Etsy Journal

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The Newbie's Guide to Etsy Chat

by Duet

Sep 13, 2007

So you've heard about the chat rooms at Etsy, but you're afraid of making a fool of yourself? Say no more, for Duet is here to save you. I've put together a chat-cheat-sheet that will have you chatting like an old pro in no time.


First, where do you find the chats? Go to the Etsy Forums and look at the top right of the page. You'll see a link for chat, and the three main chat rooms.  Click on "chat rooms." (You can also click red, green, or blue, to be taken directly to that chat room.)


After a brief loading period, in which you are being connected to the chat server, you'll see a Lobby Page. This Lobby Page shows you all of the chat rooms currently open, and the miniature avatars of the chatters within. From here, you can join one of the rooms already open, or you can create your own chat room. User-initiated chat rooms can have passwords, or they can be open to all — it's your choice. A box is provided below the room list to input a title for your chat room. (People often hold Street Team Meetings, Etsy Guild Meetings, or hash out the details of a transaction in passworded rooms.)

There are 3 main chat rooms — Red, Green, and Blue. The colors have no significance, they are simply names. By clicking on a certain room's Join button (far right side) you will be brought to the chat room of your choice (assuming it isn't full) after another quick loading page.

For the purpose of ease, I'll break down what you'll see into three main areas: Left Side, Right Side, and Bottom. Please reference the screen shot above as an example.

Left Side
On the left, you'll see the various conversations people are having. Line by line, these sentences scroll up and disappear. You can not scroll them back down, so once it goes off the top of the page, it's gone for good. Each line begins with the name of the person who typed it, so you can know who are you talking to. When you type and click send, your message will also appear here.

Right Side
On the right side, you may see large thumbnail pictures of Etsy items start to appear. These are items from Etsy sellers, either in the room or not, that someone wanted to share with the rest of the room. See something awesome while browsing Etsy? Share it here. Want to show off your latest listing? Share it here. The majority of the time, this function is used by someone browsing the shop of another chatter, and who wants to share something they found. A small version of the poster's avatar is attached to the item's picture. You can click on that tiny avatar to go to their shop, or you can click on the item itself. Clicking on the item will expand it to give you the option of seeing the full listing, in another window. (Click "More" to do this.) Wait long enough, and someone will put one of your items here — it's polite to say thank you when this occurs.

So, how do you do this? It's as easy as can be. Find a nifty item in someone's shop. Copy the item's url and paste the link into the Listing I.D. box located at the bottom left side of your screen. Click "Add" and it will pop up above that box. Presto! You've shared that item with the entire room. **It is considered impolite to spam the room with nothing but your own items, over and over. Doing this will either create a negative response from the rest of the chatters, someone may politely ask you to join the conversation instead of spamming the room, or you will simply be ignored.**

The Bottom
At the bottom of the screen, you can see the avatars of every person in the chat room. In the picture above, you can see an expanded section next to my name, Duet. This happens when you hover your mouse over an avatar. Three options appear when you do this: shop, profile, /msg. Click shop to visit that person's shop, click profile to see their profile, and click /msg to send them a private message in chat. "/msg Duet" appears in the chat box when someone clicks on mine, and they can then type whatever private message they want to, to me and only me.

This is also where you can set the color of your name in the chat. Click on any color in the row of colors to choose from, below the text box. Alternately, you can set your color manually by choosing a hexadecimal color. To do that, type /color (color code here.) I set mine manually, by typing "/color cc0033. You can find hexadecimal codes here. If that's too much hassle, just click a color from the color bar.

Scroll down on your screen to see a helpful list of commands provided for you. This is your "in-chat" cheat sheet.

Other Nifty Chat Features
There are some really fun things you can do in chat. You can spin your avatar, make it bounce up and down, set yourself to "away" for a few moments, perform an action (the text you see in blue), throw different shapes across the screen, get rid of item pictures on the left side, and grab someone's attention easily. Here's a list:

Performing an action: type /me (what you want to do here). Example: typing "/me shows the room her new item." will produce this: Duet shows the room her new item.

Spin: type /spin (Your avatar will spin on it's own whenever you are typing)
Bounce: type /lol
Away: type brb OR /brb OR /away. (This will fade your avatar, letting others know you have stepped away from chat briefly.)

To set the title of the room (seen at the top of the page), type /title and whatever you want it to be.

To remove a picture on the left from YOUR sight, simply click and drag it off screen — use a little throwing motion and it flies off the screen!

To grab someone's attention, type out their full name. If they have sound on, they will hear a "Bonk!" sound, alerting them to the chat screen. You can also type the first few letters of the name, press the Right arrow key on your keyboard, and it will fill in the rest for you.

Tokens are fun. See below the chat box, where there's a tiny little number and a shape of some sort next to it? The number tells you how many tokens you have available, and will go up to twenty. The longer you are in chat, the more tokens you have, and they replenish after using them. Tokens are used by clicking on the screen where you see all of the conversations. Often one person doing this will set off another, and another and another, until the whole screen has falling cookies or glowing orbs floating across it.

You can change which token is selected for the room by typing /shape (name of token you want here) like so: /shape cookies. Click on the screen, and cookies will fall.

List of tokens: cookie, star, orb, coffee, notes, cross, haim. (Yes, Haim!)

And there you have it! The Newbie's Guide to Etsy Chat. All kinds of things are discussed in chat, from how to make crafts to potty training to forum discussions to recipes to banner making to, to, to..... It can be calm, quiet chat, or it can be rowdy, adult chat — it all depends on who has stopped by to have some fun. It takes time to become comfortable with chat, as it often moves quickly and seems like everyone knows everyone else already. Just jump in with a hello, add your two cents to the topic at hand... a quiet chatter isn't a chatter at all. It won't be too long before you can consider yourself a "regular."

Duet's "Newbie Guide to Etsy Chat" was originally featured on IndiePublic