Are you really sponsored?

Spotlight on you 1So my study brain has been activated. It’s a few days until I start classes and it seems that I’ve started analyzing and questioning everything. Either that or I created a monster the first time I posted my opinion. Either way, I’ve been thinking. A lot.

Sponsored. It’s an interesting word when it comes to blogging in second life. In marketing terms the definition of sponsoring is “One that finances a project, event, or organization directed by another person or group, such as a business enterprise that pays for radio or television programming in return for advertising time..” It’s used a lot in sports. It’s why you see brand names around the football oval. It represents a company that has paid money to that sporting event in exchange for advertising of their brand. In terms of Second Life, sponsors are the stores that pay for advertising at events, or the stores that are in events that pay towards the running of the event costs in return for prominent placement at the event. In blogging, sponsors would be stores that pay towards the running of your blog eg, people paying for ad space. I can understand why some people think that stores in second life sponsor them as they’re receiving goods in exchange for advertising. But in the marketing world this isn’t technically sponsoring as money hasn’t traded hands.

One interesting article I read here on blogging and sponsored posts states that sponsorship in terms of blog posts is when “a post to any community-driven, notification-oriented website which is explicitly sponsored as an advertisement by a particular company in order to draw a large amount of popularity through user promotion and moderation to the most active or most viewed page on the website.” this would more be posts that have stores logo’s in the actual picture itself or posts that simply link to items. I suppose in one way you could argue that you are indeed being sponsored but I put this to you;

Think about this for a minute. You’re being given a review copy. Why do stores call the items they send bloggers review copies if they’re sponsoring you? If you are truly being sponsored then you’re not reviewing that item. You’re not blogging what you like or what fits your style. They’ve paid you to advertise. Your opinion does not count. You sell that product simple as that. Yet most stores only want you to blog two or three items per month giving you opportunity to simply blog what you like by reviewing their products and selling what you truly like.

On the same site above they mention advertorials. Advertorials are “In writing (newspapers, blogs, magazines, etc.) they are articles based around the product or service being advertised.” although again it states that advertorials are paid for. Then there’s Native Advertising. Native Advertising differs from advertorials in two ways; “Native ads are designed to make the reader not realize they are reading an advertisement, where advertorials are more recognized as advertising.” and “Native ads are also only published on one platform, one time. The same advertorial can be found in many different publications. (For example: native ads on BuzzFeed will only show up on their website and will not be duplicated.)” this is what I believe Second Life blogs that have any sort of write up in them are more geared towards such as my last post.  More can be read about sponsored posts, advertorials and native advertising here. When comparing the three different sorts of posts though, Second Life fashion blogging is definitely more advertorial or native ad based than sponsored. Most bloggers who write a post rather than just link to items under a picture, talk about why they like a product, they speak to their audience and try to tell the reader what they like about something in the hopes of swaying the audience’s buying habits. If you are receiving review copies to promote to your audience then you’re definitely advertising those products, but you’re not being paid money to.

Spotlight on you 2

When I asked the question “what the term sponsor means to you?” in the Second Life Bloggers Support group inworld, the answers were quite surprising. Nimil Blackflag the owner of Songbird stated “as a blogger, I do not use that term, as a creator, I really dislike people using that term to describe me. I am not a sponsor, they are not being paid to blog me.” Both Katya Valeska the owner of Second Life Blogger SupportThe Liaison Collaborative and An Lar [poses] and Lucie Bluebird co-owner of Repose and Lazy Sunday agreed with Nimil that they dislike the term sponsor. Nimil then went on to say that she runs a real life blog and writes sponsored posts and that she is paid to do this so her writing is “slanted to praise them.” This is what stood out to me more than a lot of the rest of the conversation as Nimil has real life experience with writing a sponsored post and dislikes the term sponsor on second life due to it not being paid for. I’d be interested to see how many other store owners share this opinion on sponsors because if store owners don’t see themselves as sponsors it would beg the question why do bloggers see them this way?

