Notice of Editorial Policy Change – Waterbank News

We have have been informed, by our dear corporate sponsors and generous Editor in Chief, that Waterbank News will no longer advertise or promote products that have not been certified by the WBA as original content. This change will not affect the news, however, nor by any means discontinue the practice of exchanging brown sacks of Lindens in public parks.

This may affect some companies, such as CLS Aviation (link), which have yet to reach out to the WBA. The WBA has said in a recent release that they know about the backlog of certifications and are working on a streamlining process.

  1. I think you’re making a mistake in getting involved in a process that’s really up to LL to deal with especially since you haven’t been transparent about the methods used. Are they objective? Do claims from various individuals not involved with a given product have any impact on the outcome? If a maker doesn’t document every step of their creation process or chooses not to share such with you (what protections are in place to insure said information is secure) do they have any way to be certified? I think if you’re going to set yourselves up as an authority in this area, you’d better be able to answer those questions. Otherwise your certification pretty much carries as much weight as a diploma one can purchase online. Nada.

    • Thank you Crim for a thoughtful and helpful observation. It’s true that the certification process lacks real teeth and oversight that it should to be an effective tool against content fraud. Off the record, it was never intended to replace LL’s process, but rather encourage builders and makers that did make an effort to be original. For the most part we have abstained from pointing at questionable makers yet want to shine a light on makers that are doing great work, and emphasize that we believe (as far as a blog can) that the works are original. I will think more about what you said going forward, and thank you for your comment and reading 🙂

      • I wanted to expand on this a bit. I’ve always found the Waterbank News entertaining and occasionally informative. I enjoy reading it. There are a few more reasons I think delving into this area may be a mistake. The first is sort of a tenant of journalism. You report the news, you don’t create the news or become the news. To be fair there are created stories intended to entertain here, but when you post something like a product announcement, it’s real news and you’ve always been factual in reporting those. I’ve never considered that there was a bias in what you’ve reported on and occasionally you were the first source I heard about something new.

        It could become very distracting to do these certifications. I know of a few creators of quality items that got distracted by the issue of the source of the models to the point they stopped having fun and ended up leaving SL. Their own creations were very well done and sold (and still sell) well. It was the politics that caused them to leave. I’d hate to see this blow up and get to the point you’d not want to continue this blog.

        Where do you plan to draw the line? Are the ‘fun’ stories going to be affected. It will be very hard to cover anything to do with the modern airports without seeing some aircraft you likely deem questionable. How about the actual structures and other decor? Is that tree in the planter legit? Based on some of what I’ve seen on some other sites, there’s a good chance the answer is no. At least if you’re expecting the one who sells them to have permission from the original model maker. Many models have been sold and resold so many times at this point, it would be hard to even trace where they originally came from. How about brand names, model names, and logos? Not so long ago Lockheed came in and got upset because some aircraft were named using the same model names as the real ones. We aren’t talking modern aircraft either. How many power boats are out there with Mercury engines and Furuno radar logos? I’m darn sure those using them didn’t get written permission (and it would have to be written for commercial use) from those companies? How about all those RL airline liveries we see all over? Makers of items you’ve already certified include those as defaults as part of their products in some cases.

        Lastly, what is your goal in doing these certifications in the first place? What is there to gain for Waterbank News? Certainly getting to put a gold star sticker awarded by an entity most haven’t even heard of isn’t going to affect anyone’s buying decision with the creators who get certified. If it’s to try to boost readership, there are certainly better ways. that don’t have such a huge potential to turn away a large number of people. Up until this certification thing, had you asked and provided a graphic, I’d have happily put up posters with your link at my various rental areas around the grid. I’d have encouraged others to as well. Now? I can’t really do so in good conscience. I sure hope those you certify will give you just as much support inworld. I sure haven’t seen any evidence of it so far though.

  2. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I’m prepared to release our entire staff to have you join the paper, lol. Good questions and good points.

    It’s true I hadn’t considered the stress it may give already burdened makers. The goal, aside from another complication in an already convoluted fictitious narrative, was to give a vote of confidence to makers who felt that all too often their efforts to create original products were met with unfair an/or unethical competition. It is really little more than a “I support you” and some free press.

    Waterbank News has always had a bit of a bias and limit of range (after all, how much can you really see of an entire world?), but does continue to report products, locations, events, and even some politics as best as possible. It has always been my hope that the blog encouraged others in SL, and I appreciate your comments.

    With your thoughts in mind, I agree that some changes could be made, so… check the headlines soon 😉

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