A Light Shining in the Window, Everything is Alright

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PSA: A Backdrop Saga

*warning label* please read the whole thing before you get all sorts of upset and think I’m attacking only one party in this ongoing debate. This piece is in no way telling anyone how to live or conduct a business (which of course is none of my business to do so) it is just my own personal thoughts, feels, and advice on the matter.  

Hello All,

I don’t often like to get involved personally with things that are fodder for SLsecrets but this one caught my eye a couple the last couple of weeks to a point a few days ago I decided to do some research on the matter. I just can no longer keep quiet about it because of the slippery slope nature of the whole thing. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about here is the short version:

There is a sim called Backdrop City that offers free services to bloggers that include backdrops placed out on platforms that they can use for pictures. Now, this is nothing new but the place got targeted by PocketGacha, Kraftworks, and Astrialia who “condemned” the place in a very public way and even forbade and then booted all their bloggers over it. There are probably more who have made public statements but most others are playing it safe and rightfully so by remaining anonymous when speaking out.

(Kraftworks & PocketGacha are now in the process of making some sort of Hud that will after 2 hours derez the backdrop until the owner touches it. And, from what I understand it’s something stores who are riding the bandwagon of condemnation can choose to put in their backdrops).

Hope that caught you up, if not grab some coffee and dive into SLsecrets weeks 487-490.

Before I get into my thoughts on this matter I want to go over some of my credentials so it’s clear I’m not just some schmuck speaking about sophomoric ideology:

  • My major in college was Psychology which is used in marketing and advertising so much so it can even influences the look of a company logo.
    • RL companies actually invest a lot into Psychological studies and use many psych tactics to influence consumer behavior (and I’m not talking about subliminal messages)
  • I worked as a Store Manager and P.A. in SL for around 8 months or so, where I applied my Psychology background and tripled the owners profits if not more during that time.  
    • While there I did learn the ins and outs of how an SL business works so I do know the plight of the Creators.
    • Now if you are wondering why I no longer work for this store lets chopping it up to personal reasons with a dash of I did my job so well the owner overworked me that it took a toll on my health so I had to quit.
  • I’ve been a blogger since 2014 so I’ve been around long enough to pick up a thing or two on how stuff works along with the delicate relationships of creators with their bloggers and vice versa.
    • On top of being a blogger I’ve been an SL resident/consumer since 2007 and boy does my inventory show I so do like to shop. I’ve seen sims, stores, fads, policies, and whatever else come and go…. it is the way of life really.

Ok, now that long windedness is out of the way let’s move on to what I actually have to say about all this…

After actually taking the time to go visit and see for myself what Backdrop City was. (which before all this I never even heard of) I am actually kind of upset about what certain Creators are doing. The sim is a nice resource for bloggers new and old alike and quite frankly a Marketing Goldmine for backdrop Creators.

If you have been following my blog you know I don’t really use sims or backdrops often. Last time I used a backdrop for a pic was in November and a sim in April. Most of the time I prefer to just use a simple 1 prim wonder or build a set from scratch on my nice and quiet platform. Platform Hermit all the way Yush! So why do I care or even say all this? It isn’t about wanting to use free stuff; the “Thing” here for me is that a few Creators are pretty much overstepping just a tad and trying to tell people how to live their Sl lives and that is just uncalled for.

That being said, I wouldn’t use Backdrop city for what it was made for but I would use it like it was a Pinterest of sorts and check out all the backdrops there so I could find and go buy them for private at home use. And, really back in the day when I was 1st starting out if I had known of a place like that it would have been a Godsend… I didn’t have the lindens, space, or prim count that I enjoy these days.

I foresee either a very bad slippery slope where bloggers will have to produce proof of purchase for each and every Item they blog and stiff sanctions Or (and most likely here) a rebellion of sorts will happen that will result in the Creators no longer having the “Bull Market” in the blogging world.

So Backdrop Creators! Let me “Bless you” with some words of wisdom…sorta (here is where all that puffing my chest out about credentials really comes into play) These types of Sims can actually become a Goldmine of sorts and there are better ways to handle this than overreacting that I’ve seen thus far from a small number of you:

  • The place is going to exist whether you like it or not and if it’s something you do care about so why not use it to your advantage without alienating your customers!
  • What I would suggest you do is view places like Backdrop City as a type of let’s say charity advertisement billboard of sorts. We all know the golden rule of “you have to spend money to make money” right?
  • Why not try approaching the owners of the sim in a positive manner where you offer to be supportive of the sim and even donate your backdrops to the charitable cause and then set it up so you can systematically replace (since the sim is where anyone can build) all the backdrops you created with a special version owned by you that happens to have an info hub that gives people who touch it a nc with all the details including a lm to your store to buy the actual item. Then ask if your store logo could be placed in the lobby area where all the people going to the sim can see it. (If this scenario doesn’t work; there are other versions of this that the sim owners will probably be happy to collaborate on)
  • What is the method to this Madness I speak?
    • This will give you more control over the situation and make it work in your favor as best as it can and still remain in a positive light to the masses.
    • People love it when companies are charitable it makes you more appealing to buy from over another company. RL businesses don’t just give to charities out of the graciousness of their heart it’s also a marketing tactic to make themselves look good for higher profits.
    • That info hub with a nc dispenser is key! Because not only does it give them an easy to use way to find your store but it also places a reminder in their inventory that they liked your backdrop enough to want to know where to buy it. Yeah, they can inspect the backdrop and get the info that way but do you know how many times I forgot later and if a nc had been in my inventory I wouldn’t have and a pretty new thing would be there instead.
    • With having your own “special” versions of your backdrops instead of one’s people bought and placed out there you can also place other hidden gizmos within for market research and such for future projects that can be placed at the sim as well.
    • Your biggest customer base is bloggers due to the nature of your products so if you can get that store logo of yours in a high traffic blogger area (the sim lobby) that is “prime real estate” and to boot it makes you look extra good because it shows you are willing to give back to the community.
    • There are probably other things and benefits you can squeeze out of this but I think I covered the basic ones well enough.

Now let’s move on to some words for Backdrop City and places like it. What you are doing for the blogger community is really nice but there are things I would like to see from you to help out the Creators as well who put a lot of hard work, time, and love into their creations that you are using:

  • Make a place on the sim where people can get the info and store lm’s for all of the products/backdrops placed out.
  • Put some policies and such in place for the creators who see the value of what you’re doing for the blogger community so that if they want to can partake in some of the suggestion I mentioned above and maybe some I didn’t think about… and do it for Free!
  • If a Creator is upset with you over the sim and the products they made being out. You of course have every right to leave stuff as is and it’s actually very inappropriate for them to dictate how you use what you bought. But please try to make a point to do something to credit their work so the products aren’t some random backdrop but a valued Item that you happen to be sharing with others.
    • You of course do not have to do any of this but it’s courteous to do so and probably would put many creators more at ease with the situation. Creating for SL is not easy and often store owners are disrespected by many on a daily basis, and there are even some out there who try to steal their work to sell themselves… so work with them so there is more harmony and less drama on the situation at hand.  

This long PSA probably won’t be read by many and will most likely fall on many a deaf ear but I actually feel better for getting all this off my chest publicly and that is fine by me.

Hope you All have an awesome week and next Sunday we see less of this topic in places like SLsecrets because I’m pretty sure most of us are already sick of it.

~Ralphie

 

Body:
Hair- booN Lab.043 hair (Store)

Outfit:
Full outfit- HILU RJHK (Store) no longer available

Decor:
Backdrop- BUENO-City Block Building Loft (TMD)

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