News of the Day, April 25

Greetings, Chroniclers and Heralds of the Fairelands!

Here will be all the important info you’ll need to blog Fantasy Faire well and thoroughly. 

THE NEWS OF THE DAY! Updated April 25, 2021

Straight booth SLURLs to the Faire Stores can be found here: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/store-list-2021/ — make good use of them in your credits!

Blogger Room is open!

1) Teleport to our Blogger Room. Landmark either from Backstage group notices or from the notecard Blogger Info Station sent you.

2) Click a box with a vendor ad on it.
Do not buy any of the zero linden boxes, those are for merchants to be able to give you review copies in the first place.

3) Receive the review copy.

4) Rinse and repeat.

5) Onwards to blogging the review copies!

After you have made a post/picture, remember to REPORT it! The report form is in the notecard, and pinned in the #bloggers channel in Discord. 

The above is the only obligatory reporting thing you need to do, although I’m sure the merchants would appreciate straight contact and links, and feel absolutely free to post them in the #blogposts channels in both Faire Discord servers, too.

Speaking of, if you’re not yet in the Faire Discord servers and want to join (it’s not obligatory), check out the above mentioned notecard, or IM Sonya Marmurek straight.

Now go forth ‘n bloggerize! (it’s a word now)

***The text below will stay the same throughout the Faire. Please read through it now, and then later on you can just read the changing updates above this line, and only check things below if needed.***

Nutshell Info:
The event dates are April 22nd – May 9th, 2021.
The official blog: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/
The flickr group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/fantasyfairesl/
The Press Release with poster & banner: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/press-release-2021/

GROUP
You need to be in * * Fantasy Faire Backstage* * group. If you aren’t yet in and you’re accepted, there’s an invite coming your way at the same time as the acceptance IM. If you didn’t get it, please IM Sonya Marmurek for another. Invites are super broken lately, so it might be possible we need to be both online at the same time for the joining to succeed. Don’t panic, we’ll get there eventually!

BLOGGER MAIL AKA NOTECARD DELIVERY
I’m sure most of you are familiar with this: I send notecards to Faire bloggers with a sort of mail subscribo kind of system. That way my rambles don’t spam the Backstage notices and drown out stuff like Quest Prizes Setup or whatnot other important merchant info. If you have auto-accept on, it’s possible that the notecard just appears in your inventory and you never notice, or — as all things in SL do at some point — it glitches and fails. This is why this year I’m going to experiment with additional communication system, aka Discord.

DISCORD
Fantasy Faire is now available also on Discord. This year will be sort of hopeful testing to see how many of you use it, and how well it might work as a communication channel. I will still send my notecards with the blogger mail, but Discord seems to be more of a rule than exception with events these days, so I figured I’d see if that is true or not. The public Fantasy Faire Fans channel for chatterage is at https://discord.gg/cxN5NEzBe5 — but there is also a Backstage one. Since that is not a public channel, the invite to that can be found in the notecard you received when you were accepted.

EARLY ACCESS
There will be an early access for bloggers on April 21st, a day before the Faire opens. More information about this through group notices or my blogger mailing system, which will send you a notecard.

EARLIER THAN EARLY ACCESS
Every year there are some bloggers who try to get into the Fairelands before they’re allowed to. The only reason this is possible is because we have always wanted to let the bloggers stay with the merchant group for easy communication and the shared experience of being Fairelanders together. If I keep catching people who think that the rules do not apply to them, I might have to separate bloggers into their own group to enforce the rule that has been based on everyone’s honor and word until now. So please, please be patient and do not even try to get into the Fairelands until you are allowed to. The Fairelands are not ready to be visited or photographed until the official early access, and any extra people going around is distracting the world builders and organizers. In addition, it would be incredibly unfair toward the people who do follow the rules.

NO SPOILERS!
Please remember that you should not post any pictures taken in/of the Fairelands until the Faire is open. This means the pictures you will take in the regions themselves during the early access. The Fairelands are a huge secret until opening, and there should not be any leaked spoilers. Review copy posts are perfectly fine, as long as those early ones are not taken in the Fairelands.

REVIEW COPIES
The merchants are not obligated to give out review copies, but they can if they wish. The review copies will be set in a blogger room, just like last year. After so many years of testing various scripted systems, we have finally decided that SL will always find ways to make things glitch, and it’s best to go as simple as possible.

IF YOU CHOSE JUST THE EARLY ACCESS
In the application there was an option to state that you want just an early access, no review copies, and you’d buy what you want from the Faire. If you picked this option, you indeed do not have access to the review copies and therefore of course there’s no obligation to use any of them. However, that means that I expect blog posts about the Faire instead, and more than just your own looks taken within the Fairelands. Since you got early access without any product-usage ties, you should make posts about the event itself. Whether it’s a guided picture tour through the Fairelands, a Literary Festival report, a quest walkthrough, a story of taking part in a roleplay within the Fairelands, even a late night party report from one of the DJed parties, or maybe a bit of journalism about Lindens in a cage… that part is up to you. But do your best to blog about the Faire, the Fairelands, and the events within.

IF YOU CHOSE REVIEW COPIES, PART ONE
In the application you could state that your computer cannot handle the Fairelands enough to do high quality photographing there, or that your personal blogging style is focused on making looks. If you picked that option, you have access to the review copies, and I am expecting you will make good use of them. I do not want to see modern looks where you have used nail polish that is sold at the Faire masquerading as a Faire blog post. Make actual fantasy looks where majority of the look is from the Faire review copies. Use furniture and landscaping offered as review copies to make a setting in your home studio to take pictures in. Remember to report the posts you make so the merchants can see they’ve been blogged. I am also warmly recommending taking region pictures in the early access if you can take good quality pictures then, at least. Then you can sneak in those in a post with a fantasy look, set it as your character’s home land or some such. If you like to visit events, or for example go to the dance parties, it would be a brilliant combination to make a fantasy party look with some review copies, take high quality pictures of that, go party and have fun, and write about that party when you post the look. There’s plenty of ways to combine the Fairelands and the events to your blogging even if your computer cannot handle the Fairelands at high settings once it’s open.

