PDA

View Full Version : Marketplace Vitality



serbus
01-31-2014, 04:55 PM
So I just looked over the buying forum and I noticed that threads I had posted nearly a year ago were still on the front page. I've been boycotting FA for a while now, but one thing that they really got right was a prevalent art buyer community. How do we do that here? How do we make Weasyl appealing to buyers?

As a buyer myself, when I visit Weasyl I'm less inclined to post my jobs in the marketplace because there aren't a lot of other buyers posting. It's sort of a catch 22 I guess. In a lot of ways I feel like this isn't really a community where the business of art is as valued, but instead focused simply on the production of art (which isn't a bad thing per se).

On FA one thing I liked was the user sponsored advertisements. Even though I'm not always looking for art, I would often purchase commissions through those ads that I normally wouldn't have if they hadn't been there.

I think buying and selling art is a huge part of the furry community. So as a community how do we solve this on Weasyl? I watch all the same artists on Weasyl that I ever watched on FA. We're the same community, the same family. So what is different here?

- - - Updated - - -

Another thought that just crossed my mind is when I do post jobs here the response is really slow. Like the sellers aren't really looking at the job forum. So I prefer places like deviantArt where I know I can get a quick response, especially if I'm working within a deadline.

Any other buyers have similar thoughts to discuss?

xarg
01-31-2014, 07:13 PM
This is pretty much the feel I've gotten from following some other threads and developments of the site and community. Things are catered for artists, while browsers and consumers are second rate citizens. In all decisions and discussions the concensus seems to be however the artists want things to work, ignoring everything that might conflict with non-artist users needs. This would be something that does affect the viability of the community for business.

Willow
01-31-2014, 07:21 PM
It might just be because many users haven't gotten to it yet. I mean Weasyl's activity didn't really pick up very recently and a lot of people I'd imagine aren't selling right now or they're finishing up commissions from the holiday season.

serbus
01-31-2014, 08:32 PM
@xarg: I think a thriving marketplace would be of great benefit to artists which no one would seem to object to. I don't feel that Weasyl is excluding browsers and consumers, but that they are integral part of a good art community which seems to be missing here. The collections feature is very much catered to the 'passive' browser and is one of the predominant features of the site. I do feel that Weasyl has had the interest of non-artist users at heart from the beginning. It's just we seem to be missing that segment of the community somehow. I guess being passive is one possible issue here. How to engage people that generally prefer to lurk?

@Willow: There's probably some reluctance for consumers to move to Weasyl. I noticed when Weasyl's activity picks up there will be a surge of buyers and sellers that lasts 2-4 weeks and then dies down. Maybe there's a way to take the activity that's going on now and keep it rolling? I wish there were a way I could poll some of the freelance artists here and ask how many jobs they get through the forums versus the galleries and compare that to the same production on other sites. Even when some artists are full there's usually a plethora of other artists who are still looking for work.

Tiamat
01-31-2014, 08:42 PM
This is pretty much the feel I've gotten from following some other threads and developments of the site and community. Things are catered for artists, while browsers and consumers are second rate citizens.

Why do you feel that way? I honestly see everyone who uses this site as being given equal opportunity to suggest changes and offer input for improvement. Not every idea is going to get the green light.

xarg
01-31-2014, 09:52 PM
Why do you feel that way? I honestly see everyone who uses this site as being given equal opportunity to suggest changes and offer input for improvement. Not every idea is going to get the green light.

It's just a feel. If I had any actual objective arguments I wouldn't use that word. Whenever this subject is brought up, the first word out of anyone's mouth is "collections". A feature that doesn't even serve commissioners that well in it's current incarnation. Then there's all the things like the difficulty of discovering artists and the difficulty of finding the best that the site has to offer that the current versions have.

I do have a feeling that small things like lack of sorting search results do affect the likelihood of a random non-artist sticking with the site instead of returning to more efficient venues of fulfilling their desire to see good, quality art.

