Posted in blogging, Uncategorized, update, vlogging

Better Days

Whaaat? Two whole posts in one month? Girl, get out. *laughs* Okay, so the last post was just showing my house tour video, so I guess technically that wasn’t really an update. But who gets technical around here anyway, right?

Better Days

So March has been a LOT better than February, that’s for sure. I kind of figured it would be because of the time change [yes, I’m one of like probably 7 people who LOVE “springing forward” and HATE “falling back”] because for the past 20 years, that’s basically been the case for me. Plus, I cut way way back on my news watching. I pretty much just keep up with just a few news accounts on Facebook now, and of course there is Twitter, which I have been slightly more active on lately. I know it sounds almost irresponsible to not be constantly up to date on what’s happening in the world, but I also feel like for me personally, it was necessary. And yes, I have the luxury of being able to do that. I fully realize that is privilege.

Being that I’m not constantly weighed down with current events and all, my creativity has slowly been returning to Second Life. I haven’t done as many blog posts as I probably should have done for the style blog, but I’m averaging about 2 a week, even though some of those are video posts. It’s not that I don’t WANT to blog more. I just simply haven’t had the time to devote to coming up with a photo. Vlogging, for all that it is more time consuming, is easier for me these days.

And honestly, that is something I thought I’d never say. *laughs* When I started vlogging, it was weird to me. That people would want to listen to me, and see things that I show. There have been bumps along the way, that’s for sure. Being an introvert with extreme social anxiety, the whole “Omg, let me just stop at your house because you showed it and obviously that means you don’t mind visitors” thing that was happening for a while… yeahhhhh. But you have to take the ups and downs, really! The good has outweighed the not so good, definitely, so if on occasion I have to tell someone “Could you not?” Well…that’s just something that has to happen.

So what else? Mmm…I don’t know. Things are fairly good right now. I am attempting to be a tiny bit more social. I am brainstorming new video ideas. I am thinking of more photo ideas. I really want to start making more poses again.

But that will all come in time. For now, I think I’m going to go play a game. ❤

Posted in blogging, thoughts, Uncategorized

So Much More

You know, it’s kinda funny. I’ve been blogging for…well, years and years. This blog is 8 years old and my style blog is almost 7. I have a small, but pretty dedicated group of readers on both blogs and I’m happy like that. I’m not a “top blogger” and very rarely does someone suggest people look at my style blog when wanting to know what’s in fashion just because my style is not really what’s IN style as far as SL goes half the time. I’m rarely “sexy” and never all out naked and I’m happy that way, too. I blog because I just like doing it and half the time, I don’t feel like anyone’s really paying that much attention.

But sometimes… sometimes I’m proven wrong and it makes me cry! *laughs*

Collabor88 is looking for new bloggers. If you remember, I was one of the original bloggers for that event and then left it in 2013 for…well, I had my reasons. But I have always kind of regretted it and I was thrilled to see that they were looking again. Only this time, instead of just filling out an application, they’re doing kind of a photo contest for the spots. And the phrase “photo contest” fills me with so much anxiety!

Let me just make it clear: I am not unhappy with my photos lately. I feel like they’re about the best they’ve ever been [most of the time] and I enjoy taking photos for my blog and learning new tricks to try to make them not suck.

But again, photo contests scare me. I am extremely competitive most of the time but to place my photo among other people who are REALLY REALLY GOOD? Scary!! So I had a teeny tiny sadness on plurk and asked people to just tell me I’m good. *laughs* And much to my surprise, they did. But they didn’t just give me hugs and say “You can do it!” A lot of them told me exactly WHY they feel that I’m good. Not just on plurk, either. They actually took the time to write me on why I should enter.

It was more than I expected. It was so much more than I think I deserve. And it made me cry happy tears because people that I admire said the nicest things to me in such a genuine way. And it made me realize that when I do my photo for this blogger contest, no matter if I get chosen as a blogger or not – I’ve already won something far more important. ❤

Anyway.. in other news. 🙂

So Much More

Tonight we’re having our traditional family OZ Valentine dinner and party! I’m trying to get ready early so that at the last moment I’m not rushing around like crazy trying to figure out what to wear. Tomorrow night, we’re having an all adult Valentine party and I STILL haven’t figured out what to wear! I guess that’s my mission later if I have a moment!

