Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lets talk about hunts baybee.

No, seriously though. I have a question for you lovebugs, at least the ones to enjoy participating in hunts. Are you enjoying, or liking the general product coming out of the enormous chain of hunts going on lately, and the amount of effort put into them?

I personally, appreciate a handful of hunt organizers for the effort they put into their hunts, such as Cutey Magic and her Bunny Hop. While a lot of people thought it was rude to turn people away, I disagree. I think it's commendable, and respectable to be honest with people in order to provide a higher quality hunt to participate in later. It shows a huge amount of respect for the prospective participants, and as one, I can appreciate that. It also helps the creators. Those who get in the hunt, because this weeds out people who judge a hunt by it's one bad seed, and it helps encourage those who don't to exceed their personal expectations in their creations.

There are however, a lot of hunts going on lately, and I mean A LOT. To me, it's beginning to come of as a trend. "Oh, so and so has a hunt. Let's do one too, but wait a month so it doesn't seem like we are doing it to fit in." to blatantly generalize. I hope I'm not coming off as a hunt hater. I'm not. I love hunting. I'm one of the few who actually do hunts without sheets, in fact I'm usually the one MAKING the sheets for the lazy, or less enthused hunters to participate. It just doesn't appeal to me to hunt anymore because why does there need to be 15 hunts going on a row? Small hunts are one thing, sim-wide, or store-wide are perfectly acceptable. But back to back chains of grid wide hunts is getting old, and patrons of GW's are being drowned in gifts that weren't thought through as "This is my store, I want you to come back".

To me, having a plethora of grid wide hunts, deteriorates the quality of any given one. I personally feel, that a grid wide hunt is a bigger deal, and shouldn't just happen on the spur of the moment thought; "Oh hey, we can do one to." Why?! Seriously, I would honestly love feedback from you guys. Shed some light on it for me, because I see stores joining hunts, one after the other. I've seen a few stores in every single hunt. It's not that I don't appreciate the generosity of creators (while a lot of people put out horrible representations of their store. This seen from an inside perspective on an upcoming hunt), I just can't fathom why a creator would do that?

Yes, I know creators do it for exposure, but what about that old saying that no one will buy the cow if you are giving away the milk for free? The grid needs to become lactose intolerant, and fast, because the number of hunts, especially ones that crop up for no good reason, cause, or by any good organized person just need to stop.

I appreciate the effort of the hunt, the challenge and fun of participating in those I chose, and some of the amazing things that come out of them.... but not the fact that everyone and their mom, uncle, sister, and best friend need to "organize one" because now, it's not about quality.. it's about doing it because everyone else is, and more and more I see people exclaiming how much "shit" they deleted. What kind of reward is that, for doing your hunt?

My advice, would be hold out on trying to organize your own, and join, or try to join one that you know has a higher level of status behind it, like from a set of people who have presented us with amazing hunts before. If you can't, or don't want to hold out for another hunt, and you insist on running your own show; SCREEN THE STORES! A lot of you are thinking "Fuck you, it should be fair opportunity." No, it shouldn't. The grid, isn't a select body of people who have the same exact taste. You have people of ever taste, style, sense of personal quality. By taking a random sample of peers, and screening items for a hunt, you get a GENERAL idea of feedback, to base "quality" on what is acceptable to offer people to your hunts. A lot of you are saying "Well if you don't like it, don't fucking do it." Hi, headcase, you can't "like" it if you don't do it first and hunts, aren't for the creators. They are for the grid. They are FOR US the general public, why get lazy, pull something you hate so much you wouldn't sell it, and shove it in a box? Take the time to show that people have something to respect you, as an organizer, and those who you want as creators in your hunt, otherwise.. what is the point?

You want freebies? Go to a Unifreeb shop. You want gifts to show you new shops. Do a grid wide hunt. It's that simple. The weak part, is when the grid wide equates to the quality of a Unifreeb shop. I love hunting. I just don't see a point in doing it anymore. Too many to keep up with, and nothing worth keeping because of how thin creators are spreading themselves, to keep up with the hunts themselves.

