Down at the Follicle Fair

So yesterday, I posted the good stuff I found at Hair Fair 2010.  Today however, I’m coming out with the bad stick.

Welcome to Hair Fair 2010. An exercise in waste, lag, and complete inefficiency.  Now, I’ve been going to Hair Fairs for awhile now. Every year I faithfully fight through the unwashed masses and mind numbing lag to find hair that doesn’t blow. I’m a good consume, I spend my money, I donate to the charity du jour and then I bitch about it later. Because after all, that is what Second Life is for. To give people something to bitch about.

The theme for this year was apparently “How to look like a Trade Show”. As I made my way through the stores I was scared and wanting to sleep badly all at the same time. I wanted to take a nap because every trade show I have ever been too was mind numbingly boring. I was scared because I half expected at every turn of the corner to see some wide eyed kid from 4H screaming “LOOK AT THE ANIMAL I DONE RAISED IS IT NOT SPECIAL?” And then I’d have to awkwardly compliment the livestock while hiding the urge to eat it.  But moving on, was there really a need for baked textures, excess prims, and a host of other shit we did not really need to consume mass quantities of digital weaves?

There is no hair in this picture. But I guess I was going to be forced to rez it anyway since it was in every single tent. What does it have to do with hair? I am not sure. Did it make my shopping process smooth and enjoyable? No. Did I lag walk and get stuck in the lights at least 12 times? You betcha.

Oh hey look. Trees. Because when mudding my way through the lag I often go “Fuck, I totally wish we had some trees right now”

Giant Arc thingy advertising some fashion thing in the future. The builder, who is less than a year old would like 50,000USD and she’ll make you a project. This were also in a lot of places. Also, they had easels everywhere with pictures of hair. Could I buy these hairs? No. But oh why not, let’s rez them anyways.

Often, when I am in a severely popular and laggy place, I decide to sit there in the store and say to myself “Well shit, I will try on all the demos right here”. And while I do it, I will spam gestures, wear all of my clothing, huds, and AO’s and BY GOD I WILL WEAR MY SCRIPTED HEELS. Haha, I am just kidding. I don’t do those things. However the people who do are jackwads and should be beaten with a week old halibut until they promise never to do it again.

Hey Designers, I get that you are all fabulously creative people. And that you want to express that creativeness and individuality whenever you can. But for the love of rubber walrus protectors, stop decorating the flaming bejeesus out of your stalls. Some of you were better at this than others. the one above is good. (except for the lights on the floor). I stood there for 10 minutes going “Hey rez so I can see if you’re a box of something or not” and then I finally realized there was no hair for men so I got emo and crashed.

Some other things of note:

  • I think I bought charity hair. I can’t be sure however as they were never clearly marked like in Fairs past. There was no universal “Hey this is the charity hair” Vendor and I think there really needed to be one
  • 4 Separate Sims. It was worth a try, I will give you that. However, you didn’t take into account one thing. That would be Linden Lab and their continued ability to fuck something so simple up as a teleport. It did not prevent lag as lag was more severe this year. But you get props for trying something new. Sadly it just didn’t work out.
  • The whole secret admirer thing wasn’t cool. People like transparency. It makes them comfy and it lets them know exactly who they are doing business with.

Now, before you go thinking I’m being all negative without offering solutions you’re wrong. Hair Fair 2011 people, you paying attention? Good.

These should be your stalls for next year. 3 Prims, one boring color. Make the sim one whole color too with no decorations. Allow designers to put their logo, one LM giver, and then their hair and nothing else. Watch how much lag drops. Also, you’ll be able to fit more stores onto each sim. Maybe eventually reduce the number of required sims for the fair.

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About Dancien

Dancien (or God-Emperor Fabulous as he is known in his native tongue) is just here to point and laugh and tell you when you’re fucking wrong (which is a lot by the way). He is also waiting for the mothership to come back and pick him up. He enjoys long walks on the beach, critiquing pornography, kicking cute woodland creatures in the balls and most of all, making you cry.


