Archive for September, 2008

I Want You!

Posted in Real Life with tags , on September 29, 2008 by Rosie Shark

Others may ‘rock’ it, but I’m here to Rosie-Roll the Vote ™. The deadline for registering to vote in the November election is near approaching. You can find out the specifics here for your state. But look into it quickly because some of the deadlines are as soon as Oct. 4th (well if you really wanna show your support of Palin cuz that’s the deadline for Alaska). Some states allow you to register at the poll but you really should know for sure, shouldn’t you?

Yes I realize this post is mostly not SL related, but it does apply to all of us here and to everyone out there who might possibly glance at this blog. From any country. And no this isn’t addressed to everyone, because I know there are many out there who will be participating.

I’m not going to get into who you should be voting for or supporting… yet. All I’m talking about at this point is that if you’re in a state that is approaching the deadline to register, please do so now.

Spurred by the generic antipathy of the Americans in my generation, I thought it timely for a good old patriotic post about rights and responsibilities. Patriotism and politics are hardly the fashionable dramatic topics you all might be looking for, but I’m here to show you just how fabulous you can be when you participate in the future of the world and your country. (see picture above :P)

“Doh! I’m not smart enough to vote/ I don’t know enough about politics”

So, let’s see… George Bush is smarter than you? You think so? I’m not sure I concur. Yet he doesn’t let the fact that he’s not a braniac hold him back! Why should you?

How about finances? Can you balance your checkbook? Do you manage to survive day-to-day, paycheck-to-paycheck, or even better? Because if you do, you might have more going for you than the Secretary of the Treasury who is in need of some money management tips. Jus sayin’!

Now, I know we’re all super UBER busy with our interwebz and virtual lives. A lot of us may just possibly be tethered to a computer for a substantial amount of time each day or week. Perhaps you could take just a few minutes in your bizzee BUSY day helping to run the most powerful nation on the earth? Maybe? So, if what’s holding you back is that you don’t think you know enough and you’re afraid you could do more damage than good, get educated! It’s not just a right, people, it’s a responsibility! Watch the news! Read a newspaper! Surf the Web! There’s all kinds of information out there just waiting to be sponged up into your brain! You’ve learned how to navigate Second Life™, you can do this!

At any rate, I assure you that the job of President of the United States will be filled come November 4th. Think of it as a job that you’re hiring for… who’s the best candidate? Someone’s gotta do it. Someone’s gonna do it. In the meantime, register! What could it hurt? At least on Election Day, when you feel more educated, you’ll have the opportunity to vote instead of using the tired excuse of Oh No I forgot to register!

Some helpful sites:

“Why bother? My vote doesn’t count /emosad”

Pffffft. When has that stopped you before? We’re all about sharing our opinions, getting up there and saying what we think. Now’s your chance! And if there was ever a time in the history of the country… and the World… now is the time! It’s not enough to sit on the sidebar and watch your life unfold. Things are happening! No matter your opinion, it’s crucial that you weigh in! Think about how you feel about the following issues:

  • The War in Iraq
  • The Environment (global warming: myth? Discuss amongst yourselves)
  • Progress
  • How America is perceived by the rest of the world
  • The Economy of the US and how it affects the rest of the world

Do you have any feelings about any of this? How would you vote, if let’s say you did… based on your thoughts on the above topics? The time is now!

You will tell me no you didn’t vote, your vote wouldn’t matter, blah blah. But you’ll also tell me “oh, but I don’t complain about it so it’s ok.” No. It’s not! Maybe I want to complain because you didn’t vote! If nothing going on in the world today is motivation enough to get involved, ask yourself ‘what would it take?’ Another terrorist attack? Tanks in our streets? We must take action before the worst case scenario. Never underestimate the work in foresight that went into creating our government… and I urge you to do whatever it is that you can!

It’s simply not enough to weigh in later down the road and woe is me I didn’t vote for so and so and now the world’s in a pisser. Wouldn’t it be better to take an active part in deciding the fate of the world and be a part of the solution?