While the discussion was going in the group chat, the person who really inspired this post in the first place Nannybunny Gossipgirl of Top Fashionista IM’d me to discuss it further. Her comment on Canary’s repost of my frustrations post peaked my interest as she stated “I don’t agree that we don’t get paid, of course we do! For example: how much a hair fatpack costs? And how many hair styles a designer sends in a pack, week, etc.? Let’s say 2500L and he/she sent 3 hairs in one week, that’s 7500L. I know most of us wouldn’t buy the fatpack, but let’s say that for every hair pack the designer sends you he is losing the income from one person which is 250L for each hair style if you don’t buy fatpacks or variety packs – and most important you’re saving those 250L from your own money. If you add that up to all your sponsors actually we do get paid and really well and I actually been seen that cos I buy less lindens than I used to because I don’t spend as much as I used to when I didn’t have much sponsors, so I even see that on rl money.”  My counter-argument to this was that if 10 people clicked on the link to the hair that she used in her example and then went and paid full price for those items, the creator then makes a 7500L profit on the 250L they lost by sending one blogger a review copy whereas the blogger saves money but doesn’t make a profit which is what being paid implies in my opinion.

Nanny stated “I see blogging as a hobby cos I like photography a lot and specially cos I love photoshop and I like to test my skills. But I also see it as a responsibility cos no one asked me to start a blog, nor stay blogging. So I always follow rules and I do see it like a job at the end, ’cause in order to get a brand promoted they send me their stuff so I get paid with something I would’ve bought on my own saving me a lot of lindens. Besides I’m personally tired of the “she/he blogs only for free things” which I actually don’t do and most of us don’t do. For example: I take about one hour to take one picture, not to mention the time I spent choosing the outfit and the scene (I do my own scenes), then it’s the time I spend editing the picture which can take me from 30 minutes to 5 hours depending on the picture. Now, I don’t apply to all the ads “stores looking for bloggers” I only apply to the ones that I really like and I keep track on the rules of every store and event before applying to see if I actually have time for others.”

When I mentioned about not making a profit from blogging so not getting paid she replied “if you see it in the way I do you actually make a profit by not spending too much rl money on sl besides blogging has taken me to other stuff like been blogger manager, store manager and so on where I do get money for what I do and that is a real job in your terms. But for me I do get paid by designers when they send stuff” She then went on to say that for the bigger designers that she blogs for she sees a lot of clicks whereas for the smaller stores she doesn’t so in her opinion the stores miss out on the money you would have spent buying the items by giving them to you to blog.

Nimil went on to mention that “in regular website owning, sponsors are people who purchase ad space on your blog or advertisement blog posts.” which Lucie replied that it wasn’t the case for the majority, if not all of second life bloggers using the term sponsor on their sites. This as far as I know is 100% true and why I asked the question in the first place, if you’re not being paid to advertise a stores brand on your blog, then you are not being sponsored in the true advertising and marketing definition of the term.

The rest of the blogging community that was involved in the conversation were fairly torn by the term sponsor. Daria (lildaria) of Mesh Body Addicts said that to her a blog sponsor is someone that helps her continue to run her blog by sponsoring her in the way of providing items to blog and that the term sponsor is used in recognition of the relationship between herself and the designer. Desireme Fallen said that she also believed in sponsors although she  as did Zeke Jestyr who said that if a store supplies you with items that you have to blog, then they are sponsoring your blog. Cajsa Lilliehook saw the word sponsor as an indication of which stores a blogger had chosen to blog for as a blogger can choose who they are blogging for, themselves, the readers or the creator.

On the opposite side of the fence, Trixie Cliassi said that she doesn’t like the term sponsor and that she had added a page to her blog called sponsors even though she didn’t like the term personally because she had looked at countless blogger application forms where the creators had made it mandatory to put the store logo on the page as a sponsor. Charisma Jonesford stated that she’s not sponsored by anyone. She went on to say “If I was no longer officially blogging for certain events or designers, my blog would continue. I blog for myself, because I love it.” Alicia Chenaux said that when she hears the word sponsor that it made her think of designers who had crazy rules to join their groups or of fellow bloggers who complained of their “sponsors” being angry at them for not meeting the requirements set for them. She stated that she didn’t want to associate the term sponsor with her blog unless cash money was involved.

