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What can Weasyl do to expand the crowd? by struguri

Since Weasyl started, there's been a very specific goal in mind: make a better, more communal and more functional art site than any of the likes we've seen before. Like the infamous complexity of the game Go-- or perhaps more lewdly, the Lemon test as it applies to pornography-- it's easily identified, but not as easily enumerated.

Primarily, it would appear that most folks are grumpy about the lack of perceived activity on the site. I'm not about to start making excuses on behalf of the site for that lack of such-- but nor am I going to defend it, either, really. Because, frankly, at the end of the day, we want our site to be hustling and bustling with creativity and its eventual consumption! Of course, an enormous population has its own hurdles with its own set of solutions, but it'd be naive to put focus toward that right now. The first thing's first: how can we grow?

We currently have a sizeable-- if relatively small-- community. And that's great in itself. A small community has a good amount of benefits. But for an artistic community to thrive, growth and transformation are very important elements. While the current population is simultaneously flattering and appreciated, it would be arrogant to assume superiority merely from our existence. There's a necessity, therefore, to look inward and see-- other than the more clear-cut bugs we've got on the roadmap to be fixed, such as thumbnails and various search issues-- what can be improved and expanded. We do, after all, still have things to improve upon.

A common discussion thread I've seen pop up states that Weasyl is great for artists, but bad for consumers. While I have confidence that the UI issues are a definitive hindrance to our growth, I am not all that convinced it's the only one. While users may not forgive them-- and as curators of the site, we should take responsibility for them-- they will attempt to work around and deal with certain issues if there's a strong enough incentive to do so. If folks feel so strongly toward the general UI issues, then I think it's very safe to say that there's so much more we can do in addition to them to satisfy and strengthen the community.

Unfortunately, my creativity is rather lax in this regard. I have a few ideas-- mostly involving contests of some variety-- but not a whole lot. I'm unfortunately not the most social of creatures, being a dragoness and all, but helping to provide the infrastructure for that social interaction? I quite like that!

So with that in mind, I'd like to get a discussion going:

  • What do you feel is the strongest draw to Weasyl currently? Additionally, what do you feel is the weakest that could be improved upon?
  • What sorts of artistic-related events do you enjoy participating in? Additionally, what sorts of events would you like to see us host?
  • What improvements do you feel could be made in order to help bring a more diverse and populated, permanent community here on Weasyl?

Please try to focus on the questions posed, and don't be afraid to answer these questions honestly. If you're mad or upset about something, don't be afraid to vocalize your emotions. If you'd rather not vocalize these emotions in this journal, please feel free to message me directly. Constructive information can still be culled from your input, no matter how frustrated or annoyed you may be.

Additionally, keep in mind that not everything that will pop up from this discussion is likely to come to fruition. We only have so many resources and an unfortunate series of boundaries (mostly of the legal variety) placed on us which limit our ability to perform certain tasks. This isn't to say your input will evaporate into ether, though. Everyone's commentary has an opportunity to shape how Weasyl works. :)

What can Weasyl do to expand the crowd?

struguri

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    Make it easier to find art / artists.

    The search / tagging is great, but I think there's also the type of person who would prefer to browse a directory with categories. When you upload a video to Youtube you can tag it, but you also have to assign it to a category.
    Maybe have a list of tags that are popular at the moment. An empty search box can be a bit daunting, especially if you don't even know what you're looking for.
    I found a lot of art browsing FA that I didn't even know I liked. It would never have occurred to me to enter it into a search box, because I didn't know it existed at that point.

    On FA your favorites are displayed directly below your own gallery, on your front page. I think this is a good thing.
    People find a lot of art that is relevant to their interests by going through the favorites of artists they like.
    I notice I get a lot of watches from people who just recently watched another artist who featured my work in his favorites.

    In general I feel like I need to way more clicks to navigate this site than I do on FA. I'd rather scroll more than click more.

    The thumbnail part is probably being addressed already so I won't go into that.

    Also this is just a feature request, but please put a "previous" and a "next" button right below an image inside a folder, would be nice for comic navigation!

    That's all I can think of for now.

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      Seconded: Having the favourites visible would be very useful, both DA and FA work this way and I find it a useful way to promote people's works, it is not just a way of bookmarking things which I like.

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        I'd like this also.

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          Fourthing the favorites display. This is one of the biggest ways to find artists on FA. Find someone with good taste and you find a ton of new artists to follow too.

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            5thing the faves visible.also on the submissions page having boxes to delete sub categories of types of things as opposed to one for the whole page would be good.

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              I 6th the favs being displayed on the artist's page.

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                7th'ed.

                Also, popular tags and/or species/category/kink drop down list like on FA would be nice.

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                  8thing!

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                    9thing and adding that it would be nice to see a list of who has faved our uploads like on FA.

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                      10th! 've found so many great artists this way!

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      Pretty much everything I would have typed in reply, so a +1 here. Lack of ways to FIND art and artists other than tag searching really makes me less interested in casualy stumbling around the site like I have on DA and Tumblr.

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    One thing that would be helpful is an option to have e-mail digests, a lot of people don't like adding new sites to their list of sites to keep up with, and as such getting a message telling them what's new without having to check constantly. It would also be nice to be able to list who in your watchlist is available for commissions, that would attract professionals looking for business, a special feature to include notifications when artists do so would be nice too.
    Also main profile pages need remodeling, it's annoying to get a huge version of the artists' last picture right in your face. It should have collections and faverites right in the main prefile too. Fix collection notifications too. It's annoying how it orders the notification on the orders the artworks themselves have been submitted rather than when they've been added to people's notifications. That means if someone adds an old submission It won't show up in the first entries.

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      2nd'ing the email list feature. This would be especially beneficial to help follow specific users and provide extra accessability to those who otherwise wouldn't have the time to check everything else on top of weasyl, and instead just have it forwarded straight to email.

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    There is a redmine addressing a lot of issues. If you have any that aren't on the list, don't be afraid to add them. https://redmine.weasyl.com/projects/weasyl

    Also, they say they aren't just a furry website so advertising should be all over the internet and not just in certain circles. A variety of people and art is also what Weasyl needs.

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    For me, weasyl's greatest strength comes from the tremendous support for visual artists. I don't think I remember using a system that is so user friendly to post, organize, and display art.

    Where it needs improvement is a bit more complex. The main issue I see is that this isn't really a site that's welcoming to casual users. A lot of people use sites like these that do well do so by making it easy to socialize and connect with people. It's a bit intimidating to a lot of people, and it's hard to find what you are looking for.

    If there is one thing FA gets right, it is that they emphasize profiles on user pages. It lets everyone express themselves even if they aren't artistic. Also, maybe use the "friend" system to be a bit more overt might help people feel like this is more of a community.

    Furries are social beasts. If you don't feed that aspect, you really won't get far.

    Other things that could be fixed:

    -My music and writing friends say that the interface isn't friendly to them. I dunno what they mean, but pull some aside and do some QA with it
    -Browsing for art is really a crap shoot. Using dropdown menus to sort broad, common subjects would help
    -The inbox system can be tweaked to make it easier to block content you don't want to show up.

    That's all I got for now. I might follow up.

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      As a writer, I can say that the reason I haven't posted here with any stories yet is due to the interface for literary submissions. I realize this is a primarily visual arts site, but I have a number of stories that were collabs with artists and view writing as an art as well. It would be nice to be able to add text myself without a direct upload. I don't use google docs, nor do I use txt files (the formatting in .txt is basic at best. Instead of such a decidedly LIMITED upload (or at least in addition to), a text box like they have on dA would be REALLY nice. Then I could actually add my work instead of this being just a site my artist friend convinced me to join with her, and that I kind of forget I even have for days at a time.

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        and I have no idea why this posted here.... whoops

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    ditch the square thumbnails

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      Agreed! They are also pretty small for my old eyes x.x

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    Perhaps a weekly featured artists?

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    An option to submit art to specific friends. Like if I trusted someone to give constructive crits before making it public for example.

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    I just like that this site is run competently. It updates and has features and good stuffs.

    What I wish it had was some way to edit story/text posts from on the site itself. Like if I just uploaded a txt file story and I wanted to edit it, I would prefer if I could edit it and format it on the site, with some nice formatting buttons. Nothing too complex, just some bold, italics, quotes, maybe being able to insert images (say specifically only images from my own gallery, so inserting images into a story would be more locked to what you have the right to post).

    I dunno though, I'm just coming up with random stuff. It's not a requirement for me to prefer this site, because I already prefer this site.

    I like sofurry's ability to rate submissions, because sometimes I want to give it 5 stars but I don't want to fav it. I think that's really just me though. If I really like something I always 5 star AND fav it, but.

    The thing I'd like the most is some easier way of putting in someone's icon, instead of the ! [] user:whoever stuff. Either a simpler code like just user:whoever, or a button that put in the ! [] user:etc stuff.

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      "sometimes I want to give it 5 stars but I don't want to fav it."

      I get that too.

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    Weasyl to me has been a very strong nad gentle safe place for my art and my ideas. The only weakness is maybe its connection to other websites.

    If you see on deviantart you can look at the picture. On the side of the artwork is, well a button to share with facebook/twitter/tumblr. That makes it so easy to spread the word of deviantart and it's artwork!!

    I think if you guys manage to make it easier for us to share our artwork outside or more convenient it'll pull more users from twitter, from facebook from tumblr to look at your website.

    Pixiv does this as well. Fa does not do this.

    giving you more views more curious people.

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    You could unify Submissions, Collections and Characters. They could be just tags or metadata for the submissions, not different 'silos' like they are now. Browsing art on Weasyl is a bit annoying thanks to the thumbnails and those three silos you have to click through separately. I think folders are enough for organizing your own gallery just how you like.

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      Personally I like being able to watch people with the option of not watching their collections. I prefer them separate myself.

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    The ability to have people pay for advertisements on the website like FA does would be nice and a good way to draw people to look at a users art. But a really decent system and as long as the ads are not super intrusive. I think it would be a good way for Weasyl to pull in a little revenue as well.

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      I'm a pretty huge fan of this too, found some interesting people via ad's and stuff. Though! If this were implemented I'd also want an "ad page." I've frequently seen an ad on FA just as I've clicked a link, page refreshes and it's gone. Can spend hours trying to get it to cycle through again. One page that shows all the current ones along with cycling regular ones on the site would be great :D

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        Agreed ! I have that same problem.

