Sunday, May 8, 2011
In which Emerald unleashes her inner bitch and channels Emily Post
I noticed today that I have 100 followers, and I have to admit I got kind of teary for a few minutes. I realize 100 followers is nothing compared to many SL blogs, but the fact that 100 people occasionally care about anything I have to say, well, it kind of makes up for the fact that in real life I often feel like nobody cares about anything I have to say. [insert the screechy violin here]
(Yeah sorry, I'm in a dark place again. If I grope you on accident, it's only because I'm reaching out blindly in search of the Exit door. I hang on to the words of Winston Churchill: "If you're going through hell, keep going." And I highly recommend the obscure song "Down in a Hole," by James Taylor for those times when you're in the Black too. Drink it up and chase it with some Wellbutrin.)
Anyway, thank you to all of you who read this ridiculous thing. I wish I were a creator so I could create something and give it to everyone as a thank-you gift.
OK, enough with the emo. It's time for a part of the blog I like to call . . .
LET'S GET ALL BITCHY AND PREACHY FOR A SECOND, YAWL!!
As long as we're on the topic of gratitude and creators, please allow me to share some feelings of frustration.
Some time ago — maybe way over a year ago, yikes — blogger Chic Aeon posted some helpful tips for other bloggers. One of them really resonated with me, which was, to paraphrase, "if you blog a creator's work, be sure to drop that creator a friendly note and let that person know it."
So for a while I tried to do that whenever I could. To me, using this blog to communicate just how much I love a dress, furniture, a house, etc., is the best way I can thank that creator for making my SL more fun and beautiful. Telling creators that I blogged their items is simply letting them know that I wrote them a public thank-you note, in case they care to read it. I don't drop these notecards because I expect effusive thank-yous in return from those designers. I don't do it to schmooze. I don't do it in the hopes of getting future review copies. I just do it to express my gratitude.
I will say that about 60 percent of those notecards are ignored (which is why I'm gun shy about doing it now). The classy creators at least IM and acknowledge the fact that they received it. A few write thank-you notes back. It's kind of an interesting "Whose mama raised them right?" test, actually.
A few weeks ago, I exchanged words with a designer that got under my skin so much, maybe the only way I can let it go is to write it down.
She made a dress I loved, so in a previous post I wrote a longer-than-usual paragraph about how much I loved it. Yeah, it was a little bit rambling and got off track for a few sentences and the picture was amateurish, but hey, that's how it is over here. People either like it or run away screaming. Anyway, my RL was hectic at the time, so it wasn't until probably more than a week later that I was able to drop my "Hi, I loved your [item] - just a heads up that I blogged about it [here], etc." note. She IM'ed back, "yeah I read that [post] a while ago thanks."
It felt like a brush-off. And I'm not going to lie — it hurt my feelings. I wasn't expecting a cookie or orgasmic screams of delight or anything, but I was kind of surprised that she read someone raving about her work and apparently just shrugged or whatever. I interpreted her IM as, "yeah whatever — your blog is no big deal." (I'll be the first person to agree with that sentiment, actually.)
So I guess I'm having a difficult time relating to that response — or to any creator, for that matter, who reads a flattering blog post about her or his work and doesn't take two seconds to acknowledge it. If I were a creator who worked hard to make beautiful things, and I stumbled across a blog that was praising it — even if it wasn't one of the big, exciting fashion blogs; even if it was goofy with bad pictures and not to my taste; even if it was written by a person with only two readers — I would express my sincere gratitude to that blogger. Hell, if I didn't have time to IM or write a note, I'd at least write a "thank you!' comment on the post.
Because you know what, Designer Who Doesn't Give a Damn? That person liked your work so much that she/he took the time to put it on, pose with it, take photos — no matter how crappy — and sit down at a keyboard and try to find the right words to tell other people how great it is.
In a blogger's world, that's the equivalent of poring over prims and textures in long, meticulous attempts to get them just right.
I can't even imagine how many SL blogs are out there, so I get that you don't have time to offer lengthy, eloquent and poetic thanks to every blogger who writes about you. But damn, if that blogger even reaches out to you in world and says, "I loved your dress/necklace/etc. so much I wrote about it" and gives you the link, at least have the decency to respond, "Thank you, that means a lot to me." (Especially if you, in fact, "read that a while ago.") That simple phrase works even if you can't stand the blog, cringed at the pictures or thought the post was horrible. Forget the writing — strip that post down to its bare bones: The admiration of your work and the gesture of wanting to share that admiration publicly with others.
Because here's the thing: At the end of the day, it's the little, insignificant people like me — the common folk, the ones who don't get your blogger review packs, the ones who like your work so much they spend precious lindens on it — who are going to keep your business alive. We're the ones who are actually spending the money.
Here's the point I really want to make, though:
Dear Designer Who Doesn't Doesn't Give a Damn,
I blogged your work. I let you know. I wanted you to know that I liked it so much, I gave it my time and I gave it my words, which for me are two of the most precious things I have to give. But you're busy. You're used to the oohs and aahs. You have a shiteload of notecards to read. For whatever reason, you shrugged it off. End of story. That's cool. I never expected you to throw a parade. I wasn't writing for your approval anyway.
But I'll bet you my teeny little linden balance that if I would have blogged your work and ripped on how ridiculous or unsightly it was, that response would have changed from a delayed "yeah I read that a while ago thanks" to an immediate uproar of outrage from not only you, but from other designers and all your friends, screeching about how hard you worked on it and how dare I have the audacity to criticize it. The Plurkers would get all up in that link. Ban lists would get longer. The drama llama would dance a happy dance.
You can't spend a few moments of your time to acknowledge a blogger who likes your work, but I'm pretty sure you'd find the time to start a crusade if that blogger dared to publicly criticize it. I know because I've seen it happen too many times.
**kicks over the soap box and ends rant**
Happy Mother's Day! :D
Posted by Emerald Wynn at 12:35 PM