So as you can see, the opinion of if a blogger is paid or not and if they’re sponsored or not is something that differs from blogger to blogger in SL. For me? I look at it in strict terms of marketing. Unless real money is crossing hands then the term sponsor doesn’t apply to me. Will that stop me from blogging review copies that I’m given? Absolutely not! But in terms of sponsorship I believe that by not using the term sponsor, I’m showing my readers that I am not forced to blog anything or to speak well of anything, quite the opposite, if I see something wrong with an item and it’s for sale, I’ll let my readers know, to me this isn’t what someone sponsored does, they simply sell you the product.

If you’d like to visit any of the blogs of anyone that I’ve mentioned above, please click on their names. And thank you to everyone for participating and giving me permission to use your quotes on this post!

Items worn as always can be found below. Just as a quick note, when I add a slideshow of logos for stores that I officially blog for, this doesn’t mean that they have sponsored the post. This is just something extra that I add on so people can see which stores I officially blog for that are included in that post. I’m actually considering leaving this out for now on. For now, I’ll leave it as is. Thanks for reading! ❤

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Skin – [Pink Fuel] – Doll V2 <Crystal> – Pure (brownbrow)

Eyes – {S0NG} – Fiori~ Honey Eye

Eye Sparkle – [SUMii] – Eye Depth Prim

TeethDeeTaleZ – Teeth Realistic

Hair and Hair Accessories – [kik]hair – Peony accessory ver. (Black), Stars accessory (tinted), Chain accessory Gold @ Hair Fair

PiercingsPUNCH – Spiked Septum + Bridge Piercing @ Suicide Dollz

Necklace –  POMPOSITY – Diamond Studded Peace Short Necklace @ Suicide Dollz

ArmourNana – Lynn Black KneePad – Rare, Shiro Black Shoulder Armor  – Ultra Rare, Soran Black-Black Wings Headpiece – Common @ OMGacha
Bodysuit*{Junbug}* – Illythia w/Frills [Blood] (Common) @ The Secret Affair

ShoesPure Poison – Lucretia Sandals – Black – Maitreya @ The Secret Affair

Pose – [La Baguette] – Basic 4, Static 2

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This entry was posted by leesee79.

19 thoughts on “Are you really sponsored?

  1. Good post – and made eve better by drawing other opinions into the mix. It makes for such a more balanced approach than just “I think blah blah blah…” (which is kind of what this comment is going to be like).

    As a writer, I believe that words are powerful, so I don’t use them lightly. I understand the word ‘sponsor’ very similarly to how you see it. However, I don’t limit a sponsor to only those entities (i.e. designers) that exchange money for association or advertising. Many events (in SL and out of it) have media sponsors, for example, that exchange services ‘in-kind’, such as advertising, so that they can be associated with the event. Sponsors also donate goods and they sometimes pay money. To limit the category to money changing hands is part of what confuses the issue for many. Goods in kind have cash value, once this is understood, it makes the following understanding much easier to accept.

    Many bloggers tend to use the word ‘sponsors’ where they mean designers they have entered into advertising agreements with. And yes, I also see it as advertisement (regardless of what form it takes) the moment a designer attaches conditions in exchange for an item to be “reviewed”. That’s when this review copy ceases to be a “gift” or indeed “a review copy”. A gift of review copy implies that you can do whatever you wish with it – one can choose not to blog it, or to blog about it positively or negatively. There are no strings attached.

    When conditions are present, this agreement instantly becomes an implicit contract to advertise the items on behalf of the designer in a positive light. This doesn’t matter if you like the designers goods or not. I have many clients in RL that I’d happy buy products from, because I like them. But that’s not why I’m working for them. I work for them because they pay me, full stop. They don’t give me gifts in exchange for my work, and they are not my “sponsors”, they’re my clients.

