Disclosure

I saw a friend on my plurk timeline say, “some of the stuffs at designers united i know i won’t buy…just because i feel like so so so many bloggers got them for free.Is that bad?:/”

To answer my friend’s question — well, she really wasn’t asking ME specifically but I’m going to answer it anway. No, I don’t think it is bad that you feel this way BUT don’t judge the bloggers or designers for it — you should buy something if you like it. It doesn’t matter if others got it for free, because the time they spent blogging it and providing FREE advertising is worth more than the price of the product. Bloggers & SL Designers have a mutually beneficial relationship. I like stuff to blog, they like to sell more stuff. It is that simple.

If I told you that the majority of items featured on JuicyBomb were review copies, would it discourage you from spending your own money on them?

* For anybody that wants “FREE STUFF”, just start a blog. You’ll realize that the time and effort put into each blog entry  is not worth the free items unless you really love blogging. And also, for every nice item you receive, be prepared for 10 more items that look like they belong back in 2006. Just sayin’. It’s hard work if you don’t love doing it!

Posted by Gogo

Second Life Blogger since 2007. I write about SL fashion, events, and occasionally explore nice places. Thank you for reading my blog!

25 comments

  1. I totally agree, especially with your last alinea… everyone who wants to try, create a blog and maintain it for a year and see if you still think the “free stuff” is worth it (or even try for a month, if you’re being put off by the idea of a year)

  2. I don’t care if bloggers got their stuff for free at all. I just want to know what they got for free. Celebrity Trollop used to note what was a review copy and I really liked that.

  3. If you review events, books or items in real life, the event organisers, publishers and stockists are more than happy to pass on free copies. It’s standard practice due to the volume reviewers turn over.

    There’s nothing underhand about giving review copies or receiving them. I think the vast majority of bloggers post about the things they really like, and simply won’t post those items that don’t interest them.

    I’d like to hear why folks like to know which items are review copies in blog posts though. Do you believe it forces a bias?

  4. “If I told you that the majority of items featured on JuicyBomb were review copies, would it discourage you from spending your own money on them?”

    to answer that question: No. I could care less if bloggers get stuff for free and I could care less about disclosure. I just like looking at great pictures. 🙂

  5. Doesn’t bother me that Bloggers receive items for free. Without the efforts of Bloggers, I would not have found shops for such great clothes or outfits. Business is business. Sure, we’d all like things for free, there is a lot of good quality free things being offered, just need to know where to look and some Bloggers are good at directing us readers to them. Cheers to the time ‘spent’ by the Bloggers!

  6. I care about disclosure because, as a former paid blogger for SL Insider and Massively, I had to disclose any review copies I got. If the value was more than 20 bucks, I had to be realllllly careful about how I handled it. I care about it from a legal standpoint that AOL and Weblogs, Inc. clearly cared about in order to put that policy in place. I care because, in some cases, I do believe in creates a bias. Disclosure prevents or exposes conflicts of interest.

  7. The misconceptions underlying the original plurk comment are why I note which items I do receive for free in all my posts. Not so much to point out the potential for conflict of interest, but to illustrate that much of what bloggers blog is not free and that misconception that we get everything for free is utterly false.

    But of course, this is common in all walks of life. Many tasks look easy to those who don’t do them. Even a few designers think blogging is easy and done just for the freebies.

  8. Blogging is bloody hard work, and can also be expensive. You might get the clothing to review for free, but you have to find the right skins, hairs, accessories, poses etc to compliment the outfits and show them off at their best.

    I’m not bothered at all if bloggers get free stuff or not. A lot of time and effort goes into each post, and it shows on most blogs.

    The only bother I have is seeing the same stores, same items in 20 blogs day after day. But I guess thats what happens with the stores that do support bloggers lol.