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        I hadn't taken a shine to ads here since the lack of them is one of the things I like about wzl right now. But I hadn't thought of a page just for them, either, and that sounds like a cool compromise to help promotion. o:

        If seeing them on every page becomes a thing anyway, I'd like to at least see them not at the top. Maybe on the sides, even, idk - it's just the one location where they bug me into blocking them instead.

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      I like this idea too. You can promote your work, and just as importantly, it provides a source of revenue to keep the site going.

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    If i may add another thing, submissions should take up more space than characters/collections on the art messages screen.

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    I think the biggest issue with Weasyl is that many people don't really have a reason to switch. Honestly, the two big reasons I switched, being a commission consumer, general user, and definitely not an artist, was because: 1) of the administrative staff here actually knows what they're doing when running a website, 2) the collect feature being a great addition. That being said though, the site really doesn't have that many features that dA, Inkbunny or even FA don't have. As well as that, there are a few nagging annoyances with it as well.

    I think, personally, Weasyl would just benefit greatly from adding features that a lot of users have been asking for from other art sites. The main ones being: 1) a chat system like Cometchat or something similar, 2) a simplified commission process, possibly a dedicated page where users can attach refs and such then communicate back and forth with the artist, 3) email notifications (e.g. that you received a note, or reply), 4) A new literature setup. It's obnoxious to have to upload a .txt, embed a Drive link, etc. Weasyl needs to have a full online written submission page with text formatting built in.

    As well as that, I think a few things on Weasyl should be simplified. The things coming to mind with that are the merging of submissions, collections, and characters. In the message center and favorites, I think all three of those should be combined. On the userpage, I think keeping them separate is a good idea but there needs to be greater control over organization with them. Also, folder creation and management should be simplified to match a site like dA for example. I think adding folders and maybe mirroring the collection system from dA might be a good idea as well. The favorites on this site, and most art sites, just become a cluttered mess after a little while and function more like a "Like" button than actually allowing users to go back and view art they favorited. And I might be in the minority, but I like the tag system more than categories but the search for the site is a bit lacking. It needs to be more accurate when searching multiple tags.

    Also, non-intrusive advertising I think would be a great idea as well, as was said above me. It would increase discoverability and would allow artists to use Weasyl as a serious site for commission income. Mirroring FA would be a good idea. Maybe have ads that also show up for different content ratings as well.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I don't really have any opinion about events and such because I'm not an artist. Plus, I think the bigger issue is just related to site features.

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    Things that are off putting to me and I've always had friends express as reasons they will not join/use the site:

    -Lack of ways to find new artists and art. DA and FA have the lovely rotating favorites on the main profile. This the number one way I find new artists! I do not have time or interest in a 'new uploads' to find artists. (This is going to sound mean, but just a random system for artwork on the main page won't cut it, not many people have interest in what they may see as low quality work, webcam shots, Second life screen caps, and so on. Give us a system to find things people are actively faving and commenting on.)

    -TOO MANY CLICKS TO CLEAR INBOX. Okay seriously, I'm getting lazy and nuking everything because clearing things shouldn't make me self click hundreds of things. FA has you beat in that sense. As I gain more watchers my inbox is getting more and more frustrating to deal with.

    -Better system to share and spotlight art we like. DA has the share offsite buttons, GREAT. I feel like this place just doesn't have a good way to showcase my favorites, and that ties back into point one, if no one can easily share and showcase as NON artists, why should they set up shop here?

    -I'd also like to see an ad system in place. AND idea for that, I'd love see users be able to create a banner, and have unused ad slots cycle random user pages to help connect new people to their art.

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      Showing support for everything in this post as well. These are probably the most common gripes I see about this website. For artists, the notification system is the biggest concern and annoyance. For non-artists (The biggest consumer of commissions in my experience), the biggest gripe is the lack of a customizable profile aside from the banner, and the lack of social features. It's very difficult to connect and find people and artists here. The rotating favorites would be a great start.

      Also, I wouldn't mind having a dedicated page specifically for commissions on our profiles. It's a bit of trouble when a customer asks for a price list and I either have to copy and paste from my profile, or else link them to my entire profile on a page they may have never visited before.

      The comment system could use a bit of work. It's a little confusing to reply to comments and be sent all the way to the bottom of the page, especially if you are replying to a long post and have forgotten some of the bullet points, it can be difficult to find the post you are replying to again. Heheh

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    From one dragoness to another:

    1) For me, the strongest draw to Weasyl was the community. Some of my friends made their way over here from FA and/or DA and had nothing but great things to say about their experiences. I eventually decided to join and am very glad I did; Weasyl is now my favorite of the three sites and I spend more time here than the others.
    2) I like contests and chats. I don't have much time for either, but contests help inspire me out of ruts, and chats help me connect with others and help produce a sense of belonging.
    3) I think the site would do well with a chat...not an offsite one like the forums (correct me if I'm wrong about the forums). I don't think people necessarily need the ability to make their own chat rooms (at least, not yet), but maybe a few types of generalized chat rooms for members (e.g., general, fursuiting/conventions, therian/otherkin, etc.) could promote community involvement.

    I'd also like to state that I very much appreciate Weasyl's mobile performance. Part of the reason I am able to be as active as I am on the site is due to my ability to access it and browse art/check messages from my phone and tablets.

    Lastly, I agree with PA (above) that providing categories by which to browse art would be very useful. As it is now, the only art I see is who I watch or what ends up on the front page when I first arrive on the site. I'm sure that's a very small slice of what artists on the site have to offer.

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    I think the biggest issue with Weasyl is that many people don't really have a reason to switch. [...] the site really doesn't have that many features that dA, Inkbunny or even FA don't have. [...] I think, personally, Weasyl would just benefit greatly from adding features that a lot of users have been asking for from other art sites.

    This. Currently there's no real reason, aside from "the mods at site XYZ are dickbags", to use Weasyl instead of XYZ -- especially since Weasyl is not marketing itself as trying to be a new "Central Hub for Furrydom". Don't get me wrong, good staff is a great reason to use a site, but there needs to be more. Especially since FA fixed their Commissions tab, I feel like Weasyl has just been playing catch-up with obvious features other sites already have (ie hiding comments). I'm going to bold stuff from here on out to make my points a little more navigable.

    You know what I noticed lately? There's no easy way to PM someone on Weasyl. On FA and DA you can send someone a Note directly from their page or by hovering over their username. On Weasyl you have to first go to your inbox, possibly forgetting who it was you were going to note in the first place -- I know I've gotten plenty of notes from random people (not watchers) who may have seen my work/name on other people's pages. When I was starting out on FA/in furry, most of the casual interaction I experienced with other users was through notes. So it's pretty hard to build community when you can't easily contact other people on the site.

    I think the Inbox is a mess as well. There are a lot of artists using Weasyl right now and those submissions pile up fast. It's still extremely annoying that there're no Category Nuke buttons anywhere in the inbox except for Remove All, whether it's for art submissions or for the message center.

    I agree with others that non-intrusive community advertising like FA has would be another step in the right direction for building community on the site and making it easier to use.

    I also agree with several other users who have pointed out that navigating Weasyl takes a lot of clicks. You have to click through to see submissions in your Inbox. You have to click around to Note someone. You have to click around to see people's Favorites. Streamlining this somehow would probably be helpful.

    As for events or features that would make the site more useful -- I've seen it suggested before, but an "Auction" or "YCH" or "Adoptable" submission type -- basically a "Sales" submission type -- would be a great idea especially if you made that a browsable category on the site. I recently have been looking at hosting an auction here but when asked if they would bid, my watchers mentioned they don't know how user-friendly Weasyl would be to the auction in terms of posting preview images, promotional material, etc. While I don't think it would be any more difficult to run an auction here than on FA or DA, I think that being able to submit these types of things as their own Submission Type and being able to browse a category of them would really be a good thing for buyers and sellers.

    I've always been a bit more quiet myself so I'm not sure how other people use sites like FA and DA to build community. My friends have told me that the Group pages on DA and FA are excellent community hubs though. If you could fix Group pages on Weasyl, and maybe add them to the browsable categories on the site, I think that would have a positive effect on community building here. I know a lot of people on FA and DA like to put the groups they're part of right on their profile even if they're not artists themselves.

    This turned into a long comment.... 8D; I like Weasyl a lot and I would like to see it grow!

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      There's a "message" tab on user profiles that lets you send them a PM!

      Being able to note people by hovering over their name would be very helpful, though.

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        I totally missed that, thank you for pointing that out!

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          No problem! I think visibility of that button could use some improvement, I didn't notice it for awhile myself.

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      I think auctions are best left to auction sites - there's a lot of laws and regulations surrounding those including a need for auctioneers to be licensed and bonded in MOST places.

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        Auctions will happen here regardless, might as well supply what the consumers are asking for to facilitate them.

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      I believe the most important thing mentioned here is the group/community aspect.

      The single element that's going to make any creative site effective is the attention it gives to the users that help the site exist in the fist place. Without the community there can be no community site

      Weasyl has one of the best communities I've seen in a while, and it's the community that is going to push us through any other problem that could arise.

      Having a community or group tab, letting people form groups, chats, friend circles, similarities, shared interests, etc; would be an infinite benefit to the collective coherency of our community, and smaller communities that exist on the site.

      Encouraging an environment that facilitates communication and self-expression for and between users will create massive incentives to use the site, even if it isn't perfect yet (and honestly there will always be something needing improvement).

      Everything else will progress naturally, because there will be more user interaction/communication and therefore more feedback.

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    As it is, Weasyl strikes me as just a better version of FA. Since I've been here I can only count on one hand the number of times I've been subject to unfortunate cock with my browse setting at 'general.' That's amazing. I can't confirm if the report button does anything, but having one alongside each and every submission is such a wonderful idea, too. There appears to be a good faith effort at keeping the porn filtered out for those who don't want to see it, and that's something I really haven't seen at FurAffinity or deviantArt... that's the biggest draw for me and constitutes the reason I left FA for this website. There's no such thing as an art-centered community devoid of porn, so for anybody wanting to avoid it, Weasyl is the best bet IMHO.

