TLDR; Eclipse is not the problem IMHO, it’s DA. Because of that (and coinciding with that) I’m shifting priorities.
welcome to Eclipse, the soulless successor to the standard DA UX we’ve all known for years.
Or rather you have known for years. The thing is: I’m new to DA. Maybe not a complete newbie, but still nowhere near the levels of experience as all of those “Elders” who have seen it all and have some literal lore to share about the site.
This is the main reason why I have been quiet about Eclipse (other was being genuinely swamped with other tasks). My assumption was simple: I’m a way too basic user to know the complexity of the situation. I’ve been reading comments and various think pieces about Eclipse and the entire situation around it. And there are two themes that kept popping up:
- Eclipse being a poor product;
- DA willfully ignoring the community.
The first point is painful and sub-optimal, but still understandable. The second is what raises much greater concerns IMHO.
Eclipse is a product and products can be flawed. It shouldn’t be difficult for you to name at least one product, project or service that failed to fulfill the promise that was given. What separates companies in my book however, is whether or not they learn from mistakes and listen to feedback. And this is where DA’s real failure lies.
As far as I can tell, the DA Community has been bombarding the company with honest, quite often painfully honest feedback. And DAs response has been a complete non-response and the equivalent of taking a steamy dump on their bed and then hiding under said bed.
If DA truly cared, they would’ve adjusted the new design as they went and introduced bug-fixes. However, the general optics surrounding Eclipse is that DA made the site unmanageable for pro users (the artists) and by doing so they’re effectively killing their own business.
This is one of the most boggling things here, if not the most. DA has been shoving “CORE membership"s down our throats for a while (I assume even years before I’ve joined the site). Pay-walling1 features is nothing new and hey, they have to earn the money somehow. But if memberships are one of the ways of financing the site, then why antagonize and drive away the (how aptly named) “CORE” group that would be the most likely to purchase this option?
By behaving the way they did (and still do) DA has created a huge problem for its own community (short term and long term) and for themselves (long term). The thing is: DA has competition. There are places where many of us can go and are going. While not all of those sites are for everyone and “nothing will replace deviantart” the shock-waves have been sent.
Seeing how a bunch of creators is leaving the site while others will “try to figure this out” this leaves me with a decision on my hands. What should I do?
In business one of the greatest, most valued things is trust. I trust that Company X will deliver its services and goods on time and on budget. That’s why I’m paying them. I trust that when something’s wrong, I can talk to Customer Support from Company X and get my issue resolved. How can I trust DA, after them shitting on the very people that have made the site what it is?
I’ve mentioned that this nasty situation creates short and long-term issues for DA users. In my case DA has created the issue but also, in a way, created the solution. I’ve been having some issues with fitting DA into the bigger picture of things that I’m working on (mainly on a technical level). By pulling off this YOLO maneuver the site has proven, that I don’t have to worry.
I’m not leaving the site (yet). I’m still having second thoughts. But I am limiting my activity here. I’ve been less active recently for reasons that have nothing to do with Eclipse, but seeing how the situation has developed, I have little incentive to kick things back into full gear.
As for you, my Watchers, I’m happy and grateful that I have you subscribed to my little corner on the Internet. Because there’s only a handful of you, I’ll take the liberty of communicating with you directly. Once I’m fully setup, of course.
The places that I’m thinking of are: FurAffinity and Weasyl. They’re not as big as DA, but at least there’s no Eclipse there.
As for Eclipse itself, I’m extremely tired of this soulless, minimalist, pretentious, pseudo-intellectual look that most websites have nowadays. It seems that every yolo-hipsta-(web)developer today comes preinstalled with this template in their head. This entire “less-is-more taken to the extreme approach” has made websites cold and dull.
Some cleanups were necessary and some DA profiles did give me eye strain, but throwing everything away, placing a few boxes and calling it a day, simply doesn’t sit right with me.
I’m feeling sorry for all of those, who have worked years to build communities and now are facing much more difficult decisions than my “I can pack up and leave” strategy.
What makes this even more bitter and weird is that I’ve been dabbling in streaming. I tried streaming my drawing sessions, with no success or positive feedback. I’ve switched from Picarto to Twitch and after a few streams I changed categories to gaming.
I want to continue developing in drawing, but this shit-storm and instability on DA is making this more difficult than it already was for me. In the coming weeks I’m taking on an important project that is essential for my development. This, combined with the situation on DA will make my presence here more hit and miss.
I’ll keep you posted on more important developments.
PS: I’m still doing the “draw daily” challenge.
This post was adapted from a journal originally published on deviantart on 2020-05-20.
I have to add, that pay-walling something as basic as an account rename is not sensible and whoever thought this was a good idea should be forced to pay every time they use their own bathroom. Crapping costs double. Vouchers available at the kiosk. ↩︎