Posted in building, business in SL, community, Lionheart, personal, SL9b

Packing up, moving on

Fond Remembrances: me with Julius Forwzy (of Faery Crossing).
This is not a post about SL9B.

OK, this is not a post entirely about SL9B.

Now that Thaddeus has made the announcement public, I feel I can safely talk about it in my blog: Antique Square is closing up. Time and money are just against Thaddeus right now, especially with his RL work and studies, and after 6 months it’s, unfortunately, time to make a hard decision.

So I’ll get right to the question I’m asked first and most often when I mention this to friends:

“Doesn’t that mean you did your SL9B build for nothing?”

Absolutely, categorically, can not say it enough, not.

The point of taking part in SL9B was not to promote Antique Square; it was, simply, to celebrate Second Life’s 9th anniversary and to have a part in a hugely successful resident-run event. It was to create, to share, to play, and to give it all an old-fashioned feel. It was to meet new people, learn new things, and– I’ll say it again– to celebrate. All of these things remain true whether or not Antique Square itself remains open. In fact, knowing throughout most of SL9B (as I did) about the upcoming close made me realize all the more how really trivial self-promotion is in an event like this, and what really is important.

Mind that won’t make me cease self-promoting. I do still have a job and I do still have to pay rent. Just, time and place.

The fun of SL9B provided a bit of a distraction from the reality of having to move house again. I mean, yeah, you can pick your whole dining room up and put it in your inventory, that’s not the tricky part. The tricky part is working out where to rez it this time, and if we can afford to, and so on.

Lelani made me an extremely generous offer. In SL– as in RL really– I tend to be very friendly to many (indeed anyone who doesn’t outright prove they’re too much of an asshole to deserve it), but I tend to be close with few. Lelani, I count among the few. She’s got a place in Steelhead (as does Thaddeus, actually) and offered to sublet some of it to me. I thought it over and finally decided against it for a ridiculous reason, but still a valid one: I want to set my own TV and radio changer. Because when I can do that, I really feel like my territory is my own.

So I ended up getting a small residential parcel back in Lionheart. I’m taking a different approach this time; instead of rezzing the farmhouse that I used to have before, I’m making multiple skyboxes. A play yard with a treehouse for Petal. A Japanese tea garden for guests. A big home theater where I put my big giant TV. A small wooded grove with a duck pond on the ground. It gives me something new to create, and thus, something to look forward to, instead of something to stress over.

Antique Square will have one last big blowout party on Sunday. I’ll play music, I’ll blow things up artfully, I’ll even cater. Hope you can stop in.

Posted in business in SL, rant, Shopping!

A Word on Branch Shops

Let’s suppose you have a business in RL. Maybe not a huge one, but a moderately successful one. And let’s suppose it’s time to grow, to branch out, to open up a satellite shop in a mall.

So let’s continue to suppose here. You find a mall that seems just right for your shop, and what do you know, they have a space available for a rent that’s reasonable. So you sign your lease, you pay your rent, you move your things into the vacant slot in the mall… and then you totally ignore it, waiting for the money to just roll in. After all, it’s in the mall now, it’s completely up to the mall owners to promote your shop, give you a reason to have a sale, and otherwise tell people to go into your store to buy your product, right?

Wait, you mean it’s not? Well isn’t that the damnedest thing.
Continue reading “A Word on Branch Shops”

Posted in business in SL, Clover's Kitchen, Shopping!

Am I just behind the times?

Photo: Teleny Macarthur

So I’ve been running Clover’s Kitchen for something to the tune of 3 and a half years now. One of the things that I do, that I’ve been doing since the beginning, is manually inviting customers one-by-one into the shop group. I don’t believe in using Subscribe-O-Matics because they make it difficult for an unwilling customer to leave (click and “leave group” from the comfort of your own home is way simpler), they’re abused and mistrusted, and they rely on sending notecards. Nobody usually READS notecards.

The oldschool SL group, on the other hand, enables me to program my vendors so that group members get special deals (like the monthly group-only dollarbie); they get the message and a LM right away, logged on or not, and–most importantly to me–they are in the group because they actively chose to be.

And so at least once per week I round up the names of those who have made a purchase from me, and one by one, I add them to the “invite” list for the shop group. Then I send the invitation. Those who are already in, never get the duplicate invitation (god damn, LL did something logical! Good going!). Those who want in, click “accept”. Those who don’t, click “decline”. The list gets purged, life goes on. In the three and a half years of using this method, I’ve gotten two complaints from people.

The second arrived just a short while ago. I got IMed: “please im me before spanning me.” I hope she’s all right with me ignoring her and closing the chat because that struck me as the kindest and most honest thing I could do. Like I say, if you don’t want in the group, I don’t want you in it either. So… click “decline”.

