(Preamble : This is an unusual post here. It’s a post to express my opinion about the monopoly of Seraphim reigning with despotism over the events market. For about 1 year now, I am retaining my thought on this topic in order to protect the event im managing with my friend PinkRayne. But yesterday, Seraphim owner has been way too much far and i can no longer remain silent. So with Pinkrayne’s permission to use her notecards i chose to publish this post today, no matter what will happen. I choose my freedom of speech ! Beware this is a long post)
Yeah, I never followed crowds or trends, and as I love solitude I really don’t mind being alone. I don’t mind being the black dot in the middle of white paint.
I don’t mind because for me, my integrity is much more important than any herd instinct or fear of not being loved or liked by other people.
Maybe I can seem asocial, but I can tell you I’m not.
|InspirationSL decor (march round-Shania Twain theme)
For about one year now, the event my friend PinkRayne and I own (InspirationSL) suffers from a refusal of coverage from the Seraphim website.
Reason? A vague explanation was given in Autumn 2015, explaining that our event was not receiving enough clicks of interest on the Seraphim website. We were offered no evidence, guidelines, specific feedback, or expectation/requirements for coverage.
We were told we could reapply after a period of 3 months, but each time the answer was no, accompanied by the usual dismissive, vague information.
So you’d assume not enough clicks on the Seraphim page leads to no coverage then?
Wrong. The moment awylder1 (aka delicate flower) stopped our coverage for this reason, Seraphim was still covering 2 events I used to be part of: ‘Sneak Peek’ and ‘Apply Me’. As it happens, both of those events had been closed 5 months earlier, yet ads were still appearing on the Seraphim website. There is no mistake about this, the event’s owner had left SL, and therefore it’s hugely unlikely that a vast amount of people were still clicking their page. On top, I was part of those events from day 1, never missing a round, therefore I can testify the traffic wasn’t high. Certainly not high enough for Seraphim to be receiving tons of clicks on the website page.
The moment I got notification that our coverage was ceasing, I tried my best to contact awylder1, to ask (I even begged) for her to reconsider. In response, I found a cold, rude person. Delicate flower (awylder1), is certainly only delicate by name. She is neither delicate or tactful when it come to customer liaison in my experience.
At this time, I was not the owner of the event, but CEO, and after the following round full ownership was transferred. I decided to share this ownership with my friend PinkRayne.
PinkRayne was to be Seraphim’s new contact person for matters regarding InspirationSL, and she applied for coverage twice. The answer was still no everytime we were reapplied. No feedback, no nothing. Nada.
Nonetheless, we decided to pay for sticky ads on their website each round and paid an average of 5000L per round for this service (actually it is : June 2016 : 5000 l$, September 2016 : 6500 l$, December 2016 : 6 800 l$) .
While taking our money for advertising was fine for Seraphim, covering us was still a big no.
Seraphim always ensured the posts we paid for were at the top of their blog posts list, but covering us always seemed to be a huge problem for them.
|InspirationSL decor- Sept 16 roundBjork theme
We were ok with that. Everyone knows that Seraphim is a big source of info for shoppers, and not being covered by them means a death sentence to any event unless their owners have enough energy and stubbornness.
As well as less traffic, not being covered by Seraphim also means most famous designers will never join your event because they’re not willing to the risk of losing time and money.
Luckily for us, PinkRayne and I have tons of energy, and are stubborn as hell!
So there we were, paying for sticky ads, sending group notices, posting to social media, and enjoying the fabulous work of a very talented blogger team!
Then, Delicate Flower started a new inworld magazine and well… she needed money for it….
Just like she already showed us her lack of skill for diplomacy and communication, she now displayed her greediness and her ability to forgo any form of integrity when it comes to making money. She “personally reached our” to PinkRayne with the following notecard, even including a little heart!
I am proud to announce the introduction of a new Second Life magazine dedicated solely to event culture, Spotlight.
Current in-world publications are mostly focused on fashion, exploration or a specific design genre such as home and garden or avatar jewelry and accessories. Spotlight is not about products or self-expression. It is about culture. With the help of our experienced, professional team of photographers and writers, Spotlight endeavors to bring the cultural experiences of event coordinators, designers, bloggers and shoppers together in one place.
