Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails.
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil, worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
I trust in Thee.
--Ann Kimmel

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Thursday, May 15, 2014

You've Been Treasured! (It's Not What You Think)

Color Wheel by Victoria on Etsy--Pinned with TreasuryPin.com
For the uninitiated: This is a treasury. Feel free to click link and mock.

When I opened MelmacParadise on Etsy, I remember the mixture of confusion and delight I felt to open my first "convo" (the Etsy term for a message) informing me an item from my shop had been featured in a treasury. I didn't even know there were such things as Etsy treasuries and, while I certainly didn't understand the term, I felt a sense of excitement at being singled out for something special and unusual. 

I've been in the game long enough now to know that Etsy treasuries are a dime a dozen, and that thousands--literally thousands--of them are being churned out by hopeful sellers and Etsy afficionados every hour of every day. 

Basically, a treasury is a sort of virtual scrapbook page or, more accurately, a virtual store window display for the cyber-shopper.

There are probably many internet venues that don't require such efforts; a concern that sells toys, for instance or, say, a shoe boutique don't generate much confusion for the potential shopper. It's a toy store; it sells toys. It's a shoe shop; it sells shoes.

But Etsy sells an infinite variety of wares, from unique one-of-a-kind handmade items to craft supplies to vintage and antique items and paper memorabilia. The only way anyone would even know to look for most of this stuff is if they first saw it. I mean, it's not like someone is going to type "metal garden art flower made of an old rusty faucet handle" into a search engine. (Yes, I saw one on Etsy just now--rather fascinating, actually.) Hence, the treasury. Its purpose is to whet the buyers' appetites to purchase from the shops represented.

Here's an example I made yesterday, shown here as it actually appears on the computer screen:

I decided I wanted to do something in light green, so I chose light green items from 16 different Etsy shops and put them in this collection. I sent notices to the 16 lucky sellers (yes, I am being snide!) and then I posted the treasury for all to see. 

Ideally, the featured sellers (and anyone else who happens to admire the treasury) will make comments, click on the items, and mark some as favorites. In this way, the exposure goes on and outward, like ripples in a pond when you throw in a pebble.

Now all this has been a long-winded introduction to what I really want to talk about today: Do you speak "treasury"???

Because, you see, there are certain tacit expectations for those of us whose items have been showcased in one of these cyber-displays. First and foremost, we must comment. And not eventually.
Now. With enthusiasm. Whether we want to or not. Whether we like the treasury or not. It's like opening a gift you hate; you still have to smile and squeal and beam as if you're thrilled.

To do this, you must toss out all decorum. And you must gush. It's not so difficult once you get the hang of it. Think of yourself as a pre-teen girl describing a boy you like in your homeroom. You wouldn't describe him as "fairly sentient", or "reasonably presentable", or "merely moderately acne-scarred", would you, even if those things were true? You would find a way to accentuate his positive attributes, even if you had to make them up entirely.

The same goes with treasury comments. Arm yourself with a copious amount of exclamation points and scatter them about like confetti, preferably with your cap lock key clicked on. Like this:

  • OMG, this is SO CUTE!!!! 
  • Gorgeous!! Tweeted, faved, and posted on Pinterest and Facebook!!!!
  •  Amazing!!! I LOVE this!!!
  • SOOOOOO lovely!!
  • Thank you SO MUCH for featuring my item in your STUNNING treasury!

Admittedly, this is the female contingent of Etsy carrying on like this--women representing the majority of sellers and shoppers on Etsy. But there are a substantial amount of men on Etsy, and what indignities they have to endure with nonsense like this I can only surmise. (To be sure, many of them have been swept along in the tide of superlatives and just flatter along with the best of them, a propensity I'm old-fashioned enough to admit I find vaguely disturbing.) But from what I've seen, most of the male Etsians have developed their own form of Treasury Speak, characterized by NO capital letters,  personal pronouns, or exclamation points, and lots of "awesomes" and "greats" and canned responses which they use routinely in every treasury in which their items appear:

  • nice treasury-thanks
  • way to go, thanks
  • super
But enough about the guys.

I often wonder what would happen if I were brutally honest when responding to some of these treasuries. Some of these people get pages and pages of comments and thousands of views! How they do it is beyond me. But the point is, I doubt they actually go back through and read every response. 

