The Free Web Syndrome

Once Upon a Time

So creepy.

Please read the following! (see the actual post here)

” Mar 19, 2008

Goodbye and Good Luck

It is with a heavy heart that I announce today that Etsytools will be closing in two weeks time. It’s something we’ve been talking about for a little while now, but today the camel’s back was finally broken.

I will never understand why so many people think the world owes them. I get dozens of emails every day from people who think I could do better, and I should do better because they say so. I should be more professional, I should respond quicker, I should offer more features, less features, better features. I should pay hundreds of dollars for a server that is lightening fast so you don’t have to wait 10 seconds for the charts to load. I’ve been called every name under the sun, I’ve been threatened with legal action, and today I received a death threat. A fucking death threat!

I recognise that for every jealous idiot there are a dozen wonderful etsians out there, but I just don’t care anymore. I used to love the community but it has changed so much lately I don’t even recognize it. I don’t have any faith in Etsy anymore, and I’m tired of hacking away at this website just to be humiliated and mocked on the forums. There are people who will be jumping for joy to see this website close, and I’m glad to finally have satisfied the fuckwits. Leave me alone now.

Anyone who purchased advertising in the past week or so will be refunded. Everyone who purchased before that should use their impressions before we close the site on March 31st, or contact me and we’ll sort something out.

Thankyou to everyone who has offered their support and encouragement over the past 8 months. I’m sorry to those who are disappointed, but there’s just so much more to life than Etsy. If anyone wants me, I’ll be at St Kilda Beach.”

The lovely Interrobang offered for FREE many tools and services on EtsyTools, made for Etsy sellers. She gave her time and efforts and knowledge to the handmade community without counting, trying to help Etsy sellers on their quest to live from their skills, or at the very least, to know more about the business of handmade.


This fact (that EtsyTools will be no more because of egocentric PEOPLE) has made me furious and got me thinking, a lot.

It got me thinking about how the Web is full of info, full of FREE info. How everything is all so accessible, all so easy to get to and all so FREE!

And although all this can absolutely be a wonderful thing, it also has it’s bad sides. Like people who DEMAND more and more and more, because of course it would just appear in a poof, magically. Like no one is actually BEHIND the info. Like no one actually gave of his/her time graciously, put their “real” life on hold for a moment to offer something to some people they DON’T KNOW. It’s FREE, people!

That’s what I will now call “The Free Web Syndrome”: people getting used to having free stuff on the Web so much, that they think Web people owe them more and more stuff.

Who do these people think they are? Really. I mean, WTH is wrong with these people! (I won’t even talk about the death threat Interrobang received, it’s so disgusting, it’s not worth another sentence.)

Remember the saying “nothing in life is free”? Well it’s true. The Web is not actually free. You pay for the Web access with a monthly fee, right?

You pay for ACCESS to the Web. Only access.
You do not OWN the Web nor it’s people
Nor it’s people’s work.
Nobody on the Web OWES you nothing.
You pay for ACCESS to the Web. Only access. Only access. Only access.

You want something that’s not there? Do it yourself!
Don’t know how? Learn it!
How do you think info gets there? Each individual LEARNED their skills.


Now, more specific to the Handmade Community.

Remember what handmade is all about. The Web IS handmade. Millions of people in the World physically MAKE it: programming, writing, designing, photographing…

The Web is the most known expression of Handmade there is! Support it, help it! Don’t kill it with your personal greediness and egocentric self.

Whether it be for EtsyTools, for Etsy Team leaders, for bloggers, for forums moderators or for any other free service, think about them all behind the words, images and software. Giving. To you.

You are not the center of the world, nobody owes you nothing. Accept what is given to you on a golden platter, appreciate it, respect it and the people behind it.


And for services that you do pay for, know what you ARE paying for!

For example, if listing an item on Etsy costs 20 cents, you are paying 20 cents to have your item exist. You pay that amount so that your item is available for purchase. You pay for 5 picture spots, a description, 14 tags and an “add to cart” button. That’s all, people! If the items sells, you pay 3.5% of that sale to have the sale actually exist, to have feedback from it (which will help get more sales) and for helping Etsy continue to exist because you DID make money on Etsy. (Do you know how much employees, servers and bandwidth on a site like Etsy can cost? Guess a number, and it’s probably twice more than that, even if you were generous.)

Sure, we all love treasuries and forums and chat and all, but those are extra FREE services Etsy is offering you. They, too, are putting in their time graciously, FOR YOU. Actually, they are not giving anything for free, quite the opposite. They have to pay their employees. So basically, they are paying to give YOU some FREE stuff. Realize it.


So please, take a moment to think about all this (and it goes for all your life as well), and how you can help it instead of destroying it.

“Ask not what the Handmade Web Community can do for you,
but what you can do for the Handmade Web Community.” – I say.

lol :)



Filed under Web, Blogs

7 responses to “The Free Web Syndrome

  1. “The Web is the most known expression of Handmade there is! Support it, help it! Don’t kill it with your personal greediness and egocentric self.!”

    Food for thoughts, that’s for sure

    Well written!

  2. i’m with you that giving is always better then taking, janick!


  3. I’m just disgusted! I mean people don’t realize the work involved behind a website and maintaigning it! It takes several weeks, if not months to have it well tuned and coded and perfect! No magic involved, just loooooong hours of programing, design and fine-tuning. Plus learning Css and Html, and Java and etc!

    I really understand interrobang’s action. I think I would have done the same thing under such circumstances, and I applaud her guts to shout out her frustration and to close down the site.

  4. Wow! Death threats, huh? People amaze me sometimes… Well, a lot of the time, actually. It just goes to show that we are basically animals, really.

    And everyone is so worried about having exactly the same things the other guy does, crying out, “no fair!”, all the while sitting back and relaxing while everyone else does the work… Where on Earth does this mentality come from?

    Anyway, all that to say, “hear, hear”, Janick…

  5. I really do understand Interrobang’s action too! I would have done the same thing, if not sooner after the name calling and all. There’s just a limit to what we can willingly expose ourselves to, right?

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