We are currently preparing our inaugural issue in November. Each issue will feature a 360-degree perspective of a featured, popular event. We are also providing insight into a selected charity event per issue, canvassing professional teams to lend perspectives about event culture, and working with those behind the latest trends in Second Life. Management teams, bloggers, content creators and shoppers are all part of the event experience, each with a valuable voice we wish to capture for Spotlight readers.
We have marketing and public relations plans that include promotion through our various social media outlets, on our website, and through Seraphim, Eclipse Magazine, and other promotional services. Within Second Life, we are distributing kiosks that will make the issue available for two months. We have also identified several groups in which we can distribute the magazine, approximating the total reach of Spotlight to be over 10,000 avatars!
We are inviting you to become a promotional partner of Spotlight Magazine with our inaugural release. Be among the first to support what is sure to be a dynamic, sought-after Second Life periodical at a reduced rate. We are offering our November 2016 advertisers an introductory discount of 30% off our regular pricing!
In addition to standard promotion, creators may also purchase a designer feature that includes a 1,000-word article about the brand, variable numbers of pictures per package, and variable advertising included. This unique opportunity for exposure and promotion is unmatched by other Second Life periodicals.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact myself or Trouble Dethly at any time.
The cheapest package was 3500L, the most expensive 10,500L.
Of course, PinkRayne and I discussed the NC and responded:
Thanks so much for your NC, the new mag sounds fab… I don’t think there’s anything like this on the market and we’re keen to be involved! Trinity and I have worked with Trouble for many years on various ventures and we’ve always loved his organisation and people management, so this collaboration sounds great 🙂
Our event InspirationSL has been declined three times in succession for website coverage, so I’m just wondering why the change of heart? I am super happy to be offered this package, just keen to understand the decision and demographic of Seraphim for future.
Many thanks for thinking of us and look forward to working with you on this project
|Sticky ad we paid for our june round in Seraphim. No, this is not a “coverage” like a lot of other events have from Seraphim. This is an ad we paid for. In june we paid 5000 l$ in total for having some ads like this some days along the 3 weeks of our round.
This is a brand new venture that has no bearing or effect on Seraphim or the decisions made there. Other than me being an owner of both Spotlight Magazine and Seraphim, there is no partnership between the two and one does not effect the other in any way. So this is not a change of heart as much as it is just a new opportunity.
We look forward to working with you at Spotlight Magazine!
Well maybe she thinks we are dumb and we don’t know the difference between a magazine and a website? Thank you, Rude Flower, but we know it’s not the same company, yet the fact remains you are undoubtedly the owner of both. You make decisions as to who will be featured, regardless of which media we are discussing. What we are asking is this: Why are we not honourable enough for being covered by your website, yet a “personal” choice for your magazine?
The answer is simple: MONEY! Bingo!
When money is at stake, then you’re not ashamed to have your name associated with ours! Such miracles! No money? Nada… InspirationSL is not famous enough for that! Sorry, goodbye, next!
Not ones to be easily deterred, we pressed onwards:
Thanks for your reply, sorry it’s taken me a while but it’s been a busy week 🙂
After thinking things through, I have to say, I’m a little taken aback by your offer now I understand it fully. Since I joined Inspiration as co-owner, we’ve applied twice to be covered by Seraphim. We were turned down on both occasions, without any form of explanation, and now I receive this offer.
From a paying customer’s point of view, I have to tell you it does feel like Seraphim only values our custom/event when it comes to paying fees, and it’s not a very pleasant feeling. All customer’s like to feel valued, regardless of how popular their event is perceived by others, and of course I’m very aware InspirationSL is not Collabor88.
I also totally appreciate your decision not to cover us, that’s absolutely your prerogative, and I’m sure you can’t cover every single event that applies for coverage.
I do think however, that maybe more thought and care could go into aspects of your customer service. It would be nice to know what InspirationSL is lacking, or what we could do in future to be considered for Seraphim coverage. It feels like you have the time to write to us to offer paid services, but no time for important customer liaison/feedback. Most serious event managers thrive on feedback and work with it, and I’m sure people would also feel more valued as customers.
I don’t intend this message to come across as a rant, but wanted to let you know how things appear from my point of view. To be targeted for paid ads, by someone who doesn’t believe in our event, feels really insincere and a little bit cheeky, to put it bluntly.
I hope you understand that I needed to explain my feelings as a Seraphim customer, I use your services a lot, but just feel there is something lacking with regards to customer service.