  1. willow llewellyn says:

    hi Dancien, I wholeheartedly agree with your article. I always wondered why they have to decorate up fairs. We’re not there to see how nice everything looks, were there to look at the hair, clothing, jewelry, shoes etc. I like the one colour, 3 prim thing

    I would love to see someting like if you tp in and you’re wearing over a fixed amount of prims, say 100, you’re booted from the sim I don’t go to these things to look at what people are wearing, i want to see the stuff I’m there to buy. ;b 😉

    thanks for listening.

  2. Dragonia DeCuir says:

    I’m not a person to usually to comment unless I feel very strongly about a article. I agree, lag was awful but it always seems to be that way. I have a HUGE pet peeve about people that show up primified. I strip down to basics, tee, shorts, my 10 prim flats and the lowest prim hair. I turn down my graphics and draw distance. Detach anything that is not necessary.

    I was like WTF with the “backstage” area in the hair booths. What were they thinking? The whole point of hair fair is to *sell your merchandise*. You can’t do that if your crashing, or waiting for a area that never rezs fully.

    My point to be made is “keep it simple” with avatars and fairs.

  3. Sofia Gray says:

    I’m commenting before I even finish reading because I find one of your first gripes to be so amusing that I can’t really contain myself:

    The actual “theme” of Hair Fair (as is explicitly stated by the large sign that you later complain about rezzing) is Fashion Week. The tents are set up to simulate the famous tents of Bryant Park that go up every year during Fashion Week (which starts tomorrow, albiet at Lincoln Center this year) – and though the message is perhaps lost on people who do not live in New York or who have never attending/watched Fashion Week on TV – it certainly should be apparent to the masses of so-called “Fashionistas” in Second Life. This also explains the trees and “outdoor” atmosphere.

    Also, as far as lagging to find yourself “stuck” in the decor – I imagine that might be quite difficult since the builds are all phantom (with the exception of a few of the vendors).

    Getting to the end of your post, I also find myself amused by this: “The whole secret admirer thing wasn’t cool. People like transparency. It makes them comfy and it lets them know exactly who they are doing business with.”

    … Anyone who is attending the Fair this year and can’t make a fairly clear determination as to who is sponsoring the Fair this year is clearly not paying close enough attention to care in the first place. (Please Refer To: “large sign”)

    I agree with you that lag is an issue. Let’s face it – to those of us who have attended Hair Fair in the past lag should come as no surprise. Every year the fair is different and every year it presents something new. This year the sponsors wanted to try something new by making the sims a little more aesthetically pleasing than perhaps in years past. Did it work out? Maybe not – but I think more credit is deserved than is being given in this instance.

    • Ahh too address your points:

      1: I am not a fashionista. Never claimed to be. As such, I do realize what it was supposed to be modeled after and my point still remains. There should have been no theme.
      2: Stuck in Decor? The lights were not phantom when I went. I was stuck in the light rigging
      3: I was actually speaking from a content creator standpoint. I really don’t care where or who I buy stuff from. But if I were to get into the content creation business again I would like to know which store/company/conglomerate I am dealing with before dropping any prims or L$
      4: I did give credit to them. To be honest, I thought it was nicely built just completely unnecessary. I also liked the Candyland theme from last year and still have the same complaint about that as well.
      5: Demos. This seems to be the default response to any complaint about hair fair or any fair in general. Look, the reason why I go to these fairs and try to enjoy them is so that I may meander about and discover content creators I have not seen before.

  4. The trees and alpha grass are making me so mad. Absolutely zero reason for it and it baffles me that they claim to take steps to reduce lag every year but they let their builder include 80 billion unnecessary prims.

  5. valentina kendal says:

    Thank you for putting up that third pic that shows no hair. As I sat there waiting for the vendors to be able to dispense a demo or the photos to rez, I got more and more annoyed wondering why we needed all those prims, sculpty prims and textures in the tents to just sell hair??? I’m sure there were more prims in faux spotlights than in hair vendors. Let’s hope they listen to your suggestions for next year.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with this!!!!

    While I appreciate the efforts of the designers of Hair Fair to have a theme, and make it look pretty…. the one message I’d love to get across to them, is that WE DON’T CARE!!!
    Given the choice of a bland, undecorated sim that is easy to navigate around in and less laggy, or a themed place with so many unnecessary prims; we’ll take the BLAND option please!!!!

