Let's talk about Eclipse

8 min read

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WestlyLaFleur's avatar


   It's been a long, long time since I wrote a caustic journal with the intention of shaking things up, but it's time to shake off the rust and raise the pitchfork because this shit is just hard to watch. In case you've been holding your breath waiting for DeviantArt to can their Eclipse project, go ahead and give up the ghost.

    Apparently, despite overwhelmingly negative feedback, they're still planning to shove this down your throats. It's not just my old school following, either; just take a gander at these search results for 'eclipse' sorted by 'popular this month'. There's also a change.org petition nearing 25,000 signatures protesting the new interface.

    It's a well-documented bit of common knowledge that Eclipse is fucking broken. If you're having trouble navigating the new site, you're not alone - it's also not your fault (i.e. you're not just some old fart that can't internet properly anymore.) Neither is it alarmist nonsense to point out that Eclipse is actively hostile to the DeviantArt's PC user base; the official response to this complaint has been nothing short of callous.

    Mobile users may have the collective attention span of a fruit fly and be totally uninterested in forming lasting communities, but DeviantArt is hell-bent on breaking into this demographic regardless of consequences. If you're eclectic, you can likely kiss your niche community goodbye.

    I'm aggressively opposed to the infinitely scrolling stimulus machines that sites like Instagram have become; the purpose behind the design of such sites is to efficiently grind your precious time/attention down into internet currency - they profit and you get nothing in exchange. I deliberately limit the time I spend on sites like Instagram and Facebook for this reason. DeviantArt is dying. The Frankenstein monster they'll erect in its place will more closely resemble the aforementioned stimulus machines.

    People seem, by and large, to fall neatly into one-of-three camps regarding the Eclipse issue. There's this guy:

ZoomerGuy by WestlyLaFleur
Crybaby by WestlyLaFleur
FiteMe by WestlyLaFleur

    Pretty cool, huh? An inspirational rebel, swimming against the current - going against the grain. Except, from what I can tell, these posers are mostly new users and low-effort shitposters; new age hipsters, karma farming with a contrary opinion. I'm not going to dig in too much further but suffice to say that, if you've been here less than a year and the pinnacle of your involvement with the site has been uploading bad memes and MSP edits, you and your opinion can fuck right off.

    This group does not represent a valid demographic with actual concerns. This is a bunch of tween morons that would gladly waste their time starting an online shitfest simply to bathe indiscriminately in the consequential deluge of attention. If DeviantArt went belly up next month, they wouldn't even blink; they'd just skip on over to the next site.

    Then there's these folks:

Saveda by WestlyLaFleur
Raisefist by WestlyLaFleur

    There are so many of these comments that I hardly felt compelled to snapshot more than a single example. This is the overwhelming majority of vocal reactions to Eclipse and, obviously, I sympathize with their position. However, outrage by itself is impotent and, unfortunately, many of these comments fall into that category.

    What about the third group?

Changeorgnothing by WestlyLaFleur

    The naysayers - defeatists. They feel the need to pollute the comments section with their useless drivel by expressing how pointless any resistance is. These lackadaisical sloths cannot fathom how all the uppity idiots can muster the futile energy, day after day, to protest in hopes of enacting real change.

    So, what's my position on all of this? I'm somewhere between groups #2 and #3. I've been simmering about Eclipse for a while now, but we're not going to enact any real change with angry comments. While I'm unhappy with the thought of resigning to the inevitable, I can't imagine that the developers didn't foresee some serious backlash - you have to figure that they've already made projections and determined the fallout will be worth it.

    At the end of the day, the Eclipse overhaul will not stop me from uploading my artwork here. On the other hand, I will probably stop browsing the site. I'll stop using DA as a social hub. I wouldn't be surprised or offended if people gave up on DA from a consumer standpoint.

    I'm not optimistic about it, but if you want to make a difference, hit them in the wallet. If you've got Core, demand a refund. Simply boycott DA for the time being - gut their traffic and encourage others to do the same. If you buy prints, contact the artist directly and find some way to cut DA out of the transaction.

    Also, perhaps DA needs a gentle reminder that the demographic they're spurning is a bunch of bored, quarantined adults who probably just received their Trump Bucks stimulus checks. I hope nobody gets any crazy ideas like committing those funds to a DDoS or anything. I honestly expect they're already dealing with shit like this, given the number of people they're pissing off.

    Look, seriously, don't do that, but until they wake up and seriously acknowledge our complaints about Eclipse, search for more creative ways to splash the company with ice cold water. Good luck and I'll see you all on the other side of this whole Eclipse debacle.

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    EDIT: Also, look, you guys know that I hate self-serving promotional pandering, but I acknowledge that I have a way with words. This journal is going to make people angry and, just maybe, they'll take action if they read it. So go ahead, fav + share. Put it on the front page and let DeviantArt rain hellfire down on me for suggesting that we kick them in the balls.


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waltervan00's avatar
I feel that this has gone the way of old Reddit vs. new Reddit, except Reddit held it's identity as an embodiment of the Internet. The way Reddit dealt with their situation is to preserve the old website, rather than a full replacement.

Clearly, this site will never match Reddit: the market is simply different. What I feel about the design choices of Eclipse is that they just wanted a flashy front pages to match the likes of ArtStation. It is possible to get that level of finesse in the UI design, and I would give the folks over on DA (which I think had a bad management history) the benefit of the doubt that they were not going to specialise the site to only professional industrial artists.

A hilarity of Eclipse is that once you scroll down into the site, old DA appears again: what the internet makes DA known for. The new coat of paint makes it even more hilarious. In that aspect DA hasn't changed their identity; now it also boasts a UI comparable to Facebook (the web version).

DA will face the next outrage once they decide the forums required Eclipsing.