Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Etsy is more fun with friends

I have decided that this condescending, grade school primer language is causing me to curse more than usual.

Today's Admin Annoucement: Find your friends on Etsy.

I didn't realize my friends were lost.

Etsy has added a "Find Your Friends" button, with no filter for finding those who still owe you money. THAT is a function a lot of us could use, but I digress. You then click which email service you want to use, and sign into your email. Automagically, Etsy connects to your address book as fast as you can say "Hocus Pocus" or "Walla Walla, Washington."

Etsy "fetches" your contacts, matches them with people who haven't opted out of the automagical email id on Etsy, and you can add them to your circle, spam them, or convo them for that $40.00 they borrowed back in college.

You can also send invitations (i.e. "spam") to people who don't even have an Etsy account! "Invitations are limited right now to 20 per day -- use them well!"
Translation: "You can only send 20 spam emails a day. Remember when we used to tell you you were not allowed, under any circumstance, to spam Etsians? Well, forget about that, and please spam non-Etsians as well. Twenty a day. Get clicking and typing!"

And anyone you connect to through Find Your Friends will be able to connect to others through Find Your Friends, and so on and so forth. It can spread like a virus! Like H1-N1!

I would like to repeat something glaringly obvious here. If my friends are in my address book, they are not lost. If I want them to know about my Etsy shop, believe me, they know about my Etsy shop. I know how to copy and paste a link, and put it in an email to a friend.

Why does Etsy want the email addresses of the people I know? I already understand how to steer them toward my shop, and even to other listings on Etsy that I think they might like.

I understand that this is part of the great "social commerce experiment" and all, but I value my friends' privacy more than I value Etsy's desire to mine my email data to grow their business by spamming people who trusted me with their information.

Please remember, not to venture too far into conspiracy paranoia country, that verified email addresses are some of the most valuable pieces of information to any online marketing company. Remember also that current Etsy board members have fingers in all sorts of other online venues.

I think the clock is striking thirteen.


  1. Find my friends? How about just making it easy to find the f ing button to list my products for sale? Tired of doing the hokey pokey and turning myself about.

  2. Why DO the Etsy people write as tho they're addressing a room full of pre schoolers, anyway?

    It that their level of communication?

  3. It's obvious it is e-mail mining. Companies do it all of the time... to sell to other companies, to spam, etc.

    Find your friends? BS!


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