Grid Expectations

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Grid Expectations now has it’s own domain!

Grid Expectations is moving from wordpress.com to it’s own URL!

Grid Expectations now has it's own domain!

If you have the old gridexpectations.wordpress.com URL listed in your blogroll, please update it to my new URL. Also, if you have my site listed on your links but I don’t have you listed on mine, please let me know and I will update my blogroll. Or, if you’d simply like to exchange links, let me know about that, too! 😀

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July 12, 2010 Posted by | Blogging, Fashion, Site Stuff | Leave a comment

Project 365

I saw a few Plurk friends starting their own “Project 365” on New Year’s Day, and I figured I’d start my own, too. In case you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s basically just a project where you take one shot per day, for an entire year. I actually tried doing something like this in RL a few years back and it’s pretty difficult to keep up with; I gave up roughly 30 days into it. 😛  I think it’ll be easier to stick to in SL.

I’d originally intended for my entire 365 to be comprised of purely in-world, unprocessed shots… but I eventually yielded to the desire to retouch some sharp avatar corners when I took my latest picture with my prim baby, lol. Anyway, here are the first five days’ worth of shots I’ve taken:

001.

001.  Checking out some neat driftwood at G-Field.

002.

002.  Working at LAQ is a huge, huge part of my SLife. I’ve been working here for over two years, from when it was originally called RaC.

Handing in my work application to Mallory and Winter was one of the best SL decisions I’ve ever made. 🙂 They’re among the nicest people I know of in SL and they’ve done so much for me, I don’t think I could ever really repay their kindness.

003.

003.  One of the best parts of my SL is my partner, Carson Koenkamp. ❤

Who knew that the random guy I decided to say ‘hello’ to almost three years ago at Mill Pond would turn out to be one of my best friends?  Grabbed this shot while we were hanging out in our sweet little home in the sky this evening.

004.

004.  Running through the jungle.

I was taking pics with my friend Vivi in some of the Costa Rica sims. We recently bought some hot new tribal type outfits from Bare Rose and were taking pics for a blog post. 😀  (I tend to do this a lot xD  Take a bunch of shots for a blog post and then end up not posting for maybe a couple of weeks.)

005.  toward the light

005.  Move toward light; Ahern Welcome Area, for the Rashomon Project group.  (This is a group started by Queen Coronet that is basically about a bunch of people all depicting the same subject but with their own spin on it.  If that sounds like your sort of thing, please join!  🙂 )

I crashed twice while taking shots here; one of my attempts included shadows. I gave up after the second crash and decided to stick with this image ~.~  No post-processing was done on this shot.

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Blogging, Fashion, Photography, Project 365 in 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“quietly informing” is not a solution

The opinions expressed in this post are solely mines and are not a reflection of anyone else’s opinions, including anyone who may be associated with me in any manner.

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“quietly informing” is not a solution

A somewhat emotional and thought-provoking open letter to designers has been posted by Sasy Scarborough, Ryker Beck, and Whimsy Winx on their own respective blogs.  Let me preface this by saying I have the utmost respect for these ladies — they are one of the many tireless bloggers who invest so much time, effort, energy, and very often their own money into blogging the latest in the Second Life fashion scene.

Blogs are important.  They are THE place to go when you want to be in the know about the latest and hottest  designs, and they fulfill a role that no monthly publication can ever hope to touch:  blogs serve up content that won’t hit the magazine kiosks for at least a month, if not two.  There is absolutely no doubt that blogs play a crucial role in making Second Life fashion what it is today.

Bloggers take pride in their work.  I have firsthand knowledge of this:  I’ve indulged in a bit of fashion blogging in the past and it was something I took seriously, discussing details in texturing and even shooting short videoclips of select items.  And as I mentioned a few paragraphs up, the majority of what most bloggers cover is paid for out of their own pockets.  For most, blogging about fashion is a labor of love.

It is therefore entirely reasonable for any blogger to be somewhat mortified when confronted with evidence that s/he has given blog coverage to items that may be infringing upon a third party’s copyright.  Their blog is basically their baby, after all.

