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I apologise in advance this will be a bit of a rant of a journal.
I recently ran my poll on describing the emote community in 5 or less words and i have to say its been one of my most interesting polls in a while. I've had a range of answers back and upon looking at the answers we seem to very clearly fall into 2 different categories - older grumpy emoticonists and newer happy emoticonists.
I myself have to fall into the older grumpy emoticonist section and for me its very clear why i have such a negative view on the current emote community. I joined dA 4 years ago and since the near beginning i have been fascinated by the emote community. This was not only down to the fact i loved the art form, but also because i fell in love with the community. Back then the community was small but extremely tight knit. Everyone knew everyone and supported each other. If you take many older emotes (2005-2007) and browse through the comments don't be surprised if you see a list of remarks made by other well known emoticonist of the time.
Its now been 2 years since i became an emoticonist and although the community wasn't as tightly knit as i originally saw it there still were strong ties. The whole community seemed to be good friends and if someone ran a contest, opened a project or hosted an event the community seemed to come together and work as a team.
Fast forward to today and looking down the list of answers i see many older emoticonists in the same position as i am. To us the community feel so disconnected and pushed apart that at times i feel its hard to call it a community at all. I know i am personally affected by this. I have many commitments still in the community and on several occasions i have shouted out for help only for no one to answer. Looking at the newer emoticonists they all appear happy and i wonder if that is down to them not knowing the style of community we've had before.
Where has the community gone?
Now i could easily sit here all day reminiscing about the olden days and continue with my grumpiness, but instead i would like to suggest how to turn ourselves around. This probably wont make any difference, but its better than nothing
Offer support for projects, contests and events
How are we meant to feel connected if no one offers any support? If an deviant is hosting a contest then why not pimp it? If an emoticonist is starting a project then try and promote it? If you read a epic journal then why not help spread the word around? You may think you don't have many watchers but word of mouth is a very awesome tool. A few pimps here and there doesn't take long but it really helps make a deviant feel supported and you never know who might see your journal and want to lend a hand.
Offer support for groups
Groups can take a lot of time and effort to run and some outside support can really help ease the load for the group organisers. There are several different groups in the community and its easy to get involved if you would like to help out. Why not help find a new tutorial to promote at Emotication? why not offer to run an opus at EmoticonOpus? why not suggest an idea at SuggestAnEmote? None of these take much time as a one off thing and can really help support the groups
There are many new deviants always entering the community and its always a shame to see them getting stuck and not knowing who to turn to. If someone comes to you for help then try and poke them in the right direction or answer their question yourself. Remember Emotication has a wide range of resources so if in doubt take a look there or pop into the #WeEmote chat
If you're one of the newer emoticonists then certainly don't be afraid to ask for help. Many people in the community are willing to help out if you approach them in a polite and friendly manner. If you are having problems with an emote, an animation program or simply want some feedback then run by some of the more experienced emoticonists and ask for their advice. Its not always an easy thing to do but as long as you don't spam us with 'zomg go look at this!!!!!' many of us wont bite
Pass on the knowledge
It's a shame sometimes to see some deviants in the community that have so much talent that they could pass on yet they never seem to find the right opportunity. Why not head out on a comment spree and pass on some of your knowledge to the next generation. If you're unsure who might like a comment then set up a poll or journal offering them and see who requests them and head in their direction. Comments are a great way to bring newer emoticonist into the community and help people feel welcome and also improve their art. You may not even be a strong emoticonist yourself but even a 'well done' can mean alot to someone new to the community.
Support our GM
Being a GM isn't always an easy task ( been there, done that, had the ^ ) and its amazing how a few comments and a bit of kindness can really help them. Its not always easy to find hundred of DDs by yourself and i know if everyone in the community spares 10 mins of their day to hunt out a possible DD and suggest it to the GM it can really help them out beyond belief. Also, if they take the time to run an event ... support it. pimp it, promote it, attend it. There's nothing worse than seeing all your hard work go to waste.
Feature fellow deviants
I think we all know the emote gallery is in a shit state. i took a screencap of 120 thumbs and managed to find as low as 14 valid emotes on the page. It is now more than ever we need community support and community features. I know its hard browsing the gallery so why not bring the great emotes to peoples inboxes. If you stumble across something that you feel deserves more recognition then why not post a thumb or link in your next journal. If people are avoiding the gallery then cut it out and find other ways to show the wider dA community what we can offer
Make someone smile
Its true. this is just as important at any other point i've made so far. When i list out all of the tasks i do a week in the emote community i think its stretches longer than my arm. Its hard to sum up how a small thank you, a simple hug or a few kind words can really make someone's day when they offer their free time to help out in the community. So next time someone runs a chat event, organises a great scuzzle or even posts a great emote, take the time to leave a great comment and make them smile.
I am sure there are many other valid points, but these are just a few i came up with. I know you guys can pull together as a community. I only need to ask for contest prize donations and i get a features list stretching from here to Timbuktu. So why not spend a few minutes of your day trying some of these out and sticking our community back together?
Things to try
- Suggest an emote DD to mintyy
- Host a contest at EmoticonOpus
- Pimp some current contests
- Join in an open project
- Meet some emoticonists in #WeEmote
- Suggest an idea at SuggestAnEmote
- Comment on a new emote
- Wish an emoticonist a happy birthday
- Welcome and support a new emoticonist
- Promote a useful journal
- Suggest a topic for a feature in So i herd u liek emotes??
- Send in a 'did you know...' fact for a So i heard u liek emotes??
- Write your own journal to promote stickytape and positivity
- Educate people on what belongs in our gallery
- Feature a range of great emotes in your journal
- Propose a theme for an Emotional Emoticons article
- Suggest something else for this list
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