In a time in the not too distant past (the beginning of the Internet) I read a book called "Gorilla Marketing for the Internet" and in this book I learned many clever ways to promote my real life business in the "Brave New World" of cyberspace. Tricks like "how to promote a business on a forum without getting ejected" and so on. The book was and is very valuable and still has techniques that work today even though the net has changed immensely. However all the marketing books I read all said the same thing.... "Use tact."
One of the things I have noticed in secondlife is group IMs (instant messages) starting where someone asks a question like "Where can I find clothing for BosomMesh" or some other question requiring a specific answer. But then suddenly as if on cue someone will answer the question with great gusto on a particular name brand. For the sake of discussion we'll create a fictitious name brand and call it "UbberJuggs".
So it will go a little something like this:
Jane: Hey does anyone know where I can find nice clothing for BosomMesh?
Marie Hijack: oh you want UbberJuggs. They have everything and they are the best ever. You can't go wrong with UbberJuggs. They have clothes and skins and butt implants and pregnant bellies and everything.
Susan Sincere: there are other places too like (insert other name brands here) you can check out. What sort of style are you looking for?
Marie HiJack: You want a skin from UbberJuggs. It doesn't matter what clothes you buy you need a good skin and shape has nothing to do with it either. Buy a skin from UbberJuggs they are the BEST EVER!
Jane: ummmm ok umm well I want something formal I can wear to an event with formal dancing. Does anyone know a good place?
Marie HiJack: UBBERJUGGS!! they are so awesome. They have everything. all sorts of sexy dresses and the BEST skins and pregnant bellies!
Jane: do they make formal dresses?
Marie HiJack: They have the sexiest slutty outfits and don't be fooled by the rest UbberJuggs is the best! Their butt plugs and prego bellies are awesome.
Susan Sincere: Jane I'll send you some LMs of places I have shopped at. hope it helps.
Jane: Thank you susan
Marie HiJack: UBBERJUGGS!!!!
Now even though this was completely made up it's not too far off the mark from what me and other content creators and customers see in various groups on a day to day basis. These "loyal" and way over zealous supporters are often the alt or best friend of the store they are shouting about. Yeah.... we know who you are... yes we do ;)
So this is what I have to say to you "Gorilla Marketers" in secondlife. Learn some TACT! Learn to actually LISTEN to the person asking the question and help them by giving them CHOICES instead of railroading them into the store you clearly work for or own. Yeah I said it!
But in the end quality and good customer support wins out over shady advertising practices and group IM hijacking.