I'm too longwinded, end rant!


Chic Aeon said...

I think it is OK to rant now and then. We work hard blogging and we deserver it (wink). I pretty much agree with your perspective. Even in a good hunt, I usually throw away 90 percent of the offerings. That doesn't mean they aren't worthy (although to be fair sometimes the product just isn't whether it be a new designer or someone who just didn't care what they put out). The last "good" hunt for me was Vain's Kissed hunt. The items were good quality for the most part, vendors were told time and time again to make it EASY so there weren't any bottlenecks and while it was big, it wasn't GIGANTIC - LOL.

Lately there have been too many places that hid there items SO well that twenty of us looking for twenty minutes couldn't find them. Not everyone uses lists or HUDs that let them find items. I certainly don't. So for me it is simply too much work and I get first discouraged, then angry. That doesn't reflect well on the store and makes it very difficult to go to the next stop. Hence, it isn't fair to the others in the train.

The new trend of bigger is better and we'll let most anyone in no matter because we want to be inclusive (or we simply hate to be the one to say your store doesn't cut it) doesn't work for me either. I prefer the sim hunts and the store hunts. I have talked to many stores who have been in the GW hunts and they are starting to give up on them and focus on the simwide hunts. Honestly? 571 (maybe less at final count) is simply too big for me. I mostly hunt to blog. I certainly don't NEED more stuff. It's just too much work.

To be fair there are a few stellar gifts in the upcoming hunt(s), but there appears to be a lot of things that would immediately go into my trash with a sigh. So aside from the smaller hunts and the" I just happened by and found the (insert gift giver item here) " I'm not doing the giant hunts any longer. The 234 or so stops on the Kissed hunt were difficult enough - LOL.

I think we have gone hunt mad. That's OK for the folks that simply need something to do. It's certainly better than some other SL pastimes I can think of (IMHO). So I suspect they will continue. Most likely the best of the stores will leave the hunts. Some already have. Going to thirty shops with less than wonderful things to find the one shop that has the (insert heart's desire gift here) is simply too much work for most of us.

I remember the places where I found great things that I love. I blog them. I go back. I sometimes blog them again and even forge a connection with the owner. GWHs are good for the grid when handled well. When you can't even find the very first item so you can continue? Not good - LOL. And that's happened more than once of late.

So whichever blogger wants to take up the gauntlet and blog the whole of the humongous hunts? More power to them. It won't be me. I'm busy enough as it is.

Jennii said...

I agree - I don't bother with the hunts anymore either, unless I see a blog post about a specific item they found in a hunt and I REALLY like the item. The last chain of hunts I did I ended up throwing away all but a couple of things I found. So many hunts have just had really, really poor quality items. I appreciate the designers that put items into their hunts that aren't just something that's unfinished or throwaway, but just as high of quality as anything else they offer.

Prudence said...

Well stated Chic! It's hard, as bloggers covering hunts. You don't want to be biased, and pick and chose, but you also don't want to blog things that you just know people will not appreciate. You have to make a touch call, and go one way or the other.

I think what we would all love to see, if a very well organized, and reviewed hunt, with maybe 100 shops of the highest hunt reputation, so to speak. That would be a treat, to show how hunts are done more so than to give us good shit.

Green Dream said...

I think I still have stuff to sort from the last Vain Ghost hunt in my inventory. And its' not because I'm lazy- shit keeps piling up, especially in the Mary Poppins bag. Frankly, not being given time to breathe, whether it's a poor or good hunt, is what irritates me the most right now.

I do like more of the promotion of swaps n' sorts on the rise, though I haven't actually participated in one. I know I really like Miriel's sim-wide hunt because it features a story, and I know Sanu has had some like that, too. I'm not going to make any suggestions base don't hose right now, though, because I think it would be beaten to a pulp.

If the focus on grid-wides is supposed to be meeting new shops, then more grid-wide organizers should use that as a screen and then the quality. Perhaps there can be a few (like 5-10) major shops out of 50 max to act as supporters/sponsors/base-camps, but otherwise that's it. And I say keep it to 50 to do it in small chunks. I'd liek a weekend where I wasn't hunting. Actually, a few weekends woudl be great.

