Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Plague Of Locusts

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.


Diana said...

Ha! Pam, your post has me laughing and laughing this morning! Well written, clever, ironic and TRUE! I needed the laugh after a night filled with my husband's snores, my kids' sleep whimpers and turnings, my pregnancy insomnia and then hormone-fueled nightmares.

You are absolutely right.

The part you're missing is the ability to 1) branch off into different subject matters and 2) inject your own personality and value into the medium. Don't just follow others, or you'll get more of the same. I will send you a tool for Twitter, where you can search any topic and find new people (read non-Etsians) discussing pertinent subject. Also, if you create conversation that is unique to you -- non-marketing promotional -- put your own thoughts and topics out there, people who matter (read: your audience) will find you, too.

Keep writing and keep tatting. You are a master at both.


formfireglassworks said...

Perfectly put (although I suppose I'll follow along too)!

RunzwithScissors said...

But I wouldn't have read this wonderful blog of yours if I didn't run along the outside of the locusts!

What you say is totally true -- I agree 100%. I'm one who goes out there, and gets distracted by the interesting new things and people, rather than being disciplined and clicking and gathering every cyberblip that passes by.

So myspace didn't work too well for me. and I like joining the various other types of groups on Flickr. Even now, I'm distracted by the content on Twitter, rather than the marketing possibilities.

However, this locust WILL check out the new stuff -- and marvel at those who promote promote promote. Sometimes I'm just too embarrased to do that!

Waterrose said...

Perfect observation. I also try to move out and away from the maddening crowd. The search feature that Diana states does work wonders.

Blooming Lily said...

I have yet to figure twitter out...