We created the Virtual Labs in an effort to bridge the gap between the physical Etsy Labs and the greater Etsy community. The Virtual Labs will allow us (and guest hosts) to chat with you, the community, in real time! The cool thing is – we do all the techie work, you just click into a room and hang out with us virtually.
The Virtual Etsy Labs are a multi-user online space with various rooms. We use the Virtual Labs to connect with our community, host events, put on streaming webcam how-to’s, invite special shopping guests showing off their picks, host team meetings, demos, and shop critiques!
This video is a behind-the-scenes look at how one Virtual Lab took place, in this case, with a guest from People StyleWatch.
Virtual Labs Lobby
- The homepage of the Virtual Labs is a lobby where you can find information about and join in on upcoming and current workshops.
- The Virtual Labs clock runs in your time (that is, the time you’re computer’s internal clock is set to).
- Click on any of the rooms to gain access inside that particular workshop chat room.
- To exit the workshop room and return back to the Virtual Labs mapped home, click the mini colored square marked “back” on the top right of the screen.
- To chat in the workshop, just click in chat bar near the bottom left of your screen and type away. Hit enter or click the send button next to the text field.
- You will see your avatar on the screen of the workshop room upon entering, click anywhere on the screen to move your avatar around. If the room has designated squares, click one of the squares to take your seat in the workshop.
- To make your avatar spin, bounce, beat, or glow, click the 4 grey circles located underneath the text field bar. When you scroll your mouse over those buttons, they will turn a bright blue.
- To raise your hand like you are asking a question, or waving, click the gray circle next to the 4 movement buttons with the hand on it. This will put a raised hand over your avatar in the workshop.
- To indicate that you will be right back, click the gray circle next to the raised hand button that is marked “brb.” This will lighten the color of your avatar to indicate that you aren’t currently present, but will reserve your spot in the workshop.
- Once inside the workshop room, you can see other users in the room identified by their avatars.
- To find out more information about the users in the room, click on their avatars. This will bring up a bubble with the option to click on their shop, profile, send them a conversation, and the option to send them a private message in the current workshop (/msg).
- To change the color of your text, simply click the desired color underneath the text field bar. As you scroll your mouse over the colors, they will appear brighter.
- To turn the sound on or off in the workshop room, click the gray button located at the lower right of the screen with the megaphone icon.
- To “throw” an item in the workshop, click on your avatar and while holding down the mouse, pull back off your avatar like a slingshot aimed at the direction you’d like the item to be thrown. Let go of your mouse and the item will be released and thrown in the workshop.
- To change the image of the item you are throwing, click on the small image with the number next to it located directly under the chat text bar. This will open up a list of all the different items you can choose to throw. Click on any of them and this will become your new item.
- To insert an Etsy item picture into the workshop, click on the Item tab above the chat bar. Paste in the item number and hit enter. You will see your item appear in the workshop. Hint: You can find the item number on any item listing under “additional item info” on the far right.
Why can’t I see or hear the video stream during the workshop?
If you cannot see or hear the video stream while in the workshop, it is possible the webcam hasn’t been turned on yet, or you might need to exit and re-enter the room. If you cannot hear the workshop, make sure your computer isn’t set on mute, and check the volume settings on your computer and speakers.
I exited the room accidentally, how to I get back in?
Just go back to the Virtual Labs Lobby and re-enter the room you were in; the workshop will still be taking place.
What can I do if the room says it’s too full?
If the room has reached the maximum amount of seats, then the room will be full. Check back in a couple minutes in the event someone has left their seat in the room or the maximum seat number has been increased.
Now that you know what all those crazy functions are for, go ahead and jump into one of the Virtual Labs room to test it out for yourself! It’s a good idea to practice using the Virtual Labs chat functions while there isn’t a workshop taking place, so you can get familiar with the tools and be prepared to participate in the next workshop.
See you there,
Your Etsy Labs