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Monday, September 16, 2019

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SoManyPrims

Are there any supporting sources for the "cheap mesh labor in India" type comments? Not really aware of how the large brands operate but have always been curious and would like to learn more.

My friend is also convinced that none of the big designers spend any time in SL and have never been part of the community. Some of the negative sentiment seems to be exacerbated by lack of insight.

Taylor

"Girls with low cut butt exposing pants and tank tops"

This is a really gross comment with an old-timey judgy undertone that says a lot about the writer. What does the style of clothing people like to wear have to do with anything? Any creator, large or small, knows that sexy stuff is what sells best in SL.

Jupiter

Bart isn't hitting on any great insight. It's a basic truism that small businesses struggle to compete alongside larger enterprises, which have more significant resources. Consumers are drawn to larger brands because they're visible and discoverable, and digital marketing plays an essential role in that.

Bart

@Taylor That was my point. What sells is what is given to us and easily available. Which is why fast/processed food is the leading cause of obesity. People flock to the easiest parking spot. The cheapest product. The most convenient consciousness of their perceived idea of "safe." Just ask any mom and pop restaurant that relies on local ingredients and quality cooking how they do when an Applebee's opens down the street. The Sysco distributors want to make sure you go to Applebee's - and most will do so.

This is not just about low cut jeans or sexy. This is about the ability to educate and challenge people to look at products, fashion, and creative in an evolving manner. If we rely on the top brands who control events, social media, and exposure then we end up thinking that sex is all people want - as that is what originally drove SL. In reality SL could also change under the inspired indie creations of new brands that help us think a bit differently.

Maybe SL has more potential than what you imagine is all sex and low cut jeans. Maybe SL never had the chance to explore this side. For now what we have, instead of evolving, are creators that just keep spinning each others low cut jeans and tank tops.

Bart

@somanyprims You would be surprised how many. But more than using outsourced meshers, it's Turbosquid and CGTrader that is the primary concern for many. While some brands get caught - a recent major one comes to mind - most get away with it quietly, even at major events.

But more to the point is that if we truly want to challenge and evolve Second Life it will not come from the top major brands. It will come from the indie ones who throw caution to the wind and show us an alternative. The problem is that events have become the primary marketing tool for brands. Events want the big names. And, to a certain point, that is understandeable. But smaller creators who mesh quietly alone with unique content either can't get in or find it impossible to market in the same manner. That is they actually HAVE to mesh and don't have time to sit on social media all day. So even when they get in to an event they become heavily shadowed to major players. They are beaten at every door. The masses of big brand followers on social media are trained to spread the gospel of their recycled crap and everyone buys in. Applebee's. We all eat the same Sysco food. We all wear the same jeans and body.

It's a cycle years in the making. I doubt it will change. 'Merica.

Lina Pussycat

None of it is. I think some people get hung up on stupid crap because they see the same brands put out things on a regular basis and that's one of the key factors that can make or break you in second life. The community doesn't really have a high churn rate with it losing a ton of people or gaining a ton of people.

There are a few factors to take into account with second life when you make a store. First and foremost - Work on a good selection of items to have available when you open your store. Secondly - Make sure you get dev kits, use tools, and ultimately fit a product properly no matter if you make it for the standard Second life avatar or whatever mesh bodies you opt to make products for. Thirdly - Make sure you keep track of what is being used by actually getting out in world and exploring second life because if you see people are almost all wearing a mesh body that you don't support then you are losing out on business. Fifth - Make new products in a timely manner after you see a good chunk of initial sales. You should always have something in the pipeline of some sorts because ultimately once you stagnate and people buy enough of your product it won't matter if you have a good product or not as sales will slump... Those new items are key to making sure you have new sales. Lastly make sure you texture, fit, and make the product move well with avatar bodies without it being too absurd on vertices/polygons....

Also please just stop blaming everyone else because your product doesn't sell well if you aren't actually making something people want to buy. If you can't make something that fits as well as someone else and your fit never improves ever expect to have poor sales and to this article. Almost every single store that is BIG in Second Life now was small once. I've been around for almost 14 1/2 years now so these freaking articles like this are just a joke at this point.

I think this Bart person completely ignores why a few mesh bodies are more popular than others, why a few clothing stores are more popular than others etc. They make good products that people are willing to spend money on. Blueberry was a small store once upon a time and almost all the current big people got a start somewhere. They didn't just pop up over night and form into some big company that didn't work hard for where they are today. It takes actual time investment and work to make a business in second life and if you just treat it like a casual bullshit thing if you are attempting to establish yourself people will treat it as just a casual BS thing if you aren't willing to put in the work.