    I personally believe that bloggers undervalue the advertising services they provide to designers by calling them sponsors. This suggests an unlevel playing field where the “sponsors” in question are framed as benefactors to the charitable pursuit of blogging.

    A big reason for this misconception is because bloggers don’t see these arrangements for what they are – which are implicit contracts to sell goods on someone else’s behalf = advertising. I believe the root of this misconception is that bloggers don’t want to be identified as sales people, because sales people aren’t universally esteemed, and sales is seen as one of the most untrustworthy lines of work on the planet.

    Liked by 3 people

    • “When conditions are present, this agreement instantly becomes an implicit contract to advertise the items on behalf of the designer in a positive light.”

      This is true, I am in a contract with most designers I blog for to advertise two or three items a month for their store. Anything above that, while advertising, is out of the realm of my contract so i don’t see it as being forced or sponsored or whatever you want to call it to talk about that product. I think the reason why I tend to disagree with the term sponsor is because most requirements that stores have is usually two or three items a month. This gives bloggers room to only blog what they like, which means that you’re not being forced to speak highly of something that you don’t like, which if you were being paid to do it, like you would be in rl, you would speak highly and try to sell that product no matter if you liked it or not. Anything more than two or three items a month and well that’s going in to the whole requirements topic which is a post in itself lol

      “I personally believe that bloggers undervalue the advertising services they provide to designers by calling them sponsors. This suggests an unlevel playing field where the “sponsors” in question are framed as benefactors to the charitable pursuit of blogging.”

      Thank you! I believe that the advertising services of blogging is extremely undervalued, I think this is mostly due to most bloggers seeing what they do as a hobby. Hobby or not, there’s a lot of time spent advertising your blog and in turn advertising the stores that you’re blogging for. That’s a lot of hours that in the real world you’d get paid good money for.

      “A big reason for this misconception is because bloggers don’t see these arrangements for what they are – which are implicit contracts to sell goods on someone else’s behalf = advertising.”

      Exactly. When I first started blogging I think I saw it as advertising straight off the bat because I already study it, but I think unless you really know the basics of advertising and such it would be easy to not see blogging in this way. Yes every blogger does it because they want to and because they love it, but if you’re fashion blogging then you’re advertising the same as you would if you were writing a review for a magazine. The blogs that link to what they’re wearing especially are just flat out advertising, they don’t review or write anything about the outfit, they simply post a picture (advertisement) and where to get the items from. I view them the same as I would a tv advertisement.

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  2. This is another really thought provoking post 🙂 When I started to look for ‘sponsors’ for my blog I probably used the term just because the research I’d done when looking at other blogs used that term. But as I’ve looked into what some designers and creators expect maybe I should consider changing the word. As I’ve said in my posts before I want to work with Creators in a partnership so maybe ‘Partners’ would be a word to consider though I think that also could be viewed different ways. I don’t like the term ‘review copy’ because you aren’t reviewing the item in that sense. This is why I would probably not work with creators that want you to blog every single item they produce.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “When I started to look for ‘sponsors’ for my blog I probably used the term just because the research I’d done when looking at other blogs used that term.”

      I did this exact same thing. I saw everyone had “sponsors” so I started a page called sponsors myself. Then I changed it and started writing this post haha

      “As I’ve said in my posts before I want to work with Creators in a partnership so maybe ‘Partners’ would be a word to consider though I think that also could be viewed different ways.”

      I’m not sure I’d use the term partner either, that doesn’t sit right with me, not sure why though haha just feels wrong.

      ” I don’t like the term ‘review copy’ because you aren’t reviewing the item in that sense.”

