Saturday, November 17, 2007


Lately, a wave of change seems to be rolling through the blogging community.

I'm quite happy with this "revolution" because it appears that more and more bloggers are choosing to bring to light important issues concerning some designs/designers and the blogger's opinion about these issues.

One designer, LBD, has been a hot topic lately. Numerous discussions regarding her pricing structures, business practices and even -- and this is what I like to hear -- the assertion that she may be Photoshopping her product pictures to make them look more favorable than reality.

It isn't that I like to see a designer cut to shreds in the blogging community -- no, that's not it. But frankly I've grown very tired of the "canned" responses normally posted on blogs: "It's wonderful!"; "It's perfect!"; "It's the new hot thing!" Blah, blah, blah.

As a Second Life consumer myself, I am drawn more to the reviews or blogs that post information that I can actually use. For example, knowing the price of an item has always been something I scan. I won't pay for a name alone, nor will I pay for the hottest new fashion trend.

What I will pay for is what appeals to me as a good price for a good product -- value. Fashion trends aside and just my not-so-humble-opinion, but there are some items LBD has designed that I do believe are worth the money. Others, I simply think are price inflated, and I can't or won't even try to justify. Are her designs worthy? That's a personal decision only you can make.

But this isn't specifically about LBD. There are other designers, skinners, and hair makers out there that continue to make products and market them so that they appear more favorable and cover up design flaws.

The reviewers discussing these items continue to paint their reviews a disingenuous rose color with only positive remarks, and fail to add the essential "However there are some things you need to be aware of" remarks.

"Give us both sides" is what I say. Post the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don't placate the designers by highlighting only what appears to be positive. That serves no purpose, and ultimately someone is going to purchase these items based on a blogger's review and be unhappy because they didn't get the full story.

One more relevant example. Recently, a new skinner has been being blogged and reviewed ad nauseum with only glowing, shiny reviews. I happen to know those reviews are not 100% accurate, providing full disclosures to readers. I've picked up demos of two skins lately one from the heavily-reviewed new skinner and one from another that's been around for awhile. Suffice it to say I found issues that consumers need to be aware of before shelling out $1800 for skin. (I plan to blog on both soon, but I've been a bit busy with my new shape business so this might take a couple of days.)

I contacted both skinners and provided them with pictures detailing what I found, and what I thought the issues were. One was kind enough to respond, and was quite appreciative, in fact, because she said she was not aware of the problem.

The other skinner I have not yet heard from.

Let me just add that I believe that is how a design review should go: "It doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of the management or staff." There's my disclaimer, as if I needed one.

My advice to all you blog readers out there is: post a comment. And, not just here, but on other review blogs as well. Let them know what you want to hear and see and what content you need in order to make an informed decision. There's nothing wrong with full disclosure. It makes you and me happier consumers AND the designers more aware and conscientious going forward.


Pocket Pfeffer said...

Hi Cherie...

Just reading your blog and very enjoyable too. I do agree with you regarding 'reviews' being more helpful when showing both sides of the story.. Having said that though, I recently posted a customer review on Slex regarding an item that I'd wasn't favourable but it was honest.....NEVER AGAIN...the hassle one can get afterwards is just not worth it...
Anyway, great blog.. :-)

Ashia Tomsen said...

Nice read. But I do hope that constructive critisism won't give way to bitchy soundbites to satisfy the reader!I always like to hear an honest opinion on my products, it makes me a better designer and can be a humbling experience.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pocket. Sorry to hear you got the short end of the stick just for being honest. I just hate to hear of that happening. Frankly they can come after me with burning torches and I'll still speak my mind. So... if you change your mind on telling it like it is, I'll leave a torch lit for you. :)

Anonymous said...

No worries Ashia, I only get bitchy when pink platform shoes hover outside my window for 1/2 an hour or more. And it's good to know you're open to an honest opinion. I too believe it makes for a better designer in whatever you design.

Anonymous said...

I've read through most of the linked blogs on the SL circuit, and I can't even find any designer with the initials LBD, or what blogs may have been talking about them.

Could you elaborate, please?


Cherie Parker said...

That would be Leezu Baxter Designs.

Cherie Parker said...

That would be Leezu Baxter Designs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification. Never even heard of those blogs before, so I had no clue.

It was the accusation of Photoshopping of the clothing on the box/ad art that really got my attention. People can create what they want, and charge what they want, and I have no qualms with it. Some people are more artistic or more experienced than other. That's all fine. I'll either buy, or I won't. But photoshopping items to look better only on the ads or boxes is, to me, a very unethical practice.

Regardless of the quality or price of the items, the box art and ads should be a pretty strict representation of what we're getting. We can't really try things on, so we rely on the product art to tell us, honestly, what we're paying for.

Whether LBD has ever done that, I can't say either way. I've never shopped there. Just making a general statement.

LeeZu Baxter said...

"Regardless of the quality or price of the items, the box art and ads should be a pretty strict representation of what we're getting. We can't really try things on, so we rely on the product art to tell us, honestly, what we're paying for.

Whether LBD has ever done that, I can't say either way. I've never shopped there. Just making a general statement."

Exept of the Revolution line every item i make is transfere my you can buy and try it on and if you dont like it i refund you the money. In 9 month i had maybe 3 refunds.

We have also models in the store, you can ask them anytime to display what you want to see.

There is no need to to any PS work on my posters. And bevor you point your fingers on our company first proof, everything else is just bad, senseless and mindles talking to get something on a blog.

On the one had you say you have never shopped at our store but you use our name to talk about retushe?

And you want to be taken serous? Maybe you IM me next time like most intelligent people bevor you put our company in a bad light about not displaying things right on sales posters or ask my customers.

Everything else is a lie.

Sorry for my english i am not a native english speaker, but i think i said that clear enough.

Cherie Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Read my post again. It's not your writing you need to work on, it's your comprehension.

I very specifically said I was NOT referring to LBD, but making a GENERAL statement. You even quoted it.

Before you go getting your knickers in a twist, try reading what you're quoting.