You want to beat these other brands? Offer something better, unique, and the like. And really events are not the only way to establish your brand and never have been the only way to do so. They are a good way to help, but if no one knows who you are you are still going to need a solid product. So like I said just stop blaming everything else if you yourself don't want to put in the work.Heck form a team with others if you need to if you all have different strengths and help one another. I know quite a few popular stores have to have someone do the rigging and sizing for the meshes they create.

irihapeti

every big SL brand started as a little black dress maker slaving away at their kitchen table

to say that major selling SL brands are not innovative is just wrong

take the Maitreya body for example. When this body came to market it was light years ahead of every other body available at the time. And minimal upgrades since, it is still ahead of many of the bodies that have come on the market since

people buy this body because it is a good body. And they recommend it to their friends, because it is a good body

SoManyPrims

@Bart "You would be surprised how many. But more than using outsourced meshers, it's Turbosquid and CGTrader that is the primary concern for many. While some brands get caught - a recent major one comes to mind - most get away with it quietly, even at major events."

I would like to be surprised, but where is this information sourced from? Who are the many this is a primary concern for and why? Is it the brands don't own or have appropriate rights to upload and sell the mesh, or is it purely about perceived unfairness in market competition (professionals vs hobbyists)?

As an active consumer in SL, I agree as others have noted that we are very discerning about purchases but not necessarily about brand (exceptions are mesh heads and bodies). Quality and appeal are much larger factors, the product has to be something we like and priced accordingly.

Duck

You are full of it.

Soda Sullivan

Wow, someone is throwing around a lot of accusation without much in the way of fact! Wagner I look forward to you publishing who exactly these people are that are using "cheap mesh labor in India" or using mesh items form Turbosquid and claiming them as original work. You will name them wont you? I mean, since you quoted this comment both here and again on FB, the least you can do is back it up with who, what, where and when ...or else you need to just flush your legitimacy down the toilet.

Bart seems like a nice enough person. I am sure he loves his indie bands and thinks "alternative" music is actually a thing. He is also horribly wrong. Girls in short jeans and tank tops have been around since Adam & Eve (It wasn't an apple that took Adam down Bart, it was butt crack.) and they will be here long after Bart is gone.

The two things working against diverse and edgy creators in SL have nothing to do with the larger creators. It is the consolidation of in world shopping via these multiple hopping "events" and a SL Marketplace that has practically no search ability.

And who are the "the true artisans who can challenge the avatar "ideal" that are all alone? Again, we need examples of who, what, where and when. Why are they alone? Are they making something people want, or are they just making what they like? Can they make a shirt that does not clip at the shoulders while I am dancing? Are the marketing themselves, or are they just waiting for someone to discover how awesome they are?

There are a LOT of creative people making some truly amazing things in SL, despite LL usually working against them. They succeed where other's dont because they know that creating something is 40% of the job. Marketing it and creating a value for it are the other 60%.

That is why you and Bart turn your noses up in the air at an Applebees and think your fancy local establishment is somehow unique when, in fact, once you go into the kitchen you realize they are the exact same place.

JohnC

I make environments. They take just as long if not longer than the creation of assets for avatars. Most of my mesh and textures are created from scratch. But for some weird reason, SL, a so called, virtual world, has almost nothing at all to do with the creation of a world. It is all about the Avatar. If you closed down all sims and just added painted backdrops to replace them, I am sure the vast majority of users would never notice. SL is a barbie doll paradise. All hale the mighty virtual Goddess Barbie.

Blaise Glendevon

Oh, look. It's more of the same whining about women and women-identified avatars. "We could have a virtual utopia if it weren't for all the silly bitches playing dress-up."

Cry louder, Neckbeards.

Bart

@Soda, You actually believe the kitchen of an Applebee's is the exact same as a privately owned local kitchen? You must not get back in a kitchen much. To compare Applebee's, that uses processed sugary foods from Sysco and pays little to barely trained line chefs who only know how to read prep instructions, to a private restaurant that uses locally sourced fresh foods and is passionately run by an owner/operator is the root of the problem. Chime in the brainwashing of Americans to big label corporate brands. The "Applebee's" of the world have only one priority: shareholders. To please those shareholders they dumb down the entire product, make it as cheaply as possible, addict people to sugary foods, and pay employees a minimal living wage.

