God, sorry if I sound too do-goody
But for the sake of our community
I’ma take the opportunity to let you know
There’s another stage after puberty…
Ok. So. I’m going to start this post by saying… sorry, not sorry. Everything I say in here is, and always has been, solely my opinion. That’s what my blog is for. To share my passion for photos and fashion in SL, along with my own personal thoughts about whatever is going on in my life at the moment.
And what’s going on in my life right now is all this Backdrop City drama.
These photos today were taken at Backdrop City. But the thing of it is, you would never know that if I didn’t mention it here, and if I weren’t going to credit the location in the bottom of the post, with the rest of the credits, like I always do for any photos taken anywhere other than my home. All you can feasibly see in this photo are myself, my clothes, and the backdrop I’m using.
But how are you supposed to know just by looking at this post, if I went somewhere else to use their backdrop, or if I bought the thing myself. Sure, the specific designer might know, if they really cared enough about a single set of pictures from a single blogger to stumble across my photo and be like, “Huh, I’ve never heard of her…” and search their customer history to find out I haven’t bought anything from them. But do Designers really have the time to do all of that?
And most of you logical people are probably sitting here at this point going, “Deia, why do you care? Why not just avoid the conflict?” I could. However, I feel the need to stand up and join the voices of the Bloggers and Customers who are now being abused for our choices. And yes, ‘abused’ is a harsh word, however, let’s look at a definition for the word ‘abuse’, provided by Dictionary.Com as the third accepted definition:
“to speak insultingly, harshly, or unjustly to or about; revile; malign.”
That is all that I’m seeing across my Facebook feed lately. The drama began when a designer – we all know who by this point, but I still haven’t been about the name-and-shame game, here, so… – posted on their Facebook about how they’d found this free resource, a sim called Backdrop City, where someone was rezzing out backdrops they’d purchased for bloggers and other people to use. This Designer was so upset, because it was “obviously” taking away sales from them… because after all, if someone liked the backdrop enough to use it at a free sim, they “obviously” would have purchased it themselves, if they didn’t find it at the free sim.
I say “obviously” in quotes because these are points that I personally do not agree with.
- I dislike backdrops that are gachas. Backdrops are something I have to rez in-world, and after having several dancer friends lose dance HUDs worth hundreds of thousands of lindens because they rezzed it in-world and it was no-copy and there was some kind of asset server failure… I just dislike rezzing anything that is no-copy. So I, personally, don’t buy gacha backdrops unless it’s a backdrop I absolutely MUST have… which is few and far between.
- To assume that this free-resource sim is losing you massive amounts of sales is a little ludicrous, and slightly arrogant. This is mainly because it operates on the assumption that a person who liked a backdrop at this sim enough to take a picture with it there would have bought it from you if it were not available at the sim. This isn’t necessarily the case… because who is to say that person would know that backdrop – or your store, for that matter – even existed if they hadn’t found it in that resource sim. If anything, the fact that they found it at Backdrop City means they now **know who you are**, where they may not have before.
The last two points I would like to make here have been done to death… but I still feel the need to mention them, in case any of you reading this haven’t been present for the drama on Facebook and in-world.
First, photo studios with backdrops have been around foreeeeeeever. Some of my first profile photos when I originally rezzed in 2008 were taken in these freebie studios. And, to my knowledge, the creators of the photography studios that were rezzed in-world for others didn’t go after the studio owners, demanding them to take them down because those people – usually noobs – using the photo studio would have bought it themselves if it weren’t available for free. In fact, that particular idea, in this scenario, makes me laugh… because I remember as a noob myself using them, I was searching for them in-world because I couldn’t afford to buy one of the fancy ones myself, but I still wanted good photos. Windlight wasn’t a thing at the time, beyond the day cycle, and I didn’t have a decent graphics card like I do now… so I needed all the external help with my photos that I could get. But yeah… these photo studio creators didn’t get all up in arms about it then…. so why are “Backdrop designers” getting all up in arms about it now.
Oh, right… the culture of greed that has grown in Second Life. My bad, I forgot.
