Callie Cline's Bloggers Appreciation Week was interesting. There are a lot more bloggers than I am aware of (over 200, according to the group members list), and many of them are not syndicated on any fashion feeds, so they're harder to find. With over 200 bloggers, any designer can find a blogger that can best represent their product and are genuinely interested in their particular genre, be it fantasy, formal, casual, etc.
The designers of Second Life are amazing and artistic people, and this week have shown that they're also incredibly generous to bloggers (new and old), because we're genuinely enthusiastic about their products. Over the past two years of blogging, most designers have been overwhelmingly nice to me. Without their support, I wouldn't have kept JuicyBomb going for this long, so the appreciation is mutual.
Do bloggers have an obligation to give out honest critiques? Research and find the under blogged but deserving brands? Let their readers know about the latest and best out there? Do fashion bloggers *have* to do anything? No! Everyone blogs for their own reason, and a fashion blogger is not responsible for anything. While I may not write a novel every time I feature something on this blog, I do know that as a fashion blogger I don't suck since designers DO want to be featured here.
While most people who are being blogged daily on SL fashion blogs are appreciative, there are some that have said that blogging does "nothing" for their business. Really? Do you value good word of mouth, because blogs do that – instead of me telling one of my friends about this great new outfit, I'm telling thousands of people a month. And the blog is archived, people do go back and ask about items blogged a month ago, or a year ago, etc. I think a favorable blog review is like the gift that keeps on giving… whether or not that is measurable.
I can't speak for everyone, but from personal experience: not all bloggers are in it for the FREE STUFF. I started this blog long before ever introducing a 'review copy' policy. I blog because I'm a shopper, I needed a place to document great finds. I'm kind if disappointed that bloggers have been getting a bad rap lately as having a sense of entitlement.
With all that said, I thought Bloggers Appreciation week was a good idea. Bloggers need feedback from their readers & from designers, and because a little encouragement goes a long way. <3
I have to agree with some of your points. I started blogging strictly because I was urged to do so by friends who wanted me to share with others not just them what I had found that was fun to wear. I’ve always reiterated that things I blog are entirely things I like and that 99 percent of the things I blog are things I bought. I actually am quite timid about asking for review copies and do it fairly seldom nor am I trying to make myself some kind of advertising outlet. I’m always flattered and even shocked when asked to review something and make a point of refusing to post negative reviews because I feel reviews are often subjective. I do tell designers if I see a flaw that may prevent me from posting an item but I do that privately and it’s up to them what they do about it at that point.
Blogger appreciation was a lovely idea and I am thrilled to have discovered new shops through the gifts we all were given and grateful for those gifts but whether anybody gives me a gift or says thank you or hands over a review copy is immaterial to me blogging per se. I blog as a personal choice, the end. I also was happy to find out about so many more bloggers out there. One of these days I’ll get a blog roll done.
i totally agree with a lot of what you said mostly, that people all blot for their own reasons, to some it’s a hobby for some an art form for some a way to get famous, and im sure everything in between.
i value bloggers as i used to blog a lot and when i wrote a weekly column for the avastar (now gone) i KNOW how much it meant to the readers. from learning about new thing to old things or finding fun ways to mix their wardrobes or whatever.
really any time one’s name it published, in a small blog or big blog, it can help you if you want your business to be more known (if you don’t it can hurt you… i had a friend who came into sl JUST to have a hobbie, got blogged, pretty popular then left SL cuz she didn’t have time to keep up)
also, big or small blogger, one never knows where someone will hear about you, even a freebie blog… i once got a very nice RL/SL job from a company who say my name on a very small blog… from there they learned more and well, let’s say, it was a very nice job.
BUT all that aside, what i like about most of the fashion blogs is… THEY MAKE FASHION FUN!!! and that is great! making what we do more fun makes life better and well, there’s enough crap in the world.
thanks to you gogo, i just really learned of your blog a few months ago, tho i saw your face all the time on the feed, i just didn’t know what you did, i’m not sure i still do as far as your shop.
i don’t know where bloggers are getting a bad wrap, that’s not anything i ever hear. i usually hear their praises sung 🙂
anyway, designers get ripped a lot too.. i guess it’s just who you listen to!
i’m glad you felt appreciated. you are.
