Although Etsy warned us of major forum changes back in January, signing on yesterday still made me feel as if I'd risen from a deep slumber and zombies had taken over the world. Trying to figure out what had happened made my brain hurt. We were told several of the forum sections would be migrated to teams instead, but the ones that have always been the most helpful in sharing my work and making me smile (Promotions and Etc) were not mentioned in the original announcement I read, so I wrongly assumed they'd be left as is. Not so. Every single thread in both categories are now locked with the cheery message of "You don't have permission to participate in this discussion."
When picking through the rotting flesh of what's left of the Etsy Forums to see where I'm supposed to shamelessly promote my art now, the only instruction I could find was to join a team and start a discussion on its personal forum board. I am already a part of several teams, and they're an excellent tool in meeting supportive souls with like interests. However, all of mine have less than 200 members each, and only a fraction of the members actually participate on a daily basis. I glanced at the Team directory and there's 140 pages of teams, with no option that I can see to sort by member amount. Quantity can come in handy! The great thing about the original Etsy Forums was that because there were thousands of people with access to the broad range of topics, there was always someone around to share new insight or creations within moments of a post. Now not so much.
I do hope Etsy rethinks their decision to fragment their handmade community. But I'm not going to hold my breath! A group of Etsy sellers had the brilliant idea to start an Unofficial Etsy Forums board with sections modeled after the old Etsy Forums.
EDIT: Due to circumstances I'm not familiar enough with to explain, the Unofficial Etsy Forums burst into flames and rose from the ashes as the Creative Breakroom. The name change is smart - now anyone will feel welcome there, no matter what handmade venue they prefer to use.