Strawberry has another challenge out about our Groups - and this may not be fashionable to say, but I've actually put a certain amount of thought into them. Ages ago I did a whole post on groups and what I thought of them in general, which I'll link to instead of repeating myself, and my thoughts in general in groups is unchanged. In the specific, I've had more experiences with transitory groups and group fees, and the vagaries of creator releases, so I'm less inclined to pay to get into a group, more inclined to leave when annoyed, and in general more grumpy about groups and how they are used, but that's largely a function of experiences over time rather than my opinions actually changing. I would also add groups I stay in for sentimental reasons to the list, now, though. I have a few which qualify, which wasn't the case when I wrote that post.
- Have you reached the 42 group limit?Absolutely. It took me an astonishingly brief amount of time to hit the limit, and I knew it would at the time.
- Do you do a lot of group hopping to keep up with all the groups you want to stay a part of? I group hope for free releases, but as my inventory has swelled I've become more and more selective. My alts tend to hop into a lot of groups - I once did a mass-add when I discovered a group with a group-only lucky board was temporarily free. Since my alts are primarily for decorative and lucky chair / board turning purposes, the groups they're in are necessarily few.
- What makes you want to join a group? Groups began as a social vehicle for me, and have only slowly changed from that. I would join store blogs to chat in them, and I still have a couple very active groups for that purpose primarily. I also joined store groups that released regular freebies, or offered bonuses - one of my favorite offers 50% off new purchases to group members and group-exclusive colors, for example. Then I got into roleplaying, which tends to be very group-heavy (often annoyingly so - to join a sim there's usually a minimum of two groups, and I've seen ones where there are six or seven if you get really involved). And finally, most recently, I've been involved in several bloggers groups and groups for events. I'm increasingly disliking the pressure to join groups to participate or as a visible sign of allegiance, though; I actually left a blogger's group because the creator wanted me to be in both that group and her main group, and it was the final straw.
- A lot of store VIP groups have a group fee which you have to pay to join. How do you feel about paying group fees? I really dislike group fees. I understand creators wanting to limit membership and reward only "loyal customers", as defined by "pays me linden to be in their group", but I can't count the number of times I've paid to join a group and the creator has gone on hiatus for six months, or a year, or as near as I can tell forever, without a word to the group. I think the inclusion of a group fee sets up the benefits from that group as less a gift and more a purchase - and my expectations are different between gifts and purchases. I think a lot of creators feel pressured to offer free things, though, thinking it's their only option for getting notice, and yet since they feel pressured they are also inclined to resent their customers. The whole dynamic seems really disordered to me, and increasingly I'm refusing to even look at groups that charge unless there is a significant secondary gain that will keep me from feeling resentful.
- Name a few groups that you are a part of that you feel everyone should look into joining and share your reasons behind that. It's hard to give recommendations because I have a very set style and my groups reflect that, and I have very set hobbies and my groups also reflect that... but I'll list a few of my favorites that still deliver (despite my love for them, none of my sentimental groups will show up here).
**Thrifty Goth: Free to join, and is a way for people to share freebies and specials with a Gothic edge to them.
**Virtual Impressions Retail: Free to join, and you get discounts on the newest releases plus single color versions of other jewelry. Tends to be high quality, and what I like best is that I can go, look, maybe buy.
**Mock Cosmetics: My big exception... its 250L to join, which is a lot, but the chat is incredibly fun and usually playful (with the occasional, inevitable drama), Mock gives out tons of presents in these sort of cascades of awesome, and I actually managed to sneak in before the group fee went up. You don't have that luck, but if you love cosmetics, and chatting, and being silly, and you'd like a girls-only changing room, than this could be the group for you.
**SL Blogger Support: This is mainly for bloggers, but you can ask about obscure items for a picture, or some piece of clothing you saw but can't find, and often people will help.
( Click on pictures for credits. )