Sunday, December 21, 2008

SL Fashion Business/Economy/Glut/Marketing/Freebies Omnibus post

Let's talk business, you and I. Suppose you are a designer and you want to make a Beeeelion L$. Everyone does. I do. Anyone got a Beeeelion L$? I've always wanted a Caledon Duchy and Willow Packs of every hair Elika makes...and a pony.

Back to my point, if some new designer came up to me and asked for advice about starting their fashion business I would say:

1. Don't. There's a glut of stuff on the grid, so much stuff that it's overwhelming, and if your stuffage isn't as good or better than the stuff that's already out there you WILL get lost in the glut. For example, as much as I respect Eloh for releasing her skin PSD's into the wild and making it easier for budding skin creators, she created the skin glut of skin makers looking to make their beeeeelions selling skin.

2. Wait for the shakeout. I'd lay odds some of these new creators won't be able to keep going for too long.

3. If you still want to release your stuff, why not partner with another small content creator or an already established business.

4. You'd better have very very good ads and marketing.

5. Don't get caught in the freebie race. Discounted budget items/lines are fine.

6. 200L$ is the magic number, most transactions are that or below. 200L$ represents for me the impulse vs think about it for a while purchase point. In fact the number of people willing to spend even that much is small. The SL fashion economy is sustained by a relatively small number of people because relatively few new folk become part of that economy in a major way.

Gwyneth Llewelyn has a blog post about this

Here's a citation of her major train of thought:

At this stage, I have to formulate my own theory though. Based on my own perception of the numbers, I boldly claim that the number of people willing to spend money in SL is about hundred thousand, and this number hasn’t changed since at least early 2007.

The second bold claim is perhaps even more surprising. The number of service providers (content creators, event hosters, and land managers) is about hundred thousand. This basically means that about one in ten active users is a producer of content, while the remaining are pure consumers.

And the third bold claim is definitely shocking. This number will NOT change in the immediate future. Unless, of course, things change dramatically (which is always possible), but the change will be only a positive one, ie. more users in this group, not less.

The fourth claim is perhaps not so surprising then: The number of informed people in Second Life (those that read and write blogs or e-zines, participate actively in SL-related issues, work for RL companies providing content and services in SL, etc.) is about a hundred thousand.

And the fifth should not come as a surprise either: They are exactly the same people. Sure, I’ll allow a margin of error, of, say, 20-30% in either direction. But I’d say that it’s extremely likely — mmmh 95% or so — that if you’re reading this article, you’re very likely a Premium Account resident, or an owner of a private island (or a set of them), or a content/service provider (these are inclusive “or”s, so you can be all of those). If you’re none of those cases (ie. a Basic Account user who never spent a single cent in SL, live from freebies, and never organised a single event in SL…), you’re probably writing regularly about SL.

Some personal stuff:

I think she's close to the mark. I'm a Basic account holder, and have no intention of going premium. I have a SL Lindex budget that I limit myself to each month, about 3000 to 5000 L$. I ought to unsubscribe from EQOA again, I joined it to see how it looked and played on my PS3, and cut down my SL spending a bit to compensate, that would add another 3000 or so sometimes (but not every month), but I try to keep it as small as I can. Now back when I was working for Linden Lifestyles, that gig paid a bit of L$ so I spent more. I'm not a content creator, I can't design clothes, or build and my LSL scripting skills are minimal, so I can't make money that way. I'd love to have a way to make more L$ in SL to finance a 512 or 1024 in Caledon, but right now, if I was to get a spot in Caledon it would mean much less shopping since I'd be feeding Desmond Shangs cute little meter L$ every week.

In fact, I write these infrequent blog posts these days basically because I don't have a regular commentary writing gig with a "Big blog". I'm thinking I'm one of the few remaining fashion bloggers from 2006 who aren't content creators that is still writing. I'd be tempted to apply for that Second Style Magazine editorial assistant post if I felt I could devote the time to it the job deserved, and of course to fill out my Hat Trick. So far I've worked for 2 of the old "Big Three" fashion blogs: PXP and Linden Lifestyles, Second Style would finish the hat trick. Of course since PXP is on defunct and LL pretty much on permanent hiatus, that might not be a good idea. I'm the kiss of death.

Back to the fashion business:

Here's another citation from Gwyneth:

But these days it’s insanely hard to launch a new brand. It’s not only making sure that you’re well-known enough by all fashionistas and fashion bloggers and magazine writers — which is hard and takes time. It’s not enough to have the best quality products available in your collection. The problem is that there is a limit on how much the 100,000 can spend. They’re stretched thin across the dozens of thousands of brands in SL already, and every week a new designer pops up and wants a share of the market — another market which is also saturated! Put it bluntly: there is no room for more designers except if you’re willing to drive your competitors out of business. So there is no time to use soft silky gloves for fighting; the only way to survive in the fashion world is to eliminate the competition. The Armidi brand is trying very, very hard to do that, and perhaps with some success. Many others have understood that the market has stagnated — but still working under the wrong assumptions! — and are starting to put up a serious fight. Long gone are the days where you put up a shop and would have increased sales just from “being here”. Even long gone are the days where quality defined success, or marketing and promotion helped you to find out where all your potential customers were shopping and open your shop there. These days, we’ve hit the limit on how many different brands are able to survive in SL, because the market is only 100,000 people and they have a limit on how much they spend.

She's absolutely right on this one. I've reached my limit and most others have too. If you want to survive you have to convince me to spend my money with you and not them. You have to be absolutely ruthless. Jack Tramiel used to say: Business is War.