    One other BIG issue I had with hair fair this year, is that the theme made creators really hard to find. You couldn’t see into the displays while walking along; you had to go through those stupid tent flaps to see anything. And pity the poor creators who got stuck at the back of the tents…. who knew they were there? I am sure a LOT of vendors got missed by people because they wandered through a tent, came across that ridiculous empty area in the middle of the tent, inhabited only by useless decorations like spotlights and fans, and then thought, oh, there’s nothing else here, and turned back.
    Thats not even mentioning the small extra row of tents that I noticed stuck around the back along the edge of the sim.
    This particular layout, means that possible sales for your charity are lost.

    In past years, Hair Fair, and other fairs, have had their good and bad points.
    eg the Lolly themed one… again, some extra primmage and texturing that weren’t needed, but it had a CLEAR path of travel. Every store was on it; so no store was tucked away out of sight.
    Thats something I really liked.
    Remembering back further, one desert/pyramid themed one… you could see the open stalls of the designers. Again, open and clear visibility.

    Maybe instead of considering it from the point of view of a theme, you should consider it from the point of view of practicality.

  7. Nyx Divine says:

    I was mainly annoyed by the trees, trying to fly up a bit and find what I was looking for was difficult when the tall trees would block the store signs.

    The tents did also bother me, as Xen said “You couldn’t see into the displays while walking along” I was happy to discover that they were phantom however.

    As for folks dressed to the hilt for an event like this, there is just nothing you or I can do about it. I go w/out hair or shoes or other prims, that’s all we can.

  8. ThomasD Felisimo says:

    But you can have decoration – if you only use some common sense! I’ve participated in a number of this type of event; none caused half the misery of Hair Fair. All had stringent requirements for vendor decoration: no sculpts, no textures bigger than 512, no scripted items other than the charity vendors (it looked to me like some vendors at Hair Fair were using networked vendors?!?) – this year’s Jewelry Fair has even banned flexis. In contrast, Hair Fair seems to go out of its way to create lag. The Candyland theme last year was a sculpted nightmare…and Dancien is absolutely right – this year was worse, and the tents were hard to navigate. Compare to how gorgeously decorated RFL Clothing Fair was this year, with much less laggy suffering. The Hair Fair planners have to know that half of SL shows up at the event – they have got to start thinking anti-lag design. After all, it is supposed to be fun…

  9. I actually didn’t lag too bad at all. Maybe it’s my connection or that I’m running a high end pc but I really had an easier time getting everything I wanted on 4 alts in 30 mins than last year, which took days.

  10. In these pics, Hair Fair doesn’t look that bad, really. But then I did not go there. But the shoe fair lagged too. I guess all these events have lag, but I would really like to see some decoration than none. And I did like the Bryant Park theme shown in the pics. If the stalls would be 3 prims in white, that would be just boring, would it now. Maybe more sims, more sponsors can reduce lag.

  11. The layout was like a maze, colour code them roadways, or at least mark them with stupid street names. I want to know where I am, where I have been and where I need to go. It was a good idea to split up the sims, child agents from neighbouring sims can add to lag greatly. Also build in the sky! We can fly for a reason – I’m not in real life, might as well make the most of building up there to maximise rez times in different areas.

  12. I absolutely agree with the points made here, but I will say, there were a few things that made getting around easier, for me.
    The fact that the tents themselves were phantom was great, because it meant less actual navigating around, I really found that helpful. The other thing that was good was that there were poseballs, on which I could hop from here to there. From the poseballs in the centre of each tent, I could cam around, see what I liked, and then fly through the roof to a place where I could see another poseball. Of course, this wasn’t flawless, because half of the damn vendor textures wouldn’t rez (especially on sim 2).

    This would have been okay, since I had been all organized and spent the previous couple of days religiously going through all the demos sent out to the Demo group, and picked just what I wanted to buy in advance, so in theory, all I had to do was find the right stall, and hovertip over the pictures until I found the right thing. Except for the fact that when I got there, I saw that at least a quarter of the vendors there, maybe more, had not sent out demos to the group.
    This wasn’t just frustrating to me because I was being all orderful and good, it was also annoying because through the demo group, I’d discovered a lot of places I’d never heard of before who were good, so I felt obliged to try and wait for all pictures to rez, on places I didn’t know, on the offchance that they were a hidden gem. Of course, some of the pictures never rezzed anyway, so it was all academic.

