For well over a year now I have watched little snippets here and there referring to “the feed” and criticism of it. Then it started to be about particular blogs, bloggers, stores, designers and what not. It started before I returned to blogging and its been getting worse each and every day, and I do not mean ‘the feed’ but the hating.
Some of you may be wondering what feed? well see that is going to be my first point, and there are going to be a few, you see this has been eating away at me for a long time, and now into 2009 I am over it, truly over it enough to do this on my blog, something which I am against in the first place.
If you do not agree, that is fine, you don’t have to, if you do then yay… this is more so for my sanity as much as anything, because you see when you keep all this in it does effect your everyday, and believe me the hating is effecting mine.
1. The feed that gets the most hate is the Fashion Planet feed… this feed was started and has been kept running by Tao Takashi a resident of Second Life, who has many projects and has always been a very polite man in the few times I have spoken to him in world. The feed was for letting bloggers of fashion, and stores that sold fashion to be able to be listed in one area, so that people could skim and then find a post or ten that interested them enough to read further.
For one thing as stated already ‘The Feed” is not the only thing that Tao does, if you look at his website HERE . But all I ever see recently on ‘The Feed” about Tao is how he has not gotten around to listing someones blog, again NOT THE ONLY THING HE DOES!. Now yes sometimes all at once a dozen or so blogs will be added, that have waited sometimes for months, and then sometimes because he is doing them, someone that has just asked to be added gets added.
Regardless he gave us ‘The Feed” he pioneered it, as far as I know there wasn’t anything prior to it as a feed, but if I am incorrect I apologise, but he gave it to us, has never asked for anything in return and right now the way people carry on it is not surprising it is not his first priority.
Whether you want to admit it or not, stores that appear on ‘The Feed” owe him a lot of their business, whether by their own hand because they have their store blog on there, or because a fashion blog has done a post on their items. Understandably many stores that want to appear there get frustrated because it is a marketing tool, but there are other ways, such as IheartSL which allows you to post and link to your own blog, and is on the feed. What’s New unfortunately ran into author limits , but regardless there are other ways to tide you over until Tao has time to add you.
2. I see constant commentary on the size and quality of peoples pictures on the feed, this again is hating, and I have to wonder how many have clicked the actual link to that blog to investigate further. I still consider myself a PS novice , big time actually, I have been lucky to have been taught things by friends along the way. But only recently did I start using Flickr to store my pictures.
In the case of Vendor ads though, ones that go in world and to your vendors, these pics should be maximum to help lag 512 x 512 some do bigger, some do smaller, but if you are going to post those pictures on your blog then possibly consider saving two versions and naming one blog copy. If you are a fashion blogger and you do save to a site such as Flickr there are options of what size you want to get the html for to post on the blog.
It took me a long time to even know what html was, and how to use it for pics, only because of Word Press did I start to because of the scary numbers saying how much space I was using. With blogger I uploaded directly from hard drive to blogger and if that is the case, then if your pics are big to begin with it wont necessarily make them smaller… but see the thing is that people are laying out their blogs for their blogs, not for the feed, and if they have a particular style template and so on, they are laying it out for that.
But instead of hating on them, IM them, help them, encourage them to learn other tools and how they work, sometimes you will find that the person you do try and help is horrified to find out that they have been doing something others have found annoying. Also as far as quality it is possible that people don’t know how to use the in world tools to get the most effective resolution, I myself only just in the past 8 months or so learned to use ctrl ~ to get the highest resolution, clicking it in advanced and using snapshot or ctrl shift S does not do that, also depending on the graphics card maybe, it is how the person doing the blogging or vendor pics sees their items on them and in world, as well as in whatever tool they are using, improving on that takes time AND encouragement. If I had been commented on when I started about my pics I would have been so upset, I know they are horrible, I have recently been back to appearance mode to see archives, but I am blessed to have been given the time and patience to get better, and hope I get better still.
3. That brings me to this point also, again people are blogging for their own blogs, whether fashion blogs or store blogs it is THEIR blog. I see mention of people annoyed because a designer has the nerve to show multiple colours of an item. Funny how that is really as it could be that 8th colour that you MUST HAVE, but again a suggestion would be better to politely encourage the designer to perhaps do a montage pic showing all the colours in one shot, many stores show all in a fat pack ad anyway so that could be a good pic to post on the blog, and one or two singles to that people know what to look for in the store.
From experience I know that customers and in this case readers see an item in a store blog and then search exactly what they saw, if it differs then they are lost. I once showed a new item from my last job in a different way than the vendor pic and got all kinds of IM wanting to know where it was. Another suggestion would be that if they don’t want to do a montage to perhaps load them all on Flickr or a sharing site and link to them, so people can see more.