{please feel free to add other helpful links in comments}


Can Update Groups and Subscribe-o-Matics Be Rude?

Posted in Op/Ed, SecondLife® with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2008 by Catero

In the past few weeks I’ve declined a few group invitations and note card offers from Gwenny Fanshaw, the most recent of which was to join SLASH! SHOES & FASHION (gotta love the caps). It was followed by an offer of a note card titled Every Month 3 Exclusive FREE Outfits – NOT Freebies! Get YOURS, with the GroupInviter object being owned by Dig Dollinger.

Can you see the irony in the SLASH! group’s charter description?

This is the SLASH! Update Group to keep our customers informed about new releases, monthly groupgifts and new additions.

Please DON`T use the groupchat for chatting or spamming. Every Spammer will get kicked immediately and reported to LL. Please respect the privacy from our groupmembers. 

Thank you!
Dig Dollinger

Despite Dig’s inability to use the space bar to separate his words, what stands out to me is a group that advertises using spam is against spam in group chat – and he definitely doesn’t want any of the group’s 5,000 members talking amongst themselves about … well … anything. Why? Because I can only assume that that would be annoying. As annoying as being spammed by their GroupInviter bot, Gwenny Fanshaw. Do as I say not as I do?

I don’t mind being “randomly” invited to a group, since I can simply decline. I do mind the follow-up spam note card slap, because it signifies my being added to an automatic group inviter without my consent. Especially since clicking the subscription object doesn’t result in my ability to remove myself from the damn database list.

A friend who also received the notices quickly ranted, “I wish these idiots had a life instead of sending unsolicited invites to people.  If I was interested in their group or product I would be in contact with them”.

Fortunately, Second Life® generates originating SLUrls for inventory offers and messages from objects, so, a friend and I teleported to Tenochtitlan (14, 218, 752). I’d received a different spam ad (‘NameListInviterAndNotecardGiver’ owned by Gwenny Fanshaw) for Club Aztec on an alt account that never leaves the sim he’s in from a similar SLUrl hovering above the Tenochtitlan sim (oddly enough, Club Aztec has ancient Egyptian motifs featured heavily on the building structure).

Upon teleporting, my lovely photographer/assistant and I landed on a platform on which Ben Turas, implementer of this particular unsolicited automatic group inviter system, was hanging out with just shy of a dozen bots who were doing his bidding – Accapulco Joles, AyrumaBank Oceanlane, Eliana Constantine, Gwenny Fanshaw, helpbrasil Aeon, KeikeLisa Franizzi, Milan Forwzy, Nel Little, QualityCouture Bravin, Reesa Ashbourne, and ZagoskinUpdateGroup Magic. Each was faithfully doling out group invites for Accapulco Mall, Club Aztec, Free BDSM Sex Club, Fashion-R-Us groups, and others at Turas’s direction.

When we arrived it looked as though Mr. Turas was adding names to his database to be disseminated through the bots (check out the Classified in his profile for how it works). He was very friendly, then got less friendly as I began asking assholey questions.

[8:46]  Ben Turas: hi catero
[8:46]  You: hello
[8:47]  You: i’m kinda wondering why i keep getting spam messages from this location
[8:47]  Ben Turas: how much did you get catero ?
[8:47]  You: the point is, i haven’t consented to be included in any of the groupinvites
[8:48]  Ben Turas: I understand. How many messages did you get ?
[8:48]  You: enough that i decided to come here myself
[8:49]  You: what option do you have for people to take themselves off your lists?
[8:50]  Ben Turas: The note card you got is accompanying a group invite. If you got it more than once, there might be a system malfunction. Thats why I ask how many times you got it
[8:51]  You: how are you collecting people
[8:51]  You: *people’s names for this?
[8:51]  Ben Turas: I have gadgets for that
[8:51]  Ben Turas: as far as i can see, you only got the invite once
[8:53]  You: well, ben, i’m fairly sure that if enough people complain to linden labs – which i plan to – this will be shut down
[8:53]  Ben Turas: what is it with people like you, You receive a friendly invite to join a group, that gives you something for free. 2 clicks and its out of your face
[8:53]  You: i’ve been below. the groupinvite panels in the club do not have any option to remove oneself
[8:53]  Ben Turas: in stead you spent all this time to come here and …..
[8:54]  You: because you’ve created a tool that is colossaly annoying
[8:54]  Ben Turas: two clicks is colossaly annoying ?????
[8:55]  You: A. you shouldn’t be sending notices to people who have not consented to be on any advertising list
[8:55]  You: B. the retailer who sent me a notice had NO information on their note as to how to remove themself from the list
[8:56]  Ben Turas: in your communicate window there is a group tab. if you joined the group by accident, you can remove yourself from the group there.
[8:56]  You: i didn’t join the group by accident. and they are not sending me unsolicited notecards by accident
[8:57]  You: i’m glad i clicked the slurl and came up here to see for myself. good day

