opinion, thoughts

Plurk Ponderings and Review Copies…..

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[update] Read Sasy’s thoughts on this topic on her blog!

There was a plurk today  on my timeline about how we would feel if a creator would stop handing out review copies, with the idea of… “If you really like my stuff and want to blog it, you will buy it, too.” (There is more to it, but with the many requests of often totally unknown to them bloggers, that is somewhat the mind set).

My first  thought was: Of course! After all, I am not  normally asking for stuff to blog anyway. But then I started to think… and count… and add things up… and now I am all:  “Please do not stop giving out review copies!!!! I wouldn’t be able to do my blog the way I have been doing it for the past 4.5 years if they did!”

I’ll break it down for you:

Nowadays my inventory is pretty much stable at 60k  items. That is because I delete and box up a lot these days. It’s quite an educated guess that, if I still had kept everything in folders over the past 4.5 years, my inventory would be over 300k items easily.

Items going from (for example) some freebies and 10L$ uploads, to 150-300L$ hair (like ALL Truth hair from the very first he made, mostly fatpacks),  clothing with an average value of 200 L$ per set (yes, cheapies for 50 L$, but also a lot of outfits for around 800L$) a  20L$ decoration for a skybox as well as a lot of skyboxes and houses up to as much as 7k per build and of course skins. My addiction. With an average worth of say 750 L$ per skin and fatpacks  of  2 – 7k L$’ worth. Items of which, when you buy them, you will say.. oh well.. in RL it’s only a few dollars… But sjeesh… does it add up!

Let’s say that every “piece” in my inventory actually consists of 10 items contributing towards the inventory count (mesh, prims and even landmarks and notecards which I don’t keep often). With an average of 130k pieces in my inventory and an also average worth of 50L$ ($ 0.20) per piece that would be 130,000/10*50 =  650,000L$ (or 2,600 USD)!!!! That’s quite the hobby and then I am not even mentioning the time investment, the cost of my computer (I’m on my 3rd laptop since I first rezzed in SL), electricity, broadband internet connection and webhosting.

Now I’m lucky enough to have established solid relationships with many creators over the past years. And yet I am still so very grateful when they decide to share their work with me. Yes, I have bought a lot of the stuff in my inventory… but I could only do that because on the other hand, those creators would  make it easy on me by dropping their creations on me, so I didn’t have the dilemma of what to buy. I could buy that house…because  X was so sweet to send me their latest skins.

But if they all should decide that.. “if you really want to blog it, you might as well buy it.”  Then I think I’d follow fairly quickly with “ If I can’t afford it, I won’t blog it”  and out the door goes my (and I think many other) blogs.

So.. dear creators: Please don’t stop supporting/appreciating your favorite bloggers by sharing your work and please bloggers.. think twice before you go for free stuff! Asking a creator for a fatpack of skins (or whatever), and then just use it once in a far away picture showcasing some awesome pair of shoes (or whatever it is you blog most) is NOT the way to go.

Then what is? If you find a brand which you would want to feature…. try buying some! Then make it look really awesome on your blog. You could even let the creator know you admire them and have blogged  them… once…. twice…  and maybe, if they like you as much as you like them, next time they send out their work to the bloggers they like… you’ll be on their list, too!

/end philosophical mood

LOL… this is going to be a long one..  because Sasy posted this in the comments… and I think it’s just too good to just leave it there, so I asked her if I could add it to my post and she said yes!

You beat me to it, and really well too

As many older bloggers know, it is often the stuff that we buy that doesn’t get blogged as quickly as the stuff we are sent, because of a sense of obligation – whether the designer puts that on us or not, the stuff given should most of the time come first.

Mel recently added up that if Whimsy and I rezzed our inventories, we would need upwards of 17 full sims to do so….that is a lot, but we have in my belief and I believe of all serious bloggers EARNED those items.

I am so tired of seeing ‘they just want free stuff’ no, you are wrong, because free stuff we wouldn’t have to wait for, or ask for…it is everywhere nowadays. What we want is to show our readers that your work is as good as you are supposed to believe it is too, and sometimes show the designer how incredible they are also, because often that is a doubt they should never have.

Vendor ads are limiting, and yes nowadays many designers are incredible photographers, I even discussed with a designer recently that they need to leave bloggers something to do lol…the concept has in the past been that we show the blogosphere what you may not be able to with one prim.

