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  1. #61
    Junior Tara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armaina View Post
    People use FA like furry social network more than a social art community, which is fine for them, but makes no sense to force that view here.
    That's a good point. Because furry community =/= anthro art. It's an element of the furry community, but not an equivalent.

    As for where to advertise... Anime and comic conventions, as mentioned. Beside that, you can print informative leaflets and leave them in places. Small galleries, bulletin boards at campuses, art colleges, cafes frequented by artistic types, etc. That wouldn't be costly. Weasyl could also hold a contest related to spreading the word around, with prizes such as premium membership, for example. Of course, that requires more logistics and the implementation of premium accounts, but it's an idea. Word of mouth, as well. And so on.

  2. #62
    Regular Bornes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rowedahelicon View Post
    Now my question is though, in the defense of Weasyl advertising themselves mostly to furries...Where would one advertise to a non furry audience? Legit question as I thought about it and I'm not sure honestly.

    The only place I could think of would be general anime cons or something? But that would be hard to do without the budget I imagine.
    - Directly on other general art sites through ads
    - through avatar-based sites (Gaia Online, Solia Online, Menewsha, etc.)
    - through "pet" sites (Neopets, flightrising, etc.)
    - through social networking sites like Tumblr, facebook, twitter, etc. Weasyl already uses these hubs to inform Weasyl users, but not to promote Weasyl to potential new users.

    All these places have thriving artist communities and most of them do not immediately hate furries. However, them not being furries themselves, would need some reassurance that the site is not furry-specific. Some line like "Come join our new general art site!" would probably be fine.
    Last edited by Bornes; 04-03-2015 at 02:48 AM.

  3. #63
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    I have a tough time understanding the idea that we're too focused on general art and not enough on furry art. Weasyl itself is just the platform, the content all comes from you guys. There aren't really any infrastructure features that only appeal to furries, or that appeal to everyone but furries.
    The problem arises because you're confusing the website, Weasyl.com, with the software and infrastructure it runs on. It's fine to develop software for many sites - but if you're promoting a website, you need to focus.

    A website is the combination of infrastructure, software, content, community, and purpose - the latter factors being far more important in defining "what it is". For example, WikiFur is not MediaWiki (or FreeBSD) - it is a furry encyclopedia. Flayrah is not Drupal, it is a news magazine for furry fans. These sites are defined by their content, their users, and their purpose, not their software.

    Weasyl's mission statement says it is a generic social gallery. That describes the software. In reality Weasyl.com is a furry art community, with a 90% furry-identifying staff, a 95% furry-content front page, a prominent furry mascot, etc. Maybe that wasn't the intention, but it's too late to change that without causing massive dislocation to the community which has already built up. In fact, the one saving grace is that Weasyl was promoted to a specific community, or it might never have gone anywhere.

    As it is, Weasyl's stated purpose is not a focus, but the lack of one. It puts Weasyl squarely in competition with deviantART, which I would argue currently does social galleries better and has way more development resources to throw at the task. Worse, the dissonance of saying you're one thing while the facts suggest you're something else works against efforts to get more people using the website.

    Consider if WikiFur had been promoted as a generic encyclopedia when 95% of its articles were on furry topics. This wouldn't work so well, especially when Wikipedia already exists, and is better at everything non-furry. Getting rid of the existing articles won't fly, either - the readers and editors we have would leave. But if we said "well, it's a general encyclopedia, it just has lots of furry articles in it", we'd get our lunch eaten by the next "real" furry encyclopedia down the road. The solution is to commit to being furry, because you already are.

    Now, I get it - Weasyl's staff (some of whom have diverse interests) don't want to label or promote it as a furry site because they fear it'll turn away general artists. But it's way too late for that. If you want something different, you need to start again - and because of the network effect, you'll probably still end up with a focus on a particular topic or community. because that is how viable websites come about. A wiki started today would end up as the Sailor Moon Wiki, not a Wikipedia competitor - and so it is with social galleries.

    Some line like "Come join our new general art site!" would probably be fine.
    That might work if you had a new general art site, based on the Weasyl codebase, with staff dedicated to that purpose - though I suspect you'd still have trouble, because there are few creators or fans of "general art". There are people who want a buffet, a-la deviantART, but it's very hard to compete in that market - which is why in practice, sites specialize until they grow large enough to be forced to segment.