(Is colossaly even a word?)

Am I overreacting, or is he indeed “worse than those GIF ad pop ups that sell you domain/webhosting deals with smileys”, as one resident has commented? Whether or not, residents have the right to choose what they intend to be involved in/with or not. And sending marketing information in this manner to someone who has not requested it shows a lack of consideration.

In real life, marketing companies can glean your contact information from or through public record, marketing offers, charitable donations, answered surveys or directly through the telephone directory. In Second Life, as Ben Turas states above, he has “gadgets” (presumably visitor list bots) that scoop up your name and transmit your information into his system. 

Turas seems to have adapted the Cassini Creations tool (see: New in SL: Automatic Group Invite), originally intended for avatars to give consent by clicking an object to join, into his own annoying application.

In Canada, legislation was passed several years ago that prevents unsolicited (tele)marketers from contacting citizens without their permission (read: Canadians will soon be disconnected from telemarketers). The Do Not Call Registry that was born out of the initiative has very recently been put into place. Private residents can place themselves on the registry and have the ability to file a legal complaint against any non-exempt companies that contact them (by phone) for advertising purposes. (Tele)Marketing agencies can register to see who they are legally not permitted to contact and the onus is on them to know (they must pay a fee for access to the list).

I’m sure if enough people complain about this particular use of automatic group invite technology, article 4.1 of the Terms of Service or the Harassment policy in the Community Standards could be used to give Mr. Turas a slap on the wrist or something more binding.

But maybe I’m one of the few bellyachers in this respect.

Walk of Shame – Bad Blogger, You don’t get to play!

Posted in SL® Fashion with tags , , , , , on September 26, 2008 by ♥JellyBean♥

I have to say that I honestly don’t get in world too often these days. I’m more like an outsider that plays on Plurk, watches the feeds & screams “OMG WANT!”, and then mayhaps I log in. Recently, two posts caught my eye, both regarding the new Beats store by Dice Beattie. The first one was written by Efemera Bisiani (never heard of her but everyone’s a fashion blogger these days) called Quick Look: Playtime the second one is by

I have three points that I think I want to make with this post, so try to keep up, kay?

♥ Point One: Wha wha what!?!

Why is this being fluffed reviewed, let alone blogged? This isn’t nearly the quality that it should be by SL standards today. Mayhaps 2 years ago this would have passed for something worthy of one of the only 3 fashion blogs. Today system skirts should be left to those who know how to do it, if it has to be done. I’ve heard that there are a couple more experienced designers (the names escape me) that happen to do it right with the system skirt. However I’m very skeptical.

In SL history, some of you may remmy, system skirts show off your whowho when you sit, bunch weird with AOs and give you the appearance of a major badunkadunk. Remmy your shape called “Skirt Shape” that had your ass set on 0?

♥ Point Two: Honesty in blogging?

Back to the fluff. Was it a slow week in review copies? The blogs said nothing remotely negative about this outfit that they were given review copies of. I am not a designer, but I have years of consumer experience & had I been given the outfit I would of reviewed it the same way as I am now. My thought is that pity does not encourage growth. It seems that everyone wants to dress their avatars up and take pictures to show the world but no one wants to take an honest approach to given items. Just because they’re free doesn’t mean they are good people!

