Perceived Value

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A couple of days ago, I came across an interesting article on New World Notes.  The writer discusses the ‘disconnect’ between how long it actually takes to make some creations within Second Life versus how long people (consumers of those creations) think it takes.  (See here for the full article.  Be sure to read the comments.)

It’s an interesting question.  I’ve had to learn to build and create in Second Life, and it’s not easy.  I learned to build for two reasons – 1) I am not made of money and I am pretty frugal with my L$ (so buying what I needed/wanted wasn’t always an option), and 2) sometimes what I want I just can’t find anywhere.  Now, #2 I often blame on the crappy search engine that is MarketPlace.  I shop there because it’s convenient – I can see a lot more things in a lot less time.  However, not every creator puts items on MP.  And sometimes you can find exactly what you want – but it costs waaaayyy more than you can afford (or want to spend).

With the advent of mesh, building isn’t as easy as it used to be (at least for me.) I don’t know how to use Blender, I don’t know how to ‘rig’ mesh – it all just seems overwhelming.  I can take classes, watch tutorials, etc., and teach myself, but frankly, I just don’t have the time.  So I end up purchasing a lot of items that I use in my routines.

How do I decide what to purchase?  That’s where ‘perceived value’ comes in.  Sometimes, I want a statement piece.  So I might be willing to spend a bit more.  Other times, I need to set a scene (sometimes a large one), so I will purchase multiple smaller pieces (for example, desks, shelving, lights).  Those I don’t want to spend too much on, because I am purchasing multiple items.  But what I am willing to pay may not match what a creator thinks their item is worth.  Their ‘perceived value’ of the item may be higher than mine.  They factor in their time, their energy, and what it took them to create the item (including photos, marketing, vendors, etc.).  Since I (or other consumers) may not understand what is involved in creating an item, there may be a difference in our ‘value’ of the item.

It got me to wondering about differences in ‘perceived value’ and how that applies to dance.  For instance, it appears that most venues (and dancers) think that audiences put a high value on large stages and lavish sets.  But is that true or there is a difference in what venues/dancers are emphasizing and what the audience actually wants?

It’s hard to say.  But it’s an interesting thought.  What other parts of a dance performance have different perceived values for dancers vs. venue owners vs. audience members?  Are dancers and/or venue owners wasting time on things that don’t really have any value to their audience?  Are they NOT spending time on things that DO have value to the audience?  It also got me to thinking about whether or not an audience knows what goes into making a dance.  Perhaps audiences think that it takes a few minutes of tinkering and voilá! you have a beautiful dance sequence.  It might be interesting to film a video of a dance being created.

More and more questions! So keep watching for the next Question of the Day.  🙂



9 thoughts on “Perceived Value

  1. I think costume hunting definitely comes to mind. I often spend more time trying to find a costume than I do on creating the entire rest of the dance. A search on MP can produce several hundred pages of items, even with narrowing it down, it takes a long time to look at so many pages and items, reading their descriptions, anguishing over which to select. Or TPing around, waiting for stuff to load, arg!! And then buying one to find out it doesn’t “dance” well, so there is money wasted.

    1. I, too, have spent hours scouring MP trying to find the ‘perfect’ item. There is some really cool stuff out there, but a lot of stuff I love just doesn’t work for a dance, alas!

  2. I’ve had this idea to make the actual creating of a routine open to the public. I think that is as interesting, at times, as the shows themselves. I watched Nottoo work on a 2-person Silhouette routine and i was captivated. Not bored in the least. And it hit me then, wow this is entertaining in itself. Now it may have limited audiences as in dance-aficionados, maybe new dancers trying to learn. And there is also the proprietary fear of, being copied. But thats happening so much anyways. And maybe you can open up PART of what you do to the public and announce it. Of course things like shopping for costumes, dances, props, etc…won’t play into this but..its worth a shot.

    1. I’m actually considering doing just that. Create a routine from start to finish (choreo and movers) and then make a video while I do it. Of course, I’ll have to speed it up – no one can take 4 hours of tweaking movers!!

      1. Great idea. That might really be handy as a way to show step-by-step how to use a complex tool and discuss the thought process behind choices. Maybe even show errors as they arise and the process of solving them. So many interesting facets that go into a routine. Wonder if people will watch or assume it will be boring. I think to a new dancer it might be interesting…definitely helpful. Key like you say is smart concise editing.


        1. Maybe I’ll start with just putting together the choreo for a number and then do a second video for putting it together with some simple movers. Although sometimes it’s kind of mash-up of both at once, depending on the routine. 🙂

  3. I have always built with an audience. When I rebuild the theatre (which happens often with me ^^) I send notices to the patrons group inviting people over. I have had set building nights when I have built a number of sets for Moons and put them in our public rezzers for anyone to play with.

    1. I’ll have to keep an eye out for those! I think making building more transparent (and the work it involves) helps people to understand the real value of it. Same with dancing. 🙂

  4. Alternatively, look it at the perspective that I was talking about a couple of weeks back. Making a show of building a show. The focus being more on making an event of show building instead of just transparency.

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