Sunday, September 12, 2010

like your shoes, love your hair

[***WARNING*** Comments on this post are being monitored, and not by me. If you are a member of the ADA Texture group on InWorldz--whatever name it's going by this second--then you may be evicted from the group due to Adaarye Shikami's noting of your name as commenter here. If you feel the urge to say something anyway, I would recommend you post anonymously. I will remove my restrictions on anonymous posting after I update this and the current post.]

From the Soulless Productions group notice:
"Okay, so with SL being fucked lately, it has been nearly impossible to make any new shit. Between the crashing, not being able to upload, and the damn lag we don't have many releases atm."
Ordinarily, I do try to temper the cursing on this blog--not because I don't particularly curse, m'self (though I'm getting better), but because this is a blog--it conceivably has eyes from many cultures and many temperaments. (I do run the odd NSFW item, but I do try to warn folks, and after all, it is my concept of NSFW in the first place.)

That having been said, how'ver, this just seemed a perfect capsule description of Life in SL This Week: crashing is up, partial logins (where one logs in, but doesn't get full access to Lindens, group notices, or group chat, or cannot change skin/outfit/hair/eyes until 'shape has fully loaded'--most of you have had this happen) are up, lag is excessive, chat lag is even more noticeable, and we now have several reports of rubberbanding for builders (when you build something, and move it, and it moves back to the starting location, or you build something, and suddenly it moves several feet to several hundred meters away).

It's turning out to be a grinding September.

And Mr. Telling mentions an (all things considered) unsurprising change related to the July rant on ADA Textures mentioned only yesterday. He quotes their in-world (in InWorldz) group charter:
We no longer sell textures and sculpts .. sorry! We can't afford to sell them as low as some expect us to as we'd have many from other worlds coming here, buying them on the cheap, and returning to the other worlds to upload them. We have to charge a consistent USD value =(. Sorry!
What we are doing is selling the things we make with our collection CHEAP=) Dirt CHEAP! So the silver lining is, if you saw it over there, and you want it over here, chances are you can get it already built & for a song YAY
Fascinating. (And formatting and spacing exactly as given.) So let me get this straight:
  • ADA stopped allowing people to alter their fabric textures while at the same time stopping their sales of fabric textures.
  • ADA moved to InWorldz to set up a shop there, because they tired of people buying things in SL and importing them into InWorldz to build with.
  • ADA then stopped selling textures and sculpts in InWorldz, and only sold premade items--for fire-sale prices.
Do I have it right? A + B = going out of business soon?

Contrast this with Twisted Thorn Textures:
  • Nighty Goodspeed works for TRU.
  • She decides she wants her own store.
  • With the profits from that store, she buys her own sim.
  • She starts hosting half-off Fridays; people turn out in DROVES to buy textures (both full-price and sale-price).
  • She hosts a new event--which gradually becomes the nearly-weekly Courtyard Gift Exchange--where people who use her textures build things and offer them free for group members. People show up in droves. Some of these people start businesses, thus adding to SL's economy and diversity. Some others buy their own sims for those businesses to operate from, thus strengthening SL's infrastructure.
  • Other texture artists join her, and a second sim is added for furniture textures and premade furniture items (and amazing ones, at that).
  • A sculpt artist (who owns her own set of sims) and a sound artist (who makes textures herself) join her, and she makes room for them, and several others, making those two sims pretty much, for many purposes, one-stop shopping for everything but scripts.
  • She gathers the several artists together while they ponder rewriting their Terms of Service to allow what they can allow, to be used in InWorldz and other virtual worlds. Rather than react with fear and derision, she's doing what she can to embrace new virtual spaces.
Embrace your customers, get them involved, find out what they like and market to that, and you've got a winning solution. And that doesn't mean you can't create things that are tailored to your design aesthetic.

But of course, obviously other texture houses are doing the wrong thing and ADA's got the right answer. Pardon my unladylike snickercackling at that concept.

From Sanura Snowpaw, who's quite overwhelmed:
WOW
Wear Gray is being featured on the Second Life Destinations
http://secondlife.com/destination/wear-gray-day

It was also posted on the main Second Life facebook page.
http://www.facebook.com/secondlife

Our current totals are L$212,407

Thank you all, Sanura
She encourages you all to attend Wear Gray if you can. In addition to the vendors on the donated sim, she's got a L$20 hunt for skins, outfits, and items--each L$20 purchase gets you the hunt item, and drops 100% of the hunt price into Wear Gray's coffers, which, at the end of things, are entirely turned over to the American Brain Tumor Association.

Next up, Darker Side, but two brief notes before that. First, I have found a way to lower my productivity! (I'm so good at that.) The pic runs I'm having to download on the main keys because they're too big for the netbook's drive. (*coughs*)

Second, everyone remembers the sea of green, right? The Emerald takeover of the grid? I'm noticing just over the past few days it's becoming a sea of purple for all the new Imprudence users...