Hunts should be special. They stem from the idea of a "treasure hunt", and "treasure" should be like gold and jewels. I've watched enough pirate movies to know this, so quality or quantity.

~ Terry T

Faerie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faerie said...

I think that the hunts are getting too big and that most stores are not prepared to offer examples of their best work as prizes. It would be much better if a store had one really good prize that they offered over and over instead of different things that hadn't turned out right in each hunt. I hate being given something that is an obvious failure.

So we are now very selective about which hunts we will go on. Small hunts and (small) themed hunts are all we are interested in now.

Eliza Wrigglesworth said...

I agree with everything that everybody here has said. How often does that happen? I just wish more people would pay attention to what we're all saying.

The only thing I somewhat disagree with is the opinion that hunts are not for the creators. I also believe that they're approaching this marketing strategy with the wrong attitude, but you all pretty much said that already.

Thanks for having the balls to bring this up Prudence : )

Ashirin said...

You know, as a tiny shop owner in a small niche (Fantasy eyes), I was talking to a friend in game just last night about how hunt coordinators just need to approve (or not) every offering for a hunt. I've seen otherwise wonderful designers put utter CRAP into a hunt, for reasons I can't fathom. :p

The answer is *not* to make vendors pay things like 1000L to get in a hunt(Yeah, on top of spending the time to make an item or set for the hunt...that's a whole other rant, though, really lol), or to make hunters pay 200L or more. It's not.

I really believe it's as simple as 1)Stop having so many hehe, and 2)Approve the submissions into the hunt.

I think hunts are fun, both as a designer, and a hunter, I just get sad when either the prize is so crappy I have no choice but to toss it, or when one designer has teh same mediocre prize for three different hunts, ya know?

~Ash, the long winded.

Anastasia Trefusis said...

I do love hunts, and I think that they are a great opportunity for vendors to showcase their work to a wider audience. Problem is, in SL anyone can be a content creator. While this is great for all of us in so many ways, it also means that anyone can make stuff and put it in a shop. Things that they would never even try to sell in RL. It's like the kids who failed sewing classes trying to be clothing designers.

What I am noticing increasingly on hunts is the pettiness of shop owners and hunt organisers. As Chic says, hiding things *that* well is not fun for everyone, especially in the first week of a hunt with thousands of people trying to get through your store. Furthermore the "Don't share info / cheat sheets or we'll move the item" or moving the item sometimes several times a day just for kicks... well that just ticks off your potential customers. Many people don't have a huge amount of time on SL, but do have money to spend.

If visiting your store on a hunt is a frustrating torturous experience, or if you come off petty and small, or if you provide a crap product that didn't work out well enough to sell as your prize.... All of these things mean that the people like me who do spend lindens will take them elsewhere.

I do hunt freebies, I enjoy it and it has lead me to many great new stores. Hunts should be a chance to put your best foot forward and showcase your work to potential customers.

Hunt organizers need to stop worrying about cheat sheets and saying it "spoils the fun" - for those who use them it does not spoil anything as we make that choice. What spoils the fun is going through 300 stores and going through all those boxes, to find a few decent well made items. Concentrate on getting good designers and good product. Not on maximising your profit by letting anyone in. And don't make such a fuss about how people find the prize, after all it doesn't cost anything to give away - if you give one or a thousand it's all the same. So if you gain a thousand potential clients who love your product, isn't that better than 99% of them thinking that was a horrible experience / crap item, I'm never going there again?

Cutey Magic said...

Thank you for saying what I want to say T_T I love hunts, but I thought they can even be better if each store were checked for quality before being accepted, which is what I did with The Bunny Hop.

I am planning one for summer, but now I am wondering to myself if people would even do it, and not shove it away as "another hunt". I put a great amount of time and effort into making my hunt so that it will be enjoyable. Being labeled as "another junk hunt" is what I do NOT wish to happen, since I encourage greatly to participating stores to make items that will be worthwhile for all hunters.