IF YOU CHOSE REVIEW COPIES, PART TWO
If you chose the ‘Both!’ option in the application, you will have access to the review copies and I’m expecting fantasy characters adventuring in the Fairelands as the resulting pictures. All the ideas and suggestions described in the two paragraphs above work for you too, of course. Since you get review copies, I’m expecting you make good use of them and to report your posts so the merchants can see they were blogged (link updated later). Since your computer and blogging style works with Fairelands photography, I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of your characters in the Fairelands. Feel absolutely free to do event blogging as well, Fantasy Faire is an event with events, after all.

BOOTH SLURLS
Just like the previous years, our shopping guide has straight booth slurls to all the stores in the Faire. [Updated later]

EVENT POSTER & IMAGES
The official event poster and banner are available on the Press Release page. Feel free to use the images in your blog posts, but please keep the image ratio intact. However, please note that you are not allowed to upload them to Flickr as is, because that implies that you created the image, which of course isn’t true. Flickr is not a blogging platform, it is an image-sharing platform, so its inherent rules are different. If you want to celebrate the Faire coming soon with a Flickr picture, rather take a picture of yourself with the in-world poster or the Faire Emblem and upload that. The in-world promotional materials can be found in the group notices of Fantasy Faire Backstage.

FLICKR GROUP
Fantasy Faire flickr group is only for Faire-related pictures: not for general fantasy-pictures. Pictures taken in or of the Fairelands (the regions) are always welcome. Pictures that have just some items from the current Faire are welcome only when it’s still relevant, aka before or during that particular Faire. If you like to add your pictures to zillion groups and think you might make accidental mistakes, feel free to leave the group for most of the year, and join back in when it’s Faire Season!

Faire’s flickr group is NOT opted out for most of the year to discourage spamming, but for the duration of the Faire I will set it opted out, so it won’t count toward the group limits. Most of the year it absolutely will. The group will be set opted out about a week before the Faire, and will remain so for Faire’s duration and about a week more.

BLOGGING THE FAIRE

How do I blog the Faire?
With love and inspiration! Whether you make fantasy looks out of review copies and visit the Fairelands to take pictures there or you want to focus on the lands themselves and the events, not the avatars and items, it all works out! If you are not sure how to approach Faire blogging, the blogger challenges are an excellent start!

What if my computer can’t handle the Fairelands with good graphics?
I hope you took a lot of landscape pictures during the early access, you could use them as character-building inspiration and a tie-in later. That way you can use a studio-look and a landscape picture in one post, bringing that touch of the Fairelands into the post. (But by the Bard Queen, don’t morph the two together as a picture unless you reaally know what you’re doing.) If your computer can handle it, I always always prefer character pictures taken in the Fairelands, but I know it’s not always possible, so that’s a good compromise. Another option would be to visit the Faireland events in low graphics, have a good time, maybe join a roleplay session, see a dance performance, become inspired and then make a character look with review copies in your studio based on that. Cover the bridge by writing about the events and the Fairelands, even if you weren’t able to take pictures. I always favor, approve and encourage writing.

You said something about challenges?
Yes: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/blogger-challenges/

The challenges are not obligatory, they are my way to show different ways to blog the Faire. If you are not familiar with blogging more than review copy items, they are the ideal and easy-guided way to blog the Faire. Most of them can be done anew every year, too!

What about those events? 
Fantasy Faire has Literary Festival, roleplay groups active in the Fairelands, DJed parties, dance, music and particle performances, tabletop gaming, jail & bails and of course the immersive HUD-based Quest. Take your pick based on your interests and go have fun, and see if you can turn the fun into a post, too!

Do I have to blog about Relay For Life?
It’s not obligatory. If you don’t have any personal ties to the charity, and want to focus on the review copies or fantasy exploration or any other facet of the Faire, you absolutely can. However, if you do want to blog about RFL, please do so.

How many times do I have to blog the Faire? How many review copy items do I have to showcase?
Up to you. I do naturally expect that you blog the Faire, and that you blog it to the best of your abilities. That’s what you signed up to do, after all. I am hoping you will blog the Faire several times, but how often and in which way is up to you. What I really really hope is that you’ll visit the Fairelands, become inspired, have fun in there, and blog with that spirit and enjoyment.

What about blogging furniture and landscaping?
Furniture and landscaping blogging can naturally be done wherever you normally do that, for example your own studio. No need to set up a living room in the Fairelands, in fact, please don’t. The world builders might toss the whole set back at you and aim at your head. You can rez props in the Fairelands for pictures, but please pick them up immediately after.

Review copy usage (aka just-a-detail doesn’t count)
Please use common sense with blogging. Surely it’s easy to realize that a blog post or a picture where you use eyes or nails or a tiny earring that is being sold at the Faire while the rest of the picture or post has absolutely nothing to do with the Faire does not really count. You do not have to use review copies that you do not like, but if you don’t like anything, then I’m expecting pictures and blog posts from the Fairelands, or the events within, or Relay For Life to balance that.

PS. If you need to withdraw from blogging the event, please let me know. RL happens, it’s alright. Also if you have any blogging related questions, I’m the person to contact either in-world, or by email: sonya.marmurek@gmail.com.

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