    Something to be improved on might be the community content. It strikes me that at least a solid 60% of submissions are furry in nature and I've been told by other artists that they aren't interested in registering because "it looks like a furry site." Let me reiterate that: I've been told by other artists that they aren't interested in registering because "it looks like a furry site." There's really nothing that can be done about this sort of thing, but I do feel it's one of the biggest drawbacks if you want this community to grow; there's just no way to get away from the furry stereotypes. Of course, I have no idea how to remedy this particular problem. Find some way to communicate immediately that all artistic subjects are encouraged, not just anthro stuff... something on the front page or something? The site name and mascot don't help, on that note. Unless, of course, Weasyl is meant to be a better alternative to FurAffinity, in which never mind. The website community can only as large as the community it caters to. ^^;

    Improvements I'd like to see would be a search by popularity function. An easier way to search for commission sheets/journals would be nice, too -- I add these things to my favorites so I can come back to them easily, it's much less time-consuming than going to individual pages to check commission statuses. Actually a more robust search/browse function would be fabulous.

    I'm not much of an artist yet, myself, so I don't participate in art-related events and can't really offer any opinions on the subject. The best way to get people's attention is porn, though, I'll be honest here. Porn websites have more users than every art website combined. If you want a gigantic community, I'd say that's the way to go. XD Hold a porn contest and advertise it on porntube or whatever. They'll come in droves. Any users you lose over it will easily be compensated by the much larger community gained.

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    Oh - and awards (like DeviantART's Daily Deviations). :>

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    Groups would be awesome.

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      This. Groups that don't devolve into an art dumping ground would be even better.

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        I'd love to see that kind of thing prevented so groups maintain a decent level of quality (looking at you, deviantART cosplay groups full of people photoshopping blurry selfies to look like characters).

        The only thing I can think might help is having mandatory group moderator approval. I'd kind of worry that it would discourage making groups, but it's hard to guess how it'd impact it without actually seeing it in action.

        It also wouldn't stop group moderators from just clicking "approve" on everything.

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          I agree with your sentiments but I don't believe that such restrictions are necessary. Yes there are lots of groups like that on DA, and I choose not to be members of them (or I choose not to receive any notifications of their submissions). So the fact that they exists is not a problem for me. If such groups existed here on Weasyl I don't see why you couldn't just easily avoid them like you can on DA.

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      I'll second this, and it's a little frustrating that groups aren't around now when they were in 2012.

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        Likewise. I have several groups in mind that I'd love to create/promote/house here.

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      "functional" groups...unlike on FA. Groups, where all group members not only get a notice when there is activity, but group members can post to said group (and not just a comment to a journal or comment to a comment). Right now on FA, unless you're a mod, you can't post other than in the tiny "shout" area. And again, notice isn't sent out to non-mods about your shout. I joined an outdoor-related group over on FA. It's having a hard time going 'cause of the limitations on who can post "journal entries" and the mod not having a lot of time to forward posts OR to add other mods. If group members could post directly, it would solve that problem. Don't know if I'm really making sense with this or not.

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        I have a group on FA too and the only practical way I had to run it was to develop an automated script to do the tasks I have to

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        2nd'ed, well put aldin

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    What do you feel is the strongest draw to Weasyl currently? Additionally, what do you feel is the weakest that could be improved upon?:

    Right now, honestly, I think the biggest draw to Weasyl is that....well, it's not Furaffinity or Deviantart. And I don't mean that it's only enjoyable by default. I mean it took all the issues with those two sites and fixed them. The terrible coding on FA, the lack of admin attention on DA, etc etc. It's got the community of FA (without the ignorant bigots) but the diversity of work of DA (i.e. not just furries). I think the weakest is probably...well the community is here, but they're not doing anything. I've gotten much fewer comments and commissions on this site than I did on FA, and I've noticed a lot of artists here use this site as a secondary gallery. I'm....not really sure how to fix that, unfortunately.

    What sorts of artistic-related events do you enjoy participating in? Additionally, what sorts of events would you like to see us host?

    One of my favorite things about FA was that it had its own convention. It was small but very successful and tons of fun. Honestly I'm more upset about leaving the con behind than I am about the site. I know this site isn't furry exclusive, but who's to say we can't just have a general art convention? And yes, it's probably several years down the line, but something to think about nonetheless.

    What improvements do you feel could be made in order to help bring a more diverse and populated, permanent community here on Weasyl?

    I've noticed that, although Weasyl allows all kinds of art, it's still pretty heavily dominated by furries. I'm not sure how to do this but it'd be great to kind of reach out to other types of artists as well. I'd love to see more horror, fanart, realism, etc.

    Sorry I don't really have much by way of suggestions for how to make any of this happen....I have absolutely zero experience or know-how with running a site lol

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      having more features that would facilite user-communication and making it easier for people to keep in track with their favorite artists (instead of just all artists they happen to be following) would help this immensely

      for instance even just being able to check what those on my friends list have posted; i get lost in submissions easily

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        This is a really good idea. Somehow highlighting in the inbox the things your friends have posted, or friends-only posts (or both!) would be a really good feature to have.

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    I just thought I'd mention that a way to mark notes with "priority" like on FA or dA would be SUPER helpful for artists to be able to separate commission notes from other notes.

    It makes life so much easier :3

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    Stream announcements should be a bit more prominent, perhaps a small preview defined by the artist in charge of their stream so people can be attracted to their style instead of just plain text

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      Agree!!!! Preview image with stream is super helpful.

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    Just a bit of a brain dump while I finish up the workday.

    Things that Weasyl lacks that might be cool:
    "filter by rating" on browse
    A "commission status" front page dashboard thing (imo, this is the killer feature for me personally; the question I ask more often than not is "who is open", not "who should I commission", plus it's a good way to find new artists and, in general, ameliorates the "useless for consumers" complaint.)
    "remove all" by category: it sucks nuking everything when I'd really rather just nuke my new "you got a new fave" notices
    Faves in the profile view, but this has been mentioned a bunch.

    Things headed in the right direction:
    Characters. It would be nice to have this be a "set" of refs, such that I can link a character page and just be like "here's everything you need to know about face and markings and colors and number of tentacle dicks" or whatever, but this is a really cool thing still.
    Collections. A fantastic way to dedup things, but to be really usable, it needs to have some kind of editable detail (context: the information I can provide about why I took a commission is not the same as the information the artist can provide about the process, etc.)

    More if I think of stuff when I'm not about to walk out the door. <3

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      Speaking of character pages, Nabyn, a very under used site created a character database that was fantastic: http://www.nabyn.com/cdb.php

      I think Weasyl could learn a few things about how this site handled characters, and how users could link a 'Character' to a submission, so people interested in the characters in an image could find out more about them from a sidebar link to the 'Characters Featured'.

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        Thats actually really cool.. o.o

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        Yeah I agree. Even tho Naybn crashed and burned due to the admins disappearing for about a year or two-- they had a great thing going for them with the character system. It was great. It had everything you needed and as easy to look at, from a glance. (at least for me).

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        Yessss this is one of the things I really keep hoping will happen here. Oh please oh please!
        I haven't even touched the character section on my own page until it becomes more like the example on Nabyn. I keep wishing on that star @_@

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        oh gosh I'd be so excited if Weasyl implemented something like Nabyn's character database.

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        ooh, their character page layout is really nice! I would love to see something like that here too.

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        i am in support of this

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    I am not an artist but I am a commissioner. I love this site way more than FA and DA for the fact that I can view journals! But at the same time that can be pointless if nobody responds to it. Its hard for me to find artists that are actually open for what I am looking for. Like feature who is opened on the front page would be very helpful for example.

    I also don't have how you can't really customize your page with colors. and all like FA. Id also like to talk with artists, get to know them better so a chatbox would be great!

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      I agree we really need an 'open for commissions' area where the artist name, type of commission and price range are listed, something as simple as "MY NAME - Badges - $10-$60' as a link to the finer details, and it would remove openings after a certain time frame. I'm both artist and commissioner, but I find it hard to find a good way to just narrow down who is open for THIS right now in a range I can buy right now.

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        This is actually a pretty cool idea - Though I can imagine once the site gets busier it could get cluttered. But being able to search something like "badge, $10-$50, traditional, furry" would be amazing! No more poking around all the artists I follow to see who is open and who isn't.

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    Strongest Draw? It's not FA, because it's better than FA. Simple as that.

    What events would I like Weasyl to have? Secret Santa's maybe! Those are extremely hard to do, but...it's possible. Maybe with a tap on the amount of people who can join? Maybe in sections?? idk. Also-- maybe in time Weasyl could have it's own Con in a year or two!

    What changes should be made? None. KEEP DOING WHAT YOUR DOING: Which is, keeping an open line of communication with the userbase. Keep steady updates. Be friendly and just. That's really all we can ask for.

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    I'm on the holy trinity of Weasyl, DA, and FA and community wise, Weasyl wins hands down. Thank you for giving your users an opportunity to help make this a greater place. Here are my four cents, I'll add another comment if I think of more:

    Community/Site Mechanics:

    • Groups. On DA, it makes discovering artwork and artists easier.
    • Community advertising in that big blank space in the header. There are plenty of freelance artists (me!) that would gladly pay for ads.
    • Searchable favorites, especially if favorite folders are not planned.
    • Signatures in comments, even if the text is small or greyed out. People advertise projects or commissions in sigs.
    • Staff-run artist features. Not like Daily Deviations, I think if you guys took the time to interview artists and feature them individually (maybe one artist per week), that would bring this community to a whole new level. It's great to meet other artists.
    • "Question" feature, where you can ask an artist a question by just typing it into a text field on their profile. Might be a bit redundant paired with notes, but maybe we can find a way to make questions public/social to help users connect. I think it'd be dangerous to lean back on ideas and features that have been "art site staples" for the past decade. Innovate!
    • Emoticons, preferably community-sourced.
    • Simplified markdown for linking to Weasyl users (I'm still bringing up the markdown help page for this every time, haha)
    • Quicker visual access to a user's favorites, like their own (small) section on a user page
    • Non-obnoxious user page customization
    • Start catering to the non-furries or this will just become another FA clone.
    • Premium memberships, I'd pay for one :)
    • Section of the site dedicated to who's streaming at the moment, so you can see all the links to live art streams at once. Maybe searchable or in categories, with more details like software, hardware, and preview images alongside the regular description. Heck, you could see if you can team up with Picarto.tv (as far as I know, they're still in beta too).

