Hey guys! I have 2 topics of interest today. First, I wanted to share with you all my new profile picture! I normally change it once a season, but I hadn’t changed my last photo since October. So, here it is!
Hair: =DeLa* “Sahara” Browns (@ Uber)
Skin: –Glam Affair – Luna skin – Jamaica
Makeup: [mock] Bonjour Matte Lipstick [Turkish Rose]
[mock] Glitter Pop Eshadow in Jeweled Lake
Jewelry: Chop Zuey: The Dirty Shepherdess Necklace
Earthstones: EarthStones The Diamond Stud – Pear/Gold
Top (also got the pants but not seen): Hucci Yebil Top – Midnight (@ Uber)
The second (and much longer) topic I would like to talk about is about Indie Teepee. One of my friends informed me that there was a discussion panel at Indie Teepee featuring Delicate Flower & Trouble Dethly on July 12th at noon SLT. I have had the pleasure of meeting Trouble before, and I have seen Delicate around the grid and on Plurk. So, I thought it would be interesting to head on over to see what was happening.
I was not sure on what Indie Teepee was about. We have so many events that come up, and we run to shop and purchase items. But many of us do not take the time as to why the event was created. I grabbed this from Scarlet Schadenfreude (evelynscarlet)’s picks, who is the Founder / Creative Director of Indie Teepee.
“Just as Second Life is a home to so many people from all walks of life, Indie Teepee aims to be the roof under which these same people may discover, enjoy and appreciate the diversity and creativity that could only previously be experienced in the real world.
Indie Teepee brings people together through their love of song and art – breaking down barriers and providing a haven for music genres like indie, alternative, rock, electronic dance music and hiphop. This year, we take it a step further to include theatre performances, photography exhibitions, a feature-length machinima and a creative forum.
The success of our inaugural event in 2015 has inspired us to make sure that 2016’s Indie Teepee is a far more welcoming and cosier dwelling for everyone. In this home, there are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet.”
According to the moderator, Chris (nathanaelwest), today we would hear from both
Trouble Memphis Dethly (trouble.dethly) and Delicate T. Flower (awylder1) on their day-to-day lives & motivations for their creative outlets. Trouble is the founder of Eclipse Magazine, and Del is the co-owner of Seraphim (Heidi Halberstadt is the other co-owner).
What I did was to attempt to summarize what was said (on voice) during the hour. I tried to keep it as accurate as possible.
The first one up on the panel was Del.
Chris: Briefly tell people what Seraphim is?
- Comprehensive coverage of popular events on the grid
- Images of sale items (also exclusive and donation items) with details (e.g permissions, price)
- Seraphim covers ~100 events a month
- New section on website – Freebies and group gifts
- They host a yard sale for the Arcade every quarter
- Event portal to help designers and events find each other
- Primary goal is to service shopping public of SL; provide objective info to be informed of shopping experience.
Chris: Who are the people who visit Seraphim?
- Anyone who is looking for women’s fashion, men’s fashion, kids, home & garden, hair, shoes, skins, makeup – literally an event for everyone. Also in-store sales. You can find everything in one location.
Chris: You wouldn’t call yourself the Walmart of SL?
- At the very least we’re like the Macy’s (laughs) but we don’t sell anything, and coverage is free.
Chris: (didn’t quite catch the question, but it was along the lines of how Seraphim handles event previews)
- Seraphim does not publish until the event opens
- They get a lot of traffic during daytime hours (around the globe). Perhaps people are at work and they preview to see what they want to buy before they go home.
Chris: How much traffic does the site get?
- ~ 15k hits a day
- ~ 300k page views a month (edit: or was this last month’s figures?)
- This is from all over the world
Chris: How do you think Seraphim got so popular; what draws the people in?
- Editorial/personal blogging has its place, it’s an art form
- They are reporters, not artists, so they report facts. Seraphim is like a catalog that allows you to window shop; provides value
- Personal blogging shows items as bloggers would wear it – inspirational
(Chris commented that Seraphim seemed user centered and how they find a way to streamline info for people)
- Felt there was a need for it, and they will continue as long as there is a need for it.
(Chris commented that a lesson can be taken from this – find something that there is a need, and see what you can do to fill the gap)
- Seraphim tries, but there are still gaps. They can only be and do so much. You can literally create anything, and if there is a void, go out and create a solution for it. That is what this entire experience is about.
- If you do not believe Seraphim is doing it, go for it and we will even help you. It’s not about putting down competition, but about helping. This is your creative outlet.
Chris: How do you go about promoting Seraphim?
- Recently introduced the HUD, and is widely adapted.
- Other than that we have kiosks out, but primary promotion is via word of mouth; that’s how she (Del) found out about Seraphim. Then they were hiring and she got on the staff. Now 3 years down the line, she co-owns it.