      I disagree with this in a way, while most people don’t review the items in a blog post, I know that I will try on an item before I blog it and if I don’t like it I won’t wear it simple as that, I will delete that item and go to the next one. To me this is reviewing the item. I will also review it in the sense that if I do like it I will look for any faults in it and if I find any I will tell the creator first that I have found a fault. If the item is already for sale then I will mention it in the post that there is a fault. That is giving a review. I have joked to friends a few times that I should put everything I don’t like on my blog as well and review the item and go into why I don’t like it..but that’s not a great way to make friends lolol

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  3. I agree with Becky – when there is an ‘agreement’ for you to blog someone’s items, regardless of whether it’s every item or only items you like, I would count them as a sponsor. If you ‘have’ to blog something for them (regardless of frequency) or risk being removed from their ‘blogger list,’ then I would count them as a sponsor.

    “Review copies” are just that – copies of items that bloggers receive with the expectation that you will blog about them. If there is no expectation of blogging, then it is a gift, not a review copy.

    Can they force you to blog an item? No, of course not. But if you don’t, you likely won’t continue to receive those review copies.

    And I would argue that review copies DO have a ‘real’ value. Creators spend time making their items in the hopes that others will buy them. If you weren’t receiving review copies, you’d be spending your own L$ for them. That’s value, regardless of whether you use RL $ to buy L$ or not.

    I think Kess’s suggestion of ‘partner’ rather than ‘sponsor’ doesn’t quite fit either. Partner, to me, implies that the ‘partner’ is involved in working on/maintaining the blog in some way – which is not the same thing as a ‘sponsor.’

    Though I hadn’t realized it until I read this post, I would say that any blogger who is receiving review copies (and that includes myself) is ‘sponsored.’ I’m wondering why admitting that seems to be such a bad thing? Because, as Becky stated, bloggers don’t want to be seen as merely salesmen?

    Another great post on an interesting topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The thing with the review copies having a real value, that may be the case, but after the creator has uploaded that item, it doesn’t cost them anything else, everything they make after they have sold their first copy and covered the upload cost is profit, the profit would then go to paying for the land, once that is covered the rest goes into the creators pocket. So really, just by saving a few L’s as a blogger still doesn’t mean that we’re sponsored in the actual definition of the word.

      I find it interesting that even though store owners don’t see themselves as sponsoring anyone, bloggers still say they’re being sponsored. I’m actually going to ask this question to my marketing lecturer on Thursday and my Advertising lecturer tomorrow to get their take. It will be interesting to see what they say!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So, if I’m understanding you, you’re saying that review copies have no value because their value would go in the creator’s pocket rather than going toward their overhead? That’s the definition of profit, yes?
        Which would indicate to me that the item DOES have value – both to you as a blogger (who doesn’t have to pay for them) and to the creator, who is taking that value (whether L$ or RL $) out of their pocket to provide you with that item (regardless of whether it’s part of their overhead or true profit).
        Whether the item is priced at $1L or $1000L, it still has value. If you are saying that ‘saving a few L$’ on items doesn’t count, is there a threshold/L$ value that you WOULD consider as being sponsored?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would consider myself being sponsored if a creator was paying for me to have my own domain in return for me advertising their items. To me, that’s what sponsoring is, a cash exchange in return for advertising. If I was truely sponsored I would have to blog things that I didn’t like, I would have to speak about that item in a positive light no matter if I liked that item or not, I would have to sell that item. As it is now, I blog what I like, if I have an opinion that may not be exactly favourable of that item then I will say it, I will be honest about things that I find such as what I wrote about the neck seam in the banned dea body review. If I was truly sponsored by the definition that I have been taught as to what sponsorship is, then I wouldn’t have been able to mention that, I would have had to do nothing but sell that item because that’s what advertising is. Yes I advertise, but sponsorship is different to just advertising.