Say it with me, "Business is War." Find out who your competitors are and take them down...hard. You've got to be agile, mobile and hostile. Know them, know their weaknesses, know yours. If they do something, you have to do it better. If their customer service is good, yours has to be better. Your job is constant improvement. You need information and lots of it. Information in SL is one of the most valuable things ever. "Information is ammunition." Know your market, know theirs.

Sounds harsh, I know, but it's the only way to survive the glut.

Gwyn has this to say about Freebies:

In despair, designers tried to give their content away as freebies, hoping to make themselves more popular (and show themselves as politically correct towards the “poor newbies”). Nothing could be worse. As Prokofy Neva put so bluntly several years ago, we’re flooded with freebies. Fashion comes and goes — nobody wears non-sculpty heels these days — and you can rely upon consumers to pay for new, fresh, innovative content. But you can’t fight freebies: they accumulate. Unlike content creators who retire products from the market (when they don’t sell, are out of fashion, or are replaced by better and improved products), freebies never disappear. And to worsen that, while in 2004 and 2005 wearing a freebie was considered hilarious — because they were of such poor quality! — the freebies of 2008 are of insanely high quality. In fact, whole communities have been popping into existence to help people to pick the very best among all freebies in the world — Fabulously Free in SL being perhaps one of the best examples. All these sites, these notecards, these people explaining where to get free things in SL are just increasing the magnitude of the problem. (And I know they mean well, that’s besides the point; none of them are Evil Communists Trying To Bring The Downfall of Laissez-Faire Rampant Capitalism in SL, but just happily giving out tips and ideas, to newbies, non-consumers, and even the 100,000, who are often amused at how good those freebies are these days)

I think Freebies are moderation, but the Freebie glut on the grid nowadays is no moderation. Problem is a lot of folks aren't even willing to pay 10L$. It's hard to become integrated in the SL economy unless you create. It's only recently that more businesses in SL are hiring CSA's and I think most of those get paid in items and not L$, though I may be mistaken on that. I have no skills and am in the economy only because of the Lindex. If I wasn't buying on the Lindex I wouldn't be shopping. It's not like The Sheep or Millions of Us would want to hire me, and most of the major fashion blogs are bankrolled directly or indirectly by a content creator.

So instead of freebies I recommend budget lines, "clearance rooms" and "Everyday low prices". Every L$ a consumer spends with you is one they haven't spent with someone else and you want as many avatars as possible spending with you.

Which leads in to marketing:

A lot of notecard copy and vendor/notecard ads suck. Sometimes the items are sucky too, but sometimes, sadly, the items are great but the ads aren't. I've pointed to this post by Alaska Metropolitan before. And yes, sometimes I think some content creators would be better off getting someone else to model and do their ads for them. Some months ago I bought a really nice gown, from an ad with a really sucky vendor picture. I had seen someone else wearing the gown or else I wouldn't have bought it, the vendor picture was that unflattering. So while I was there hobnobbing. (there was a lucky chair attracting shoppers), I decided to take a few pictures of myself in the gown and my pictures turned out better than the vendor ones. But frankly, my SL image skills both in and out of SL are not very all. To put it in the vernacular, my pictures suck, they just suck less than some of the vendor pics out there. There's people out there willing to help with marketing and ad making but creators are reluctant to use them.

I've been thinking about organizing some kind of fashion blogger summit held via FashCon Cafe or something. Sabrina Doolittle was planning on doing so, but her RL got in the way. I really should keep in better contact with my "colleagues".

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CC wears Fleur, everyone knows this. She is their #1 fan.

I say the title of this post all the time. I have worn Fleur, formerly Tete a Pied, skins almost exclusively since August of 2006. I am probably one of the "oldest" Fleur fans on the grid (though not the oldest) and did end up being one of the Fleur Insiders. Don't ask me how many Fleur skins I have, I think I have 12 or so of the new Allure's, at least 54 or so of the Vivants.

Why does CC wear Fleur? It's the faces. I need classic pretty makeup and Fleur gives it to me, lots of it, and at good prices. That means I can change my skin to match my outfit and have tons of skin for various purposes. Also, Fleur is redhead friendly skin. There are skins I simply can't wear because they don't come with red or red-brown brows that I can wear with my favourite ETD Mahogany hair color.

So let's take a pictoral look at the evolution of Fleur, with more nudity than a Second Life Herald Post Sixx post! This isn't a review, CC is biased towards skin that makes CC pretty, passes the bald and naked test, and is made by Roslin Petion and CJ Carnot. I am, after all as I say, their #1 fan.

We start with the oldest Tete a Pied skins, the ones now commonly referred to as the Une's.

This skin was entirely hand drawn. They have non-fuzzy nips and that cute little heart shaped bush, which has become a Fleur tradition. The shading is minimalistic, which meant that TaP Une's made my boobehs look smaller and cleavage less resplendent than other skins so back when I wore them I knocked the knockers up to 66. The face is demure and sweet looking in a sort of retro way and has those TaP Une slightly glossed lips which were something of a trademark. This shape I'm wearing I didn't actually wear much with the Une's since it came after.

I still have my special scripted Tete a Pied makeup box which let you buy skins in your favourite shade and brow color at a very significant discount. It sits on my vanity table in my skybox. I'd love to have a new (non scripted) Fleur branded makeup box to sit along side it. I have nostalgic feelings for the old TaP builds at Ear and Pyrina. These were nice skins and I loved them...then in August of 2006 came the Deux:

Time changes in SL, and so does skin, and the TaP Deux's showed Roslin and CJ's progression in mad skin skills. The body has more shading and definition and look at the boobehs! The faces while still having a classic look were more modern looking and seemed more detailed to me.