But even if they don’t, no one should get all bent out of shape about it, that is what the scroll bar is for, does it really need to be criticised ?. Also those that post on the feed know full well that cuts do not work, but that is a very small amount of people that know that, how do you know that the person that has done numerous items the same hasn’t tried, business wise many post on their blogs and that is it, they do not go and check where that post goes and if it is showing in all locations the way intended, all they are concerned about is that it shows on THEIR blog the way it is meant to.
4. The feed again is something that many use as a marketing tool, but have you ever looked at the blog roll ? seen how many blogs are actually listed but never seem to do any posts. Now this will shock you, I know a designer that posts blog posts on the feed through another format, now one day I realised that they had a blog that is listed on the feed, I asked why they didn’t use that blog to post on as well or instead of, their response was WHAT FEED ? .
This made me laugh, but you see many many moons ago a partner had actually been the one to list that older blog on the feed, they did not know it was there, and had gone on to use another blog as their main and sometimes post on a syndication that takes them to the feed, they didn’t join that syndication to reach the feed, they joined it to be part of that blog knowing that many would go there to see posts of a large range of people.
Now that got me thinking as to how many times that has also happened, for instance I am the one that has gotten work blogs and so on on the feed, and if I was to not be around anymore and they had someone else do the blogging , would that new person know about all the likes and dislikes of the haters ?.
5. If a blog is an information blog, more so than a listing of new items for a store, or a fashion blog, but does relate to the fashion industry they will post on the feed also, but again the blog is theirs to do with what they wish, and if that means re posting information because of an update or new info added, or just because a slurl or time has changed that is them doing the right thing by their business.
If because of how the feed is set up that means that that post reappears at the top of the feed then so be it, the ones that seem the maddest about that are either ones that don’t like having someone already seen get more air time than them, or ones that don’t like scrolling past what they think should be the last thing they saw. Either way get over it, seriously… you cannot be that upset because someones blog moved up or down a feed, if you think that people miss your post because of the second reason you are not giving people that read the feed enough credit.
If you use Word Press look at your stats, look at what posts get read on what days, I can do two or three posts in the same amount of days and the first and second post still get hits from the feed, right now the last post on the feed is marked at 12pm the 24th it is now 9am the 25th sl time but that doesn’t mean that time on that blog is even in sl time. But it does mean that anyone reading the feed daily is going to see you.
7. Picking on vendor ads and designers creations, we are all guilty of being in IM with a friend and confidant and feeling safe enough to say that an item in a store or a notice isn’t fab, yes we all have done it, I know I have more times than I want to admit to, but commenting in the open anywhere is just not right, anyone that is willing to spend hours in PS or GIMP and try their hand at designing for the masses is worth a lot more respect than that.
I pull my hair out trying to make an alpha layer, I get so upset not being able to do anything in PS more than select and deselect my pics for my blog posts.
Not just the spending hours on creating their designs, but to actually invest all the time and energy and MONEY to have a business in SL is hard work, and to occasionally see other designers do the criticising boils my blood. It takes time to learn all aspects of SL creation, you can be an incredible clothing designer but fall short on the ads, or even setting out your store. Or you could be learning as you go, no one older than a year can honestly say they do not have something from an older store that they wouldn’t wear now, that the style and workmanship just isn’t up to the standards that store has elevated to.
Give them a chance, make suggestions if you have to, but don’t dare hate on them, they are trying and they are learning, and they are human, and you do not have to buy the items you do not feel are worthy of your avatar or your lindens. Let them grow, let them find their way, they may just surprise you, plus there probably isn’t anyone that hasn’t seen a glimmer of something in a bad ad that called to them, taken a chance and hit gold.
6. Now this one is more personal, the blogger hate…oh this one gets on my wick the most believe me. I have seen many blog posts or comments about hating on bloggers, or other bloggers feeling they needed to express how much of a let down the rest of the bloggers are.
If you do not like how bloggers blog, don’t read them. If you think you know how to do it better, by all means do so and send me a link. I see comments about all the free stuff bloggers get , I for one know from experience that it takes time to get ‘stuff’ that many bloggers, myself included started out with a huge inventory and wanted to show some of the fabulous things they have purchased along their time in SL.
Yes I started blogging with a 37K inventory and it is bigger than that now, but that also has to do with work. Whether it matters or not, I only spend a minimal time out of work clothes, the longest I am in any outfit other than work stuff is while on a pose stand in my house taking pics to share with others.
Many stores ignore blogger requests because they have been burned in the past, also some just have stores as a sideline hobby and don’t feel the need to market their product outside of their own blog and other methods of advertising, if they are blogged because a blogger buys the items so be it.
