Supporting Pixel Scrapper: A How To

We recently added a section to the Pixel Scrapper Manifesto, and I wanted to take a minute to highlight both the addition, as well as to address it practically. Manifestos are great for creating vision and excitement, but they tend to offer very little in practicalities. And since we are calling you out to do something, I felt it was only fair to give you some ideas.

First, here’s the added section (you can read the full manifesto here):

We reject consumer entitlement, and consumer mentality.

While we rebel against the tradition of making people feel like criminals for wanting to download and build upon our creations, we also rebel against the tradition of consumer entitlement that has been propagated by the internet: the idea that we deserve to have everything, now, and for free. As creators we work long and hard, and we choose to give generously—but that generosity is not without expectation: we expect others to value our labor and our work, to respect our right to make a living at what we do, and to be grateful and generous in turn. We give much freely, but we also look for (and need) financial support; we don’t demand attribution, but we do look to be credited where appropriate for the art that we create.

No one is entitled to receive without ever giving back, and the fact we sometimes look to take, take, take, without ever returning a gift, is a sign of disease. We believe that we can overcome this disease by realizing that all of us are creative at heart, all of us are meant to be active members of the communities we inhabit, and all of us should look to give back. We challenge ourselves and everyone else within the digital scrapbooking community to stop viewing ourselves as consumers, and start recognizing ourselves as actors and creators; to stop indiscriminately downloading and hoarding products that we don’t use, and start creating more layouts and designs of our own; to stop expecting everything to be free, and start thinking about how we can give back to those who have given something to us (or how we can pay the gift forward to somebody else); to stop complaining that the world isn’t the way we want it to be, and start actively participating in ways that help us make it better.

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Pixel Scrapper is becoming known for it’s wonderful and friendly community, which hasn't happened by accident. It has happened intentionally, through the mentality that Jordan and I decided to have when first creating this website, then through the support and care of all of you who have joined us since. We feel that our members by and large believe in our vision, and do reject consumer mentality, so we wanted to formally back that up in our manifesto. If you are new to Pixel Scrapper, or an older member unsure how to get more involved, here are a few ideas:

1. Don’t just collect: create!

If I had a dollar for every person who admitted to hoarding over making something, I’d be rich by now (and that includes me)! To be fair, the way that things have often worked in the past for digital scrapbooking has encouraged hoarding over creating, and has trapped lots of unsuspecting people with good intentions. At Pixel Scrapper we are working hard to create a system that nullifies hoarding--basically because we are doing it for you.

Everything that has ever been added to Pixel Scrapper will always be here. Our designs are backed up, organized, available for individual download, and have a team committed to their well-being. We are doing all the background work because we want you to be able to focus on your creations--to be able to download what you need when you need it, rather than feeling a compulsive need to grab everything you see, when you see it :).

Our System

2. Subscribe

This idea comes naturally after the previous point, because as much as we believe in offering daily freebies, only our subscribers get to take full advantage of our growing collection with unlimited downloading and re-downloading anything they want, any time they want. Having a monthly subscription to Pixel Scrapper not only supports us monetarily (which is very important to the site's survival), but is also an investment towards your own time and energy, because it frees you to think less about downloading, and more about creating. Time is valuable, especially for creative endeavours, which are often pushed to the bottom of the list. Use your time wisely: make things that matter to you.

3. Support Our Team

There are many people who keep this site running. Our moderators are busy answering questions and helping people out. Our upload helpers are toiling quietly behind the scenes to make sure all the designs are ready for you when you need them. Our contact buttons are easily accessible to any Pixel Scrapper member, so don’t hesitate to use them to send someone an encouraging note!

We post callouts for these positions on a somewhat regular basis, so if you are interested in actually joining our team as a moderator or upload helper, stay active in the community, and keep an eye on the forums.

Contact Button

4. Support Our Designers

Following on the above, our designers work hard to bring you new designs all the time. Let them know you appreciate it! Send them a personal note. Make layouts with their designs (there's nothing more flattering to a designer than having someone actually use the things they've created) and don’t be afraid to share! Our designers use different methods to keep in touch with the community: some have blogs, some use Facebook, some have a newsletter. Take a moment to see what your favorite designer is up to, and then support them. Leave a comment on their blog, or on a Facebook status. Interaction is what makes it all worthwhile--your comments are appreciated.

