Friday, May 1, 2009

Live Online Q+A from Etsy's CEO Maria Thomas

Pictured above is a screen-shot of what was going on the Etsy Virtual Labs earlier today. Maria Thomas, Etsy's CEO, was giving a talk at the Summit of Awesome by Hello Craft. She briefly talked about her life journey that led her to moving to Brooklyn and working for Etsy. Then questions were answered, all simultaneously online viewers were commenting on the left side of the screen.

To quote Maria (this was my most favorite line from her talk - she is referring to her role as CEO of Etsy):
"The best thing we can do for our sellers is bring them buyers."
I liked this line so much I wrote it down and decided to blog here about it!

This online video forum is an interesting program that Etsy unveiled a few years ago. Users can gather in this multi-functional website "rooms" and there can be video, chatting, and there are all sorts of little functions... for instance, you can throw cookies, beer or paper airplanes at the other users (along with many other little animated objects)... you can view the items in other users shop and throw up a little box with an ad for one of their items to float around the screen so other viewers can see.

Anyhow, its really a great little program, and it was a fun talk to listen to.

The first time I experienced the "Virtual Labs" it was an early experiment with the programers and Etsy users... they put on a puppet show, invited Etsy artist StaceyRebecca to showcase her work in a little performance. The Virtual Lab was set up like a stage and the video screen was inside the "stage" and you could "sit" around in the audience by moving your avatar to the little boxes that denoted virtual seats. The puppet show was great too, I laughed out loud as Stacey poked fun of Etsy and the users. So funny. And I really enjoyed this platform of online interaction. So now I occasionally check it out when a friend or an interesting topic is scheduled to appear.

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