Locusts are a bit understood as a whole. In a normal season these grasshoppers spend most of their lives where they were born, only leaving to find a mate. It is only when the weather conditions are just right that they breed unchecked and form a cloud of mass devouring that moves from field to field leaving nothing in its wake. Why am I telling you about locusts? Well, I made an observation yesterday that will lead us back so let me start there.
I was playing with Twitter yesterday. If you have not yet been pulled into its wake, like even my husband now has, let me explain a little something. You see, you can click on a random name someone you follow 'tweets' to and then click through the people they follow and continue into infinity if you so choose. I was doing this is an attempt to find more interesting people to follow. I was getting bored of the same tweets that I am guilty of, I just listed...I got a treasury...did you see that forum thread...etc. During the search I made the observation that I mentioned: Etsians are a plague of locusts.
Before I discovered Etsy, I was generally competent online, but it was merely a tool for information and entertainment. I did not interact with others online and I felt no need to do so. After I discovered the forums, I began participating in mass attacks on online social outlets that were deemed useful for promotion by the etsian collective. This led me to myspace, flickr, indipublic, blogging and now twitter. With each new site the same thing occurs, hundreds of etsians flock there expecting to find a new audience and then they end up talking to each other...again.
I'm certain that each new endeavour finds a few new people, but then the sheer number of etsians overwhelms the new audience. They are devoured and the etsians eventually begin to complain that they are selling to each other again and the next big thing to try will be 'discovered'. I have also noticed that each new generation of sellers starts a new plague cloud and the threads asking who's on myspace, flickr, etc reemerge and the onslaught begins again. I don't mean to diminish the usefulness of networking in general, clearly talking to others that share our passions and experiences is good, but it's not the best promotion especially en mass.
I will likely continue to run with the locusts, but at least I will move forward aware of the bigger picture. Sure it might be more productive to find my own way, but at least with the locusts I'll always be in familiar company.