    But, if tomorrow we found that a good segment of artists from some other genre happened to like the structure of our site enough to take up residence, we'd want to welcome them in and help grow their network here, too.
    Mmm, but would it work long-term? Or would some staff tire of dealing with endless tickets about Sailor Moon tracers, and drift off?

    In my experience, most people volunteer to run (and fund) community art sites not because they have a love of the artistic community in general, but to maintain a space for the creators and fans of a specific type of work which they enjoy. Some variation can be nice; but if it becomes a different site, hosting a different community, they'll consider whether their interests would be better-served by doing something else.

    y!Gallery offers one end-point - the staff throw out the "invaders" - which tends to be damaging, because if it's got to that point, they tend to be a significant part of the site (this is how FA got its boost). You can also create effectively separate sites within one overarching site - this is the deviantART model, and it relies on a sophisticated category system, with paid staff holding things together at the top.

    And I see no reason why we would have to compromise meeting furries' needs to be able to accommodate others.
    All things being equal, if you're a furry - or an artist who specializes in drawing furries - the value of a site increases more if other furries join it vs. people who like different kinds of art. It's not entirely a zero-sum game, especially when talking about the software; but when it comes to promotion, the audience you target is key to who you get as a result, so you get the best return targeting your existing audience.

    There are more obvious opportunity costs. If you're at Comic-Con, you're not at Anthrocon, because they're on the same weekend. You can send someone else to Anthrocon, but then you need two people. If you had two people, you could have the other person handing out fliers at Anthrocon instead of going to Comic-Con, staff the table for longer, etc.

    Some communities also dislike each other (e.g. 1/4 of furries vs. bronies), although the effect of this is hard to quantify.

    unless you consider not being the majority or the overwhelming majority an unfavourable position.
    This is less favourable, yes. An art community works best when it is focused around a specific topic, as long as it's not too narrow. That's why smaller sites are viable and we're not all spending our time on deviantART. :-)
    Last edited by GreenReaper; 04-04-2015 at 02:57 AM.

  4. #64
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    I don't think it's too late to advertise Weasyl to non-furries. Weasyl is not that big yet and not that significant to the furry community. There's more growth to be had and with that more opportunities to change or steer itself.

    What I don't like about your whole post is the sentiment that art exists in carefully marked down boxes and that no content from one box would want to interact with another. I find that view very limiting. However, if we're going to accept this view, let's at least have more than one box. Must Weasyl be a furry box? Instead of a place where several boxes are kept?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenReaper View Post
    This is less favourable, yes. An art community works best when it is focused around a specific topic, as long as it's not too narrow. That's why smaller sites are viable and we're not all spending our time on deviantART. :-)
    Could you explain why do you think it's less favourable? And what do you mean by 'works best'? That it draws in a lot of people? A lot of people who do art that can be put in the same category?

    And personally, the reason I'm not on dA isn't because it's big. Of course, my reasons aren't everybody else's reasons. I've been looking for a good alternative to dA for years and Weasyl seems to have potential. I tried FurAffinity, but I didn't like the general atmosphere and the limitation to post only a small part of my art (the anthro part).

  5. #65
    ~Kupo~ Moogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenReaper View Post
    All things being equal, if you're a furry - or an artist who specializes in drawing furries - the value of a site increases more if other furries join it vs. people who like different kinds of art
    Dangit. So when I joined did I -1 the value to Weasyl? Sorry guys. D;

  6. #66
    [QUOTE=GreenReaper;80490]
    Weasyl's mission statement says it is a generic social gallery. That describes the software. In reality Weasyl.com is a furry art community, with a 90% furry-identifying staff, a 95% furry-content front page, a prominent furry mascot, etc. Maybe that wasn't the intention, but it's too late to change that without causing massive dislocation to the community which has already built up.
    While there can't be anything else said about the content that appears now, for everything else here - this just made me imagine wzl could use a second, more general-friendly mascot, then. No need to give Wesley the boot. And if I've learned anything out of FA, it's that what a site's staff is involved in seldom arises as an active concern the majority. Community stuff I'll address later, but I don't understand this "massive dislocation" thing at all.