I also often see designers complaining about the vendor pic taking process, how much they hate it, how tedious it is. Yet somehow a blogger taking more than one or two pics, on location or studios, with accessories, hair, skins, doing some post process work maybe, adding it to flickr, or photobucket, uploading it to their blog, adding some words, doing the credits for everything and making sure it reaches as many people as it can through feeds and what not IS LESS WORK ? um no, and seeing as so many designers don’t even have a blog, bloggers are the only ones spreading the word further than in world.

So yeah, don’t stop sharing that release with some bloggers you think may do your store some justice, because even if everyone of them has two readers buy from you, that is a win already, and we know the power of blogging, we have all seen stores rise from nowhere due to some blogger finding them and others taking the baton and running with it.

p.s also if you are going to complain about bloggers and blogging please have enough respect for the people that work their asses off to not do it in front of them.

sorry Grazia, I was going to do a post too, I hijacked yours.

xoxSasyxox

 

Other need to knows: Skin Gaia by PXL Creations (thank you Hart for your enduring support!), teeth by AtomicBambi (it’s so nice we’ve met. You’re a sweetheart!) Glasses by Artilleri (go buy Antie’s stuff… she’s one of the GOOD people!) Helmet by Deco (I don’t know the creator.. but gosh… they have CUTE stuff!) and butterflies by Cheerno (always good for a little touch of edge to your outfit!) and tattoo is from Para designs, one of my favorite ink shops!

17 thoughts on “Plurk Ponderings and Review Copies…..

  1. I agree that the cost of producing frequent and unique blog posts can be prohibitive, and I always feel so fortunate when designers are generous with their creations. One of the reasons I decreased the frequency of my blog posts was due to cost issues.

    Since I am also a business owner I can say, that I understand where some of the smaller store owners might feel overwhelmed with requests, and it is a huge task to become profitable for some. When I see talented bloggers review my items I am more than happy to send them things from time to time, and in fact I am always grateful for the time they invest in their posts… trust me, I know it takes time and dedication to do what they do.

    It took me a long time to build up my blog before I was felt comfortable asking for review items, however, the trend has become to ask first and build your blog later, or so it seems. I am happy to support content creators in Second Life, and I do so when I see something really wonderful. The sense of entitlement that seems to be the new normal is unfortunate, and I agree that if you love someones work you should be just as happy to buy it.

    My bottom line is that if you love SL fashion enough to want to start a blog about it, then I am pretty sure you know that you will have to put some money into the hobby too, but most of all, remember to say thank you when you are given something… and designers, remember to thank your bloggers too!

  2. You beat me to it, and really well too 🙂

    As many older bloggers know, it is often the stuff that we buy that doesn’t get blogged as quickly as the stuff we are sent, because of a sense of obligation – whether the designer puts that on us or not, the stuff given should most of the time come first.

    Mel recently added up that if Whimsy and I rezzed our inventories, we would need upwards of 17 full sims to do so….that is a lot, but we have in my belief and I believe of all serious bloggers EARNED those items.

    I am so tired of seeing ‘they just want free stuff’ no, you are wrong, because free stuff we wouldn’t have to wait for, or ask for…it is everywhere nowadays. What we want is to show our readers that your work is as good as you are supposed to believe it is too, and sometimes show the designer how incredible they are also, because often that is a doubt they should never have.

    Vendor ads are limiting, and yes nowadays many designers are incredible photographers, I even discussed with a designer recently that they need to leave bloggers something to do lol…the concept has in the past been that we show the blogosphere what you may not be able to with one prim.

    I also often see designers complaining about the vendor pic taking process, how much they hate it, how tedious it is. Yet somehow a blogger taking more than one or two pics, on location or studios, with accessories, hair, skins, doing some post process work maybe, adding it to flickr, or photobucket, uploading it to their blog, adding some words, doing the credits for everything and making sure it reaches as many people as it can through feeds and what not IS LESS WORK ? um no, and seeing as so many designers don’t even have a blog, bloggers are the only ones spreading the word further than in world.

