dAhub's avatar
Above Beyond Happiness Amplified
82.8K Watchers9M Page Views84 Deviations
  • United States
  • Deviant for 9 years
  • He / Him
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Biting Pear of Salamanca: Participated in April Fools' Day 2017
My Bio

dAhub was an automated point account that served the deviantART community between 2011 and 2018. This account acted as a platform to allow users to exchange points, watchers, favs and llamas. Following the formal discontinuation of the bot I have begun writing a report to document the history of this account. Please follow dAhub for notifications and updates.

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Comments

dAhub commented on dAhub's profile

"Discover" was actually an official part of dA for a brief period way-back-when. After it was removed, I made my own version of it for users here. I'd normally default to "Random Deviant" as the closest feature, but even that seems to have been removed with Eclipse

https://www.deviantart.com/random/deviant

The Today page used to have a section for new users, but that's gone as well. #GetWatchers is down. Off the top of my head I'm not coming up with anything, sorry.

Hmm, "discover" would still be a viable function post-Eclipse. The dA Developer API still has the "/user/watchers/{username}" endpoint, and that was the heart of the algorithm. Only difference is it would have to be hosted via a third party webpage, rather than as a post-comment-get-response format I've traditionally done with this bot. Don't think that'll help you here, but I think I'll touch on that in the report.

dAhub commented on a status by ChibiPyro
each time they fixed something they inevitabily made it messier, at least this is what I understood by reading
Well, any change impacts the bot, messy or otherwise.  The bot looks for key phrases in the text of the web page.  If the web page changed at all, I almost always had to update my code.
dAhub commented on llama-list's profile
always trust-worthy and patiently willing-to-negotiate programmer of the highly efficient point-giving trading bot dAhub
:p Haha, thanks, that's going on my résumé :)
Do you use scripts?
I ran my account for several years using an automated script; I have many thoughts on this matter that are much too large to capture in a single comment.  I am working on a lengthy report detailing the history of my account and my experience with programming on dA; I will post that on my account in the future.

Based on the tone of this journal, it feels like you're extrapolating one sub-community to speak for all programmers.  I've never shared my source code in part because I feared it would enable the kind of abuse you describe here.

It's also worth noting why spamming upsets you.  It's because you spent more of your time reading the message than the automated script did posting it.  It's not genuine, but more fundamentally, it's a waste of your time.  In my advertising operations, I have largely adhered to one guiding principle: I don't initiate first contact.  I see a line between those who go up to a new user and comment on their page, vs those who do not.  I have largely relied on encouraging users to advertise my page for me (via journals, signatures) rather than performing the kind of comment spamming myself you describe here.  Who initiates contact with whom may be an element to consider in your planning.

Users will follow the path of least resistance, and that includes finding their own solutions to problems when the staff are unable or unwilling to step in.  For example, the API on dA is sorely lacking compared to other platforms.  One of the most blatant issues is that access is more heavily throttled than standard website access.
This encourage programmers to disregard the API and develop their own tools, even if that means circumventing normal safeguards
Lacking appropriate tools or providing inadequate tools not only discourages programmers from supporting dA, but it also prompts users to defeat the system.  These programmers have created helpful scripts for common users, but they have done it in spite of dA, not with dA's help.  This makes it harder in situations like the spamming you're describing here.  If the API was more useful, users would use it, which would allow you to directly regulate spamming.

The API is only one example.  I had an issue some time ago where the time needed to transfer points was taking longer and longer (up to 30 seconds for a single point transaction from my account to someone else).  I appealed to the Help Desk but was told it wasn't their problem because I was the only user experiencing the issue.  Using the only option available to me: I refactored my program to no longer wait for the point transactions to clear, instead allowing a queue of transactions to accumulate on dA servers.  One of the developers shut down my account when the queue started causing server errors.  After a lengthy discussion and several days, he was able to implement a fix, but I don't see why I had to make it dA's problem before a solution could be implemented.  It seems like an utter dysfunction on dA's side to communicate information from the Help Desk to internal developers.  It may be worth inspecting how the Help Desk operates to ensure odd or unique issues don't die there.

Now, everyone can jump on this journal and proclaim "spamming bad", but I think that misses a real opportunity to improve a sorely overlooked corner of the site.  There are users out there who want to make tools to help common users, but lack dA's support to do things the right way.  I think fostering a community of programmers on dA will help the community as a whole (for instance, DEVlANT got his start by tinkering with dA protocols before he was hired by dA).  I've been battling the issue of fake accounts myself and I've devised my own solutions.  Do you track when users access the site?  Do users who spam on the site exhibit any odd behaviors like, I don't know, commenting 24 hours a day?  Users that don't sleep are a major red flag for anyone who has looked at the data.  I imagine feedback like that and more might be available if we had a large contingent of developers here.

If you want to engage in a genuine dialog, I would welcome an open and frank discussion either here or through notes.
dAhub commented on dAhub's profile

Thank you :salute: