Let's start a conversation...

1. there is a new podcast up as of Monday this week. Find the Knits & Beads podcast link up above!

2. I made some things this week that I have listed in my online shops....

Some observations from the week....

I wanted to share some of my thoughts on a few things with you. After a lot of thought on these topics, it's bubbling over and I have to get it out and the blog might be the best place to start a conversation.

Business practices lately have me really questioning the world of handmade. I am noticing that places to connect with virtual customers has a different feeling these days. Let me see how to say this. For example, Instagram. Once a place that was really just a fun place to follow favorite people,  a place to favorite photos, is now a business venture. People use it to sell their things. Or de-stash their things. And I'm noticing there isn't really any etiquette. Ya know how back in the day, blogging was big in the handmade community? It was kind of a great etiquette to follow blogs that follow you.  I still operate under that mind set and I guess things have changed along the way because people that use instagram as a way to connect with people don't follow that same etiquette. Just because you follow them, doesn't mean that they feel they need to follow you. This affects the camaraderie, don't you think?

Another example. Ravelry. I have friended folks I admire, other designers or podcasters, on Ravelry, and for the most part I have always been friended back.
Another way to communicate is via the forums and groups inside Ravelry. Most podcasters start up a podcast group in which they have threads opened up for each episode to encourage chatter...or have a separate thread for questions viewers might have for the host.  I do see a lot more one on one communication here, but still have seen people admit that they don't respond as much as they should. Or that they can attest that they "read every comment" but might not be that great at responding.

Podcasts on Youtube. I have subscribed to many podcasters, but have not been followed back. Further, I have commented on podcasts I enjoy and have gotten very few responses back.
And further,  I have mentioned podcasts on my podcast, as a way to pass on the love to people- sharing with them who I like to watch.

As I am watching my subscriptions, I notice people shouting out to other podcasters, or thanking them for mentions, and I think to myself....How do they know?  I have yet to figure out a way to "tag" people in the descriptions of my youtube videos... I don't believe there is a way. So my next thought was, the people must reach out to them and let  them know they mentioned them. in a private message. And so, I reach out and tell about 5-6 podcasters, hey- this week I mentioned you in my episode. Not in any expectation that they are required to mention me on theirs but  following the whole mind set of nice etiquette figured I might get a mention or two.  As you can probably guess, that was not the case.  So now I feel a little stupid. Like maybe there is some unspoken thing about reaching out, maybe it was tacky. Maybe now I'm the laughing stock of that community because of this.

As for Facebook- ugh. that is kind of a passe now eh? Facebook has become a different kind of beast and I have seen people move away from this avenue to connect with customers because unless you're dishing out tons of cash for advertising, it gets a business owner no where.
I tend to follow a business page, but friending new people rarely happens anymore.  Which leads me to the thought- where is the one on one communication happening these days? Because even instagram seems a little transparent.

So my question is.... If people are using these avenues to better their business, gain customers, and in reality form relationships with their followers, shouldn't they work harder at maintaining a strong level of camaraderie by keeping up on comments, responses, and good etiquette practices ? I mean that is what helps my business. But if I'm commenting and trying to open up lines of communication with someone I essentially might want to buy something from, and I don't get any response, that in turn can definitely have the opposite effect.

what do you think?