Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Quality is subjective. And pigs can fly.

Look quick, it's the inevitable plug for Vent du Sud and of course is the most amazing patio set with colour change and lots of poses and, well, you get the drift. However, this is a rant about quality. Be warned.

You may read this rant before rushing to purchase the set, or vice-versa (joke. Almost). You may even criticise it, but you can actually sit on it - see rant below.

Sooooo... (pause to take deep, deep breath). This morning, I saw a statement on a blog - that shall be unnamed - which stated 'quality is totally subjective'.

No it is NOT. Really. It isn't. And it's my pet soapbox.

To start with, quality is usually shorthand for 'good quality'. If you see something called a 'quality item', one presumes it doesn't mean 'will fall apart and/or cause damage to your person'.

In SL, if you open a box that says 'stunningly gorgeous, detailed, high-quality gown' and get something that is basically a few badly-textured, non-mod, non-copy prims, then you've got dodgy quality. You might like the style, the colour, but if it doesn't fit / work then there are quality issues. Simple as that. So what if it's free or cheap so it 'doesn't matter'. It's a lack of respect for your consumer at best, and downright dishonest at worst.

Good (or acceptable) quality means, y'know, medicines that aren't counterfeits that can kill you. It means cars / computers / condoms that don't fall apart at the wrong time. It means instructions for something that are clear and readable. It means food that doesn't come with free salmonella. It means that a sit pose permits you to sit rather than forces you to do a triple backflip. Just examples offhand.

You may like certain aspects of something and get frustrated when others criticise them, but that has nothing - absolutely nothing - to do with the basic criteria of 'do they perform the purpose for which they were intended', i.e. is their quality at least satisfactory.

Sure, it's great to encourage 'new designers'. A pat on the back never hurt anybody and maybe that idea, that colour is great. But have the sense, dammit, not to get spluttery and hurt if you (or your very bestest friend)are putting something out for grabs that is shoddy and people dare to say so.

Either wait until you (or the friend) master the skills to create something that at least fulfils that 'basic purpose', or expect those who acquire that item to react as consumers do: by remaining silent but never coming back, by hurling abuse (not pleasant, but human nature), or by offering constructive criticism. Yes, it can hurt if that criticism is public, but you've put your product out for the public, so live with that.

OK, stepping down from the soapbox now. Really.


Ari Blackthorne™ said...



This column should me absolutely *required* reading for any and all who ~dare~ charge anything more than L$10 for anything.


Just call me Ari said...

Hahaha. Another Ari. My SL name is Ariadne but the French lot all insist on shortening it to 'Aria'. I feel I should burst into song.

You know, I was kicked out of a writing community / forum for expressing such bold ideas, i.e. that there are 'non-negotiables'about quality in many things.

Plot, characterisation, style can all be argued about. Not mastering the gentle art of punctuation is a different kettle of fish.

Oh dear, somebody take my soapbox away NOW.