PSA: Be Considerate When Writing Reviews

Time and time again, I happen to stumble upon a review on Marketplace that just feels very unfair to the product and to the creator of the product. Now, this isn’t unique to Marketplace and is a fairly common practice on websites such as YouTube, Amazon, and Yelp, however I feel it is more common on Marketplace. I cannot say if it really is more common or not, but it feels this way.

Many of the products featured on the lowest rating search are in fact reviewed unfairly. Many of these products are absolutely fine but for some reason there is a need for extremes when it comes to rating something. Now why is that I wonder?

Why do we have a five-star-rating system if it seems a like/dislike system would work better for many customers on Second Life? Well, because a like or dislike system doesn’t really express how good a product is. You can dislike something that is good or like something that is bad. With a five-star-system it allows for people to express just how good they feel a product is, but it just doesn’t seem to be used this way. Many people appear to rate things just based on likes or dislikes. This is unfair to the creator who will now have a harder time selling his/her product due to the poor review.

Reviews that feature common-human-error are something I come across on a daily basis. It is perfectly fine to admit that you made a mistake or that you were misinformed about the product. Perhaps you can contact the creator and inform him or her that you made a mistake or that you feel the product isn’t what it advertised to be. Many builders on Second Life are happy to keep customer satisfactory up. However, if you bought a product by accident, and feel entitled to a refund, you may not get anything other than another product from the store or store credit. Scams do happen and unfortunately there is no way to tell if someone is being truthful or not. But please do not take it out on the store unless they deliberately misinformed you about an item.

How the Five-Star-System Should Work:

5 Stars = Excellent

4 Stars = Good but not great

3 Stars = Okay/decent

2 Stars = Bad/below average

1  Star = Horrible/the worst

And I’m sure someone here is thinking “how do I know which rating would be fair for this specific product?” It is simple but many times falls onto personal judgment.

What You Should Consider When Writing a Review:

  • Is the product well made/well textured?
  • Was the item delivered?
  • If you needed customer service, how exactly was it? 
  • Is the advertisement/vendor accurate?
  • Is the product description accurate?

Now for some of these such as product delivery it is best to contact the store owner before writing a review. Sometimes things happen and the creator of the product should not be punished for a mistake. Even perhaps contacting him or her if the product description is a little misleading, maybe English isn’t his/her first language and they needed a little outside help to correct the wording.

If you feel the need to contact a store owner, be patient. Make sure you always read their contact info listed on his or her profile. Some creators respond to IM’s, many only respond to notecards. Also, real life comes first. Some builders cannot be on 24/7. I would suggest waiting about two to three weeks for a store owner to respond. That may seem a little long but people go on vacation. Believe me when I say most store owners would be happy to help you with the product.

How to Write a Review:

Always try to give a review. It is very important to the store if you review their products on Marketplace. It helps sell the product and allow more people to view the product. Store owners really appreciate when you tell them how you feel. And when writing a review, always remember to be descriptive. Do not write “I didn’t like it” and expect the store owner to know why you didn’t like the product. They cannot improve on something without having detailed feedback. Also, please make sure you have the right rating checked and reread your review. It is not uncommon to read a review that does not make any sense even from native English speakers or finding a one star review on an item the customer felt was good.

Now with all this in mind, if you still feel the need to give someone one star, go ahead! As I said earlier it relies heavily on personal judgment. Some products are rip offs, copybotted, scams, or poorly made and they absolutely deserve to be one starred! Do not be afraid to speak your mind when it comes down to it. Just remember to be fair about it.

Now I feel this is important to address too: if a builder starts to harass and blackmail you into changing your review, please report them. Screenshot the logs, copy the logs into a notecard and send them to Linden Labs. Do not allow bullying to happen on Second Life!

I hope this message helps those out there understand how to give good or better feedback on products. It is very important to make sure that everyone has a great experience on Second Life and having accurate helpful reviews on items will make buying and selling a whole lot easier.


How to Use Phototools to Ehance Photos

I feel like the ability to use Phototools on Second Life is almost as important as the ability to change your clothes. It’s just something that every person should understand how to use in order to enhance their experience on Second Life. Many people luckily do know how to use windlight settings but it seems to surpass some. If you do not know how to use windlight, I would be happy to show you exactly how it’s done. And don’t worry. It’s very simple!

For this demonstration I have used Firestorm Viewer. If you use SL Viewer or Singularity, this may not help you.

  • Check your settings under Avatar > Preferences > Graphics or Ctrl+P > Graphics

This is important to do first as your graphic settings have a lot of influence on how good your photos are going to look. It is recommended to use high or ultra settings for photos, however any setting other than low should be fine if you check off the right boxes.

PrefencesWhen you first open preferences in Firestorm Viewer under Graphics, this is what you should see.

Prefences2Make sure you have Atmopsheric shaders and Advanced Lighting Model checked. If you use a mesh avatar, I also recommend checking Avatar Cloth.

Preferences 3Optional: Check Transparent Water. This will only be useful if you’re taking a picture that includes water somewhere in the frame. Transparent water can cause lag.

Preferences 4Make sure to turn Shadows on. Shadows really enhance windlight effects.

Once you make sure that all your graphic settings are correct, you can move onto the next step.

  • Go to Phototools by World > Photo and Video > Phototools or Alt+P



You should see this on your screen. After this, just click the arrows beside WL Sky or use the drop down arrow to find a WL Sky setting that has a nice ring to it. Watch as your screen starts to change and the sim looks completely different just from the change in lighting. You can also use the yellow slider to adjust the position of the sun. Just two steps! That simple!

I hope this helps all Firestorm users learn how to use photos to change their experience!