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Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation... - Started by: BadKarma
Posted: 07 Mar 2009, 08:02 AM
BadKarma:
posesimo:
exactelation


Sweet. I'll look into what it would take to do something like that.

-- BK



cool. I hpe its not something difficult or time consuming :)

ooh and since Im here.. A little observation on the uploading site. I think asking you if its true/false if you want to sell your item is kinda... meeeeh
it should be changed to yes/no
kapish? :P
Posted: 29 May 2009, 10:42 PM
Long time listener, first time caller... :-)

Seriously though. First, I wanted to say thank you. I stumbled across Side 7 by accident, simply bored at work one day. After going through the wonderful art alphabetically up to "C", and seeing how good most of the drawings are, I decided to give it a try--and discovered I can draw!

I'm 38.

Anyway, back on topic, I've noticed that the large majority of art came from between 2001 and 2003 and most of the artists were in high school at the time.

That begs two questions for me:

+ Why mostly within those two years--was it a short-lived fad, that school kids (no offence!) decided to draw while they were bored, or was it something external? Essentially why the sudden surge and drop in popularity?

+ Why mostly high-school people? It wasn't just one school or one city, where word may have spread easily, but people from around the world.

Maybe the answers to those may give some ideas.

Maybe advertise around schools... Facebook... other teen websites.

I've also noticed that a large number of drawings were emo, angst, goth, blood, etc., as if the artists were using their art as a release, an expression of themselves. Posting here may have given them needed attention and positive reinforcement. Maybe a word to guidance counsellors and such...

Anyway, just some musings of an oldie who's just realizing he has some talent. I'll be posting some soon, hopefully this weekend.

Again, keep up the great work!

Thanks.
Posted: 01 Jun 2009, 10:08 AM
Hey Electro,

Thanks for responding. And thanks for joining Side 7.

Back in its heyday, Side 7 was one of the few galleries on the net, and it enjoyed a lot of activity. We have a no-porn policy which appealed to a lot of people. High schoolers were definitely our largest demographic, as they always seem to be on the bleeding edge of social technology.

The drop in our activity and membership levels can be directly attributed to DeviantArt, to be honest. They came on the scene in the early 2000s, had an extremely liberal set of rules, no upload limits, and tonnes of popularity-driven features. Since then, numerous DA clones have popped up. As of right now, the gallery space is saturated on the internet, with those having the least rules and administration and the most popularity tools being the most successful.

We've got a Facebook page, and while there are members to it, it remains largely unused. Same with our IRC channel, LiveJournal Community, and site features. I'm continuing to work on new features which are similar to many popularity-based tools, but (hopefully) done in a way that doesn't turn Side 7 into just another farm for popularity contests. I'd like the site to remain about the art, and not about who's got the biggest fan-base.

Unfortunately, that stance seems to be the kiss of death, but we're still fighting. We'll see how things go.

As far as the timeline between 2001 and 2003 being the most art, we had launched a new version of the site, and it had a lot of new tools. We also had no upload limits. Unfortunately, the lack of upload limits promoted the uploading of a lot of "junk" artwork (doodles from the margins of people's math tests, stuff with descriptions of "I hate this pic I drew, but I'm going to upload it anyway" and such). The volume of lower-quality images was vastly overrunning the quality images, so we instituted the upload limits to encourage people to be more selective about what they uploaded.

That turned out to be a double-edged sword, and I think was the largest factor in our losing memberships and activity. I still stand behind it, though, since the quality of what is upload is vastly improved. We're bringing in features that allow people to "buy" additional uploads with Account Credits, which are earned through site activity.

We'll see how it all turns out. :/

-- BK

Posted: 01 Jun 2009, 03:44 PM
Unfortunate, but it makes sense.

All wonderful ideas, though! Thank you for your dedication.
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 04 Mar 2022, 11:49 AM
When I was plugging Side7 to some friends, I jokingly said "Make Commenting Common Again" and.. I dunno, I kind of feel like that could be the theme for an event. Not necessarily a contest, per say, but maybe just like, artists can design their own interpretation of that, and for a month, comments earn +1 point? I still remember doing the "I hate myself and I want to die" event -- that was a blast, though my art sucked XD But I remember how much fun everyone was having. Just having a community goal can be enough to stir up interest. It just takes a few nice art pieces highlighted on twitter with the hashtag, and a link back here, and then blammo, instant flood. Hopefully.
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 04 Mar 2022, 01:02 PM
Cynicallia:
When I was plugging Side7 to some friends, I jokingly said "Make Commenting Common Again" and.. I dunno, I kind of feel like that could be the theme for an event. Not necessarily a contest, per say, but maybe just like, artists can design their own interpretation of that, and for a month, comments earn +1 point? I still remember doing the "I hate myself and I want to die" event -- that was a blast, though my art sucked XD But I remember how much fun everyone was having. Just having a community goal can be enough to stir up interest. It just takes a few nice art pieces highlighted on twitter with the hashtag, and a link back here, and then blammo, instant flood. Hopefully.