    Oh and the fact I never look as good as you in the same items *wink*

  9. I recently did a post on disclosure myself and I am going to copy and paste since I am lazy, LOL:

    since full disclosure and real life expectations of virtual bloggers seems to be the trend I will say this: I don’t do reviews or accept gifts in exchange for blogging. I do receive gifts from time to time from people I have made some sort of virtual connection with beyond store owner and consumer. But we both have the understanding that is it is a gift without an obligation to review or feature in my blog. And if by chance I receive an item from a store owner and its someone outside of my social network and I do blog it I will say “hey so and so gave this to me for free and I feel xyz about it.” So Mr. FTC please go away – I don’t want to be bothered by you in the virtual world.

    So in conclusion I dont believe in disclosing on my Sl blog and will not unless I am forced to.

  10. maybe i know a different sort of person but my sister who owns a secondlife store inworld puts in sometimes weeks uppon weeks into her creations because she honestly cares about creating something that is both artistic, beautiful in it’s application and works well. you could call her a scientist in how she does this. there is much making remaking and testing .

    she doesnt see this as a quick way to make money. and also she respects the bloggers but does not want to begg anyone to blogg her by giving review copies (she does give free items from her store at times so that everyone can enjoy a bit of a treat and go home happy). she has giving free copies in the past, and felt the pinch of being “sized up” by what trend they like and if yours follows it enough to be blogged by them.

    i have noticed a bias in who is blogged and why. it may look different from your view and i can understand that. but when i look i see many people blogging others who are either there friends, busness contacts or mostly people who send them free items, which i know you all work for in the time and massave energy you put into blogging, but the element of being giving free items to people whom you want to be unbias is a deadly thing to deal with.

    it also truly seems to shape where people spend and what they like and sometimes also, what is snubbed. you can say no you have your own ideas. but i myself know that if something is repeatedly said by others that this or that is good i will check it out faster then the things that are being ignored, which is sad but it’s like i have more trust in them because many people said that this is true and you feel a little safer buying from what everyone praises, and also like you will be accecpted faster. but then i have seen great designers almost totaly ignored because they do not give out review copies, or in other ways go agenst the grain. there isnt a week that doesnt go by that i dont feel a little heart broken when i see that sometimes it’s not about if the clothing is really wonderfull but more about there connections and popularity and bias blogging.
    i pologise for being blunt like this but it has effected my life and has for quite awaile made me feel sad and a bit brused because i too would like to someday create but feel it’s impossible and because i am sad to see people treated like this.
    creators dont say it, but you kind of feel in there notices sometimes how sad they are at being ignored. like they lost some of there passion to create to an audience who may never even notice or care :(. i thank you though for bringing up this subject, i needed a place to say this i guess for a long time.

    this is my own feelings which may go against my sisters, so i apologise in advance and leave myself under the name,

    Anon

  11. I love Gogo’s photo as much as the comments.

    This has been hashed over and over and will likely be for-e-ver 😀 — and that’s OK.

    1,100 or so post here for those of you that don’t know me. I do except review copies and hardly ever buy things, BUT I also made a giant change in my blogging (and life) a few weeks ago.

    I found that I was unknowingly blogging people who where not really creating (my point of view) and I also had a few instances of designer’s “expectations” which didn’t sit well for me.

    It’s been interesting to watch what has happened. I used to get review copies constantly. When I stopped posting three or more times a day, those fell off. Well OK, I can see that :D.

    I never really felt I ‘had’ to blog things that people sent me. I did, however, want to help them as much as I could if their designs and products were “worthy” (again my perception). What has happened in many respects, is that the people that had sent me blogger release packs for a long while continued to. The people looking for a quick blurb did not. That’s really all right we me. Actually I prefer it and am much happier now.

    It DOES take a ton of time to put together an impressive blog post. When we get under the gun and rushed, quality falters. I’ve seen that with other blogs and know it was true with mine. So quantity isn’t my goal any longer; quality is. I don’t always get there, but I get there more often now.

