My adventures on the information superhighway...

This blog chronicles the activities of my Etsy and Artfire shops, and my adventures as both a jewelry designer and information specialist.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Treasury East: review and How-to

Well, yesterday and today I created my first two treasuries using the new Treasury East. Although it doesn't work quite the same as the Main or West, it's very easy to use and gives a much more immediate satisfaction since you can create a treasury there whenever the muse inspires you. Not when the clock needle hits the red zone. Now, I know it might not get as much exposure as the other two since they are capped at a certain number, but Etsy will be pulling FP features from the East treasury as well, so the potential is still there.

My first treasury, "For the Guys," was inspired by my husband's birthday, and the difficulties I have in buying for him. I read a community survey awhile back which stated that both sellers and buyers on Etsy are overwhelmingly women - no surprise there - but that's no reason not to include items for men. Women shop for men as well as for other women.

Treasuries and choices
When choosing the items to include I used a number of methods. First, I pored through my favorites looking for the lovely cedar strip canoe by millydilly that appeared in the Storque awhile back. My husband built his own 15 ft. cedar strip many years ago and it's what we always use when canoing. I knew he'd appreciate the craftsmanship of this one. I also picked this plant stand made from a maple log by bearpawrustics.

I chose this great blue cycling t-shirt by Vital Industries next. My husband is also an avid cyclist, and I had ordered this shirt for our nephew for Christmas, so I knew it was quite a hit among the guys.

From there, I started entering search terms. Wow! Talk about a lot of work combing through results. From what I could tell, the basic search box can only perform a search on two terms at a time. This wasn't super helpful when I wanted to search for things like "native quebec art". I tried to confine myself to two- and one-word searches using words like "Dave" (my husband's name), "canoe lake", "canoe", and "Algonquin Park". Searching on baja produced this great vintage find by I dating myself here? And searching "wolf" under the jewelry category produced this cool wolf ring by Evesart.

I would never normally recommend searching under a personal name, but I thought it'd be fun just to see what popped up. And it produced this great wallet named "the Dave" by RobbieMoto, this lovely photograph taken in Ontario's Algonquin Park by inthepaint, and the motherlode of Dave-ness, canoes plus Banff, this photograph by ljangphotography of what my husband always refers to as the "20 dollar bill". It's even tagged that way!

I then turned to my team, the Oh Canada! street team, to see what I could add to this great list. This classic men's shaving soap comes from soapstarcanada, and this beautiful wall hanging by taibossigai features a polar bear under the Northern Lights - bears and Northern Lights together, I was so happy! I knew I'd find something at thebackyardbear which is located in Muskoka, and was not disappointed. I chose this cute bear cub on driftwood.

Turning to one of the photography shops on our team, I found this amazing photograph of Okanagen Lake in BC by theeye. As a geologist, my husband has worked in both "ends" of the country (as well as many other spots in between), so I was motivated to find something from Newfoundland & Labrador to match my BC finding.

DO NOT enter "newfoundland" or "labrador" into a search engine and expect to get something geographic in nature! My goodness, the dog photos and dog themed items I found. Now, I am a dog lover, but this was NOT what I wanted in this instance. Whoops! Time for a new search tactic, so I went back to Etsy's front page where I selected "shop local" from the buttons on the left hand side. This produced a number of shops located *in* Newfoundland, but not necessarily about it. So I went back to combing through dogs to find Celticatphotos' photograph of Cape Spear, Nfld., the easternmost point in the country. It seems to have sold since I created the treasury, so I slotted in this beautiful black and white photograph of a wharf in Sandy Cove, Nfld. by sweetapplestudios. Here's a screenshot of the updated version of my treasury:

Ah, 3 spaces to go! I fully intended to use all my 16 slots. I went back to my team page and found this juggler hat by yoyohats. Every Canadian guy could use a new toque from time to time ☺.

I went vintage when looking for a camera, and found this cool old argus number like the ones my grandpa used to use when I was a kid at kissavintagedesign. It's even from my home state!

Finally, my favorite piece in the group. I had a hard time properly articulating what I wanted to Etsy's search engine, but by scrolling through a number of search results I found the beautiful work of SalmonberryThoughts. I chose to include the piece entitled "Polar bear sits" but it was a hard decision, choosing from so many beautiful things!

Of course, it's always a hard decision; the choice, the searching, the limits of the medium. But it sure is fun! And I have my husband's permission to add that he totally and completely approves this list! So get out there and try some themed searches. In addition to all the great pieces highlighted here, I uncovered all sorts of neat stuff that I didn't use for one reason or another, and I also met some nice people. ☺

Advanced search feature
On a related note, there's been a lot of discussion about searching on Etsy lately. I often return to the same sellers, or search for team members, so I had not recently tested Etsy's search features. As a seller, but also as someone trained in information retrieval and a professional researcher, it's certainly of interest to me, so I poked around a bit.

If you click "buy" from the front page it brings you here where you will find the option Advanced Search as the second of the buttons. That takes you to a page containing a search which will be familiar to many library users. It allows you to use quotations for searching, has a Boolean "not" function with its "- sign" feature, allows searching within categories (handmade, vintage, art and crafting supplies, and all items) and secondary refinement with categories like bags and purses, and housewares. As in, the categories that are "suggested" to sellers when listing items. There's an option to include tags, titles, descriptions and materials. You can filter by price, and by shipping destination. Finally, you can sort a variety of ways - and "most relevant" is the default (yay!), and have your results displayed in gallery or list mode.

Fantastic! It does my library school-trained heart proud ♥ Mind you, I don't know how many buyers are going to search this way, but I am super happy to see these sorts of options and controls offered in terms of a search engine.

Oh, I'll talk about my second T-east, regarding shopping for Mother's Day, tomorrow.

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