Jul 112012

Author: CollegeAveStaff

By Kate Wilson

If the internet is comparable to the size of Earth, all the do-it-yourself tutorials, blogs, digital pinboards, markets and e-mags would surely comprise a piece of land at least the size of Texas. Blogger, Etsy and a plethora of other sites with DIY and handmade inspirational content have flooded the Web, specifically targeting women of all ages with creative minds – or at least those who wish they had. I, as your source of snarky perspective on all things trendy, swam the deep ocean of online DIY material to assess what the fuss is about.


Here’s the breakdown:


Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr: Sure, these blog-hosting sites oblige much more than DIY bloggers. Registrants post on just about any topic you can think of, and although Blogger and WordPress offer no statistics about how many craft blogs live on their sites, I imagine there are tens of thousands. Some crafters only post photos of recent projects or links to their stores, while others post full step-by-step tutorials or instructional videos. If you’re lucky, you can download a free e-book with full-color pages that can be inserted into a planner or binder.


Etsy: If you haven’t heard of Etsy, you must live under a rock, in a volcano, on a faraway island. Etsy is the marketplace mecca for all crafters who wish to promote their talents and make some extra cash. While many may browse this site with the purest intentions of purchasing items, I scrolled page after page of beading and crochet projects in hopes of finding ideas to create for myself. I know: this is an ethical dilemma with intellectual property. But it’s what many artists do – look to others’ work for inspiration. Don’t worry, though. I didn’t steal any ideas.


Pinterest: Oh, Pinterest. What a place! It’s literally a virtual pinboard in which you can save “pins,” which are actually just photos, which other users have found online or uploaded. The purpose of the site is actually just to inspire – for which users have adopted the term “pinspiration.” If you’re looking for a craft idea of any sort, look for it on Pinterest. Most photos are accompanied by a link to the original website that featured the photo.


So what’s the fuss? All of these dot-coms are free to use and browse, and to the creative-at-heart, they’re more addictive than Facebook. The blogs and Pinterest require a small amount of social networking, but in a very nonthreatening, noncommittal way. You can save pins from other users without actually “following” or “friending” them. Browsing Etsy is like window-shopping on a sunny day. No commitment required, but you can take home the ideas with you. That’s a Pinteresting idea I can get on board with!

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