Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another SL Economy Rant

Before I get started, this blog post is going to be a rant. I apologize in advance, if I tend to jump all over the place with my points. I have ranted about the SL Economy in the past, and this post will reiterate some of those points, as well as touch on other factors.

Disclaimer: The opinions stated here are my own, and should not reflect on any of the other blogs or establishments that I am associated with. I welcome your thoughts, and comments as always.

Here it goes ...

The buzz on the street for a while now, is that Freebies are destroying the SL economy. To be brutally honest, its bullshit! The real life economy, is destroying the SL economy. With the factory closures and job losses, many folks don't have the discretionary or disposable income to spend on game credits or "play money."

I am a freebie blogger and there are many of us. We are dedicated, hard working, passionate about what we do, and we do it because we love it. We do not get paid for what we do, yet we get up early in the morning, and stay up late at night pounding out the blogs for our devoted readers. We faithfully sit at our desks, describing the treasures that we have found, (or in some cases that have been dropped on us.) We are spending OUR leisure time taking pics, showcasing the items, and encouraging others to go to the store where they can be found by providing a LM to that location.

We are bringing the folks of our beloved "game" news and information about the Retail World. Essentially we are providing a service to the Designers and Creators of SL. We are your customers, and your Advertising Campaign Manager.

As stated in HoneyBear's Open Letter to Designers blog post on April 12th, freebies are a sampling of the Creator/Designer's abilities. As a Blogger, I have done my job now its up to the Store owner to get my Reader's attention, money & repeat business if they choose to visit.

There are several ways to achieve this. There are group offerings, special sales, or reasonable everyday prices for the quality of items they offer. To add an element of FUN and to gain traffic to their stores, Merchants have Midnight Madness boards, lucky chairs, prize orbs, and probably many other gimmicks I have not listed.

My wardrobe does not solely consist of all free or dollarbie merchandise. In fact, my inventory is exploding with fabulous, fine quality, and dare I say, some extremely OVERPRICED items that I have purchased during my time on the grid. Admittedly, my inventory also has less than quality items, and not all of those were picked up in my early time in SL.

People are becoming more frugal with their hard earned Lindens. Whether they work for them in SL, or purchase them, they are hard earned! I don't make the spontaneous, irrational purchases I once did. I look for items that can work with some of my favorite clothing items, or be incorporated with my existing SL furniture pieces for my home.
Designers should not feel pressured to offer freebies of their work, if they are not inclined to do so. I would be interested however, to know what low-cost marketing strategy will reach the number of people in-world that the Bloggers reach.

Sure, I suppose these Merchants could write their own blog; but if they are spending time doing that, it will take up valuable time that could be used for creating their merchandise, to make money. I am sure there are venues where they could pay for advertising, but that would cut in to their bottom line as well. There are groups, such as Sexy Shoppers, Fashion Consolidated, and Fashion R US, that reach a number of residents as well.

Which brings me to another point ...

If you are a vendor, and you're using one of these groups to advertise and get the word out about your offerings, here is a suggestion:

Make your notices interesting & fun! Make me want to open the attachment, and learn more about what you have to say - include pics to "WOW" me - make me want to TP to your store to see what else you have, and give you my money.

Sure, its easy to blame freebies, and the Freebie Bloggers for the failure of your business, and sucking the SL economy dry. Why not blame us for global warming, the war in Iraq and the weather while you're at it.

Let's be reasonable.

If you're looking to become a Virtual Millionaire, what you really need to do is improve your skills, move to a new location, rethink your business plan, and give customers what they really want, at affordable prices.

I can't imagine that another avi held a prim gun to your head and demanded that you create. You started creating, because you enjoyed it. If what your doing is not fun or exciting or relaxing for you any more, may I suggest that you stop immediately, and find something that you do enjoy.


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