The last few days have been hectic and it’s been difficult for me to find a quiet moment to sit down and collect all my thoughts.
Even when I am busy, I try to take a few moments here and there to keep up to date on all the happenings in-world.
I follow lots of different blogs and websites on my WordPress reader and my Feedly reader.
(I would rather only have one reader to faff with, but WordPress refuses to play nice with a lot of websites and blogspot blogs!)
I started blogging and wrote mostly about dance.
I also wrote about anything and everything that interested me.
I started my LOTD posts as an inventory project, which led me into other directions – photography, Photoshop, etc.
I discovered that I love ‘playing dress up’ and making new looks for myself.
It’s the same thing as dancing, I suppose, only not as much work for me. 😀
I got myself on a few feeds and I applied to a few places as a blogger.
LOTD posts are not all I do, so I have only been applying for blogging jobs I know I would love.
(Like blogging for A Tattered Page, which I am doing for their current round, because I adore the event!)
There are a million SL fashion blogs these days, it seems.
After toying with the idea of making a foray into blogging SL fashions, I decided against it.
It’s not my main interest and frankly, to do it well is a ton of work.
In my LOTD posts, I try to credit everything, but I soon realized (after about 3 posts) that trying to credit every item and provide links to every store was horribly time consuming.
Add in the fact that LM’s/SLURL’s change all the time, and you have a recipe for a migraine. 😦
I have gotten ‘syndicated’ by getting my blog on some feeds, but there are some feeds that I either won’t meet their requirements or I don’t want to.
I blog because I enjoy it, but I know it’s all too easy to get caught up and forget why you started blogging in the first place.
As I was reading through my feeds, I came across a post by Leesee on her blog Time and Lace.
It was a post about her frustrations as a Second Life fashion blogger.
I’ll let you read it, but she brings up several points I’ve often wondered about myself.
Feeds & Flickr
I’m on a few feeds, but I am a bit confused about why being on 3+ feeds (which is a typical requirement) is necessary.
I follow (I think) 5 large SL fashion feeds, and I see the same posts on each one.
Which, as a reader, gets tiresome.
I know that traffic and views are the reason behind the requirement to be on a feed, but I don’t understand why being on 3+ feeds is necessary.
In addition to feeds, many designers require you to have a Flickr account and get a certain number of views and/or favs on your photos.
While I enjoy Flickr, I don’t really understand these requirements either.
I find that it’s too easy to ‘game’ Flickr – put your photo in 600+ groups and it’s pretty easy to get 100+ views on a photo.
I know that a lot of people assume that fashion bloggers are just looking for free items, but I’ve not found that to be the case with any of the bloggers I’ve met.
However, I’ve come to realize that I’m probably naive when it comes to what other people will do.
For instance, I belong to a terrific blogging group – the SL Blogger Support group.
Sometimes the group will get early access to events.
While I can’t always take advantage of these, I am grateful that I am afforded the opportunity.
I was amazed that I was able to access Hair Fair prior to its opening this year.
I’ve never been before and it was nice to be able to actually walk around the sims rather than trying to slog through lag molasses, which is what usually happens when I go to popular events.
As I was perusing the hair offerings, I learned that someone was upset and calling one of the group’s owners hateful names.
I was, frankly, appalled.
People can be such jerks.
While these perks are nice, they are not the reason I joined the group, nor are they the reason I blog.
It is a fact of life, I suppose, that there will always be someone who tries to ruin something for everyone else.
Which leads me to the other side of the story.
On Leesee’s blog, someone who has been both a blogger and a designer left a comment to try and explain it from both sides.
There was also a great comment left by Micah Kalinakov, who is a blogger manager (I didn’t even know that was a thing!).
She thinks that the requirement to be on feeds is on the way out, possibly due to the ever-growing list of social media networks.
She then goes on to explain the reasoning behind some of the requirements.
Basically, many of them are to help weed out those who are just in it for the swag.
She also mentions some bad experiences she’s had with people – again, I was appalled at what some people will do.
I also saw a discussion on Plurk about designers and bloggers – I’d link to it, but I can’t seem to find it.
