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  1. #1
    Junior Feyala's Avatar
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    Suggestion: Groups? Pretty please?

    Hi! I have searched and see that Weasyl used to have groups, and I assume that they were taken offline to improve/rework that section of the code. I totally understand! Nobody likes a site held together with duct tape and empty promises, and I realize I am not suggesting anything new.

    However! I wanted to really voice my support and encouragement for this feature, because I feel like it would help immensely to have fully functional, DA-style groups where people could submit their work and talk about the subjects that interest them. IMO the main reason why most people won't leave FA behind is the number of users, and the users stay there in a big clump because FA has basically become "furry myspace". They don't want to leave the social connections they have there. Many people use both sites, and that's great! But a fair number of users will only choose one site, and I feel if we offer better forms of communication, give people the ability to form specialized communities, people will choose this one. This would be great for artists like me, who dislike FA, but need to use it for business reasons because that's where the money is.

    Exposure for lesser-known artists also seems to be a bit difficult on Weasyl (though I'm open to suggestions I may have missed in that regard!), sometimes I'll get a few hits when my pieces are new and fresh, but even with effective keywords I don't even get a fraction of the response that I do on DA, because even though it is a MUCH larger site, I can signal boost my pieces there via groups. Art critique and speedpaint groups (ala da-speedpaint) would encourage participation, and group contests could offer prizes.

    Without groups, this site is a fantastic gallery, but I feel like it could be so much more. I've really appreciated how open the Weasyl staff has been to listen to suggestions, and the vastly superior technology behind the site itself. I have faith that the site will continue to improve and surprise me with new features.

  2.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #2
    Premium User Nanuk's Avatar
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    Groups are definitely something I'd like to look at in the future. A more full-featured groups feature is something that's come up before in discussion.

    I'm curious what you'd like to see in a groups platform if one were to happen? I'd love to hear your thoughts (and anyone's, really!) on the matter.

    Also, just as an age-old suggestion when it comes to getting noticed. The best way is always to get out there and engage with the community. Make friends, comment on art you like, add favs. Communities are give and get! If you send out legitimate attention to the works of others, some of that attention will come back to you!

  3. #3
    Junior Feyala's Avatar
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    Oops, this thread didn't send me email updates! (Now fixed.)

    In a groups platform I would like to see:

    • Member list
    • Polls
    • Moderators
      • Role types - owner can create "super moderators", which can add new moderators. Relying on just one person to control a busy group does not end well. Ideally this includes granular permission sets for the owner to define the roles, who gets to change how the page looks? Who gets to ban people? Needs will vary based on how busy the group and its moderators are.
      • Secure process for role transition if the group owner needs to give the group to somebody else, should require owner's email confirmation at the very least and not be available if that email address was recently changed. (Having to give people an account password is unnecessary and lame in this day and age.)
      • Some internal process to handle site-banned/deceased group owners (perhaps designation of a 'successor' ala IRC).
      • Reorganize miscategorized art
      • Post group journals
      • Ban or give users a time out from the group
      • Invite users (limited requests per [time period] to avoid spam, unavailable if user has rejected)
      • Request to add pieces to their group's gallery, even if the artist is not a member of the group. (User setting: "Allow groups to request my art")
      • Permission flags for folders that can be uploaded to by any member, vs which can only be updated by moderator+ (such as 'featured')
      • Submission acceptance setting - instant or reviewed, if reviewed, submission is added to a queue for the moderators to accept/reject.
      • Settings for allowed posting frequency of members, so moderators can control flooding.
      • Settings for whether the gallery will accept submissions from people who are not members.
      • Remove comments on group journals or the front page.
      • Some ability for the owner (or supermods?) to reorganize the items on the group's page. You don't need css facelifts here, but being able to change the order of things via compartmentalization is handy. Maybe some groups want the art on top, or maybe a journal or poll is more important to others, etc. Maybe some group does polls but doesn't want them visible on the front page.
    • Group Journals
    • Group Gallery
      • Functions similar to collections (only one copy of the artwork stored on server, links back to original artist)
      • Folders for the group gallery to organize submissions by whatever criteria they have (by media, color, shape, fandom etc)
      • Featured folder(s?), which can allow pieces from the other folders (so a painting can go into "paintings" and also be featured on the front page.)
      • Check when adding a submission to the gallery to make sure it hasn't already been submitted.
      • If a submission is removed, remove the piece from the gallery. DA doesn't do this and it drives me nuts!
    • Featured or similar groups, selected by the group (which increases cross-pollination).
    • Group rules, easily visible on the front page. These should notify members of the allowed posting frequency and include other arbitrary moderator-decided rules (this is a dragon art group, no human art is allowed)
    • Chat, mini-forum (think google groups), or some other way for members to have a discussion about their common interest. Discussions should be organized, and there should be some way to flag/page/report content against the group's rules in these discussions.
    • One thing I would LOVE to see on a group page is a section for "which of our members is open for commissions". You have the commission flag on user profiles already, this would be fairly easy to generate for the amount of value it would add.


    On Member pages:
    • Group flair/badge/icon to show they are a member of a group (optional), or a list of groups they are a member of. (again optional)
    • Submissions show which galleries the piece is featured in, to help viewers find similar art.