But I digress… anyone who pays any attention at all to the Fashion Planet feed will have witnessed events today (Sunday) that have acted as a catalyst for this open letter to designers, which I will quote in part here:

“… We completely understand the need for silence when dealing with said issues. However, one thing that has consequentially occured from doing so is that many, many bloggers are continuing to post on items they are unaware may turn out to be stolen. This is painful in the end for not just the designer – and we totally share your pain in this – but also for the many bloggers who have showcased/reviewed the products, filling their blogs with praise for the items, only to feel let down in the end and ultimately have their own values questioned. …”

The open letter then goes on to propose a solution:

“… Second Life fashion bloggers are valued and sought after to showcase items for many designers, but that is where the respect seems to end. We hold designers in such high regard. If we were told via IM or notecard that something was amiss with the content of one creator over another, we would be perfectly capable of keeping that to ourselves should you request that. Naturally, further blogging on the items in question would cease to occur. We understand that designers dealing with the trauma of having their work stolen may not have considered alerting the bloggers as a course of action in the past, but now is when it is crucial to stand united in this and feel more like a community than ever before. …”

And further down:

“… We hope that people will help us in the future by letting us know, privately and anonymously if necessary, that there is questionable content making its way around the blogosphere. …”

Hrm.  If only it were that easy.

The fashion blogging community is a complex one, due mainly to the fact that so many of it’s participants have crossover interests:  It is not uncommon for a blogger to be employed by a designer, run a fashion-related business such as a modeling agency, or own a sim that depends on the success of it’s commercial fashion renters.  We even have designers turned bloggers, and bloggers turned designers.  I personally think it’s only natural for bloggers to eventually have multiple fashion-related stakes in SL; if you love fashion then it is practically a given that you will be drawn to the various activities/industries that surround it.

As a result of this, our community is sometimes prone to outbursts of what some like to label as “drama”.  There have been numerous occasions on which I have seen allegations of copyright infringement end up being construed by some as nothing more than “smear campaigns” maliciously orchestrated to “ruin” the accused.

And while I personally would like to believe that most of us will act in an ethical manner when we learn of instances of infringement, the cold hard truth of the matter is that there are times when some (not all, only some) individuals will choose to conduct themseves in a way that serves their own interests instead.  This is not something I’m making up; I have heard of many instances where a deaf ear and a blind eye have been deliberately turned towards designers who took the time to point out the likeliness of theft, or worse yet, have had the tables turned on them and wound up finding themselves accused of acting out of jealousy and spite.

There is, too, the matter of the possibly unscrupulous designer who WOULD take advantage of such an arrangement with bloggers to stick it to their competition.  How on earth is a blogger supposed to differentiate between the legitimate concerns and the ones intended to hurt another designer?  Are bloggers now to serve as judge and jury?  That is a role even Linden Lab won’t take on.

And then we have the matter of appropriate timing.  Exactly when IS it a good time for a designer to notify bloggers?  What is fair?

Should a designer notify bloggers while the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) notice is still being worked on (i.e., paperwork still being filled out but not yet turned in, or already filed but pending action by Linden Lab)?

Should a designer notify bloggers immediately after a DMCA takedown has occurred?

Should a designer wait until the party they’ve successfully filed against has had ample time to file a counter-claim?

It should be noted that a DMCA takedown in and of itself is not a ruling; Linden Lab makes it abundantly clear that they do not adjudicate.  A takedown simply means that they have received the paperwork and are now acting to comply with the law.

This is the dilemma that faces any designer who finds that their work has been infringed upon.  It is unfortunate that the act of protecting your copyright should come with so many complications, but this is how it is.  Designers need to balance their desire to protect their work with the need to protect the brand name and reputation that they have worked so hard to cultivate and nurture.  When viewed in this light it is understandable why some designers choose to deal with such issues in a quiet manner, and will take it to a more public arena only after repeated attempts to quietly do so fails to produce the desired results.

Again, I understand that bloggers who find that they have praised items that turned out to be less than legitimate might be “devastated”, as one person put it.  I hope that bloggers realize, however, that no sane person would ever fault them for reviewing items that they bought/received in good faith or contend that they were part of the problem.

So please, don’t let something like this “devastate” you or give you reason for too long a pause.  Process it, learn from it, and then shake the dust off your feet and move on.  I say that there are far too many great fashion items by legitimate and talented designers out there that deserve your attention for you to dwell on this too long.  ❤

August 11, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Ethics, Intellectual Property | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

this supercute swimsuit was free!

I found this free swimsuit while wandering around on my altie about a week and a half ago, thanks to Beanie Canning’s blog ^_^ Loved it so much, I had to go back and get it for my main avi!

this supercute swimsuit was free

I <33333 Beanie’s blog! Not just because she finds cute free stuff; what I also really like is how I’ve ended up visiting some really cool Japanese sims because of her tip-offs. You know how it is… you follow a SLURL, then something in the distance catches your eye, then next thing you know you’re collecting random LMs and hopping from one place to the next and stumbling upon all these great new places all along the way!

