For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Etsy (and Artfire) sellers are so determined to “plug” their way to the top. In a market flooded with handmade goods, the one link I am most likely going to avoid is the person spamming my Twitter or Facebook homepage with self-promoting “PICK ME, PICK ME, PICK ME, [insert shop link here]” Maybe it is because it feels good to interact with real people with real creative pursuits, but the spam-culture that we have all settled into is really starting to grate on my nerves. Don’t get me wrong–I love learning about new products and additions to everyone’s shops, and the occasional reminder about a great item that needs some exposure doesn’t bother me either… I love hearing about creative processes, frustrations, and (get this!) even about what you are doing in your day-to-day life! But the thoughtless self-promotion needs to stop. Comments on this blog are moderated, so I often will delete those that are mere promotion and do not correspond to the content of my post but I cannot moderate Twitter and other platforms. It seems like I am not the only one concerned about this as Vanessa over in the Etsy Storque has a great post about spam on Etsy entitled, “How Not to Spam While Being Active Online.” A fitting title!
I think the nicest ways to use social networking is to be social. period. Some of the best exposure to my shop has been through My Craft Corner — a community of crafters that functions the same way a Facebook would, but for this niche group. I’ve made a lot of friends through their forums (people creating work very different from my own!) Of course, Twitter and Facebook have been invaluable tools to get my name out there, but I really hope that those people that have been kind enough to fan me do not regret their decision! In person, if someone asks me about a pendant I am wearing I am always careful to chat up the work and the process before whipping out my business card and thrusting it into someone’s face… We should all try to extend the very same courtesy online!
I guess the recent bout of spam on this blog has just gotten to me, so I will step off my soap box now. I know 95% of the people I meet are not offenders, it is just that measly 5% who gives a bad name to Etsians everywhere… (You know who you are!)