I felt that perhaps the community would like me to explain how DeviantArt views these types of things.
First of all, DeviantArt, Inc. is extremely deliberate. We don't do anything accidentally. Everything that hits the community is the result of a team collaboration that usually take weeks or months to complete. And so when we make mistakes they are felt by a group here or by our whole team.
Things you should know:
- First of all you must believe that our team is 100% motivated to ensure that DA is healthy, and that decisions we make turn out to be better than how things were before.
- Each decision is likely to affect different pockets of people, and so you will always see the group that's unhappy pool together.
- The happy group is happy, so they don't tend to band together, they just continue on being happy (typically) sight unseen.
- It is our job at DA to know when a decision we've made is a good one or a bad one. We don't just sort of haphazardly release things and hope for the best. We are actually quite addicted to the outcome of our projects. Woah, what a concept. We do this by monitoring feature usage, adoption, conversion, or whatever metrics are important to the project. We do this by looking at membership segments, so we know when something is working for "spectators" or for "active members" or "hyper active members" and so on.
- Throughout our history we've released hundreds of features, and we've reverted dozens of those. We don't have an ego, we just want what is right for DA.
- When a feature or site change proves to not to work, we have a long history of reverting it back. So please, don't believe the hype, look at the past.... (I bet it would fun and valuable to produce an article that chronicles all the features we've reverted. We listen very carefully, and that's a fact.)
- If we aren't reverting something, chances are it is working. Sometimes features are working, but continue to be controversial. In those instances there is often a pool of unhappy people who are not (in commenting terms) balanced by the people who are happy. This means that the happy people don't actually step up and say things like, "I LIKE IT" "I'M HAPPY" on the threads posted by angry people who don't like the feature. You probably wouldn't, either. Makes sense.
- At DA, each project has a goal. As the years have gone by our goals for success or failure have become clearer and better balanced gracefully between the needs of a business and the needs of an open community. The nature of DA's open platform sometimes makes it seem otherwise, but the right way forward is for you to believe in our team and our track record that when things don't work, we do change it back. When things do work, sometimes it's upsetting that features remain. That's life. But on the whole we are listening to comments, to data, and to results. And that's the only way to lead DeviantArt effectively.
- Never forget that, "Every time we launch a feature, people yell at us."
Anyone who's been here a minute has experience the wrath of an angry mob in response to one of our site features. In fact every day on my personal social media feeds I see a quote that's constantly referenced all over the place. Just look at how many images there are for it. DA and I had nothing to do with these being in existence... other than I guess a quote I gave somewhere a number of years back...
For years and years just about every day this pops up in my notifications as a quote that's being referenced somewhere in social media.
And it's true. Every time we launch a feature, people yell at us.
It's OK to yell at us, it helps us understand! And sometimes it leads us to revert changes. The community speaks literally, but it also speaks through data. So when you see us acting in ways you don't understand, perhaps you aren't actually on the winning side and there's no way for you to tell. And that's OK, too. Don't take it too personally, we're all here for the overall mission of DA; To Entertain, Inspire & Empower the Artist in All of Us. That's the central cause that must move forward.
Cheers folks, we love you more than you'll ever know. Through the good and the bad, our love for the community never waivers. We work tirelessly to improve DA for you, and so long as you're with us we'll never stop caring deeply. I appreciate all of the comments from members who encourage others to keep a civil tone, sharing our art work and our emotions can only happen in a caring place. That's what DA is meant to be all about.
This is the calm before the storm, by the way. Many big changes are on the horizon and we'll need your support. I'll be referencing this article, and you should, too. Especially when you're happy and agree, in a storm of people who don't.