There was one problem with the Deux's, the brow color. You could not buy your choice in brow color from the vendors, so I had to get me a custom 4 pack of the Deux Sophisticates. Later on, Roslin and CJ released 4 packs just for us redheads. I loved the Deux's and consider the Deux's as when I started looking like me because I finally had a face I liked. I sometimes describe my shape as looking like Alaska Metropolitan's catalog model sister compared to her runway model look since my shape is a modded version of a freebie shape she made. I did all sorts of futzing with the face and eventually the body (to make it shorter and a bit less supermodely) Now one thing that TaP had in those days was shapes, and one of those shapes came with a brow shape that became my default hair base for a year...until the TaP Vivants came out. Ahhh, the Vivants.

The Vivants were hybrid skins, though Ros and CJ had experimented with touches of photosourcing in some of the later TaP Deux skins. Putting it blunty, the Deux were good, but the Vivants were better. Thanks to the new cleavage shading I even knocked the knockers back down to 60. I was pretty in the Deux but the Vivants made me a glowy glamazon. A glowy glamazon with brows that always matched my hair. Those Vivant brow and kitty packs were the best thing ever. All Vivant skin was redhead skin, woo hoo. That was a good thing, because Roslin and CJ made lots of Vivant skin with lots of makeups to choose from, which means I bought lots of skin. lots of freaking CHEAP skin, because if you bought them in the 3 packs it came out to 400L$ a skin. Almost as cheap as the old TaP Unes were with the special makeup box discount. Roslin and CJ wanted people to think of skin as an accessory to be changed to match the outfit so they changed their pricing strategy. It worked, because it seemed like everyone was buying Vivants and you always saw green dots in the Nouveau sim.

Then came the branding change with a new sim, which surprised me, but was probably a good idea since Fleur is snappier and easier to spell than Tete a Pied. Ahh I loved the train station, that lovely man CJ rocks as a builder, though I love to poke fun when he's in TaP Shepherd dressed like Roslin. Now Fleur looks like Manhattan, and there's the new Premium luxury line of skins, the Allure's.

CC wears the Allure's now, and it would take Wild Zontars and a Blingon Warfleet from Vulgaria to get me to switch skin makers. Though I do wear other skins on rare occasions, and I freely admit there's lots of great skin out there. It's just that, CC wears Fleur.

The Allure's are also hybrid skins. The body now, the body, oh that beautiful body. The body that's good enough for the dance pole, or burlesque, or just simply being nekkid at the Allure launch in. The feet are great, the hands are great and the nips are awesome. The faces are even prettier than the Vivants. Weirdly enough, the Allure's actually make me look more like Alaska Metropolitan than I did before. That's one of the Kitten makeups in the Truffle skin shade. I looove the winged eyeliner. I'd kill to be able to do it that well in RL. Since Allure's are premium luxury skins, they come at a premium luxury price......1000L$. Ha ha ha ha ha ha, that Roslin and CJ, such comedians, they're a steal at that price for the quality you get. Oh okay, originally at launch they were 1200L$ each (with 3 packs at 3000L$) and even currently at 1000L$ each (with 3 packs unavailable) they do cost more than the Vivants (which they supplement, not replace), but not really. You see, if you buy the Fleur gift cards in the larger denominations you can get them at a discount, either 33% or 50% for the 3000L$ card. So if you buy the 3000L$ card you're actually paying... 500L$ per skin and you can pick and choose and don't have to buy a specific 3 pack to get a discount. Ha ha ha ha, they're practically giving these beauties away. Roslin and CJ, I love them so, they make lots of pretty skin for CC. Now if only they would name skin after CC, or a dress, or put a shrine to CC on the sim. Hey, I can dream.

Fleur skins blog is here
The store is at the Fleur sim of course, right next to Nicky Ree's Tropical Orchid.
My hair, is Maaliyah in ETD Mahogany (the 2008 version of Mahogany), Eyes are from Miriel Enfield, Vivid Naturals in Strong Green. The earrings are also from Miriel.

Fashionista Transparency: yes, I'm a Fleur Insider and member of the regular Fleur group.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Callie Victorian skins from AGENDA

While watching the Independent State of Caledon chat I saw a notice of some new Victorian style skins. As it is now, Caledonians tend to favour certain specific skin lines, so new skins designed with Caledonians with mind got my attention:

From the release notecard.

Thank you for trying on the Callie DEMO skins from Agenda. There are six skins in this package in two skin tones. These were designed specifically with Caledon residents in mind, capturing features of both Victorian style and some features that address modern resident needs and tastes. Also included is a Body Shape and an Eyebrow shaper. These extras can be used to show what I believe is an optimal face shape for these skins, but feel free to modify them to suit your own preferences. I have also included my best pair of pale blue eyes, gratis.

At this time, Agenda Skins and Clothing is not yet open to the public. Our schedule will hopefully allow for a late October opening in the Bad Wolf Bay region. For now, you can buy these skins in Kittiwickshire at the Discovolante shops.

They're pretty skins, very classic in appearance. They only come in two skin shades, pale and medium (which I show in the closeups below) and three different makeups. The lips on the skin do not flatter either of my standard shapes lips, so if I was going to wear these I'd have to do another lip shape/lower face shape. The cleavage shading is well done, that's quite necessary for a Victorian Trollop like myself.

This is the pale skin shade:

This is the medium skin shade:

My personal opinion is that they are worth getting, if the lips flatter your lip shape, and if you like "classicly elegant" skins like I do. I only got the demos because I want to tweak my lips sometime and try them again, and I'm saving my cash for the new Fleur skins coming up next week.

