DA Decline - Substitutes?

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Techta's avatar
By Techta
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So many of my favorite artists have moved to other platforms, namely tumblr, and it seems to be in response to (as well as adding to) the slow decline of DeviantART as a platform for sharing artwork. This makes me sad, because I still think DA is the best way to do it organizationally. It's how I keep all my artwork available online in proper folders with appropriate descriptions, etc. But I think I see why people are leaving, and I empathize...

I've been a member of DA for 7 years. I'm not prolific, but that's a long time to be moderately active on a website. I have about 35,000 pageviews, which also isn't much for a 7 year span, but still a LOT of traffic as a whole. Nevertheless, when I submit art, I am lucky to get more than 6 Favs or 2 comments. Now, this isn't all about being loved by the world, I'm just comparing some statistics here.

I don't track my tumblr, because i frankly hate everything about how that website is set up, but I do keep track of my Facebook art/cosplay page and my Instagram. In the 2-3-ish years I've had my Instagram, I've garnered close to 500 followers (thats more than the number of Watchers I have on DA by several hundred and less than half the time) and can guarantee 30-100 favs per upload. This is a platform in which you can't even write long descriptions, link to more material, have journals or customized profiles, etc. and yet it's ridiculously more effective at getting your work to audiences without having to whore out your work to a million groups to try to minimize the random aspect of discovery that seems to be the case on DA.

My Facebook page doesn't get as much attention, but that seems to be purely a fault of not flooding it with updates. FB seems to be better suited for sharing activities, in-progress work, upcoming projects, photography, etc. This is great for cosplay, but also works for artwork, too. As I force myself to post more often there, I have seen a drastic up-turn in traffic -- and FB TRACKS THAT STUFF FOR YOU BECAUSE IT KNOWS WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH.

In summary, because this is getting long, I still feel stuck because I don't want to leave DA (and I don't plan to), but I do find myself disappointed that DA has failed to update the website to compete with newer platforms that do an obscenely better job. I tend to upload the occasional few "finished" works here and skip all the notifications building up, because I just don't care anymore. *sigh* 

If you're interested in following where I'm more active, feel free to check out my Instagram: @NovaChronum and my Facebook page: Nova Chronum and hell my twitter too, also @NovaChronum. (My DA Is the only place that is still Techta, and hell that might tell you all you need to know about the outdated nature of DA).
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© 2017 - 2021 Techta
Comments18
anonymous's avatar
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silenoswithaleopard's avatar
I reaaally dislike tumblr, it's a mess. I was on it for a few years before calling it quits. Ten years ago Deviantart was hoppin. Just filled with up and coming talent and when something was popular it became massive.
Online art communities (if I can call them that) now seem so scattered.
Recently, I'm starting to see that artists are leaving tumblr for Twitter and Instagram I think I've fainted.  Who can even predict what'll happen in just the next few years??
Perhaps it's because Deviantart was late to formatting their site for mobile? Idk.
The reality in the end is that creatives are going to go where the traffic is and where there are eyes. Where their style can be seen and appreciated. I believe Deviantart can bring people back, they just need something shiny and new and a few influential artists posting good work.
Thanks for this post, I found it through google. I was feeling down with looking at the very clear shift from 2015-2017 on here. Change is inevitable but where else is there a meaningful supportive community?
Personally, I still love it here and I hope DA doesn't disappear entirely :/
Techta's avatar
Thats a pretty good theory -- the one about being slow to mobile. I also feel like it's never been a "SOCIAL" media, which has always been fine for me, but maybe that's just not where the demand is anymore. I pretty much hang out on Instagram mostly. But I post almost entirely cosplay there instead of art.
Nakkurussu's avatar
Sadly this site is declining so quickly that when it does gain a rise in traffic, it's just advertisers or toxic people coming to poison it even further. 
Me and my friends were waiting for ArtRise to launch. 
Techta's avatar
I am feeling the same way. Right now I pretty much only use Instagram.
Nakkurussu's avatar
Yeah, it's the same for two of those friends of mine. They seem to be doing a lot better since then.
High-Guard's avatar
Agreed. The things that drew some of us to here have long since lost their zeal, and we have all kinda moved on to other things.