  13. Finally, someone comes out and says it.. What is with the tents? They look good sure but after the first day of unsucessful camming I used the slurls and just walked through all the conveniently phantom tents. I didn`t deviate from my pre-determined path so lost exposure for some sure. Shoe fair omg I love the wandering end where you start formula for shoe fair. I really missed that here. Phantoms were good, but they are only as good as what`s on the other side.. and a lot of times there was nothing!?

  14. I always look forward to hair fair, and I do appreciate all the effort that goes into creating such a massive event. But the way the fair was laid out this year made me give up before I even made it through two sims. I was never sure of where I was, and I know I was missing vendors. I like when fairs are designed so there’s one specific path we all follow, one that leads you through all the sims then back to where you started. Then you know you’ve hit all the vendors. I thought shoe fair this year did that really well — it was super easy to navigate.

    Hair Fair this year reminds me of the Armidi final sale, with all of the corridors (some with nothing in them), the impossible navigation, etc. After a while, I gave up on that too, and I’m rarely one to give up on shopping!

  15. I just could not get around to shop, it took too much effort to get into the tents. Window shopping would even have been better, then the closed up tents merchandise was set up in. I ended up just giving up in disappointment. and who was the Secret Admirer? This year’s Hair Fair was a big let down for me.

  16. I haven’t been yet only cause I’m waiting til the last week to miss most of the crowds but from the pics, I like the style. With all the buildings and textures of the basic tents being the same, once they’re rezzed, they don’t effect much. No matter where you go, if there are a bunch of people around covered in prims, textures, alphas and huds & scripts aren’t locked down, there is going to be lag and slow rez times. It’s just something we have to deal with. I can imagine the layout would get confusing though, as I heard there aren’t any distinct paths. The funny thing I wanted to comment on is that some designers were very rude & actually pulled OUT of Wear Gray because of the simple plain box & limited texture build…so you can’t please everyone. No matter what they do, someone will complain. I’ve found that to be true of every event I participate in. I’m hoping this week is easier to get around LOL I’ve been so patient.

  17. I thought the tents were not very well planned, even tho they were phantom there could be ppl standing in front of them that you would hit because you can’t see and they were kinda small and hard to move around with all the prims and narrow passages. The unnecessary useless back area with nothing but primmy junk was also a waste. However what I did to make sure I saw everything i wanted to, was go to the very bottom of the blog and click on each slurl for each vendor and follow the beacon to their store. So i clicked on about all the slurls on the blog and pretty much saw every vendor at least all the ones listed on the blog in one day. The rezzing of ads was a problem tho, but the stores I was really interested in sent preview pictures in their update groups ahead of time. And in regards to the demo group – they shoulda had ONE box for all the creator’s demos, because there was a lottttttttttt of notices/attachments to view/save. Also not all the vendors even bothered to provide a demo. My suggestions for next year would be to not have a fair per say but maybe have a special website set up like xstreetsl with all the hair there for people to buy and for those who wouldn’t wanna sign up to use the website could buy the special hairs in special vendors located at entrance of each participating store.

  18. Girl in Second Life says:

    THANK YOU for saying all of this!! I said just the same thing and in fact I even did a you tube video about it. Did anyone listen, not really, all the people who went, well 99 percent, said the same thing. But all we get from the organizers is “we’re all creative and stuff.” Well yeah if you want to be an ad for your builder keep doing these lageriffic builds. If you want to show your sense then make a fair someone can actually use. They need to make up their mind which.

  19. I thought the layout and tents at Hair Fair this year are both a giant fail. It is impossible to tell where you’ve been or where you need to go when each tent looks the same and you can’t see into the next one, besides the confusing interior layout of the tents themselves. I found myself wandering in circles, hopelessly lost even with the maps they provided, and after wandering around into the same tent like four times, I just left. Even if the theme was paying homage to Fashion Week, it is never a good idea to put art above function, that’s just bad design.