Maybe twice a month or so, I receive a notecard inviting me to an event. Normally I raise my eyebrow, because they're events completely unrelated to any of my activities, so I wonder what made them think that I would be a fit. Anyway, I make sure of reading everything (who knows?), and of course, I also check the profile of the person that sends me the notecard.
Profiles tell you a lot about people. Often you can safely decide that whatever you've read, "I'm this/that" is unlikely to be true (People often show an amazing blindness when it comes to evaluate themselves.) I don't mind at all when I find some personal tabs in merchants' profiles. It's like when you see your coworkers' photographs on their desks: husband, wife, kids and any other people they feel proud of having in their lives. (We could of course get cynical about this. I will not, this time.)
However, when I read a merchant's profile, I'm a little more critical with what I read. I ask myself "would I want to contact this person, if I have a problem?", when it comes to purchasing, and "would I want to be associated with this store/event?" in the case of being invited to events.
I'm not too picky when it comes to my being a customer. When I read a long list of "do not IM me, do not this, please notecards only, etc.", I'm reading their frustration, a frustration I can empathize with. I don't see it, as others do, like they're raising a wall not to talk to me, I don't see that they're pushing me away. I'm only reading they've had a lot of trouble in the past with not too nice customers, and are begging you to please understand they can't be there 24x7 exclusively for you, 5 seconds top right after you IMd them. Use the contact way they've told you to use, like you would do with any RL company. I understand that a long "no" list can throw other people away, and I'm trying to write and rewrite my own profile for that reason, but personally, I choose not to discard a merchant just because they have a long list of "no's". I know they may have very valid reasons for them. (Plus, people sure do try. If you list the ways to contact you and don't use any "no" list, to sound positive and kind, then they contact you in all the ways you have not listed. Ah, you never said not to contact you in all those unlisted ways!)
But, I do pay attention to how the profile is written, whether this is for the things they don't want you to do, or for the things they expect you to do. And I pay attention to any other side note. Yes, I read the second life tab, the first life tab, and all of your picks. I may read even more, if you have it available, like SL feed, blog and whatever else you add in there. I'm that curious.
We finally reach to what I actually wanted to talk about. I've received a notecard inviting me to an event, followed of an IM. I confess, lack of punctuation puts me off. I expect good writing skills from an event organizer. Call me elitist if you will, but I prefer to talk about business with people I can actually understand. Still, I read the notecard. No mention to "no resellers, no BIAB (Business in a box)", no mention to "no copyright infringements". I check the website, nothing about that either. Alarms ring. Well, that would be the very least to mention about an event. Of course where and how it's going to be advertised, etc., but a commitment in all items being legit should be among the first priorities, if not the first one.
Then I finally go back to reading their profile. What do I find? Among other personal stuff, a couple of quite interesting picks. In one of them, this merchant shows... no, brags, about how a badass they are when replying to people that have complained by calling them spammers. I click on the link... pathetic. I don't even remember who the person complaining was, all I know at this point is that I don't want to do business with this event organizer.
The thing goes on. Another pick is about their blog. They mix the personal part of SL with the business part of SL all in the same place, threatening with publishing conversations there if you "piss them off" and going all "nyah nyah, this is an external place to SL, you cannot throw the TOS at me."
I know that if I publish a conversation here, I am not breaking LL's TOS. But still... Really? You're not even going to do the work of at least not telling who the people involved, are? Well, I sure don't want to have trouble with you, and how do I avoid that? Yes, you got it: not being involved with you, nor your event. I wish you the best of luck. This is just not my style. At all.
Whenever I feel I want to write one of these rants, I feel divided. On one side, I want to talk about it, but on the other side, I can't avoid thinking "Why are you writing this? Do you think you are any better than the situation you are picturing here?" I haven't published many, many posts, because of that thought. So I will add, I know that my profile isn't perfect either. I know I make mistakes too. Feel free to point them out. I'm just talking about something that put me off, but if you want to be like this case I've described, go ahead, be yourself. I will likely not work with you, but that is fine, because likely, you wouldn't want me to work with you either.
PS: After reading older entries from this merchant's blog, I found an item using copyrighted material. Well. I'm not the copyright police, so I will only say, that alone is enough for me to silently reject the invite. Thanks but... No, thanks.