Good advertising, bad advertising, still advertising some might say.
It came to my ears tonight that The Rumor team finally understood, after more than a month, that they are not welcome at my store anymore.
My reasons have been more than explained in a previous blog posted here but let me summarize and yet overtalk.
Since I've been on the grid, my aim has always been to bring something personal & creative. The aim was never to make buckets of money cos I can objectively say that if that was the case, my RL grade would make me earn much more, practiced on the same schedule as my SL work. Nope, the aim has always been to develop skills in graphism & to deal with my own project, something I had never done before even in my very complete RL work life. I always had felt that something was missing in my life and that was probably to get out of the intellectual job I'm doing to create something with my hands. Even though it had to be done through a computer.
I started learning photoshop, I wasn't that good but I was learning quickly. I had a few ideas, some people seemed to love it and with time, the store grew, yet in quality because my skills were improving and also in the size of my collection and of my groups.
I got more and more involved in the store and spent uncounted hours on it, way more that if it ever had been a real job. I kept my price policy fair, just because the aim, once again, was just to share. My groups grew again, I ended up taking my own sim, was invited to a ton of events, joined it, brang bargains, brang free stuff just because I felt like it was a good idea to give the opportunity to get items that were maybe too expensive for them for a cheaper price or for free.
Of course, bringing stuff on SL has a cost : texturing, scripts, tools, tier, satellite stores, advertising. It has a cost. So obviously I wasn't gonna have a freebie store. But I'd keep it as fair as possible.
Some want to get rich or die trying. That's not my case. Matter of choice.
My involvment in my project had an unexpected good result. My store stands on its own feet since a long, long time. People keep on coming, thanking me for the gifts they get through the events, and I have to say thank you to them too for supporting the store and helping me to be able to keep on learning, building and bringing new stuff.
Their support is essential.
My skills are still what is it. I yet don't make the most realistic pearl textures in Second Life but did I pretend I wanted to be realistic ? Do most of the SL shapes look realistic ? I doubt of it.
I spend time creating what I'm doing, I give energy to it. I could just do like some do and wait for money to come without ever doing events or ever giving anything for free. I don't. There wouldn't be anything interesting in doing what I'm doing if I couldn't share as much as possible. There are some graphists that are worshipped by the entire SL community, such as Mandala and Miel for the amazing textures they bring. I'm far from having their level and I'm perfectly fine with my limits. I didn't go to a graphists school, I learned it all by myself, I'm proud of what I do even though I know I'm far from perfection and have therefore no pretention.
It has become very easy on Second Life to pretend that every single designer is a greedy ass just making it for the money and who wants to steal money from your wallet. Let's make things clear : You'll purchase what you want to purchase. No one will force you to do so. No one forced my thousands of customers in purchasing anything at my store, ever. They did it because they found something they liked in it. And I'm thankful because without them, there would be no store.
It also became trendy, some times ago, to feel like when you're a shopper, you have the right to bitch at everything you see without any respect. "We want to be like Simon Conwell, if it sucks, we have got to tell it".
I hear it yet. "Freedom of speech". In 1998, when I hit the web, trolls on different mIRC channels were claiming "Freedom of speech" whenever they were banned for having been an ass. Same old story, same old premade warrant to cover any stupid, agressive, insulting, manipulative, diffaming, gossiping in the world.
So let me explain my strict opinion about this :
Insulting, agressing, manipulating, diffaming, gossiping, bitching, whatever you call it is NOT in ANY CASE just giving an opinion. It is just an evil and sick behavior that some took the habit to take thinking that nothing would happen to them. But they are wrong.
Not only because the behavior is quite pathetic in itself, but also because diffaming is also forbidden by international laws and by SL's TOS.
The fact it happens on another website than on Second Life's or on the grid doesn't change anything to it. This is still a behavior adopted in the aim to harm some Second Life Resident, store or "business" like some would call it.
The second thing is also that, as any website, mIRC channel, sim on Second Life, the access you are granted to a region is something conditioned to some rules. My rules are pretty much clear and have been written in my profile since years now and accessible on pick n°5 to everyone. In the case those rules are not respect, my first and most natural right is to eject or ban those I'd find not respecting these rules.
This happens, as I said, with any website. Do something against Facebook's rules, you're out. This is just something you don't have any choice but to accept.
So now, let's imagine that you own a fashion store in real life in which you are selling your handmade creations that you spent so much time in creating and that I start bitching at all you are making... Wouldn't you start feeling some antipathy against me ?
If some real life big brands start lawsuits about some diffamation in some magazines and get so much money from it, that just means that there is a reason and the reason is that diffaming, insulting, agressing is WRONG.
Some seem to have had a lot of free time to look at American Idol and get inspired on it but not to think about their behaviors.
Now, am I shocked by anything that The Rumor says ? No. Not about me. Because my aim has never been, as I said, to pretend that I'm the most awesome designer in SL. However, I have to admit that I am a human being and that I had to read, when I still read that blog, a lot of awful comments about some other designers' stuff, whether they are my friends or not, whether they have a satellite store on my sim or not.
And that, I don't accept it. I don't accept to see someone criticizing a shape pretending that you'll look like E.T. if you wear it. I don't accept rudeness and the violence of comments. I don't accept that self satisfaction that pushes some, to become more trendy and get some applauses by a few gossip girls, to criticize openly and in a NOT AT ALL constructive way what some people took hours or days to make.
This is just a behavior I can't stand.
I don't read The Rumor anymore and if I read it 10 times, it is much. However, I saw enough and I also have enough friends and good customers to know what's happening behind my back.
Would the Rumor's blogger who noticed she was banned from my store a few days ago have a bit of honor, she'd have IMed me so we can talk it about. I'd have told her my point of view, she'd have told her hers. We would have seen what we can do so things work better.
It wasn't done, she prefered to spread it somewhere else. Her choice. That won't make her get unbanned, nor her team.
Let's thanks those who had the smartness to understand my point of view and to defend it.
For the other ones who can't get that what they do is wrong, well, there is a word for them. But I won't tell it here ^_^.
[Update] I forgot to mention that I have a perfect conscience that being banned on an avatar doesn't mean being totally banned since we can't ban on IPs and that anyway, some IPs are dynamic. I therefore expect the use of alts. Means that the decision to ban the team was entierly SYMBOLIC more than a way to forbid them to do anything since anyway, there will always be ways to know what I'm releasing since it's available on flickr, on this blog, on anywhere else. Symbolic & congruent to my values.
Good advertising, bad advertising, still advertising some might say.