    Realistically, I’m guessing that in many cases bloggers make less than the equivalent of 50 cents an hour in “release gifts” — and as someone mentioned above, many of them we are happy to get JUST to blog them. Many or most of mine got tossed after blogging. We all have our tastes and just because something is well made and creative, it doesn’t mean we will want to keep it and wear it.

    So my hat is off to all the blogger who hang in there. It’s easy to START a blog; it’s pretty hard to keep at it day after day.

    Are we obsessed? Maybe. Are we having fun? Most of us who stick around are, yes.

    Thanks to all the folks who are still sending me their releases. It makes me feel good that I have supported you!

    And I REALLY REALLY like your photo here Gogo :D!

  12. I’m always interested when bloggers disclose which of the items they’re blogging were received as review copies. Mainly because that then also tells me which things they liked enough to buy with their own money. I know how much it costs to blog fashion on a regular basis if you buy the items yourself, and also how much free stuff gets thrown at you when you accept review copies. If a popular blogger goes out of their way to pay for an item to blog when there’s other stuff they could be blogging for free, that can speak volumes.

  13. Unfortunately posting anon due to the fear of backlash for beliefs here. I really would like to know as a reader of many many blogs if they’re getting a free review copy or not. If you love something enough to go out and buy it, that speaks volumes to me. That says “I loved this piece so much I bought it and have decided to share it with you.”; I feel a little discouraged when I notice many people overblog things especially like the Designers United event (as good as it may be) because they got it for free.

    Now some bloggers are known for review copies and blogging normal items but many of the blogs that stuck out like sore thumbs to me is the ones that do freebies and such – would they have blogged such things if they didn’t get it for free? That was consistantly buzzing in my mind over this current event and it was massively blogged. I am not trying to say that things that may be blogged a lot are really really good or really really bad, it’s definitely up to the opinion of the reader/writer/etc. But it makes me wonder – are they blogging it because they love it? They got it for free? What’s the real deal anymore…?

  14. i don’t like when they get stuff FIRST really. they are not better than me or the average person who can what’s good or bad, especially in SL. I mean some of us have major artistic skills and yet these nobodies are getting stuff first. That turns me off. I don’t buy stuff and I really dislike when people review stuff and wear other things in their shot, that they list off as “not available anymore.” it’s like waving food in front of a starving person.

  15. She only mentions about “Free” but there is something about the review copies.
    Those bloggers get them exclusively earlier than others.

    So think about how “others” feel about it?

    I love designers united and thier works, but
    this time, they are doing just too much about review copies.

    A.C.

  16. Imo blogs are to inspire us to try different looks and designers we would maybe never hear of, if it wasn’t for the feeds….bloggers get reveiw copies early to wet our appetite and get us thinking “i cant wait till that comes out!”

    I personally dont care if the stuff handed out is free…it’s the designers right to hand it out or not and the blogger’s right to disclose if it was free or purchased.

  17. I am just going to chime in here and say…I blog a lot of freebies, but even though they may be free or cheap, I still don’t blog them unless I love them. I feel that people are taking my word for it that an item is quality, so even if it is only 1L, I am not going to encourage them to buy if I don’t feel it is a quality item.

    As far as review copies go, I don’t get many…mostly only through Gogo’s in world blogger group, but now that I do, I state that they are a review copy in my credits. And still…if I don’t love it, I won’t blog it. Doesn’t matter if I got it for free or not. I am not going to encourage people to spend on something I don’t think is wonderful.

    And I agree with what Gogo said about “For anybody that wants “FREE STUFF”, just start a blog. You’ll realize that the time and effort put into each blog entry is not worth the free items unless you really love blogging”.
    The time involved to get items finally up on your blog is massive. Until someone blogs, they have no idea. I certainly didn’t. ;p

  18. I’m of the persuasion that I tend to disclose whether something I am blogging is a review copy or was dropped on me by a creator. I feel that it is my way of being honest about it – If I did not pay for it, it seems like that would be shady of me to not state as much, although fate has it’s ways of dropping on things I already own, or thing I’ve been coveting for a while on occasion. Even on those rare moments, I will still say where they came from – its just courtesy, in my eyes.