Bear Ears from ATOMIC Kitty

Twas Rosie Bartholomess that made me buy them, they were sooooo cuuuuute on her, that I NEEDED them too.

Aren't they adorable. these are the auburn ones but they come in more colors, including traditional panda style.

Slurl to Atomic Kitty

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Tiny Story, you betcha.

Ya know, there was once this avatar lady in a red jacket and black skirt, her hair was half up and down and she had glasses like Tina Fey.

The lady liked to hunt, which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but the lady liked to hunt from a freebie DX4 Attack helicopter which isn't very sportspersonlike.

So she was wandering the skies of the grid and she found a Moose in Caledon Tanglewood. Must have been some kind of Maverick Moose to be wandering alone in Caledon. So she preparted to target and bag her a sculpty moose.

However, the Lady in the Red Jacket was called away for some other purpose. Probably involving camping for money for a bridge to a Sim named Nowhere. So she turned on the Computerized Artificial Intelligence of her helicopter, telling it to shoot the Moose and then bring it to her later, which would let her talk with the other Joe Sixpack campers about being an outsider.

So the un-womanned helicopter moved in and targeted the unaware moose with it's nose cannon.

Looks like our Moose-y friend is doomed. But wait, what's this. A Tiny defender of Moose shows up, carrying a VERY large weapon.

The tiny warrioress readies her weapon and aims at the AI controlled copter.

And then unleashes hell.

The helicopter is pushed away, thanks to our Tiny Heroine. Hurrah Hurrah.

Our Heroine celebrates by giving her support to a certain Senator from Illinois.

Red Jacket from Laqroki
Pencil skirt from Ingenue
Phoebe hair in Chestnut from ETD
Classic Pumps from Shiny Things
Fleur Vivant Red Lips 1 skin.

Tiny Moose Avatar from Extrovirtual

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The gown I wore to the handfasting: Evening Star from Adam n Eve

Here's the gown I wore to the Royal Handfasting of Gabi and Azul, Evening Star from Adam n Eve in the Genesis sim:

It's called a "red" but it's more of a lovely fall burgundy. I has nice contrasting black and gold trimmings on the bodice and skirt, but also comes with a plain unadorned skirt. The skirts also come in a slim version, for those who don't want to wear the poofy ball gown skirt. I just think the gown in this color is very flatting on my avatar, and it was well worth buying.

ETD Anisa hair and a Fleur skin.

The Royal Handfasting of Gabrielle Riel and Azul Draken

I attended the handfasting of Her Grace Gabrielle Riel of Caledon Carntaigh and Lady Azul Draken. Here's one of the pictures I took.

Her Grace Gabrielle Riel was wearing the Flora gown in white from Nicky Ree, and the Gibson Girl hair from Miriel Enfield. Lady Azul Draken was wearing the Lady Edwina ensemble also from Nicky Ree.

I am in the first pew on the far left in the burgundyish Evening Star gown from Adam n Eve, ETD Grand hair, and Fleur Vivant Laura skin.

I took more pictures and put them in a set on flickr:

Gabi and Azul's handfasting set taken by CronoCloud Creeggan on flickr

The handfasting was probably the "grandest" event I've attended in Caledon and I am glad I was able to attend. My happyest wishes for the future to the happy couple, the Nightingale (Gabi) and the Dragon (Azul) Huzzah!

Here's some links to other Caledon blogs with posts and pictures on the handfasting:

blog post by rhianon jameson

blog post by Otenth Paderborn

blog post by Eva Bellambi

Baron Outlander says he'll have some up

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ball gown shopping for Her Grace's handfasting.

Her Grace Gabrielle Riel of Caledon Carntaigh (and of Radio Riel fame too) is being handfasted on Sunday to Lady Azul Draken and I, along with many others have been invited. You know what that means, choosing a gown to wear. Her Grace is a noted Caledonian fashionista as seen in this picture with both of us wearing Simone Gatsby:

We have noted our similar tastes in wardrobe, makeup styles and hair styles so it's part of the "Caledon Mythology" that I'm a distant cousin whose clan of fashionista-warriors sold their lands and buy more shoes.

I happend to mention I was gown shopping and she showed up herself looking for another gown. Caledonian ladies, duchesses or no, can never have too many gowns. I almost didn't recognize her at first.

Where's the ETD Anisa and Tiara? Where's the ball gown? zOMG she's wearing....jean capris and....sneakers. Nooooooo. Ah I so kid the Duchess, she does look great casual too.

Goes to show you that most avatars have different looks for different occasions.

The important thing was not clashing with the Attendants which prevented me from wearing the gown I had been planning on wearing. "Cousin" Gabi's will be in red, and Lady Azul's will be in blue. So I went through my mess of an inventory. Yes.... it's really a mess. a BIG mess.

I had nothing that was really telling me that I wanted to wear it to the handfasting. I eventually picked up four gowns, only one of which I have pictures of at the moment, Carrie from Adam n Eve. It's a simple corseted ballgown with a sheer skirt overlay, I got it in black, of course. Yes, I know one is not supposed to wear black, though it's more accepted these days, but I can, because I'm a Victorian Trollop.

Simple! Pretty! Love! Good price too and it comes with options so you can wear the corset and stockings lingerie style.

I also Looooooove the newest Adam n Eve build in Genesis sim. It is VERY well designed, signs, teleports, it rezzes quickly, it's not laggy, and it's attractive.

Now I may not actually wear that gown to the handfasting, I may choose one of the others (though one I will probably save for the Bardhaven Halloween Ball), or just go in Uniform of one of the Caledon Military groups. ( I can do that too.) I did need to supplement my collection, though I have gowns that are more "Old Hollywood" in style. I don't have many that said, "Caledon handfasting and reception ball"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ack ack, bad CCC blog hiatus.

