A brief synopsis of the latest "changes" to Etsy and Etsy's policies:
1) Etsy is closing its forums, and herding the
2) Alchemy is "taking a rest"?? Etsy is shutting down Alchemy, a way for sellers and buyers to arrange for and bid on custom work. This takes the bread and butter of many a seller's table. They have not stated when, or if, Alchemy will return in a new form, and what that form will be.
3) Etsy just rolled out a bizarre new "feature" that threatens the privacy and security of its users. Worse, yet, it is "opt-out" only, and many users do not even know what is happening with their information. AuctionBytes has more on this story HERE.
4) What will Etsy do with the email addresses and personal information it obtains through this maneuver? Well all signs point to SELLING IT to third parties! Yes, and it is quite transparent as well! It states in their policies that they may do this with your information, and if that isn't enough for you, well, alert readers discovered the following job posting this morning! Note that it states they are in the "information Collection and Delivery" business. As all of us know, millions of active email addresses and other personal information constitute a huge "asset" financially for any company to sell or amass. Job postings also indicate that they are looking for MORE ways to become a social networking site, rather than a place of business for crafters and micro-businesses.
Now, it doesn't take a great detective like Hercule Poirot to see where this is leading. All the facts fit together seamlessly to create the following picture, a snapshot at the future of Etsy in it's cold-blooded and greedy pursuit of profit, no matter who they trample on, or what effect it will have on its users! Just use those "little gray cells" and you will see a disturbing trend.
in 2009 Etsy received a massive cash investment from a venture capital firm. Ever since, Etsy has been grooming itself to be sold, like a prize-winning sheep. Only, its USERS (you) are the ones getting fleeced!
-Doing away with the forums conveniently hides what little public protest and messiness there is within the community from prying eyes.
-Alchemy isn't profitable enough for Etsy - they get the bulk of their profits ten cents at a time from sellers desperately listing and renewing, trying to stay on top of the search results.
-Data mining constitutes an "asset" to intenet-based companies. It is one of those booming markets.
-Etsy has designed and redesigned the site to trap traffic, not necessarily resulting in US selling anything, but to keep the back-links and traffic on Etsy itself, artificially boosting its numbers, and making itself look good to investors and potential new owners. And just like livestock, you and I, and all the other individual users of Etsy, constitute an "asset" as well. That's where the data mining comes in.
Basically, Etsy is just morphing into Facebook. Why? To impress potential buyers/investors and their idiotic ideas that Facebook is the biggest, baddest thing on the internet, and the most profitable to boot. So if you're looking for a really great place to buy and sell, with a lively community and lots of DIY spirit... ETSY IS NOT IT. At least not anymore. And of course, this says nothing of the affronts to the dignity of its users, its rudeness, its unfair treatment of its sellers, etc. If you want to have your hopes and dreams cynically used and manipulated for the profit of a big corporate interest - Etsy is your place. Otherwise, there are greener pastures out there for the serious seller and businessperson.