So the semester has come to an end, and so has my little experiment with presenting anthropology with Etsy. For my project, I solicited my fellow grad students to write up a little bio about themselves. I asked them to tell me about their background in anthropology, their research topic, and their personal interests. I had five students respond, but only four responded in time for me to include them. I used the bios to create blog posts for each student on my blog. I kept the bios pretty much as is and added photos the students sent me as eye candy. I then created four jewelry pieces, using shrinkable plastic, inspired by their comments. These items were then placed for sale on my Etsy site for $10 each. I decided to pick a set price of $10 for these items, with the intent that if an item sold the student/muse would receive $5 – this was mainly to encourage them to market themselves in order to make money or gain awareness. Each jewelry listing included a quick blurb about the project and a link to the student’s blog post. Once all of the items were put up for sale, I created an Etsy treasury featuring all four pieces and 12 other listings from Etsy. Etsy treasuries consist of a grouping of 16 items for sale, which typically share a theme or color palette. If treasuries gain enough interest, they are posted on the Etsy home page. Once the blog posts, listings, and treasuries were completed for a single grad student, I tweeted and facebooked links to the blog and treasuries. For one of the bios submitted, I created the four jewelry pieces but did not include a blog post or marketing. I wanted to use these four items as a control sample.
Here are links to blog posts, treasuries, and individual items:
So how did I do? let me amaze you with my numbers!
My blog is pretty small – I don’t have a following – in fact the 3 followers i do have are family. I’ve never really tried to reach a wider audience, it’s mainly here to provide a distraction from things I should be doing. With that being said, I typically get 20-30 views per post, but with this project my views increased.
|Blog entry||Number of views|
|Intro to project||92|
Here are the listing views on Etsy
|Amanda’s listings||number of views|
|Henry Rollins|| |
rural and proud
|Lauren’s Listings||Number of views|
|Becca’s Listings||Number of views|
|Jayne’s Listings (Control)||Number of views|
So, what did I learn from all of this?
Well it was pretty disheartening actually. I did make one sale – Becca’s Rugby pendant – and that is awesome, but I was hoping for more page and listing views. I did receive some nice comments on the treasuries though. Like “great idea,” “lovely treasury idea,: and “nice tribute to your friend.” Which is sweet – but doesn’t really express if they learned anything about anthropology, or even gained an interest in it. So, bummer. I did learn that I need to beef up my marketing tools though, especially through Facebook and twitter – and even Etsy. I’ll be putting these new revelations to boost a new venture – which I’ll share later – but alas, anthropology probably wasn’t presented that well. The jewelry is cool though – and sparked a lot of interest at a recent cultural anthropology day – but online, not so much.