Wonder what colors Phoenix and Emergence have picked to identify under?

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But anyway, back to Hair Far. This is Entwined in Blonde, a sculpted, messy updo. No movement; no interest; moving on.

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[05:52 PM] Emilly Orr: Whoa
[05:53 PM] Emilly Orr: More sculpted tentacle hair
[05:53 PM] Sphynx Soleil: Snakes! Why'd it have to be snakes! oh wait, wrong movie... :)


This is Flow, in brown. And does it. The problem is, it flows like a glacier, frozen, immobile, and clips through the entire avatar doing it. This isn't even good photo hair.

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This is Victory in Auburn and...have we learned nothing, yet? All-sculpted hair is BORING unless it's a particular type of style that would be completely immobile on the head. And sure, I suppose a 1940's retro do would be that hairstyle, but...we've seen this already, long before now. Move on.

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And finally, Weave in Black. I seem not to have the larger of the full-length images uploaded (no idea what happened), but here, have a side shot:

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The length is nice, don't get me wrong. And I am not against braids, even though they don't move--made well, they work.

This is not made well. Worse, it looks disturbingly organic from the side, like the braid is unsubtly swelling somehow, and about to give birth to angry hair young.

This is the definition of DO NOT WANT.

They can be found in Hair Fair 4.

Eyes: Miriel Standard eyes in Platinum (no longer available)
Skin: Deviant Kitties Voodoo 08 in Monochrome
Outfit: Draconic Kiss Lolita Black Pearl (top); Skye Qi Vintage Emporium's "Anytime" Black Skirt, Floor-length (go here to see if she still has it, it's been INVALUABLE at times!)

Thanks, Sphynx, for all your help!

16 comments:

Sphynx Soleil said...

No problem, it's fun getting a chance to do something different! :)

(Next batch I do I think I'll do some cropping so they're not quite so huge...brain was starting to fry by that time.)

And Phoenix is a dark orange. Haven't seen an Emergence tag yet, I did see a "LGG Proxy" that was a lighter orange? I think? But I've only seen that once.

Yes, see of purple. Yay for Hamlet. :)

Emilly Orr said...

*snerks*

Yeah, and maybe one out of every twenty I see says they're on Viewer 2...

Serenity said...

Blah, I wish I could push myself to support the hunt that Wear Gray is doing. But L$20 a pop for things that you have no idea what you're paying for? Really I expected something a little more transparent. But alas people will do almost anything and put charity on it, so I'm sure it'll be sucessful. XD Too bad some of us out there are accounts (and other people) who know how useful certain charities really are. Props for the event, but it'll take a lil more than that for me to pony out so many L$ for things I don't know.

Serenity said...

*ment to put accountants up there, sorry for the typo

Emilly Orr said...

No worries on the typo. And if you have infcrmation on a charity--like the American Brain Tumor Association, the charity behind Wear Gray--I for one want to hear it.

I was involved with Wear Gray last year. It was much less slick, but Sanura's heart was in the right place, and she had (and has) good reason to care about this charity.

This year there's much more polish on it, but it still seems (to me) that there's enough transparency on where the donations are going, that I want to stay involved. Like Operation Squeegee and the Virtual Haiti Relief charities (which, yes, I've also pimped on the blog, 'cos I'm involved with them).

Having said that, I could be wrong. And me being me, I'd like to know.

Sanura Snowpaw said...

I do have a very valid reason for doing Wear Gray This year we were able to do things much bigger. The 20L price tag isn't much and many of the shops and blogs have featured the hunt items.

As for transparency I have offered anyone who wants to see them full transaction history as well as I will be taking screen shots of the final totals and the paypal receipts. If there is a question of the ABTA's ethics I would love to hear it because we did do the research on the charity we chose to raise funds for so if we missed something I would love to hear it.

We didn't feel having a free hunt in the name of charity was something that should be done as we want to encourage the donations we raise.

I'm very saddened to see such animosity over a 20L hunt.

Emilly Orr said...

Sanura,

Personally, I think it was inventive and inspired to tie in with people going to Hair Fair.

To play devil's advocate just a little, I'm thinking you can lay part of the animosity on the Platinum Hunt. 10L prizes, a negligible amount but a hunt with, what, a hundred stores? So that added up. Plus, while I admired (and got) items from stores I liked, I didn't see the point in wandering through stores I didn't know, for hours, trying to find something I'd only have to pay for anyway. (Of course, that's my problem with huge stores--I want to be able to get to what I want, and buy it, not spend five hours wandering a sim-wide tribute to Neiman Marcus in the 1970s.)

Sanura Snowpaw said...