Yes, I'm still alive and in SL. It' really is hard to get back in the swing of things, I swear. I login with the intent of doing bloggy stuff but then I get distracted, and NOT with shopping.

I have put a few newer pictures on my flickr that I've finally gone pro on. Alaska Metropolitan told me I would go pro eventually. :-) You can see that I "finally" got the ICING Miss Hathaway gown that everyone else has.

CronoCloud Creeggan's flickr

Also, one of my friends in SL has left SL, fellow blogger and redheaded hussy, Kit Meredith. I respect her reasons but I'm going to miss her very much. Which, with the ending of Linden Lifestyles, means I am the ranking redheaded shameless hussy on the grid. And these days now that I think of it, I am one of the "older" fashionistas on the grid, which is really strange.

I really should work harder on doing stuff for Metro Models, writing fashion show scripts (blurbs for outfits) is fun most of the time, unless I'm having writer's block. And on the new machine I could turn down the settings and sit for hours at a fashion show.

I've finally figured out how to solve the 11MB high res SL .bmp dump issue, just go ahead and let SL compress them, it'll save em as .png which is not lossy and a lot smaller.

I've also been flirting with Miss Hypatia Callisto of Caledon, every chance I get, simply because she says she doesn't get flirted with. There may be a Caledon singles ball scheduled sometime so that we singletons can celebrate our singleness and be cheered on by all and sundry.

I also need to take a picture of the bear ears of immeasurable cuteness. Nothing is cuter than me in bear ears, except Rosie Bartholomess in bear ears.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Miriel Enfield has finished her build.

She's done. :-) That's really all I need to say. Don't know if it's actually open yet, but it's done, so soon very soon.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Blog Death

Yes, I'm sad about Linden Lifestyles, but I'm also sad about Mean Girls Guide to SL and Shopping Cart Disco. Heck I still miss PXP and Style Disorder.

But SL fashion blogs do die, not that we want it to happen. I know that there's some who wish the lackeys would just take over Linden Lifestyles and keep on going, but Linden Lifestyles would not be the same without Sabrina and Salome. It's their baby, they created it, they put their whoring hearts into it and I am happy that I was a small part of it.

As for the Mean Girls, I love em. I aint got the attitude to be a Mean Girl, but I did admire them and what they did.

As for what I'll do post LL, not that I did much during my tenure, I'll blog here as I have always done on occasion. And post pictures to my flickr page I'll probably do infrequent posts for the Metro Models blog

As for preventing blog death, I think the solution is people, lots of people, as many as you can get. Give em beat assignments if you want "you get the fashion shows, you get skins, yadda yadda yadda" but also say: "if you see a hole, plug it, fill in the gaps." I guess that's what Second Style is doing these days with syndicating content, it's essentially getting lots of people working for Second Style.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Six degrees of separation.

I've been seeing a LOT of familiar faces and names in Hamlet Au's New World Notes lately as subjects of posts, contributors and commenters, and it got me thinking

Here are some of the names I've seen recently:

Crap Mariner
Vidal Tripsa
Phineas Messmer
Zoe Connolly
Eladrienne Laval
Charlanna Beresford
Iris Ophelia
Kit Meredith

I know them all. Lanna and Iris contribute to NWN and they're in my friends list. Phineas, Zoe and Eladrienne are Caledonians and I see Miss Laval and Miss Connolly frequently. Miss Tripsa I met in Extropia, before she got mentioned on NWN. Turns out she hangs in Caledon too. I can't remember where I met Crap, sorry Crap. Kit I met at a Metro Models show, and she and I both worked for Linden Lifestyles as did Iris.

Some might be thinking "Hey, they're really is an insular clique of the famous people" A "FIC" (Feted Inner Core) if you will. Not that I agree with the concept of the FIC, created by Prokofy Neva (Yes, there are people from various parts of the FIClist in my Friends list)

I think the FIC concept is too limiting. IMHO there's a more generalized "avatars of influence" group that's much larger. It would include the formal and informal SL press (bloggers and the like), those who post/comment a lot on blogs/forums, a lot of content creators, etc. It's too large of a group for any individual to have major influence. In fact, SL is so big these days that there's not much Fete-ing of anyone by Linden Labs Everyone is becoming a smaller fish in a bigger pond. Ask new folk who Anshe or Aimee are. They'll say Anshe who? Aimee who?

Places like NCI, the Shelter or BareRose, or Caledon as a whole, are far far more influential than individuals these days.

Even in the SL fashion world, individuals are becoming less influential. Are the folks at Second Style as influential as they were back in 2006 when I joined? I don't know. Or consider the skin glut, seems like everybody has a skin line these days.

And by the way, I'm D-List at best. :-)

"Chick Like Me"

Caledonian Phineas Messmer is doing an experiment in Avatars. He, a freely acknowledged straight male, is trying out a female form.

She's already found out it's a money sink, and learned the powers of a pretty skin and is discovering how important shoes are. Mwah ha ha ha ha.

I know that Mr./Miss Messmer will have some interesting experiences and interesting things to say about them.

And yes, the title of this post is a reference to the Boy Meets World episode: Chick Like Me, which in itself was inspired by Black Like Me

Thursday, July 24, 2008


My second rezday was last Saturday, same day as the RFL so I didn't plan anything, not that I'm a good planner of parties. I'm still not planning anything, though I do want to throw some kind of party of some kind. If I had parcel control in my skybox area I'd just invite everyone over and set up the parcel stream to Radio Riel or something.