    Other parts of the site:
    • Groups should be a search category
    • Group notifications should have a common section in inboxes, and they should allow some level of granularity (no journals, only art, or vice versa. Membership in a group should also allow you the option to not receive notifications.)
    • Group management tool for artists that allows me to see which of my pieces are in which groups (and which are pending), so I know where to submit them to next. This is something I struggle with on DA and have created a spreadsheet to handle, but I have no doubt it could be done more elegantly here. I would love the ability on my end to categorize groups, so when I upload dragon art I can submit it to all the dragon groups without having to select them individually.
    • Submission upload includes "submit to groups" option with a checklist for various groups. This should check the posting frequency of the group to ensure I'm under my limit.


    I realize I basically just described DeviantArt's group system, but it works pretty well, and I haven't experienced anything better to compare it to. With the tools I've outlined people can create both highly curated best-of-the-best art groups, as well as free-for-all anything goes ones where you can submit 10 pieces a day instantly. People use groups for all sorts of different reasons, and having a good set of tools ensures that even if people are using them for reasons you don't expect (and they will!) that they have the ability to manage their own mess without involving site staff unnecessarily.

    Good luck! I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

  4. #4
    Regular Storm's Avatar
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    Groups is definitely a must have! I think Weasyl has the potential to become the one and only greatest fury art site, and implementing killer features like a powerful Groups platform is the way to achieve that.

    What I would do first, is looking at the Group system over on deviantART: What's good in it? What's bad? How could you improve on it, what could be left out without being missed? There is no shame on learning from competitors. Also they have tons of feedback on how the users like the present Gorup system and that once again can give you some neat ideas.

    I don't think the group system needs to be so powerful at first, but if it starts off with already a nice set of functionality, it will have much greater impact.

    AS for now, there is only one thing I specifically suggest:


    Featured groups:
    - In addition to official (staff created and run) groups and user run groups, there could be "featured" groups: user run groups the staff (or the community, voting for them in public voting) feels like contributing to the community a lot.
    - The one big fault of dA's group system is that you need a Super Group if you want it to be really effective, and that costs money. A lot of it.
    - Having the staff - or probably public voting - chose featured groups to receive premium features for free, instead of people having to spend their personal money only to make the groups they run better, would be a great way to ensure that premium features are there for those who truly deserve it, regardless of the thickness of their wallets.

  5. #5
    Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of tags?

  6. #6
    Junior Sassafras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albino Axolotl View Post
    Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of tags?
    I think they can coexist. There will always be people that are interested in a subject once, or occasionally, but not enough or frequently enough to join a group for the subject.

  7. #7
    Senior Umbra_Exe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albino Axolotl View Post
    Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of tags?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sassafras View Post
    I think they can coexist. There will always be people that are interested in a subject once, or occasionally, but not enough or frequently enough to join a group for the subject.
    In addition, just because a group exists does not mean that every artist who does art of that subject will join/submit art to a group. That could either be from not being interested in the group, or simply not knowing about said group.

    Although I didn't participate much in groups back on DeviantART, groups in general seem like a great idea. I wholly agree with the idea of having group submissions act like Collections, in that they link to the original submission. Having a list of group members who are open for commissions is an interesting suggestion as well!

  8. #8
    Senior DrunkCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albino Axolotl View Post
    Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of tags?
    Giving benefit of the doubt here, how would they? They're essentially personal alcoves.
    "To tell us that every species of thing is endowed with an occult specific quality by which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to tell us nothing; but to derive two or three general principles of motion from phenomena, and afterwards to tell us how the properties and actions of all corporeal things follow from those manifest principles, would be a very great step." -Issac Newton, Optics
    "You are what you do not do." - Relax

  9. #9
    Regular Uluri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albino Axolotl View Post
    Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of tags?
    Having Groups would not defeat the Purpose of Tags.
    Tags are very important so that People can find an Artist's Artwork.
    Without tags, it would be very difficult for anyone to find said artist's
    artwork if it has already passed down the "New art" feed.

    Groups would form an area for specific theme. Such as Fan Art, Specified Animal group,
    Specified type of art group (Example Chibi Artists), and other Interests. It would give
    Artwork that has already moved far down the "New Art" feed the ability to be found
    another way BESIDES tags, thus making the artist and their work more visible, or easier to find.
    ____________________________________________
    Something I'd like to see in a Group

    What I like to see in Groups is the ability for a group to be Highly Interactive (or at least somewhat).
    DeviantARt's group Can be interactive, but it is very difficult to do so since there are very few areas
    for random members to communicate with one another (limited to Journals or the Comments Section).
    It's entirely up to the group Moderators to somehow fenangle the group to be social, too.
    Group members have no Idea who each other are on DeviantArt.

  10. #10
    What putting art in the group used Weasyl's collection system? Then the artist/uploader would be the one to say "I want my art in this group!" (as well as linking straight to the original), and if the group wants an artist to post their pic to the group they can ask for said collection?

    The way I see it, from a code perspective, a group would basically be an extension of a normal user; the differences being multiple users would be able to post journals, manage collections and friends/members, etc.

 

 

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