Thursday, January 20, 2011

Etsy is Destroying its Own Soul

This announcement has shook the very core of the Etsy community. The response has been overwhelmingly NEGATIVE.
I have been a member (in one form or another) since 2007 and immediately found the forums a absolutely invaluable resource on everything imaginable. It has been the one thing that keeps me coming back literally just about everyday. I have made many friends, a few I even had the pleasure of meeting in real life. It is a rare place, where many diverse people get together and talk about everything under the sun, and then some. We laugh, cry, rant, scream and help each other in ways I have never experienced anywhere else on the web. I literally have never been to a place where you can have such extremely heated discussions, and both sides stay amicable through the whole thing. People (gasp) agree to disagree. Newbies are helped out. Buyers meet sellers and sellers meet buyers. People promote and stumble on hidden treasures. You laugh until your sides split and get your daily dose of news and drama all in the same place. It is literally a place like no other on the web. This wonderful place will now be coming to an end by the hand of it's own creator.
For some unknown and stupid reason, Etsy has decided that the free flow of ideas and ease at which information is disseminated to it's users should be cut off and segregated. Welcome to the land of Teams... Rumored to be modeled after Flickr groups, these teams can be made by anyone and everyone. Each one can have what ever rules they want. The common 'watering holes' will be gone and the community and it's bonds will splinter and scatter in the wind. Where will newbies ask about banners? Which of the countless numbers graphic artists teams, promotions teams or banner teams should they choose? Want to discuss the finer points of the TOS? Too bad. Want to suggest something to Etsy admins? I guess it is just super clear that they dont want to listen to you.
BTW Etsy, Flickr groups suck... that is why I never visit them.
I want to make it clear that I support artists, and I always have. I am now no longer supporting Etsy the idea or Etsy the corporate. It is clear they have lost their way by their actions of late. I will no longer renew my swag on Etsy and only sell it in my own store. My other shops may open again some day (personal circumstances do not permit it right now) but I will now just view Etsy as a venue to sell... not a community for artists and creative people to thrive. I hope that some shred of the forum spirit survives, but I am not going to hold my breath.
Etsy has killed its own soul for no reason except it 'wants to be like everyone else'. Guess what Etsy, you arent everyone else. You were special and unique, only you couldnt see that. Instead you are going under the knife to try and sculpt yourself to fit in... to be the next facebook hybrid with ebay. There is one thing I have learned being different and unique. Embrace it because if you try to be anything else, you just look like an insecure poser trying to hobnob with the cool kids... then no one will accept or respect you.

To all the wonderful people I have met (especially my ETC peep):
Damn, I love you guys. Even those who make me want to pull my hair out and take a shotgun to my monitor. I am sorry we all have to go through this. I have treasured these last 4 years with you. I hope we can make it, but this wound may tear us all apart. I hate to drift apart and loose great friendships from this stupid move that was forced upon us.

To Etsy:
Fuck you. Yeah, I am pissed right now. I am on the verge of crying as I type this. It is hard to see you piss away a great idea and a rare treasure you had. Fuck you for not seeing the value in free idea exchange and community. Fuck you for destroying a place I have called my internet home. Fuck you for putting many of my good friendships in limbo. FUCK YOU.
And to think, you once said THIS!  Community my ass. You destroy the backbone of your community but turn a blind eye to resellers. You no longer have any integrity in my eyes.

So I guess this is my break-up letter to Etsy. We had some great times, you and I... but you have changed. I dont like what you have become, and I cant stand by while you destroy yourself. We are not buddies anymore.
I will continue my blog, because I love the odd artists and crazy creations. Since I will no longer be able to mine ETC and the forums for artists, I will need to rely more on my readership than ever.

Heck... maybe I should form a Celebrate the Odd Team. At least I might be able to recover some good from this whole cluster-fuck.

**UPDATE** Here is a thread by Catbooks1940s that is attempting to consolidate all of the Admin responses in one place:  http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6752658