        The thing I said about real value I may not have communicated properly, this is in regards to people who consider bloggers getting paid for what they do in the form of items. Me, I don’t see myself getting paid until I’m spending less on sl than what I have in the past, I spend around the same amount of money as I always have done. so therefore I’m not getting paid, the things that I would have paid for that I get for review, is a perk of blogging yes, but that L money that I would have spent on those items then goes on other items to compliment the items I get given so I can advertise that item better. I don’t save anything in regards to L’s at all, I went and purchased the mesh bodies, simply for blogging I wouldn’t have purchased those items if I didn’t blog, there has been many items that I have purchased inworld to compliment review items.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So you would not label anyone a ‘sponsor’ unless there was an actual exchange of RL cash? To me, it’s a matter of semantics. There IS value in the items they give you, regardless of whether you are still spending the same amount of L$ each month, regardless of what items you’re spending those L$ on, regardless of whether RL $ changed hands.
        Clearly, the word sponsor seems to have a negative connotation for you and many bloggers.
        What if, instead of ‘sponsors,’ they were called patrons or backers? (Both synonyms for sponsor, according to dictionary.com.)
        I have a sponsor – they give me free items, I blog them. I can still be totally honest about them – I didn’t agree to only give positive reviews of the items. I also didn’t agree to blog every single item. The items are free, but they still have value to me.
        Like you, I am then free to spend my L$ on other items I want. But that doesn’t negate the value of the free item.
        In that respect, perhaps partner IS a good word – bloggers partner with creators for a mutually beneficial relationship. Bloggers get free items and creators get free advertising. Win-win, right?

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  4. When I started blogging I thought of the word sponsor and just didn’t like what it implied. I have no experience in selling or marketing or any of that, I just like having a purpose in SL and blogging fit my SL lifestyle. I decided on using the term “featured designers” because they are all designers I really like and I’m more than happy blog for them. If a designer has unreasonable expectations then I won’t be applying to blog for them. This is my hobby and I greatly appreciate the items I receive as a blogger, but ultimately I still only blog about what I like.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And this is the biggest thing that is different than my first time blogging back in 2006-2008. At the time, I was one of only a couple people blogging Last Call/Dazzle, plus other well known designers. Ginny (RIP) and I were close friends. They weren’t my “sponsors,” they were artists who became my friends and I adored showing their talents. It’s what made Second Life worth logging into and when Ginny died, I lost a lot of my will to log in and to blog. I am curious when this word “sponsor” began in SL blogging? I think I even asked this in my very first post when I came back again.

    Today, I guess I am what you would consider independent. I do have a few friends who are still here and still designing, and it’s pretty obvious who they are. But, I have no interest in being “sponsored” by anyone. If I want to show something on my blog, I do. I can’t imagine anyone telling me how, when, and how frequently I am “required” to blog their items. I look at it the way I do any other press/vendor relationship (I am in PR IRL). I enjoy covering remarkable talent and I enjoy doing it in exactly the way I like to. I try to do it in a way that is favorable of course (I mean, I blog things I really like) but in the end, I will not be shy giving my opinion.That’s part of the real Gillian and I have to be authentic to myself.

    I always try to remember why I fashion blog. 1) Above all else I am a fashion lover in RL 2) I can experiment with styles at a much more reasonable price point in SL 3) I am passionate about expressing myself and appreciating others’ artistry. I cannot compromise on any of these and for me, it’s all about fun and expression. I am no longer one of the popular bloggers – I mean it’s been years and years. But i still love blogging SL fashion – as much or perhaps even more than the the first time around! I guess because I am doing it for me and in some ways, in honor of my dear friend who IMO, charted the course for so many artists in SL.

    In the end, it’s just a word. It may not even be the right word to describe the symbiotic relationship that exists between the “fashion press” and the designer. I know for me it makes me scratch my head a bit. But then I just get back to what I love to do and don’t worry about labels.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This is easy: call them “clients” and be done with it. That is the most accurate term.

    When I engage with a business who wants me to sell their product, which is what I do full-time, and which is what is happening here, they are my client. They might pay me in £, $, Sheckels, Lindens, or goods/services-in-kind I value for the equivalent of what I perceive the value of my services provides. Barter is as a legitimate way of exchanging value as money for goods, so there is no difference, as long as the supplier and buyer agree to the terms of the exchange.