    Design Nitpicks:

    • Dump the cropped thumbnails. For me, it's hard to want to click on something if it's just a face or a foot or whatever.
    • Screen resolution-appropriate preview images on the submission page instead of the default full-size view. I have to resize everything before I submit to Weasyl, otherwise they appear huge. This also goes for the "featured" submission on users' front pages.
    • The right-hand column on user pages looks a little messy at the moment, especially since you can't tell where the journal is right away. More distinction between sections would be great. I think it should be bigger too, maybe half the page width.
    • Allow users to put an image above their profile information, like an ID.
    • Make journals more prominent on user pages
    • Allow submission thumbnails (good for features)
    • More images in messages to make it more stimulating (like having a watched journal author/new watcher's avatar next to the notification, etc.)
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      What do you feel is the strongest draw to Weasyl currently? Additionally, what do you feel is the weakest that could be improved upon?
      Currently, my friends and I like it here for two main reasons: DA doesn't allow adult work and their staff is a bit hit or miss, and FA's site is broken and the staff is questionable. We like the feel of Weasyl so far, we just want to see more of the kinks worked out of the UI.

      I've been in contact with some of Weasyl's staff about a few suggestions, but I'll put them here too for posterity sake.
      -A bunch of my artist friends and I have been discussing things we like about Weasyl, and things that we'd love to see revised. One thing we all agree on is adding more options to the message center to make it easier to clean out. Currently, we have to either check each thing individually, or uncheck them the same way. Image showing a roughly idea can be viewed here. (Notice the 'nuke' button has been scooted away from the accidental click zone. :b)
      -The Markdown System is intuitive, nearly all sites I'm familiar with use the simple :CODETAG: system. Frankly speaking, the markdown (IE <!~weasyl-username>) doesn't seem as user friendly. I asked before on Twitter, but I didn't receive an answer: is there a specific benefit to using the Markdown over the simple : : system everyone is already familiar with?

      I grabbed these from some of the other comments above, but I wanted to echo them:

      -Signatures in comments, even if the text is small or greyed out. People advertise projects or commissions in sigs.
      -Emoticons, preferably community-sourced.
      -Quicker visual access to a user's favorites, like their own (small) section on a user page
      -User page customization
      -Start catering to the non-furries or this will just become another FA clone.
      -The right-hand column on user pages looks a little messy at the moment, especially since you can't tell where the journal is right away. More distinction between sections would be great. I think it should be bigger too, maybe half the page width.
      -Allow users to put an image above their profile information, like an ID.
      -Make journals more prominent on user pages

      Cheers!

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      Whoops.... that wasn't suuposed to me in reply to you! I middle clicked to open your comment in a new window, and instead of doing that it made me reply to you instead of the journal. Sorry about that!

      I didn't want to reply to your comment specifically about "Dump the cropped thumbnails. For me, it's hard to want to click on something if it's just a face or a foot or whatever."
      While I do agree that entire galleries of head shots are annoying, I do really like the uniformed thumbnail look and option to crop my work to an interesting bit. I just think the majority of folks here implement it poorly by using it to focus on a face each and every time. ><

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      really good ideas here, props to bri

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    Ultimately, Weasyl needs to be more than "Not FA", or even "A Better FA" because we already have FA, and that's where most of the people are, unfortunately, and network effects are going to make it very difficult for people to switch or even join up in the first place.

    It would follow then, that aping FA (or other art sites, for that matter) will not get users to switch or join. So, make Weasyl a better platform for artists and consumers by figuring out what their needs are and then find the best solution to address those needs. I would suggest looking at these from the problem side, and then find the right solution.

    In my mind, the big problems that are ripe for better solutions include:

    • Finding artwork that you're likely to enjoy. The less friction you have between a user looking for a given sort of art and them finding it, the better. A solution might include better searching facilities or some sort of recommendation engine.
    • Supporting the marketplace for artists to sell their works
      • Help artists sell things - could include a better "storefront" interface, commission tracking (incl. open slot management), or a mechanism for selling downloads, prints or other merchandize.
      • Help users buy things - maybe things like paypal integration, a way to track commissions you've purchased, better searching for artists that are open for a given type of commission, automatic notifications when a watched artist opens commissions, some sort of wishlist mechanism.
      • Crowdfunding - is a given artist using Patreon or Kickstarter (or whatever) to raise funds for anything right now?
    • Event management - when will an artist stream something? Does it happen every week? Is there a way for me to see what's coming up in the next week or so among the artists I'm watching?
    • Groups - Users themselves are probably the best resource you have for curating collections, and this can help both users looking for art of a given type and artists looking for exposure.

    In general though, I'd look at the things that users here or elsewhere are solving using ad-hoc and inelegant mechanisms as a rich mine for ideas.

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      I'm not sure an art site wants to get into the sales biz. Running an art site requires relatively few legal decisions - running a business site requires a LOT of important decisions and business acumen. Furry fandom already has a string sales presence in FurBuy - I think it would be best to support what's already there rather than divide the sales so much that nobody can manage to keep a decent sales system going. Let those who do sales specialize in it while those who do art sites specialize in what they do best. Honestly I'd like to see more of these sites working TOGETHER to synergize their strengths rather than all of the divisiveness. =/

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        "Furry fandom already has a string sales presence in FurBuy"
        Plugging your site in this way seems kind of tacky. :/
        There are several art sites that cater towards making it easier for clients and artists to do business on their, I'd love to see Weasyl among them.

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        Yeah agreeing that plugging your site everywhere auctions are mentioned is tacky, Jurann. :| I'm pretty sure people have mentioned this to you before. But whatever.

        You do have a point: I would love to see sites working together. FA tried it a few times and dropped the ball in every instance, but it would be cool to see inter-site partnerships form -- like the partnership FA had with Artists_Beware aimed at stopping scammers and thieves, which was great while it lasted. Partnering with a sales site might be a good thing to do: What if you could log in to (for instance) FurBuy with your WZL account? (Like the Facebook linkup system.) Not having to go through making yet another new account would probably result in better traffic.

        Now mind you, traffic still seems to be better on artist-hosted auctions than on FB auctions, at least for art though not perhaps for physical items. So a special way to advertise on art sites would still be nice.

        I dunno what the solution is really, whether it's to partner up or put in a new system of Weasyl's own! But I still think an auction or sales system would be invaluable regardless of how it was implemented. The key would be to make one that is as useful as it can be to as many people as it can be.

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        I don't see why Weasyl can't partner with other sites to get some of these services, the main problem is one of integration. I don't know about anyone else, but the only time I ever visit furbuy is when I see an artist link to a specific sales page. I don't go there to browse or find art, merchandize or commission openings, and my impression of furbuy is that it tries to be eBay for furries without addressing the specific needs that makes the furry fandom special. Can I go there, commission someone, and then have all of my communication, art references, works-in-progress, etc all in one place? I doubt it, and I haven't seen anyone do that, yet I think that an art site that did would have a killer app on their hands.

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          FurBuy is 100% open to integration with other sites. We've offered to integrate with FA, InkBunny, SoFurry, Furnation, Rabbit Valley, Weasyl and others. So far none have either 1) been interested or 2) had the web developers to commit to the effort. We've written APIs and tools that are ready to integrate for any site, too, and made them incredibly simple to use. We have been and remain ready and willing to integrate sales and auction features with any furry site, free of charge.

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        Just like with FA, it's always good to have alternatives.

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      Help artists sell things - could include a better "storefront" interface, commission tracking (incl. open slot management), or a mechanism for selling downloads, prints or other merchandize.
      Help users buy things - maybe things like paypal integration, a way to track commissions you've purchased, better searching for artists that are open for a given type of commission, automatic notifications when a watched artist opens commissions, some sort of wishlist mechanism.

      I like the idea of both of these coming to Weasyl.
      DA has a similar functionality for artists on their site, I've not used it (it requires a premium membership there), but it looked handy!

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        Yeah I really liked the downloads/prints mechanism on InkBunny before that site got the reputation it currently has. And I like the system on DA, it's easy to browse and I've bought a few things from them over the years. So yeah, thirding all of this.

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      I'm just gonna pop in and say I would love to have an option to sell merch/downloads/prints! I think that would be a pretty damn cool feature, both an artist and consumer! In the near future I'd like to focus more on selling portfolios and comic packs, and I'd like some kind of exposure for it outside of my own watcher base and word of mouth?

      I saw a few people commenting about a category of artists who are currently open to browse through, something like that for artists selling merch or prints/folios/etc would be pretty awesome!

      Okay I'm done hijacking your comment. ;w; /floats away

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        "I saw a few people commenting about a category of artists who are currently open to browse through, something like that for artists selling merch or prints/folios/etc would be pretty awesome!"
        I do like this idea a bunch too, which I don't think I mentioned before. X3

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        I think it would be a nice feature to, though judging by Artspots' experience with it, it would be an awful lot of work on the admin side, and if they don't do it well, it can really backfire on them.

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      great ideas here

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    One of the biggest draws to Weasyl for me is a staff that isn't complete crap. So far, you guys aren't giving positions of power to people who are under suspicion of terrible shit, the UI is so far pretty great, the design is pleasant to the eye and like you mentioned, the small community also has its perks. I started being much more outspoken ever since I moved over here, simply because I feel greater identification with the site than I ever did with FA. FA felt alienating, a conjunction of its ultra-large community and the demoralizing state of the staff.

    Now, one thing I'd prefer would be a setting that allows for you to choose to show a greater number of submissions per page, if that wasn't implemented yet. And a way to go back and see who favorited a submission.

    One system I've seen before is the "hover over image; larger version of image appears", and it is quite good. If there is a way to implement that along with giving the image a +1 view whenever a unique user hovers over it, it'd be great. Faster way to go through your submissions, and still tells the uploader that people have seen it.

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    could it be possible to set up something that automatically deletes stream posts when they are finished. or a way for artists to set the duration of their stream so that when the stream ends it deletes. So often i see now streaming and excitedly click it w/o realizing that the stream has been over for hours.