Chic Aeon said...

We go through phases in SL as we do in real life culture. When I joined the world it was in the BIAB fad days and really junkie stuff in lucky chairs. Eventually everyone (well most everyone) figured out that was not a way to do business. Now, look at the fantastic things that are in some of the chairs and boards. Many designers put new releases right from the walls in there -- lovely things.

Sure, it takes some time to watch and wait (I still don't have my Firefall boots) but you KNOW you will get something great if you are there at the right time. I have always been against lists, partially because for many content creators part of the hunt theme "is" the hunt and spending SOME (yes in caps) time in the store wandering and looking. I have no problem with that at all if when I find the prize object after five minutes or so, I get something "someone" would want. I don't care if I like it personally. We all have our own tastes. Just that it is something people could use.

The last hunt I was in when I had my shop was the Vain hunt. I gave away bangles by the thousands and you couldn't miss my prize; it was ON the poster. I sold those same bangles for $1 after the hunt and sold a couple thousand more and I was STILL selling them for $10 when I closed my shop. So obviously people liked them. It doesn't have to be a full set with great shoes, animations, skin and a romantic fellow thrown in, just something you would be proud to sell in your shop.

So, eventually, I'm guessing that sim and hunts will rise in popularity and there may be a few "big" hunts, but I can't imagine these things that go on forever will less than wonderful stores and products (even though checked by the hunt organizers -- in theory at least) will continue. If enough people give up on them, just like the junkie lucky chairs -- they will disappear from the landscape (or almost :D )

Astrid Kiranov said...

I also agree with everything that's been said here.

Today I saw an upcoming hunt that had over 570 stops. Yeah, you read that right, 570. I couldn't even finish the Bunny Hop because of my limited time in game, there's no way I even want to attempt this one. I have to be picky about what I can do.

Grid Wide hunts are a great/fun idea, but I don't think they should be over more than like 117 stops, like the ghost hunt was. I was actually able to finish that one. And like others have said, I don't mind doing a bit of hunting for whatever it is, because I love doing hunts, but at the same time, I don't want to end up spending 30+ minutes looking for something that's been scaled down to a nanoprim. At that point I get frustrated, and want to move on.

I also don't think there should be more than one Grid Wide hunt at a time, but I doubt there's any way to control that kind of thing. And I do like the idea of approving what is being offered as a prize. But as others have said, what I delete out of my inventory will probably be kept by someone else. It's just the thrill of the hunt for me. Well, that and I do love freebies. :) And yes, I'm one of those people that hunting is just my "thing" in SL.

Verity Goodnight said...

It's difficult. I like the idea of a hunt, but with limited time to be able to participate AND a substandard connection anyway, it's incredibly difficult for me to do large grid-wide hunts. It takes far too much time, and for the most part the prizes are things that I'm not going to use.

Small hunts from stores/sims I know are still on the menu, but for the most part I cheat and only pick up items that get blogged about that I know I want.

Prudence said...

Oi, 570?! FUCK. Sorry kids. =/ I think that's rubbish, and totally pointless. WHY, does there need to be a hunt, with THAT many shops? I mean, OBVIOUSLY you can do a hunt at your own pace, your own method, and given the lists that get created, go to shops you WANT to go to, but that clearly shows my point; it defeats the purpose to introducing people to shops they may not know because 1) either they are turned off by the sheer SIZE of the hunt, or 2) turned off by the idea of how long it will take, and the idea that it with that many stores, chances are nothing was or will be reviewed. Hot damn.

And exactly, to our dismay, there is no way of controlling the number or, or quality of hunts. All we can do is cross our fingers that the people who have no sense of resspectable organization stop trying to put together hunts, that the people who join hunts as creators put more heart into showing us who they are as content creators, and hoping that a lighbulb out there goes on and people realize "Oh hey, we don't NEED to do a hunt just because we can."

