The Business of SL™

Last week I came across a plurk about sometimes wishing they weren’t a business owner in SL™ so they could voice their opinions.

The funny thing is is that it goes against what creativity is at the core: expressing ones thoughts, opinions and feelings. The need one feels to express themselves doesn’t stop at whatever art form they are into. And typically the more creative a person is, the more opinionated they are. That opinion also tends to drift away from conventional thinking probably because most creatives view the world a bit differently. In many cases, certifiable is a good description. There really is a thin line between madness and genius.

Yet SL™ business people have the fear of mad fashionistas hell bent on destroying their business by any means possible. The sad fact is that it’s not entirely unjustifiable. Step out of line and there will be people waiting to push you off the pedestal you most likely never knew you were on. They will tell you, blog it, and tell their friends.

What no one ever says is that it’s impossible to do. There is a heap of historical personal missions of business destructions that prove it. The amount that they will reach is really only a fraction of the residents. Even if it may be the vocal minority and seem like the end of the world as you know it. On the bright side, chances are that someone who’s never heard of you goes to your shop to check you out and may secretly buy products knowing as we all do that this will blow over soon. I can’t think of one example of this ever working. Can you?

Perhaps the opinion fear has to do with the idea that anything written out seems to change it from an opinion to a fact in people’s minds. That somehow saying I ❤ toast means that everyone should ❤ toast and if you don’t, you suck. And then someone somewhere will get butthurt over hurting their cereal’s feelings. When in fact all I’m saying is that I personally prefer toast.

But even not running around with your mouth flapping in the wind will save you. Actions can have the same effect. Take this week’s instance of certain hair creators adding in a script to protect from the rampant content theft. Granted it wasn’t well thought out, but the reaction was still pretty fierce.

It’s as if, in certain circles, the perception of our personalities is far more important than the quality of the items themselves. How many times have you read a review or seen a store suggested based solely on the level of niceness and/or coolness of the creator?

Coolness? You’ve got to be kidding me. We are geeks who sit at the computer for 20 hours a day. And everyone has the ability to be nice. Even serial killers.

Code of Conduct of SL™ Content Creation:

  • Be a person who is approachable and likable, but with out flaws, opinions (at least unfavourable ones) and don’t make mistakes. But don’t be too perfect or else they will hate you.
  • Never have a bad day/week/month/year. Everyone must think your life is all roses. Let anything slip and you are too emo. But again, don’t be perfect because they hate that.
  • Be sociable or else you will be a snob, but too much and you are labelled an attention seeker.
  • Your products are awesome – you made them of course – and you want everyone else to think so. However, talk them up too much and you are conceited. Be too humble and it seems fake or that you have low self esteem.
  • Never copy anything from RL or SL™ unless certain people like you, even if that SL™ “copy” happens to be using the same source photo. However, if you find yourself in the middle of that shit storm, just wait it out. They will be blogging you again in your next release or two.
  • Be professional but don’t let anyone believe you are here just for the money.
  • Have integrity, but never lay it out on the off chance you may change your opinion. You are not allowed to have opinions, let alone change them.
  • Never let on that the level of niceness you are is just an act to relieve them of their L$.
  • Don’t do anything someone somewhere might perceive badly.

The problem at the core of all those rules is that each magical line you must not cross is different for everyone. As a bonus with SL™, it changes frequently and without notice. You will never please them all. One person’s likable is another’s annoyance.

The only person you will ever be able to please is yourself. Be how you are comfortable being and understand that the majority of SL™ really doesn’t care about whatever shit is stirred up this week.

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9 Responses to “The Business of SL™”

  1. On the money, Luth. And one reason it has taken me so long to come out of my shell here….the not knowing the code and being pretty certain I couldn’t live up to it.
    Thankfully I figured out that was probably ok.

    Excellent post, really.

  2. Annah Whitfield Says:

    Excellent post! As always your words are wise words 🙂
    It took me a while to understand this, and now that I do (or I think I do) I am must better and I am finally doing what I like, as I like and not caring how others will understand it!

  3. Elizabeth Hallstrom Says:

    There is difference between having a dissenting opinion and just simply stirring up shit. Is calling out somone in an environment such as for example plurk for what the plurker perceives as bad design a dissenting opinion? Is an enviroment like Plurk a place to do just this? How about posting the IM of a designer, albeit anonymously on plurk, the forum to do this as well. But dont mind me, I’m just sayin….

  4. Be a person who is approachable and likable, but with out flaws, opinions (at least unfavourable ones) and don’t make mistakes. But don’t be too perfect or else they will hate you. —- OH GOD I am laughing SO HARD At that!!!!!

    Hilarious!

    And in a lot of ways true I guess.

    The person saying “Wish I didn’t have a business in SL So I could talk shit” has a point though. If they talk shit then their ‘customers’ will think they are a horrible ass juggler and will then start some kind of blog campaign to boycott or whatever. I don’t know! But I kind of see their point.

    On the other hand .. even though I SEE their point doesn’t mean I AGREE with it. Any ‘customer’ who can’t see that you’re human and not without flaws (even if that flaw happens to be over-opinionated) shouldn’t be in your shop. I know I don’t want some hoity toity holier than thou twatwaffle wearing anything I make.

    I think that anyone who is catering to ANYONE should just stop that shit and do something hilariously stupid in public. That way you get a lot of that bull-cheese taken care of in one swoop. I want to see more “I don’t make this shit in SL to please anyone but myself” sentences in notecards and whatnot. I mean c’mon!

    Did I get off track? Hmph.

  5. Get an alt!

  6. I dunno what I’d do without my opinions…they keep me warm at night. 😦

  7. Heidi Halberstadt Says:

    Right on target. Great post.

  8. Tabliopa Underwood Says:

    “Perhaps the opinion fear has to do with the idea that anything written out seems to change it from an opinion to a fact in people’s minds. That somehow saying I ❤ toast means that everyone should ❤ toast and if you don’t, you suck. And then someone somewhere will get butthurt over hurting their cereal’s feelings. When in fact all I’m saying is that I personally prefer toast. "

    I get depressed/annoyed/bored whenever people overdo the feelings thing sometimes and see stuff thats not there. And then I read what you wrote above and it puts everything back into perspective and Im able to laugh and my world gets a whole lot brighter. Thanks =)

  9. Unless your opinion is conservative, racist, sexist, homophobic, or some other totally unacceptable stance. Then you can expect blogs like this one to call for total boycotts and accuse you of being evil.

    I think what you mean is that people can have differing opinions within a very limited spectrum of liberal western opinions. Diversity of everything but thought.

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