Photo by Shae Marquis

She’s mad as hell and she’s not going to take this anymore!

Like the sparks that light the forest ablaze in the dog days of summer – Second Life bloggers left, right and centre are finding the courage to step up and publicly air their frustrations with the Second Life Blogger – Designer Vicious Cycle. Today, Second Life blogger and SLBS member, Shae Marquis published a vehement post explaining why she’s opting out of this particular rat race, and choosing to “blog free”.

In a remarkably passionate post, Ms Marquis relates an appalling story of how her “sponsors” discarded her from their groups following her two-week break from Second Life, during which a medical crisis forced her to be hospitalised – despite immediately informing her “sponsors” of her absence from her hospital bed.

“This is where my happy-joy-joy blogger illusion bubble began to dissolve,” she said, “I just felt like blogger teams usually have 15-20+ bloggers, one taking sick leave would be ok for a relatively short time. Nope. I guess not.”

In her post, Ms Marquis relates her views on several points that have been covered in both my post and reader comments on this subject yesterday, and Lici Le’s post and reader comments several days ago.

Here’s one particular view that sticks with me: “If I’m only blogging items simply because they’ve been released, whether or not I actually love them, that means I’m not really blogging at all – I’m just a glorified sale flyer. I’m not ok with that.” (My emphasis).

After reading her post, I spoke to Ms Marquis in private, and asked her a pointed question:

Have you only felt brave enough to share your thoughts openly AFTER you felt you had nothing to lose (e.g. “sponsors”)?

“To be perfectly honest, yes… When it came to opinions the fear was real. Worrying if a ‘sponsor’ would drop me because I shared a public opinion on how things are done.”

Her answer didn’t surprise me, which is why I asked the question I did. What worried me more, was what she said next:

“You never know if you’re going to be nailed to the wall by other bloggers either. I’ve seen bloggers get simply ambushed by the cliques because of very valid opinions they held.”

Is there a conspiracy of silence among Second Life fashion bloggers, that by unspoken consensus they feel other bloggers can’t mention, discuss, or acknowledge the frustrations they might feel as a result of exceedingly demanding designer expectations? I’d be curious to hear your views on this in the comments.

Read Ms. Marquis full post here.

Photo credit – used with permission: Shae Marquis


24 Comments on “She’s mad as hell and she’s not going to take this anymore!

  1. Interesting that bloggers would abuse other bloggers for voicing an opinion. I too was somewhat nervous of backlash by voicing an opinion, but that was more from the creator that I didn’t name in my post or from other creators I blog for maybe taking what I wrote personally. It never crossed my mind that other bloggers would be rude or abuse me for my post. Could it be because other bloggers are scared to voice their opinion so feel threatened when someone else does?

    • It’s just become so competitive to get in and so much easier to lose. I think it’s maybe that everyone is on edge with a feeling of threat overall so rank & file starts to close. It’s maybe more like Lord of the Flies : Blogger Edition.

    • I started a new blog last week. When I selected a purpose for blog one of my options was an SL Fashion blog. After seeing all the drama here I chose to do landscape photography in SL.

      • That’s a shame that you felt you couldn’t do a fashion blog due to drama. But landscape photography is awesome! That’s what my flickr was all about at first!

  2. I had something similar happen in the past. My father passed away early last year, and as soon as I had the time to come online to tell people, most were understanding, but there was that one who said “Take as much time as you need!” and then immediately removed me from their blogger group the next day.

    They then told me in a notecard that my “posts were becoming too personal and not promoting enough” because I had let off a little of the sadness and depression that overwhelmed me at the time, though I hadn’t blogged in a few days at least. Apparently as a blogger, for some designers you aren’t allowed to show emotion at all, they just want their products promoted and that’s it. No personal story or anything of the like allowed (which was never stated in rules). It comes off as really fake to me to sit there as a machine and blog about how great something is, even if you aren’t infatuated with it, or even if you’re going through a hard time. It really disgusts me how some designers treat their bloggers.

    • This breaks my heart, I am so sorry you had to go through any of that. I’m also really confused by creators who prefer the ‘pics-only’ blogs or just product details and praise, I know I much prefer reading a blog with some personality and maybe learning a bit about the author as well!

    • I just felt my jaw drop as I read this: “some designers you aren’t allowed to show emotion at all, they just want their products promoted and that’s it.” Here I am suggesting people put their heart and souls into their posts, and they are wanting *this*?! You’re right, that’s not blogging, that’s a catalog entry.

    • Wow. I can’t believe someone told you that your blog posts were getting too personal. Goes to show some people have no empathy at all.

      I think a lot of the time it may come down to culture as well. I know when I was studying international business we went into how some Asian countries look down upon showing emotion in public, maybe reactions like this have a similar basis? I always try to factor that in with dealing with people, that being said, so should creators when dealing with bloggers. The most awesome thing about Second Life is it’s diversity and how it brings people from around the world together. I think it’s easy for many people to forget that there’s different cultures and different people behind the computer screen that have different points of view.

      I agree that simply blogging about how great something is and pumping out posts like a machine is fake, if you want a successful blog you need to engage your readers, if you engage your readers, they’re going to be more likely to click any links you have. It really is basic marketing, people work on wants and needs and emotion a lot of the time, if you engage someone, produce an emotional response, they’re going to be more likely to feel like they need to get the item. I really do wonder if some of these creators have any idea about business practices at all. Sometimes I sit here and think, “you know, if you’re going to be making real life money out of second life, maybe you should go and do a business course or a marketing course and learn how to do it effectively.” I doubt it would ever happen though lol.