Lastly, this is literally JUST the same as the furniture and other objects that we all use to decorate our houses, public sims… some of these designers even use others’ objects to decorate their stores. Someone had better get a memo to them that everything they use to decorate their store must now be made originally and exclusively by themselves… because what happens if I see a really cute bench by a Decor designer at a Clothing Designer’s store, sit on it, and take a picture. Uh oh! That means that clothing designer has just cost the Decor designer a sale, because I didn’t have to go buy the bench myself!
*Insert eyeroll* Can you see how ridiculous this is?
The part that has really gotten to me, though… have been the attempt to control what bloggers do, no matter what products they are posting. Now, I was not a part of this Blogger team anymore – and after seeing how the Designers react, I thank god that I wasn’t – so I can’t say 100% for sure the intent behind the words that were said… but in a leaked internal notice sent to a particular Backdrop/Deocr/Building designer’s blogger team, they stated, and I quote (with the store’s nane redacted):
“I hope as well that if you have questions as to why we are adamant and do not want _________ bloggers to promote or be a part of this new trend please private message me.”
I have… several problems with this singular statement, which is not even the entirety of the message that was sent.
- The statement is pretty generic… like, I could understand requesting that YOUR bloggers not promote YOUR products while using this sim resource… that would mostly be within your right, since they’re your review copies that you’re giving out to people… but this particular statement seems very general, as though they are instructing their bloggers to NEVER use this resource… whether it’s for a post with their products or not. I hate to break it to you, but you don’t control what bloggers do with their posts that are not featuring your products. You don’t pay them, they are not your full-time employees. You give them a review copy and you expect them to use it to promote that product. They have no extended relationship with you beyond that, and either side is free to terminate that relationship at any point.
- “New trend.” As stated before… photo studio/backdrop type sims have been around for AT LEAST 10 years, if not longer. The only reason it seems like a ‘new trend’ now is because SO many designers are jumping on the backdrop train… because they’re relatively quick to make, compared to larger buildings or other things that are more intricate and detailed. YOU are the only ones ‘new’ to this ‘trend’.
- “Please private message me.” Um, no. You don’t get to publicly condemn the owner of the sim, and users of this sim, both AT the sim itself and in other public forums… and then expect people to handle their concerns with your views and questions for you privately. You don’t get the dignity of keeping your bullshit hush-hush while you’ve dragged the names of several through the mud, and harassed countless others.
This kind of behavior has to stop. Without customers, there is no one to design for. If you are going to turn away every single customer because you’ve alienated them, treated them poorly, or made yourself such a negative entity in SL that they are afraid to purchase from you… then your “work” to “protect” the sales you think you’re losing from resource sims like this is useless. Because you won’t just “lose” those POTENTIAL sales… you’ll ACTUALLY lose EVERY sale, eventually.
Also… apparently nobody taught you to that if you shine a huge spotlight on something that you don’t like, 9 times out of 10 it’s going to just make it that much more relevant and popular. I hope you enjoy how popular you’ve made Backdrop City since your tirades. ♥
Shape || Mine
Head || Catya Head (v3.0) | Catwa
* Skin || Natalia Skin (Medium #1) | Essences | Powder Pack for Catwa (December)
* Eyes || Jordin Set Eyes | AviGlam | Powder Pack for Catwa (December)
* Eyeshadow || Shimmer Eyeshadow | Arte | Powder Pack for Catwa (December)
* Lipstick || Bewitched Lips (Send more nudes Edition) | Adored | Powder Pack for Catwa (December)
* Hair || Caralisa (Multitone 1) | Truth Hair | new!
* Top || Girls Night Bra Top | Blueberry | Collabor88 | new!
* Skirt || Girls Night Split Skirt | Blueberry | Collabor88 | new!
Collar || Inked Collar | RealEvil Industries
* Necklace || Celestial Necklace | Cae | The Chapter Four | new!
Backdrop || (will insert the name when I can get back into the sim without so much lag and find it again. I tp’d out without the name, I’m sorry!)
Location || Backdrop City (Instagramish Section)
Blogging Tune || Flobots Respond to Logan Paul “No Handlebars”