so, in a way, i've stolen this post from my friend dave, who reposted a comment he left on this post from fred wilson. by and large, i agree with dave. but the more i thought about it, the more i realized there's an aspect to the etsy community that was left out of the discussion.
well, to comment on your comment...
i largely agree with your observations on etsy and amazon. the only thing i'd add is that etsy *does* have the etsy teams (and, yes, i'm biased, since teams were my baby).
i truly believe that, while they are comprised almost 100% of sellers, they are indeed little communities. i guess i should point out that my definition of community might be a group of people sharing information and interacting to accomplish goals that mutually benefit all involved. for example, just as my local neighborhood association is a community, active etsy teams that set goals and communicate well to accomplish them are little communities.
and some of the day to day things teams accomplish are really amazing - providing support or a sounding board for one another, sharing tips, tricks and ideas on products, or general promotion of their businesses as a group and so much more.
while they are primarily sellers that form the teams, sellers can sell lots of places these days, and the teams are a sticky quality of the site (and an overlooked one at that).
the only thing i'd add is that talking about etsy teams these days is like trying to catch a breeze in a jelly jar - etsy never fulfilled its promise to bring the teams onto the site (i tried, i really did). so they're this kind of nomadic, amazing swarm of people all over the web. which is, of course, wonderful in some ways. but really a shame in many other ways, because trying to track down information on, or heaven forbid see products from, can be a near impossible task.
when we both worked at etsy, dave and i often brainstormed (well, in hindsight, daydreamed) about all the amazing connection / compilation / spotlighting tools (think tumblr meets jared's beautiful flash wizardry) that could be used to capture the energy and amazingness of all the content that the teams have been putting out there. this kind of "interestingness" something the site is still sorely lacking, not because the content isn't there - as we all know, etsy has more amazing content than any of us realize - but because decisions have been made to focus on other things (rearranging the items in your shop comes to mind. ug.)
all in all, i feel like i'm opening old wounds thinking about what a disservice not having teams pages is to not only the teams, but to the site as a whole. if i didn't love etsy so much, i probably wouldn't care. i just think it's such an opportunity, and i wish it would get jumped on already.