And fancy? I would rather eat at a local food truck than at Applebee's. How is that fancy?

I agree, there are some wonderful creators in Second Life. Many are now gone though as who can compete against these super brands in SL that control the sugary food of clothing, skins and bodies. Remember Ladies Who Lunch? Now there was a designer that challenged the status quo. This was not about saying that low cut jeans should go away. This was about saying that the overabundance of stuffing the market with them dumbs down the creative as big brand stores with huge social media followings and the best event positioning keep telling people that's what they should wear. Why? it's easier for them to keep churning out variations of the same theme. Also making it harder for smaller brands to break through the noise. Most of the releases coming out in SL these days would be on the sales rack of your local Kohls rather than at a cutting edge boutique.

Ironically, how do new creators best succeed in breaking through this noise? By copying the same style and look of the super brands. So we get even more of the same. Even their ads are identical looking. I can't tell these days who is Candy Doll and who is not.

An example of how this works you ask? How about the discovery recently of Cheeky Pea illegally using purchased 3d models for the past few years. Her eventual confession after first lying? That the pressure of being a top store and keeping up with releases forced her to do this. One of the biggest brands in Second Life basically telling you that the stress of churning out content stifles creativity and either forces them to source out meshing or, in this case, illegally using uploaded 3d assets to stay on top and dominate. There are many more like this. Cheeky Pea was unusual in publicly being called out for it. Many of the brands are so big and connected that people who discover it are often afraid to say anything for fear of retribution.

As Jupiter posted above, "Bart isn't hitting on any great insight." No, I am not. Which is why it's so surprising that people like you imagine the Second Life market to be as pure as the driven snow. It's not.

Zandrae

I think there is an oligopoly but it is incidental not intentional. People only make clothes for popular avatar bodies, so people buy those bodies. This creates a cycle that causes more of the same.

Meanwhile there is a dearth of products in some markets. In fact, I'm pretty sure those markets are dead because of the dearth.

Everyone is female with the same body because that's where the products are.

It sucks to be a gay guy into fantasy RP in SL.

Those who watch the watchers

Turbosquid and CGTrader? thats so funny!!.. LMFAO!! is it 2004 all over again?? pure comedy gold around here!

Here is a hint from the article "but just sit on social media for 10 hours a day while using cheap mesh labor in India to do 80% of the work. Or worse, buy from Turbosquid" and just know the world has moved on since the class of 2004 dismissed! sites like Fiverr and others is what they were hinting at! (all those looking for upgraded branding, custom mesh this is the ticket)

now the hidden truth is exposed lets talk about how minecraft now has 112 million "sandbox" users while forgetting it was linden lab who by not upgrading in the game tools have lost the potential for those customers and this lead to this whole Oligopoly conspiracy to begin with by thinking a barbie world is more profitable then a sandbox one..it is not and minecraft being valued at 5 billion proves that.

JohnC

I think that everything that has been said is just as it could be. But what I do not understand is why what it could be is what it is. I mean there is something said some place that is what I thought it was. But all else is just being what we are. There is this sounds that happens and we all hear and it goes on. But really does it matter. We are purveyors of pointless words and sound.

KeepOutOfMyCorner

There is a flaw in some of these responses: you want the author to name names, so you can prove how awful he is; but if he did that, the brands would probably retaliate, on top of reporting him for defamation. Ah, but you might then argue, saying any of the classic responses you wish -- that it wouldn't happen that way, etc...


Let me enlighten you to a little secret: creators are not always as benevolent as they seem. Far from it!! Let me tell you about a situation that has actually happened:


Employee #2: *makes a joke in local chat about Employee #1's avatar*

Employee #1: *is afk for a long time*

Employee #2: *does their job for some time*

Employee #1: *no longer afk, starts spamming local chat and the customers' group chat in lots of caps, challenging the joke, asking who said it (even though that should be obvious from the username before the text), threatens to get that employee fired, etc.*

Employee #2: *recognizes this is a bad situation, tries to smooth things over in IMs by explaining the situation and apologizing*

Employee #1: *does not respond in IMs, only responds in the customers' group chat, and actually mentions not accepting the apology, in the customers' group chat, still yelling and threatening*

Customers: *complaining, asking Employee #1 to stop, mentioning they're muting or leaving the chat*

Employee #2: *responds in the group chat, still trying to smooth things over by apologizing and trying to get the other employee to switch over to IMs*

Other Employees: *starts seeing what's going on, tries to smooth things over with the customers*

Employee #1: *seems to ignore the customers' wishes, except for the select few they challenge to defend their decision, and refuses to go to IMs, also tries to dominate the situation with demeaning comments and more threats*

Employee #2: *tries to smooth over the situation with the customers, explaining what happened and asking for forgiveness and understanding*

And so on and so forth for probably a good 15 minutes or so...