- They promote on social media such as Plurk, FB, etc.
- Designers want to be promoted on Seraphim, so will seek out events that include Seraphim or else ask event organizers if they plan to have Seraphim do coverage.
Chris: Now people are starting to create things to interact with you.
- We love working with designers, event coordinators, shoppers. It’s really fun!
Chris: Speaking of shoppers, (the host doesn’t) know anything about shopping or fashion. But I know people wants insights on SL and shoppers. Being privy to who shoppers are; why is it so appealing to shop?
- We can be whatever we want to be – tall, short, etc. and things are pretty affordable.
- Shopping can be seen as a manner of escapism.
- In SL, (Del) is a conservative human, white chick…more of an extension than departure. But there are so much stuff for so many people.
- If there is not what you want, you can make and sell it. Anime, men’s events are doing well. Outer stretches of getting away from basic chick to stretch the imagination and literally being anything you want to be. Human with animal legs, etc. Friends that wear wings all of the time because they like it.
Chris: Linking creativity to consumerism – shopping becomes a way of expression instead of just buying stuff (which is a good thing)
Chris: How big is your staff, and how do you make sure everything happens on time?
- Up to 16…may be at an all-time high
- They are in Argentina, Portugal, New Zealand, US, all over.
- Bloggers are responsible for their own schedules. Example: They ask who can do this event at noon on the 1st. If no one can cover it, it doesn’t get covered. Many of them work, have families outside of SL. RL has to come first – that is the priority. If someone cannot do it someone will cover them if it is a one-time thing.
- It is a family environment.
- 4 managers including co-owners.
- There are lots of moving parts. If google calendars were ever to go away they would be in trouble (laughs)
(Chris asked a question regarding staff compensation)
- They can get in early to events and pre shop, can see the stuff lag free.
- If you don’t have a passion for this and you don’t want to help service the fashion community, you won’t do well. That is what drives people…they have a group skype chat and post the positive remarks.
(think she said there is some compensation but not 100% sure; emphasis was more on not doing it for monetary reasons).
Chris: What is the most challenging part of your job as the co-owner?
- The team is amazing, everyone steps up. No issues with team management at all despite there are so many people. Any issues goes away quickly – the key is communication because there are so many moving parts.
- (gave a recent example) One event has closed, and another event is delayed. So they have to make sure that everyone is informed so the event is taken off the calendar and off the hud. If the communication would fail, then seraphim would fail.
Chris: Can you talk about the hud and what it does for people?
- Brings seraphim off the website and into SL.
- Can click to get the hud off the kiosk inworld [also on MP]. Click on the event, click to tp, add to faves and view only faves, look at gallery, can do pretty much everything on the hud as you can do on the website.
- If you are trying to go to Collabor 88 or Uber where it is packed, the hud offers a tp repeater. You can turn it on and tps every 5 secs.
- Other fun feature is “surprise me!” currently open event on the roster, so if you want to go to a random event you can. Fun way to explore SL.
- Updated kiosk is at the Indie Tepee event.
- Jacqueline Daniels is info manager
- They are starting notes for 2.0 but not working on it as of yet
Chris: [Seraphim is] carving out a need and people owe you a debt of gratitude.
- They feel the same for everyone who create and shop – thousands of people who make this world possible vs 16 people. They provide service, but they aren’t providing the need.
Chris: What are your plans for Sansar?
- Del doesn’t know, but is dying to see it. Probably won’t get in because she is not a creator, but she is hopeful
So now, Chris moves on to Trouble. He mentions (like he did with Del, but Trouble did not say anything) that if any of the questions overlap with what the other person does, feel free to chime in.
(Chris is) super impressed with content and design. How would you classify [the magazine’s] purpose? What draws people in?
- It’s his baby – it’s a huge team that is behind it.
- Questions that he asked himself (and what anyone could ask when doing a new project): Should you do it? Is there a purpose? Will anyone care?
- Dozen magazines already catering to similar niches so what will they bring to the table
- Goals were to be in demand, relevant, and fashion forward
- Magazine has styling/inworld designer highlights, also aesthetically pleasing magazine and content
- No matter if you are into rp’ing, designing, indie teepee’ing, people will find it interesting
- People with disabilities, fluidity of androgyny
- They aim for a good balance with cover stories (cover is not for sale, but was once put up for auction). They seek to find people who fit the saying “Your world, your imagination”.
(Chris makes the comment of how they find ways to be different, and to add to the community. Magazine looks polished, looks like something he would get from a newsstand. Did not catch the actual question asked, but it referred to the organization of the magazine, as well as how often it is published.)