Posted in bloggers, blogging, Brianna, thoughts, Uncategorized

Girl, Get Your Bloggin’ On

So my Birdy has been talking for a while about wanting to blog. She and Abby have a blog already, but sometimes you just want your own thing. I have worked on collab blogs before and it almost always felt weird to me given that either I felt like I was taking over, OR I felt like I wasn’t contributing enough. So when she said she wanted her own, I totally understood.

Girl, Get Your Bloggin' On!

We spent some time last night setting up her new blog, Sunflowers and Coffee Cups. It’s cute, huh? 🙂 It was great to show her how to do a few things and watch her excitement as she posted her first post. She’s blogged before, of course, but it is different when it’s your own thing. But she is in RL school right now, so don’t expect very frequent updates. Or at least, so she says. She could catch the blogging bug and post a billion times. *laughs* It happens!!

I never thought that I’d still be blogging after so many years. Especially not fashion blogging! I also can’t believe that I still love it like I do. Oh, I’ll admit, sometimes I get worn out. I think all of us do, especially those of us who have been doing it for sooo many years. This May makes 7 freakin’ years that I’ve been fashion blogging. That’s a lot of fashion, man. *laughs* But I love it. And I love this blog where I can just ramble and for some reason, I still have readers. I love that I can go back and look at old posts and remember all the feelings I had on those days. Like, did you know that on January 11, 2008, CeNedra contacted me for the first time? She was the reason for so many good things to happen in my SLife. Same date in 2010, I played Dragon Age: Origins for the first time, and that really opened me up to a whole new world of video games. 2013, I was fairly lonely when Aldwyn wasn’t around. 2014, we had Abby and I was a mom. And all of those things I get to experience again, just be re-reading my blog. It’s really nice.

But writing has its price. Like I am now completely behind schedule and only have an hour to get all ready to go out with my RL bestie. Bye!

Posted in blogging, fashion, milestones

Six Whole Years

I’ve been a fashion blogger for over 6 years now. The 6th anniversary of my fashion blog came and went last week. I don’t usually celebrate it. I know several bloggers who make a big deal about their blog anniversaries – parties, free gifts, etc., but I’ve never felt the need. As much as I love it, I don’t find it to be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

Six Whole Years

I never set out to be a fashion blogger. On my old avatar, I was kinda getting started doing it before I left. I had a great mentor as far as blogging goes and I still do many of the things she taught me back then. [Like, you know, actually WRITING about things and not just showing a pic and credits.]

When I started this blog, fashion was so so far from my mind. I wanted to just write about my SLife, the things I did, the things I saw, the people I talked to. But as I gained a bit of popularity [lifestyle blogs were bigger back in 2008-09], people started sending me things to blog. I am still not quite sure why. I wasn’t on any feeds and this wasn’t a fashion blog and I’m not particularly fashionable. Also? My pictures suuuuuuucked. SUUUUUUUCKED!!!

I mean, they still kinda suck, but they suck a lot less these days.

But after a while, I felt bad about blogging things on a non-fashion blog that wasn’t on any feeds. So I opened a second blog in 2009. I highly suggest you do not go looking for the first post. It ain’t pretty. And my friends back then obviously weren’t loyal because I was as skinny and orange as they come and no one told me. Rude.

After 6 years of doing this, I feel like I know the ins and outs of blogging. There are things that I see the newer bloggers do that make me shake my head and roll my eyes. Like then they don’t write anything. When they don’t credit properly. When you look at their pics and you haven’t the slightest clue what they’re showing. When they’re constantly naked for no reason. When they say that they’re “accepting sponsors.” When they call people “sponsors.”

But it’s the same with designers, too. The ones with the crazy blogging rules, especially when they haven’t earned the right to have crazy blogging rules. The ones who act like their store is the ONLY store. The ones who behave like because they gave you $2 worth of items, they own your entire soul. I shake my head and roll my eyes at them, too. And refuse to blog them.

But I also realize that blogging is not static and maybe by this point, I’m a dinosaur with my actual love of writing and my belief that you should put SLurls and not call people sponsors. There’s room for all in the blogosphere, even the naked people. [Although I prefer not to see their boobs more than I see my own.]

Six years is a long time to do anything, especially in Second Life. But I do love it. I love when I get accepted to events or someone contacts me to blog their items. I love putting things together and taking pictures. I would not do this if I did not love it. Who knows… maybe I’ll even do it another year. 🙂

Posted in blogging, omg so emo, RL stuff

Yeah, I’ll Send Up A Prayer

Goodness, what a past week I’ve had. People have always asked me why SL drama never seems to bother me and why I can just move away from people. My RL? Has nothing on SL drama. *laughs* Not always, but when it does…yikes. It was nice to have some time in SL tonight after the family went to bed to just be quiet for a bit.

Yeah, I'll Send Up A Prayer

Don’t get me wrong, my RL isn’t horrible on a normal basis. But when things are bad, I spend a great deal of time trying to “fix” everything. Be strong for everyone, calm everyone down. To me, it doesn’t matter how I feel inside. My feelings don’t matter in that moment because I need to make sure everyone else is okay. It doesn’t matter that I was only sleeping 2-3 broken hours a night or eating maybe once a day. It doesn’t matter. I try not to lean on anyone too much because 1, I don’t like to bother people, and 2, it’s simply not something I do. I probably should sometime. It almost seems too sweet to think about – being able to lay down my problems on someone and have them tell me that it’s going to be okay because they’ll help me take care of it. I guess that doesn’t happen very often as you get older. I felt a lot this past week like I was on an exercise bicycle. I was cycling and cycling and while I might be doing okay in one area, I wasn’t really getting very far at all. I know how emo that sounds. *laughs*

But I had such wonderful IMs and private plurks from some people. Mostly people who I really didn’t think read my plurks too often. It was nice, you know? To just know that they were thinking of me even if it was just in that moment that it took to write me. I am a full believer in the power of prayer, and I know that the prayers and the good thoughts helped.

Hopefully things will quiet down now. I miss being in SL and I don’t like that when I have been there this past week, I have been too frazzled to really enjoy it. I am behind in blogging and I’ve been wanting to do another video. I have actual YouTube subscribers now. How crazy is that? I don’t know what to do a tutorial about, though. I’ve been thinking maybe I’ll do just a “daily vlog” type video like some of my favorite vloggers do. I’m not sure I’d be that interesting though. Like, oh hi, please watch me put on an outfit and take a pic. Zzz. LOL! We’ll see, though. We’ll see how it all goes.

Posted in blogging, flickr, opinions, thinking

Are views actually everything?

Now let me just say that this is JUST my opinion and I’m not trying to tell anyone how to run their businesses or events. I obviously do not run a business or an event, so what do I really know? But I do have something to talk about that’s been bothering me a lot for the past few weeks.

Are views actually everything?

I’ve been a blogger in SL for a long time. I’ve been lucky enough to have had the chance to blog for some AMAZING people and events. I am almost a 6 year old fashion blogger [6 years next month, officially!] and let me tell you – in SL years, that’s a long time. I don’t consider myself one of the “top bloggers.” Years ago, a designer friend of mine mentioned that he was so excited to be blogged but a “top blogger,” I think it was Berry or Gogo, despite the fact that I’d been blogging him faithfully for a while. *laughs* But I hold no delusions that I’m at the top of the blogger mountain and I’m kind of okay with that considering that it seems like an awful lot of work and responsibility. I don’t have “sponsors” because people with “sponsors” seem to be crying all of the time when they can’t blog for a day because the “sponsors” are breathing down their necks. I simply blog as the mood strikes, when I have fun things to blog, and I blog for some wonderful events and some lovely people who are kind enough to allow me to blog for them. I know how lucky I am. Believe me, I know.

But there’s this thing that’s happening lately and I don’t like it. It seems like every event or store looking for bloggers now suddenly require 500+ flickr views per photo. When the heck did THAT happen? When did having more Flickr views = more sales?

Because see, here’s what’s happening. People are adding loads and loads of contacts in the hopes of getting a follow back so that they can get a photo view. And not only that, but people are re-upping their Flickr pics to get more views. Not just once, but SEVERAL TIMES. So you might end up seeing the same dang picture 12 times in 2 days because they’re trying to get those views. And oh my god, it’s annoying. Everyone is annoyed by it and usually end up taking back their faves or just unfollowing the person. I watched a girl that I had recently followed repost a fairly plain photo about 7 times in 2 days. She got over 600 views, but I don’t know exactly what she was showing and I ended up just unfollowing her. Because I don’t have time to keep seeing the same photo on flickr over and over. I barely can keep up looking at the new ones as it is.

