Sunday, May 07, 2006

Recovering from NSD

So for those who aren’t into scrapping of any kind, yesterday was National Scrapbooking Day.  In digiscrap terms this means a day PACKED with chats (“crops”), challenges, freebies, and sales at dozens of websites.  Now, I’m not much of a chat person in general, especially if there are more than about 30 people there.  It all flies by so fast, that I just end up sitting and attempting to read enough to keep up with what’s going on, not always successfully.  And as far as sales, well, I have soooooo many kits already, both free and purchased, that I’ve never used, and I get new kits every month for my CT stuff that I have to use, so I really just don’t need any more kits right now, no matter how good the deal.  So my plan was to just hit a few places, like ScrapArtist, where I knew I could easily pick up a few free kits to add to my "really-cool-kits-I'll-get-to-use-someday-when-I-actually-find-time-to-scrap-something-other-than-my-sponsor-layouts" collection, and that would be it as far as my participation. But then…

A little birdie let my folks know that there were all these big sales going on, and my birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and so I got a phone call from Mom saying they would just send me a check and that I could go shopping at all the NSD sales.  So, of course, I had to go look.  Ok, I know I have decisiveness issues, but O. M. G.  How on Earth does anyone ever decide what kits to buy?!?!?  There is so much great stuff out there.  Even eliminating anything that’s not me (anything with more that a dollop of purple in it, anything really formal, anything really vintage/antique, anything excessively grungy, anything overly cutesy, anything very pale, very dark, or extremely bright), I just had no idea where to even begin.  I hit some of my favorite sites and began to look for stuff on sale that I thought I might actually be able to use given the types of photos I generally take.  At a few places I was able to narrow it down to one or two things, but at others, I was still just completely overwhelmed.  After about four or five hours of looking, I just gave up.  What did I buy?  Nada.  Zero.  Zilch.

And, of course, while I was looking around, I got sucked into some of the whole chat hullabaloo.  I went to a few at SBB and got several parts of their collaborative kit and a few other nice freebies.  I tried to get into one at The Shabby Shoppe in the morning, but the chat room was full.  Went back later for one in the evening and they had increased the chat room capacity, so I got into that one.  It was supposed to be to learn about photography, but really I just had my original belief confirmed that open chats are not a good format for teaching unless it’s one very narrow, very specific, small portion of one topic.  Especially if there are a huge number of people there. But I did get another nice freebie.  And I went back later for the evening “just-for-fun” chat and got a really neat kit by Shabby Princess and Sara Carling.

During that chat, I went back to SBB to check in on the Jen Wilson chat, but the chat room was down.  I just kept checking again every five minutes or so and eventually got in.  At one point there were over 200 people in that chat room.  Jen gave out a coupon code for 50% off her stuff at SBB.  The coupon was only good for about the next 2½ hours.  Mass stampede to the store.  Store cannot handle the traffic and won’t let people in.  Things moving incredibly slow for those who are in. Owner boosts allowed connections.  Store fills up again.  Store server ends up being rebooted.  Near rioting in the chat room.  Jen is adamant about not extending the deadline.  Owner and team members urging people to be patient.  Lots of frustrated and/or really ticked off people.  After Jen’s portion of the chat was over and she had left, she finally relented and extended the deadline on the coupon by 12 hours.  Thank goodness.  I could have seen that escalating to get a whole lot uglier than it did.

Now, I have to say, I think Jen’s stuff is really nice.  I have her first (I think) CD that I won at a chat last year.  But… I really do not get this whole Beatles-like frenzy that surrounds her.  There are a lot of other designers out there who’s stuff is just as good, and I imagine there are a few who rival her in the total sales area, but she’s the only one I’ve seen that seems to have this sort of completely crazed fan base.  She’s incredibly prolific, and people just keep sprinting to snatch up everything she puts out. It’s like the virtual version of all that news footage you always see of people at those super-cheap wedding dress sales, trampling over anyone in their way and getting in catfights over who had their hands on the dress first.  Nope.  I just don’t get it.

Anyway, I feel like a lot of my day was wasted at sales where I didn’t buy anything and watching chat screens fly by so fast that I felt like a cartoon character whose eyes are spinning like the reels in a slot machine.  So, next year, I will either decide way in advance what I want to buy, or just stay far, far away.  I think NSD is built for those with much more speed, stamina, decisiveness, and multi-tasking ability than I!   :-b

7 comments:

Francine said...

The whole NSD thing completely bypassed me, thank goodness :)

I hear you on the craze for certain designers, though. There are people who I admire very much or whose style I like, but the complete ADORATION you sometimes see is beyond me.

I mean, it's not like we're inventing a cure for cancer or establishing world peace here, kwim?
It's just (digital or tactile) paper and pictures, people.

Natalie said...

I did way less than you. :) I snagged a few freebies, bought a couple kits first thing in the morning, that I'd been meaning to get anyway, and skipped the chats completely. Helped, of course, that I had getting-ready-to-list-the-house stuff to do, lol. I would have liked to get in on the photography chat you mentioned, but I just don't have the flexibility for that. Besides, one of my favorite sites is having their sale this coming weekend, so I'm psyched about that (well, although I think I already have most of what I like from there, but still...).

On the plus side, you have a check coming for you. That's good, right? :)

karin said...

I will third the not getting into the frenzy of the NSD. Truthfully, I felt almost overwhelemd with your description of it! lol!

Also, yeah, that whole thought process/adoration for designers seems .. well, odd to me. Glad to hear I wasn't the only one.

I would have liked the photography thing too .... but, life ogt in the way this weekend ......

:o)

Tania said...

And that is exactly why I *heart* you so much!
I'm not quite sure why people seem so frenzied over Jen's stuff either. I've been doing alot of printing lately, and I have to admit, while somewhat unique, and definitely scrapable, her kits are no more printable or scrapable than some of my other favorties. However, having interacted with her for a week or so regarding the commercial use of a kit, I can honestly say she is a GREAT person, even in the midst of her crazed frenzy of a design business, so she's got a lifetime customer in me.

Robin said...

Sounds like an insane chat! i got booted and never made it back. LOL!
Here's how I decide what to buy. I have all my ad emails go to an email I set up just for them. Then I use filters to clear out all the junk - like calendar annoucements. So as I browse the ads, I have a folder called wish list. I took my list of sales and then compared to my wish list so that I got what I wanted - well plus a few extra things! LOL!

Melinda said...

I think NSD is insane in the digital scrapping world! I decided early on I wasn't going to do hardly anything- it just wasnt' possible. I actually stayed off the computer most of the day and didn't get on until after dinner to go pick up the few things I had picked out beforehand :)
I think Jen Wilson's stuff is gorgeous, but I agree that I dont' know what all of the hulabaloo is over it. But, I've never been that much of a fanatic about anything in my life either. There are more pretty things out there in digiscrapland than I can possibly hope to get or use in my lifetime- I can't even keep up with all I have now as it is!

Oh, and speaking of that...I don't know how people pick and choose either. I get really overwhelmed when looking at stuff in stores other than Scrapdish. I think being on dial-up is sort of a blessing in one way- I have to be really choosy about what I get because it has to be worth the effort of spending the hours required to DL it, or making arrangements with my friends to go to their house to grab it. There's not too many designers I will go to that amount of effort for.

my2boys said...

love you doll face ,lol. you said it...exactly how I would too. lol