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Observations from blogging SL fashion

Quick little rant…

I've been blogging SL fashion for almost two years now and I have to admit, I'm a complete wuss when it comes to giving honest opinions so will either blog stuff I genuinely like or not give any opinions at all and just give you the facts like.. "Here's new hair, new skin, here's a slurl, go shopping SL!"

Do people prefer that or an actual critique? I know designers must like some feedback, since I give my friends really honest critiques in-world when they ask me to check out their products for flaws or things that *I* would change. A lot of times those improvements are made and they end up selling a whole lot more (hopefully).

I've noticed that on this blog, whenever I critique something that I think is 'bad' or not my style, people get bent out of shape over it.

Here are some typical responses I've observed:

1. Whenever I point out something I don't like on a product, for example skins, a dozen people will say, "That's exactly why I like that skin! I love that it has no belly button/has seams/has acne!" Whatever floats your boat.

2. And it doesn't stop there, people will actually go out of their way to purchase said item, and then review it on their blog or flood their Flickr stream with it. "Gogo you're wrong! Let's all go buy 20 copies of [whatever item I simply mentioned I didn't like]."

3. I find it discouraging when people
assume I'm a 'negative bitch' or having a bad day in real life which
affects to the way I blog Second Life fashion.

I try to say only good things about products most of the time, if you read my blog you'll know that. I blog to let people know what's out there in Second Life to go shopping, not to discourage it. Thankfully there are demos in Second Life for most avatar goods (hair, skin, shoes), because review blogs will NOT point out the flaws or things that may make you think twice before purchasing. Some blogs will, but you won't see it on here (most of the time) for said reasons above.

That is all.

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  1. Anonymous

    Sadly, I think you are in a no win situation. I would not be surprised if most other fashion bloggers have had the same negative experiences. Look at the fashion feed – the only opinions are good ones or bloggers have given up on doing reviews and just blog what they like. The fashion feed is made up of nice pictures and SLURLS. I use it like a catalog and never actually read posts because they all say the same thing: “So and So dropped this on me and OMG I love it.”

  2. Queen Coronet

    I learn a lot from your critiques. As a consumer I learn about what I should look for in a product. Had it not been for your blog I’d never have thought about seams and bad ears. And as a creator it’s been helpful to know how a shopper will evaluate a product.
    You’ve evolved as a blogger and it seems to me that you no longer do as many objective critiques as you had done in the past. Perhaps that’s why it appears to some that you are having a bad day.
    I’d love you to continue with your critiques, in fact I’d like to see more. But I understand if you’re not up for the negative repercussions, cuz that would drive me nuts.

  3. Stacia Villota

    I appreciate your honesty, and find it refreshing. And… honesty is *always* a personal opinion… something most people forget.
    However I tend to follow your pattern, it’s one of the reasons I don’t encourage review copies, as I can’t always promise the item received is something I will be able to blog — not only because I can’t blog as frequently as I’d like, but also because I prefer to say positive things when I take the time to put a story together, and don’t want to be caught in the trap of having to say something less than positive (even if it is merely my own opinion).
    Also, I know and truly respect the fact that most designers spend a lot of time, thought, and creativity in developing their products — whether I like them or not.
    So I’d rather not dash their hopes with a negative review, and instead allow them to continue creating, learning, and improving. If they ASK me how they can improve however, that’s a whole ‘nuther story…! šŸ™‚
    Keep up the honesty Gogo, it’s why I read your blog.
    Stacia Villota

  4. Guy Seiling

    There are lot of “evil envy bitchs” out there…
    so don’t worry about that…
    I like your blog, and when you say something you don’t like in the produts are you showing here.
    Everyone in SL read your blog. That is a point.

  5. Mira

    I love that you are open and honest. I always read you’re blog just for that reason. Please don’t fall into the “everything is so awesome and wonderful” category….we need you to be the one you are.

  6. Lisa Fossett

    I don’t blog, but I’m an avid reader and occasional commenter. I have noticed such a wide range of personal styles and interpretations of what is attractive here that I’ve come to accept some people (avatars) will look some way or wear something I think is absolutely horrid and wouldn’t be caught dead in. And they think it’s beautiful. You can’t please everyone.
    I believe in being honest. Yes, you might offend someone. And you have no control over how they will react–that’s their issue, not yours. Don’t take it personally. By critiquing you open the eyes of the not as observant or knowledgeable. And you let others see there’s another way to look at things. Personally, I think that’s a good thing. The diversity here in SL is one of the things I cherish.
    In getting honest reviews and photos, I am, as a shopper, really helped. *I* can read and learn and decide what I might like.
    Keep up the good work šŸ™‚

  7. Whispers

    No you tend to bash things you don’t like on plurk behind their back instead of in the open and in a constructive way.