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    I think everything that needs to be said about how to improve Weasyl has already been said.

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    I've invited a few friends to join in Weasyl, the thing that pleased them the most is that you could post cock, it seems stupid, but after the drama of Furaffinity, lot of people needed an active and fun website to post porn. I think the lack of activity may be also because there's a lot of art websites, deviantart, furaffinity, inkbunny, tumblr and most people cannot deal with everything at once, worse they think they cannot post the same picture on every website (and I already saw someone saying "creating a new account is difficult".. really?!)
    Anyway

    • What do you feel is the strongest draw to Weasyl currently? Additionally, what do you feel is the weakest that could be improved upon?
      People are friendly, you can post your art, and your porn. The fact you can make your gallery private and hide comments is a plus (DA and FA took YEARS to do this) I don't know what's the weakest point is. I heard 2 or 3 times that Weasyl's layout looked like DeviantART from their point of view, and some people weren't drawing "furries" so they didn't feel the need to join in.

    • What sorts of artistic-related events do you enjoy participating in? Additionally, what sorts of events would you like to see us host?
      Never participated in art-related events, mostly because i'm french, and when there's furcons or "meetings" I cannot join in. I would be pleased to join a furcon, or whatever, and maybe if the community grows, there will be enough french people to create a con (furcon or not) of course, I guess it costs money, so maybe a way to advertize the community?

    • What improvements do you feel could be made in order to help bring a more diverse and populated, permanent community here on Weasyl?
      I like DA groups, and I think Furaffinity lacks of it. I wish there were more groups, so people with the same group of interrest could create their own little community. A community inside a community.

    I'll try to share this journal with those who complain about Weasyl, maybe they'll come up with something interresting to say?

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    Please comment on this one, if you can ;)

    Now, It's a regulatory nightmare, but Weasyl should look into having a payments processing system. Weasyl could develop the same infrastructure as PayPal and be able to take CC information (securely, of course!) to allow artists and commissioners to complete the whole process via Weasyl without the constant stories of PayPal or AlertPay or whatever closing everyone's account. There's a ton of regulation about this, but it is possible to do.

    The big thing is that setting such a thing up would require money, but it's such a useful and potentially unique feature that it would set Weasyl apart from all other furry art sites. I don't see why a crowdfunding campaign to set up WeasylPay, Inc. wouldn't succeed. There'd be ongoing costs of having the legal coverage to continue working, so Weasyl would have to have fees just like Dwolla or PayPal do, but I know I'd contribute happily and willingly hand over fees to it to once and for all have an easy way to buy and sell art that was within the community.

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      OH MAN I'm already in love with this idea! Seconding this so hard! ;w;

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        Yeah thirding this! I'd imagine it would be a ways in the future but it would be really awesome.

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          See my reply below.

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        Quite complex, yeah, you'd have to make enough with it to afford the regulatory costs of legal and financial actions, but it'd be a really nice and unique feature.

        WeasylPay - We swear we're legit.

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          It will also be a welcome feature now that PayPal is starting to crack down on adult art transactions.

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            Well, I certainly think so.

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      Since you asked for a specific reply I'll field this.

      As you mentioned there are plenty of legal and logistical issues that come with us opening something akin to a PayPal for instance where our users would have a "Weasyl Wallet" so-to-speak used to purchase art and merchandise from us. We've had suggestions like this in the past not only to use actually money but also ideas about having our own virtual currency.

      While it's certainly an intriguing idea, there's more too it than just the capital to start it up and the legal aspects of handling money for multiple accounts. We'd need more bodies working full time on support for that system alone, and it's certainly not the type of job I'd expect anyone to want to do pro bono. This seems something more along the lines of when/if Weasyl becomes profitable enough to the point where we could pay individuals specifically to handle that system which I'm sorry to say we're a ways away from.

      Baby steps is what we need to take first. We'd like first and foremost to get user advertisements up, a possible store for prints and the like which has been suggested above.

      Thanks again for your suggestion and replying to this journal. The staff is really happy to see a lot of people participating here.

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        This seems something more along the lines of when/if Weasyl becomes profitable enough to the point where we could pay individuals specifically to handle that system which I'm sorry to say we're a ways away from.

        I'll just note that such a system could be a major profit source, having one established would be the kind of thing that would rapidly attract VC attention to Weasyl LLC - and the money/expertise/manpower to handle the program and make it highly profitable.

        The other things you mention are all needed as well.

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          Well as a small business owner myself, not connected to Weasyl, I can say that the old adage of "you need to spend money to make money" is very true when it comes to stuff like this. We wouldn't want to rush into something like that unless we had the capital to cover the cost of operating that side of the LLC assuming it's not immediately highly profitable as you mention.

          This is why we're prioritizing things like ads for revenue to be reinvested into the site, and specifically projects such as that as well as other endeavors that would be more beneficial to the users and community as a whole.

          I don't disagree that it has the potential to be a highly profitable service, and we're certainly going to continue to research an explore our options but it's something that I think we can work up to once we get things likes ads and other services implemented and functioning properly.

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            I run a business myself. I'm aware that capital is needed.

            I also know that having unique, not just "we're the best" but "we're the ONLY" is a good way to drive more business.

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    • What do you feel is the strongest draw to Weasyl currently? This site has far more of a friendly atmosphere then FA. The staff seems to be trying to make things better because they care. My non furry stuff seems less out of place here then it does on FA. I can post adult images here (something I can not do on DA and do not feel comfortable doing on Tumblr). I like the collections system for the gallery. ------------------------
    • Additionally, what do you feel is the weakest that could be improved upon?
      • The main problem with the over all design of this site is it takes too many clicks to do anything.
      • I can look at some ones favs but I have to scroll down and click their favorites to find them. Both FA and DA display a small selection of favs on the artist profile page. So I have to do less clicking.
      • I can clear out the submissions from my inbox but I have to click through to another page before I get the check boxes. On FA those check boxes are there by default. I don't see the point to not having them there by default.
      • Some times I just want to nuke just my journals or just my watcher notifications ect... there is no button that allows me to do that. I have to manually click each box if I want to remove only one section of notifications.
    • The text formatting system is not something I'm used to and I am confused by it. I don't even know how to make text bold or underlined I'd need to look it up. That's more work then I want to do.

    - I have no idea how to use this site to discover new artists. With DA I can link hop from another user's favs, the "more like this" section on submissions, daily devations and groups. On tumblr they take link hopping to a whole new level and the reblogging system means you can easily share cool stuff you find with your watchers. On FA I mostly just link hop through people's favs (honestly I think FA could to more). I'm not saying that this site needs all these features (some of them probably wouldn't work here any ways) but it needs something more then what it has.

    • What sorts of artistic-related events do you enjoy participating in? Additionally, what sorts of events would you like to see us host?

      As others have mentioned some sort of way to highlight artists or individual pieces of art would be nice. I think a weekly artist feature would be a good idea. I really like the Daily Devations things on DA and have discovered a lot of really cool artists that way. Contests could also be fun. I participate in a coloring contest hosted by a group on DA from time to time. It's a lot of fun and it's really cool to see how different people color the same image. Coloring contests are nice because it's a lower barrier for entry.

    • What improvements do you feel could be made in order to help bring a more diverse and populated, permanent community here on Weasyl?
      For building communities the group system on DA has been fantastic. It's lets both consumers and producers of content feel like they are involved. I would really love to see something like that over here. It gives members the tools they need to build strong communities on their own.

    This is an art site and has such there need to be more of a focus on exposing the viewer to all the cool artwork on this site. I like FA because (despite the some what questionable management) I really enjoy the community there. Because it's a smaller site (and a relaxed environment) I really feel like I can connect with people easily. I like DA because it has a lot of really cool feature that FA can't even begin to replicate. DA is always implementing something new and does a really good job of letting you know what they are working on. I would like this site to have the sense of community that FA has with some of the really cool features that DA has.

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      ok yea just to reiterate the text formatting system here is weird I have no idea why that stuff got bolded it didn't look like that in the preview.

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    I think that having a native chat system with a list of which of your friends/watchers/watched artists are online. Having an easy way to communicate with each other is always something that I though would be a nice way for artists and consumers alike to be keep being invested in each other. Letting it be turned on/off in user prefs would also be welcome.

    One of the things I also would like to see is an option to default to either the artist-picked thumbnail, or the full sized crop of an image as a thumbnail. Some people dislike sometimes how some artists thumbnail their work in a way that isn't fully representative of the image, and having that to default to would be nice.

    There should be a way to sort through submissions in a meaningful way, like say, using a tag list with the most frequently used tags at the top, or sort by the amount of feedback each piece had received at the time of viewing (using an algorithm that calculates views, favourites and comments into a viable metric), or to view only submissions in inbox where critique is requested, or only literature/visual/multimedia submissions.

    Having an option for the thumbnail to pop out into a frame showing the full image would also be nice, especially with the addition of the ability to comment on the piece, fav, collect, tag or report from said preview frame. That way, it would save on having to click on the link and then go back, or open a dozen tabs and then close them manually.

    The ability to check all of each section of the messages category instead of selecting everything in the messages category of the inbox would be nice. The ability to view earlier messages in each category would also be neat.

    Here's a radical idea, how about a classifieds system? The forums aren't that well-known to many users and not many users here use the forums, so why not add the ability for commissioners and artists to post their classifieds for projects they need help on, or need a collaborative buddy for? it can later be extended for site-wide projects and events like Weasyl Fantasia and the like with WW2-propaganda style recruitment posters advertizing the site-wide event.

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    This is not so much a feature idea but a community idea. We need to get people to buy commissions from artist who are here on Weasyl. Then artists will have an incentive to come to Weasyl, which will give non-artists a reason to come to Weasyl.

    And if we coupled commissions with a community that was well known for providing constructive feedback, be it through critique or quality commentary about submissions, artists would be encouraged to make a main gallery here.

    Again not a feature idea but something worth considering for latter on.

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    Looking over the comments and seeing "SHOW FAVS!" - yeah.

    Also a suggestion on how to sort favs for display on a user page:

    You'll often see people on the furry sites favoriting a big set of images. You know, you find a hot ovi sequence here and +fav ten things in a row, then you find a hot tentacle sequence that gets you +faving another eight things at once.