I came dangerously close to sneaking in a snide remark on Mother's Day, when I saw some of the dreariest collections ever promoting themselves as "Gift Ideas for Mom". Brown paper birch log things with vapid sayings on them. (I guess nothing says "cherish" like old newsprint, particularly when it's tea-stained.) Lumpy-looking hand-knitted ear-warmers embellished with dubious daisies. (Seriously. It's May. And even if it weren't--gag.)  Solid grey dish towels, because Mom's life is not dreary enough cleaning up after all those meals. Yeccchhh.

I actually indulged myself to the point of writing "Don't you like your mom?" in the comment box, but then didn't have the courage to post the remark. I hate being a complete hypocrite when it comes to making these comments (a little polite hypocrisy is okay--after all, why go around crushing people unnecessarily?) but there is a limit if I want to maintain some particle of self-respect.

Hence, I have developed my own "Treasury Speak" to which I can resort when faced with the necessity for thanking someone for including my item in their disorganized dog-mess of a treasury. What do you think of these?
  • Unique finds!  (Translation: Where did you find this rubbish?)
  • Subtle elegance! (Translation: This is the most bland and  boring treasury I've ever seen. Do you need to reduce your Zoloft dose?)
And my favorite go-to comment when I'm faced with hipster hell:
  • This looks like a candidate for Etsy's front page!! (Considering the things that show up on the home page of Etsy, this is not automatically a compliment. The beauty of this remark is that I can use it either way, and no one will know if it's kudos or condemnation I'm hurling. (Hurling being the operative word.) 

My son suggested Etsy start using this graphic:

There are a whole slew of Etsians who have this comment thing down to a fine science--one size fits all, impressive appearance, and no one can read anything specific into it. These are the folks who use nifty little text art characters in lieu of words and punctuation. My techno-savvy son says it's called ASCII. Stuff like this, if the one making the comment is an adept:

░░(¯ `•.\|/.•´¯)░•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).
░(¯ `•.(۞).•´¯)░(¯`:´¯)•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).⋰
░░(_.•´/|\`•._)(¯ `•.\|/.•´¯)•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).
░░░ (_.:._).░(¯ `•(۞).•´¯)•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).
░░░(¯`:´¯)░░(_.•´/|\`•._)•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).
░(¯ `•.\|/.•´¯)░░(_.:._).•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).
░(¯ `•.(۞).•´¯)•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).
░░(_.•´/|\`•._)•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).¸.•*´¨)¸.•*´¨).
░░░(_.:._)░░░░░SALES FAIRY DUST

 Or cute little things like this, if they're of more modest skills:

  } 6 6 {    
 =.  Y  ,=   
   /^^^\  .
  /     \  ) 
 (  )-(  )/ 
  ""   ""     
I had to cut and paste these; I don't know how people on Etsy go about using them, but I can see they'd be useful for slapping comments on a bunch of treasuries quickly, like during a team treasury "blitz" (or marathon). That is, if one doesn't have to actually key them in, character by character. 

The thing with the comments is that the more you receive, the higher up in the ratings the items go. They come up more readily in the search engines. The same with "clicks" (views) and "faves" (hearts). I saw someone today who had a treasury with over 10,000 views in less than 4 hours! Who are these people? Not mere mortals like the rest of us, apparently. I'm thinking they must be eccentric billionaires who have whole office buildings filled with hirelings who do nothing but click and schmooze on their treasuries.

Okay, that's the comment bit. There's also a tacit suggestion that one goes and shares the treasury on various social media outlets for increased promotion among all and sundry. And of course, there's the subtle nudge that it would so nice of you to go back and visit the curator's shop (the curator being the person who made the treasury) and "fave" (mark as a favorite) half a dozen items from their shop and sign up to donate them a kidney as well. Oh, and did I mention power clicking? Please don't get me started on that one!

Suffice it to say, one could spend one's whole day catering to the various etiquette niceties of treasury responding and reciprocating.
I have to wonder how many new cases of carpal tunnel syndrome develop among Etsians every day from all this obligatory clicking and keyboarding. 

I have a solution. Bang head here now:


Have a nice weekend!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Okay, this is SO good! The problem I find is when they are truly a unique idea, but they executed it so poorly!!
    And then I have a dear friend that visiting one of her treasuries is like a peek into an upscale boutiques window, just lovely, and she might get 150 views. She enjoys them so much, as an outlet for her artistic side, that she does one a day.

    Go figure.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. by the way, that Boba thing was because I was on my son's browser... I didn't think he would like this being on his name... he is 21 and all!!