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Creative use of "an online auction site" for displaying indie media content?

Hi all!

This is my first post here at WMZ. I haven't lurked much so please forgive me if my post is "off."

(I'll add a little background note at the bottom, in case anyone is curious.)

I was wondering if anyone has set up a creative effort on a big online auction site. You know, using the site and the very visible spaces that one can create there as a platform for presenting their art, views, mission?

This space is, after all, far more visible than one's own paper zine, brick'n'mortar shop, site or blog.

For the price of a listing you can put out whatever message you like to an audience you select by category. You can try to sell them paper zines or whatever. Maybe you're not even so much interested in folks buying things from you as in their reading your listing.

The medium is the message. I like paper as a medium, but I like other mediums as mediums, too.

Anyone done/do this co-opting or hear of it?

I know of examples, but I'm interested in more.

Thanks, JP

***

My background is that I've published my zine "Out Your Back Door" since 1991. It's an indie outdoor culture project, for the most part. It's been mostly online since 2004 at http://outyourbackdoor.com. 1000+ articles! I used to be an active of the alt.zines gang...when it was active. And I'm a member of the ULA. I still publish a paper zine that I call a "catazeen" and which I include in every outgoing order box for the wide range of indie outdoor media stuff that I sell on my site and elsewhere. So that's me. Here's my question!

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Hi...

I'm thinking of using these sites as much as places to display content as places to sell it.

Somehow it seems that with a Storefront you could make a presentation of some type and show images that might get people's attention.

Like, if you knew what might push the button for a Green Day fan you could have a listing with "Green Day" in the title but something unusually provocative in the listing image and description. You could give them something to see and read right there in your listing. Then if they clicked on your Store link there, your whole Storefront presentation could be set up to really show something.

Who knows. Just a thought...
and easily get yourself banned for keyword spamming / for listing items that don't match the title or aren't proper auctions.

Jeff Potter said:
Hi...
Like, if you knew what might push the button for a Green Day fan you could have a listing with "Green Day" in the title but something unusually provocative in the listing image and description. You could give them something to see and read right there in your listing. Then if they clicked on your Store link there, your whole Storefront presentation could be set up to really show something.
This would be the line to walk, the challenge for your creativity. It still doesn't seem very tough to turn this medium into a, well, medium. (Some folks used to be awed by DTP, printers, presses, distro...) For instance you could work in the clear by selling something relevant -- a sketch, say -- who cares if some might call it silly, absurd, whatever -- then riff on the subject in your listing, add other images, etc.

Jenna Appleseed said:
and easily get yourself banned for keyword spamming / for listing items that don't match the title or aren't proper auctions.
Jeff Potter said:
Hi...
Like, if you knew what might push the button for a Green Day fan you could have a listing with "Green Day" in the title but something unusually provocative in the listing image and description. You could give them something to see and read right there in your listing. Then if they clicked on your Store link there, your whole Storefront presentation could be set up to really show something.
I'd rather not give my cash to a corporation like Ebay just to get my distro out there. Seems sort of counter-productive.
Yeah, you'd have to weigh the loss/benefit. Especially in light of your alternatives. I mean, if you can totally serve your audience and find all the folks who'd really like to find you in other ways, for sure avoid the Big Guys.

NicoleIntrovert said:
I'd rather not give my cash to a corporation like Ebay just to get my distro out there. Seems sort of counter-productive.
You're right -- it has to be relevant. When people search for a band or even specific album a wide range of items pop up, from CDs to posters to buttons...and zines...anything...as long as it's related in some way. There's also relevance for "like" tags for things which are different but possibly of interest to similar fans.

So, to continue our example, a Green Day listing might be for someone's homemade Green Day artwork and the listing for it might include a relevant mini-story and further image. Or, it might be for an item that they think you might like if you like Green Day. All that is within the rules and shouldn't bother anyone.

Such sites seem like relevant "space" to me, if the shoe fits...

Amber / Culture Slut said:
Frankly, if I was searching for a specific item or merch from a band and a bunch of unrelated stuff came up to due to poor tagging, I'd be really annoyed. It sounds like that's what you're talking about.

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