It takes time and a lot of trust to build up a base of designers who send you items to blog, yes some newer designers will send to all bloggers, but not usually enough to fill in a post every day, and yes many bloggers post something every day. Look at any bloggers post properly and you know they have always put lindens of their own in that post.
Also many newer bloggers are terrified of designers, they wouldn’t dare approach one to ask to blog them, they often feel that they aren’t good enough to do so , YOU ARE.
Another thing many don’t realise is that just as many designers are intimidated to send items to bloggers, fearful of the outcome of making such an approach, designers and bloggers are people just like customers and readers. We are a community overall, don’t ever be afraid to talk to someone, or ask for help with something.
Aside from that bloggers are doing their best to show items to people that may have an interest in seeing them, and if they don’t they have usually enjoyed putting together the look and writing the post. I don’t know any bloggers personally who are so full of themselves that they went into it believing they had a right to an audience.
Now this is an interesting question, how many designers send items to bloggers NOT on the feed ? there are hundreds of them out there, I send to bloggers I know will do a damn fine job of blogging them, if the items are not their style and they don’t just blog what they are given that is fine too, if they find that the item comes in useful a year from now , well many that know me know I am a big believer of ‘Something old is New to someone”, but don’t hate on bloggers because you don’t like that they aren’t posting anything you haven’t seen before, because they are on the same feed, if you have to then go past the feed, there are so many blogs out there. When I find out a blogger isn’t on the feed I encourage them to join Ihearts so their posts get seen, but its not just because of the clothing, it is because I enjoy their words and creativity, encouragement goes so much further than hate.
Remember most bloggers read the feed too, they fall for a pair of shoes and hair just like the readers do , so if that same hair and shoes or skin or whatever gets shown five days running isn’t that awesome for the store that created it. One thing people seem to forget is that bloggers are not trying to make you look like them, they are sharing their passion for fashion.
If you see a top in a mix and match look that you love that’s awesome, if you want to go out and buy everything they wore, even better…but don’t get all bent out of shape because you have already seen another blogger do the same look.
That is my number one peeve, and this is actually at the bloggers, sorry I feel bad but I have said this to bloggers in the past, so if I don’t let it out now once and for all I will go nuts.
The feed is not your only source of readers, and if it is through the feed you get your traffic that doesn’t mean jack..it just means that readers see you have done a new post and click to see what you have to say because they are a fan. When I read the feed I right click open new tab on everything I like the look of, and then read each post that way.
DO NOT not post something because it has been on the feed already, do not mention that you were going to post something else but its been on the feed already so you didn’t, that makes me NUTS. I am reading YOUR blog, I am possibly even coming from somewhere other than the feed, do not let me miss out on your interpretation of an outfit because someone else has done it already. It could be you that makes the difference in me buying it, yeah believe it or not , someone can see the same items already shown ten times and NOT SEE IT.
People get all snarky about challenges and blogs all doing the same fun thing, well yeah ok sometimes it isn’t fashion related, sometimes its just because they want to be part of the fun, LET THEM, if you do not blog you have no idea how it can get, sometimes bloggers need to take back their blogs, hug them tight and remember that they are theirs to do with what they wish.
Just like people use flickr and snapzillato take fun pictures on, sometimes a blogger needs to just let loose in the forum they created for themselves, they want their readers to know a bit more about them, they want them to experience the other side of that blogger. There is nothing wrong with that, again it is people that have this false sense of what the feed should be, sorry to say but the feed has not been that way for many years.
Lastly another thing is the difference between reviewing and featuring, I see comments a lot about how bloggers don’t do proper reviews, well thats an assumption on the readers part that the blog is a review blog, mine for one is not now and never will be a review blog, it is a fashion blog were I blog what I am wanting to show, or have been given to show, if I am given something that isn’t something I would personally wear out and about that does not change me blogging it – I believe in showing as much as I can from all sorts of ranges, it doesn’t always have to be my everyday style but seriously a day dressed as a keg wearing panda is a fun day, another example would be me in the past wanting to show the fabulous work of Valiant , the mens clothing store, I posted as both male and female to show how fab the creations were, and some of the items fit only the male shape, so I don’t wear them, but wanted to share them.
That is the kind of blog mine is, if I have been sent an item that has a flaw then the designer is told, if it is fixed and re sent it is shown, if it isnt fixed I don’t blog it, there is a page in my blog to show exactly how I blog, know what the bloggers style is before you mix them all up in one pot, we are all different, we all blog differently and we all have different directions for our blogs.
Anyway as I said I had to get that off my mind.
Please stop the hating, it is not doing anyone any good at all, and if you are doing it in public then I’m sorry but you may not lose friends or customers or even readers, but you will lose a lot of respect.