Ty Beanie ^^

Oh I almost forgot, lol. Here is the slurl to where this swimsuit is: tiger cafe in the Fanghammer sim

Got lots of bikinis in my inventory, nice to have a cute one-piece, too. 🙂

Oh and another thing! I hadn’t realized how easy it is to post images from your snapzilla to your flickr. This image was originally posted to my snapzilla account, and I was puttering about the snapz site last night and clicked the flickr icon. I found that the image got posted to my flickr stream instantaneously. Nice feature!

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Fashion, Freebie | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yet another update regarding iheartsl ^_^

Yet another update regarding iheartsl ^_^

We figured we would be thrown some curveballs and that there’d be a lot of work ahead of us when we launched iheartsl, and boy, were we right!  😮

First of all, working on iheartsl has been a real learning experience.  While I wouldn’t say we are complete luddites, we aren’t tech wizards either and we’ve had a bit of a crash course in XML, RSS, and the like.  There were a handful of blogs that requested to be added but we weren’t able to fulfill those until they fixed their feed markup errors (feedvalidator.org is now our new best friend!), and we’ve spent hours searching for a site template that we could tweak to our needs.

Another unforeseen aspect of syndication we’ve recently begun grappling with is that of creating both an opt-in and opt-out feature on the site.  We want to do things in an organized manner and not haphazardly, so we spent most of Monday (read:  we busted our asses all freakin’ day long working on this) going through the list of blogs that are on the feed and organizing it by name, author, URL, and feed URL.  (No, the software we are using does not generate this automatically, unfortunately, and this project has been so wildly popular, we’ve got close to 500 blogs on here.)  We created this list so that we can methodically go through it, contact everyone on it, and personally ask if they would like to remain in the feed or opt out.  (Feel free to beat us to the punch by e-mailing us first 😀  Our e-mail is iheartslcom@gmail.com.  Just send along a simple message about how you’d like to either remain in the feed or opt out, and state your blog name and URL.)

Looks like we started working on this not a moment too soon, as we’ve already had someone question the motives behind iheartsl.  As I’ve already stated in my two previous posts, iheartsl was born out of the simple fact that requests for blogs to be added to the worldofsl feeds were, for the most part, ignored for months at a time, and we were tired of waiting.  That’s all there is to it — we love our SL and we love reading about it, and we want a feed that keeps pace with us.  Judging from the amount of people who have expressed gratitude for the new feed and even a blog posting that wryly notes that “there’s nothing like a little fire on your arse”, I think it’s safe to say the majority is in agreement with us on this matter.

Another question brought up is that of the anonymity of the domain registration.  With all due respect, I think most people would immediately see the benefit of this; this is simply a matter of common sense.  Given the ease with which Vint was able to copy and paste what she did find in her WhoIs inquiry and thus dispense it to her large army of readers only serves to underscore our conviction that we were right to do a closed registration.

Finally, there is the matter of archiving.  Just about everyone we’ve spoken with likes the idea of being able to use the Search function to find older entries, and who are we to argue with the wisdom of the crowd?  Majority has spoken and archiving shall remain.  😀

Anyways… we’ve got a new FAQ set up that includes information how to get in touch with us (Gogo and I are serving as the points of contact) if you’d like to opt in, opt out, or ask about whatevers.  Don’t be shy!  Ask us whatever you want, it’d give a us a good idea as to what else we should include on the FAQ.  😀

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Blogging | , , , | 15 Comments

Some updates regarding iheartsl.com

Some updates regarding iheartsl.com

Hey everyone, the response to the new feed sites we’ve set up at iheartsl has been overwhelmingly positive!  😀  Seems like we weren’t the only ones ready for a change.  There’ve been a few questions and suggestions, so I’d like to acknowledge some of those.

First of all, I’d like to make it clear that iheartsl is not “my” site or “my” feed or what have you.  Although I’d love to take credit for something like that, it was Gogo who first started kicking around the idea of a new feed back in November.  In fact, my initial dismissive reaction was, “Yeah that’s nice… ooh btw check my new ❤ Cupcakes dress?”  Fast forward to several months later, however, and the lot of us were kind of getting tired of seeing blogs being excluded from the Fashion Planet feed and we all warmed up to Gogo’s idea.

This brings me to another issue that has been raised; a few people have asked whether the fashion.iheartsl.com feed will be moderated.

When the team behind iheartsl first began discussing the creation of a new feed in earnest, there was one thing that we were all definitely in agreement with:  the feed was going to be a comprehensive one.  Including the voices of designers and fashion bloggers that ought to have been heard in Fashion Planet months ago was our foremost motivation, after all.

I think the name of the site says it all, too.  We really do ❤ SL, especially SL fashion.  We love dolling up our avis, hitting various sales and hunts, squealing with delight over the latest gorgeous new sculpty boots, pretty much anything to do with enhancing our avatars’ appearances.  We also love being fully informed as to what is out there, something that’s becoming increasingly difficult as SL expands.

