Lauren aka stellaloella works as an admin on the Community Team on Etsy. And that does prompt some frequently asked questions from her family and friend (“You do what?”). Additionally, her and her team-members’ day-to-day involves a lot of questions and answers. The Community Team at Etsy is all about communication: about why things are the way they are, about how things could change, about etiquette, about interpersonal relationships and business. Below, as part of our All about Etsy FAQ series, you will find Lauren’s responses to some of the more frequently asked questions she and her team field.
The most frequently asked question I’ve encountered in the past year about Etsy is, “So, what do you do for a living?” It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to concisely explain my job to new people I meet (ok, ok — and to my mom). “I work for this website, called Etsy. It’s an online marketplace where you can buy and sell anything handmade. What do I do? Well, I’m involved in the community side of things — which can be basically anything that connects members outside of a sale transaction.”
That’s the 10-cent answer I give when trying to politely make the spiel as short as possible, but it really doesn’t do justice the Etsy community. We have thousands of actively involved, amazingly creative people who use this site daily — not just for sales purposes, but to connect and form relationships with others. The community is the soul of Etsy. All these individual people come together to meet, share, discuss, help and make this global marketplace a lot more human. But you came here for Q&A, so let’s get to it.
What’s the deal with the Forums?
The Forums are like the grand meeting halls of Etsy’s community. Members can come here for help, share ideas about Etsy, report problems, get business or craft advice, promote their items and generally just socialize to get to know one another. The Forums are arranged into seven sections, by topic: Site Help, Ideas, Bugs, Crafting & Business, Etsy Teams, Promotions and Etc. Within these sections are discussion threads. Anyone can start a thread or reply to one. Etsy’s staff regularly read and post in the Forums to answer questions and ask for the community’s input. RobWhite and I also co-author a weekly Storque column called Forum Decorum, where we write about some of the finer points of Forum etiquette.
Do you actually read all those threads?
Well, no. That’s not actually possible for us with the current amount of staff we have devoted to the Forums and the number of new posts made every day. We do read pretty much every thread in certain sections (like Ideas and Bugs). And we definitely monitor all the sections for interesting threads or potential problems. If you think there’s a particular thread that we should know about, drop us an email at email@example.com to give us a head’s up.
Why do you close threads?
We have some rules in place to help protect members of our community. You can read all about them in the DOs & DON’Ts under Communications; they’re also linked at the top of the main Forums page.
Hey! Where did my thread go?
Most likely an Admin moved it to a more appropriate section of the Forums. Use the handy-dandy “View topics you’ve posted in” link at the top of the Forums to find it again. (More on what goes where in this Forum Decorum article: Order in the Forums.)
What if I see a troublesome thread?
Kindly send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take a look lickety-split (or as soon as we can because sometimes we do need to sleep and eat).
I have a great suggestion to make Etsy better, wanna hear it?
Definitely we do. We love getting community feedback about how members would like to see the site improve. There are two ways to share it with us. Post a new thread in the Ideas section of the Forums, if you’d like to get input from other members and spark a discussion of your idea. If you’re a little more shy or just don’t feel like a debate, you can also email us at email@example.com privately. Either way, we’ll be happy to hear your thoughts about the site. (Be sure to check out Kelly’s article explaining how an idea becomes a feature, too.)
So, the “community” is just the Forums?
Certainly not! The community spaces on Etsy also include the Online Labs, and Etsy teams. Like I tell polite strangers, community is anything that connects people outside of a sales transaction. This delightfully happens in many ways on Etsy. I would say the Treasuries have a community element too, because they are curated lists by members and many folks post comments there too. Same goes for the Blog, where you can read articles by community members and post comments.
How do the Etsy Teams fit into this picture?
The Etsy Teams are smaller, self-organizing segments of the greater Etsy community. Teams can be organized by geographical location or by a common theme/medium. Teams are a great way to connect with other creative people in your city or local area, as well as a great networking tool to find crafters and artisans with similar interests. Sara wrote a piece all about Getting to Know the Etsy Teams; be sure to read that article for your Team-specific questions.