September 4, 2010
old drama is old (omg no pictures)
So I was reading Ye Olden Drama for something to do and I have decided I think freebies probably do hurt content creators in the long run. Which is maybe messed up for me to say when I’ve made and handed out so much free full perm stuff over the years, but here is my thinking (why yes this post is just so that I don’t forget I have this blog, why do you ask?)
There’s a few shops in the SL where I have at least half a dozen outfits and I’ve never bought a thing from them for actual spacemoneys. I’ve never had to, they give everything out for free. I have an inventory full of skins I’ll never wear just because they were free. Hey, remember trying to get a decent free skin in 2006/2007? And it was that stolen Starley skin or something only slightly better than Linden skin? Yeah, that. Back in the day we had to eventually spend some IRL moneys to look really nice. Not that I don’t love the freebie stores for what they are/were, because I’ve found that my enjoyment of and return to virtual worlds is largely based on the level of avatar customisation that’s immediately available to me as a noob. We need to have stuff that lets the new people dress up a bit.
Remember that freebie scooter we all got a while back? It was blue I think, and sculpted. Did you get it? Okay, where did you get it from? Did you ever go back to that shop? I didn’t. I don’t need to, because now I have a scooter if I ever need one and I’m not a vehicles person so I don’t need one that does more stuff.
“Omg, Chav, didn’t you just hand out a freebie gacha machine script in the Hobo group?” Yeah, but it’s incredibly basic and you still need to make or buy the object to put it in. I don’t if people have actually used it or just looked in it to see how it works. It was something I wanted and it wasn’t good enough to sell. The vast majority of what I’ve given out free is either not quite good enough or something so niche that maybe one person would ever want to buy it. That said? There’s a fair chance I’ve hurt someone’s sales by giving something out. I mean who needs, say, a portable suffrage protest for 100l when there’s one floating about full perms for free? (But then people seem to make money selling Hobo stuff when we give out so much free stuff, so I don’t really know.) But like I say, niche. I don’t think anyone was vastly hurt by, say, Arcadia’s stuff when it was so specific to Hobo-style.
I think it’s that the quality of freebies is no longer any worse than the quality of the stuff you can actually buy, and that EVERYONE has multiple freebies out these days. When it got time to look nicer you went back to the places you got stuff from at Free Dove, but now my alts can just check out the freebie blogs and look lovely in no time. And, erm, when I finally bought skins for my alts I went to a shop my main went to that’s never actually given me free skin. Because they already had skins from X and Y and didn’t need to spend money on any more. But I mean I assume it in some way must work or no one would do it? Unless… unless we’re just doing it because everyone else does? Like hunts. I was in a hunt once and I put in a thing that was nice but not amazin’, and traffic went up but I made maybe one sale if that. When I’m on hunts myself I’m looking for the freebie, not at the rest of your shop. I may even be in wireframe to cheat a bit. Sorry. Of the hundred or more shops in a hunt, I’ll maybe buy something from half a dozen, go back to two or three at a later date. Most of them I won’t see again until the next hunt, because they gave me the thing I wanted and I don’t need it anymore, do I?
This is sort of why I end up giving stuff out for free, because I do like people to have my stuff and I know it won’t sell. Even if you make something 1L, people don’t want it. In fact, giving stuff away has got a lot harder. I’ve seen pretty much every freebie avenue slowly become less and less effective. Lucky chairs? In 2007 people would camp at one I had that offered pretty much crap, now I can put in something I have up for sale and no one ever pick it up.I’ve yet to have a Midnight Mania ever reach its (low) target to give the thing out. Noobs don’t even want my folder of free clothes that I used to hand out when I met them. Why would they, when every shop on the grid is giving away high-quality stuff that they can pretty much pick and choose? I think that’s the thing that most bothers me, that philanthropy has become futile now. I mean, I’ve only for a very brief period in SL managed to cover tier off selling clothes, and that was a weird blip I imagine. It’s not like I’ve ever cashed out either. It’s just really harsh when a noob turns down free jeans because they’ve already got a dozen pairs from proper shops. Sure they’re a bit shite, and I’d update my freebies folder if I actually thought it would make a difference, but would it? Really, would it? And if they were higher quality would I just be shooting myself in the foot in terms of hoping to ever sell anything ever again? Cos, y’know, land costs actual money every month.
And I mean I’m saying this as a socialist, I don’t worship the free market or anything. I like giving stuff away, I like noobs having nice things. But when I look at how I spend in SL I realise that there’s a lot of shops where I have a bunch of stuff yet I’ve never dropped any actual money there, or where at most I’ve got the 50l Friday thing a few times. (I do think 50L Friday is one of the few effective means of getting money from people these days, along with a couple of other events that are impossible to get into anyway so useless for most creators. Anyway, it does seem to be a licence to print money and get traffic, so good on the people running it.) And I spend in the SL, I either spend what I make or I occasionally buy some spacemoney when I can afford it IRL. (Yes, some people on the grid are too poor IRL to easily afford Linden Dollarz, but there’s not very many of us I don’t think.)
So basically at the moment I don’t have a freebie in my clothes shop and I’m honestly not sure it’s worthwhile putting anything in for free. To get a freebie across the grid, to get significant numbers of people in, it basically has to be something amazing that you spent ages on and you’ll never see those people again anyway. I? Am no longer grateful for a free thing, I’ve become all entitled about it. “Oh what a rubbish freebie.” WTF am I thinking there? Someone put time and effort and upload fees into that, they probably think it’s really good. I’m just dissing someone’s art that they gave to me for nothing. That’s a bit harsh of me, but I’ve done it. Like when X the shop I actually really like gave away three year old stuff (and it showed) as gifts one time and I was just really annoyed because they weren’t handing me their best stuff for nothing. (This will not stop me bitching about freebies in future, just so you know.)
So anyway, I should do more text posts here, because the pics with credits bore even me a lot of the time.
Now I have to go do the Steam Hunt and score some free stuff. Yay!