Fun title? Glad it hooked you… but keep reading! Below you will find a complex story that introduces you to a terrible mistake, the dangers of hearsay and, at last, the explanation of why there is so much drama in the fashion blogosphere.
Well, that or an apologize about one of my typical blunders, with some related musings; it is all a matter of opinion ;-p
But let’s get started:
In my last post I was having some fun, introducing a blog I had found, Banana’s hubbie. One of the things I playfully said was he should had posted why did he choose his strange name:
Anyway, I find Banana’s blog lacking, somehow. After so many posts, he didn’t explain why he calls himself Banana’s Hubby?
Note to myself: If he calls himself Banana’s hubby, maybe there is a wife called Banana… and maybe she has a blog?
Of course there was a wife, Banana Vella, whose blog isn’t lacking at all; so it wasn’t the best moment to short Banana’s hubby into Banana’s, don’t you think? (and yes, I added to the crime thieving this picture from one of her posts).
I can only guess how she felt when, reading a comment about her husband’s blog, found that “her blog was lacking”, without further explanation. Whatever she thought, she did something very nice: she asked for an explanation.
Consider it: how many times in similar circumstances, we think WTF, became angry, and simply keep angry? What if she had published a post about it at her blog, which I didn’t even knew at the moment? How many people would think I am stupid?
Mmmmm, let me rephrase that: how many MORE people would think I am stupid?
By being asked an explanation I was given the opportunity to discover my mistake, fix it, and apologize. If you think that it isn’t a great feat, please, keep reading.
Oh, I also got an excuse to write another post (always welcomed) and discovered a new blog, which, as I said, isn’t lacking at all *smiles*.
Ah, yes. It also gave me the opportunity to wonder if it had been proper to post a picture of my right nipple when posting about somebody’s else husband; but that is another story :-p
The thing is, how many times we get angry at an innocent comment, because it had been badly worded? And bad writing isn’t the only way to slip.
Not too long ago I wrote a post about my new skin from Laqroki. Soon after it, I got a mail telling me that the old Laqroki business (formerly RaC) was guilty of skin theft, and so a no-no between bloggers. I considered that the right place to say that where the post comments, but my interlocutor answered he didn’t want to stir more mud.
That annoyed me, and I started Googling. What I found is that Laqroki used to have a bad name because their first skins where too expensive for their quality (if so, their quality has greatly improved, at least to my taste), and that Laqroki filled a DMCA about skin theft, even if it never prospered.
Maybe both concepts got mixed, giving Laqroki a bad name about a skin theft they didn’t commit? I don’t know, but it sounds probable. I told so to my mail companion, and he said he didn’t really know, because he had been told about it by another blogger. we did talk a bit about the dangers of hearsay, and that was all at the moment.
So, the point isn’t if the accusation was true this time, the matter is how easily a reputation can be damaged, even with the best intentions, like trying to punish a thief.
Now, let’s look at fashion: while standard bloggers (if there is something like a “standard” one) tend to talk about their personal thingies, fashion bloggers have the responsibility to judge people’s items, and transmit their opinion to customers. They need to decide if saying nice things about something they had been given for free is ethical (btw, my opinion is yeah! Gimme, gimme, gimme!), and of course they want to use their weight in the community for important things, like denouncing thieves.
Do we doubt the whole community feels edgy?
I don’t write much about fashion, but I remember when I decided to post about why did I delete a dress from Eshi Otawara.
Before posting it, I was told it was a mistake going against such a sacred figure, and even I wasn’t going to let that stop me. At the end nothing bad happened, the traffic was awesome, and I even got nicely invited by Eshi to her Plurk a bit ago (I wonder, am I the only one who doesn’t have a Plurk account?), but I felt a bid edgy, anyway. Edgy enough to answer an innocent comment from Terry Toland in a pretty rude way, that she was nice enough to forgive.
So yes, I know some blogs could pay more attention to fashion instead of stoking the flame wars, but even without them, fashion blogs are EDGY. In that kind of enviroment any mistake can have huge consequences, and more if the writer doesn’t even notice it, at least until the thing explodes. It isn’t only a matter of writing carefully, or documenting yourself, we need to try to find all that makes us jump in a WTF way, try to find if it may have been a mistake, and try to clear it nicely.
And even then, the whole thing can backfire.
I wrote once about communication, and mentioned a problem that Prokofy Neva’s blog had with the World of SL feed. Prokofy got it wrong, posting a slightly acidic comment, and I answered back, err, with a slightly acidic one:
Prokofy: I discovered long ago your TypePad problems while reading the header of that post at World of SL, and stored the link for future use. I always worry about not expressing myself right in english but: “avoiding hating somebody for things that aren’t their fault, like the way Prokofy seems to hoard World of SL feed”? Did you read the whole phrase before commenting?
Guess: I never got an answer to it :-p
The feeling I got is Prokofy never read my answer, and thus the misunderstanding never got cleared with her, but now I knew about it, which annoyed me, even if it wasn’t enough to justify sending an IM.
We live in a written world where it is too easily to offend and be offended, even against our best wishes, and it isn’t enough to be careful. I wonder, did my mail companion tell the original blogger about the Laqroki matter? Did the original blogger check the facts and, if it was a mistake, was the hearsay chain followed, fixing the mistake?
I doubt it very much, not because I have a personal opinion about them (wait, I have it; both of them are wonderful), but because it isn’t in the nature of the human being to pursuit back that kind of error and, even if they tried, it would soon stop at the next one, or the other. This kind of things never make the first page.
As Terry Pratchett says, a lie goes round the world before the truth has put his boots on; it is sad but we, and I include myself, are made that way. But we can always try :-)
So, I apologize again, Banana; even if I only peeked briefly at it (OMG, hundreds of posts in less than a year!) you have a great blog. And thank you, very much, for telling me about my blunder; I am glad you took the effort :-)