- Magazine uses Adobe InDesign; Trouble had to learn how to use it in 1.5 months after he had to start using it to publish the magazine (had someone else doing it before)
- Photographers use Photoshop
- Writers send articles to Cajsa (cajsa.lilliehook) who is the Copy Editor
- There is no set publishing date, although they aim for 2nd-3rd week of the month
Chris: Penumbra fashion show – what is it, and how is it different from the magazine?
- Modeling industry – works close with fashion industry
- It is under the same umbrella – offers fashion show production
- Penumbra’s next show is on July 16th
- Impeccable attention to detail, quality show production, best models, visionary producers, detail orientated stylists = extraordinary fashion experience
- They also have a good team of bloggers
- Penumbra has 2 fashion weeks a year that span a week + 2 days. At the first fashion week, they had 20 designers. The last fashion week had 80 designers over 21 shows, and hundreds of outfits
Chris: How time consuming is this magazine – what is the work process like?
- Consult with his partner Zzoie (zzoiezee), email Cajsa, talk to friends. He asks what we should feature this month.
- Always needs 2 weeks to schedule and do everything, and they look for stuff that isn’t promoted but should be (like sims)
- Creative process takes a while, and then assigning it. Staff has a week to do tasks.
- Laying out the mag takes anywhere from 6 hours to 3 days, or if needed, he pulls an all nighter and drinks Red Bull
Chris: How big is your team? What is it like to work with them?
- Amazing – part of SL journey is to explore, go through the process and then you can find your passion. You find like-minded people and you do something extraordinary.
- Besides main staff, they have a dozen photographers & writers, and 50 models.
Chris: How is all of this work benefiting you – what do you get out of it (not financially)?
- Things done in SL is not necessarily for money, but when it stops being fun and becomes an obligation [it stops being beneficial]. Meeting and learning from people with various backgrounds has enriched his experience.
- He can use InDesign for RL experiences
Chris: Do you see opportunities for more magazine startups?
- Yes – the most beautiful opportunity for SL is that it affords for people to dream, and this world is built on a foundation of those dreams. In SL the limitations are how hard they are willing to work for it. If someone has a similar concept – doesn’t matter – do it your way.
- There is a [magazine] market for the roleplay community, fundraisers
Chris: How do you promote fashion shows and the magazine?
- Ask Del! (laughs and comments on how he has gone to her for certain projects)
- FB, twitter, Flickr, Instagram, etc. Social media is a tool to be utilized.
- Also other magazines, social media groups, old school promoting like inworld sending notices (good for landmarks)
Q & A with audience
- Are there other virtual worlds out there that have similar publications that you’ve seen?
(The audience member later commented that SL seems to have the most entrepreneurial community in that regard)
Del: No, but hasn’t looked for it
Trouble: He has seen a magazine for inworldz on Issu
- What’s next for you?
Trouble: There is an issue coming out in a few days. Upcoming fashion show July 16th @ 2 pm. Also next fashion week is in October. And also plans on publishing magazines every month.
Del: They need a creation break because hud took 8 months (? voice was echoing)
Also looking for more resources to support events. If anyone is a Creator/event coordinator and you think there are resources that are needed, reach out to her and they can come up with something possibly.
My reactions to the talk:
Seraphim does a lot for the shopping community, and we (content creators and customers) are fortunate to have a progressive group that is willing to expand as the need arises.
One time when someone complained that a certain event was not covered on the website, I asked do they (Seraphim) get paid to cover certain events. I was told no, so I was just like so what do you expect? I think they should totally get paid to do event coverage, especially sim-wide events. Or, at the very least free coverage for the event advertising on their website.
I have told several businesses to advertise with Seraphim. One person took my advice and advertised a store sale that she had. She made all of the money back and then some after the post went up on the site. I think she wanted the event to be a stickie (i.e. staying at the top of the page), which does cost some money.
Eclipse magazine has put in a lot of effort to produce the quality of work that they have. I know from experience that it is very difficult to have success without a great team and a system in place to execute assigned tasks. Chris and Trouble talked about Pokémon Go at one point (am I the only one who is indifferent to it all? I like Pokémon but not enough to download the game to Android), which I thought was pretty cool. To me it shows that even though Trouble (Del, and anyone else who runs businesses in SL) has specific things that he does in Second Life, he also knows how to have fun as well.
I get feedback sometimes from people about when I will be “done” with my work, or “some people like to have fun on SL”. I look at work in SL as a learning experience – a unique opportunity to do things that I am unable to do anywhere else. Making money to me is an indicator of success – people value your time enough that they think it’s worth paying for. It’s not the only indicator, but money is necessary to keep the SL economy going. If no one wanted to put in work, we wouldn’t have the world that we have today.