Reviewing fashion, is taking legitimate pieces and tearing apart the good, the bad, the imperfections and the could be betters and giving your honest opinion on it. Especially in a world where new designers pop up over night, it doesn’t do the designers nor your readers any justice to sugar coat a review that isn’t sweet worthy, and what type of creditability are you left with in the end? If you just don’t have it in you to be honest, mayhaps you should rethink blogging or be more selective of what you blog.

♥ Point Three: Color Blind or Trend Setting?

I honestly could not put this outfit on JellyBean (hence the pic of my alt wearing it above – Sorry Nessa). Sometimes I’m sorta vain, yanno. Anyways, I couldn’t honestly critique it without purchasing it, so I did. The trim on the system skirt is not done well at all. Let’s forget the fact that it is a system skirt because if you’ve read this far, you can smell my bias. The belt is hideous, in my opinion and not on a proper attachment point. It goes all funky with your AO like wearing a small hula hoop. Yes, it does come with yellow gloves AND blue leggings! Why? I’m still wondering that myself. Autumn posted Haughty By Nature last week asking designers to “Impress us, shock us, EDUCATE US, just don’t bore us”. I don’t feel this outfit has done any of that, except mayhaps the “shock” part but I’m sure she meant in a good way, not a “WTF” way. Try again. Practice makes perfect and soon people will be begging you for copies. The potential is there, you just gotta tap into it.

This has been an HONEST TO GOODNESS fashion review by your friendly neighborhood JellyBean.

Sexual battery by Plurk?

Posted in plurk with tags , , , on September 22, 2008 by hawksrock

If you aren’t using plurk yet, then you most likely will want to make the jump after this post, because you are missing out on all the next wave of discussion, drama, and divas.

In the real world, a man can get arrested, put in jail, and made to register as a sex offender for as long as life for sexual battery if he rubs up against a woman’s breast in a crowded bar. It could be intentional, it could be unintentional, but if the court deems it as unwanted contact, then the man can be tried, convicted, and sentenced for that crime. Obviously things tend to break down and get a little fuzzy when you are dealing with virtual environments. It seems that some believe it is socially acceptable for a man to have a sexual fantasy of lesbian sex, role play as a woman, and then try to initiate sexual relations within the context of every thread that he touches. If the person is believed to have achieved a certain level of publicity, then at that point they can attempt to hide behind past recognition, as an excuse as to why they can get away with their behavior.

I have been personally contacted by 6 women (of which I refuse to list names but they know who they are) who have at some point in time been on the receiving end of sexual overtones such as those shown here. The one thing they have in common, is that they were all initiated by the infamous CodeBastard Redgrave, or Codie as she likes to be known in plurk. I am not dismissing any of the accomplishments that Codie has done in world, no matter how sick I get of hearing them recited every time she gets in a verbal sparring match with someone. I haven’t spent a lot of time with Codie in world, so I am largely biased by the version of her personality that I see portrayed on plurk. The question at hand, is if it is ethical to throw yourself at every woman in plurk who speaks with you knowing full well that some are very responsive to it, while others are not going to be as receptive?

Many women are intimidated by the public forum, and afraid to just say, “No,” out of either shyness or a fear to make waves in what is a relatively small close knit group of SLers on plurk. Does that then justify the overly aggressive actions of one Avastar of 2007, who also made the machinima cam (which I have never used to make my machinima, but I am sure helps the noobs who are getting started filming)?

It appears that one woman’s boyfriend got a little upset, and decided that he was going to jump into a thread and try to make his point be heard.