I get wanting to have more publicity for your event or item. I really do. But it’s making Flickr completely not fun. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not rushing out to purchase whatever someone who re-posts their picture 18 times is showing. Most of the time, I don’t even know what’s being shown. All I know is that I’ve added over 300 people in the past week, have gotten maybe 100 following me back, and my pics are only getting maybe 50 more views on average. And I don’t think my photos are that bad.

Is this what it’s going to come to? That it’s no longer about how good your photos are, or how well you write, or that your blog readers actually buy what you show? It’s knocking a LOT of really decent bloggers out of the running to apply for things because they don’t meet the Flickr view quota because they refuse to repost their pics 12 times or add everyone in sight just to get a view. It’s frustrating. Yes, I do still shop, but I enjoy being a blogger for stores and events that I like because it’s really fun. It’s always been really fun to be “behind the scenes” in a sense.

Again, I don’t run a business. I don’t organize events. Maybe knocking some of the bloggers out of the running because there are others who get more Flickr views doesn’t hurt anything.

But then again, maybe it does.

Posted in blogging, opinions

With experience comes opinions.

The girls have been talking about starting a blog together for a while now. Not just fashion, but just chatting and showing stuff they like. I am totally supportive of this because it means I have another blog to read! 🙂 So as we were talking, I started thinking of people out there who might want to start a blog but aren’t really sure where to start. It was easy enough for me when I started this one. I just…started talking. I was bored, I had an idea, and I just went for it. I never even thought anyone would READ it, much less stick around for years with my babbling. :-p But that was a different time in SL blogging. There were many SL blogs where people talked about their lives and about things they did in SL and stuff like that. Now it’s mostly fashion, and if it’s not fashion, it’s tech blogs. I miss all of the personal blogs.

I digress. 🙂 I enjoy fashion blogging and showing things that I like as much as I enjoy my personal blog. But a lot of people who start blogs really don’t get a lot of advice when starting out. So let me break some stuff down for you. It’s just random advice, take it however you’d like.

1. Feeds are important, but not at first. It’s good to be on feeds. You get a little more exposure that way and if you’re applying to blog for some events/stores, it’s inevitable that they will ask what feeds you’re on. But most feeds have a pretty strict rule about not accepting blogs that haven’t been active for at least 3 months. Some want you to have been active for 6 months. Don’t be discouraged, it’s just the way things are. A lot of people make a blog and forget it in a week and the feed owner has to go through deleting inactives. If you’ve been blogging consistently for 3 months, chances are you’re sticking around. So how do you get readers? You’re going to have to kick it old school. YOU have to market yourself. Post your blog links on Flickr, Plurk, Facebook, and tell your friends. Don’t be annoying with it. No one will want to read you if you force yourself upon everyone, but just make your blog posts easily accessible.

2. Be prepared to spend money. Probably a lot of it. Blogging isn’t a cheap hobby unless you’re blogging nothing but freebies. Don’t expect to be showered in cash and prizes just because you opened a blog. I cannot stress this enough – Do NOT expect anyone to give you anything, invite you to blogger preview days, nothing. If they do, as a new blogger, be grateful!!! In fact, even as an old blogger, be grateful if anyone is kind enough to give you things or invite you to events. They don’t have to and you can find yourself out of a group as quickly as you found yourself in it.

3. But not all stores/events are worth applying to blog for, even if you like their stuff. I’ll just say it. Some store owners and event coordinators have ridiculous blogger rules. They want you to put a big logo on your blog, they want you to do press releases days before an event even if you have nothing to show from that event, they want you to blog every new release within a day of receiving it. Generally, the newer the store or event, the crazier the blogger rules will be. Long time stores are usually like, cool, thanks for blogging this stuff in your own way, I appreciate it. New stores are usually all “OMG WHY DIDN’T YOU BLOG ME WITHIN 22.3 HOURS OF MY NEW RELEASE?!? WHY DIDN’T YOU BLOG ME THE WAY I TOLD YOU TO?!” Some events want you blog within a day of opening and make sure you use 17 items from that event in every post and you better make 5 posts about that event. Unless you have a GREAT deal of time to devote to blogging and/or the ability to put a look and photo together quickly, avoid applying for these stores and events, no matter how much you like what they have. You’re better off buying what you want and blogging within your own time frame when they get nuts like that. Because I promise you, you will never blog fast enough or good enough for them.

