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A Response

Sun Jul 31, 2005, 11:21 PM
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The community is angry

Let's get right to the point. We know the community is angry, and we completely understand why. You're angry because you've been told that the one man responsible for and its success over the past 5 years has been removed against his will. We need to clear up some facts: This is not what has happened: no one person is responsible for deviantART.

A Brief History of deviantART, backstage

jark and I have worked together on deviantART from day 1. A little bit after the first year, we were joined by mccann who created the Sonique MP3 player back in 1998. He began providing us with technical and financial assistance to keep it going.

Before this, deviantART was quite small and the costs of operation were nominal.  With it's rapid growth thereafter, it began costing an arm and a leg to operate.

I was the first person to work on deviantART full time in 2002, and am also the only co-founder who took the risk of working with no salary at all. That is how much I believe in this community. I have dedicated my life to it. The other two co-founders have never worked fulltime on deviantART. They have always had either college, or a full-time job to contend with. Without question, especially in the early to mid parts of deviantART's life, Scott (jark) sacraficed all of his available free time. And this was a significant sacrifice.

The second fulltime employee of deviantART was chris at around the same time I joined in 2002. He was our CTO; today he manages our architecture.

I personally hand built and "installed" deviantART's first 35 servers. Chris rebuilt and maintained all of deviantART's code-base, servers and architecture beginning in 2002. We're talking math, computer science, architecture. That kind of stuff.

Around 2003, we were joined by spot who worked full time for deviantART for a full year without pay. He slept on the floor of a closet next to a bathroom in his cousin's apartment. That's what you call dedication to a community my friends. And where's his praise? It doesn't matter: he doesn't ask for it.

I represent the people who keep this place ticking: the people who are so busy that they don't have time to enjoy interacting with the community; the people who do nothing but work on deviantART, but take quiet pride in knowing that they help keep it running.

We're not trying to belittle jark's work on the site over the past 5 years: he has given more than most to something he believes in and loves, most commendably. What we are trying to do is defend the same love that we have all put into the site. What about what chris has given? What about realitysquared? As it happens, jark, myself, and many others have been in the community spotlight, but is the love, sweat, and tears that anybody else has given the site worth any less? What about the deviant with under a hundred pageviews that selflessly gives out encouragement and pushes for new features? Everyone deserves the utmost respect for what they give to this site, and no one person can be attributed with the credit.

So who is responsible for deviantART?

Every one of us, senior members, volunteer staff, regular deviants: we have built this and we take care of it and pour love into it every day. Most obviously, the site would be nothing without the art that we all upload, but it goes much deeper than that. The userpages, for example, that we know and love are shaped completely on deviants' ideas and requests. deviantIDs started as a type of commdev project! Favourites came right out of the suggestions forum! We all built it. You built it.

deviantART and money

In the early days, was running just fine without any revenue, because mccann was sending $gazillion checks out of his pocket every month to pay for the server costs. As costs got steeper, along came the subscription and print programs, which were embraced with open arms by the community. Somewhere since then the community and the company lost touch, and even additions to the subscription package are met with resentment... it is a shame that this has happened, but hopefully we can make amends. With $gazillion being spent to keep from getting unplugged every month, hopefully you can see why the site has grown to need prints and subscriptions to hold it up. We're not out to swindle anybody: in fact the deviantART staff works its collective butt off every month to keep this place from having to sell a huge chunk of it to a Venture Capitalist just to keep it alive, and so far we've beaten all the odds. That's community love.

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding whether DA has "gone corporate": please send me any questions at all you have about this aspect of deviantART, and I will be glad to answer them: we don't keep secrets.

The Future of deviantART

Let me first assure you that deviantART's future is in the hands of the same fine crew it has been for years. Our IT team, some of the same people that have been involved in deviantART's code since version 3, are currently building an enhanced message center, collections system (remember devPacks?), and a fully-featured search engine for the community.

lolly is the new head of community development, but that doesn't mean he's replacing jark. jark helped to build the code for v1 and has been very active in the community for years since. You don't 'replace' that. lolly has been giving his all to deviantART for a long time, and will continue to do the best that he can in his new role.

Please use this journal, or send a note, if you prefer, to send me any questions you have, and I'll answer them as best I can. I am deeply sorry for the delay in this dialogue: it's certainly been a hectic few days! I'll edit this journal to answer any frequently asked questions where the the answers can easily be found. I'll start with the main question so far:

Your Questions so far

Why is jark no longer on staff?
Because of legal issues, we're not able to say why this has happened just yet. What we can tell you is what it is not because of: it did not happen because of any corporate plot or conspiracy. The core team of deviantART has worked every day for the last 5 years to ensure this place runs smoothly without having to sell out to any other company or swindle the community, and none of us has any intention of letting that change. We're not going to put somebody else's logo all over our site. You wouldn't want that; we don't want it, and we won't let it happen. jark no longer being on staff is due to a completely separate matter, which, as I'm sorry to say, we're not able to go into the details about.