    FA displays a user's favs by time, so pretty much all you're going to see when you visit my page then is that tentacle sequence I liked. What if the fav display just showed one piece by any particular artist? Maybe chosen by last-faved, maybe by most-faved, I dunno?

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    Being able to navigate to newer and older submissions while in a submission page by using your arrow keys. dA has this feature as do most online galleries these days. That would be great. It's something simple, but would be very nice to implement.

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    What do you feel is the strongest draw to Weasyl currently? Additionally, what do you feel is the weakest that could be improved upon?

    I'm not sure how to answer this; there are various reasons for people joining. I came because I love the features, but what I like most of all is that the admins are so approachable and take the community's feedback into account.

    What could be improved, other people have mentioned that it takes too many clicks to get around. I suggest getting rid of the /messages/submissions splash page, and going directly to the 'View and manage' page; have it divided into sections for submissions and characters, the same as you did with shouts, comments, and journals on the notifications page.

    What improvements do you feel could be made in order to help bring a more diverse and populated, permanent community here on Weasyl?

    When you introduced Weasyl at Anthrocon, that was really great at bringing people in. I think we should have a presence at other conventions too; introduce Weasyl to the anime community, sci fi and fantasy, etc. Get the word out to more people, and a wider variety of people.

    Groups would also be nice. I think groups would help people be more involved in the community, and make a permanent home on Weasyl, rather than it just being an addition to their other art sites.

    Other thoughts:

    I would like to re-order the nav links on profiles to be: Submissions, Favorites, Journals (and the rest can stay in the current order), so that Favorites are more prominent.

    Having a chat option is not important for me personally, but I think it's something that a lot of people would like, so I think that's worth developing.

    Thanks for all the great work you're doing :)

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    Being able to set a featured submission on your page instead of having it just be the latest one would be really cool.

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    Thanks for asking for suggestions.

    Pardon me if these features have been mentioned already or if there is already a way to do these:

    1) Some type of limited category tags for Journals (e.g. personal, commercial, charity, political, re-broadcast, misc., and/or whatever) and the ability to only follow certain categories for each person I follow. Thus if I want to see commercial Journals (for opening for commissions or the like) and personal Journals but not political or re-broadcasts from someone, I could do that. I try to avoid Watching people on FA who post lots of Journals because it is hard to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    2) A way to Follow a Tag, so I could Follow "Jackal" or "Winged_Jackal" if I wanted to, rather than having to search periodically.

    3) A way to set some simple conditions on what shows up in my Submission Notifications, such as only Submissions with xx Favorites.

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    It has been mentioned several times already, but as a consumer, I think a search feature or simply a new feature where we can browse artists who are open and what they are open for would be a tremendously inovative function.

    Currently, I am relying on journals from the artists to see when they are open, which works... but the problem I run into is finding new artists or finding an artist that can handle a particular type of image who is open for business.

    I have been trying to ffind an artist for a few months now that can do a new ref sheet for my character Drosera, but I keep running into a few problems: being able to find artists, being able to find artists who are open, being able to find an open artist who is willing or able to do ref sheets, and finally an open willing artist that can do exotic creatures. :x

    This particular example is probably not the best, but it does bring a few common points up.

    Not really much I have said hasn't already been said, but I hope by. reiterating the idea, it comes to fruition.

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    "What improvements do you feel could be made in order to help bring a more diverse and populated, permanent community here on Weasyl?"


    Blogging

    I would like to see blogging become more prevalent on Weasyl and in the furry community in general.

    By blogging, I am referring to the writing of Journals for all matter of diverse topics. By writing, I mean the production of text by the author, the multi-user comment chains that form under the main body of the journal, as well as the linking to images, video, music, etc that is often outside the site. While journals are often used for business purposes, such as for announcing commissions, a journal can also be a multi-media expression of a person's mind or interests, and it is this latter purpose I wish especially to promote. A journal (blog) is not restricted to hosting only content made by the user, but can share content made by others that is relevant to that user's experience.

    I think blogging is becoming an artform in and of itself. My teacher Sam on Tumblr has recently expressed a similar sentiment


    Chris and my's comment chain here describes some of my thoughts about the limitation and benefits of the journal system on this site and how I would like to see blogging become more of a thing in our community.

    (Note that this comment chain was initiated when I discovered the 50 journal limit thing and I apologize for any of my disgruntledness. The administration responded quickly to my concerns, thank you.)

    I want to point these parts out, specifically, and I reiterate below:

    "This is motivating me to go make my own site. But the sad thing is, here is where the community is. I host content on place like FA and Weasyl because the Community is comfortable, and there is an influx of unique and open minded people here. I just like furries and the fringe-folk that wind up here with them/us. Moving off onto an island, causes some stagnation."

    "Main thing is, this is not primarily a blog site. However, people in our community do blog. Some more than others. I'd like to see that aspect get integrated into sites like this. Fury art sites are also, de facto social networking sites. Art and expression are so much a part of our community, these things get mixed together. They /are/ us."


    Continuing that line of thought specifically for the purpose of this post:

    Problems with the Journal System here which I would like to see changed:

    As it is, there is no journal pagination on the page that holds the list of journal titles. That is, the limit that can be /displayed/ is 250 journals, I have been informed, and there is no button to allow the viewing of any further journals. It was raised from 50 in a response to my dismay, when I discovered the limit by posting more than 50 journals (thank you for raising the limit). However, I /really/ /really/ want to see journal pagination implemented soon, as it is going to become very difficult to continue writing on this site, if journal pagination is not implemented. Here is the "bug"-thingie for this issue, which I now notice appears to have been set from priority "soon" to "eventually."
    If any admin or coder would like details on this situation to aid communication about the issue, I can give you links to all related information that I am aware of, which came up as a result of my raising this issue.

    Also, to go with ways in which the journal system could be improved, in the search engine, I would like to see an option in the "Find" box, to search though every type of submission, including character profiles, submissions, and journals, all at once. My roommate, also a uer of this site, has exclaimed this to be a good idea.

    I have some other suggestions about how to improve this element of the site, but I will stop there for now.


    New Direction

    I also believe that given the nature of our community, furry art sites become /de facto/ social networking sites. It seems to me that art sites are the social nexus of our community. Consider that we, as furries, have our social networking and art so closely related as to be nearly indistinguishable. We are a subculture, of artists; even those who do not draw or write or make music, it seems that we in our minds create characters and stories even if we never put them into a visible or audible form. We are a community of alter egos and creators.

    Consider becoming a different type of site all-together. A hybrid social networking site and art site. Weasyl as it is, is very similar in the way it functions, to how Furaffinity functions. Though, it in my opinion, functions better overall. However, it is, no offense intended, still a very generic art site. If a site is generic, it can easily be replaced, and people will split themselves between other similar communities, as happened with the most recent exodus from FA, in which I observed people split into here and SoFurry (and Tumblr). If we would like to have more activity, and more traffic, I suggest doing something truly new. I would be willing to brainstorm with anyone that would like to make this happen.

    This last section is something to consider, just to have in mind. That this site could somehow become more than an art-only site. We could separate ourselves from other similar furry art sites, of which there are several notable, in order to draw in more people, to keep them, and to fill a unique niche such that we become difficult to replace and such that we offer something new to the Internet itself.
    Consider taking the site in a different direction. However, this is something big - something that for now only to begin thinking about.

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    Just got a comment on my signalboost of this from a user who doesn't use WZL because they find it difficult to navigate compared to other sites. They mentioned they had to log in twice just to leave a comment. I asked them for clarification on what they found unintuitive -- if they come back, I'll post it here.

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      I would also like to hear from them, and others who feel that way. When I first got my Weasyl account, yeah, it took a while to figure everything out, but isn't that the case with most sites that you're new to?

      Some sites are easier to get used to than others. In my experience, Weasyl is average in that regard; not super-easy like twitter, but not any harder than most other sites. But it does sound like there's more than a few people saying it's unintuitive, so that should get looked into...But I'm not sure if anyone has said why it feels unintuitive, so that would be very helpful to know.

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        Yeah, agreed.

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    Alright sat on this a few days to ruminate on the issue, and to see what other people have already said. Here are my thoughts!

    As I look over the comments on this entry, one thing stands out to me more than anything else: the repeated comparisons to Furaffinity. Granted, Weasyl always comes out looking GOOD in these comparisons, but it does not speak well for the site's identity as an independent entity that it keeps being held up as "like FA, but getting it right." It needs its own identity. And that might take time.

    Some things that would help, though, have already been suggested. A marketplace for commissions/adoptables/auctions. A payment processing system (somewhere down the pipeline). Integration with other social networking sites. More customization. Etc.

    I think the biggest obstacle to Weasyl's growth is that it is more friendly, at the moment, to art producers than art consumers. And a LOT of that has to do with the Collections system. Whereas I actually think Collections are a rather brilliant idea and one of the cooler things this site does, the system needs some tweaking, and I can see why commissioners would find it off-putting. The way Collections exist now, only the uploader can "offer" something to a user as a collection, and only the uploader is able to see any comments or favorites. This kind of makes the commissioner feel left out of the whole process. There's actually a pretty cool discussion thread on the forums already filled to the brim with suggestions for improving Collections, so rather than cite all of them, I'll just link it right here: https://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?3964-Suggestion-How-to-Strengthen-the-Collection-System

    Many of my other sentiments are also echoed by lonecompanion up there. Social networking is basically the thing that will make or break this community. FA isn't designed to be a social network, yet it's basically the de facto biggest social networking site for furries. If Weasyl actually takes socializing into account in its design/features, then it could really take off. Better profiles, more user-friendly collections, integrated chat, a better organized PM system, etc. And one thing that I have mentioned to a few admins already: icons. I'm stealing this idea from Livejournal (and, to an extent, Sofurry), but if you give people multiple available icons (say, a base of three for free users bumping up to ten or fifteen for paid), then I think people will genuinely flip out over it. Icons are REALLY popular, and there's no art site I can think of out there that allows you to have more than one available to you at a time (with the possible exception of Sofurry, which lets you set a "General" icon and an "Adult" icon, a concept which I think could also work for Weasyl with some tweaking). This would benefit users and artists alike, and would be an added draw for a neglected demographic: the roleplaying community, which is not at ALL small.