As a blogger I have only recently been on a lot of the feeds. I have never solicited any review copies but am wrestling with
maybe doing so at least sometimes. The reason is of course one of huge cost. I have always thought that if I was willing to spend real dollars on an item then someone reading my blog might be willing to also. That said, it takes a lot of clothes
to make a look….hair, skin, jewellery, shoes and clothes. It is hard to show new things all the time without breaking the bank.I also like the freedom to blog what I want when I want…
A lot of good things came out of this week…and issues.
Shelby, I think that asking for review copies is perfectly acceptable, the designer could always just refuse if they don’t want to send it. Most welcome it if your blog has been around for awhile, and you have a good track record of blogging items that you receive (I think most designers just don’t want to send review copies and not hear anything back).
There are a ton of bloggers in SL. Some are established, such as sweet Gogo here (who has ALWAYS been a shopper since the first day I met her in a STORE of all places–fancy that–and she took me back to her house to offload excess content on me. I still have and USE that furniture, Gogo!) Some are starting out. (Come to think of it, you blogged RFyre as one of your firsts, Gogo.)
Blogging can be a win-win situation all around if you approach it with the right mindset–honor the designers’ work and show people how much you enjoy it and lead them to purchase the work themselves. One good deed will lead to another and so on…
I would agree with your points. However, linking to another blog with the statement “I don’t suck” is really not graceful nor supportive, which is what Callie stated Blogger Appreciation week was about. I think Callie also mentioned at the party that we wanted to avoid drama. And that’s all I’ve got to say here.
First of all, I must say that I am one of your biggest fans, Gogo. You are in my opinion the most beautiful avatar in SL (closely, closely followed by Callie Cline. *mwah* Callie!) I was thrilled when you saw my blog post about Djunk on iheartsl and did your own spin on the clothes there. I thought to myself – “I must be doing something right.” lol
I am a new blogger, having only started in March, and I was incredulous that they allowed me to join the fashion bloggers group and participate in Blogger Appreciation Week. It was absolutely wonderful meeting and chatting with so many established bloggers – I felt so fangirly all week. lol
I don’t feel worthy enough yet to ask for review copies. I am also an inveterate shopper, who spends more lindens every month than I should. When I received the gifts this week, I actually felt guilty because I know some people might have thought that I had only joined for the freebies. That was certainly not the case, of course. I feel like I have to “earn my wings” so to speak before I ask for review copies. I also worry that I will feel internally pressured to blog something that I’m not passionate about – and for me, it’s all about the passion for the “look” – how it makes me feel to see my avatar in a certain ensemble. I want to share that passion with as many readers as I can.
Finally, I’ve come to learn that blogging is a lot more work than one might think. Time will weed out the bloggers that are only doing it for the freebies.
Terry, if you had read the link that I linked to, it is directly a response to Achariya’s post saying:
“Before we get sidetracked into the raison d’etre of blogging, let me clearly state my point: I’m not sure that bloggers should be so appreciated by the fashion designers of Second Life, because as their only press outlet, we kind of suck as press.”
I may be “not graceful or supportive” at times about various things in SL; that comment was really not malicious. It was more of a comment about myself, not Achariya. Read carefully next time, thanks.
I agree with you Gogo, it has certainly been an interesting week for bloggers. As a quite new blogger, I look forward to developing myself as a writer and hopefully a halfway decent photographer. I decided to blog because I too am a shopper at heart, having spent the best part of almost the last 3 years trawling the grid for beautiful things. I feel there is plenty of room for everyone’s individual style and policies. At the moment I am not syndicated to many feeds, so I largely write for myself and friends. I must say though, that the generosity shown by designers this week has been most humbling.
All very interesting comments and varied opinions and views here which has made great reading for me – thank you! Not much to add only that I blog because I love doing it. When I don’t enjoy it anymore I will stop, but if/when I do the blog will be left there as a digital record of the journey in my life at that time. I don’t see anything wrong in it, but I never ask for review items (and I don’t have a review policy) because I want to know that I really like something (by trying it on and looking at the quality) before I blog it. If I’d asked the designer for it, I would feel obligated to them to blog it although I probably shouldn’t feel that way (and I’m not suggesting others should either). However, if designers offer or choose to send me things I love it because I think they must value my opinion and that gives me the warm fuzzies :). I totally agree with CaLLIe that blogging makes fashion even more fun then it already is. We ought not to take it too seriously and just enjoy. My life would be a little bit duller if I didn’t have my favourite blogs to read each week :).
I’ve always blogged. I blogged before I joined SL. So, now I blog about SL, too. LOL! 😉
I always enjoy reading your blog. It’s very informative.