We are pleased to announce the trial run of the Etsy Community Council.
In order to better serve the entire Etsy community, we are forming a council of community members on Etsy with whom we will meet directly. This council will help us test new products and features, report on the the state of the marketplace and generally just let us know how things on Etsy are for them. At the same time, we will make ourselves available to them to answer questions about Etsy — past, present and future. Our hope is to expand on those things we learn via our forums, virtual labs, usability sessions, customer support emails, and social media by engaging in still more direct, two-way conversation. This is the first trial run; after evaluating the program, we may adapt or build upon it or try something more effective.
We’ll start with organizing the artist-focused segment of the council. Once we complete the Shopper Survey, we intend to also organize the shopper-focused segment. In time, we imagine these two segments meeting together for certain types of discussions, but we need to crawl before we can run.
Here’s our proposal:
- The artist-focused segment will be comprised of 25 Etsy sellers selected mostly at random from those who apply. By “mostly” we mean to say that we want to create a balance with levels of engagement and experience with Etsy, geographic location, type of product being sold, etc. For example, if we randomly select 25 Alaskan jewelers, we would want to replace some of them with others who may represent a different viewpoint.
- Membership will rotate every three months so that many sellers can have a chance to participate, and so that Etsy can hear a variety of voices. Every three months we will pick again from all whom have applied at any time in the past. You will not need to reapply each month.
- During this period, we will hold three or more scheduled meetings in Etsy’s Virtual Labs; we anticipate asking participants questions via short surveys; and we are likely to suggest other impromptu conversations or product tests as well.
- Those who participate will be rewarded with Etsy merchandise, special recognition in non-commerce areas of the site, and the knowledge that they are helping make Etsy a better place for all.
- Sellers who participate in the Etsy Community Council will be no more or no less likely to appear in the curated areas of Etsy.
The application process is now closed for this round. Thanks to all who applied.
We will announce the first Etsy Community Council members by June 5th, 2009.
(update 5/19/09: We have removed the last name, home address, zipcode, and phone number fields from the application, opting instead for just first name, city, state, and country. To those who have already applied, your home address and phone information has not and will not be shared with anyone. Initially we requested this information so we could send thank you notes and packages to the participants. We still intend to do this, so we may be asking for your mailing address separately and at a later date. However since it is not essential to the application processs it has been removed.)
We will also be notifying sellers through our other communication channels besides this Storque post.