The point was that bloggers tend to overextend themselves – applying to lots of designers, getting accepted, and then getting overwhelmed at the sheer volume of work.
(It IS work to put a blog post together, even if it’s just a pic and some credits!)
I’m sure it’s nice to be in blogger groups, especially if it’s a group that gives out review copies of items (not all of them do).
But I would agree that bloggers need to consider whether they can meet the requirements they’ve agreed to.
I could have applied to a ton of events and possibly (I can dream, right?) gotten accepted to at least some of them.
I could have, but I didn’t.
I know that I wouldn’t have the time (or possibly the energy/inclination) to crank out tons of blog posts just because I got review copies of items.
What Have I Learned?
Although I love doing my LOTD posts, I will never be a Second Life fashion blogger.
I know my limits, and I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) agree to some of the requirements some designers have.
Some designers just aren’t my style, and I’m sure that the reverse is true as well.
It’s interesting to see both sides of the story and learn why some designers have the requirements they do, as well as learning about some of the frustrations of other bloggers.
It’s always nice to know it’s not just you, right?
The idea of some sort of blogger meet/greet was also bandied about in the comments on Leesee’s blog – it would be awesome if it actually happened!
I’d love the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers and have the chance to
pick their brains, erm . . . get to know them better. 😀
8 thoughts on “Two Sides To Every Story”
Awesome post Kat! I’m glad you enjoyed my post! I certainly didn’t go into it expecting the outcome that’s for sure haha!
I think the 3+ feeds started before facebook and flickr and other various social media became a big things for bloggers, I get the idea behind them, mass marketing, exposure. The problem with some of them is that you don’t actually get clicks to your blog, your post is seen on the feed and the feed gets the traffic. While it’s great to still get those views, it doesn’t show on your blog and so there’s no way to actually keep track of how well they work. I really do hope that this requirement becomes less important, being on feeds can’t hurt, but it’s not a true representation on how many people see your posts.
Flickr is indeed easy to game as you put it. I am still experimenting with Flickr to find out what works with views, I’m hoping that my sponsors won’t mind me messing about with my flickr for a little bit as my views may drop, but once I’m done I’m hoping that I’ll get some good results! At the moment I add to groups but I plan on stopping that apart from the groups of designers I officially blog for to run a test to see how much difference it makes to views as opposed to following a bunch of people which I’ve also done.
I agree with you on what other people seem to do, I genuinely am shocked that there are so many out there that do it for free items, it honestly never crossed my mind as being a reason to join a group, it’s a great perk sure, but it baffles me that people can be that way! The attitude of bloggers that I’ve read about in the comments on my blog posts were a real eye opener. I think that as bloggers sometimes we are so in our little bubble that we don’t see a lot of what’s around us (I know I’m like this at least!)
I personally don’t join a group if the requirements aren’t something I can stick to. Sometimes I may skim read requirements so only find out come the end of the first month when I’m not meeting requirements, then I leave the group. This I think can happen easily as if you put in a lot of applications (and the reasoning behind putting in a lot of applications in my case is I figure I might get into one, but certainly not all of them, sort of like applying for jobs lol and I’ll only apply for stores I like!) it’s easy to start to skim read when reading requirements. I’ve stopped doing this and make sure that if I start to skim I step back until I’m able to concentrate again and make sure I’m not saying yes to something that I don’t’ agree with.
It’s great to learn from stuff like this and be able to grow from it. I will certainly be in for meeting up with people. I just suck at organizing stuff like that hahaha I’ll be in for the picking of brains as well! It would make the researcher in me geek out hahaha
Sorry for the long reply! I ramble way too much!
I agree about the feeds – and the issue with views is one reason I’m not on more. I know at least one I looked at required that you put the full post on their feed, which gives them the traffic and not you! Flickr is just not intuitive for me – I’ve joined groups and followed people, and I’m still trying, like you, to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
I decided, after spending hours following, faving, and searching groups, that I would just ‘do my thing’ with my photos. If people like them, great. I put photos in some blogging groups and I try to put them in the designer groups for whatever items I’m using. But I don’t have the time or energy to put my photo in 600 or more groups!