I like the idea of an event. S7 Credits are already given out for commenting, to help promote participation. Once the store is up, they can be spent for new perks and stuff...

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 15 Mar 2022, 09:09 PM
This post has been edited 1 time. Last edit on 15 Mar 2022, 09:12 PM.
First step to making commenting happen is making it easier to comment and follow comments.
I noticed there are no comment threads in the comments section of an image, so if I go to reply to a comment, this means it's not clear I'm responding to THAT post specifically because there's nothing that I can see that threads them in a parent/child format.
you can quote people but I have no idea if that generates notifications and the markdown syntax is a little fuzzy as to where the comment starts and ends so that I can write my response without it being tacked on to the quote. All of these things make it cumbersome to reply. Even checking places like DeviantArt or even FA you can see comment threading has been around for a long time.

I realize this might take a deal of work to re-structure but the site would really benefit from it if you could.

And as a side-note, I noticed I couldn't edit replies made on art, I can delete it but I can't edit it. Being able to make edits to replies would also help.
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 15 Mar 2022, 10:31 PM
This post has been edited 1 time. Last edit on 15 Mar 2022, 10:58 PM.
There are threads in the comments. Each thread is outlined separately from the others. But, I could change the styling to indent the replies to the thread-starting messages. That's how it used to be, and it didn't make much difference in terms of activity. But, I can see about re-indenting them.

With regards to the markdown, we follow the markdown spec, wherein you're supposed to put a blank line between any markdown formatting and the next paragraph. I'll see what I can do to make the separation between quote and start of reply more apparent.

As to editing, that's a bigger task, but probably one that should be implemented. I'll note it down in my tasks.

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 16 Mar 2022, 02:24 PM
Cribbing stuff from deviantart and other places should be a good start.
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 17 Mar 2022, 03:27 PM
BronzeHeart92:
Cribbing stuff from deviantart and other places should be a good start.


Do you have examples of which features you think would help?

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 21 Mar 2022, 07:10 PM
Okay now that I'm looking for a difference, I see that there's subtle boxes around each of the grouped replies. Typically I look for things like 'reply to ___' because until you pointed out there was some visual indication, I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
![screencap of reply appearance](https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/824681916577480748/955542479711637614/unknown.png)

And if you replied to my post, here in this thread, I got no notification that I received a reply from you. Do replies to comments not generate notifications?
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 22 Mar 2022, 01:11 AM
This post has been edited 1 time. Last edit on 22 Mar 2022, 01:12 AM.
armaina:
Okay now that I'm looking for a difference, I see that there's subtle boxes around each of the grouped replies. Typically I look for things like 'reply to ___' because until you pointed out there was some visual indication, I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
![screencap of reply appearance](https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/824681916577480748/955542479711637614/unknown.png)

And if you replied to my post, here in this thread, I got no notification that I received a reply from you. Do replies to comments not generate notifications?


Comment notifications should be sent via both e-mail and notifications. It appears I have a bug to fix.

I will also see about adding the "Reply To <name>" in there, and have it automatically tag the username as a mention. That's a tad more complicated than what I have going on, but isn't impossible to do. Thank you for the suggestion.

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 22 Mar 2022, 12:52 PM
Yeah, these are the notifications I have, I have not cleared my notification list at all since I opened the account, no notice that I was replied to or quoted, here. (I have direct email notifs turned off, I only use on-site notification pages.)
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/824681916577480748/955810281991340053/unknown.png
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 22 Mar 2022, 11:23 PM
armaina:
Yeah, these are the notifications I have, I have not cleared my notification list at all since I opened the account, no notice that I was replied to or quoted, here. (I have direct email notifs turned off, I only use on-site notification pages.)
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/824681916577480748/955810281991340053/unknown.png


Well, that's definitely not good. I shall look into it.

