First, let me share this.
Former staff member: 'dA in trouble, won't last'Before everyone panics about the "death" of DeviantART, let's keep our heads and review what was actually said in this short and sweet journal by former DeviantART staff member, dxd:
From this, we can gather that the CEO sacked 60% of the paid staff recently, seemingly without making anyone at the top level make any financial sacrifices themselves, sacrifices which may have saved some of those jobs. The author was surprised that in spite of DeviantART's alleged financial woes and mismanagement, they made it through this past Christmas. And I don't think I have to tell you that we're being fed updates we have no use for, a point the author reiterates in his journal.
He wrote another journal to quell some of the resulting hysteria and elaborate on his initial thoughts.
In short, the first journal was primarily to warn his friends still on the $taff that they're more valuable than DeviantART, the com
The question that's been coming up a lot, especially on journals posted by staff, is if DA is going to be around.
And there's the recent feedback that's been given concerning the messages for adblock users from DA "Please whitelist us!"
Now, I know DA couldn't care less about its users or art (see Reality #1) from this
. The "we want this site to be for art and artist" motive got ditched probably years ago. Now, I'm going to stumble onto a couple of points here, forgive me if my approach seems jumbled or garbled. I think there's a couple of things at work that make people get all "Oh no! DA is dying!"
First, I think there's a perception issue
in play. I signed up for DA because the site advertised itself as being for the artist. When a person signs up, they sign up because DA advertises as being for the artist. So, people who have been members for extended periods of time were here when DA was for the artist. And new folks are still told DA is for the artist. Now, at one time, DA used to be for the artist. It was a site that asked you to donate to defray server costs. Then they developed a paid membership platform - again for the same reason. The core reason for DA to exist, was for the artist. Now, at some point, I really don't know when, the motive turned around from being "for art and artist" to "for money." So, when the site you sign up for says, "Hey, we're for the artist!" then turns around and begs for money, well, that's going to cause some concern and confusion. So let me settle the perception issue. DA isn't about art. DA isn't about the artist. DA doesn't foxtrotting care about art or artists anymore. What DA does care about, is how to rake in revenue.
Second, there is an attitude issue
in play, which isn't helping the perception issue. DA staff will do what they will to rake in revenue. This means that they will redesign the site to make it more appealing to investors, more geared to people coming in from other forms of social media, and more similar to other forms of social media. All this is being done at the expense of art and the artist. A perfect example of this is what happened with Daily Deviations. When the Daily Deviation was designed, it was designed to be a feature, that would highlight some artwork on the site. The entire point was to be a site-wide feature
, easily and readily accessible and visible at a glance. "Hey, look at this great art!" It maintained high visibility, even when the position of the DD's was set to be at the footer of the page. With the latest redesign, the footer was removed and the DDs became invisible. For a couple of days, I thought the DD feature had been discontinued, until I found it hidden away on the left side as one of the categories of art you can browse.
The DD thing is only one example. Status updates, removing warnings that people are visiting an outside site, and so on, are done without consideration for the end user, and usually puts the end user at risk. And when anyone says something, they're brushed off or told that they need to stop whining. Will DA go back to what it was?
Will they stop changing things and ignoring users?
And one more thing about ads, before I move on. A lot of non-core folks with adblocks have been getting flags saying "please don't block our ads"
You know what? I happily browsed the Internet without an ad-block program. Until DA. DA ads would slow my browser, redirect my screen to another page - sometimes to malicious software, and overall were so obnoxious that I had to do something. It was either stop visiting DA, or stop the ads. Well, I know core membership doesn't give me a voice, so I'm not going to waste money (especially when I don't have any to spare), so for the first time in 20+ years of browsing the Internet, I installed an ad-blocker on my browser. DA should be proud of itself. If it weren't for the malicious sites and software presented by DA ads, then I wouldn't have installed it.
Anyhow. Now that my first bit is covered, I wanted to get to the good part.
I've developed a few relationships with people on this site. I won't name anyone so as to not omit and offend, but you know who you are. And you would all be incredibly missed if this site went down or if I left DA. For the people I speak with, you're a bunch of cool folks, and I'm better for having spoken with you. Even those with whom I may have argued, I love learning what I have through the process and harbor no ill will.
What I like about what TipsyDigital
's journal above, is there is a focus on solutions. And my previous journal, Sharing This
, may have come short on solutions. Yes, I indicated that maybe we, as artists, can look elsewhere for a site that is truly for the artist; I did not provide any suggestions (unfortunately I had none - I'm not the most "in the know" person and my Google-fu is weaker than others. I can find stuff using a card catalog in the library, though!
I hate saying that maybe we cannot change DA, and that we may have to look elsewhere. Reality is that's something we may all have to consider. It's my hope that if anyone does consider using another site, that you reach out to your friends and community to let us know where you are. If and when the time comes that I change sites, I'll be leaving links.
So, to answer the question I asked, I'm going to say what TipsyDigital
said. DA is at least going down, in the form of changing what it once was into something else. In light of that, we have to ask:
- How has it changed? Well, I've described it.
- Is this change something that affects me? If so, is it something that I can accept? (aka "do I like it?")
- If the change is unacceptable, can I change it; or, is it possible to change? (does the staff listen, or ignore?)
- If it is unacceptable, am I going to stay, or will I go somewhere that the answers to the above questions are different?
If someone doesn't like the change, and if the staff ignores concerns, and if the changes are entirely deleterious to the artist, on a site that promotes itself as being for the artist, then the artist can vote with his or her feet.
You know what? after these last 2 journals that I think are pretty heavy and thoughtful, you guys are due for a feature. I hope I can find some things that give you art to view and people to watch.