5. Support the Community

Pixel Scrapper is only as wonderful as its community. And there are many ways for you to be involved here: answer/ask questions in the forum, join a layout or designer challenge, submit or vote on feature requests, comment on layouts in the gallery, send a community member a personal note. These are all actions that we value as they add to the goodwill of the community.

If you are a regular visitor to Pixel Scrapper you should be doing something from this list. One person can’t do everything that needs to be done, but together I think we can! Here’s the condensed version if my post is too long for you:

Summary: ways to Support Pixel Scrapper

  1. Do One or More To Support Pixel Scrapper
  2. Make something
  3. Subscribe
  4. Write an encouraging note to a team member or designer.
  5. Follow your favorite designer and interact with them on their blog, or on Facebook.
  6. Answer/ask questions in the forums.
  7. Submit and vote on feature requests.
  8. Join a layout or designer challenge.
  9. Comment on layouts in the gallery.
  10. Send an encouraging personal note to a community member, wishing them a good day.

The Future
If you have any other ideas, please share them below in the comments. Also, I know that many of you would like to share your own designs. We’ve heard you and we value this too. We are hopeful to have a system to do this soon (you can vote on this, and other ways to improve Pixel Scrapper in our feature request forum)!

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Recent Comments

Deanna Patterson
Deanna Patterson Fri, 05/02/2014 - 09:00

Those are great ways to support Pixel Scrapper. Thank you for posting this.

Lizzy Janes
Lizzy Janes Wed, 04/30/2014 - 08:37

As a relative newbie with a penchant for hoarding files, I very much appreciate this nudge towards greater responsibility. I will certainly be considering steps I can take to become a more supportive community member. Thanks for all that you do!

Linda Cobbley
Linda Cobbley Tue, 04/29/2014 - 15:52

A wonderful post and very well said! if only the world would look it its self this way what a wonderful place this would be. I for one am grateful to be part of such a community as this one!

Tania Ruiz
Tania Ruiz Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:55

This is a great site filled with wonderful resources. You all are doing a great job, and the offerings here are very generous. Keep up the great work, and hopefully you'll receive the support you need to keep going - and more importantly, to want to keep going.

Robyn Denton
Robyn Denton Mon, 04/28/2014 - 07:47

What a terrific post, Marisa! Let me add my heartfelt thanks to you & Jordan, as well as all the designers, moderators etc who contribute to make Pixel Scrapper the best digital scrapbooking site that I have ever come across. I love this site so much, and have done ever since I first found it. My monthly subscription is the best thing I ever did, as it spreads the cost of supporting you into manageable amounts (something which is very important when you are on a limited income!) I suppose I do hoard in a way, but I am currently sorting through my digital scrapbooking supplies and organizing my hard drive, only keeping what I absolutely love, and know I will use. On reading your list, I have discovered that I already do over half of the things on it, which I was actually quite surprised about. So, to all of you at Pixel Scrapper, please keep doing what you are already doing so well, because YOU are what makes this site stand out from all the others - and you stand head and shoulders over everyone else! Love and appreciate you so much! THANK YOU!

Kate Teske
Kate Teske Mon, 04/28/2014 - 07:46

This is so well written! I can feel the passion behind your words. It's lovely and I hope many more people take the time to read it.

christy cole
christy cole Sun, 04/27/2014 - 20:30

Great post, Marisa!!!

Susan Cantin
Susan Cantin Sat, 04/26/2014 - 12:58

Here, here !! .... you said it straight and you said it right .... I love being able to pick a few pieces each day or not as I please or love a piece .... downloading kits, having to sort through what I will use and what I won't use takes time. I love designing, learning to work in the software and sharing what I do ... thank you for that :)

Donna Bell
Donna Bell Sat, 04/26/2014 - 07:52

Thank you for this. I was afraid I might reply too much. I get so excited over new kits and bundles. I knew my subscription was just a drop in the bucket in return for so many great materials and ideas. I am glad to be a supporter in anyway I can be.

jose van bussel
jose van bussel Sat, 04/26/2014 - 05:13

Goosebumps! So well spoken, thank you for remembering.
:)

Tiffany Johnstone
Tiffany Johnstone Fri, 04/25/2014 - 19:26

I love this and agree wholeheartedly. I just wish I had more time so that I could do more. But thank you all so much for every way you contribute to this site!

Judy Daino
Judy Daino Fri, 04/25/2014 - 14:33

I read this last night and thought wow, so much of this is true. I am a subscriber because I know that it must cost money to keep this site up and running and you all are very generous which is a great quality. It feels good to give but when you keep giving and giving with nothing in return, it eventually feels bad. This is the reason I don't want to take without giving back.

