“Before applying to blog for us, you must have….”
Designers have specific desires before taking someone on as a blogger. It makes perfect sense to me. You want to make sure your designs are seen in the best possible light. You have to be picky. The sheer number of blogs alone that are out there can make it daunting at best to find the good ones. Applications must flood in every time a designer puts out a request for new bloggers. When Damien opened blog applications for his FATE line recently, I think he only had it up for about a day but it took him a full day to go through them. I can assume there must have been at least triple digits. And beside the sheer number of bloggers, there are the different types of bloggers to consider. I don’t just mean fashion vs. home and garden, but the individual blogging styles themselves.
There are four main types of photo bloggers and five main types of writers in Second Life. Before I go into what I see as those generalizations, I want to clarify: I do not believe any one or another is the right way or the wrong way. They each have their merits and will be liked and hated in equal measure by others. We are, after all, a judgmental breed.
1. The unedited Snapper
One or potentially two snapshots posed simply in front of the same plain background in every photo that makes sure (usually) to get the items in a good light and show it well.
2. The Pop-Out Photographer
The pop-out photographer has the main photo of the full body usually and then they ‘pop-out’ smaller images within the photo to the side that highlight the specific items; usually shoes, jewelry, accessories, or a specific make-up they’re wearing.
3. The Cleaner
These folks generally stay away from Photoshop and show a nice, clean photo.. with one exception. They clean up all the seams and areas where the skin may poke through and show the clothes in a not-so-great light which is probably an effect of the particular pose they chose, rather than the item.
4. The Artist
The photoshoppers. The lighting whores. The bloggers who want to show off an outfit or purchase, sure, but they are also doing this for their artistic creativity and having fun with the photos and really show off what the items can do in a scene rather than just sit on the avatar or what have you.
If that wasn’t enough, you also have the writing style to consider. While not a strict rule, 1’s and 2’s are usually partnered together. 3’s and 4’s are all over the place. The 5, well.. you’ll see.
1. Wait, I had to write something?
Photo. Style Card. Done. Blammo. You may or may not get links to anything in the stylecard. You may also only get notes for the 1 specific new item.
2. Be Brief, Be Gone!
I also call this one ‘style card plus’ – You get a fully detailed stylecard, always with links, and sometimes a little “I love this!” or “You really have to go pick one of these up!” but rarely more than a few sentences.
3. The Storyteller
These are the artists and cleaners who want more than just a snap and a stylecard. They create a story for their photos that spins a tale inspired by the work. Some are in a long prose style story, others in quotes or poems and lyrics. There’s always more to the photos and stylecards and they’re going to bring you into their world fully.
4. The Babbler
The babbler is going to talk and talk and talk (… and talk…) about the items in the photos. Sometimes stories and roleplay like the storyteller above, sometimes just about the specific items. The babbler is usually paired with The Artist photographer. They may have shopped the photo to make a more artistic piece out of it, but they’re going to tell you where they did and point out any flaws they might have covered for the sake of the piece. They’ll sometimes even do random posts like this one about the types of bloggers out there. Hi, guess which one I am?
5. The Complainer
The sole purpose in life for the complainer is to point out everything wrong with the item they’ve been given or purchased. They thrive on drama and making themselves out to be better than everyone else. The “I hate this so much I spent ALL DAY working on this photo and blog post and GOD DAMMIT I WANT YOU TO FEEL FOR ME!!! lolz” type that you want to smack and yet everyone hits the blog post to watch the train wreck and make drama of their own thus giving them more hits and views so they Keep. Doing. It.
This brings me around to the part of the blogging application that I loathe. How often you blog and the number of hits/views to your blog plus the requirement to be on “at least x number of feeds”.
When someone in a blog application says, “You must blog at least twice a week” in order to be considered, I just close it. sometimes I blog every day- sometimes I blog once a month. My life outside of Second Life comes first; my partner, my work, my cats, my home. I’m not the blogger for you. But I would encourage designers and event holders to reconsider that stance. First off, if someone is ALREADY blogging twice a week, what on earth makes you think they’re going to have time to fit you and your items into their schedule? Second, do you even have enough items for that person to blog? A lot of times, they don’t.
Hits and Views… lord how I hate this. I totally understand the designer’s point of view, of course, but lets set a realistic number here if you’re going to require it at all. If you’re going to give out something you have worked hard on to someone as a freebie in order to get exposure and further your sales, you are going to want someone who has a good following, has done the work to get onto the various feeds, and promotes their blog on multiple platforms in order to get the most views. I agree with this stance. However what doesn’t seem to get taken into consideration is how easy it is to completely and utterly fake hits and views. Hell, one cross-post to Reddit and your blog can swell by 10k+ hits in a matter of minutes if you do it right. But honestly, if you see someone with a blog that is only a few months old, photos that are COMPLETE shite, and a ticker on the side that says over 100K views.. you can all but guarantee that 99.999% of those views aren’t even users of Second Life or they’ve got a browser app that just repeatedly hits their site.
I can hear you already (at least, those of you who made it this far and haven’t closed the window with an eyeroll). “So what’s your point, Nigel?”
There is no right way. There is no wrong way. (ok, with the exception of the Complainer because screw them) There is simply style. Sometimes your style will match a designer’s and they’ll want you to blog for them. Sometimes your style won’t fit what they’re looking for at the moment. If you get rejected, don’t take it too personally. Sure, we can all improve and maybe a rejection means you should look at what you’re doing and perhaps change it up a bit.
Don’t quit. Keep having fun. And above all, be yourself.
Hat: 7madravens – Black Jack Fedora (Available at Project Limited)
Hair: ^;^ catwa ^;^ – Ben (New!)
Skin: Aeros Avatars – Teghran
Necklace: Illusions – Cord Wraps
Tattoos: Letis – Tau Puppis
Bracelet: -DRD- – Spikes Bracelet Silver (Part of the LE Horns pack, available at Project Limited)
Jeans: 7madravens – Battle Worn Alpha Leathers (Available at Project Limited)
Pose: Just my AO from AXIX
Horns: -DRD- – LE Horns Dark (Available at Project Limited)
Hair: ^;^ catwa ^;^ – Ben (New!)
Wings: 7madravens – NeonWings – Bat (Available at June’s Oh My Gacha)
Skirt: Cracked Mirror – Plaid Skirt (With Suspenders) – (Available at Rhapsody)
Pose: Be-Bo Male 4