    Other ideas which could be taken from Livejournal include the ability to create customized sub-groups of friends for material you only want certain people to see and clubs/communities which are locked only to members (of course that would require Groups coming back, which is also a pretty big deal for a lot of people). And if we're talking about building up a serious blogging community, journal customization options wouldn't be a bad idea either...

    Honestly, I think you guys are on the right track. You're listening to your users, you're communicating openly and honestly with us, and you're obviously doing your damnedest to make this site the best that it can be. I can't even IMAGINE how overwhelming all of the suggestions you're getting bombarded with must be. So I just want to thank you guys for all the stuff you HAVE done, and encourage you to keep up the good work. <3

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    I assume Weasyl takes safety of their users pretty seriously. I'd like to suggest this: don't allow people you've blocked to see your profile.
    In fact, if you block someone, poof. They're gone from existence. And so are you from their end.
    It's not mandatory but it's something I've always wanted.

    Everything else has pretty much already been said.

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      I think that would require a feature to make your account hidden from not logged in users first, otherwise it's kinda pointless as you can just log out and browse it anyway.

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        But they have the user only feature. I see where you're coming from though.

        I'm sure what I suggested would make a lot of people feel safer if it was implemented.

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      "I'd like to suggest this: don't allow people you've blocked to see your profile."

      Yes.

      The logging out and looking/making a new profile to look with is still an issue and I don't know how to deal with that.

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    What I like about Weasyl is that you guys actually push out new features and update your site.

    Regarding suggestions, to echo everyone else, it would be nice to have a way to find people offering commissions of a particular type (badges, sculpture, etc.) from the front page. Similar to how LinkedIn handles degrees of separation, I might also find it useful to see how I'm connected to another user, assuming the chain is short enough. (E.g., if someone I'm not familiar with is offering commissions, a friend or friend-of-a-friend being able to vouch for them would be a big plus when considering buying.) An "inspired by" or "riffed off of" feature of some sort could also be pretty neat as a way for users to find new artists and add social activity centered on submissions. For example:

    • Abby Alligator posts a short story.
    • Bobby Bearcat riffs on the short story with an illustration. Users looking at Abby's submission see a link with an option to view Bobby and others' inspired offerings. Bobby's submission includes a note that it was inspired by Abby's, with a link to take the user directly there.
    • Chrissie Cabybara riffs on Bobby's drawing with a dance track. Bobby's submission now also has a link to Chrissie's submission. Chrissie's has a link to Bobby's submission, and a link to go to the submission that started it all (Abby's).
    • Danny Dramalama desperately wants to harass Abby in every way possible, but is blocked. He tries to use the inspiration tree as a means to notify her that he's still after her by riffing off Chrissie's dance track with a drawing of all of Abby's characters getting murdered, but gets a message saying that he can't participate in the chain due to being blocked by a parent participant. He might still post the submission, but, just like Danny himself, it will sit there alone and unloved, as users surfing the riff tree will never see it.

    Something like imgur's system, where the user just hits arrow keys to see the next one in the chain, would make them relatively easy to surf. If nothing else, I think it would be a neat way to see how memes evolve on the site. If, like I've seen happen on FA, people start a meme centered around mocking a particular user, if they're using the feature, it would also provide a handy list of submissions violating the ToS.

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    Oh another thing - allow people to choose which folder they want to watch individually. A lot of artists are diverse but many of their fans are only interested on this or that theme he/she does.

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    I'll just leave this here. Weasyl doesn't need to be a secondary DA or FA, but it needs to distinguish itself from other sites.

    https://www.weasyl.com/journal/44492/the-problem-with-weasyl

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    I will say that a good implemented auction system will get more people interested in using the website. For now, people have been resorting to simply having people bid on FA in the comments, as a lot of people refuse to use Furbuy now. So I think there are good benefits from this.

    I know some people are against ads, but I've always enjoyed art related ads on FA because I Find great new artists. Its also a great way for artists to get visibility for their work. Especially since favorites are not as visible anymore unless you actually click the favorite tab.

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      If people are against ads they can get an ad-blocking add-on for their browser, too. It's really easy! Myself, I intend to actually make exceptions in my ad-blocker for community ads here, if they get implemented, because I really do want to see / support them.

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    I'm primarily a writer, and I think that the way writing is displayed (and the formats we're able to upload) is really limited. I really wish both Weasyl AND Furaffinity had the sort of setup like Inkbunny has as far as writing goes.

    Aside from that, bigger thumbnails would help, and making it easier to communicate with others would help, too. Right now as far as communicating with people goes, it's a lot easier to do that on FA than it is anywhere else. This is why it's been hard for me to communicate here. I think FA's 'stripped down' interface has a lot more advantages to it.

    Weasyl seems to be going for 'pretty over functional'. I'd rather have an ugly bare bones interface that makes it easier to share writing & art & communicate with users than useless bells & whistles.

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    Contests are a good idea. Maybe spotlights? I like that there's no ads, but it also is a drawback to the people who want to sell things and reach a wider audience and are willing to pay to do so! I have to say even when I have felt like ads look cluttered I will still click them and find new artists on FA if they look interesting enough!

    Also... what about a points system for participating in the community? Forums often count your posts - it could be something like that. I wouldn't make it like a currency like DA's system, maybe more for fun or to unlock different smiley icons or something silly that would be fun but not overrun or break the site? Could you do upvotes and downvotes for providing good feedback in the comments? Sometimes it feels like you're shouting in the dark around here, I'm just throwing out ideas that would help people feel like they're being heard and give them a reason to communicate more. :)

    I'm sleepy ad fighting a cold so sorry for incomplete sentences! XD

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    You know the features people have been clamoring for the most? First and foremost, get those implemented. Also, get groups implemented. Not hard-to-find groups on the Forum, actual proper groups akin to what deviantArt has.

    Don't ignore people who are volunteering to help, as long as the capacity in which they want to help is relevant and has any chance of drawing additional attention.

    Friendly competitions that encourage artists' creativity (like Iron Artist and the Trading Post) are important to building a sense of community.

    Create a functional commission engine that helps both artists and commissioners with the transactions, informational organization, reminders, revisions and exchanges involved in all commissions.

    Be professional. No matter what the Other Guys say or do (and they will), don't sink to their level. Don't mudsling, don't play eye-for-an-eye. Beat them by outlasting them.

    BACK EVERYTHING UP. Regardless of how redundant your hardware supposedly is, no matter how many backups you already have, make one more.

    Be transparent and listen to the community. Don't obfuscate or use doublespeak when you guys mess up. Just be honest about it, apologize, let people know what you're doing to do, give them a timeline, and make a sincere effort to fulfill it.

    I've watched once-great art sites die and wonderful communities disintegrate because of the stupidity, ignorance and egomania of the staffs. If that happens to Weasyl, after all this, I'm going to be royally fucking pissed at you guys.

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      super important stuff here

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        Yes, this. For me the two big things are, don't flake out, and don't ragequit because you aren't as big as somebody else. The best website in the world is useless if it isn't up.

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    I'll try and add what I can to the discussion. From the original message, you might be surprised to find that I'm not angry or pissed off about anything. There are UI issues, sure. My biggest peeve is the inability to edit/hide comments. But each art site has issues. They are just different issues. There are a lot of things I like about the UI here.

    I have also heard the rumor that Weasyl is great for artists and not so great for watchers. I haven't noticed that myself. I mean I don't feel the community is more hostile to me vs. "real" artists. Now, as for the questions:

    To be brutally honest, it seems the reason Weasyl attracts people is because they are leaving FurAffinity and need a place to land. That is pretty much why I came over here, was to follow artists who left FA. That is not a good reason for people to be coming here. It would be nice if they were coming here because the site has a great UI (I think it's certainly above average) or because of the community (like you said it's good, but small). When I compare my account at Weasyl to my FA, Weasyl is a LOT slower.

    Things Weasyl could do to increase the activity in the community? And art-related events? Well, furry is largely about the art. I think it would be great to find a way to get artists more involved with people at a lower skill level, or trying to learn. Also getting artists more involved with watchers. I like the critique option, even if it seems underused. Maybe try and organize some events (or a certain day) where more experienced artists can critique work from less advanced artists? Maybe do some sketch competitions where people sketch up certain themes and then some winners are selected and their works displayed. Maybe do something like banner contests/drawings only instead of a site banner, pick from a pool and get some users their own custom banners. Maybe organize matchups where aspiring artists can get feedback/critique from a number of artists in an organized event. What about having the site encourage some kind of periodic event, maybe with some kind of theme and the "prize" could be a front page placement? Because of the smaller community size and slowness, please announce things in plenty of time for people who only check in periodically.

    Many artists go where the commissions are. And that is where the people/active community is. Maybe do something to help artists taking commissions. Right now, you have to go to the artists' page and look. Maybe do some kind of summary where people wanting a commission can go to a single page that lists (random order?) artists currently open for commissions? Maybe have some kind of feedback system so people looking for commissions can sort based on feedback or how popular an artist is. I know there would be a lot of room for abuse with such a system, but it's a starting point.

    I hope that at least helps some! It is kind of difficult to come up with art ideas that the site can do all by itself. Most of them would require some participation from the artists who call Weasyl home, but then I think everyone has some interest in building activity and the community here. Particularly the artists that do commission work.

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      (You know that you can hide comments now, right? :) )

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        Actually, I just noticed that - so I'll check that one off the list :-) But in my defense, we still can't EDIT comments.

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    I wanted to highlight and second a couple comments from the posters just above, then make some related suggestions:

    I've watched once-great art sites die and wonderful communities disintegrate because of...

    and

    To be brutally honest, it seems the reason Weasyl attracts people is because they are leaving FurAffinity and need a place to land. That is pretty much why I came over here, was to follow artists who left FA.

    Based on that, I have a couple suggestions along slightly different lines than most of the excellent suggestions in this thread:
    1) Make a list of why other art sites have died and then try to find ways to ensure those same things don't happen to your site.
    2) Since it seems that art sites tend to eventually die, a site like Weasyl could grow simply by being ready to pick up artists and fans who are leaving other sites for whatever reasons. This may involve being willing to accept being 'the other art site' for a while and offer features that help support this role.

