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Building an Online Community Of Loyal and Vocal Users
Etsy Inc., an online marketplace for handmade goods, offers a host of ways for its customers to connect with the company and each other.
These include user profiles, forums, blogs and a rating-and-feedback system for the site's 800,000 registered users, including crafters and artisans who sell their wares on the site.
But Etsy also has embraced ways that its customers interact with one another outside of the company's domain -- mainly a handful of social-networking sites created by Etsy.com fans.
Among them is We Love Etsy, a site created by Lis Kidder, a 28-year-old lawyer and glass-jewelry designer in Fairfax, Va. We Love Etsy has 2,780 members who build their own profile pages, interact with each other and post reviews of handicrafts among other things.
"We blog, swap tips, and share photos and tips for selling on Etsy," says Ms. Kidder, an Etsy.com vendor. She says she created the site to give buyers and sellers another place to interact, in different ways than they can on the official Etsy site.