Cutey - I think due to the quality of your Bunny Hop, people would do your next hunt. You are a bar-setter, so to speak, in showing people how it's done. You deserve a lot of respect for the effort you put into your hunt, regardless of the people who want to think you were doing something wrong. YOU are a good example, and hopefully, seeing another well-done hunt, people will stop trying to just throw them together. See, this is where I feel bad for you, as an organizer. Chances are, you won't get the respect you deserve, nor will your hunt, or the creators of your hunts, because of all of the rubbish hunts, and grumpy content creators with no real creation skip going about. Set the mold Cutey!

Calleja said...

Well...i had a big, long thought out insightful post, but then had to sign up for a new google account as it seems to have forgotten mine, and even though i copied and pasted, i seem to have lost it.

So...to sum up what has been lost. I agree fully with everything. I am in 2 hunts...my first 2 hunts as i am a small unknown store. One of them is the often mentioned 570 store hunt, and the other is a much smaller themed hunt. I joined the big hunt, before it was so big, with the thought that it was going to be stores like me that really are kinda hidden and not so well known. Imagine my surprise to see most of the stores that have been in so many other hunts, in it as well. Without biting the hand that feeds me..if i had known it was going to be that big, i may have thought twice about joining, as i doubt i will actually go through the hunt fully myself. I will be relying on flickr photos and blogs to find things from it.
The smaller of the hunts, has had a little grief in it from participating stores not liking the idea that the hunt creators would like to see what we are all putting out as a hunt item. As a hunt goer, i don't want crap items, and unfortunetly i have slowly been turning off hunts because that seems to be the majority of what is being given out. I put just as much time and energy into the items i will be giving out in the hunts as i would with anything i would sell. In fact, probably a bit more thought, as i didn't want to just put out what i sell already, and definitely did not want to put out crap i threw together the day before the hunt started. So, to have the hunt organizers, who already have their own things to worry about, let alone the huge task of putting a hunt together, to take even more time out of their busy schedules to make sure the stores will be giving quality items, that truly reflect their store, and the hunt, i think is commendable.
For those of you out there that complain about any of the things an organizer does to try and make a hunt the best it can be...well, ask yourself a few questions. Such as..why am i in this hunt, why do i have such a problem with the organizer wanting it to be the best it can be in a sea of crappy dime a dozen hunts, why do i try and fill all my time doing a bunch of maybe half-assed things when i could limit myself and do a few select high quality things that i would be proud to sell in my shop.
Sure..SL may just be a game to many, and it may be their complete livelihood for others. It doesn't really matter which..cause crap is still going to be crap no matter what.

Cutey Magic said...

Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement, Prudence. :) I have a really big system up my sleeve to introduce with the next hunt, hopefully people will enjoy it, too! :)

To take a screenshot at the whole scenario:
I think they forgot to put up the sign for Gone Fishing, or ran out of space so took it out already. :/

Chic Aeon said...

Calleja -- I so hear you about the rules / theme of a hunt getting changed AFTER people had signed up. I too, was supposed to be in that hunt no one is naming (wink) but serendipity stepped in and I closed my store. Actually I opted out of the hunt BEFORE I closed my store telling the organizers that it had become too big AND too long.

A lot of folks were happy about how large it was, but just as many were not. The fact that it changed from a "new small store hunt" into something gigantic was a shame as I was looking forward to the former and will not be doing the latter.

For those of us that are bloggers, I think it is good to follow what we believe is right for our readers. I can't honestly expect them to wander through all those stores. At the same time, I have already blogged a few fantastic gifts from the 570 hunt. The designers that have put forth that much effort or have nice gifts (even if a recolor of a popular nice item -- that's OK with me) deserve to be noticed.

And Cutey, I thought the gifts in your hunt were great and I missed whatever dra-ma was going on. The only problem I had with the Bunny Hop was that I got stuck SOOOOO many times. I spent my life on that sidebar list trying to get going again. Things were hidden way too hard after the simple beginning. Finally I just called it quits and if I happened to FIND an egg and like the goodies, I blogged it.

So I wish you luck on the next one. Hopefully by then the participants will realize that making folks mad is not the point of the exercise :D