Friday, February 26, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist: Craftopolis

I'm huge fan of Craftopolis, which unfortunately I didn't know about until a week or two ago.  There aren't many features on the website, but what they have is very useful for Etsians.  (Sorry to my other readers, but this site is really Etsy-only except for advertising.)

Feature #1 is the Treasury search.  While other sites like CraftCult can let you know if a Treasury you've been featured in made it to the front page, Craftopolis will tell you if you're currently in a Treasury at all.  It includes both the main and west Treasury sites AND notifies you if you're an alternate.  So far this is the only site I've found that does all this and it's the only way I've been successful in finding treasuries of which I'm a part.  It can save you a ton of clicking through pages searching for something that may or may not be there:

Treasury clocks are another really cool feature of Craftopolis.  They show you how many treasuries are taken without having to wait for the actual Treasury and Treasury West pages to load each time you're curious (which takes too long for my patience on my internet connection).  You can monitor occasionally throughout your day how many have expired and snag one up pretty quickly when it's time...or you can determine it's going to be too long to stay up until 3 am just for a treasury and you're just better off going to sleep than waiting.  You can get this same information right through Etsy, but like with finding out if you're in a Treasury, Craftopolis just makes it easier.

The estimated time isn't something to which I pay too much attention.  I prefer to check it on the Etsy site once it's getting really close, but you can use the clocks for longer term planning if you prefer.  Just be clear that the first number is hours, the second number is minutes, and the third is seconds.  Don't get confused and think the first number is minutes or you'll be waiting up for days!

The clock looks like this (see image above) both right before and for a little while after the Treasury window is open.  If you go to the clock and see the red section flashing, click on the center of the clock immediately to be taken straight to the page on Etsy to see if the Treasury is about to become available.  As stated on the Craftopolis website, there is no guarantee because of potential delays in updating.  Wednesday night, I watched to see how bad the delay was.  It took several minutes for everyone's new treasuries to be added once "T-Main" opened up (or "dropped" - oh, Etsy slang LOL).  First the Etsy page showed 332 treasuries, then 600+ then 800+.  It took several minutes as well for the clock to update on Craftopolis and it went straight from 334 to 800+.  Therefore there is more of a time delay on the clock than on the site.  So I say all that to say that it's always best to go to the Treasury right before the needle gets to the red zone if you're really hoping to get one. 

The other main feature on Craftopolis is Shop/Item Lovers.  You can find similar features on other sites as well, so it's not completely unique.  This feature allows you to see how many shop hearts and item hearts you've gotten on a particular day or in a particular month:

It's a cute chart form they put it in here on Craftopolis.  When you click on a day that you received hearts, the avatar of the person(s) that favorited you will show up below the chart.  Hovering over the avatar with your mouse will let you see the shop name.  Please exercise good etiquette when discovering this information and don't assume this person wants to know about your sales or be bombarded with convos.  Sending people messages just for hearting you is considered spam and it's bad form.  If you want to say thanks, heart them back.  Otherwise, just feel good about it and quietly use the information to your advantage.  For example, the promotion I did Tuesday on the Etsy forums was something I did differently than usual and it seems to have gotten more exposure to my shop as evidenced by the three new hearts.  This tells me I should post more there in the future to keep my visibility up.  Whatever you're doing on days you get lots more hearts than usual is probably something you should continue to do in the future.

The other thing Craftopolis offers is advertising.  I haven't tried it because I know of cheaper places to advertise so I won't be reviewing that part of the site.  I recommend using Project Wonderful or Indie Smiles as cheaper advertising alternatives.

Like or hate Craftopolis?  Know of a similar site for another artisan venue?  Let us know in the comments!

Until next time,