We love our readers and we try to make ourselves available both through the blog and in-world if people have questions or comments to make about the blog. We decided to put together a list of some of the stuff we get asked most often, to help give you guys some insight into why/how we do what we do. =)
1. How do you find your hunts?
My single favorite resource for finding hunts is SL Hunts. I go through their upcoming hunts lists every month and pick the ones that sound interesting to me. I also get hunt information from various hunt groups in SL and sometimes I am contacted directly by a hunt coordinator.
2. Is there some criteria you use in picking hunts?
Absolutely - we don't do kid hunts at all. Its just not something Thanos or I am interested in and we'd rather spend our time on hunts that we enjoy. We do look for hunts that are 100 stores or under (unless its one of the huge hunts, like Twisted, MENstuff, etc.). A smaller hunt is easier for us to manage in terms of turn around time from when we finish the hunt to when it gets posted on the blog.
Along those same lines, we will quit a hunt if we find too many missing stores, bad LMs, misnamed folders, objects instead of folders, etc. - those are all things that make it that much more time intensive to sort out inventory and get from place to place.
Additionally, some hunt groups put out a new hunt every month or so, usually with the same lineup of stores each time. We try not to do the same stuff over and over, so we do skip hunts on occasion simply because we just did them the month before. Its boring for the readers and boring for us to do the same stores over and over every couple of weeks.
3. How long does it take to blog a hunt?
On a good day, we can do between 50-70 stores. When we do tackle a bigger hunt, we try to break it up and post the hunt in chunks of 50 stores. We usually figure a day to hunt, a day to photograph, a day to edit/post per 50 stores.
4. Why don't you take pretty pictures like the fashion blogs?
I love the pretty pictures. I'm pretty sure there are nights Thanos wants to strangle me if I insist on just one more picture of whatever when the photographer bug has bitten me- but when it comes to the blog, we try to keep it simple as possible so the hunters see exactly what they are getting. We don't mix and match the gift clothing, we don't add accessories or items that are not included with the gifts [except we do wear pants if the gift is a top and tops if the gifts are bottoms - we're not exhibitionists, after all! =)] There are other blogs that do that sort of thing, and do it better. With us, its pretty much a what you see is what you get. We try to show the items in smooth, clear lighting, without fancy light effects, backgrounds or other distractions.
5. This is a freebie blog, so why do you sometimes show pay stuff?
Pay hunts are not our favorite, true. This is basically a free hunt blog. However, I do guest blog for other sites from time to time (mostly the Nature's Hunts group and the Cart Wash event at The Wash). When I do posts for them, I do crosspost them here on SL Freebie Hunters if I can. The work is already done for the other sites, so it's just a few clicks of my mouse to post them here as well. With other events, such as Twisted Krissmuss, it is for an event that is dear to my heart, and I offer to blog as a way to help support the event.
6. Why do you do so many goth/alternative type hunts?
It comes down to personal choice, really. We do the hunts that sound appealing to us, which means you poor readers get stuck with whatever catches our eye. Our choices obviously reflect our personal preferences.
7. Do you make money doing the blog?
Not at all. The blog is a labor of love. we don't get paid by any hunt to include them. We don't take lindens from people for this (even though quite a few of you have offered to help out with donations, which is VERY kind of you!). We also do not take blogger copies of hunt gifts - what you see is what we found doing the actual hunt. The exception to that is if it is an event like Cart Wash Sale, Twisted Krissmuss, etc. where it would be cost-prohibitive for us to show as much of the fantastic stuff available as we do.
8. Why don't you have more people working on the blog so you can cover more hunts every month?
The first part of this answer is that I am a control freak when it comes to the blog, and yes, Thanos will back me up on that statement..~L~ I want things done a certain way to make it consistent from hunt to hunt, I want the photos taken in a specific way, I want the information pulled together in a specific way, etc.
The other part of the answer is that for the first 6 months of the blog, we did nothing but eat, sleep, and hunt. We covered a lot more hunts, but we lost out in other ways - relationships got put aside, we rarely had any down time to relax, and by the end of that time, those of us working on the blog could barely stand to be around each other. The blog had become a chore, not a pleasure. I want to have time to breath - which means not having to track another hunt team and making sure they are getting stuff done on schedule, etc.
I hope that what we lack in volume, we make up for in the quality of the posts. =)
9. Why don't you include Slurls to the stores?
We link people to the official blogs and most times you can get the SLurls there or from SL search or from the inworld hunt groups. If we had the Slurls in the hunt posts we make, it would be a nightmare every month trying to keep track of what store has moved, closed, dropped out, etc. and constantly updating the blog for hunts we have finished and posted. That's the job of the individual hunt coordinators. We show gifts.
10. Why don't you show the gifts in the correct hunt order?
It started out simply as a way to make it easier to edit the pictures - grouping similar items together makes it easier to put them into the photo format we use. We show clothing first, skins/accessories, poses, furniture, misc. items and then big builds. It also makes it easier for people to check and see what a hunt has that appeals to their specific tastes so they can better chose which hunts to do.
11. I made a gift for the hunt and I don't see it blogged?
That can be as simple as A) we didn't find it, B) there was a rezzing or texture issue and we felt it better not to show a defective gift before the designer had a chance to fix it (or SL to cooperate), C) you renamed your item so the folder wasn't with the rest of the hunt folders - my inventory is HUGE, and digging around trying to remember what cutsey name you decided to give an item isn't high on my list of fun ways to spend my SL time.
12. I used to be able to leave comments without logging in, and now I cant?
You can't please everyone all the time, and we know that. We don't mind criticism, it helps us identify where we have weak spots so we can keep making the blog better. What we do mind, however, is people hiding behind an anonymous shield to throw insults, whether the insults are aimed at us or at others who have left comments or at specific hunts. The internet is a terrific playground for people to let their inner "mean" come out without anyone knowing who they are. We don't mind the "mean", but if you are brave enough to make derogatory comments, be brave enough to sign your name.
We also don't censor the comments people leave us (even the ones we disagree with!), with very few exceptions. For the most part, the only thing we will delete comments for are comments that are filled with obscene language or allow comments that make threats or are personally derogatory towards us or someone else commenting on the blog. =)
Cheers and Happy Hunting!
Shadowed & Thanos