I’ve charted our most recent Blogging Second Life statistics and can share that 86.8% focus on Second Life fashion. The total number of blogs in the list are 1,680, and here’s how the chart breaks down:
Long-term readers of this website may recall seeing similar numbers in March 2015, which showed similar proportions. At that time, nearly 87% of Second Life blogs in our database were about fashion, with 1,308 blogs listed at the time.
Here’s the data as a table:
|1 – Fashion||1458||86.8%|
|1 – Editorial||49||2.9%|
|1 – Travel||37||2.2%|
|1 – Roleplay||30||1.8%|
|1 – Variety||30||1.8%|
|1 – Home & Garden||29||1.7%|
|1 – Arts & Entertainment||19||1.1%|
|1 – News||12||0.7%|
|1 – Current Events||7||0.4%|
|1 – Business||5||0.3%|
|1 – Directory||4||0.2%|
Breaking fashion blogs further down, we now have more Second Life fashion bloggers focusing on women’s clothing than my earlier stats showed:
In our statistics from March, only 66% of fashion blogs were about women’s fashion. Blogs about men’s fashion however have increased in proportion since last March, growing from 8% to 10.5%. Clearly, there are many areas that remain under-represented in the segments above, which may be open to niching.
I thought I’d also share some insight into the proportions of store categories we have in our database (n=1,880):
Clearly, more variability exists in Second Life stores than does in Second Life blogs, with stores that label themselves “apparel” representing 53.2% of the pie. This table is here:
|1 – Apparel||1001||53.2%|
|1 – Avatar Accessories||264||14.0%|
|1 – Home & Garden||217||11.5%|
|1 – Avatar Components||209||11.1%|
|1 – Animations||55||2.9%|
|1 – Building and Object Components||36||1.9%|
|1 – Buildings and Other Structures||36||1.9%|
|1 – Animals||11||0.6%|
|1 – Complete Avatars||11||0.6%|
|1 – Gadgets||7||0.4%|
|1 – Art||6||0.3%|
|1 – Breedables||6||0.3%|
|1 – Recreation and Entertainment||6||0.3%|
|1 – Celebrations||4||0.2%|
|1 – Gestures||4||0.2%|
|1 – Scripts||4||0.2%|
|1 – Weapons||3||0.2%|
This data reveals that there may be opportunities to niche in categories where fewer advertising blogs focus, namely: avatar accessories, home & garden, avatar components, animations, and buildings.
Of course, if you have no interest in using your blog to promote Second Life products, there are plenty of niche opportunities still available for those who wish to go into areas other than fashion.
If you’re not yet listed on the Blogging Second Life database, please do so here to be included in this data.
Per this month I will start a new, monthly, series on this website. Every month I will write an article featuring a location which is photogenic and most of all: photographer/blogger friendly; including an interview with the owner/landscaper/decorator.
I hope this will help you in finding beautiful places where you can go for photoshoots and of course to just enjoy!
Kicking off with Binemist (Adult), a wonderful mix of a breathtaking (and fun!) underwater world, a watery groundlevel (perfect for pictures that need reflections) and a surprise in the sky – all to be reached via a teleport system. Binemist is owned and decorated/landscaped by the lovely Biné Rodenberger – who I asked to tell us something about her place.
One of the things I wanted to know is, what does ‘Binemist’ mean, something I had never asked before but wondered about!
‘The name derived from my name, the first 2 letter of my partner at the time Michaell and the first 2 letters of my lover Stefanie’ Biné explained ‘ Stefanie is now my partner, but we all still call Binemist our home – I think the name is still valid‘
Every location has its own story and so does Binemist. ‘Since a long time I’ve enjoyed decorating and I’ve had parcels for a long time. My last parcel was on a sim that was closing and I was very annoyed with it, because I hadn’t finished it, and it was just not good. The estate agent did a very good job at finding something else for me, and then Mystical Falls became vacant, so I took that – I got it at a very good prize too because I think the estate owner felt guilty for taking my parcel away from me‘ Biné tells, and she also posted the story on how it all started on her own blog here.
‘A lot of stuff inspire me to keep developing the sim now. Other builds, the events, new stuff getting released, and moods I feel for real. It’s fun to try and express those with the builds I do on Binemist’
Asked about her own favourite spot, Biné had to think hard and long. Not surprisingly as there are many great spots on the sim! ‘I really love how the ground has come together with the life on the surface and the fun stuff I can do under water too. Every time I do a new build (change a corner on the sim) I love that the most, and I spend a lot of time there. The latest build is a rocky island from FANATIK and a tower from them too. That is magical and fun and I’ve added the snow and the sledge and the swan boat, and it’s just FUN :-)’
The autoreturn on Binemist is 60 minutes, allowing photographers/bloggers to rezz their own props, like poseballs and decorations, for photoshoots.
When I asked if that has caused any incidents, Biné told me ‘Actually the autoreturn is normally set to 15 minutes, but I turned it up because a blogger asked me to do so as she found that 15 minutes was not long enough’ and added that even if 60 minutes is not long enough, one can always contact her for a longer timespan!
The autoreturn-question and when talking about the experience of allowing people to rezz on her sim brought up another memory, Biné continued ‘I haven’t found any bizarre stuff but I do have a mixed experience with auto return. There was one time when I changed the group on the land and deeded the land to the new group and the entire content of the SIM came back to my Lost and Found Folder! That was a nightmare, and the worst thing was that it was not my first time doing that – but the first time was many years ago and only on a skybox. But still… I should have remembered!‘
I asked Biné for her a favourite picture she took herself on Binemist and I am delighted with her choice, which wasn’t easy, but as she said she loves this ‘because it’s so pretty‘ and I agree!