    People who buy your services in exchange for money or goods/services are not sponsors, they are not partners, they are not “featured”, they are clients.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a great point and you’re right. Client is the most accurate word for the relationship a blogger has with creators. I think where people get mixed up is that most of the time the blogger puts in an application to blog for a store in an official manner. But really it’s no different to if you’re applying for a job at an advertising agency irl. Bed time for me got to get my study on in the morning!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This began as a response to Becky’s comment above, but it got so long I decided to make it a comment on its own. I’m a wordy bird, what can I say? 😉

    “Client” may be the most apt word for use to use, by pure definition, but I can’t see SL’s bloggers embracing the use of it, as it has a very impersonal, business-like connotation. On the other hand, “sponsor” has a warmer, more congenial feel – at least in my eyes. Maybe that’s my naivete shining through, but when I hear that a brand has “sponsored” someone, it feels far more personal. Ex: “We believe that what you’re doing has value, so we’re offering you some form of compensation – in exchange for brand promotion – so you can continue to excel at your sport / craft / artistic endeavors / etc.”

    My warmer feelings toward the term aside, the only reason I ever personally used the word “sponsor” was because it had become the standard in SL blogging at some point over the years. I truly don’t remember ever seeing it prior to a few years ago, and I’m not sure what the genesis was, but much like certain words become appropriated into a country’s vernacular and take on their own unique meanings, I didn’t worry much about the actual meaning of “sponsor” versus the blogger/designer’s understanding of “sponsor”, because it just seemed that everyone using the word had the same definition for it. Something along the lines of: “These are stores for whom I’m part of their official ‘blogging team’, which means I receive some or all of their newly released items, and/or I have the ability to request items from their store with a reasonable expectation of receiving them without payment. For this privilege, I feature their items in blog posts – either at my own discretion or on an agreed-upon schedule – and do my best to ensure that my readers now how and where to purchase the items for themselves.”

    There are so many styles and approaches that we all take to SL fashion blogging. Some only post photos and credits, and that has a very direct style that I know a lot of people appreciate, and is also generally less time-consuming than other blogging formats. Others post photos and credits, but also write longer posts either with more detailed information about the items in their pictures, or perhaps their words are on a completely different subject. Roleplay and fantasy bloggers often write stories to accompany their photos. In like kind, sometimes bloggers use sparse credits, sometimes the credits are intricately detailed and thorough, and there are many variations in-between. And when it comes to items received “in kind”, some bloggers notate them clearly in their credits, and others opt not to. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference, and I truly think it’s a good thing there’s no template-style standard that we all have to conform to; our blogs would start looking like carbon copies of each-other if there were.

    I think I may have been online during part of the conversation in the SL Blogger Support group, as I remember some of the quotes and comments that you cited, Leesee. It was all excellent food for thought, and I’ve changed my own page to “Designers & Events I Blog For” which is a bit wordy but I think it works. 🙂 For those who dislike the word sponsor, for those who take no issue with it, or even for those who think the literal definition of “sponsor” is a perfectly apt way to describe people who officially blog for a brand – I think every point is a valid one. But I have to gently say that I think we may be making too much of it. Unless designers – whom I believe are the ones best positioned to suggest change – request that bloggers use a specific phrase, or word, to express the relationship that they have with their official bloggers, we should just let bloggers use whichever ones they’re most comfortable with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “”Client” may be the most apt word for use to use, by pure definition, but I can’t see SL’s bloggers embracing the use of it, as it has a very impersonal, business-like connotation. On the other hand, “sponsor” has a warmer, more congenial feel – at least in my eyes. ”

      I find it interesting how one word can mean so many different things to people, it’s why I wrote the post in the first place haha I find the whole topic fascinating!

      “Unless designers – whom I believe are the ones best positioned to suggest change – request that bloggers use a specific phrase, or word, to express the relationship that they have with their official bloggers, we should just let bloggers use whichever ones they’re most comfortable with.”