I totally get that point. What really I was at a loss for was the questioning of transparency. As I feel I am VERY transparent and we researched the charity we chose very carefully. I had to sign a bunch of legal paperwork to be able to raise funds for them also. So my RL name & my SL reputation are right there on the line if I didn't toe the line.

The platinum hunt I thought was pretty well ran and there was so much blog coverage you know what things you were hunting for or you could do only the ones you wanted. But again I see it from both sides stores can afford to give things away from their sales, if these micro sales help them to do those things than I'm all for it. I was in Rad Minds hunt which was a 20L item and we all were asked to submit a picture so people knew what they were looking for.

Its a double edged sword.

*snerks at "sim-wide tribute to Neiman Marcus in the 1970s."*

<3

Emilly Orr said...

It was well-covered; in fact, I spent what I spent on that hunt partially because I liked what I saw, and partially because I wanted to encourage designers to think of low-cost hunts, too, so they wouldn't feel like they were getting nothing back on the deal.

(I see the prevalence of the 60L Sundays/25LT/Woeful Wednesdays sales as kind of proof that the concept works.)

My largest bitch on the Platinum Hunt was so many of the designers decided to hide their boxes where their store group would understand. I guess it demonstrated a weird loyalty to their customer base, but to the rest of us? I am not joining a store group every time I can't find an item; ditto for most hunting groups. I don't have the group space.

So having to scan every dress name for that one, possibly influenced word, or having to walk the two virtual acres of a store over and over again, trying to glean an area of their store that fit a circus motif...That got draining.

(I'm completely not looking forward to Twisted for the end result of this kind of thinking--where the designers are encouraged to make the hunt hellishly convoluted, with decoys, prims hidden in prims, prims hidden invisibly...It makes me haaaaate people.)

Sanura Snowpaw said...

Oh ya I totally suck at hunts and my group space is beyond limited but with Wear Gray's hunt there are very limited space they could hide their items.

Although some really do like the Twisted hunt simply because they love the hunt more than the prizes. SO I guess there is a hunt out there for everyone.

I tend to throw my hunt prizes some where easy to find with a simple hint and never move them. I don't have time to move them daily as some stores do.

Serenity said...

*Warning Label - My opinions sometimes offend others. If you take my opinions too far, then it is your own doing. Please remembered you were warned here.*

Sorry to ruffle your "fur" there Sanura. As I've mentioned before we're on totally opposite ends of a coin. :p

As for my comments on charity, personally during college we got handed a real issue that United Way (the real "company", I know you can call these charities non-profit organizations but I clearly beg to differ) and had to go through their financial paperwork for certain charities (obviously not all because it would have taken years). We were involved in researching the organization, trying to figure out where the money was going, and how people actually evaluate their worth. Ever since I've seen where all this "donation" money goes in most charities, it's tough to ever get me to trust one - be as good as the cause may be or may carry itself out to be. Maybe if I wasn’t so horrified towards most charities and seeing where all this donation money goes - I'd feel better at night about society. Though it is never going to happen, sorry. I have to admit I'm hard headed and always will be due to this experience. If American Red Cross was in the street slicing their wrists to prove a point about donating, I still wouldn't budge (Granted they're also another corrupt setup as well, but I could be here for days explaining). As for this charity you're supporting I can't say that much until I see financials or "progress" as some charity companies measure others by. I can tell you all I see is another charity with a website, ways to donate all over the place, many stories (be them true or not), and events. I'm still waiting for the day when the charity websites differ from others with this same motif and show people what that money may actually be going for. A big thing I'm hinting here is payment for it's staff, while it may say volunteer you have no idea how much people get paid behind the curtain and such. Cost of operations (not surgical, we're talking run facilities, run websites, etc. etc.) Now honestly I could go on far too long and I think I have on this topic but it is near and dear to my heart. Call me a skeptic, call me extreme, but a lot of people have no idea when it comes to these charities (be involved or not).

As for the L$20 hunt, the only pictures I've seen are on fabfree. Sure it's for charity but there were a decent amount of stores out there with no pictures, multiples, etc. Pretty sure Sassy Kitty has 3 items out, now if I can do math it's 3 x L$20 = L$60. So that's almost L$60 of blind buying for charity for things I may delete. Now for someone really behind charity, this means nothing. For those that rather support the store than the charity, you probably have a mixed bag. For those who like to see what they're getting (myself and many included), you're placed in a tug of war situation where you might toss a coin (for example) to figure out what to do. While you're a big advocate for pay hunts, please remember

Serenity said...

