You had questions. We have answers!

If you’ve participated in our survey on selling art online, you might have noticed that the last question was if you had any questions or comments for us. And you did in spades! I’d like to take this opportunity to answer a few of them publicly:

I haven’t tried to sell my art because I want to learn more about how to avoid scammers.

EBSQ has long been committed to educating artists about the scams out there. We have a private section of our forums available to share emails you fear are fraudulent as well as look at scams (and spam) other members of our community have reported.

I would hope that with this upgrade, that my lifetime membership will remain intact?

Yes, of course it will! Current members won’t see their membership status change as a result of the upgrade. Nor do we have plans to raise our rates. We know this economy has been bad for everyone (us included!) so our prices have not gone up since 2007. And if at some point we simply have to raise our rates, it won’t impact existing members. As long as your membership stays current, your rate is grandfathered and guaranteed to remain unchanged.

I have had trouble using the listing template from ebsq site and copying and pasting it to ebay…somehow it gets jumbled and does not have a professional look.not sure what could be causing this….

This is unfortunately a known issue with Google’s Chrome browser. Our relaunch will include a new version of our auction template which will address this issue. In the interim, we suggest trying another browser (we highly recommend Firefox) for listing your auctions with our template.

I’d like to see a Twitter button so members could RT their own or others artwork with a direct link to individual pieces, portfolios or monthly shows.

It’s safe to say you’ll be seeing this and other social sharing tools figuring prominently in the re-launch!

How do you check what your membership status is?

If you’re unsure of your membership status, you can either check your PayPal account to view your subscription status, or to drop us a line and we’d be happy to look up your information for you.

I think there should be a Mission Statement about the purpose and function of the site.

You can find our current mission statement here: http://www.ebsqart.com/Info.asp There’ll be an expansion of this statement and more information about the services we offer in the new version of the EBSQ website.

I haven’t visited the site in quite a while, but an area listing legitimate art shows for artists to enter with perhaps a feedback area from artists who participated in previous shows.

You can find current Calls for Artists as well as discussions regarding exhibits, trade shows, festivals, etc, on the EBSQ forums: http://www.ebsqart.com/forum/

I want have my name as part of my profile link address vs my EBSQ account #

This is something we already do, actually! All paid members have a unique url for their portfolio based upon your username. In my case, it’s http://gillie.ebsqart.com (please note there is NO www in that url). We’re also taking things a step further in the relaunch. In addition to your unique url (which won’t change) you’ll get a new regular url that will include your actual name as part of the address. In the interim, if you’re unsure of your unique url, please drop us a line and we’d be happy to assist!

Do you have a question for us that wasn’t answered here? Let us know by taking a few minutes to fill out our quick online art sales survey. The survey remains open through 14 October 2010.

Cheers,

-Amie on behalf of Team EBSQ

PS. Don’t forget that if you include your email address, you’ll be officially entered to win a free EBSQ membership! What are you waiting for. Take the survey now!

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October 2008: The Silent Majority

Yesterday, I attended a webinar that addressed best practices for community moderators. Since I’ve been doing community moderation for just under 8 years, so I was curious to see how EBSQ’s style of community management compared. Overall, I’d say pretty darn good. The community of regulars on the EBSQ Forums is pretty-darned harmonious. There are a lot of great topics and conversations going at any one time. We also do our very best to get to all of your questions/comments quickly, and as fast as we are, very often one of our veteran members will beat us to the punch and shower you with all kinds of help and advice. Many of our members cite “community” as their main attraction to EBSQ. And yet…the larger percentage of you here has never visted the forum, let alone participated. And we’d like to understand what we can do to better serve your needs.

If you’ve never been to the forums, we’d love to see you there. Stop in. Say hello! Or simply come soak up the knowledge vicariously. If you’re among those who used to go to the forums regularly, or even occassionaly, but you haven’t been in a while, we’d love to see you again!

Regardless of how active you are with the community, we are truly happy to have you here. Let us know how we can do better. (And if we’re doing great, we’d love to hear that, too!)

Amie Gillingham
1 October 2008
Get out of the vacuum and express yourself!

languishing in our walled garden

A Breath of Fresh Air by Poxodd

A Breath of Fresh Air by Poxodd

A long time ago, in an internet far far away, EBSQ used to be a 100% open community. Anyone could post on our forums. And often did. Much bitterness ensued. And we built a wall around our city to keep our residents feeling safe.  

Six years have passed since our forums went, for the most part, private. We’ve weathered a lot of ups and downs.  I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to keep a community healthy since then.  Our community is harmonious, no question. Folks are generally happy, and quite comfortable. Real friendships have grown out of conversations started on our forums. But I also fear that walls are keeping as much out as they’re keeping in, and we’re becoming stagnant. I’ve been slowly trying to nudge folks toward opening a window or two in our wall, and letting a little fresh air in.  One existing section that I’d love to see go public is our media-specific forum. I think EBSQ as a community could really benefit  if the wider artistic community had reading / posting access. I have to say, I have been surprised at the resistence I’ve been getting. 

Open Community  vs Walled Gardens

Now, there have been some good arguments for why members don’t want to open this subdivision of our online neighbourhood to the general public.  One artist is learning a new technique in her media and has a lot of questions. She’s concerned that she’ll appear unprofessional to people who might have otherwise bought her work.  Others feel this section should remain strickly a perk for paid membership and that folks have to pay to play.  Some folks just want the privacy to say whatever without having to worry about whether the section is public or not. One artist came right out and said she doesn’t like change. Period. 

Here’s my problem with the above arguments. I think our forums would become even more valuable if this small but important section was open to the public. It would allow us to tap into a pool of knowledge we don’t currently possess while also letting our members add their collective wisdom to the general search engines for anyone to find.  Regarding the previously mentioned artst who is learning a new skill–wouldn’t it be great if she actually had the courage to ask her questions publicly and someone who might not have been familiar with out community otherwise stumbled upon her questions and was able to give an answer that wasn’t available within our existing community? Or what about the non-member that was thinking about learning scratchboard art and found that we have in our community what I consider to be an expert in the field? Why can’t artists just talk shop? 

Now, we’re not talking about throwing our doors wide open. We’re simply talking about metaphorically cracking a window and letting in some fresh air.  As it is, I feel our lack of diversity, our lack of openess is killing our community. Slowly perhaps, but killing us all the same. 

And so we put it to you, who ARE our community. How do YOU feel about this issue? If you’re a paid member of our site, we strongly encourage you to come vote on the poll we created to debate this issue internally. And if you’re a registered user, but not a paid member of EBSQ, or even just an artist who’s been considering EBSQ membership, we’d love to hear from you as well via the comments section of this post. Do we keep the walls up? Or may we crack a window?