Thanks for reading,
And at this moment, Pink caught her inworld:
(Note to readers: Outside SL i’m entitled to share any private conversation. TOS applies only within SL. Sharing a private conversation is not something I would usually do, but here I find it necessary for highlighting the rude nature of this person. I am not going to justify myself further on that, the flower has not problem being rude with her customers, i have no problem for publishing the conversation with her then.)
[12:53] PinkRayne: Del are you online?
[12:54] PinkRayne: Ah I caught you
[12:54] PinkRayne: So is Spotlight magazine not a Seraphim product?
[12:55] PinkRayne: I thought Sera was the umbrella company, with products offered below this?
[12:55] PinkRayne: With regards to how I feel, you’re the owner of both, no? So it would seem I addressed the right person
[12:56] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): No Spotlight is completely unaffiliated with Seraphim, and Seraphim is compeltely unaffiliated with Spotlight. They are 100% separate in every regard.
[12:56] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): with the exception that I am involved in both businesses
[12:56] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): Just like Eclipse Magazine and Spotlight Magazine are completely unaffiliated
[12:57] PinkRayne: Ah ok, I didn’t realise that
[12:57] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): Yes that is what I tried to explain to you.
[12:57] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): It is why we do not mention Eclipse or Seraphim other than as part of our bios. They do not impact Spotlight.
[12:58] PinkRayne: But I suppose my comment is still the same, you think Inspiration may be good for the magazine, but not Sera, and this is what I’m not understanding… I suppose I’m asking for clarification as to what the benchmarking is for both, maybe that is a better question
[12:58] PinkRayne: D you understand my comments and where I am coming from?
[12:59] PinkRayne: Is spotlight for newer less knowwn events, and Seraphim for established?
[12:59] PinkRayne: known*
[13:00] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): Listen, we’re offering you an opportunity to advertise in a magazine. If you don’t want it, then fine. If you do, then great. We are not covering anything as spotlight or deeming anything acceptable or unacceptable. We are simply offering promotion. If you want to hold grudges about one decision from a completely separate business, that is 100% up to you and something I will respect. But it is just an opportunity for your to advertise. That is all.
[13:00] PinkRayne: what’s with the attutude Del? I’m asking a simple questions…
[13:00] PinkRayne: what’s wrong about that?
[13:00] PinkRayne: Trying to understand your markers
[13:00] PinkRayne: markets*
[13:01] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): Spotlight is presenting information about event culture, not events themselves. If you would like paid promotional advertising, please feel free to fill in the forms and we will accommodate that.
[13:01] PinkRayne: And I don’t hold grudges at all, I am just trying to understand#
[13:02] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): I have explained the same thing time and time again in both notecards and now in this conversation. It is simply an advertising opportunity. One decision does not impact the other, as they are separate businesses.
[13:02] PinkRayne: So event culture, you mean for example, who shops there etc
[13:02] PinkRayne: Well
[13:02] PinkRayne: If you have explained 3 times, maybe you’re not making yourself clear?
[13:02] PinkRayne: Or not answering my questions?
[13:02] PinkRayne: But I can see I’m not going to get some of the answers I was looking for.
[13:04] PinkRayne: Have a great evening! lol
[2016/10/04 13:17] Delicate T. Flower (awylder1): Sorry I got swallowed up by RL…Trouble is going to come on to discuss the differences with you since my parents are trying to send me to the loonybin
[2016/10/04 13:17] PinkRayne: No probs Del x”
The day after Pink and I (suddenly I was existing!) received this NC:
“Pink and Trinity,
Through our conversation yesterday regarding advertising and promotional opportunity for Spotlight Magazine, you expressed severe dissatisfaction with the promotional efforts we have provided InspirationSL through the Seraphim website. When offering you a promotional opportunity and explaining time and again that the Spotlight Magazine business is a completely separate venture from Seraphim, you chose to disregard our desire to offer additional opportunities to increase your exposure and instead decided to attack me personally and the hard work of the Seraphim team.
After discussing the situation with the Seraphim management team, we have come to the decision that our promotion of InspirationSL will cease. While I certainly appreciate and respect your opinions about Seraphim practices, we are spending our effort promoting an event that does not appreciate the hard work, dedication and time spent to increase event exposure. We are relinquishing your commitment to Seraphim promotion so that you may choose to advertise and promote InspirationSL through promotional machines that you find are better suited to your needs.