  8. Kitten Mai

    People will always start drama if you state an opinion and they don’t agree with it :P. It’s just how things are. The thing is, I’m sure there are a lot of people like me who are truly interested in your reviews and opinions on products – whether they be positive or negative. If you want to be doing reviews, go for it. šŸ™‚
    I think it’s good for you to provide shoppers with the real facts about a product so they can buy it with full knowledge of what they’re getting. Most people will weigh the pros and cons and maybe get it anyway.
    ^^ That’s just my two cents.

  9. DeadCat Mumfuzz

    People love negativity, it gives them a chance to pile on and whine about something cuz’ their lives lack. Do what makes you happy, you can’t please everyone. And in the end, it’s you, you have to live with.

  10. Observer

    you’re stuck in between a rock and a hard place. People need to realize that not everybody agrees with their taste and their view on something, just because you said something and they don’t agree with you doesn’t mean they have to grab pitch forks and ready to attack you.
    Hey look on the bright side, if they buy stuff just to ”prove you wrong” it’s good for the store owners šŸ˜›

  11. Lashy

    For me, I think you should definitely never lose your sense of self and share your opinion whenever you can. True fashion begs for critique. As it’s a form of self-expression like other art forms.
    That’s why I don’t bother perusing other blogs and just bookmark yours. I don’t want to flip thru catalog pics and fangurl blubberings. My time is limited, and there are things I don’t think about that I prolly should know about before I buy anything.
    As a consumer, we have a right to be picky about what we shop for. I have blown so much lindens on clothes that turned out to be a big bust when I tried them on. Unfortunately, I bought these items in SL, so no return or exchanges are allowed. And god forbid I let a designer know something’s wrong with their product, lest I get my head bitten off. I’m pretty much sick of that.
    Everybody wants to be a diva, a fashionista, but no one really understands what effort it takes to get to that level.
    So if someone has an honest review of the quality of clothes/hair/skin/shoes/etc. on a shop, shows me the glaring flaws the display ads conveniently hide, then I’m eternally grateful. Cuz I want a blog that informs me as well as entertains me. Seriuously, Gogo, you single-handedly turned this old shopping fart into a smart shopper.
    As a designer, you should be ALWAYS open to critiques. The moment you get smug and think no one else can give you feedback is when you fail. Establishing a brand in SL or RL is not enough. Having your own sim and arsenal of models is not enough. You also have to show you can evolve and improve and listen. If you want to act like a hermit closed off to the rest of the grid, by all means do. But always have the presence of mind on the pulse of not just your loyal consumers, but also on the consumers who haven’t tried your brand yet.
    The short time I tried my hand at an SL business was actually a pretty exciting time for me cuz I learned so much from people who gave feedback directly or indirectly. It made me change up how I marketed my products, helped redesign things, offer options I never thought I’d personally want but others do. And it was all good. If I just said, oh well too bad, to everyone who gave me a critique, I’d never have accomplished anything in the time I did.
    So don’t censor yourself, Gogo. Unless you want me to visit you in bad hair, clothes, skins, and try to kiss your baby like that. šŸ˜›

  12. Momo

    Every medal has two sides.
    A fashion blog in which consumers only can find positive entrys is not able to contribute it’s share to building neutral opinions.
    In my opionion such a blog is a little dishonest.
    Honesty and negative judging hurts.
    Principally the blogger, because SL is full of people, who are not able to take criticism. They love to start a nasty fight instead of reading carefully and thinking about the critique.
    If I see something or bought something that is not very well made, I say that frankly. I was knocked down for that many times, but I will not stop and continue šŸ™‚
    Designers should take critique not as something that is ment do destroy his or hers business, but as a chance to improve themselves and to grow.

  13. Nemesis Waffle

    I think so long as your criticism is constructive it’s helpful and valuable to both content creators and consumers. As someone on a limited SL budget, I don’t want to hear just good things about a potential purchase. I want to hear the positive and negative arguments. And frankly it kinda bugs me with how little of that I’m seeing on blogs. I am only just a beginner when it comes to making my own stuff in SL but I don’t think I could ever improve if all people ever did was tell me what I’d like to hear. There is always, always something worth improving. I’ve yet to run into a design in SL or FL that is absolutely hands down the be all-end all.
    As for those folks buying up all things you dislike, it seems like they’re doing it more for the sake of messing with you. See what influence you have? Even if they hate you it seems like they can’t fixate on anything else. I kind of envy the fact that they have so much L$ to waste on resentment alone.

