Cajsa Fast Five: May 30th

Fast Five I had most of these five posts to post yesterday, but then sort of chickened out because well, there’s so much drama. So the little icons are sitting on my desktop hollering post me, post me, you coward! So here goes.

  1. Dear Ionic – Aemeth Lysette calmly and respectfully explains the personal ramifications of IP theft bringing it home from the nameless, faceless “corporation” to the individual level. None of us are perfect. I did not seek and get permission to use those photos of Angelina Jolie in my dream post the other day. I have copied some of my songs back from a burned CD so that I could share more than 5 copies of a playlist I made, circumventing Apple’s 5 copy DRM limit. (I made a playlist of music for the nurses on my ward when I was in the hospital.) I recognize a certain level of hypocrisy. But that we are all fallible does not license flagrant and repeated theft. 
  2. Faster Avatar Loading on the Horizon – From Second Life’s official news blog, there is good news which is pretty self-explanatory in the post title. There’s a little video that will make you happy. 
  3. Regulatory Classification of Authorized Linden Dollar Resellers – Following a link from New World Notes, I read this post by Alex Kadochnikov that makes it pretty clear that as much fun as it is to complain about Linden Lab, they did not have much choice about dropping resellers. I admit being pleasantly surprise they didn’t adopt the usual “government made me do it” routine – especially when the government made them do it. They are kind of the opposite of my neighborhood grocery that raised the price of cigarettes 30 cents a pack the day the legislature passed the bill (before the gov even signed it) and then raised it 30 cents again six months later when it went into effect.  Always with a sign, “Sorry, Cigarette Tax has gone up.”
  4. A Facelift for Second Life: Damien Fate Explains Everything You Need to Know about Materials. Iris Ophelia interviews the leading edge Second Life creator Damien Fate about materials, the upcoming innovation in our SL experience. It’s going to be amazing and Fate explains it with clarity and simplicity.
  5. IKON Eyes, Stop Morphing – So this is the really tough one. It’s a pretty ordinary post from Gogo of Juicybomb. She is known to provide positive and negative feedback in her posts on a regular basis.While it’s clear from the post that she likes the eye designs, she has two quibbles, one the purely subjective desire for a smaller eye and second, she dislikes morphed ads. She has been a long-time critic of morphed ads, so that’s nothing new.  What disturbs me is the reaction in comments.

One of the constant complaints about SL fashion bloggers is that we are not critical enough. We poop fairies and fart rainbows and some such. Certainly a lot of creative bloggers do nothing more than post photos and credits with no text at all about the fit, construction, usability of the HUDs and so on. I really don’t think we are all such an un-opinionated bunch. However, I know that I often feel nervous when I point out some small thing I wish had been done differently. Why? Because minor criticisms such as were in this post of Gogo’s can spark a firestorm of controversy. 

If you read those comments, you can see I lost my temper and was rude. These blog critics were not saying “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I think it’s clear that Gogo is not going to blog anything she does not think is pretty. I am confident she is as vain as me. They were saying “if you have anything negative to say, say nothing.” They are not the same thing at all. I acknowledge my rudeness. I am not particularly sorry, though. I felt it was earned.

Bloggers have opinions. We need to be able to share them. Now in my initial comment, I did make an unsupported allegation that may be false. It’s possible IKON Innovia played no role whatsoever in encouraging people to come to Gogo’s blog for the first time. Someone clearly did. However, IKON set the tone by accusing her of personal malice. Personal malice for saying she wished he made an XXS? IKON’s outsized indignation at such minor criticism set the tone and encouraged a fangirl pile-on that is all about stifling opinion and turning fashion blogs into nothing but LOTD’s without one word of information for consumers.

These were not promotional copies. Gogo bought them. She paid for them because she thought she would like them and she did like them except for the size and the ad. Frankly, bloggers should feel free to critique promotional copies, too. I did last month, a perfectly lovely pair of shoes was a bit harder to adjust than it should have been because the HUD was too big and covered up my foot. I mentioned that in my blog post and mentioned that I had a small criticism when I sent her the link. Guess what? The designer started making a smaller HUD. She did not get mad, she did not even claim she should have been spared criticism because she gave them to me to blog. Because that was a mature designer who recognizes that like every other human being on the planet, she is not perfect and specific criticism (criticism of specific features, not it sucks.) can be useful. Sadly, this is not always the case. And so far too many of us just say nothing. Or we fart rainbows.

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