We are aware that you have paid advertising through January 7, 2017. We will honor the promotions that we have scheduled and you have paid for through this time. Following the final scheduled promotion, we will cease coverage completely of InspirationSL. We will instead focus our attention on one of several events that has been waiting patiently and is grateful for whatever promotion we are able to provide. If you wish for us to remove InspirationSL from our website and further promotion, please let me or my partner, Heidi Halberstadt, know immediately and we will honor your request. I will remind you, however, that Seraphim adheres to a strict no-refund policy.
We wish you the best of luck with InspirationSL and with all future endeavors.
Delicate Flower (awylder1)
cc: Heidi Halberstadt, co-owner”
What the hell IS this : “we are spending our effort promoting an event” !??
I am really curious… What effort? WE PAID FOR EVERY SINGLE AD SHOWN ON THIS WEBSITE. Where is the effort when you manage a website that sells ad spots?! The least you can do is to post them, no?
Her sentence here remains a mystery for me… claiming an effort when all you did is honor the service you have been paid for. Because we dared to insist, we dared to disagree and not say amen to this girl, now we are also banned from any advertising that we would pay for on her website.
|Our “coverage” from Seraphim in september : Sticky ads we have paid for. We provided the Slurl, the poster, they just added the 3 lines (which are about same for every event they dont cover). Notice this time we are under category “Special coverage” which means nothing as there is no coverage and we have been the only event in that page till some days ago.
Well, that’s fine for us! We are not going to kneel before this person or allow her to speak like crap to us after paying her thousands of Ls:
So here is our answer!
I couldn’t care less whether you will work with us anymore… the decision is entirely mutual.
I would, however, like to see the evidence of me attacking you as a person or attacking the hard work of the Seraphim team. The only criticism I gave was of YOUR customer service because you made me feel like you’re only interested in money – you contact me to ask me to pay for ads, yet have zero time to give feedback with regards to Seraphim coverage, and again zero time to answer any questions I had. Maybe had I offered you 1000L per answer, things would have been different.
As for me personally attacking you or your team, no… that never happened. You’re either delusional or a compulsive liar – I’ve not decided which yet, so I’ll let you choose.
My conclusion to this whole, ridiculous saga, is that you’re defensive because you’ve been told you have poor customer service skills before, and my genuine questions seem to have removed scabs from old wounds! You couldn’t answer any questions, therefore you go on the defensive, speaking to people like shit and attacking in any way you can – that’s how people backed into a corner generally behave. Typical defensive/aggressive behaviour.
Your manner and tone was appalling, you have zero communication skills and you are rude, abrupt and abrasive. Now I have attacked you personally, just to be clear.
When you work with customers, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen and all that jazz!
With regards to not appreciating your ‘hard work, dedication, and promotional work’… I have paid for every single service I have received, I got what I paid for, no more, and no less. I must ask you though Del, how hard is it to post an pic on a blog? I really can’t take this comment seriously, I’m having visions of you laying down with a damp towel against your head after you press ‘post’ each time we paid for an ad. My tiniest violin in the world plays for you! Get with the real world girl, fantasy land has really taken it’s toll on you!
With regards to the Seraphim team overall – I think they do a fantastic job advertising and promoting events. It has also been an absolute pleasure working with Heidi on the sticky ads. She’s helpful, professional and timely, so thank you Heidi for your support and service over the last few months. I’d work with you and your team again any day, and I truly mean that.
First rule of business Del, never shit on your customers, it’ll come back to bite you one day, mark my words.
Good luck with the future of Seraphim, I hope you continue to build many more strong, positive business relations.
OH, and you mustn’t forget to sign up to ‘how to handle criticism as an adult’ course in the New Year!
PinkRayne & Trinity Yazimoto”
And I can tell you I feel much better now. It will maybe kill our event, it will maybe cause us to be trolled, I dont mind. I feel free to say what I think.
In order to protect the event from an idiot revenge of this kind, I had to shut up for long months. Now I can finally say what i think.
Seraphim rule for now over the event shopping inworld, but it wont last forever. One day another website will do better, or situations will change.
Anyway Withered Flower, you may ignore my event, you may ignore my friend or myself. We showed integrity, frankness and honesty while you showed only lies, hypocrisy and greediness.
I ‘ll have no problem at all for looking at myself in the mirror tomorrow, I doubt you can say same.
And do not forget… karma is a bitch… just like you.