Cheers, CutenDeadlyArt! Welcome back! Your new gallery seems to be off to an explosive start. That's great to see! I think it took me a year to get that many watchers (which will make more sense if you look at my gallery, haha).
Yeah, a lot of the groups seem to have been abandoned, which is a shame. Makes it just that little bit more difficult for new artists to get seen on here. Still, there are...methods. Reaching out to other artists as you've done here is a good way. You can also connect with others by interacting with their work. Favouriting, handing out the good, good llamas, and commenting will get you circulating! Also, check out the Thumbshare forum!
Hey, welcome back! Yeah, has changed a lot the past couple of years, let alone the last 13. I've actually been going through a lot of groups I'm in to see which ones are still active. I do think tags might have something to do with reception, as well as timing.
I get some feedback in the forum, plus participate in forum thumbshares whenever I can. Whenever I submit a new piece I receive favourites from my most active watchers. Whatever number of views a new piece attracts attention on the front page.
Well I wish there was a formula for success but that really depends on you, accounts vary so wildly on here. 50 watchers over night would be considered blowing up. Keep going, see where it gets you, and don't compare yourself to others ..