    For instance, perhaps a way of easily linking to an artist's work that is currently on another site so artists don't necessarily need to upload the same picture to multiple sites and viewers can scan an artist's entire body of online work without needing to visit multiple sites (at least at the top Submission/Gallery/thumbnail level); this would be something like a cross-site version of the Collection feature. Ideally this would also allow the artist to sort the links/thumbnails on Weasyl into different Folders so a viewer can effectively look at a more organized version of an artist's work that is currently on other sites that don't have Folders.

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    As a general suggestion about allowing an artist more flexibility in how to organize their work, allow an artist to post predefined searches of their work (perhaps near or under their Folders) so they can give viewers an easy way to see a particular type of their work (e.g. Gryphon, newer_art, General) without needing to put that art into a separate Folder.

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    reposted down here as a normal comment

    The single element that's going to make any creative site effective is the attention it gives to the users that help the site exist in the fist place. Without the community there can be no community site.

    Weasyl has one of the best communities I've seen in a while, and it's the community that is going to push us through any other problem that could arise.

    Having a community or group tab, letting people form groups, chats, friend circles, similarities, shared interests, etc; would be an infinite benefit to the collective coherency of our community, and smaller communities that exist on the site.

    Encouraging an environment facilitating communication and self-expression for and between users will create massive incentives to use the site, even if it isn't perfect yet (and honestly there will always be something needing improvement).

    Everything else will progress naturally, because there will be more user interaction/communication and therefore more feedback.

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    Too much cumulative bloat to basic actions which should be as streamlined as possible - everything has forced additional costs in the form of clicking, scrolling, typing, and scanning the page.

    Just to upload an image, I have to click through and navigate the square thumbnail generation system for every image before I can complete my upload.
    I wish I could just rather set a preference for actual, useful thumbnails and not have that extra mechanic forced in my face every time I want to show an image.

    Just to tag an image, I have to come up with two tags for it. Why? What if I don't have two tags for it? Why should I have to type 'tag2' because I don't have or care for an additional tag?

    Just to get through my notifications, I have 2 - 3 additional clicks and dropdown menus and third party hacks per decision.
    I wish I could just set some preference for how to handle certain notification tasks like [X] Ignore all streaming notifications.
    Having to option to possibly ignore each notification category would help.

    Having the option to nuke each notification category would help.
    Having the option to select all checked followers and follow and/or friend them with a single click would help.
    Having any sort of streamlining mass notification tools of these sort would help.

    Just to find new stuff by accident and friendly association, I have click and navigate to a user's favorites page, instead of seeing it right there in front as part of a users profile.
    I wish I could see their most recent favorites as part of their profile - and if I like or share their taste, then I have the choice to take the extra steps to seek out the rest of their favorites.

    All these little additional page loads and clicks and jumping around for no apparent reason. Yes, individually these are small microtransactions and minute burdens, but it adds up to a cumbersome layout, poor navigation, uninformative infographics and this nagging sense of drudgery whenever I think about doing anything site related. I think if you make a list of all the things a viewer and artist might do, and count the number of clicks necessary to accomplish it, and the number, and then strive to cut those numbers in half, then the better off the site will be. And the more attractive it will be to new users and new viewers, alike.

    I hear often that Weasyl is responsive and on task, yet this seems at odds with an evident design philosophy that seeks to extract as much confusion, frustration and despair from the users in the form of these forced microtransactions and drudgery - for what seem like vague or aesthetic reasons. This is not reinventing the wheel, these issues have been solved on other sites long ago, emulate the good solutions please.

    And square thumbnails have always been a bad idea since ever, and they are emblematic of all the problems with the site - more recognizable as a Weasyl mascot to non-Weasyl users than the actual mascot. Get rid of them if you want to turn a corner; it is the first and strongest impression any casual new user has.

    The rest will come naturally, you will not have to make community if you foster ease of use, people will come and use the site because it will be easy to use. All the contests in the world won't help if people can't efficiently move through content and operations.

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    •What do you feel is the strongest draw to Weasyl currently? Additionally, what do you feel is the weakest that could be improved upon?
    the strongest draw to weasyl is probably the fact that people who got unfairly banned from FA can have a fresh start in a nicer and friendlier community just because that's what it is for me. nothing else even comes to mind. I have no idea what could be improved on however, other than the complete absence of contests or website activities other than checking messages. I tend to leave the site for 3 or more days at a time after checking messages for a few seconds.

    •What sorts of artistic-related events do you enjoy participating in? Additionally, what sorts of events would you like to see us host?
    I love doing banners for my own page, and occasionally manipulating images to look like my own fursona. I don't have any ideas for events however. Sorry!

    •What improvements do you feel could be made in order to help bring a more diverse and populated, permanent community here on Weasyl?
    I don't know. If you want my opinion, I think Weasyl's had its "hype" stage, or proving grounds If you will, and what it has now is probably all it's going to have. Whoever wants to join the site has probably already joined.

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    I guess I'll go ahead and add a couple of my pet peeves:

    1. It would be nice if the site supported a "fuzzy date" like FA does. While it's great to know that someone responded to my post March 23, at 2035 hours... that means little to nothing to me. I would much rather know that someone responded to my post 11 hours ago.
    2. It would be nice to be able to remove all of a certain type of notification, watches, shouts, etc.
    3. Don't make me go to Submissions and then go to "Manage Submissions" to delete that one submission I already saw over at FA. I think it would be nice to streamline that into one page (or even a couple if there are different types).
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    One feature that would be nice would be something which allows you to see the IP addresses of all of your log ins (perhaps on a separate page). This would allow you to see at a glance if you need to change your password due to hackers.

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    I absolutely love the size images are displayed at. It's beautiful. The icon arrangement is nice.

    What I would like to see support for is a nonsquare thumbnail option. It's easier on my eyes and makes the page flow better. Compositionally squares are difficult to make appealing. I would also like to see an easier system in moving art between folders and copying or cutting from one to another as well as the ability to customize what appears in the main submission folder. It would be nice to be able to set that up as a featured page rather than a cumulative body of work that you sort through.

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    Things I liiike.... I really enjoy the mobile interface, since I'm away from a computer much of the time but still like to keep up with sites I frequent, and wzl makes it pretty nice and easy to view on a phone. I'm super fond of the collections feature so far, and I could have leapt up and down when I saw you can decide what notifs to get per user, omg. And the staff/TOS here are ones I feel like I can actually trust, as I care about the background of things I support, and my rights to my work. Also everyone I've met or talked to here's been just plain nice. c:

    Now some things I'd like to see I'm just echoing here - but I figure they've been so for a reason!

    • visible favorites would be very cool, totally! Any site I've been on for art, it really helps me find other things to like.
    • I'd like to second a mention of a feature to rate a works - many that I've thought were awesome I didn't necessarily want to fave, too, for whatever reason. And getting ratings in return sounds encouraging!
    • adding to the faves topic, if I'm not mistaken pixiv allows you to have private and public ones. Not necessarily kept in separate categories, but the chance to keep some only visible to you seems nice for shy types that still want to support something they enjoyed.
    • some kind of section... thing for things for sale/trade might be cool? Just out of following a lot of people in the adopt circle, there's usually a need to link offsite over and over again in journals and such. Having a page that can just be updated, maybe even with notifs for changes? Cool cool cool.
    • I know the ability to create a featured submission exists - and I actually like the way it works, being able to cycle between pieces - but I think it would be really helpful if finding the way to set that up was more obvious. It took me a week or two to even find the guide.
    • more ways to feature other artists on your profile without like... literally featuring them, if that makes sense - like one of those little "favorite artists" bars or just an icon roll of some kind rather than just a text link for people you follow and befriended. I tend to get drawn in by icons, aha. And maybe one of those "if you liked this/them, you might also like (insert others here)!"
    • for journals, I think my biggest problem's been lacking a good way to keep up with previous ones. Sometimes (like if I'm tired enough) I even forget how to see them since the link to them is at the top, well away from where the journal section actually sits. And on the page itself, it still kind of baffles me that they're not listed with a date attached. On a minor end, sometimes it's hard to distinguish a journal (especially if it's very short) from just any info text due to a lack of a border for it, either. If not changing that, part of me wonders if boosting it a place higher between PROFILE and CONTACT might help.
    • I'm seeing a lot of mention of ads and I'll repeat my thoughts on them - I'm not a fan when they're placed at the top, or in odd squeezes between sections on pages. I usually end up blocking them at that rate. But I can live with them elsewhere, like at the sides or the bottom of everything I'm actually on the page to see. I really liked the idea of an entire page dedicated to them as well/instead, but it has to be easily reached and noticed to have real effect, I understand....
    • nuking notifs by category, nuking notifs by category, goodness me would that be great. And one laaast second to having stream notifs expire on their own. Maybe after 24 hours?
    • GETTING TO HAVE SIGS WOULD BE CUTE and useful! For info blurbs anywhere!!
    • I'm not too bothered by how the markdown works, since it's not impossible, but it hasn't been the sort of thing everyone gets right off the bat (myself included, I still need help remembering). So why not put the markdown page link in a spot it's easier to grab it from? Like where the site support links and stuff are at the bottom.
    • ONE MORE SINCE IT JUST HAPPENED TO ME - when making comments it can get really easy to misfire, sob. Can we get a but more of a visible indicator of whether you're replying to a user or post?

    tl;dr, my main issues are just setbacks with how intuitive the interfaces can get here, just getting things set up the way you like... I realize this wall of text doesn't exactly expand on the community aspect, but I think knowing how to use the site to begin with and having neat, unique, but also familiar features to enjoy it is a start towards attracting more people to call it a home.

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    In all honesty, I 'fear' that Weasyl's administration did their part in full - so the matter of Weasyl's success lies chiefly in the hands of Furaffinity and their userbase, as the bulk of WZL's community is/was also a member of FA at one point or another.

    Weasyl has already established itself as a token "go-to" for people who are dissatisfied with Furaffinity and are seeking some back-up place, so some degree of success has been achieved to date.

    On the part of creators of this portal, the only thing -IMO- left to do is to maximize those parts that scream 'PICK ME!' across the internet. Oh, and more informative/structured browsing results - perhaps with some option to support miniatures of displayed artworks instead of thumbnails.