Why were comments deleted?
A comment thread was in fact deleted by a staff member. It should not have been, we wish we could undelete it but we can not. This person was acting independently and not per the instruction of anybody else. Also the thread deleted was originally posted by the person who deleted it. Because of this, the ability for staff members to delete posts has been revoked. The "delete" comment feature was previously available only for the purpose of removing threads that violated some type of law or contained spammed code that crashed viewer's browsers. In this instance it was misused. Unfortunately the FAQ has not been updated to reflect this capability.

As for journals; Staff does not have a 'delete journal tool'. We must assume that these reports were user side errors. Or were edited by the journal author by accident or intentionally.

Sadly due to this one error in judgment people are now making claims that we are deleting journals in their entirety, deleting comments, and removing deviations. This is not the case whatsoever and spreading these rumors is disrespectful to what is otherwise a long standing integrity.

-- A

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4EverYoungKid Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2011
2005... seems like yesterday...
PrincessKooh Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Aquarior Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Obviously I have missed a major shitstorm! But there is not much I can say about it because I...

Don't know much about its history
Don't know much about its employees
Don't know much about Photoshop
Don't know much about the badges I got

But I do know it's dA I woo
And I know if dA loves me too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about deviantWear
Don't know much about T-Shirts and Gear
Don't know much about good Literature
Still don't know just what the Llamas are for

But I know I want to contribute
And if dA would support my pursuit
What a wonderful world this would be

Now I don't claim to be a great artist
But I'm trying to be
So maybe by being a great artist fellas
I can win your favs for me

Don't know much about Photography
Don't know much about Journal Entries
Don't know much about Image Stock
Don't know much about the deviantShop

But I do know it's dA I woo
And I know if dA loves me too
What a wonderful world this would be

La ta ta ta ta ta taaha
Mmmmh mmh mmh mmh mmh mmmmh
Oh la ta ta ta ta ta taaaha
Mmmmh mmh mmh mmh mmh mmmmh
(Badges I got)

Well I do know it's dA I woo
And I know if dA loves me too
What a wonderful world this would be
eevee444 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist

TheKittyMistress Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010   Writer
I really hope deviantART doesn't become one of those big buissness'...

Y'know, if the remaining admins keep leaving questions unanswered, crazy rumors are going to be spread .

I've even heard rumors that $spyed killed jarkand is getting a more obidient lookalike to replce him, :giggle:
SpitVenom Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2009

So far I've gathered that there were issues jark had concerns about- to do with DeviantArt, and upon seeking a solution, or at least some investigation on those matters, no desired response was delivered to him. About this time, he resorted to making a further statement with a notice that he woud take serious action if unreplied to, to which he then recieved the news that he was no longer a Co-founder, or administrator.

Surely after this long someone can at least release some sufficient detailed explaination as to why this happened.
shelly Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
jark's still noted as a co-founder; he was stripped of administrative duties.
SpitVenom Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
Yes, he is now, but that doesn't explain what happened. :shrug: My point was that it made sense to withhold information at the time, but even today little is known about what happened.
shelly Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
okay, gotcha. :nod:

and i agree.
DarkFang1990 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2009
"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."
leonardo da vinci
scholarwarrior-lad Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
So that's some of the history.
I want to find out what happened before the beginning though. When it was still just an idea in people's heads before there was an actual website... maybe.
Shelly-oneechan Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2008
I support the ninja! Live on, DArt!
PulsarZero Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2008
tl;dr some bullshit about staff members fighting over each other?
kazaki03 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I....I never read this before... *in great shock*
I....I hope that....this thing will settle down...because dA is a community of happiness.......
xerberus333 Featured By Owner May 1, 2008

floydiac Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Wow...I have just read about all this stuff, and I offer my kudos to you.

It is silly for deviants to get caught up in the rights or wrongs of something that doesn't concern them, and they don't understand. Hence why I cannot say anything about the termination of Jark. Whether it was a gang-up, or not, it doesn't effect or concern me.

You held up well, under what I can assess as considerable strain, and I commend you for that. I also commend you, and everyone else for the delightful community you have built up.