I'm glad I kept a blog on my avatar. It's interesting to see how little my avatar has changed over the past few years. I've been reddish haired and TaP/Fleur skinned since late August of 2006. I'm still very classic in style, though I do like to play around with appearance, after all I've been a penguin dressed as Wonder Woman.

It's been a fun two years, thanks to the people I've met. SL wouldn't be the same without the people. Alaska, Sabrina, Salome, Daisy, Dot, Kit Maitland, Kit Meredith, Sachi, Rosie, Celebrity, Willow, Luth, Sophrosyne, Vidal, a bajillion Caledonians, and so so many more.

Getting back in the swing of things.

As Kit Meredith says on her blog, it's hard to get back in the swing of things. There's never enough time to do what I want in SL and do other things in RL. I've also been trying to figure out a way to streamline photo stuff. On the new laptop SL pics are 11MB, which are teh devil if I want to send a bunch to anyone. Either I can compress them and lose quality or send em as is. Though one good thing is the new lappie must have the gods own integrated graphics. When I can go to a charity fashion show, have everything rez and take 600MB of pics, and only have SL crash after turning up the graphics after at least 6 hours of SL, that's something.

I swear, I should just set up a cron job to auto convert and scale pics I put in a specific directory.

Oh yeah I also have another new toy, that I've been wanting for over a year, a mighty Playstation 3. I needed one in addition to wanting one because Midgar (my Playstation 2 with Linux installed) was having hard drive issues. I knew it was going to fail soon, and it did. fscking superblock errors, it refuses to boot at all now, and I never did get all my files off of it. I installed Yellow Dog Linux on the PS3 late night the evening I got it. It runs soooo much better than on the PS2, the GIMP is actually speedy, though it's an older version than what I had on the PS2.

I've also discovered that the laptop's LCD screen is crap compared to the cheapo Wal-Mart LCD TV I have the PS3 hooked up to. It's contrast and color is not so good and it's even lower resolution. The TV is 1440x900 and the lappie is 1280x800. I'm using 1280x768 under Linux because going higher res causes the TV to try to scale things funny, the PS3's graphics chip is funny about output resolutions too, it only uses specific ones, so I can't force it to go 1440x900.

I've been playing Oblivion on the PS3 too, been collecting pretty dresses for my character, a female Imperial with reddish hair. :-) Oblivion's character graphics are "uncanny valley weird", even more so than SL. In some ways I think the game would have been better had the avatars been more "SL" in appearance, less realistic. They eyes on Oblivion characters are spooky.

I've been a member of Sony's Gamer Advisory Panel for over 5 years, so I'm hoping I'll get an invite to the "Home" beta. "Home" is sony's SL style virtual environment, that looks suspiciously a LOT like SL. I really want to compare the two. I'm also hoping they allow for user content so Elika can make hair and Roslin and CJ can make makeup for Home. Because I don't want to wander around Home without my ETD Hair in Mahogany or Fleur skin.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I've been absent from SL and the blog, I know. I apologize to any readers and fans for that. I had been not feeling up to par, in part due to a bit of the shingles. But I feel more myself these days, thank goodness. Also, the household has a new lappie, still with integrated graphics, but Sl does play better at the settings I normally use, and if I turn the shaders on I can see the pretty clouds and water, and watch my framerate drop to 2fps again. But that would be good for photos I think.

The old lappie still works, and it's now my "tinkering with" machine so that means I might actually be in SL more than before, just sometimes on the new lappie (which is for general household use) and sometimes on the old. If I can find a replacement DVD/CD drive, once I'm certain we won't need any files on the old lappie, I'll clean it up as much as I can, repartition and install Linux alongside XP (if I can fit them both)

The new lappie has Vista...-[continue/cancel], it is annoying, [continue/cancel], I'll probably turn off UAC [continue/cancel].

As for the lappie itself it's a HP DV6809wm AMD 64 bit Turion dual core TL-60, 3GB of RAM, 120 GB of HD (of which about 65 is actually available), NVIDIA 7150M integrated graphics (with hardware T&L, woot!). Aero runs fine, this thing runs Vista better than the old lappie runs XP, so far, mwah ha ha ha.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Femme Couple poses from Aphrodite Creations UPDATED

While there is some dreck promoted through the Fashion Consolidated group, sometimes FashCon comes through with something you were thinking about or looking for.

A few weeks ago, just before I posted about my openness to an SL relationship, I was wondering what couples animations were out there intended specifically for femme couples, ie couples comprising two female avatars. So I did a little bit of looking, but didn't find much, though if memory serves me correctly Luth Brodie has some at Reel Expression. UPDATE: Luth has 9, and is working on more, they are availabe at Reel Expressions in Lalique Square.

So, a notice earlier on Sunday from Aphrodite Creations caught my eye, and i took the notecard. When I opened it and looked at the pictures of the animations, I thought: Bingo! I was busy at the moment but a short time later I TP'd over to the Aphrodite Creations store and bought the three femme couples poses for 100L$ each. Soon after, I got an IM from Aphrodite Outlander saying, "How dare I shop in her store when she wasn't there." :-) Turns out she's a big fan of Linden Lifestyles I told her the above story and told her I was pleased to see and buy the poses. I didn't take the time to fully explore her store, being L$ broke after buying the poses, but she does have some nice shoes and dresses. Later on I wanted to take some pictures of the poses, but since I am without an SL girlfriend I was trying to decide who among my friends list to ask to help. Then I thought about asking Aphrodite herself, who ws nice enough to take the time to help me out.

Pose 1: in this one it looks like I am being shy while being pulled over for a smooch.

Pose 2: Back to back with our heads slightly touching, very pretty.

