y'know.
I'm really splendidly happy with some work I've been doing. I've been rescuing photos from the shadowy depths - reworking has been something that I've been ignoring for a long while, and I forgot how much fun it can be. I'm working on a series of 8x8 prints, and a series of 16x9 prints.
I don't know when I became one of the reality TV junkies I despise. I think I blame Project Runway. Which I still like. And Top Chef. And America's Next Top Model, which makes me want to stick a finger down my throat, but I still like. And The Amazing Race, which is just fun. And. And. Oh, I'm going to hell.
It's 3:40am and my shoulder hurts so much I can't sleep, again. This is with vicodin and flexoril under my belt. I'm calling the doctor tomorrow to find out how long this is supposed to hurt. Of course the real answer is that it isn't *supposed* to hurt at all. So much for suppositions.
Hanging around Etsy is a unique view into the human psyche.
There seems to be this prevailing weird idea that all items are equally good, just because they paid the same amount to be listed. And the people who either don't produce a quality or unique product or are overlooked due to crowding in their category get really pissed off that they don't have the same opportunities for free promotion that some of the better artisans have.
Etsy offers paid advertising in the form of "showcases". These are daily rotating galleries of items, all of which have paid to be there. Anyone can buy one - but they aren't very effective.
Free promotion comes in the form of treasuries (curated by Etsy members), Gift Guide spots, and Featured Seller artices (selected by Etsy admins).
Some treasuries get listed on the front page, which is fantastic exposure. Featured seller articles run on the front page for a while.
Now, here's what I find amusing about all of this. People who make stuff which hasn't caught admin's eye get pissed - they complain that it's "unfair". That the front page should be filled with random selectees, to let everyone have their "fair share" of exposure.
Given the item distribution on Etsy, a "random" selection of items would probably include mass-produced supplies, sketchy vintage stuff, handmade junk that people can't foist off on their families anymore, and crude or poorly thought out items alongside a few really nice things. How could that possibly create a positive impression of the site?
Damned right not fair. And it shouldn't be fair. For the same reasons Kmart is more likely to highlight their Martha Stewart collection than their Winnie the Pooh sweatshirts, Etsy wants to highlight the items which they think will draw people further into the site.
The stark fact is that some things are better than others. Some photography, some ceramic, some knitting. Any category has top artists for its other practitioners to look to and strive towards becoming. Working hard is not enough - it's the product, not the process.
Really, really tired of hearing people whine about how they aren't getting what they believe is coming to them. Entitlement is a bitch.
I've been watching the inevitable Christmas toy ads on tv. What really bugs me this year isn't the standard girl/boy separation of toys (ARRRRGHHHH), but the idea that everything that is "fun" also has to be "educational". Where "educational" means "didactic and lame". Board games, video games, coloring books - all trying SO HARD to put spelling and math facts into every childhood activity - and take the "fun" out of it in the process if at all possible.
There's time for learning. It's called school, and homework, and individual pursuit of interests. And there's time for fun. It's called FUN. Leave it alone!
Fun can be inherently educational. Kids love to chase bugs, to read about animals, to build things. All of these things add to the ability to interact and interpret the world. None of them have floating ABC's in the sky, or mandatory counting and sorting.
Why do kids have to be under constant stress to accomplish things, even when they are relaxing? Nobody demands that Dad study geography while he watches football, or that Mom recite US Capitols while reading a novel.
Even the much maligned video games will teach kids a lot - about risk for rewards, about basic economics, about persistence. They shouldn't be written off either.
There's this huge underestimation of kids, imagining that if they don't have something completely didactic they will fall into some kind of mire. That if they play video games, their brains will rot on the vine. Kids are smarter than people think. They don't need this shoved down their throats when they really just want to have fun.
If my family doesn't stop offering me my 85 year old grandmother's clothes that are too big for her now, I'm moving to Siberia. And laying down on the tundra, And not getting up. Ever.
It's all getting a bit thin today.
Went to the local non-Apple owned Mac store, looking for an odd USB cable for my external drive. I don't have the energy to document it, but the guy there was so rude, so dismissive, so completely jerky that I left cursing under my breath. I haven't experienced anything like that since comic book stores in the mid-90s, before anyone knew girls read comics. So if you ever were thinking of going to M A C (or M.A.C.) computers on Shattuck in Berkeley - don't bother. Go to Circuit City or the Apple Store or anywhere else instead. They're jerks.
And then, more Etsy drama. Oh, Etsy.
They release a "Gift Guide" which is curated by the Etsy admins, with sections like "For him","For her", "Under $50" etc. It's completely fashion-focused, all of the Blythe doll, lomography, through the viewfinder, kitschy shit that's in right now. Great, whatever. All retail outlets conform to fashion - it's just the way it works.
But they didn't, alongside, provide any way to find ALL items "For him", ALL items "For her", or ALL items "Under $50" - so users will come to Etsy, shop the people that Etsy admin thinks are cool, and then leave. It feels like high school all over again.
Then just to grate some cheese on my existing cheese, I read that my prints are apparently supposed to be tagged as "reproduction" - reproduction of WHAT? They are prints. I tweak and alter each one when I make it. I invested heavily in high end equipment to make them. And I get tossed into the same pile as anyone order a poster of a Monet from Wallgreens. Fucking beautiful.
I worked on my actual physical portfolio tonight. I am just about done sinking time and money into this site that epitomizes everything about bad dot-com logic. Run by developers for their freinds - the rest of us just fund it.
I could really use a sedative. If I weren't busy running contests for my street team, I'd take a long break from computers and Etsy over the next few days. Maybe next week.
California Crafter Club of Etsy is proud to announce our Treasury Contest and Big Giant Giveaway! Lots of fun, lots of prizes.
See this thread for details on how to get in on the fun:
Or check up on the contest blog for up to the minute information:
Treasuries are coming up in less than an hour, so now is the time to get in early!
Good luck and have fun!
elizabeth // sevenbridges