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 06 Apr 2022, 04:14 PM
One of my friends was a regular user on this site, and, when others were recommending that I put my artwork on the 'Net to show others, they immediately told me NOT to use DeviantArt and showed me Side 7 instead for the simple fact that there were protections in place to make sure no one could simply yank artwork off the site. It appears that feature is either not functioning or was not included in the new site. That always felt like a selling point to me, that there were measures in place to make sure no one could simply copy/save the image and then repost it elsewhere to claim as their own. If this feature could be enabled again, it would be a major point of attraction. As much as people resort to watermarks or signatures to ensure no one can remove them without damaging the image, it's also nice to be able to upload a complete image without having to put protections in the image itself.
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 08 Apr 2022, 02:23 PM
This post has been edited 1 time. Last edit on 08 Apr 2022, 02:23 PM.
Not sure if this has been suggested yet but maybe this fall you could host a Drawtober type challenge where there would be an official Side7 list of prompts and a thread here on the forums for people to post in (possibly reviving the monthly challenges board? Just a thought). I've participated in a few of those on Instagram and had a lot of fun. This might be my bias toward web 1.0 but I think having a more centralized/personal space to engage with that kind of challenge would be great. I've seen a lot of artists complaining about how it's hard to make connections and get seen on Insta these days (algorithms boo) and this would definitely be an antidote to the social media slog.
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 09 Apr 2022, 01:49 PM
fragmented_imagination:
One of my friends was a regular user on this site, and, when others were recommending that I put my artwork on the 'Net to show others, they immediately told me NOT to use DeviantArt and showed me Side 7 instead for the simple fact that there were protections in place to make sure no one could simply yank artwork off the site. It appears that feature is either not functioning or was not included in the new site. That always felt like a selling point to me, that there were measures in place to make sure no one could simply copy/save the image and then repost it elsewhere to claim as their own. If this feature could be enabled again, it would be a major point of attraction. As much as people resort to watermarks or signatures to ensure no one can remove them without damaging the image, it's also nice to be able to upload a complete image without having to put protections in the image itself.


So, the downside to those protections is that they're very easy to circumvent with current web technology. However, I am looking back into how one can add similar protections back into the site that would be effective and non-intrusive in the user experience and with current web technology.

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 09 Apr 2022, 01:51 PM
FeralGrinn:
Not sure if this has been suggested yet but maybe this fall you could host a Drawtober type challenge where there would be an official Side7 list of prompts and a thread here on the forums for people to post in (possibly reviving the monthly challenges board? Just a thought). I've participated in a few of those on Instagram and had a lot of fun. This might be my bias toward web 1.0 but I think having a more centralized/personal space to engage with that kind of challenge would be great. I've seen a lot of artists complaining about how it's hard to make connections and get seen on Insta these days (algorithms boo) and this would definitely be an antidote to the social media slog.


This is something I would love to do. I hadn't posted anything because site participation has been so low. But, maybe restarting those activities will help increase participation.

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 09 Apr 2022, 05:11 PM
BadKarma:
FeralGrinn:
Not sure if this has been suggested yet but maybe this fall you could host a Drawtober type challenge where there would be an official Side7 list of prompts and a thread here on the forums for people to post in (possibly reviving the monthly challenges board? Just a thought). I've participated in a few of those on Instagram and had a lot of fun. This might be my bias toward web 1.0 but I think having a more centralized/personal space to engage with that kind of challenge would be great. I've seen a lot of artists complaining about how it's hard to make connections and get seen on Insta these days (algorithms boo) and this would definitely be an antidote to the social media slog.


This is something I would love to do. I hadn't posted anything because site participation has been so low. But, maybe restarting those activities will help increase participation.

-- BK


I'll join in! I might be able to wrangle some other participants too. I have a few irl friends who do monthly art challenges with me sometimes.
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 09 Apr 2022, 11:14 PM
FeralGrinn:
I'll join in! I might be able to wrangle some other participants too. I have a few irl friends who do monthly art challenges with me sometimes.


I'm also always open to challenge ideas.

-- BK

RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 26 Apr 2022, 09:51 AM
Normally I'd wait a bit more to provide my opinion as I'm only new etc but I believe an interesting opportunity has arisen so thought I'd mention it.
The Art community on Twitter are currently panicking due to Mr Musk buying Twitter.
They are now searching for a new home as seen on this thread here, look at everyone wanting to know where to go.
https://twitter.com/sulamoon/status/1518643514199916545?cxt=HHwWgoCyxdyOp5MqAAAA
The usual sites are being mentioned and a few I've never heard of but as far as I've seen when scrolling there are no mentions of Side 7.
If someone well established here with an impressive gallery could go and pop in a few replies, something like "Hey this is a option too" etc you might draw in some people and get the activity up again.
I think people would like what's going on here if only they knew about it!
RE: Your Opinion Wanted: Ideas for increasing site participation...
Posted: 27 Apr 2022, 11:58 PM
JediPrincess:
Normally I'd wait a bit more to provide my opinion as I'm only new etc but I believe an interesting opportunity has arisen so thought I'd mention it.
The Art community on Twitter are currently panicking due to Mr Musk buying Twitter.
They are now searching for a new home as seen on this thread here, look at everyone wanting to know where to go.
https://twitter.com/sulamoon/status/1518643514199916545?cxt=HHwWgoCyxdyOp5MqAAAA
The usual sites are being mentioned and a few I've never heard of but as far as I've seen when scrolling there are no mentions of Side 7.
If someone well established here with an impressive gallery could go and pop in a few replies, something like "Hey this is a option too" etc you might draw in some people and get the activity up again.
I think people would like what's going on here if only they knew about it!


That's a great idea! I welcome anyone who wants to promote Side 7 to others looking for a home to post their artwork.

-- BK

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