Pose 3: Looks like I'm about to lead her to the dance floor for a twirl.

I liked the poses, and I hope Aphrodite does more. Also the individual poses in the pose hearts are copy so you can use them individually in your pose stand. Very cool. Thank you again, Aphrodite for taking the time to pose with me.

My outfit details: Wrap dress from Karamia by Kara Eagle, Fleur Vivant Red lips 1 skin, ETD Jollen hair in Mahogany, Tesla Natasha stilettos, Miriel eys

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cheating on Fleur with Rosemary Galbraith.

I wear Fleur skins pretty much exclusively, everyone knows this. Last night Rosemary Galbraith of OH! What a neat boutique asked for my input on some skins she had made. One of them was this skin:

Uh huh, it's pretty. She customized it according to my input, with slightly different torso and belly button. And red brows of course. I like, oh okay, I LOOOOVE. Pretty! I might actually wear these along side my Fleur's. They're a touch more "traditional SL skin" than the Fleurs, but more classic than say Minnu's.

And look at the face! I still look like me! And like Kit Meredith, who also looks like me in certain respects. :-)

And now I feel guilty for skin-cheating on Roslin and CJ. waaaaaah.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blogger strike against LL's trademark policies

There will be no posts from me for the next couple of days (until the 19th) because of the blogger strike started by Gwyneth Llewelyn. Of course, since I don't post a lot that's easier for me than others, but I thought I should at least say something.

The issue is real to me When I started this blog, Linden Labs guidelines for bloggers were pretty liberal. Essentially, "Hey take these images here and use them as appropriate, and put a disclaimer on your site and it's all good."

So I folled the guidelines, and now I have an SL blog with SL in the URL that I've been wondering what the heck I'm supposed to do with. Should I just change the URL? How should I refer to SL and LL in my blog? LL's new rules aren't entirely clear and they are also far reaching in ways I think they shouldn't be. That's why I'm joining the strike along with other SL bloggers.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Peeking out of my shell.

I've decided to become more comfortable with certain things, and to try to experiment and be more open to new things in regarding SL relationships and love. To let myself be more outgoing, and less shy, and that it's okay if I flirt or do other things in SL, or to, as the vernacualar puts it, be shmexy avatar:

ETD Vivian hair in Mahogany, Fleur Pink lips 3 skin, Victorian Riding Kip corset, panties and hose from Skye Qi, Tesla Ziggy boots

The pose is a new one from Grazia Horwitz who makes some great poses at her shop, Grapevine Shapes & Poses, Rue D'Antibes (111, 133, 28)

This doesn't mean I'm going to be stripping at the current equivalent to the old "Barbie Club" though. :-) What inspired the "New Improved Somewhat Shmexy, But Still Classy CC"? Windlight in part, it sure does make me pretty, and reading the thoughts of Kit Meredith on Love and Relationships in SL. And talking to people, and having someone flirt with me, with me of all people! I want to thank those who talked to me and listened to me, and inspired me, I really can't thank you enough.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Modest Mommy: Nan Bamaisin

Nan Bamaisin is the owner of the Modest Mommy SL fashion blog. she focuses on more modest clothing, and is a "girl with glasses". I really like her blog, because she's a fine and humourous writer. Saw her today and helped her a bit with some info on lighting settings. Got a pretty nice picture of her Modest Cuteness too:

I love chatting with other fashionistas

Sexy Librarian glasses from Mokoptical!

There's a lot of notices in the FashCon group, but some catch ones notice. There was a notice about an eyewear store I hadn't heard of called Mokoptical In the notice there was a picture of some awesome women's glasses called "Mary". But perhaps "Sexay Librarian Mary" would be more appropriate.

ETD Tyra hair, Fleur Boudoir 3 skin, 80's power dress from Marni Grut, Miriel eyes

These glasses are, to put it in the vernacular, hawt! I want these glasses in RL! Everyone loves them and their, again to put it in the vernacular, shmexyness! I've told other "girls with glasses" about them too, I had to, especially Dot Lane and Nan Bamaisin

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

RL move.

We've moved into the new place, finally. !#@$#@$ flood! Which is why I haven't been in SL (neener neener I'm not using the TM)much move preparation and after-move work. Don't know when things'll return to normal. I don't have much time for SL, but I DO read my email.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Layniewear Audrey

Layne Link of Layniewear loves CC! She saw my wish list and came up with a simple and pretty square necked sheath named Audrey. it's what I wanted, and I actually prefer the more fitted silhouette than the shift silhouette of dress I showed. It's something I can dress down for business

or dress up for evening. All it takes is a change of makeup, hairstyle, jewellery and shoes.

I love. And yes it comes in more colors, Thank you Laynie.
SLURL to Layniewear Pamran location

Channeling Alexis Carrington in a Business suit from Cattiva

Lissa Maertens of Cattiva saw my post about the G.L.A.M. Bossy suit which mentinoed the 80's and dropped a photo on me. Now I knew Lissa was, like me, a bit fond of the 80's which might be a bit of an understatement on both our parts, but I wasn't expecting this lovely:

I put it on and spent practically the next hour humming the theme song from the nighttime soap, Dynasty I really needed to find a Linda Evans as Krystle Carrington avatar to have a catfight with. It is exactly the sort of thing Joan Collins as Alexis would wear to the Carrington offices. BIG shoulder padds, 80's style cropped jacket, slim skirt. You must understand, we 80's folk have a love/hate relationship with BIG shoulder pads I, of course paired it with BIG hair from Armidi (Envy) and glam makeup from Fleur because I just had to have the Alexis style cheekbone contouring. This is the ivory but it comes in other colors too. but the ivory is so Alexis.

