Like most of the comments here, I don't expect to get a response of any kind, especially since I'm not a Core
member. However, as part of the Community
you claim to "nurture" I do feel I am entitled to ask my own questions and would love an explanation, but here again, I'm just a free member who submits as much as she is able between college classes and a job that helps pay the bills as well as my student loans.
Firstly, I would like to address Core. Probably a topic you're sick of dealing with now, but unfortunately this kind of makes the top of my concern list.
Imagine saving up for car, one that is completely and utterly unique. The price is decent, and achievable if you save up on the side and awesome features are included such as seat warmers, sub-woofer speakers, satellite radio, ect. So after a few months of saving and scrounging, you finally have enough to buy the car, only to return to the dealership and discover that the price has been doubled without prior warning.
Feels kind of like a slap in the face right?
Sadly, that is how the vast majority of users feel right now, especially the ones who have been saving up for the good ol' Premium, only to wake up the next day and discover they can no longer afford it. Right now, I sit in this same boat. Sometimes I have a bit of extra cash to buy points, but it's never enough to buy a Premium membership, and now I doubt it ever will.
I honestly wonder what you hope to achieve with these new outrageous prices that most users still cant afford. e.I. if a user couldn't afford a $30 membership, what makes you think they can afford a $50 one?
And more importantly why wasn't the community told about these changes before they went into effect?
A simple "Hey guys! dA is having a bit of a financial crisis right now, so in order to raise funds and keep our community going strong, we're going to implement some price changes to our Premium package.
" Unfortunately, you simply changed the game without a single indication or note to the "community" about doing so.
And on top of that, whether you intended to or not, you have successfully managed to offend over half of your free members with your new premium title.
It probably wasn't your intention, but "Core" makes it sound as if those who don't have a Core membership are lesser or beneath those that do.
Point in case:
Our team focuses on two things that matter most to us, the first is our mission to Entertain, Inspire & Empower the Artist in All of Us. We have tackled this notion to the ground, the root sentiment that's marketable, part of our product, and a direct driving force for our team: We are here to nurture your creative nature.
We take this notion and we use it as a lens to drive forward our goals. Our goals are all based off of growth for core active members. This means people like you, if you're here responding. We have millions and millions of "Spectators" on DeviantArt who lurk and check stuff out, they aren't our focus. Our focus is you. The more members, the healthier DeviantArt is.
So does that mean that because I can't afford a premium that I'm just a "spectator" who isn't part of your focus? Are free members just "spectators" who don't matter now? If so, then you aren't as focused as you claim to be.
I've been on dA for roughly 4 years when you count my two previous accounts, both of which were free membership accounts. Back then the community was much closer and better knit, but now it feels like the admin don't even want to be involved with the users.
Which brings me to my second point; why is it so hard to get in touch with the admin team? And better yet to find one who actually cares enough to post an actual response rather than copy & pasted lines?
You claim the staff(yourself included) "care" about the community, but the way you handle admin-user interactions suggest differently.
Luckily I've never had the headache of dealing with the admins, but almost daily my inbox is flooded with journals of how users are being treated poorly by admins, especially in the case of art theft. When reported, all of the users I watch have gotten some copy & pasted bs that may not even be helpful in rightfully retrieving their art.
Third point: Art theft.
I read the dA staff take on art thievery, about how nothing is truly original, but that in itself is a lie. Yes, you need a base to start creating an artwork, just like building a foundation for a house, but its how you build your house, what you put inside of it, even how you paint your walls that makes it yours, that makes it original. Art is exactly the same.
However, to work with all your heart and soul on something, no matter your art skill or style and simply have someone deface, trace, alter, or even repost and claim that work is not ok. But to justify it with "Nothing is truly original" is even worse.
That's blatant disrespect to the person who spent their time, their creativity, the precious seconds of their life on this piece in hopes of sharing it proudly, only to have it stolen by someone who could care less about the original artist.
The way dA has handled past art thieves is disturbing, enough so that I put my own watermarks on my works so no one else can possibly claim them.
But even with users being able to report theft, hardly anything is done unless a user with a really good reading of intellectual property rights threatens to bring not only the theft to court, but dA as well.
And still, unhandled theft continues to populate your "community" every day.
Does this mean art theft is such a common occurrence that the admin cant be bothered with it anymore?
I can understand taking a few days to get into action, but taking weeks, even months? There's honestly no point once it get to that stage.
I have other concerns, but honestly I feel these are the most dire and deserve answers.
In truth, all of the questions posted in the comments deserve answers. And very few have received any.
I'm not bashing the site, dA is my home at home. It's where I come to interact with like minded people who share interests similar to my own. It's where I post my art for others to see and get their own inspiration from. I'd like to see dA overcome this shit(exactly what it is).
I'd like to see admin and users interacting like we're all on the same level and not some caste system where those on bottom aren't "the main focus".
Slouching about the site and favoriting art is how artists start out, and if you nurture not just the extremely active and paid membership users, but everyone, then this site will truly be the best it can be.