4. Don’t call them sponsors. Just…don’t. Unless they are paying you in cash in return for a blog post, or you have some kind of exclusivity contract with them, they are not your sponsors. They are creators who are nice enough to send you things in the hopes that you will blog them. You will see long term bloggers snickering every time someone is crying about their sponsors [because “sponsors” usually have crazy blogger rules], or posting Flickr pics saying that they’re “accepting sponsors.” Btw, never do that either. That’s awful.

5. Use your words. Believe it or not, despite what people will tell you, you will have readers. Not just people who look at your pretty pictures, but readers. Your words make your blog personable. You will keep an audience of people who grow to feel like they know you and that is SO worth it. I have some of the best readers out there who have reached out to me in many ways and I love it!

6. It should always be fun, even if you stress about it sometimes. I won’t say that you will never stress about your blog. You will. You’ll hurry to blog something before an event is over. You’ll compare yourself to every other blogger you see. You’ll groan when you finish a picture and realize something didn’t rez properly. But it should STILL be fun. You should always enjoy it! It should never feel like a chore, or work, or an obligation. You don’t have to blog daily unless that is your personal goal. You should always do it because you love it.

Anyway, there are some tips for you. I’m just one blogger, so really, most of this is just opinions based on experiences that I’ve had over the past 6 or so years that I’ve been blogging about SL stuff. Other bloggers might have other thoughts. In fact, I’m sure they do. We’re a notoriously opinionated bunch, even if those opinions never actually see the light of day on our blogs.

And just so this is not totally without photos… hey, it’s us having movie night! Woo!

Movie night with the family :)

Posted in Abby, Aldwyn, blogging, Brianna

Baby, I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time

So it’s been a running joke in the family that Aldwyn never changes clothes. In fact, he was in Bob Marley board shorts for like 4 months. I know. Embarrassing. LOL! The girls have been pestering him to change and finally last week he put some pants on. But yesterday I showed him some new stuff from FATEwear, so last night we grabbed the girls and headed out to do some shopping. They. Were. THRILLED. *laughs*

Since he actually changed clothes, I decided to get him on a pose with me to take a pic for the fashion blog. I’m one of the FATEplay bloggers, so I also get all the FATEwear stuff and feel awful that I so rarely get to blog it. I have a male shape and all, but I don’t have a current male skin, just some old group gifts from Belleza. I really should put something together for when I get male items, but I just haven’t. I’m kind of a lazy blogger that way.

I’ll blog the actual picture tomorrow, but after I took the pic and we were still just standing around on the pose, I snapped this one. It’s a teaser! *laughs* Or it’s just a pic. Whatev.

Baby, I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time

So we suck and we totally let our 3 year wedding anniversary go by without actually doing anything for it. It was on the 18th. Can you believe this man has put up with me for this long? And now he has to put up with me AND our girls, who are [unfortunately for him] pretty much just like me. *laughs* But he loves us, even if we bother him about his clothes.

I should probably get in bed. It’s way after midnight and I need to do stuff tomorrow – like getting snacks ready for our scouts meeting! I love our little Bumblebees and miss them during the week! I have some of them on plurk, but it’s different there than when we’re playing at the meetings. Tomorrow’s should be a great one! But for that, I need sleep!

Posted in 365 blog project, bloggers, blogging, don't cry over my opinion, opinions

Day 155 – What makes it real?

Just prefacing this by saying this is an opinion post. My opinion. Might be yours, might not be. But either way, don’t get all butthurt about it. Thanks. 🙂

Day 155 - What makes it real?

So Gogo pointed us over to this post on NWN earlier today. Not for the article itself, but for the comments.

I have such a hard time taking the whole fashion and models thing in SL seriously.”

Well, who asked you to? No one.

“Why are there no blogs on SL vehicles or weapons?”

Because no one has bothered?

“Or rather aspiring for free promo clothes from the creators, isn’t it?

