Saturday, April 17, 2010

Treasury East: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Was anyone else as surprised as I was to hear about the new Treasury East? I guess I don't spend enough time on the forums, or reading... uh, whatever it is you have to read to hear about these things when everyone else does.

So far, I'm not a fan of it. I know it's only beta, but it seems like there's a very large amount of tweaking that's going to need to be done.

My main complaints, which seem to be in line with what many are saying:

  1. The thrill of the chase is gone. I know this is meant to be a positive thing, since now everyone has the opportunity to take part in the fun, but it's difficult to see it that way. Getting your hands on a treasury isn't special anymore. There's no more excitement in waiting for that little box to appear. A huge part of the appeal was in knowing that if you got one, you were one of a lucky few. It's like the trite yet strong sense of regret you're hit with when your favorite local band winds up on TRL (I totally just dated myself, but I don't care enough to look up the 2010 equivalent).

  2. What does the above lead to? It leads to diminished quality in all these treasuries. If you no longer have to wait days for just a chance to curate a treasury, why are you going to continue to spend days working on that perfect selection and layout of 12 items? The logic of, "If I'm going to wait 36 hours and be one of only 333, then I better make this good," no longer applies. Now you can curate a treasury any old time. If this one's not your best, well then maybe the next one you make will be. It's not like you might not have another chance, after all.

  3. Anyone can create as many treasuries as they please, and none of them will ever expire. Seriously? Who's going to take the time to actually look through all of these? We already get overwhelmed trying to search through hundreds and thousands of pages of item listings--now we have to do the same thing with treasuries? I'm writing this the day after Treasury East opened up, and already there are 89 pages. When Treasury East hits 10,000 pages filled with expired and sold listings, is anyone really going to gratefully think, "Well, but at least mine are still in there somewhere!"

  4. You'll notice that above I said 89, but in the screenshot it says 87. That's because it's already gone up 2 pages in the hour since I captured it.

  5. There is zero way of searching through all these treasuries. When we only had 18 pages of them, it wasn't that big a deal. But when we're already at 89 and counting after a single day, it just makes the whole thing seem even more overwhelming and ridiculous than it already was. Who's going to have the courage to venture into the craft marketplace equivalent of the labyrinth, especially when there's no David Bowie waiting in the middle of it?

  6. There's no rhyme or reason to the hotness ranking. And they're being extraordinarily vague about explaining it: "'Hotness' in Treasury East works a little differently than the way it does in the current Treasury. Because Treasury East lists never expire, time plays a different role. We're actively refining the hotness algorithm and it will get better as more people use Treasury East." Hotness algorithm? Oh my, how complex! We'd better just leave that alone--questioning it further would be like pulling the curtain on the Etsy wizards. Can't have that.

  7. Love that it already looks like the beginnings of a popularity contest as far as who the hottest curators are.

Like I said, I know it's still in beta testing. Which means hopefully they're actually listening to what people are saying about it, and actually plan to fix these problems before they replace the original Treasury and Treasury West with it, as they say they plan to do. I'm skeptical though. Etsy has its reasons for the way it does things, and as much as anyone might like to think they put their sellers' interests first, these are all things they would have taken into consideration in the first place if they actually cared what we thought.

In closing.. it's up to 90.

Friday, April 02, 2010

McDonald's: Ruining Photos Worldwide

Fast food chains. They embody so many of the things I hate. Animal cruelty; poison and chemicals disguised as food; convenience over quality; money over ethics; the almighty worldwide corporation; the loss of character in individual towns and cities in favor of generic strip mall sprawl; the ever more prevalent "they made me wait for more than a minute in my air-conditioned car for my lunch, so I deserve to get my $1 burger for free" attitude of entitlement. I could go on all day--but I won't. Why? Because these two photos from my trip to Mexico this past January say it pretty well for me.

La Casa del Whopper--it doesn't matter what city or even what country you're in--there is no escaping the King.

Or if you like irony in your photography--

It's hard to read the monument on this mini-sized photo, but it says:
"Los recursos naturales del pais deben servir para su propia prosperidad. Entregarlos a intereses extranjeros es traicionar a la patria."

Or in English:
"The natural resources of a land should serve for its own prosperity. To turn them over to foreign interests is to betray the country."

Whatever McDonald's wants, McDonald's gets though...