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):
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.
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 :).
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.
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
- Do One or More To Support Pixel Scrapper
- Make something
- Write an encouraging note to a team member or designer.
- Follow your favorite designer and interact with them on their blog, or on Facebook.
- Answer/ask questions in the forums.
- Submit and vote on feature requests.
- Join a layout or designer challenge.
- Comment on layouts in the gallery.
- Send an encouraging personal note to a community member, wishing them a good day.
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)!
Hi There! I’m Marisa Lerin and you’ll see me around at Pixel Scrapper a lot. I started this site in 2010 soon after I discovered a new love in digital scrapbooking. Pixel Scrapper has gone through some significant changes since that time and it’s grown into this lovely community site you are seeing now. I am daily surprised by the turn of life’s events that has led me down this path. If you're new to the site, welcome! Here are a few tidbits about me that I hope will help you get to know me better!
I’m originally from Minnesota, USA, but spent a good chunk of my childhood living abroad (in Bolivia and Hong Kong). I returned to Minnesota to attend university, got married and then moved overseas again (Korea, then Jordan and 1 year of traveling). My designs are heavily influenced by these many nomadic years. I am currently back in the USA, now living in the great state of Oregon!
I have no official training for what I’m doing, since I decided very wisely (haha) to study physics in university. I am always learning new things about digital scrapbooking, and this community has been immensely helpful for that!
If I manage to stop digital scrapbooking you will probably find me watching TV, reading or baking. I also enjoy writing for the blog here at Pixel Scrapper where I talk about whatever happens to be catching my fancy at the moment.
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