Thursday, October 15, 2009

Virtual Bake Sale?

This is a screen shot of a virtual lab, or what the virtual bake sale that I attended looked like. On the left is chat by all in the room. In the center, the large picture, is the host. All those small pictures, spiralling around her, they are all the people in the room, visiting the sale!

What in the world? I stumbled upon a virtual bake sale! What and how is this going to work, I asked. Well on (one of my favorite sites for all things home and handmade) they were holding a virtual bake sale last night.

I simply signed in to my esty account and followed the links to the "room" that was holding the virtual bake sale. As other customers like me entered the room, I was able to chat with them, visit their own shops and get to know each of them better. Before the sale started, there was a lot of chatter about your favorite sweet, what do you do, where are you from etc. Once the bake sale started there was a host, and she used a live computer feed and we saw and heard her in live time! She introduced the different bakers featured that evening. Each baker was able to present their goods for about 5 minutes and included pictures of their goods as well as links to their items for sale, and coupons.

It was all very cool. The asked for feedback, had trivia questions for us (where we could win prizes), and we were all able to show our appreciation by "clapping" or "spinning" our own avatars. What fun!

Here is how describes a virtual lab:

We created the Virtual Lab in an effort to bridge the gap between the physical Etsy Labs and the greater Etsy community. The Virtual Labs will allow us (and guest hosts) to chat with you, the community, in real time! The cool thing is – we do all the techie work, you just click into a room and hang out with us virtually. The Virtual Etsy Labs are a multi-user online representation of the Etsy Labs using Workshop rooms. We use the Virtual Labs to connect with our community, host events, put on streaming webcam how-to's, host team meetings, demos, and shop critiques

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