Here is the plurk that got me started, which has been shortened somewhat, and I added the italics with the commentary:

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–>

Initial Plurk:

CeN says I really want to meet and hang out with a bunch of you in SL, you guys feel like friends for real:

Innocent ramblings:

21:46 CeN says even if we only “talk” via plurk

21:46 HarleyQuinn says i’ll sniff you again

21:51 CeN says last time we met was pretty funny actually

21:49 Codie even me? *makes puppy eyes*

21:53 QuillowC is up for that

21:50 CeN says of course codie even though I did get to fangirl observe you twice from a quiet corner

21:52 Codie giggles.. oh nuuuuu im just little people, don’t go fangirl on me! let’s go shopping instead XD

21:53 CeN says I snuck up really close during your Rouge opening to peek at you

21:56 HarleyQuinn says lol codie is fun to hang out with.. just the other night she was perched on a column at my house

22:02 Codie hahahaha i was Nimil and i actually had fun being with you guys even if i was boring and photoshopping XD

22:01 Codie did you CeN? did you take smutty pictures and sent them to the Herald? mmmmm? *giggles

22:06 CeN says LOL no I was too busy checking out half naked SLebrities dancing. Nothing like seeing your idol naked or half naked to make your day

22:08 Codie LOL

22:08 Chestnut Daughtry was naked at Rouge? What?

22:06 CeN says nope but I got up close and personal to my girl-crush and she was close to naked

22:09 CeN thinks Daughtry

Enter Upset Boyfriend:

22:09 Sands says Are there any celebrities on SL that have got attention due to their talents and not them pulling their panties off at sight of a crowd ?

22:10 HarleyQuinn thinks CeN needs to be less shy

22:10 Chestnut Sands I would say yes. Many.

22:08 CeN says quite a few Sands, most in fact

22:10 CeN says it was a lingerie party, and I got to see someone I admire greatly for her talents wearing lingerie, which was cool made her seem “normal”

22:14 CeN says approachable and just a reguarly person like the rest of us

22:15 Sands says; thats more what I was talking about

22:16 Sands says I love and cherrish talented people, I have been lucky enough to come across many of them online and rl and learn so much from.

22:17 Sands says but i carry absolutely no respect for those that grab attention by pulling their pants down.

22:13 CeN says Sands, please, not here ok?

22:30 Bella thinks people need to skip plurks that bother them. It’s all in good fun.

22:27 Bella is lucky she has gotten to meet many wonderful Plurkies in SL. Including CeN!!

22:33 Miss Bettye keeps her mouth shut

22:34 CeN says don’t worry Bettye

22:32 Sands says I’m not gonna say anything since Cen asked me not to. to each their own.

22:35 CeN says thank you Sands

Hawks of course has to stir the pot and try to make a point:

22:34 HawksRock says I would just like to say, that to the extent Sands is saying, some people attention whore through just trying to be all about sex…

22:34 HawksRock says then I agree completely. Slex is a cool thing, but when you are trying to jump on every person on plurk, that is wrong, because often it

22:35 HawksRock says unwanted, and unwarranted by the recipient

22:36 HawksRock says I get that a lot of guys like lesbian sex, but to play a woman and then jump every woman, is carrying it a lil far…

22:39 HawksRock says okay, I will shup now…

22:37 Washu I personally would like to be respected for what I do in SL, but not be judged if I do at any time decide to prance around SL naked.

22:37 Washu We have met before CeN but it was mostly for business and I was busy

22:34 Washu So I am sorry if I seemed flighty or mean or anything!

22:41 CeN says well… LOL… Washu it was great meeting you even if it was just brief and business, we’ll meet again I’m sure

22:41 Miss Bettye says thank you Cen and I agree with you Hawk.

22:41 HawksRock says oh, and I would love to hang out with Cen… but I might get in trouble for speaking my mind…

22:42 CeN says no never HawksRock, it’s not about speaking your mind, there is just bleh… lots of other stuff and Sands knows why I asked him to hold

22:42 Miss Bettye says lol

22:43 HawksRock says sok, I think I will go blog it… cuz that’s how I roll…

22:40 CeN says Sands if you want go for it, not for me to ask you to hold back I’m sorry that was wrong, I just wanted a nice friendly plurk

22:41 Miss Bettye wonders about it

The I’m more important than you:

22:49 Codie feels a bit sorry for Sands. i surely got SLeb because i pull my panties down.. of course.