So yes, we want to involve all of the fashion community, in all it’s glorious and riotous variety!  😀  If you’re a designer or a fashion blogger, then we want to see and hear what you have to offer, and we want to provide you with a forum where you can be heard by the entire community.  We’re all about loving SL in it’s entirety — we’re iheartsl, not bloglines.  🙂

With that said, while we won’t be your fashion police, we definitely intend to keep things running in an orderly manner.  What does this mean?  It simply means that we want to keep the fashion feed all about… well, fashion!  If it comes to the attention of iheartsl staff that there’s been some non-fashion posts appearing, we’ll simply approach the blogger and ask that they filter their posts.

Speaking of keeping things orderly, we want the site to *look* orderly, too.  Please bear with us as we continue to listen to your feedback and tweak the appearance of the site accordingly.  Right now we’re playing with a template that has cornea-friendly colors (thanks Meara for the suggestion! 😀 ) and a left sidebar that won’t get tangled up with any large images that may appear.  The new template still sports the Search function, and we’re also very happy to finally get the Previous Posts link up and running at the bottom of the page!

We will always be open to your feedback, so please, if you have any other suggestions, let us know — this is YOUR feed, after all.  ^_^  We’ve also got what we think are some killer new ideas that we’re still hashing out before we can fully implement them, so keep an eye open for future developments.

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Fashion | , , , | 13 Comments

Announcing the new iheartsl.com feeds!

There’s a new development in the SL Blogging World that I’m extremely excited about and happy to announce!!!

The World of SL feeds are a brilliant concept — it’s just that lately, for all we know Tao Takashi could have fallen off the face of the planet. I don’t know what’s going on with him and I hope he’s okay and all, but when literally three months pass by after a request for a blog to be added is STILL not fullfilled despite there being reassurances that it will be, then you know it’s time to (1) quit complaining and (2) take matters into your own hand.

Hence I am pleased to announce a brand spankin’ new feed website, iheartsl.com!

Get your bookmarks ready, folks; so far there are two feeds available on iheartsl:

fashion.iheartsl.com

grid.iheartsl.com

iheartsl is built around the same premise as World of SL — blogs of feather are categorized under the same feed. The Fashion feed is meant for blogs belonging to fashion blogger and designers, obviously, while the Grid feed is meant for blogs that feature SL news, issues, and resident viewpoints.

Are you a designer who has been waiting to get onto the fashion feed, or a resident who has been wanting to feature their blog on the regular feed? If so, then iheartsl.com WANTS YOU! Everyone who is currently featured on the the WorldofSL feeds have already been added. The site is still just one day old, however, so it’s possible that a few links may have inadvertently been overlooked. If you find that your link is missing, or if you’d like for your own blog to be added, simply visit fashion.iheartsl.com/?p=1 for fashion blogs or grid.iheartsl.com/?p=1 for non-fashion blogs, and leave your URL/feed address in the comments, or send that info to iheartcom@gmail.com.

And YES — you WILL be added promptly! No more waiting for months on end for results; from the time you send in your request to be added, you should see your posts on the feed within twenty-four hours.

Do you own a blog that features content that should be featured on both feeds? Filtering your posts so that the right entries go to the right feed is super easy!

Let’s use my blog as an example…

I run Grid Expectations on WordPress. Although a lot of my entries are about fashion, I do manage to bang out a few non-fashion posts every now and then. To avoid having these show up on the fashion feed, I’ve simply created a category called Fashion.

Every category created in WordPress is assigned a numeric value. You can find the value of the category you’re going to be filing your fashion posts under by hitting your Dashboard > Manage > Categories:

Announcing the new iheartsl.com feeds

In my dashboard, you can see that the Fashion category has been assigned #3737. All I have to do now is plug that number into the feed URL, which will look like this:

https://gridexpectations.wordpress.com/feed?cat=3737

For those of you that run your blogs on the Google-owned Blogger platform, Blogger offers a Labels system that you can take advantage of. Just be sure to consistently add the label of your choice to all your fashion entries, and then use the labels feed syntax to create your URL feed.

Here’s an example of that syntax at work:  I have a blog at iluvtiggy.blogspot.com (seriously, don’t ask about that title, lol). Let’s say I wanted to blog about SL Fashion on there — I simply affix the label “SL Fashion” to each entry as is appropriate, and here is the feed URL for all my SL Fashion posts:

http://iluvtiggy.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/SL%20Fashion

Easy as pie 😀

See you all at iheartsl!

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Fashion | , , , , , , | 24 Comments