For example, every other larger art site I know offers the option to browse content sorted through some form of popularity. This works because good art just gets more views. Here, however, the discussion of the subject was quickly killed with the concensus that it is unfair to unpopular artists.

Hardrockangel
01-31-2014, 10:02 PM
It's just a feel. If I had any actual objective arguments I wouldn't use that word. Whenever this subject is brought up, the first word out of anyone's mouth is "collections". A feature that doesn't even serve commissioners that well in it's current incarnation. Then there's all the things like the difficulty of discovering artists and the difficulty of finding the best that the site has to offer that the current versions have.

I do have a feeling that small things like lack of sorting search results do affect the likelihood of a random non-artist sticking with the site instead of returning to more efficient venues of fulfilling their desire to see good, quality art.

For example, every other larger art site I know offers the option to browse content sorted through some form of popularity. This works because good art just gets more views. Here, however, the discussion of the subject was quickly killed with the concensus that it is unfair to unpopular artists.

Because it is unfair to unpopular artists. Popularity isn't always an indicator of quality, as shown by some of the DD-picks on deviantART where unknown artists need to get a huge spotlight thrown on them before people see their art and how good it is.

Tiamat
01-31-2014, 10:05 PM
I honestly have not had any problems discovering new artists whose work I really admire.

xarg
01-31-2014, 10:22 PM
Point is that to attract a crowd, you have to offer them something more than they would get from elsewhere. If you make getting things too difficult or have too little to give, the crowd will find some other place that delivers.

Being an artist, you have other reasons beyond simply looking at art to use the site.

Tiamat
01-31-2014, 10:33 PM
Point is that to attract a crowd, you have to offer them something more than they would get from elsewhere. If you make getting things too difficult or have too little to give, the crowd will find some other place that delivers.

Being an artist, you have other reasons beyond simply looking at art to use the site.

Is it really so hard? All I see on other (and what are currently perceived by many as "competing") art sites and forums are compliments regarding the layout and accessibility of the site. I don't want to speak out of turn, but I'm quite sure the staff take accommodating all users quite seriously.

As an artist I use this site to display art, discuss art and help others. I don't rely on Weasyl as my sole source of income by any means. For what I expect this site to provide in terms of -being- an art site, I am very satisfied. I also maintain galleries at CGHUB as well as Deviantart and formerly at ConceptArt and FA. Though as of late, I am here the most.

So long as the staff keep implementing improvements and trying to maintain this as a general art site, they are doing their job. Rome was not built in a day and considering its origins, the progress of Weasyl has been surprising!

Reshy
02-01-2014, 01:51 AM
Serbus, advertisements are already planned. They just don't feature in the beta because it's a beta.

serbus
02-01-2014, 02:26 AM
Thank you Reshy, I am aware of the situation with advertisements, especially since there's already an e-mail you can contact to advertise with them. I'm more trying to point out that different kinds of exposure can help artists and buyers connect. The marketplace isn't always the first place I go for purchases, plus I'm more likely to spend more on art if I'm exposed to more freelancers.

@xarg & @Tiamat: It's not my intention to start any kind of debate in this thread, but to try and discuss possible solutions. Viewing work by popularity is one way that other sites try to help artists get exposure. Since Weasyl is against that kind of feature then finding an alternate solution could help to fill that need. Perhaps using the tag system could help? Users can list the kind of artwork that they like on their profile, eg. steampunk, horror, comics, etc, and then the front page can show artwork with those tags? It's true that sorting by popularity is a common feature among art sites, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the users would expect to see it. If you omit such a feature, then it should probably be replaced by something that serves the same purpose.

QT Melon
02-01-2014, 03:20 AM
Well I feel the way you get consumers is to make it less consumer driven but features that help make it more community driven. People who were on FA enjoyed the community. Ask them about the administration it's certainly not that, it's because when many of them started engaging with each other. Now they built their base which took quite a while, they will stick with that base more and put up with the other problems.

Now, what I'm talking about isn't actually about an "oh God FA" debate. This is just an example of how one built a customer base without popularity feature or top faves. They built their base through connecting and posting artwork.