22:53 Codie surely have no talent that can justify her Avastar of 2007 award.

22:51 Codie surely cannot script like a pro and happened to make nice products, and surely cannot do SL photography and decent post-processing.

22:54 Sands says Codie I don’t care who you are, but my life and relaitonship is a doormat for absolutely nobody

22:54 Codie and when did I step on you, Sands?

The argument loses focus as the attacks become personal:

22:55 Sands says You have an unattractive AV, dressed horrible (i work in fashion irl) and you cyber like a 15 year old virgin.

22:55 Sands says You need to realize who I am, as far as online “celeb” image goes, there are more people that know me than there are people here on plurk

22:56 Codie oh my god *chuckles*

22:56 Sands says i just mind my own business and don’t bring up my image. I don’t walk around and cast my image on people.

22:56 Codie and you are currently not doing exactly that?

22:56 HawksRock thinks that on Codie’s grave, it is going to read here lies the Avastar of 2007.

22:56 Sands says You have absolutely no right to talk to my girlfriend the way you did on that plurk page.

22:57 Codie and who is your girlfriend exactly?

22:57 Sands says If you feel like being the server whore, go for it. Though next time you feel like you have the right to tell my girlfriend to

22:58 Sands says go down on you publicly, be ready for me to express my thoughts publicly about you

22:58 Sands says frankly, you think taking a couple of pictures and posting them online takes talent ?

22:58 Codie i still don’t know who exactly your girlfriend is

22:58 Sands says only thing seperates you from the rest of the people on sl is you have trouble keeping your panties on when there is a vrowd

22:59 Sands says *crowd

23:00 Sands says LOL Hawks

22:57 Codie if you mean your GF is Quaintly, she never stated that fact when she willingly participated to that plurk

23:01 Sands says Meara

23:02 Codie Meara never stated to me she was involved with anyone either. if its the case, i sincerely apologize

23:02 Miss Bettye clicks ‘block’

23:02 Alicia get nervous and screams “Look what I can do!”

23:02 Sands says I don’t need an apology from you.

23:03 Miss Bettye says Alicia

23:04 Codie i give it to you anyways, because i dont play with anyone that is involved in a closed relationship. im truely sorry.

23:03 HawksRock is going to call Jellybean to make sure she doesn’t miss out on the fun.

23:06 MoiraC says awww….plurk has been great for making friends!

23:07 Codie i thought so too Moira, but i’m having second thoughts

23:08 HawksRock says Codie, the reality is that you jump every woman on here, and many of em are not comfy with it. I know this first hand.

23:08 Sands says btw Codie its a shame you are from Montreal, Montreal is known for its trends and fashion

23:05 HawksRock says most are not willing to make a stir about it, because they don’t want to create any ruckus, but I could list 6 off my head right now

23:08 Codie if they were not comfortable, why would they participate?

23:09 MoiraC hugs Codie aww hun….Im sorry! *snuggles*

23:09 HawksRock says they don’t, honestly…

23:06 Sands says exactly hawk, some are afraid to speak up because of “public image” but this she knocked on the wrong door

Unfortunately, things deteriorated and ended up with his girlfriend outing him for encouraging threesomes, and for not being supportive of her, then a public breakup, followed by a reuniting and circling of the wagons. I mean who really need sitcoms? I’m not sure that the fallout changes my initial point though. Are unwanted sexual advances somehow socially more acceptable in a virtual space, than they are in RL?

You tell me. Now commence with the we ❤ Codie propaganda, because I have no doubt that Codie has lots of redeeming qualities, but I am commenting solely on the public overload of sexual overtones which I have witnessed first hand as being handed out like beads at mardi gras. I know it has made my friends uncomfortable, and I also know that many more have been discussing it offline as being pretty repugnant at best. What do you think?

First Rev Poll – Your SL Interest…

Posted in SecondLife® with tags , , on September 20, 2008 by ♥JellyBean♥

I didn’t discuss doing a poll with the others, I probably should have. Anyroo it’s better to always ask forgiveness than to ask permission, right?

