What is the deal lately with fashion groups being so selective with who they let in? Now, I understand spam thing. Who wants to be hit with "Great Mall Only Good Designers $10L For Ripped Skins And Clothes Come Nao!" while just sitting around? It's the reason I don't have an open enrollment group.
However, to get into my silly little group, you just have to shoot me an IM or leave me a comment here. No big deal. It keeps the spam out and it keeps people from getting completely huffy that they got an unsolicited group invite.
But a few days ago I saw a freebie in the MM Skins group. I thought, oh good, I'll join. After all, the Minnu group was one that I'd kept in my group list for a few months before needing to drop a group for the space, but now that I have a few extra slots open, I can be in it again.
No dice. Not only is it closed, but the application process is a bitch. You have to send a notecard to someone saying why you want to be in the group. Well, ok, maybe that's fine. But then this line in the group charter had me rolling on the floor. "Information will be reviewed and you will get an invite if accepted." What? Is there a review board? Is there a background check? Oh please tap me for your group. I'll wear a pickle on my head and dance around a flagpole in my underpants if you'll just let me in.
Not to mention once you're accepted into their prestigious sorority, you sure as hell better not chat in the group. That's an instant out.
Then I noticed that the Rosemar group, a group that I had been in before, now has a joining fee of $250L. Are you kidding?! They say it's due to the value of the freebies that are often given. Umm...what? Shouldn't free gifts just be free? [If you're a Rosemar customer, you can IM the designer to get in the group for free, so I guess that's nice. At least she doesn't have the secret service examine your fashion history to get in.]
I'll be the first to admit that there are some groups that I've joined just to get a gift out of it and then left shortly after. But there are other groups that I joined to get a gift and stuck around in. And because the gifts were good quality, I now shop at their stores. There are also groups that I suggest to newbies so that they can outfit themselves with great stuff and learn early the difference between a low quality freebie junk from a Business In A Box and high quality great items that just happen to be gifts.
Here's the thing, and I think this is the main reason why people have to group cycle a lot. Group LIMITS. 25 groups in a world where there are 25,000 stores is just too little. There are people who have jobs in SL and that usually requires a minimum of 2 group spots that HAVE to be taken up, and if you have more than one job, you're screwed. If you have land or you're renting somewhere, that's another group. If you have your own store, there's another group. Plus your friends invite you into their groups so you can build on their land or have the proper tag at a wedding or something like that.
I think the stores that use the subscribe-o-matics [despite the cost to run those] will end up being more successful sometimes. Click, poof, you're in and you don't have to worry about spam, group chat, or anything that smacks of being social. Designers can send out gifts and updates as they please, and no one has to use up a group slot.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go make an application for people to fill out in triplicate and in Latin before I let them into my group, and find a flagpole for the hazing ritual.