      The point of the post wasn’t really to say if we should or shouldn’t use the term sponsor, more to give people a look at the word and what it means in marketing terms and to ask the question if we’re actually sponsored or not and to show that there’s plenty of people on both sides. I don’t know haha I just found it interesting so wrote about it 😛 But each to their own for sure. If people are comfortable with the term then by all means use it, but if you’re not then you shouldn’t feel that you have to just because everyone else is 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s so true about the different word connotations! I’ve an Aussie friend who would say “fair enough” a lot while we were chatting, and I finally asked him why and said I found it bothersome. He was surprised, and said to him the phrase meant something along the lines of “I appreciate your thoughts” or “we may not agree, but I respect your opinion”. Whereas here in the States, it seems like it’s most often used dismissively, like “if you say so”, or “fine I’ve heard you – now let’s change the subject”. Funny how a simple phrase can have subtle changes in meaning depending on your point of view or where you’re from!

        I’m fine with “sponsor” if that’s the commonly-used term, but I think we’re on the same page Leesee, with not feeling it most accurately fits the blogger/designer relationship. I’m really glad you brought up the subject though – it’s been fascinating to see how divisive the feelings and viewpoints are, and even how frustrated some are about it. Really makes you wonder who started it all off, and whether it was based on their misunderstanding of its literal definition, or perhaps they were not a native English speaker, or they genuinely felt that the term was the best and most concise fit. So curious! 🙂

        Ultimately I just hope that everyone does right by the people they work with; that the relationships between designers and bloggers remain mutually respectful and sincere. There really does seem to have been a wonderful shift towards designers and bloggers being more collaborative, and I think that must be largely due to the ability to get to know each-other via social media, or in group chats. Much like when a celebrity joins Twitter and interacts with their fans, they become much more personable and “real” – I genuinely feel like that’s the atmosphere of SL blogging now, whereas years ago the designers were the larger-than-life gods whom people were often too intimidated to approach. So nice to see a discussion take place in a group like SL Blogger Support where both bloggers and designers have an equal voice and appreciation! ♥

        Liked by 1 person

      • “It’s so true about the different word connotations! I’ve an Aussie friend who would say “fair enough” a lot while we were chatting, and I finally asked him why and said I found it bothersome. He was surprised, and said to him the phrase meant something along the lines of “I appreciate your thoughts” or “we may not agree, but I respect your opinion”. Whereas here in the States, it seems like it’s most often used dismissively, like “if you say so”, or “fine I’ve heard you – now let’s change the subject”.”

        Now that’s something I never knew! I wonder how many people I’ve pissed off by saying fair enough hahaha it’s definitely something that is more towards “I see what you mean” or “I respect your opinion” I would never have thought it to mean anything different anywhere else!

        ” Really makes you wonder who started it all off, and whether it was based on their misunderstanding of its literal definition, or perhaps they were not a native English speaker, or they genuinely felt that the term was the best and most concise fit. So curious! :)”

        I would LOVE to know who started it and talk to that person and find out why they thought the term sponsor was the most fitting word for the blogger-creator relationship!

        “There really does seem to have been a wonderful shift towards designers and bloggers being more collaborative, and I think that must be largely due to the ability to get to know each-other via social media, or in group chats. Much like when a celebrity joins Twitter and interacts with their fans, they become much more personable and “real” – I genuinely feel like that’s the atmosphere of SL blogging now, whereas years ago the designers were the larger-than-life gods whom people were often too intimidated to approach.”

        I think in a way some creators are still larger than life. Or maybe they like to think they are. When I first started blogging and got into a blogger group (won’t name which one) I went to the store to find an item as I couldn’t find out if it was at an event or in the mainstore. I saw the creator there so I IM’d them to ask, they responded with “are you in my blogger group?” to which I replied yes and so they told me “well I’m not the person to ask that am I, you need to speak to the blogger manager.” In the time it took the creator to say this, they could have answered my question haha. Some (not all) creators seem to put themselves on a pedestal. I find that most of them though are really happy to talk to you and hear your thoughts when it comes to opinions on products etc.

        “So nice to see a discussion take place in a group like SL Blogger Support where both bloggers and designers have an equal voice and appreciation! ♥”

        I love SL Blogger Support for this! The discussions I’ve had in the group have been some of the most interesting I’ve had in the 7 years I’ve been around!

        Liked by 1 person

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