Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dearest Designers (grab a coffee, I need ten minutes)

I would like to speak on behalf of myself, a sworn freebie hunter and thank you leaver.

(I actually leave feedback more than just a cursory thanks - as I think it is more market worthy)

Thank you for taking a moment to hear me talk about the new trend of making freebie hunters tweet (or let's call it what it is - spam) our friends to come and visit your site and get the same freebie. No tweet or facebook account - no freebie.

****if you have no idea what I am talking about please see the post below*****

Firstly, may I just say that not all of us are just lazy freeloaders who can't be bothered to say thank you. Isn't it irony that due to spammers NOT from us, we have to spend time logging in and out of your site due to your spam settings? Then, to actually use the hosting service you use, we are forced to be constantly clearing cookies for 4shared – which guess what, logs you out of everything all over again - I think there has to be a better way.

Mediafire.  Ha! Just kidding.  *(um actually no I'm not. Mediafire is the best, it's free. Can you please just stop using 4shared. Please?  I will beg. It adds HOURS that we could be spending actually using your marvellous products.)  Just think about it. Ok?

Personally speaking, if a designer makes efforts to communicate with the readers (not just the occasional post and then lots of ads) I will go out of my way to leave a thank you.
I understand that nowdays being a designer requires a marketing team and that for some designers that means they are wearing many hats, so sometimes I am not even sure who I am thanking, or whether they actually read the comments. 

Better yet, is when the actual designer comes into the comments and engages conversation - so make sure you have a box we can tick to be alerted to any replies - we visit a lot of blogs.

I would leave a comment especially if I feel the designer is new, starting a new product line and is uncertain, or if no one ever comments, then I like to sprinkle some love around.
I have seen many designers complain and yet not many feel inclined to change their behaviour as much as their readers are expected to. There are better vehicles for encouraging interaction and response from your readers than enforcing worthless repetitive spam about the same freebie. Let us think for a moment, if a popular designer instigated this new policy.
I would recieve literally hundreds of the same tweet. I tell you now, I would be remembering your brand for all the wrong reasons. I would also resent my feed being swamped with essentially advertisements using my friends to sell me when they didn't even buy anything.
What I want to know is, is the tick box provided by blogger (which requires no login) not enough thanks? No malice here, its an honest question as I don’t know if this is the case. I LOVE when designers have the feature enabled.

You do know that you can make those check boxes that can appear at the end of each post contain whatever questions/content you wish? 

You could auto populate the checkboxes to say

( ) Thanks! I appreciate this
( ) Whoo hoo! More of this please!
( ) Thanks for the freebie, but it’s not my cup of tea.

This perhaps will increase the tick value because you will not only get thanks, but you will also get 1. customer interaction 2. trending statistics 3. an idea of what is popular with your readers.

Just an idea. (You can use those for free, and you don't need to tweet ;)

I think with a little thought, you creative, amazing designers can utilise the check box to do more than just say " thanks or I dont like this."Think outside the box.

You could even have

( ) I’ve been loving this week’s theme ( ) I would totally buy this kit!
( ) Please make more of this style of freebie

Think engage not enrage!

I wish I could take this to a bigger forum, as I am starting to see a lot of tweet for freebies and nope, I get none of them. It actually drives me away. Ditto passwords.
Pirates don't mind using passwords. We do.  You know, we buy your kits.
Pirates don't.  They don't read your blog. They don't read your warnings.
All most of these new hurdles just annoy one person - your actual customers.

I am going to post a tweet to get more people to see this letter. I encourage discussion.

Summing up, making you do something for a gift - It just seems like a non–gift.
Do you want a thank you or do you want advertising? Because you are asking for one and then enforcing the latter if you choose to make the facebook post or tweet a condition to download your "gift".

" I made this present for you, but before you get it, can you tell everyone how great it is (? unopened and unviewed) and how great I am ….. NO? Well, forget the present. No deal."

This is how it is? Is it not?

How many blogger/designers enable anon postings, which do take 5 seconds?
How many bloggers provide a chatbox at the side – and inform freebie finders
that they can leave a quick comment there ——>>>>>>
(You must do both, as chatboxes have a reputation for being full of old redundant content and we dont know if the designer reads it.)

Just one more thing (it blew out to seven - sorry!).

It is YOUR time and YOUR blog so you can do whatever you wish.
But I won't buy you nor will I download the freebie.  Some mums don't even bloody know what a tweet is?  Facebook?  You really think everyone has one?

Just as your obvious readers, it seems fair that we can shed light on what we actually feel when told we are ungrateful, lazy and rude in a matter of implied meaning. I also see blogs with 66 thank you posts, what are they doing that gets that result? Usually, it is something unique or to be really blunt, something worth paying for. That makes people go “wow! I just totally got this gorgeous thing that I will use (thats key) and that is so generous of the designer.
I simply MUST thank them cos I want more of this and also I want them to know just how happy they made me today. Result = 30 thank yous.