Out of curiosity, I bring you the first Rev Poll question… What is your main SL interest? It’s multiple choice so you don’t need to over think it, much. We’ll leave it up for a week (from today) so please step behind the curtain & cast your vote. Thanks

Jell ❤

UPDATE: POLL HAS BEEN CLOSED! RESULTS BELOW! Thanks for participating. 🙂

Haughty by Nature?

Posted in SecondLife®, SL® Fashion with tags on September 18, 2008 by Autumn

Second Life fashion, we all know it, we all love it, and we all love to hate it. However, do you feel like you are “educated” enough to be shopping? Do you there behind the computer screen, really *know* fashion? Hmm? Yes, I thought not. But fear not, for there are an exclusive few that are here to drag you from the depths of your fashion ignorance: haughty SL fashion designers that are better than you. It gets even better for you, my friends, because these designers base their content on copying those from RL designers’.

Now, call me crazy, but I thought the whole purpose of fashion was to be innovative? To be daring and bold, shocking even. I don’t think directly copying a RL designer’s vision is daring; it’s boring and staid. We’ve seen it done over and over again in SL, and usually by people who have such holier-than-thou attitudes. I don’t get that attitude at all in RL or SL, but especially not in SL. I’m sorry, but last time I checked we’re all sitting at a COMPUTER of some sort. How cool can a computer nerd really be? In a world where physical beauty and personal wealth means nothing, your personality and attitude are what shine through. So what is up with that I’m-so-much-better-than-you persona? Is it real, or is it a facade they put on to seem cooler? Or, do they just believe their own hype?

I assume most of us read fashion planet, or some sort of blog feed (after all, this is a blog). Are you content to just sit back and buy whatever scrolls across that looks new? Admittedly, I must have 17 bazillion babydoll dresses in my inventory. But sometimes I see something cute that I *must have* even though I wear maybe… 10% of what I own. Are designers really trying to educate us with the same old crotch prim that’s been done again and again?

In SL, we’re able to do whatever, wear whatever, be whatever we want, so why aren’t there more designers making out-of-the-ordinary outfits? I love when designers push the envelope, it might not be something we wear every day, but you know you have that perfectly outlandish, yet beautiful dress waiting, should you need it. To me, that’s true ‘educative’ fashion, not mass producing whatever you see on the runway.

Of course, there is something to be said for the basic wardrobe staples; I know I love a great tank and jeans in both lives. But, even that can be changed up with some new funky colours, a different cut along the shoulders, a sculpted prim baggy look etc. There are SO manythings we could do with SL, and I’d love to see more people get into designing crazy things.
So, please designers! Impress us, shock us, EDUCATE US, just don’t bore us.

No Earthly Business

Posted in SecondLife®, SL® Fashion with tags , , on September 17, 2008 by Catero

Second Life® can be a great tool for inspiring and empowering people to utilize their underused creativity. Real life barriers which previously may have hindered unexplored interests can melt away upon logging in with very little investment required, aside from one’s time. Hell, you don’t even have to change out of your pyjamas.

Always wanted to be a singer? Don’t let your unsuccessful American Idol audition squelch dreams of your name in lights. Get a mic headset, an audio stream, and stock up on some karaoke tracks.

Dreamed of being an international runway model? Your 5’7” (171 cm.) female or 5’9” (175 cm.) male stature inhibits your catwalk aspirations. Grab some fashion poses and animations, a sleek array of avatar customization products, and max out that height slider.

Haunted by the overwhelming desire to dress up like a fox and register for a furry fandom convention? Forego the cost and cumbersome nature of a full-body fursuit. Assume a furry identity by getting familiar with some anthropomorphic attachments.

Anyone can make up for lost opportunity in real life by taking advantage of the resources offered in-world.

Take owning a business, for example. As long as one has the talent, ability and know-how to create vendors and ads, promote their products and/or services in the usual forums and has a little capital for start-up *bam* you’re marketing virtual land, selling prim baked goods or creating clothing items.