Obviously you’ve never been a fashion blogger or you’d know that most of us spend a LOT of money putting looks together. Most of us are not blogging freebies.

“Most fashion blogs aren’t even real blogs anyway: those bloggers don’t express themselves, we never hear about their inspiration for this and that look. We never know anything about the blogger’s personality (or probably the lack thereof). They just make a pretty photo and if we’re lucky they tell us what they are wearing.”

What makes a REAL blog?

Yes, writing can make a blog. It’s like an online journal. Some people want to know you through your blog – what you do, what you think, etc. There are the fashion blogs where you see why someone chose what they did. But there are other blogs. There are photoblogs that show just a picture and credits. There are video blogs. There are microblogs [like Tumblr or even Flickr].

Now, personally? I do wish people would do more writing. I like knowing things about someone. I miss all the personal blogs where people talked about things. I know there aren’t really that many left in the grand scheme of SL blogging, not like there was when I got this blog started. There are many more fashion blogs, and yes, I do wish people wrote more on their fashion blogs. But some don’t and that’s their business.

Having both a personal and a fashion blog gives me the opportunity to see both sides of the coin there, so to speak. Trust me, it would be EASIER if I’d just do a picture and some credits on my style blog, and I do it once in a while if I’m terribly short on time. But I’m not into fashion blogging for free stuff. MOST of us who have been doing this for years are not. Yes, you always get new bloggers who immediately want to be on all the lists and get all the things without doing any work. You’ll know them right away. They’re the ones who ask for “sponsors” [don’t do that] and try to get invited to every single event immediately. They’re the ones who fizzle out before most of them are even eligible to get on most of the fashion feeds.

Ask the long term fashion bloggers. We sign up for events only if there is an open call. Very few of us ever ask designers if we can get free stuff from them. Most of us are on the lists we’re on based on our work or the friendships we have made – and we prefer it that way.

Personal SL blogging is so different to me. I can come in here and say whatever I feel like because I’m not on any feeds. I am more free. But there are days when I’ve done nothing in SL worth talking about. Days when all I want to do is a photo. And there are days, like today, where I have a lot to say. I get notecards or IMs sometimes from strangers who liked something I had to say, or didn’t like it, or who just want to talk to someone. Let’s face it, it’s hard to make friends in SL these days, it seems like. With everyone either stuck on platforms or hating the club scene, it’s not as easy to make friends as it once was. So they read my blog. They get to know a little bit about me. They feel like they CAN talk to me because, after all, I’m no different than anyone else. I’m sure other “personal” SL bloggers get the same treatment.

If there is a type of blog you’d like to see – WRITE IT YOURSELF. If there is not a blog for guns or cars or clubs or landscaping or people who love facelights, then you might have to write it yourself. Or you know what? If you’re a creator of such things, read the feeds. There are several. You can even find a listing of them on this page.. Look at the pictures, read the blogs. Find who you think takes nice pictures or writes well and send them a notecard and a sample of your work. Ask them to visit your event or club. Just because someone never has blogged a certain thing doesn’t mean that they never would. And if they don’t? That happens, too, even to the biggest of designers.

I guess my point here is that just because a blog is bad, or uninteresting, or has no writing on it – it doesn’t make it less real than any other kind of blog. It’s just a different kind of blog, and there is always room for someone who wants to try their hand at it.

Except for the facelight blog. Don’t do that.

Posted in 365 blog project, blogging, RL stuff

Day 60 – At least I’m not eating cat food

Ugh, I know, I know. I’m getting late on posts for the project!! But I will blame it on watching Jersey Shore and My Strange Addiction. I may be late with posts, but at least I’m not eating cat food or trying to have sex with my car!!

Day 60 - At least I'm not eating cat food

My trip has been pushed back a day…or forward…well, in any case, I’m leaving Friday instead.

Oh! Did you guys know I got selected to be one of the new bloggers for the CHIC Style Guide bloggers?? So excited about that! That brings my current blogs up to five, but hey, I can do it. Especially since I don’t blog in my RL blog all that often. This is just kind of awesome for me because I really wanted to kind of go to the “next” level of fashion blogging this year. Well, next level for me meaning not sucking so much and getting invited to a couple of events. LOL What can I say? I’m easy like that.

Aldwyn is on and actually has free time tonight, so I’m going to go make him go to FFL with me. Bye!