The wonderful world of the Internet presents frequent contradictions. As a member of the SCA, a Medieval recreation society, I have long felt it ironic that a very large part of society life unfolds online. Every SCA group seems to have active email lists, forums abound, a wonderful depth of research is available online, and almost any manner of medieval products can be purchased online. The way the Internet has made the world smaller enriches how we play the game on many levels.
I also find it interesting how many people have managed to turn skills in producing handmade items into a self funding hobby, cottage industry or fully fledged career, often largely in part to benefits provided by the Internet. Inexpensive, high quality 'advertising' through websites, an International audience, easy payment methods like Paypal, the opportunity to educate a wide audience, access to high quality materials and supplies... the list goes on.
One of the venues online that caters specifically to handmade crafts is Etsy. I set myself up with an etsy store yesterday, Solar Flare Creations. For the moment, I will h, ave the same items up as I have on my webpage, as there is a ready made, interested audience at Etsy. Its just a trial to begin with. There are all sorts of intricacies about the system I don't know yet - its also a Social Networking site of sorts, with messaging, 'friends' etc, and they have a system of 'Treasuries'. I don't really understand the ins and outs yet, but I do know I was lucky enough to get myself entered into two treasuries on my first day, so apparently that's a good thing. :)