And then there is the rating of the sim: Adult. For those who are somewhat hesitant to visit Adult rated sims, Biné told me ‘Binemist is an Adult rated region but it is not a nudist or a sex sim. Nudity is allowed and so is sex. I did see a lot of sex in the spring, especially in the GMT mornings, and I was a bit uneasy with that, so I change dall the Adult furniture on the ground level to PG stuff, but the adult stuff is still there on the platform in the sky. But I rarely see anyone use them anymore.’
‘Binemist is there for everyone to enjoy and explore. I have a lot of fun with my builds, and I want to share the joy and the fun. So just have fun!’
Last but not least, I want to thank Biné for sharing her sim with all of us to enjoy and for taking the time for this interview!
The other night someone (forgive me, I forgot the name) mentioned in the inworld SL Blogger Support group chat that they missed having interactions, or rather discussions, on their blog. Some suggestions were made on how to spark discussions or threads on your blog, and it lead me to write this article, hopefully giving those who wish more comments on their posts some tips!
For starters, blogs used to be the place for discussions some years ago. The lack of good old threads and heated discussions nowadays is not so much that people don’t have an opinion anymore, on the contrary. As it went the past years, Social Media has taken over and people tend to take their discussions to Plurk, Twitter and Facebook.
Those channels are were a lot of discussions, about blog-posts, are going on. Discussions you may not see on the blog-posts itself.
Social Media is fast and easy, accessible from PC and mobile devices, most users are always online – or at least check their Social Media more often than blogs – and that makes it easier to comment and respond to than to a blog-site.
For instance, I am not keen on commenting on Blogger-blogs as a WordPress-user I get all itchy from Captchas and how the comment section works, and vice versa is the case for Blogger-users and their attempts to comment on WordPress sites. Oh and don’t get me started about Tumblr-blogs, that is a whole new level of trying to keep a discussion going (although to be fair, Tumblr has somewhat improved the look and feel of their threads, but still!).
So, let’s say you still want more interaction on your blog itself and not surf around Social Media for feedback and comments, here some examples and tips on how to get your readers to react:
First of all, you need to have content that makes it worth commenting on. Comments that spark the discussion you want.
A beautiful fashion image with credits and an embedded YouTube will unlikely lead to a discussion, no matter how lovely it all looks. So content is important. Write a story with your image, tell why you choose the set up and …..
Dare to ask!
If you want comments/responds/feedback, you need to ask for it. Ask your audience questions! Ask your readers, for example, what they think of the textures of the pants/skirt/chair. Ask how they would style this sweater/hair/shoes.
Strawberry Singh is an experienced blogger who regularly asks the opinion of her readers in her posts, and she usually gets reactions. Maybe not ‘discussions’ but still she gets feedback and answers.
Give your opinion!
If you are comfortable enough and prepared to receive comments – some nicer than others- , you should consider writing some stronger opinionated posts. Not rude, but speak up your mind. Dare to say what you really think, and again: ask your readers about their thoughts.
These posts require thought and time. Surely you can quickly vent and rant, if that is what you like, but it is for a good discussion best to keep things polite and let the audience know you are able to change your mind if arguments and reasons are right and sensible and that you are open to other peoples thought about a topic.
A great example is a blog-post in May this year by Becky, about mesh heads. A well crafted article which led to a days (or weeks!) long discussion and counter blog-posts as a lot of people felt the need to respond.
A recent example is Sophie Mojos’s blogpost last month about Maitreya’s business model, which led to a lot of comments, counter-posts again and numerous Plurks and Facebook posts.
So it begins..
If you are going the way of opinionated posts, you need to make time for the consequence: to curate the discussion. Meaning, reading all comments, keep an eye on Social Media to see what is said where and make sure you reply to the commenters. No, you do not need to sit and wait and jump on every comment the moment is it submitted, nobody expects you to be watching 24/7, but yes: you have to be engaged yourself as well and not leave it out there.
And then there is the possibility a discussion gets (over)heated. Nothing to be really scared of, but just keep it in mind. Things can get nasty and you as the author may take things personal, heck..some comments may get personal! Keyboard warriors are all around and some may take their grudges to your comment-section when they smell blood.
It is, in those cases, important to keep your cool. Really, sit on your hands, take some deep breaths and: take time to respond.
To delete, or not to delete
As blog-owner you can delete or choose not to publish certain comments. I am not a fan of that, if you are going the way of a discussion it is bad form to keep out commenters that have an opposite opinion.
The only occasions I would be in favour of not publishing/deleting comments is when it contains profanity, slurs and/or obscenity or when real life details are abused. Well, you get my point. All other opinions, the more the merrier!
Follow up in a new post
Also, be careful with editing your original post – in case your opinion changed or you happened to write things that turned out not true. It is best to write a new post in those instances, explaining and referring back to the original, rather than editing the first one. It keeps things in chronological order and when someone new reads your blog and comments, it will make sense to them as well.
Last but not least, it should be fun, entertaining and enhance your blog and your experience in SL and blogging.
I hope I didn’t scare you with the last bits of this post and hope you will find fun in engaging with your readers, whatever topic you choose!
Happy blogging and by all means, let me know if you tried it and how it went, in the comment section below! (see what I did there…?)