    So yeah, don’t stop sharing that release with some bloggers you think may do your store some justice, because even if everyone of them has two readers buy from you, that is a win already, and we know the power of blogging, we have all seen stores rise from nowhere due to some blogger finding them and others taking the baton and running with it.

    p.s also if you are going to complain about bloggers and blogging please have enough respect for the people that work their asses off to not do it in front of them.

    sorry Grazia, I was going to do a post too, I hijacked yours.

    xoxSasyxox

  3. p.p.s On a side note I have spent a minimum of 5K a week every week for 5 years, on top of everything else, and when I say Earned I mean because of the blogging done on items. I forgot to mention that it is rare for me to ever wear an item that I blog, I am usually running around in glitch pants and bald. So not Fashion 😛

  4. May I post your comment in my post, Sasy?? And PLEASE post yours too. As a bunch of old farts (blogwise) I don’t think people will doubt our intentions… but I love if my 2 readers find your words too… and maybe your 2 readers can read mine? 😀

    BTW, I don’t have the guts to check my paypal history for the amount of L$ bought over the years!

  5. This is a great post, and I’m with you 100% of the way. Whilst I love getting review copies, I don’t get many at all, which means the majority of stuff I’ve blogged about has been paid for by myself. I don’t object to that at all, because it’s supporting content creators and rightly so. However, I’ve not been able to buy so much recently due to RL financial constraints and that has meant that I can’t blog in the way that I’d like to..there are so many fabulous items out there that it’s hard to select just a few to buy and feature.
    Feature them we must though; people get so much enjoyment and pleasure from virtual creations and there’s still no better way to publicise them than via blogs. In my opinion anyway!

  6. My english is not that good, but i love your post and i agree with you. Everytime a designer/creator thinks me worthy to recieve his/her items it makes me smile widely and gives me a good feeling even for my RL. Of course i purchase still lots of items that i love, but yes i cannot afford it all.

    *love*

    Shay

  7. Grazia, I have always admired your photos, pictures, and opinions. I thank you for posting this, it was a very interesting read.

    The suggestion that you put about buying stuff and wearing them nicely, I have done that and I have to say, it was the best feeling for the designer to notice me and ask me! I hate asking, and over time I got added to some lists (not as Ohna, btw). Like you said (I was not on that many lists), but if I was to buy everything that I was given as review copies (mainly hairs, some clothing), I would not be able to afford it at all. This is a new avi for me and I started blogging again, but I would rather re-earn my way, in comparison to some who have different situations but have moved avatars.

    Also for me, asking means pressure that I would put on myself. I have been there once, and I’m happier not being there again. I’m not sure if I count as a new blogger (I think I do, previous avi had a blog for one year and some months), but all of us are not as dense to ask and then build the blog later. I wrote way too much here. lol

  8. I so agree, I’ve read both of your posts from Sasy and you and I know, if I had to pay for everything I blog, I would not have done it.
    In fact, and I think it might be the same for some other blogger, in the beginning, it started because of one designer. Someone you want to support, someone you think deserve to be known !
    So .. yeah we love you designers to send us review copies and most of the bloggers buy also beside review copies.
    But we aren’t rich (though we all would like to !) and we cannot afford to buy everything.
    Because if we did… I bet we would tend to buy often if not always from the same designers we know and trust them enough to style our pixels, and then… how could the new creative minds be blogged ?

    That’s the question, bloggers and designers have to trust each other and to lend each other helping hands !

    Mae

  9. This post should be read by all SL fashion bloggers imho. Well written and succinct. Kudos to you Grazia!

    My belief towards this post are this:
    1/ if you don’t want to provide review copies to the bloggers you feel best showcase your style/designs you risk a decrease in sales to some extent due to not having the masses that read the RSS feeds not seeing your work. Before I was a SL blogger I read the feeds every single day, and it DEFINITELY was my source for ALL of my clothing/skin/etc purchases. It allowed me the pleasure of seeing all the latest designs even days before the release date. That made me feel special because I knew that I would be one of the first to wear that awesome dress or skin or jewelry! Good Feeling..even in SL.

