Fashion Consolidated has now been in existence for over two years, and from inception its aim has been to bring news and views of new releases of fashion and av-related creations to the attention of the in-world public – in-world. As it has grown from a handful to over 2000 designers and to 11,000 members to date, this has of course caused problems of scale, many of which I’ve managed with designer kiosks and the like, but one of which has required continuous large-scale effort: moderation of content that designers post to the group. FashCon’s original ethos hasn’t changed one bit, and the rules about what may be posted have never been modified in any significant way since January 2007. These rules were devised after consultation about what people wanted in a group like this. What’s proved difficult is ensuring these rules are followed, and members very often express unhappiness to me that content posted doesn’t follow policy, and that group notices become increasingly hard to read, as the off-topic or incidental notices cloud out the real gold – illustrated new release notices.
The purpose of this post is to indicate that FashCon policy will now be enforced in a clearly defined manner, and designers need to be made very aware of these changes, as failure to follow policy will result in suspension followed by removal from the group if not followed.
FashCon’s posting rules (which haven’t changed) are described in the FAQ and summarised in various languages here. More detail explanation of each rule, why and how can be found on the new rules page. The rules are:
Rule No.1: no more than 1 notice/week
Rule No 2: only new releases
Rule No.3: only fashion and av-related items
Rule No.4: always send pictures
Under the new policy which has come into effect today, any post that a designer sends that does not follow these rules will result in one cautionary notecard, explaining this policy again, and explaining why the warning has been sent. A second offence will result in suspension for 2 weeks – and the designer concerned should contact Ivy Norsk, the FashCon content moderator, to indicate that they acknowledge this, so that staff know that they have taken notice. These rare suspensions should be taken as an extreme warning, as a third offence will result in removal from the group. Refunds for kiosks purchased will not be made, as this would encourage people to spam without cost (repeatedly with alts), which would hurt the group. Application of these three stages are at the discretion of Honey Fairweather as owner of the group. Declined notecards will not be resent.
Rule break 1: warning and explanatory notecard to designer
Rule break 2: two week suspension
Rule break 3: removal of the designer from the group
See below the cut for whys and hows.
I am aware that enforcing these new standards is likely to result in some negative reaction, as we already have some from sending out warnings to try to control content. But the fact is that ad-hoc measures to deal with each infringement is very time-consuming and visibly has small effect on the frequent over-posting, landmark-only and off-content notices that members of FashCon often see and are unhappy about, and the only other means I have is this. So, in spite of the likely negative reaction I may receive from some about this, I’m determined to pursue it as it’s for the good of the group, and therefore for all designers, who join the group to display and offer quality designs to a happy and eager public – a public for whom FashCon must provide as they expect. If FashCon is a readable, content-rich environment, members will keep reading notices, and designers will sell more. Please remember also that every designer is instructed clearly before purchase time, in-world, on XStreetSL, on the website and in the instructions they receive to read the group rules, and not join unless they are happy to play ball. In this context, this new policy is not harsh but merely necessary.
I’m also aware that myself and my team will occasionally make mistakes – once in a blue moon, we’ll send out a notecard in error, or misidentify. Please understand that we are dealing with 100 notices a day, most of which are only visible in the archive for 2-3 days, and require constant vigilance. If you think you have received a warning in error, or genuinely don’t understand, please do not get mad – just send a courteous notecard to Ivy Norsk you’ll receive a courteous reply, and an apology where it’s clear we slipped up. Pointing out our errors is fine, and not being mad at FashCon because of it is appreciated. What I don’t have time to do is to enter into protracted debate about the rules – 2 years experience has taught me what’s required, and of course others are very welcome to start other groups if they feel a different approach would work better – diversity is what SL is about.
For the majority of designers, who are very aware of the rules, and stick to them, I hope that the new enforcement of this policy will be seen as a good thing – to ensure that their own well-crafted and interesting notices are not swamped by ill-thought-out hasty notices from people who care less to follow rules and produce content-rich notices. My thanks as ever to all those designers who are careful about this, and keep FashCon the vibrant community that 11,000 and growing wish to belong to. If you are in this category, you should in no way feel inhibited to keep posting just as you are – only that your notices may be noticed a little bit more easily now.
For those designers who may have sent notices in the past that have contravened policy, such as not including pictures of your releases, I do have some sympathy that you may have just been following suit – but please go back now and check the FAQ, where you are reminded that the rules for FashCon haven’t changed, and you should follow the rules, not what others post. The above policy will be applied, and your membership is at risk if you don’t persistently don’t follow rules.
To those few designers who chose not to read the rules upon joining, think they’re stupid, or who don’t wish to take the time to follow them, note that you will be removed from FashCon via the process above if you continue at stage 3, which is not open to appeal. It’s my responsibility to preserve FashCon as a vibrant, rich fashion community in Second Life that brings new, talented, hard-working designers to the notice of people, and I’ll do that even if you think I’m a meanie.
If application of this policy results in fewer notices being sent, that’s ok – we have plenty(!) and fewer, higher-quality notices might be interpreted as good news for members and sellers. My belief has always been that any designer who cares enough to remember the very simple four rules above when posting will also take care to design, make and present their creations well, and if that’s the case, FashCon and SL in general needs you.
Final reminder about FashCon contacts. I (Honey Fairweather) am the group owner (and meanie), but your first contact in almost all circumstances are my two members of staff:
Ivy Norsk: content moderator, for questions on notice content, spam reporting, correspondence following the process above
PK Emmons: kiosk manager, for questions on joining FashCon as a designer, how to configure and use kiosks etc.
Please note that if you really do need to contact me directly, only do so via notecards – I don’t respond to IMs concerning FashCon as I am swamped, and I work on notecards during my office hours 7am-3pm SLT only. Expect a response within 2-4 days if you send a notecard. Sheer weight of numbers won’t allow me to respond at length on this new policy, but my thanks to those who welcome it. And thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this, and thank you on behalf of FashCon for continuing to magic up sparkling magical creations for us all too drool over.
Fashion Consolidated Owner