Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Etsy conspiracy

American casinos are well known for their tricks to keep people from leaving. Once you enter, there are no indications of what time of day it is--no clocks, no windows to see the sky turn dark. The music is in a continuous loop, no lyrics, to keep you in a trance-like state. It's safe and cozy, like a womb, with free drinks and the promise of hitting it big.

I believe that Etsy, the online marketplace for all things handmade and vintage, has a similarly devious strategy in the way it's designed. Consider:
  • Even if you don't sell anything, you can accumulate "hearts"--little rewards from fellow members to give you hope and keep you putting your quarters in the slots.
  • The forums are open 24-7 for chatting, eavesdropping, combat, and titillation.
  • To keep things interesting and patrons happy, the management adds new games every now and then (such as Alchemy) or moves things around to make them seem fresh.
  • Just as casinos give their big spenders free rooms and airfare, big sellers and the particularly talented at Etsy are rewarded with perks such as featured artists position on page 1 or, more deliciously, a plug on the Martha Stewart Show.
Tonight I had one of those heart-racing moments on Etsy when one of my steampunk pendants was featured in a front page treasury (currated by the talented MissKnits). For more than 2 hours the views stacked up (from 110 to 480 views on the featured item), the hearts accumulated, the anticipation mounted. And even when it failed to sell, the adrenaline kept me going for a while--the knowledge that more than 370 people visited my site, and more than 50 marked the shop or specific items for future reference.

The only thing missing was a hostess in a skimpy outfit serving me drinks. (Maybe my husband will be home soon.)


11 comments:

missknits said...

Congrats on making front page!!! i love your necklace and was sooo happy our treasury made it!!! you and all the other sellers on it totally deserved it!!

Angela said...

Wow. You have some interesting points there. I haven't been in casinos much, but the parallels are interesting to think about!

Congrats on the front page :)

High Desert Diva said...

Great post...got me laughin'.

Your front page was well deserved. Your button jewelry is always amazing, but the Steampunk pieces are over-the-top....love 'em!

Callooh Callay said...

Thanks so much! It was pretty awesome (the casino comparison is just trying to rationalize my addiction).

fi at moose and bear said...

congrats on making the front page!! i hadn't thought about the casino link, but it is a pretty neat analogy!

catbishop said...

hahaha, I totally agree.

Nora said...

omg, it is a conspiracy! But I guess with a little patience we'll win the lottery!

Vintage Indie said...

AHH! I agree! This was a delightful post!

4paws said...

You're so right! I had never thought about that way before.

Congrats, on being on the front page. Maybe next time, Etsy will serve drinks :)

Cheers!

LaMar said...

I agree there is a conspiracy going on...

moonmystic said...

My mom just calls etsy a cult. Kind of the same thing. . .once they got ya, they keep ya. Congrats on your front page. You hit the jackpot (on views at least.)