Now all I need is an SL Blake Carrington to buy me my own sim, and lots of shoes.

Dot Lane

I met fashionista and blogger Dot Lane the other day. I'd seen her pics on flickr, and they were "kyoot". Of course, being a redhead, wearing ETD Maaliyah and wearing Fleur skins is always a way to get my attention. Fleur wearing Maaliyah redheads unite!

So I friended her and she likes meeting new friends in person so I invted her to my lil skybox. She was wearing a simple button down, jeans, Shiny Things Lollies, and a Fleur Parfait skin. She was adorable, so I switched clothes so we could be kyoot and adorable together.

My shirt is from Luminosity, jeans from Launa Fauna, and one of my many Fleur skins.

I suggested we storm a sex club with our kyootness, but we didn't. Though that would have been fun if we were riding cows. I also love Dot's blog, she covers tons of kyoot, and punk stuff and has even visitied the Japanese sims that I never get around to doing. She's also the founder of a "Girls with Glasses" group, that I want to join but can't because of the sucky group limit. Just like I can't start up a "Red-headed Shameless Hussy" group.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Return to Classic template, and by the way, Notepad sucks.

In moving to the new "Layout" version of blogger with drag and drop ability of widgets and stuffage, it seems I lost my blog links. So I added the link widget, which I discovered one cannot edit manually, you have to add and subtract links one at a time. Not only that, but the new templates are in that evil of evils, XML. I have always believed that XML, CSS, DOM, and all that other crap was intentionally added to HTML to take web page creation out of the hands of amateurs and return it to the coder elite, remember Geocities,, Tripod,and Angelfire? Well, I figured I could always edit the template manually and without thinking, saved it and opened it up in Notepad, since I was on Windows at the time. That, of course gave me a jumbled mess, because the file was probably unix-formatted and Notepad isn't XML aware. Which brings me to another point, to edit XML you practically have to have an XML aware editor. Windows by default doesn't have such a thing, and I don't have one installed, I think, So I just ftp'd it over to Linux where I DO have XML aware editors.In fact I have one of the editors that has a long history, vim.

vim (vi iMproved) is a modal terminal based editor descended from the 31 year old vi, that drives non-geeks insane. Modal means you can't just start typing in vim, which starts in "command mode", you have to enter "insert mode first, and then type. To use commands, for example, to save and quit, you have to exit insert mode and enter command mode. However, as you can see it can syntax highlight xml making it much easier to read and parse. The terminal here is mrxvt a version of rxvt with certain enhancements like tabs and TrueType font support.

After taking a look at the XML I realized it used an external call to the Link widget and thus wasn't easily editable to add my so I switched back to the classic template to make it easier on me. That's when I decided to do this post about vim, which also has SL related uses because it can also syntax hightlight LSL (Linden Scripting Language)

As well as autocomplete LSL, type ll and hit Ctrl+n and it will popup a little mini-window.with all the llwhatever functions.

It can do tons of other stuff, like tabbed editing (just like tabbed browsing in Firefox, but even works in the terminal version) but not to worry, there is also a graphical menus n mouses version named gvim that is installed right along with vim.

See, it's not that scary. But even using gvim, the keyboard commands stay the same, like :wq! for "write(save) and quit". So there's a gvim enhancement called cream, that makes gvim act "normal" from a Windows users perspective. Ctrl+S saves for example. But any way you slice it, any version of vim is a better text editor than Notepad.

Windows installer for standard vim and gvim

Cream-ified vim/gvim for Windows installer Very popular among Windows users.

I will not speak of the editor emacs, I don't like it even if you can play Nethack, tetris, adventure and read your e-mail from within it. Yes, I know about viper mode that makes emacs act like vi, but that's the problem, viper mode acts like vi and not vim.

I've heard good things about a Notepad replacement called Notepad++ but I have never used that.

What CC wants....besides the pony.

Yes, I still want a pony for my full sized avatar self (the one from Virrginia Tombola), but there are other things I want in SL. Many of which I cannot find.

First of all, I want some tailored loafer styled shoes:

Lumiani Assisi high heel loafer style pump from Zappos

Chinese Laundry Degree chunky heel loafer from Zappos

Anne Klein Felder tailored loafer Look, a medium-low heel!

I'd also like to see some "Everyday", tailored basics (images and links from Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft):

Ann Taylor Loft Striped Cotton strech shirt This is the sort of thing worn by women everyday to work, it's simple, it's attractive, it has clean lines, it just "works"

Ann Taylor shift dress A basic shift dress one can dress up and dress down. Wear it with a jacket and those Lumiani Assisi's above for work, pair it with dressy jewelry and the equivalent of our Tesla Natasha's or Maitreya Slinky's for a dinner date.

Ann Taylor white shirt and black skirt Oh wait, I have this in SL. :-)

I also need some springy/eastery/ladies-who-lunch pink tweed/boucle suits. Other pastel colours would be good too. (All images and links from ebay)

Karen Scott pink tweed suit A little bit boxy and matronly with the cardigan styled jacket but still a classic.

Nanette Lepore pink tweed suit I really love the silhouette on this one and the insets on the hemline of the skirt. Since it's fitted, it might work well in SL.

Valerie Stevens pink tweed suit Oooh it's so pretty, and the trim! Again, love the fitted silhouette that should work well in SL.

Chanel Jacket Dress So classic, so fabulous, so perfect. Love, love, love.

If anyone has seen anything like these in SL, I NEED to know NOW! If not designers NEED to make them. :-)

I am such a Bree Hodge (van De Kamp) aren't I?

That must be why I like Icing's Stepford Wife