Sunday, August 14, 2011

is that even relevant?



So, I had decided not to chime in on the blog about the relevancy default over at Etsy, but alas, something thing happened yesterday that has forced my opinions to be shared in public manner. Before we get into it, I am pro-relevancy. Etsy may not have the best formula for deciding which items are relevant just yet, but I think in the long run it will be an excellent change on the site. Ok, opinion is out there, now moving on...

My pal Lauren wrote a blog post about people whining over the relevancy change and how it was too early to be so negative with comments that are littering up Twitter feeds, probably still as we speak. In it she quoted one of my tweets that points out that August is one of the slowest sales months in online venues and to stop blaming relevancy for your lack of sales.

I guess you are not allowed to have an opinion as such, which is funny, because my tweet was less of an opinion and more of an actual fact, but hey, someone took offense to the comment. They proceeded to write a comment on the blog post in anonymous fashion (isn't that how the very mature handle things?) and went on to say how ridiculous Lauren was to quote someone who FLAGRANTLY tag stuffs. Anonymous Angel (my new pet name for Anonymous) then went on to say EVERYONE knows what tag stuffing is and ended their comment with "I've had fun reporting all of her listings for the last half hour. YIPEE! Relevancy is a bitch" Haha. Wtf? That person must live a pretty exciting life to take so much joy in wasting a half hour of her life reporting my items to Etsy.

Now, let me sidetrack here. Up until this past week, I didn't know tag stuffing was even thing. I thought it meant when someone lists something, say a rustic pair of 1960s boots and then tags them as modern, 1980s, and a whole bunch of other things that do not match the item. I used to have simple tags, then asked a friend of mine how she sold so much. She told me to beef up my tags and she was not doing it to break the rules, she clearly had no idea they existed. So, in fact, Anonymous Angel, not everyone is aware of tagging rules. I really don't see why we can't tag an item whatever we want in the space provided (as long as it pertains to the item), especially considering we are cut off at 13 tags and each has a limited number of characters, but that's a fight for another day. 

I am sure Anonymous Angel would not believe that, but it is true. I am never one to read the rules of Etsy and I NEVER go into the forums, because of 90% of the comments in them. Watching people attack Truche a few months back or the Hobo Wedding last month is more than enough reason to stay out of the vitriolic tunnels known as Forums. 

And, fyi, I am not the only one who didn't know what tag stuffing was, as when I mentioned the whole situation on Twitter, other friends who have been on Etsy even longer than I have didn't know about it. I must be a pretty flagrant jerk then, right?

That being said, I did learn about it the other day and up until my Anonymous Angel left her message, I had been changing a few per day. Well, she really helped me prioritize and now I have about 10 pages done out of 20, which is a much faster pace than I had been working at. So, thanks again, Anonymous Angel, for giving my motivation a needed boost. You're a real doll. And a class act to take so much joy in reporting a stranger's items to Etsy. Yipee! Relevancy just makes sense.

And I think that is pretty relevant.


7 comments:

Vintage Seen said...

oh dear, some people huh. I also JUST learned about tag stuffing yesterday when someone tweeted a link to the Etsy dos and dont, I had no idea about not being able to put in multiple words that don't make a 'phrase'...I also think we need to give relevancy a bit more time, the diversity will in the long term be great but the titling etc still needs work..p.s. absolutely enjoyed the relevancy tweet week for the pure reason that it exposed the absolute selfishness of some sellers, "community"? I didn't see any community in some certain tweets!

Aimée - Vint Condition said...

I always thought that if the words went together, rather than reading as a phrase, you were alright. Clearly I was wrong and I'm working on my tags.

I also didn't know that it was considered "tag stuffing" to use multiple versions of an era on the tag, as in "1950s 50s" but I guess that is too. I'm working away on fixing that, but it seems to me that etsy should fix the search for eras. Raleigh Vintage brought this up in the forums the other day (which I read because someone linked to it) and made an argument that we know someone searching for "1970s dress" and "70s dress" is searching for the exact same thing so Etsy should change its search algorithm to adjust to this.

I think this relevancy is a huge change for most of us, and no matter if you see it as a positive or a negative we should be working together. I'm sorry that you've seen the other end of this spectrum.

terrykath said...

Sorry you had to experience this Jenn. Some people are just mean and that is that.

I find this article interesting because if you ever look at the items that Etsy puts in their "Etsy finds" e-mail or what they put on their front page you will find all kinds of tag stuffing going on. If Etsy really wants to stop this they need to stop rewarding people with front page exposure that tag stuff. They need to be taking a closer look at what they put on that front page.

But, that is just my humble opinion.

Enjoy your blog!

Kathy from Hattie Designs

Tart Deco™ said...

For the 1 or 2 sales I get a month, etsy is sure starting to make my head hurt. I read about tagging when I first started, but haven't lately to know if things have changed in the last few years and I honestly don't know what tag stuffing is. So would putting something as rockabilly and 50s be considered stuffing since they are referring to the same time period? Silly. People think of adjectives differently and I think it is up to us as sellers to ensure that our customers are able to find everything their little hearts desire as easily as possible. It's called good customer service.

There are such extreme seller personalities on etsy- ie. people who don't care at all and steal ideas, pics etc. and then people who care WAY too much and find a million excuses as to why they don't sell. Would they walk into a brick and morter business and complain about product stuffing?!? Silly...

Tart Deco™ said...

Wait, I have to say silly one more time because everything is funny in threes.

Or would this be considered comment stuffing?

Jenn said...

everyone has some really great points above. thanks for sharing them:)

btw totally agree with the need for 1970s and 70s to be considered the same thing. makes zero sense.

Elle said...

Sounds like a troll to me. A particularly nasty troll with lots of warts and festering sores...

Just remember not to ever ever feed them and don't get them wet after midnight...

I don't get all the tagging hoopla myself...you want to be sure folks can find your stuff...so you should be using any Relevant tags...Thats what any sensible person would think.