ENTER THE NEXT DAY

Employees #1 & #2 recieve a notecard from The Boss (the creator). Notecard expresses rage and disgust, lots of caps and a reminder that they depend on this job for a real life income. Orders employees #1 & #2 to apologize to each other and get along, or they're both fired. Again, caps lock is used.


While I will not give out the names of the brand, the creator or the employees, I assure you, this was a real situation. And most customers just adored the creator even after that situation -- they probably still do.

So, would creators angrily retaliate?

Yes, they would.

Would customers know about it?

Probably not...

SoManyPrims

Nobody needs names or anecdotals. All that is needed is an indication as to where the information is sourced from, be it personal experience, friends accounts, blogs, plurks, SL secrets or whatever. Stating beliefs or suspicions is fine, just say that's what they are and why you think so.

Dotty

I don't know why everyone is being so hard on content creators. Why do we need so much to choose from? It will be so much simpler when we finally just get a list of materials to buy like the first day of school: avatar, head, cottage, beach, hills. trees, and cliff covers. That way, everyone fits in and assures their pictures will be liked.

Zandrae

@Dotty People like choice. People don't like lag. Oligopolies are the antithesis of choice. Several of the oligopolies are also lag machines.

Look at the number of polygons on the breasts of the super popular avatars. There is NO NEED for that concentration of polygons.

Chic Aeon

OK this thread got SO long (and Hamlet is a happy camper I am sure) that I admit I skipped quickly though some comments but ---

Quote from above:

"You should always have something in the pipeline of some sorts because ultimately once you stagnate and people buy enough of your product it won't matter if you have a good product or not as sales will slump... "

While this might be true in some cases, it is definitely not in all. I have products from the last OMG nine years that sell well and continuously and have NEVER SLUMPED. So toss that idea out the window as a "given". I have more or less stopped creating frantically (my method of working, not a need because of events) because of Tilia and yet my sales are still very stable -- all old things.

Creators also don't HAVE to spend time on social media. I have never had a store group, I don't do Facebook (there is a site there from ten years ago needed for a blogger thing that I haven't visited since that time but I am not going to count that). I really don't "market" much at all. I do post on the forums a lot but mostly about OTHER people's products, not mine. ----- And my sales have been stable (except for a glorious few months with gachas when they more than doubled) for the last five or six years. I am not a big brand and I am not even doing "events" as I was. I still sell plenty of stuff.

AS A BLOGGER I have noticed the "same ol same ol" syndrome for quite some time now. IF, in fact it is because brands are using outsourcing from another country (really who cares where it is from?) then I am HAPPY because that means someone in a less prosperous country than ours is getting to feed their family. IS THAT BAD?

I know that at least some of the folks that I blog for don't make their own mesh and never have. They are a "brand" not a creator and there is plenty of work involved in BEING a brand. So again, that doesn't bother me. I have my favorite creators, ones that make good quality game asset mesh. I buy from them and support them. I don't shy AWAY from the "top brands" but honestly they aren't usually all that interesting.

There are plenty of creators (not the top twenty as I am sure that I don't hang around with them) that are still making their own mesh. I know that as they send me screenshots of works in progress, ask my options and sometimes need help. I also "beta test" for some other creators. So there IS MESH BEING MADE in SL.

It is certainly good to support the people that are doing their own creating and I try and do that, but lumping EVERYONE in the same bucket is ridiculous.

And to the person in a thread leading to this thread that complained about Sansar taking away all their inventory --- they PAID YOU BACK in Sansar dollars for much of it. It is a beta world. Things change. The creators in Sansar have in many cases redone old products (Daisy redid 500 Marvelous Designer products so that her past customers could have free updates). I went through all my old clothing and took anything off the Store that no longer worked easily. It should also be noted that MANY items still work if people take some time to learn the NEW TOOLS that were added to let those old items work with new avatars.

The real world isn't perfect and neither is our virtual one, but we each get to make choices. Personally I NEVER go to a chain restaurant unless it is the only choice in a hundred miles -- and that doesn't happen often. So please remember as your rant and rave that ABSOLUTE statements are almost always incorrect as there are exceptions :D.

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