*Warning Label - My opinions sometime offend people. If you take my opinion too far, it is of your own doing. Please remember you've been warned*

Sorry to ruffle your "fur" there Sanura. As I've mentioned before we're on totally opposite ends of a coin. :p

As for my comments on charity, personally during college we got handed a real issue that United Way (the real "company", I know you can call these charities non-profit organizations but I clearly beg to differ) and had to go through their financial paperwork for certain charities (obviously not all because it would have taken years). We were involved in researching the organization, trying to figure out where the money was going, and how people actually evaluate their worth. Ever since I've seen where all this "donation" money goes in most charities, it's tough to ever get me to trust one - be as good as the cause may be or may carry itself out to be. Maybe if I wasn’t so horrified towards most charities and seeing where all this donation money goes - I'd feel better at night about society. Though it is never going to happen, sorry. I have to admit I'm hard headed and always will be due to this experience. If American Red Cross was in the street slicing their wrists to prove a point about donating, I still wouldn't budge (Granted they're also another corrupt setup as well, but I could be here for days explaining). As for this charity you're supporting I can't say that much until I see financials or "progress" as some charity companies measure others by. I can tell you all I see is another charity with a website, ways to donate all over the place, many stories (be them true or not), and events. I'm still waiting for the day when the charity websites differ from others with this same motif and show people what that money may actually be going for. A big thing I'm hinting here is payment for it's staff, while it may say volunteer you have no idea how much people get paid behind the curtain and such. Cost of operations (not surgical, we're talking run facilities, run websites, etc. etc.) Now honestly I could go on far too long and I think I have on this topic but it is near and dear to my heart. Call me a skeptic, call me extreme, but a lot of people have no idea when it comes to these charities (be involved or not). *continued*

Serenity said...

*continued* As for the L$20 hunt, the only pictures I've seen are on fabfree. Sure it's for charity but there were a decent amount of stores out there with no pictures, multiples, etc. Pretty sure Sassy Kitty has 3 items out, now if I can do math it's 3 x L$20 = L$60. So that's almost L$60 of blind buying for charity for things I may delete. Now for someone really behind charity, this means nothing. For those that rather support the store than the charity, you probably have a mixed bag. For those who like to see what they're getting (myself and many included), you're placed in a tug of war situation where you might toss a coin (for example) to figure out what to do. While you're a big advocate for pay hunts, please remember

1. Many stores (some I know) have closed, so obviously income is down. So therefore they may not have the money to spend so freely. Does that mean their heart isn't in the right place? No, certainly not.

2. In hunts like this, some pay ones, there are many times people just have specific tastes and get really annoyed when they're dishing out the L$ just to turn around and delete it. Builds just angry customers towards whatever function you may be doing.

But there are solutions to pay hunts, as shown before. I don't know if you were around during RFL when they had a charity hunt. It was a pay what you can/want (I know Emi has set them up before) for hunt items that went towards charity for RFL. Or you could have people post pictures in a place that is easily found like on the website for the event or post it somewhere and link to it in the notecard talking about the event or have the stores post pictures in their stores or even have some sort of photobox that scrolls through pictures of the hunt prizes by the hunt poster. I'm not saying all pay hunts are bad, I'm saying most of them should be handled better with more transparency of what you're getting.

Went on too long but didn't get to see half the comments. XP Hope I covered everything I wanted to say mostly.

Emilly Orr said...

Serenity,

Yeah, unfortunately, Blogspot has a comment cap. :)

How'ver, I did get curious enough to check this out (.pdf download link) and skim through the surface:

Of the $3,808,372 in expenditures during the 2008-2009 financial year, management and overhead rated at 11%, fundraising/publicity efforts rated 14%, and the bulk of their total expenditures are listed as program services (at 75%).

Income as a total ($4,067,610) breaks down as reinvestments, and income from reinvestments, 7%; fundraising activities (printing costs, fundraisers, likely staff to run them) 33%; and straight contributions from all sources, 60%.

There are specific figures given past that (which is why I gave the link) but past that, and some investments that didn't pay off ($329,372), they're operating in the black, and the least amount of their total fundage ($400,987) is going to staff costs. Most of the outlay is going into program services.

Emilly Orr said...

As far as the other two charity efforts I've been involved with, I need to get in world and confirm I have the right end org for the Virtual Haiti Relief, and see what some research turns up; in the meantime, Operation Squeegee did turn in $3,700 to the National Wildlife Federation, and I grabbed a copy of their 2009 financials while I was wandering their site.

They're harder to read...and unfort, I'm leaving that to you, as our bus just arrived!

But I will get back to this.

Emilly Orr said...

As far as the other two charity efforts I've been involved with, I need to get in world and confirm I have the right end org for the Virtual Haiti Relief, and see what some research turns up; in the meantime, Operation Squeegee did turn in $3,700 to the National Wildlife Federation, and I grabbed a copy of their 2009 financials while I was wandering their site.

They're harder to read...and unfort, I'm leaving that to you, as our bus just arrived!

But I will get back to this.