Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Treating Each Other With Respect In The Virtual Labs Part I

Etiquette for Virtual Labs - Making your lab experience the best!
Part I - How The Room Works.

The Virtual Labs on Etsy are the most fun and effective way to learn about making your shop shine!  After all... isn't that how we all met?  With few exceptions everyone leaves the lab feeling positive about their virtual lab experience because they learn how to make their shops the best that they can be! 

As Lab Rats Team members we need to present ourselves as models for so many things!  We are teaching assistants for the lab moderators, guides to those who are brand new to Etsy, and friends to our fellow sellers and buyers.  Here are a few things that we can do to help others to enjoy their lab time. 

When one first arrives in the lab it can seem nearly overwhelming with all that goes on! Here is a guide to help first timers and "newbies" enjoy their lab experience from the first day on.

1 - When you first enter the lab room it's wise to wait until the entire room comes in clearly, when you see the avatars of other inhabitants in the room then it's safe to click any button you choose. 


If you click any button too soon the chances are that you will be tossed out and have to re-enter. 
The hamster tells you that you have been disconnected.

3 - All labs are done using video so be sure that your speaker volume is turned up so that you can hear what is being said by the lab moderator. If you lose sound you simply refresh your page (you are leaving the room and re-entering). Your sound will return upon re-entry.

4 - During the lab when the Question Queue has been opened, asking a question requires a specific "command". You type /ask and then ask your question. i.e. /ask Would you please look at the tags on my turquoise tote?   Just remember... the / must be the very first character on the line, no space before or after.
When you have done that correctly you will see "OK Question is sent".  You won't see your question, however, until the lab moderator posts it for the entire room to see. The lab moderator only sees a few questions at a time, though they know how many questions are waiting in line. Be patient your question will come up!

5 - There are several ways to send a private message to anyone in the room.  If they have a listing card posted you can click on the card and see the name of the shop for that item. Clicking on "more" opens their shop in another tab.  Most often it is the seller of an item that posts the picture.  Their avatar is in the upper left corner of the item card.  When you have located their avatar in the room you can click the avatar and select /msg.  Now you can send a private message to the seller.
6 - If you don't know the avatar of another seller simply type /msg (seller name) and then your message. It only appears to the seller you are wanting to talk privately to and to yourself. The rest of the room doesn't see any of that message. And the entire message is in bold. Be careful: if you forget the /msg part what you intended as private shows in the room for all to see!

7 - Please refrain from posting any listing cards within the area of chat. (Chat Lane) Seeing all the beautiful listings is wonderful but when you block the chat lane you severely inhibit the other function of the classroom....learning! We all learn by asking questions in the chat area and it is impossible to read the chat through those listing cards. There is help and instruction that goes on in the lab rooms even when the labs are not in session. When you leave the room, the ability to move or remove your listing cards goes with you... only YOU can delete or move those cards. (Well sometimes we can but sometimes we can't too!) Please respect the space.

8 - PLEASE DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS - THIS IS CONSIDERED YELLING.  Use your "indoor voice" please.

This is the firs of a two part series.  Part II will be Social Interactions.  Check back on August 4th.  The next installment of this blog post will be the FUN stuff!  Be sure to check back and learn the fun tricks of virtual labs!

See you in the labs!
Aunt Karen


  1. I love the new look of the blog! I look forward to more great articles.

  2. What a great article! I'm always learning new things from this group. And Aunt Karen, you are such a great presence in the labs. You and jswrites are so helpful and full of knowledge. Thanks!

  3. Great article! A super important tip is waiting for the room to load completely. I see so many people pop in and pop right back out before the room has a chance to load. Sometimes it can take 20-30 seconds and then you're up to speed.

  4. Karen, I really loved this article! Everything is explained so simple and detailed!
    Thanks...looking forward to more good information.

  5. After all these trips to the virtual labs we finally learned how to whisper, now if we can only learn how to write in blue ;) Thanks for the tips Aunt Karen!

  6. great information. and thanks for the heads up on typing a private message when you don't know the persons avatar!

  7. Great article! :)

    Hugs from sunny Hamburg,

  8. Great Article..and I am loving the new blog