On the voting section of new ideas, the one I stated was giving back to the designers to use in their kits if they like what's created. I have no problem doing that and feel it's well deserved.

I try to stay active in this community even though I'm fairly new to it. I will be around and subscribed for as long as it keeps going. Thank you designers, founders and all you good folks behind the scenes for ALL that you do.

Dana Desmond
Dana Desmond Fri, 04/25/2014 - 11:53

Thank you for the insight. Because I have been a traditional crafter and new to digi crafting, sometimes the hoarding mindset is hard to overcome. I am a subscriber and will continue to be as long as the site is available. One of the projects I'm working on now is a wooden storage unit I plan to cover with designer paper. At first I had a hard time getting into my paper stash (hoarder tendencies), but then I thought about all the awesome designs I've downloaded from this site. I searched all the designs and found the perfect papers. I printed them off and am in the process of adding them to my cabinet. I felt good about this process because one, I subscribed, therefore felt I purchased the right to the papers. Two, because I didn't feel anxious because I was using my last piece of that designer paper. I can always print more or I can use it in a digital design. Three, once I'm finished, I plan to begin blogging again after quite a while away and this will be my first project. In order to give back, I most definitely intend to give credit to Pixel Scrapper and its designers for allowing me the piece of mind of crafting and sharing without guilt or anxiety. Thank you for what you are doing for your fellow creators. I love that crafting can be relaxing again.

Randi Synnøve Larssen
Randi Synnøve Larssen Fri, 04/25/2014 - 09:53

Is my first month here. I want to give back.
Just have to gather up the courage to post some of my own work, but it will come:)
Love this side. Keep up the good work.

Rose Thorn
Rose Thorn Fri, 04/25/2014 - 08:16

Bravo!
I'd like to add that doing things for others feels quite good (speaking from experience) to one self; therefore, improving 'self', in this way, is another positive to the community as a whole.

Annu Salman
Annu Salman Fri, 04/25/2014 - 05:21

wow, Marisa, that is beautiful, it makes me stop and think for a moment about what I'm doing, and motivates me to help and create for others as they have done for so many :)
thanks

Julie Cowan
Julie Cowan Fri, 04/25/2014 - 05:12

Thank you Marisa! What you have said is the very reason I got involved in designing for the blog trains. I want to give back. I am not a professional designer, and I don't have a store. I do it for fun. And I feel that for the nominal annual fee I paid here, it is the least I can do to give to others. (and I'm learning new stuff all the time.) Thank you for the opportunities to grow in this endeavor. I, too, love the layout challenges. It makes me think (and design) outside the box. And we all appreciate what you and Jordan do and have created here at PS. Thanks again for your poignant post and reminders to be better community members at large!

Lizanne Killian
Lizanne Killian Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:31

Very good post ;)

Debra Duxfield
Debra Duxfield Thu, 04/24/2014 - 19:24

thank you for everything you do. Love your awesome philosophy and the friendly and helpful tone of this community in the digi world. I also don't feel that I do all the above things mentioned well all the time (especially when life gets in the way) but I am committed to keeping up my subscription and using the kits I collect from pixelscrapper - I love the challenges, I liked having a layout challenge thread that gave members a space to showcase creations with the latest collections each month. I confess that since that thread has gone, it makes it easier to hoard stuff (kits that I like enough to download) but not get around to using for ages. Maybe I just need to challenge myself to use a kit for at least one layout before I file it to my hard drive.

Maree Mu
Maree Mu Thu, 04/24/2014 - 16:25

Well written and something I also agree with. I am afraid I am guilty of often looking and not commenting, so I will make attempts to improve my rouge behavior.
This is a wonderful community that offers so much to those who join in, and I really hope it continues this way. I will certainly do the little I can do, through monetary support and shouts outs when and where I can about the site.
I would like to say a very heartfelt thank you to Marisa and Jordan, for their dedication and vision for creating and maintaining this wonderful community. But also to all the designers and behind scenes ladies who upload, comment and help. Your a wonderful and much appreciated part of this community.

Harriett Humphries
Harriett Humphries Thu, 04/24/2014 - 15:41

All of these requests are very reasonable and a philosophy that I ascribe to. I hope that community members and newcomers alike adopt them and help to develop/maintain your vision for Pixel Scrapper. I will do my best to participate as much as I can. Thank you, Marisa and Jordan, for providing us with this opportunity to grow and stretch our creative muscles.