I've touched on this a little in some of my other discussions about Eclipse, but I wanted to delve into it a little deeper because of something that happened to me last night on tumblr. As I'm sure many are aware, tumblr has kind of gone nuclear lately when it comes to dealing with their various problems. The biggest issue for me as both a creator and a user is that the search function on tumblr is just...broken. Anything with a link, anything with a seemingly random set of tags, no longer exists in search. Kinda. There really seems to be no pattern to it.
And it isn't just in the overall tumblr search, oh no. It is within blogs as well. I can no longer search my own blog for my own content. Last night I had someone ask about one of my book projects and where to find information on it on my blog because they couldn't figure it out. So I went to get them a direct link to the main info post and guess what? I couldn't find it either, not in the official search function. I had to manually scroll back through MONTHS of stuff to find it and give the link to someone who was interested in my content. How many other people do you think have looked for my stuff but given up without asking for help? How many potential fans have I lost?
And while this problem, for me, has become most serious on tumblr, it is true in some form of many other social media sites as well. Within hours, minutes, seconds of putting something up it is GONE. Maybe, maybe, the search functions can bring it up again. But there's a good chance it will require some jiggery-pokery to get the search to maybe, possibly bring the right thing up. And that's only if the person looking knows what TO look for, and is willing to spend the time figuring it out.
This doesn't really matter much for day to day chatter, but for my art? For my stories? I can't have them just be gone the second they're put up. I can't hope new potential fans will know the exact right bits of jiggery-pokery to bend the search engines to their will to MAYBE find my content and MAYBE follow the progression of my stories in a way that makes sense.
But deviantART doesn't have that problem. The search may not be perfect, but it doesn't randomly exclude things just because there's a link involved or something. And even then, I have my profile. I can make a custom box with my projects and important information and leave it there. It doesn't get pushed down by other posts, it doesn't go away, and it is one of the first things people see when they look at my page. I don't have to dig to find important things about my own work on deviantART because they are all right where they should be. My art is in its own section, my blog is in its own section, my random chatter is in its own section. Nothing is intruding on or pushing out anything else.
I know danlev
has recently put out a poll about the usage of custom boxes
, and the most recent changelog for Eclipse
has mentioned on-going discussions of alternatives (and y'all know full well I've jury-rigged up a solution of my own
), and I wanted to contribute to those discussions with this journal. Custom boxes (and other widgets that haven't been transitioned yet) are important because they are permanent parts of our page. They set deviantART apart as a place where things stay
. Where creators can have an actual, real hub for our work rather than frantically throwing things into the void and knowing they'll be swallowed up within minutes.
Also, gonna be totally honest here, this was not just about not finding my own content. A hour ago I was trying to find a really awesome Captain America AMV I reblogged recently and couldn't and I was super mad because it was awesome. BUT I FOUND IT. WATCH AND CRY WITH ME.