  14. Siddean M

    The thing I think you get into strife with is the missing keyword in your rant – constructive. You know I love you and I love that you are honest, but as I said in your plurk yesterday there is a way to give critisism that will not make the reader feel that you are being negative or overly critical of the designer – rather than the design, and people get defensive when they feel attacked, even if that is honestly not what you are intending.
    Constructive criticism goes like this:-
    This is good
    This could be improved (and here’s a suggestion *optional*)
    But I really like….
    You sandwich the criticism in with what you like, and it’s more likely to invoke thought about the bad while also invoking good feelings about the good.
    I used to be a member of an art forum that had a teriffic system of critical feedback – the creator asked for the level of criticism they wanted, and if you just wanted encouraging feedback, ask for level 3, but if you wanted a no holds barred criticism of your work in order to improve ask for level 5. It worked really well and I usually asked for 5 – Loved getting constructive criticism from people, it made a nice change from all the “oh that’s so nice” and I learned a lot from it.
    It’s worth giving a try, if this is really a problem for you. šŸ™‚

  15. elka

    LOL, so you put a note about “people assume I have a bad day in RL” so that HAS to do something with me. I don’t really know you personally, as in, really close. But we talked a couple of times and always enjoyed it, same thing for your blog. And I DO appreciate honnest reviews, when I was a blogger myself 3 years ago when SL blogs started, I was honnest and people went as far as wishing me to die in RL because of my honnesty. So I know how it feels like, believe, me. But please don’t put anyone in the same bag. I was just suprised by a few “negative” (if we may call it this way, once again) posts in a row by you, which is, you gotta admit it, unusual in between all your lovely reviews. So I simply asked if you were ok, because I care. I guess I shouldn’t have, I understand other comments annoyed you (and once again, I validate that, some people were hard on you even if you only said what you thought) but anyways, makes me sad now to hear my asking how you were actually just pissed you more then you already were.
    My 5 cents worth, keep on doing what you do. And hate me all you want, but it was just a sincere question. I didn’t “assume” anything. Bleh.

  16. Gogo

    Elka, you know I think you’re a lovely person. Even though your comment made me pause for a sec, my blog comment was not entirely directed at you. In the past, people have not been able to take a criticism and have launched blog campaigns against me, calling me a bully, etc. Sometimes things are taken way too seriously about some pixel stuffs. SL is a game, but some creators make a living here, too. Things just have gotten more competitive and there are lots of choices out there. If people don’t continually make good stuff and double, triple check their work to make sure it’s actually quality stuff, bad word of mouth can be really damaging to their biz. I expected a certain level of quality from some people whose stuff I adore, but when the quality sucked, it needed to be pointed out. I rarely ever point out stuff like that on my blog, cos I do like to just say nice things and blog nice things, but sometimes I wish I could do an ALL negative blog just cos.

  17. elka

    Ok, whew then! Because I have had my share of SL drama and I was off SL for about 6 months for RL work and stuff and I was just like “noooo, did I talk too much again?!” Sometimes I just try to not read anything at all because I am too sensitive and subjects like these I say things and then I regret them because I know with internet, things go fast, problems raise so quickly because humans are not face to face, langage barriers, etc. So I regretted saying it but I simply HAD to, it’s like that LOL. So anyways all this to say I am glad to hear it was not JUST directed to me, and once again I swear it was an honnest question and I am 1- glad to hear it had nothing to do with RL, and 2- you think I’m lovely that’s awesomesauce šŸ˜› LOL. Keep on being honnest, just, make sure you are strong enough to deal with the impact, because as much as you want to say things like they are, this will always make someone unhappy and chances are they will fight it back, some of them just because they can’t accept critisim, but some others just because they don’t agree, and that’s just how it is. I think overall, people still love you, I mean what’s not to love, look at that face! LOL <3

  18. Nedeko

    Hi Gogo!
    I wanna repeat what I did wrote on plurky :). One point why I like your blog is: Critique. I really like it how you review some stuffs. Bad points must be shown too – or nobody will learn from faults ;).
    The problem here are only:
    – Some points are “personal taste”. So its easy if ppl will give you a feedback like: they like this or that point which you don’t like.
    – Critique must be always written down in fair words.
    – Critique must be only hold on the facts.
    The last 2 points you doing well – don’t worry. Just wanna say for the general readers ;).
    Ofcourse ppl can saying: why you must make it bring to public? Why you don’t write a notecard to the creator.. ?
    For this point my personal view is: Everybody who creating stuff in second life has to care for the quallity before starting a release. There are a lot of ppl around to asking for fair feedback – who you giving to your friends creators or how I do giving too to my friends ;). It’s easy to get a preview feedback that hard faults which are really there in some products not be happen.
    Many greetings,
    PS: English is not my native language for stupid faults > excuse me! ^^

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