    2/ I cannot tell you how many times someone asks me..where’d you get that hair? that skin? that house even..and I tell them from so and so..and they are so greatful, Trust me, of all the stuff that I buy or get as review copies I tend to showcase the review works longer knowing that it will bring more people to your stores. I’ve been wearing one designers work for almost a week now! Seriously. LOL

    And..in case you are wondering..I always pay cold hard L’s when I see something I like. 🙂 Case in point the current skin and shape expo. LOL man, oh man..i’ve dropped close to 15k there in two days :/ But…I feel pretty..oh so pretty…

  10. Nods, oh yes I fully agree with the content of this blog entry Grazia.
    And me too I admire the quality of your blog and pictures.
    Dikke kus
    Dido

  11. As a designer, I always (literally!)squeal in delight when a blogger likes my stuff and spends time on styling and blogging it, because even when I give things to bloggers for free, I never feel they are obligated to post it! It makes me happy to see how others wear my stuff or furnish the houses I build, and it often inspires me and gives me ideas for new things to make.
    And as a consumer, bloggers help me to find exciting new shops I wouldn’t have known about without them.. I really appreciate what you do!<3

  12. I am SO glad I don’t “social network” LOL. We have been talking about this for many years and I doubt things will ever change. I actually buy very little. I do get literally tons of review copies.

    There was a time when I tried to post everything I received it if was well made. These days I feature items that I personally love, are very creative, or sometimes just too quirky to pass up. True, I try and work in items from my long term relationship designers. Without them I would have had little to feature in years past. Happily we are ALL getting better, so I am pleased to keep showcasing their work.

    There IS a flip side to all this though. I know that there are many “bloggers” out there that truly are only in it for the goodies. They take (and sometimes ask for) review copies with no intention of actually doing any work. I doubt we will ever get away from this. The best a designer can do IMHO is to send review items ONLY to the bloggers they admire, ones they know do the work because they love the work.

    My inventory (including shop products, class demos and goods and tons of textures) is around 26,000. I delete regularly — even items I have featured; sometimes item I have purchased.

    If review copies disappeared from my life, I would still keep blogging. The emphasis would simply be on places rather than fashion.

    That’s my 2 cents after 2,000 fashion and design posts (yeah!).

  13. Very nice post. I’ve seen some posts with this nature but people sometimes don’t explain well their point and end up sounding a bit bad. So I like the way you directed this. 😉

    As for this situation. Blogging is amazing. No one should start blogging with the idea of free stuff but yes the idea of sharing their fashion sense and their SL fave stores.

    Is a two sides coin… we need designers (they make the stuff we wear on our posts) and designers probably need us as well (I’ve found lot of stores because of fellow bloggers).

    Probably for a nice skin someone receives as review they will need to go and buy a nice outfit… And is a vicious cycle.

    To conclude I guess is good to have half/half. Designers can’t give items to everyone neither bloggers can blog every designer. So I like when the designers have their own blogger they like and send stuff to.

  14. There should be some etiquette set out for this! I am so glad you blogged about it. As a new blogger, I was concerned about how exactly to get the great stuff I wanted to blog about…but wasn’t sure what the ‘rule’ was. This was enlightening and so true…if I can’t afford it, I can’t blog it…and blogging and free advertisement for designers isn’t paying me nothing! -grins-

  15. A couple of disclaimers to make sure people attack me over the content and not the persona.

    1. I am Grazia’s partner but I still am able to have my own opinion.
    2. I am not a blogger or a creator.

    That said, I can not really understand the problem some creators have when it comes to bloggers and review copies.

    All the arguments I have heard over the years goes down to a few simple concepts:

    First, as a creator, you have the chance to choose who you would like to invite to blog your items. That means that you have the control as to whom you want to give free stuff. Since you have the control of it, there is not really a reason to complain about it.

    Second, bloggers are the ones that showcase most of the new stuff around, theirs is the decision on how to show what and when and where. They are the ones in control of their posts and the contents they blog… nobody is making you blog something you do not like.

    Third, and here it gets messy… let’s introduce the concept of a review copy… Which is nothing but a copy of an item that is given free to a blogger, from a creator. Cost wise, that review copy has a cost of zero to the creator. Once the item has been created, each copy of it has no manufacturing cost attached. But! There is an indirect “cost”, there is the potential lost of revenue. A copy given for free is a copy not being bought by that blogger.

    So in essence, there lies the core issue, how do creators measure the potential loss of revenue against the potential sales that a blog post may create. Thing is… it is not easy, there are no statistics as to how many sales were made based on a buyer checking an outfit on a blog post.

    In my case, I only buy things that I have seen in a blog post or picture before, rarely the source of my interest is from a store or avatar in SL. That means that most on MY own purchases in SL were made after I saw something I liked somewhere in the Internet.

    And I guess that I am not all alone in that respect…

    To summarize, let’s be clear about one small thing… the relationship between creator and blogger in second life is a symbiotic one; one needs the other to grow. Never forget that 😀

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