  3. This is so on point! So glad she finally shined a light on the struggles with “God Complex” designers! I am not saying all bloggers are angels….but seriously designers….I mean really?

  4. While my blog doesn’t focus on fashion, I would never blog for a store if I felt I couldn’t be honest about the product. Fashion blogging seems rather cut-throat in many ways – I wonder if the ‘attacks’ mentioned are more about keeping the status quo (i.e. – ‘elite’ bloggers vs. new and upcoming)?

    • A lot of the barbs I’ve seen tossed are variations of “Oh, she’s just mad that so&so didn’t add her to the team.” and the like which usually spirals into all out comment section brawls.. It sometimes feels like ‘the elites’ vs. the rest of us the weird thing is it’s not the elites on the attack, I’ve seen mostly their self appointed fans out for blood when nobody has even brought the elite girls up..

      • I’m too naive in many ways, I think. I like to assume the best – that people blog because they want to, not because they want free stuff or early access or bragging rights, or whatever it is they’re after. Some of the stories I’ve read/heard in the last few days have made my jaw hit the floor. In the end, you have to do what makes YOU happy – and it sounds like you are doing that. 🙂

  5. I feel for Shae totally not fair at all. I was in the same boat a while back with a designer where i took a week off to take my son to see my grandmother before she passed away. It was the last time she would get to see him and myself. i sent a NC and offlines and posted a going on holiday pic on Flickr (everyone doesnt need to know my business) to the owners of the store to find when i returned i was kicked and was told sorry not acceptable to have time off. I was very emotional which seems silly now but i was. I felt like i was attacked to be honest and made out to be a liar. I just stopped promoting the store and they have lost my business.

    • I haven’t bought a single item of theirs since, it was the only way I felt I could maturely deal with it.. They need to understand that we’re not robots and even if we need to take a small break just for the sake of taking a rest – what harm is that going to do? I mean if we burn out we can’t post anyway so… I’m sorry about your gramma, no one should have treated you that way especially through all of that..

    • What’s even more sad is that I’m guessing that another unfortunate blogger just stepped in and took your place. :/

  6. Recently I had to take a month long break because I was having chest pains and just needed to step back for a while. I posted it on my blog, flickr, facebook and dropped a notecard on my sponsors, including all the events I covered. I received a IM from one of the events that said get better and promptly removed me from the group without any explanation or a when your feeling better come back. Nothing at all! I was shocked but also heartbroken because all I could think of was are all my sponsors going to kick me? Luckily that didn’t happen and they were all understanding and happy when I was back.

    I never wrote about this in my blog because I was also worried about backlash and the dreaded D word…DRAMA. I have enough RL medical drama that I avoid it as best as I can in SL so I just let it go. Was it right? For me yes but at the same time its not fair if it happens to other people.

    I love blogging and I appreciate all the work designers do but we all need to remember there is real people behind the monitors with real issues. No one is a god or goddess because your the hot designer or blogger of the moment. As we know SL moves very fast and you may be hot now but what about a year from now when your not and you need someone to be understanding towards your situation. Will you want to be treated the way you treated others? Think about that before you kick someone while their down. Just food for thought.

  7. I congratulate the gals (and maybe a guy or two but they are in a different boat I believe as so few of them) for doing what they feel is right.

    I made those same decisions many years ago. Every now and then I have to repeat them when someone I have been featuring for a long while goes into blogger corral territory (my term for large blogger groups with a manager and many rules).

    When that happened again last month I wrote a very nice note to the designer in question (hair) and explained that while I loved her product and would continue showing and mentioning older hair, I could not comply with many of the new rules (most of these mentioned in this post). She wrote back thanking me and we parted amicably.

    Most of the designers I feature (I really don’t consider them “sponsors”, just folks that send things along that I often love and feature in posts) do their own distribution work without the “help” of a blogger manager. Frequently (oh so many times over the years) when that process changes it is very bad news for the bloggers. In part I think it IS the mentality that comes with that blogger corral-ness. And in many cases what one blogger may or may not do gets everyone (EVERYONE) in the group yelled at. At that? I am out the door.

    I have never posted store logos or taken advertising money. I never intend to. I most often feature things I really love (and say so loudly) OR things I believe my readers will love.

    Oddly this summer it seems like I am getting MORE stuff than less and consequently I am often doing two posts a day. I am also working on improving my photography skills and looking at the world a little more artfully. So all that extra practice is a good thing.

    Do what your heart tells you to do. This IS a job, but it should be one you love.

  8. People are people, in whatever guise they choose to show themselves they will always be as they are IRL. Be it good bad or ugly, I appreciate our bloggers for all they do, we ask I think is a reasonable minimum of everyone and majority go way over, I Would never ever reprimand anyone for being away and wait til they got back unless we were talking a couple of months then gone but no way on this or any world would I reprimand anyone for daring to be ILL for gods sake where is the humanity these days? I personally think everyone should be a blogger before being a blog manager! just my opinion to which every one is entitled to of course but that’s my own take, as a Blogger Manager and Active Blogger is see it from both side, and try and deal with everyone with humour, humanity and trust.

    • Actually, Shari, as I was reading this and feeling like maybe this blogging lark was maybe not as much fun as I’ve been feeling it is so far, I kept thinking about you and comparing my experiences to the stories I’ve seen shared here. I am feeling very lucky for blogging where I do!

  9. Thank you Sweety. I know exactly what you mean. I am very lucky too with the great people I work with and for on a daily basis♥

  10. Pingback: Second Life Bits week 30 | Nalates' Things & StuffNalates' Things & Stuff

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