Many of those people feel a bit more of a connection to the artist by establishing that to a certain degree and others have developed their following through posting artwork.

The more you make the place a billboard for advertising I think it kills a lot of enjoyment of sharing artwork. It's developed a mentality where people only worth engaging are ones with money. I am most certainly not saying there should be no advertising, but I feel all too often that "sell sell sell" is pushed a lot where it is actually become a turnoff.

I honestly believe that if you put a lot of work in being productive and improving your skill the commission issue and sales will correct itself with the right nurturing of your fans.

https://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?2877-How-do-you-advertise-your-commissions&p=25006&viewfull=1#post25006

lorenith
02-01-2014, 03:32 AM
I think making it easier to find people who are doing commissions and stuff on the main sight would help maybe? I'm not a buyer, but I do like browsing/window shopping if you know what I mean. Right now, unless you go to someones front page, there doesn't appear to be any way to look at what others are offering.


I feel like it's a little discouraging to try to get into doing commissions, unless one is willing to either undervalue their work, or are amazingly fast, it isn't really worth it to try to compete with all the really cheap commission prices I've seen on here.

piņardilla
02-01-2014, 03:43 AM
I think making it easier to find people who are doing commissions and stuff on the main sight would help maybe? I'm not a buyer, but I do like browsing/window shopping if you know what I mean. Right now, unless you go to someones front page, there doesn't appear to be any way to look at what others are offering.


I feel like it's a little discouraging to try to get into doing commissions, unless one is willing to either undervalue their work, or are amazingly fast, it isn't really worth it to try to compete with all the really cheap commission prices I've seen on here.

A "comparison shopping" feature would only serve to further motivate artists undercutting each other's prices...

lorenith
02-01-2014, 03:48 AM
I wasn't suggesting a comparison shop feature?

piņardilla
02-01-2014, 03:50 AM
I wasn't suggesting a comparison shop feature?

Could you elaborate then on what you're looking for in a feature that enables "window shopping" to "look at what others are offering" more easily?

lorenith
02-01-2014, 04:29 AM
When I say window shopping I mean "look at things with no intention to buy".

If I'm out and about I really like to look at stuff, but I generally don't ever intend to buy anything, I just like...well looking. Maybe there's a better term for that?

But, I also suggested it just cause, there's no way to find people who are offering commissions at all. I think it would help increase "vitality" of the community in terms of buying and selling if there is more visibility in general.

You are right though, that it would encourage people to undercut and things..which is unfortunate as it's a really prevalent problem. One that hurts those doing the undercutting, but also one that hurts people that might be making a living off of their artwork. I don't really have the solution to that in particular other than to educate people and teach them to value their time unfortunately.

Tiamat
02-01-2014, 05:49 AM
I honestly believe that if you put a lot of work in being productive and improving your skill the commission issue and sales will correct itself with the right nurturing of your fans.

https://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?2877-How-do-you-advertise-your-commissions&p=25006&viewfull=1#post25006

Exactly!

Though I think having a separate search feature for consumers looking for currently available artists, which can be further broken down into categories, might not be a bad idea. Undercutting is always going to be a factor in any competitive quote industry. I also agree that educating is the way to go.

QT Melon
02-01-2014, 06:41 PM
A result showing a list with "portfolio" or sample work would be nice. Then the prices would be a secondary click would work

ArcheKruz
02-02-2014, 02:17 PM
I am all up for a portfolio feature where submissions could easily be check-boxed to be included in a special Portfolio folder. Because the way folders are set up right now, submissions could only be included in one folder.

xarg
02-03-2014, 09:40 AM
While I'm all for it being possible to include submissions in multiple folders, isn't that kinda what the featured submissions is meant for already?

FancyOwls
02-04-2014, 08:29 PM
I think a visual market place is a great idea, we already have a slider for commissions being open, it would be great if that contributed to adding your "ad" to where you can browse for them, the same way the live-streaming thing works for the front page and notifications.


