Saturday, July 31, 2010

FTC - Federal Trade Commission - USA

Since 1995, I have been blogging on the internet. Of course, then we called it journaling a log about our experiences. A digitally written diary of the minutiae of our lives. Ridiculously unimportant and filled with personal anecdotes about nothing. Occasionally, I would mention a cool product that I bought or a place that I went to such as a restaurant or store. And, even then, the journals were just my musings.

building bridge in second life

When the internet exploded with journals, we started calling them blogs. Blah blah blah logs became blogs. The content was still about nothing much, but we could see that someone was reading our little missives and it made a difference in our businesses. Another way to connect with our consumer base.

We started reviewing the things we liked and the things we lived with daily. A restaurant would send a voucher for a dinner or a manufacturer would send a freebie t-shirt. Benign gifts of accolades and thank-you's.

Then, we started getting the big gifts. The stuff that was expensive and made us feel a bit creepy accepting. Sure, we loved their products but it made me feel like a paid agent for their company. So, I made a decision and said, "No more.

bridge building in second life

The decision was made way back in the late1990's. I would have to check my archived files for those first disclosure contracts. Yes, I had my entire team sign them and the legal language was harsh. If you wrote something and you were given a monetary gift, you were fired.

In this virtual world of international interests, the lines blur. People send gifts to each other for all kinds of kindness. I get gifts from avis from my group, and I return them or delete them after letting them know that I can't accept them. On THE A LIST! the lines blur even more. We are a business group and our members give the group gifts. As long as it is a gift that is shared among the entire group, then Xavier and I feel that it is not a gift for blogging.

The problem is that if a gift is given and I wasn't online and it is sitting in my inventory; that fact alone may taint my reputation if ever the logs were reviewed. It is a difficult situation for me. In THE A LIST! we have asked our contributors to disclose gifts, and we have a disclaimer on those blogs. Because both of us are on American soil with FTC -Federal Trade Commission blogging laws over our heads, we want to try our best to adhere to US laws.

bridge building in virtual world

We know how ridiculous laws can be, but this one tries to protect the consumer. I think we know gifts are given to bloggers from Consumer Report. It is obvious that the product manufacturer gave the blogger the product for review. The reason we believe Consumer Reports reviews is that the evaluations can be harsh... very harsh. So, we believe that the products are honestly evaluated and CR has a disclaimer.

I am the blogger on THE A LIST! and I want to make sure that people know that I do not accept gifts from any of the group members unless they have shared that gift with the entire group. So, my blogs do not have a disclaimer. Some of the contributors have a disclaimer on their post because it is a product review and the item was given by the creator.

How the FTC reviews the millions of blogs in the real world or virtual world is interesting in itself. And, the law will fine the blogger and the product creator, too. Ouch! Double slam. So, we try to protect both interests. No gifts period is a good policy. It's best that we stay as squeaky clean as possible. As far as some industries, it's practically a given that those gifts to the avis are for reviews. But, now we disclose that in those specific posts and let you decide.

Friday, July 30, 2010

xavier and raftwet at university of pacific

xavier and raftwet at university of pacific in northern california

xavier and raftwet at university of pacific, originally uploaded by rafeejewell.

the a list! at uop in northern caiifornia

UOP educators in second life

University of Pacific is in the heart of the Great Valley in California. In close proximity to San Francisco and the State Capitol of Sacramento, UOP resides in Stockton.

UOP buildings in second life

A beautiful brick campus, it is a lovely place to hang out and just meditate on the brick walls or near the library.

library at UOP in northern california
In Second Life, UOP is a strong presence. We met Pacific Tigerpaw, the administrator and manager of the sim.

xavier, raftwet in second life

xavier and raftwet at university of pacific
Go check out this virtual university!

Raftwet Jewell in Virtual Metaverse
raftwet jewell in blogger
raftwet jewell in facebook
raftwet jewell in twitter
the a list! in second life

Sunday, July 25, 2010

raftwet jewell of WETLands Group

raftwet jewell is an avatar builder and networker in second life

raftwet jewell of WETLands Group, originally uploaded by rafeejewell.

raftwet jewell builder of WETLands and RiverLand

I built my first sky waterfall on Bisque in 2007. The build has 
morphed many times and I placed the current version on RiverLand.
raftwet jewell on RiverLand

raftwet building in second life
My inspiration was the sky waterfall at SL Botanical Gardens

The builder there has been my most favorite builder here in Second Life. 
Her region is one of the best on the grid.

second life builder raftwet jewell
My version is a bit psy and a nod to the incredible waterfalls that 

I have seen in real life. Only Mother Nature can create what I have 
seen and my pitiful attempts are just to pay homage to her.
Photo by raftwet jewell

raftwet jewell of WET Builders
I own WET Builders, WETLands Group, and both regions 

WETLands and RiverLand. As a builder, my focus 
is nature and water elements. Of course, this is Second Life, so I usually add a bit
of psy to the build, too.
riverland sky waterfall in second life 

riverland sky waterfall
All my lands on the mainland and the regions are open to the public. 

The only place that has barriers is my personal home. You are all 
welcome to everything else. Please enjoy!

Raftwet Jewell in Virtual Metaverse
raftwet jewell in blogger
raftwet jewell in facebook
raftwet jewell in twitter
the a list! in second life