Famous! (obviously, not quite…)

22 Jan

(Still, there was a quote and a link and stuff.)

Last week that was much debate (much, seriously much) debate in Etsy’s business forum about SOPA, PIPA, individual vs community interest, etc. Given I was off work and offline (most of my usual online haunts went black, after all–go, all of you wonderful people!), I joined the conversation (here) and then spent much more time than what was reasonable in a couple of threads.

Lauren Orsini wrote a short piece for the Daily Dot about Etsy and its community’s reaction both to the blackout idea and to the larger issues at hand. The last line of the article happens to be from one of my earliest posts on the topic (after confirming that I was closing my store and this blog Wednesday in support of the protest): “if SOPA / PIPA pass, your customers would quite likely be inconvenienced ‘forever’ not one day.”

As flattering as it is to have my words quoted as the closing line, it’s also awkward, for reasons that I explain here–to whit:

Thank you for quoting me, but I am not, by far, the only one who has shut down his or her shop in Etsy today. If you read through this thread on the Business Forums, you’ll see more. There are also those who didn’t shut down completely but instead deactivated all but one listing–using that one listing to remain visible to online search engines and, through it, educate anyone landing on their store, and those who placed a ribbon and link over their banners and avatars, with the same purpose.Also, looking at my shop stats (very few sales at the time of this comment) some may say, “it’s all good and well for her to close shop for a day–she has nothing to lose!” That, while true on the face of it, would be missing the point. A blackout, sit in, march, or any other form of protest, whether by big names or small, private citizens, contributes to positive change. Inaction and inertia, on the other hand…

What is that famous quote? All evil need to thrive is for good men to do nothing¹? Indeed.

* * *

¹ Well, not quite (but pretty close)

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