The beauty of SL is that one does not need any real world experience with the inner workings of a business environment to start their own company.

The curse of SL is that one does not need any real world experience with the inner workings of a business environment to start their own company.

No, I didn’t just get mixed up and contradict myself. The freedom of being able to open one’s own store based on their heart’s desire is a double-edged sword.

Business owners with little concept of or consideration towards good customer service practice are, quite frankly, a pain in the ass to transact with. And there’s no infrastructure for a ‘Better Business Bureau’ to advocate on the consumer’s behalf.

Buying a product or service from a retailer who does not have the willingness to appropriately liaise with customers and appeal to common sense trends is frustrating to deal with – making them unlikely to get repeat business. A bit like shooting oneself in the foot. “Hey, I have this great product, but I’m such an asshole that asking me why I sell no mod pants because you want to buy them will send you running in search of a comparable product from a competitor”, isn’t a good base upon which to establish one’s business strategy. Neither is “I piss off Second Life one customer at a time” a good corporate motto.

A curmudgeonly shopkeeper that keeps him/herself in ignorance can drive their own customers away. Imagine that.

Some time ago – before they subscribed to their own domain/hosting plan and cleared out the old free WordPress blog – Shopping Cart Disco asked its readers to comment on less-than-favourable experiences with shop owners.  One commenter shared how she and a friend had been browsing in a particular store while the aging “couture” designer herself was there making chit-chat with shoppers. The resident, who had fully intended to make a purchase, left the store appalled by the designer’s own inappropriate behaviour.

Shop owners: having a location stocked with your reasonably-priced goods isn’t enough.

Here are a few simple things that keep customers happy:

Customer service:

  • Whether you speak the language of your patrons or not, treating people with dignity and respect is a universal that crosses all boundaries. Even when your customer loses his/her cool and acts like a complete ass, keep calm and be clear.
  • Remember to pick your battles and keep it professional. Some people get worked up and can’t see beyond their own frustration (and for some reason they haven’t sought help in anger management to the point where mild hiccups during the course of virtual life drives them into a tizzy). Don’t follow their flawed example. Plus, consider the comedic value of posting the chat log on your store blog for the blogosphere giggle at.
  • Never underestimate the power of a customer service rep. If you suck at being nice to people, find someone who doesn’t. You may not make the weekly/monthly revenue to pay staff, but getting paid in your products or clothing may be as gold to some.

Product permission and demo sensibilities:

  • It ‘aint rocket science. Hair and skin styles should have demos. Give people an opportunity to try before they buy, otherwise, be prepared to field IMs from those who have gone out on a limb based on the vendor/ad photos and purchased your product.
  • To be courteous, set the demo price at L$0. “Hai, here’s a demo of my product. You might not like it, but give me your money anyways.”
  • It doesn’t hurt to make pants (and sometimes shirts – especially dress shirts that go under suit jackets) modifiable. Allow your customers to choose the level of fit to the items that will compliment their virtual identities.

Listen to your clientele:

Most designers invariably make products that they themselves would want to purchase, which drives initial sales interest. Many shoppers see your products and visualize all the possibilities based on your style/approach. People who shop in your store or subscribe to your service have an external perspective on your business that you don’t have. Sometimes a bold customer will come to you with a feedback about your brand. Of course, some people have asinine suggestions, but don’t be so sure to dismiss the ideas of those who have sane and constructive advice. Their suggestions of additional colours or cuts are insight into appealing to a broader market than just your own tastes. Be adventurous and consider taking their recommendations. And – hey – it’s free market research.

Empathy is your friend:

Everyone in the world is a customer at some point or another in time. Think back on positive or negative experiences you’ve had as a consumer and reflect on the reasons why you felt that way. The bad stuff: endeavour not to repeat and project it on your own customers. The good stuff: adapt it to your current needs and make it a part of your approach.

Above all: don’t slam the door on your own business.

Can’t cope? Read Customer Service For Dummies.

(FYI: There’s gonna be a lot more “u’s” used around here. Favourite. Colour. Honour. Learn to love ’em.)