Just look at the last Goodie Train.
Submissions that were of better quality do get the comments.
It may be not nice, but lets really get the truth out on the table.
All freebies are not created equal. Freebies are not just done for the kindness factor - it is a marketing strategy, so we can play with your designs and also sample the quality.
So there is always that benefit of potential sales - am I right?
I know they take time to make, money to host and we bloody should be thankful.
But could you possibly try to make it easier to do so before you actually try and make it harder?

I will never tweet for a freebie on principle - and I am not alone.
People may say I understand why, but give them a choice - and will they still choose it?

The culture of thanking for freebies is not universal. But this is not the way to start a culture that is respectful, considerate and gracious.  That is what our digi culture is, and why it is such an amazing community. This just feels weird. Admit it!

Freebies are a part of the hobby - how did you get started? We all played with freebies once.

We all can be a sucker for a very good freebie. That's so unique. Let's protect it.
If I tweet about you - it's cos I want to. In the future, will people think that of my tweets?

Some designers give too much away, and it devalues their brand.
Maybe give less but make it higher quality. You will get those thank yous.
I see it on blogs most of the time a great freebie is offered.
I can provide examples in private, as designing is also a personal taste.
I do not claim to be an excellent judge of designing skill. I just hunt freebies and I buy kits
from those good freebies and designers.

Mind you some awesome designers are too scungy, and it also ruins their image.
We all know who they are. But it does take tweaking and communication.

You have every right to tell us if you feel let down, in fact I think its better to paint the whole story though – from both sides. Ask your readers why and then make it easier - not harder.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pay for A Freebie with Spam? I don't like this...

On my freebie frolic today, I saw a cute little freebie advertised on Craftcrave, which caught my eye.

Now, I have no axe to grind specifically with the designer Gabs, who is lovely and doesn't hurt a fly with her designing business and is most likely trialling this idea after seeing it on another blog perhaps - but I am here as a freebie hunter to say that this is ill-advised.   First of all, here is the unedited post (in entirety) so you have an idea on how it works;


this is the question not only me but other designers got asked and I can easily answer it to you
it’s because to earn a little thank you for all we do for free!
now why do we want a little thank you?
it’s so easy as well: we designers put a lot of love but also time and work into our designs and of course – that goes without words – into our freebies as well and guess what happened for a while now? I think you know it already: the freebies were downloaded more than hundred times but only one or two left a little message to say “thank you” – we even get complains if a link isn’t working properly. seems like people have minutes to complain but no second to say thank you.
as a designer it really hurts
now we designers have to reach for a decision
1. stop giving away freebies
2. let us pay with a tweet or facebook post
so I go with the second for now and I hope you will be happy with my decision
now on to the fun – here is another freebie for you

end text quote

So here is what I commented in reply (and no I did not get the freebie)

"All mass tweeting is going to do is depreciate the brand and the freebie itself.
I also was one of the few who left comments like thank you, and there is just an app you can do for us to leave a thank you without excessive spam bot hurdles.
It is not our fault, spammers exist?? I love the new checkbox idea, with thank you, more of this, or less of this – surely customer feedback is as valuable as a worthless tweet that is destined to get repeated enmasse as your freebies become popular?
If it is a thank u that you want, then this should suffice, but if it is advertising you want, then that would mean tweets do it better for you. I think freebies are still an excellent way to build a relationship between you and customer, and the customers you get, enjoy a treat every now and again. With how competitive the market is with heaps of designers, I have been dismayed to see designers shoot themselves in the foot by making freebie hurdles – such as passwords and this kind of pay for this. I am tired of pirate phobia that punishes people that actually BUY kits??? All you do is turn us away, and pirates were never going to buy your stuff. I am really passionate about this issue, because freebies are an essential part of the hobby, and if they die out, then many people (how did most of us start by having a harmless play with free stuff right???) won’t digi scrap – then we are all in trouble.
Thank you’s are nice, but they should not be the fuel for what you do.
Your passion for customer service to the people who buy, well, that is worth something. We give your blog traffic which you can convert to ads if you wanted to – I would be more happy clicking an affiliate link then spamming my friends. I just think this would totally kill the very nature of a freebie.."
If people wish to have more conversation, my blog is
Thank you
Miss Renee

Now it is your turn!

I would like to see if any other freebie hunters and mixed buyers (meaning you buy kits when you can and when you think they are worth it, and you have to have them) would like to express how they feel.  Do you have a Facebook account or Twitter account in the first place?  Would you consider getting one in order to keep getting freebies?   Do you think this idea will catch on?
Do you agree that the tweet or post to facebook is spam, and by very nature against the common goal to keep the internet free of clutter and useless information.  How do designers not know that 853 tweets on the same item (if your freebie is well designed, sure why not - I have seen that many) will make buyers irked at your brand for choking up their feeds with redundant advertising ?

Penny for your thoughts, again this is not personal. Let's keep it that way :)
Just talking about designers and this freebie problem of getting no thanks.
I would like it solved myself as I am tired of being tarred with the same brush.
It makes me feel so guilty to be a freebie hunter, like we have a bad rap cos some people don't say thank you.
Why don't they make it easier?  Less spam hurdles, more tickboxes and chat boxes??

Share this post around if you like, I may invite some others into the discussion.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

some of the freebies around at the moment...


Oh and if you wish to get the jump on your christmasy kind of scrapping ....