    Thing is, bloggers blog what they like, I blog things I like, and that’s how you can feel confident in a recommendation – just because it is a review copy, doesn’t mean it’s not something the blogger would buy themselves anyway.

    Blogging is a whole lot harder than it seems to the greedy little toe rags who want in to what they see as a jackpot and a load of freebies – you might get a lot of free items but you have no guarantee of quality, colour or even if you’ll like it – and you have to fit in your blogging around everything else you do as well. It really is a full-time job. (One which I have been distinctly remiss in lately, I admit.)

    @anon – the thing is – it’s a bloggers prerogative to blog what they like, what they are exposed to is a factor too – if your sister is not marketing her store properly then she will not receive the focus and attention she wants. It’s a simple fact and even in RL it would be the same – she would need to get her name out there, make sure her products are better than anyone else’s, and be unique in her approach. A lot of creative people don’t get blogged mainly because it’s same old, same old – thanks to being able to buy templates and sculpts now, people aren’t bothering to put a creative stamp on things, and so a lot of stores are overlooked.

  19. I have to say while I don’t care if bloggers disclose or get free stuff in general I am glad to hear that if a blogger buys stuff with their own money that it makes much more of an impact so I do see the point of disclosure now that it’s stated that way.

    if that makes any sense.

  20. I love the SL fashion blogs I read – I check them daily, for new freebies available, or cheap quality pieces, or judging whether I want to do a hunt. It can get a little tiring to see the same outfits on blog after blog that I check. I have seen some bloggers say “this has already been blogged to death – read about it over *here*” and that saves time space and uploading costs, I would think.

    What I love best about the blogs is getting introduced to new stores, new quality designers and creators that I would not otherwise have found. Some of my favourite items have been found as a result of stumbling across a picture in a blog which made my jaw drop, and my hand scrabble for the slurl.

    I would like to find blogs by fashionistas who are actively out scouring the grid for the new, undiscovered, mastermind; the designer who is big with the French, the Kawaii, the furry contingent, say, but unknown to …. me, I guess … or the blogs I read… and the shops I go to over and over.

    I have been around long enough, and done enough hunts, that my inventory is stuffed so full, that I am getting picky in my old SL age. I am getting tougher in my judgments – if it is not as good as the things I wear often, then it is not good enough to go after. I figure that is what competition is all about. Those makers will realise that other creators are out performing them, and they will strive to do better themselves.

    In the end, it doesnt bother me if bloggers get review items – they spend time and effort in blogging and noone could expect them to buy everything – who could afford all that? It only ever rubs me the wrong way when i hear mention of the blogger parties and all the absolutely fabulous dahling items for absolutely free… that we rank and file will not see nor be offered. That does tend to make me a little green. But these are just my thoughts – and I thought I’d share 😉 Do keep blogging please!

  21. well i mostly blgo items i already own i only blog a small amount of review copies , but the ones ive done i think more of informative and help get word out and i must agree with people blogs are a lot work and once there a demand from people and readers it takes quite some work 🙂

  22. Ikinda find it funny I didnet notice how much of these blogs got free stuff !

  23. I recently started my own blog to advertise my own skin business, but also to share with everyone who comes across my site, the awesome stuff I buy! Personally, I don’t think it should matter if certain bloggers receive free stuff from designers… The blogger gets the item “free” in exchange for maketing and advertising. It’s a win-win situation for them! I check Juicybomb on a DAILY basis because updates are constantly rolling in, and I discover GREAT designers. Even if I tp inworld to find a certain item that was shown on the site, I always find something else I like. I think that it’s cool that designers actually offer free stuff to the bloggers whom they wish to advertise their products. I mean, with all the stuff you find on SL, the spending can get pretty extreme. Besides, I bet Juicybomb.com is one of the sites that get the most hits daily for updates, and posting anything DAILY, takes effort!

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