It is easy to skim, as you said, when you’re applying to multiple designers. Since fashion blogging isn’t really my focus, I’ve not run into that issue. And though it might be nice to get free items, I’d rather purchase items myself and be free to say what I really think about them, instead of feeling like I have to like them just because they were free.
Plus, I like to play around editing photos, and I always feel like if I’m blogging an item people might want to purchase, I need to show it as it really appears in SL, not just how it appears after I’d edited the photo to death. 🙂 I’ve also heard some people say that it’s hard to be a blogger without Photoshop or some sort of photo editor – I don’t get that. I’ve seen some people take some pretty amazing unedited photos.
I’m so glad you took the plunge and wrote your post – clearly it’s an issue that would benefit from open and honest discussion (like what’s happened so far). And I’m REALLY hoping someone starts the ball rolling on a blogger’s meet-n-greet!
“And though it might be nice to get free items, I’d rather purchase items myself and be free to say what I really think about them, instead of feeling like I have to like them just because they were free. :/”
I’ve seen this view a few times now. I find that interesting, I don’t feel as if I have to give a good review at all just because I get an item for free, I see what I do as something more than that. I’ve always only blogged what I like, and there’s been a few times when I’ve received something I’ve liked in a bloggers group, but there’s been a fault so I’ve let the creator know and then I haven’t blogged that item or I’ve given an honest review of it. I think that the fear that you’ll get kicked out if you don’t just say nice things is something that needs to be looked at, because I think that giving an honest view on an item whether good or bad is a beneficial thing. I’d love to touch on this more. I think I’m going to ask some of the designers I blog for if they could answer a few questions in that regards as to if they would prefer honesty or prefer only blogging what you like.
Ooh, be sure to share what you find out. As I said, I don’t focus on fashion blogging, so maybe some of my thinking is a misconception. So if you get something that you don’t like, do you just skip blogging it at all? I agree, if it’s a fault that can be corrected, contacting the designer is the best course. But what if it’s an item that you just don’t care for aesthetically?
If it’s an item that I just don’t care for aesthetically I don’t blog it, I’d rather wear something that I like and that I can show in the best light than something that I put on and go “ugh what can I do with this?” I think if a fashion blogger is feeling pressured to blog items they don’t like then they shouldn’t blog for that creator. I think it’s a real shame if bloggers do that.
I am on a few feeds, I’ve been asked a time or two how to get on them, but honestly, I don’t recall having ever applied. (except, perhaps virtual fashion feed and Blog Lovin’) I am a Blogger Manager for *Les Petit Details* and I have to say I don’t normally require feeds either anymore, and those few time’s I’ve applied to blog something and they ask for feeds, I mention the ones I’ve seen myself on, but I also leave a comment that I feel views are a better indication of a bloggers reach and I would be happy to screen print mine for them. In the same direction, when looking for bloggers for *LpD* I don’t typically look at flickr hits either, they truly are skewed. When I first started on flickr, I used to like and view everyone’s work and in turn I’d get hundreds of views, stars and comments, but after time I noticed how time consuming this practice is. So now I basically “store” my pictures on flickr, like other’s pic’s that I truly DO like when I have time to view, and my numbers are down to a more “normal” number. But as an aside, as a blogger manager I once had a blogger begging me to let her blog and her point was, “bc I have so many flickr views” but when I LOOKED at her pictures, sure she had the numbers, she just really wasn’t very good at pictures so I think it was misrepresented.
I typically buy what I blog too because I do a LOT of mix and match and I am never sure designer’s would appreciate it. However, I kind of disagree on the “tell the designer” there is something wrong with their product. I think I’d just choose not to blog it because I know some designers are rather sensitive about their work and I wouldn’t wish to upset or embarrass anyone. I am in the blogging group of a small handful of designers, but they are mostly friends and I always let them know I can’t promise to blog as required, but I will certainly try my best to do so. I think as long as there is honesty between the two parties and the agreement is acceptable to each, there is nothing wrong with blogging to your own terms as well. Great topic! 😀
I’m hearing that feeds may be losing importance, which I think is a good thing. And I’m happy to hear that quality is winning over quantity!! 🙂
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