I do keep watch on your bookface though, and though I may not comment or like everything I see, I do SEE it. Coming here just... seems like a chore now. But like you sya, it's better set up to display and share arts than other social media sites I've seen too. So I'll stick around, if only to have an account on here so I can look at things if I feel so inclined.
Techta's avatar
it is kind of a chore now. :(
MurraMyrrh's avatar
Huh...Today is the third journal/blog post I've seen today about this subject. And it would be a total lie to say I haven't contemplated this very thought myself, several times.
Well. I think for you and the nature of cosplay things, Instagram, Facebook, and I THINK Snapchat (don't quote me on that last one. I don't really have a lot of social media) are like, the best platforms. I don't actually think Tumblr is super great for cosplay. I don't really know why. I just don't see a ton of it there, and I can't really figure out why. (Maybe I'm in the wrong circles?)
I personally haven't switched over from dA to other places because...well...yeah, dA sucks in the art sharing aspect, but it has the best gallery organization I've ever seen. I mean, I fumbled around a little with Tumblr, and there looks to be a way you can "organize" stuff into "folders," but it's a huge pain and overall annoyance. And even if you get all your stuff linked and such, it's not in a true localized folder.
I dunno. Maybe try to redirect traffic from the other sites to your dA? That might help SOME...If you haven't tried that already. I'm really sorry, man. I hate that so many talented artists are dealing with this issue. Maybe someday dA will get their stuff together and reorganize this place, make it better. It used to be so lively here, and now it's just so...quiet. It's creepy seeing really good art with like, 3 comments and 12 faves, and it's honestly top notch stuff. Then you see some DBZ wannabe trash hastily drawn on lined notebook paper by someone who's obviously just learning how to draw, and they have 20+ comments and 100+ or so faves. It's the flipping Twilight Zone here!
Techta's avatar
Yeah DA is still the best for showcasing and organizing but it's weird how its also a lot of people who dont do art at all who have accounts. On Facebook/Tumblr/Instagram people generally also have their own stuff they do, be it food photos or just reblogging. on DA there are legit accounts that are just empty or just have some basic sketches. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. Maybe its almost like its too equal? Like people who are new beginners are on the same tier as professionals, so we have a hard time looking for a think in particular.

I dunno. I wonder if someone has done an analysis on this somewhere. I still love DA, I just don't see it helping much. I do have my DA page posted on all of my other social media profiles, but i haven't seen any change.
JordieVerse's avatar
I had been wondering why I was seeing so little traffic relative to the amount of content I've been putting up. Granted, a lot of it is commission work, but I try damn hard to keep up with original art too. No matter what, I'm lucky to get more than a couple of comments. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong or that people just weren't interested in the stuff I was making. I might try and branch out to other sites but I too prefer organizing on DA... and I'm bad at maintaining multiple accounts for my stuff :\
Techta's avatar
Yeah. Most artists I follow have switched to Tumblr, but I honestly find that a terrible medium for it. Because unless you check constantly throughout the day, your're likely to miss uploads. And there isn't a way to leave comments, no folders or way to organize them, and no way to go to their profile and find that piece again easily. Instagram has been the best substitute for me, the main downside is its HAS to be on a mobile device and it crops the image, so that sucks for posting art in some cases. Facebook is the best for doing a little of everything I guess, but I'm really bad at keeping up with 2 facebook accounts plus everything else UGH! 

Idk, DA would be fine if they just...idk joined this decade maybe?
RayveArts's avatar
I agree! I actually just bought a core membership the other day to give DA one final shot but if that doesn't suffice, I might be way less active. Even FurAffinity is lagging behind so I'm thinking of either branching out into tumblr or instagram myself (as my fursonas). It just sucks cause there's way less anonymity on those sites it seems like and that's the biggest hurdle as a closet furry. 
Techta's avatar
I just hate tumblr so much, but it might be a better platform for anthro/furry art than my stuff. So that might work out better for you anyway.
RayveArts's avatar
It's self-obsessed cancer though. But maybe I have to give in.
DragonBot117's avatar
I can't help but agree, my Instagram (for how small of an artist I am) has twice as many followers and I get faves and comments way more than here. I wish that an art-sharing website would do their thing better.
Techta's avatar
yo, whats your instagram!!
DragonBot117's avatar
It's thedragonbot, thanks!
anonymous's avatar
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