A "comparison shopping" feature would only serve to further motivate artists undercutting each other's prices...

That's just not true. People will pay for how they value the work presented to them. I have never chosen a drawing that looked like a 13 year old did it for $5 over a quality piece by an artist who's style I liked for $50 simply because it cost $5. I have never turned down a getting a $20 commission from someone I liked because someone else that I liked opened $15 commissions. Art collection is a huge thing in the furry community, as is art appreciation. If an artist is immature enough to think that cutting prices works and charge less for it, it is their own loss. People who buy $25-50 commissions from me arn't going to stop because someone else is charging $5 and people who commission the $5 artist aren't going to not commission them because a $2 showed up. If they like them both, they'll get both, and the $2 person will have lost out on that $3 trying to pull $5's legs out from under them.


While I'm all for it being possible to include submissions in multiple folders, isn't that kinda what the featured submissions is meant for already?

No, because anything in your featured folder can't be in any other folder. If I want to feature a painting, I cant put it in my "paintings" folder. If I have a commission folder so people can browse the commissions I've done, I can't put it into "featured" because people looking through my commissions folder won't see my best work. I hate that I can't used "featured" because I don't want people to miss out on what they're looking for in other folders, especially since they cycle randomly, there is a huge change no one will see my best commission work on my front page and a 0% chance to see it in my commission folder since it's in a different folder. If Weasyl actually let us feature a picture without removing it from the folder it belongs to, it would be a different story.

xarg
02-04-2014, 09:50 PM
I was referring to the post above mine.

QT Melon
02-04-2014, 10:49 PM
I was referring to the post above mine.

The person above you explained part of the problem already. The other part is the fact that we were talking about a browsed listing where it would show thumbnails of the X best pieces for commissions which would be less clicks than seeing each person's gallery though an icon. Ie if you brought up people who are flagged as open for commissions in a sortable listing, right beside them are their works. If designed correctly you'd be able to sort the order.

"Artists recently opened for commissions"
"Alphabetical Order"

Filtering results
"Sorted by X Tags"
"X days open"
"media"



When you design something like this for people you want as few clicks as possible or rather friendly UI design thinks something on a more intuitive level. The only reason I suggested the prices be a secondary click instead of primary was to eliminate price wars, and people just browsing by the best representation of his/her works.

xarg
02-05-2014, 06:56 AM
Again, I was referring to the "Portfolio"-folder part, not the ability to have multiple folders per image. Didn't think I'd have to spell it out.

QT Melon
02-07-2014, 10:46 PM
I am not sure why your posts are being aggressive but this issue was explained already. People may not to duplicate submissions through a folder

Meaning a person has colored work already in a designated folder mixed in with other works.

Flagging a submission as a portfolio piece will reduce duplication of uploads

xarg
02-07-2014, 11:59 PM
Hnn, I don't know why I even tried making sense of anything to you, the post was in reference to a whole other user's post. I am not sure why it would sound aggressive either, maybe having to repeat the same simple point time after time has something to do with it.

1) Yes, the ability to have images in multiple folders is a good thing. Multiple folders per image, good thing. It would definitely be a good thing to be able to include a single image under an arbitrary amount of folders. Users should be able to have multiple folders, and a single image under all of them. An image should not be restricted exclusively to a single folder.

2) Now this is the whole and entire, single and exclusive point of the original post: Isn't the "Portfolio"-folder kind of what the featured folder already is supposed to be for? Alternatively, isn't your whole gallery (bar the images you commission, which should be under collections, no?) supposed to be your "portfolio"? Unless you regularly post images that don't represent the quality that your commissions would be, but shouldn't those be in your scrap folder?

QT Melon
02-08-2014, 03:46 AM
The featured folder is a rotating featured submission that shows up on the front of a user's page, it's not the same as listing a few pieces or examples for commissions via listing of those that are open for commissions. If there was a commission listing people are not going to click at each artist's page to see what "featured" submission pops up.