Monday, March 2, 2009

Online Drama-rama

I'm torn about this blog, because part of me screams "potential buyers read this thing!! Be careful of what you say!" But then, I started this blog with the intention of chronicling my experiences in starting a jewelry business. Therefore, I think it's only fair to include experiences that aren't always so rosy. Also, I need to complain a little.

I recently started posting more frequently in the Etsy forums because my "came-from" stats tell me that forum-goers are very likely to visit the blogs and shops of other posters. I had been posting a couple of topics a day, some not very interesting. In fact, I thought that this particular topic would get two or three comments, and then get buried (like a lot of my other posts), but instead, i started a firestorm.

The Post:

"Lately I've been noticing that, when I'm shopping, if the shop has poorly written descriptions that I'll actually skip looking at the descriptions at all, and sometimes i'll exit the shop and not come back.
Am I anal? Does anyone else find themselves cringing at and backing away from poor grammar and self-deprecating remarks in item summaries?"

Okay, okay. This post was out of character for me, I'm usually very positive and supportive, but i had just read an item description in an Etsy store that went something like:

"Here is a necklace I made that looks good with anything LOL!!! Sorry the foto is blurry but I wanted to post it ASAP I promise it is really nice even though i can't take pics worth a $##&&. Show me some luv!"

i completely made that up, but this is representative of the descriptions that make me click away from a store. I had run into a bunch of listings like this while I was browsing and it's like sandpaper on my butt.

This thread, which started as something silly that stuck in my craw, produced 675 comments. Many of these comments were arguments over spelling, which i had never addressed in the original post. Then there were replies regarding ESL, dyslexia, cystic fibrosis, brain damage, judgement, bias, minding one's own business, harrassment, drunkenness, being lazy, being unkind, and being snotty.

I wound up seriously regretting having written this post.

Interestingly enough, there were plenty of responses from folks that agreed with me, who I have to assume are also not elitist xenophobic bullies with an itch to pick on artists with learning disabilities. I'm hoping that they are only shoppers like me, who appreciate a well-written description of a beautiful item. Alas, now I'm super-paranoid that people will see my shop name in the future, and think i'm a big jerk. This is probably true for the five or six people that got really insulted by my post, but hopefully not for most Etsians. I'm sure it'll all blow over and most folks won't remember it happened at all. But for now, alexlady won't be starting any topics in the forums. Jeez.


Holly said...

Yikes! That reminds me of the whole Passive Aggressive Notes thing. I guess you never know what an innocuous little note might start.

TheClayMuse said...

Ah the anonimity of the internet, taking perfectly normal people and turning of their brain to mouth (in this case fingers) switch!
I read your post, I didnt think it was any reason for anyone to say those things about you, nor did it imply that you were bashing on those with dyslexia and the like.
I'd be just as shocked as you by some of those 675 responses, and I would have responded the same way.. blogged about it and left the forums alone for a little while.
Don't worry about it though, everyone will forget.. if they haven't already!

Made by Melissa said...

I totally agree with you about this! If something sounds like it was written by a chimp then I move on no matter how fabulous the item appears to be. This is a business and things should be professional looking.

Tell those people on the forums to get over it, I think you made a valid point and its a good tip to people that are just starting up.

Kellygirlnyc said...

I totally agree with you. That crap irritates me. Sorry it whirled up such a s&%$storm though. Ugh.

Bill said...

I agree with you too. Poorly written descriptions are amateurish, painful and waste the shopper's time. You're approaching jewelry making from a business perspective, and your comments reflect that. I have to echo Melissa's sentiments by suggesting that the people on the forum should get over it.