I would gladly buy subscriptions, and support the community that means a lot to me, but I really can't afford :D
PyroJesus Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2007
I'd only really care what happened if dA became a second myspace or closed down. Since I don't think either will happen any time soon, I am quite happy to continue enjoying this community, and equally happy to sit around talking to my friends being blissfully ignorant as the leader struggle carries on. Some of you may be a bit more important here than me... But most of you are just the same. So let it go on; What the owners do is entirely up to them. Not us.
kekereke Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2007
ajuk Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007
Whatever :burp:
Alexandru1988 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
interesting story. above all the "fights" surrounding the dA staff it's more obvious that all of you made great sacrifices and that shows character and a lot of courage.

great job. :peace:
keep it up. i just love this site :) it has become like a "second home" for me :heart:
hmm...i still dont know exactaly what happened to Jark...a friend of mine gave me a link to this journal and im starting to understand what could have happened...

but then again, im just a 15 year old n00b to the community. im very curious to what happens around here, and all that other jazz. but due to the fact that i still have no idea whats going on i cant say if im a supporter or not.

but my love for this website never changes. its a very well developed community, and i must say its fantasic.
frozenpandaman Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007   General Artist
Rythmear Featured By Owner May 29, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
So many responses...

Im fairly sure my head is about to explode.
101gazza101 Featured By Owner May 15, 2007
:llama: .. You know sometimes it feels like you disrespect us immensly, You're like a Llama.. Go on spit in my face.
celesprayer Featured By Owner May 13, 2007
Jark was a complete asshole to me when he was here, and people who couldn't get over that I never took his side harrassed me into taking down my gallery and quitting DA. For all I care, Jark can get abducted by real aliens and raped with an anal probe till the end of time.
mylenethehedgehog Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2007
...that was quite a rant....o.O
Boojamon Featured By Owner May 13, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm still curious, but that's to be expected.
I'm glad you've kept promises and are not a 'corporate bastard' :nod:
Much props to you and the Devart team for keeping the site running.
NatureofMind Featured By Owner May 9, 2007  Professional General Artist
TimMc Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2007
Just out of interest, do you use ER Diagrams to design the databases? :-P
dionyziz Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2007
eAero Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2007
Have you ever noticed that half of the comments on this journal are by people who joined dA either right before this happened or after...

I do not want to know why and what you did. Simply because it doesn't matter. It's none of my business.

What matters is that because of your administration deviantART is an amazing place to hang out and learn art. And because of that people who still continue their "little" campaigns need to grow up and get it over with.

Thanks, Angelo :heart:
battlefield1010 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
where is mateo in this story?
spyed Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
in college.
battlefield1010 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
ok I see.
ecchiman Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2007
you mispelled "sacrifice"
super-sonic001 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2007

i bet this is what really happend he killed jark and hes running jarks da accaount

hehehe yeah right
Fatmalovestodraw Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2007  Professional General Artist
i respect the time and effort you ppl are puttin into this site, but i've never thought that there could be such issues goin on..
mc-cool Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2006   Digital Artist
But i think that SpyEd or one of the staff should tell us ASAP because this has gone for way to long. A communtiy like this should have been told IMMEDIATELY not a year and a half later...
mc-cool Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2006   Digital Artist
This is causing so much controversy between members. I thought Deviant Art was a community.
Whats the result of a full blown argument between sides? Loss of trust and loss of members. This is exactly like a press conference. Too many questions, too little answers. I suggest that we have patience my fellow members, as i am sure SpyEd will one day soon tell us what happened in full detail.
Zaichick Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
wow you have a lot on your plate right now, my friend. no one deserves the hate that is being spewed at you. our wonderful community is all to human. and none of us know what is really going on there in your real life DA headquaters, I think sometimes people forget you are real people devoting real time to US. so WE can enjoy this wondeful COMMUNITY. be strong. peace be with you.
RMA-reborn Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2006
The First Amendment is a wonderful tool, given to you by one Mr Madison. I suggest you utilise this tool in this instance, and open all the facts for the public to view. For too long, this has dragged on behind closed doors, away from the community you claim to be so proud of. The community should be empowered with the knowledge of what truly happened in these instances - every single scrap of it.

I know you're too scared of the community to actually reply to our comments, so we can have an adult discussion, but I will not be silenced. The truth - whatever that is - must be told. Now start telling.
spyed Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
the first ammendment is a hoax when it comes to corporations... ;)

-- A
RMA-reborn Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2006
Try arguing that in an EU court. Though US law may flout the First, EU law isn't that easily over come.

Article 10, section 1 of the European Convention for the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers."

And the ECHR will back this to the hilt. Now, kindly comply with my request - for all our sakes.

-- RMA-reborn
Kankuro127 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007
wow, you are very smart
hink Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2006
You're so smart!

RMA-reborn Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2006
Thank you for the kind words - but the EU Declaration of Rights is public domain stuff. I found a copy on wikisource.

I shall now raid your gallery.
hink Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2006
I don't have anything to raid, or worth raiding...your welcome. Enjoy your New Year! <3
spyed Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
I wish things were as simple as you make them sound.
RMA-reborn Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2006
You would be surprised at how simple the ECHR can make these matters...
MrYJDrake Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
i think what was done needed to be done.
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Submitted on
July 31, 2005


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