So am I just behind the times here? I figured a quick opt-in group invite sent once would be way less rude than, say, IMing her out of the blue first. She apparently does not agree. And I think it’s way WAY less rude than my just putting you on a list for a Spam-o-Matic machine that spits notecards at you whether you like it or not, and forcing you to come back into the shop in order to (hope that you) remove yourself from said list.

Am I mistaken?

Posted in business in SL, humor, I wrote this, list, Shopping!, SL Marketplace

Why We Keep Going Back to SL

Despite the troubles and frustrations of Second Life, there are some of us (raises hand) who just can’t seem to walk away. Here are a few not-remotely-scientific reasons that Second Life has such a hold on us, like the scumbag boyfriend we just can’t seem to get away from.

Our Friends are There

Step into any other grid and if you find people at all, they won’t likely be your people. Oh sure you could try to get your people into this grid to pay you a visit, but why would they want to do that? It would be easier just to get in touch with you on Skype or email than to make a whole new duckwalking avatar. The fact is, if you want to “see” and hang out with your friends, and have hours-long IM conversations broken up into little digestible bits, it’s going to have to be in the world where you met them.

Continue reading “Why We Keep Going Back to SL”

Posted in blues, building, business in SL, entertainment, fuck you LL, humor, I wrote this, music, rant, Shopping!, song

Work Around

Work Around

(by RayCharles Linden)*
(Original tune: “Mess Around”, Ray Charles)

Blues Brothers Night at Hotlanta Blues, Feb. 2009

Aw you can talk about the new Marketplace
Where the descriptions don’t match the face
ahh, Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Nobody was rezzed, you can bet your soul
Waitin’ for the restarts to start to roll
We Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Now the office hours are from noon to one
Nobody ever gonna get stuff done
So we Work Around
We’re doin’ the Work Around
We’re doin’ the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Now see that girl with the extra bling
She’ll make a laggy mess of everything
So we’ll Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

*(not really. It’s by me, Mistletoe.)

So, yeah, still not having a lot of luck getting shit working at the Marketplace. So, I’m working on finding a way around it. Wish me luck.

The plan is: all the erroneous listings that are in the Magic Box, I’ll relist with DD, and vise versa. We’ll see.

Posted in business in SL, fuck you LL, money, rant

What LL Has Taught Me About Business

My shop, Clover’s Kitchen, has existed in SL about 3 years and change (minus a break between December 2009 and March 2010). Between its start in 2008 and now, I’ve gotten better at building and scripting, technology’s gotten better, sculpted prims have become amazing, and people’s needs have grown and changed. And so it only makes sense that I fix old products that aren’t as good (like my 20 prim Easter basket from 2 years ago, holy cow), make changes, and keep working.

I’ve learned from LL’s example of what not to do, not to worry about the shiny things that I want to add to my store (like camping for items or other promotional gadgets) before first focusing on the quality of the product itself.

I’m not the happiest of campers with LL right now, in particular regarding the Marketplace. At the time of this posting, a solid 1/6th of my Marketplace listings are unavailable, due to a glitch that’s causing links to other people’s listings (but still with my product images) to appear in my shop, instead of the actual listing to my product that’s supposed to be there.

One. Sixth.

While the Lab is working on getting Direct Delivery to actually function correctly (which in my opinion should be a high priority, before they so much as think of setting a deadline for us to switch over to it), they’re enhancing the reality of my Second Life experience by causing me to work harder than usual just to scramble together enough money to make ends meet. Just like in real life!

Oh, so, in my ranting way, what I was getting at is this: check your product. Especially the older stuff. If it’s not up to scratch anymore, get rid of it and replace it with something that is.

Also, talk to your customers and ask what they think. You’ll learn more from your harshest critic than your most flattering supporter, if you’re really willing to hear what they say.

Posted in business in SL, money, rant, Shopping!

Ure gonna love this one.

So the other day, Clover got a quick “Greetings!” IM and a notecard. I really don’t know how to make PLEASE IM ME FIRST bigger or more capital in her profile, but anyway, here comes a notecard with a marketplace invitation.

It has been my experience that branch shops tend to cost more than they pay, with some occasional exceptions. Why this is, I could speculate all day, but what it all comes down to is this: if I’m going to open a branch shop in your marketplace, it has to be worth my while to do so, in one way or another. Even if I don’t make a profit in a branch shop, if it introduces my product to a considerably wider audience, that may be an example of worthwhile.

But, back to this notecard, which was such a lesson in what not to do I’ve decided to make an example of it for the Know-it-all Pages.

Continue reading “Ure gonna love this one.”