    As it is, Weasyl's stated purpose is not a focus, but the lack of one. It puts Weasyl squarely in competition with deviantART, which I would argue currently does social galleries better and has way more development resources to throw at the task. Worse, the dissonance of saying you're one thing while the facts suggest you're something else works against efforts to get more people using the website.
    DA is daunting competition, that's undeniable, but I don't understand how having a single general competitor is worse than immediately having three furry ones by contrast. You're speaking as if there's more worth in becoming the third attempt at an FA alternative while the previous two still exist alive and well, when DA alternatives have since died off - but look, weasyl as a "general" art site is still kicking. People are leaping to find better places than DA to post, but there's nowhere else a non-furry gallery can call home besides tumblr, maybe - and that's a very different animal I won't talk about now. But if being a general gallery site is wzl's original intention, why not work to make that clearer when no one else [notable] is trying the same thing.

    Now, I get it - Weasyl's staff (some of whom have diverse interests) don't want to label or promote it as a furry site because they fear it'll turn away general artists. But it's way too late for that.
    I wanted to respond here in particular because I disagree completely. My interests are diverse, too, and I notice what people on different sites say - one of those things being non-furry artists considering and making accounts on FA because the market for commissions there is good - and it's true, regardless of subject matter. Furries don't turn artists away - the lack of an audience (esp. a paying one, let's be real) does.

    Adding to that, from what I understand of DA, its biggest failure is the inconsistent market its audience has created (mainly in having so many users too young to legally use paypal, and the "points" system making the equivalent of $5 look "expensive"). Weasyl's userbase is generally older, certainly with a better understanding of the value of art with so many people from FA here - it has the opportunity to have the stability in market power that DA's juggernaut lacks.

    If you want to talk growth, talk improving commission and commissioner experience.

    All things being equal, if you're a furry - or an artist who specializes in drawing furries - the value of a site increases more if other furries join it vs. people who like different kinds of art.
    This gets to me a lot because it's reading to me as short-sighted, and... no?? Why would attracting people beyond this niche decrease wzl's value when the increase of traffic in general is something wzl needs - again, while furry attention is split between four sites including this one?

    My own reasons for being here are that I like furry art and craftwork. Most of what I draw and have in my gallery is under the furry umbrella I suppose - but regardless of this involvement, I do not readily consider myself a part of the furry community. When I left FA, the reason I didn't look into SoFurry or InkBunny is - silly as it sounds - I did not and do not feel furry enough to be there.

    Weasyl is made of the furry community by majority, but the users that aren't furries and are just chill with it being like this exist and have value. I understand making wzl "the new main" for the former was the intent of this thread, but I'm one of those people that took wzl's original purpose to heart and hasn't lost belief in it's ability to - do both, frankly. It can be a furry hub, it can open itself to non-furry stuff while being said furry hub. It isn't impossible.

    Weasyl has been a wonderful middle-ground for me to still enjoy furry artists' work, post my own work, and not feel alienated - while still letting me catch non furry-centric stuff, too. It's really great! And I'm thankful right now that the staff in this thread so far have not shared this attitude implying my or anyone else's place in wzl's community as a setback for the site's growth.

  7. #67
    My hobby is building models, and there's a pretty good club here for modelers. As it turns out most of the member like to build model airplanes. However, they are very clear about it not being a model airplane club, and modelers of all sorts are welcome.

    So, unless Weasyl actually decides to restrict non-furry members (whatever being a "furry" actually means), it is not a furry site, and no amount of bold text or bright colours will make it otherwise.

  8. #68
    Senior Vae's Avatar
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    I personally don't understand why furries need furry to have furry in the name of furry everything furry with an active furry userbase.
    I mean, you already have the numbers. Why does it need to market itself specifically to furries to make you feel better about using it?

    Like 90% of what I do is koopalings art,
    but I don't need the site to advertise or present itself as being "for" koopalings fans, or Mario fans, or fanartists to feel like my presence is valid.
    Resident Koopa Trash

  9. #69
    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar



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    I had intended to keep my mouth shut over this discussion but there are some very strange thoughts being spouted about staff and their intent which I honestly think is unfair and biased based on one's on beliefs. Specifically this drew my eye.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenReaper View Post

    Now, I get it - Weasyl's staff (some of whom have diverse interests) don't want to label or promote it as a furry site because they fear it'll turn away general artists.
    I cannot and will not speak for current staff. I cannot say my opinion of the site direction during my tenure is the same as the opinion of the current staff. Maybe I misinterpreted the goals of the staff. That being said this is extremely presumptuous of you GR.

    Reading your post it really just comes off as you valuing furry sites, for a reason perhaps, but you're projecting that same type of value onto others.

    Personally from my time on staff the idea to be general and continue to be general is not for fear of furries scaring people away. It's not for any sort of distaste for furry or accounting for any negatives associated with the community. Honestly furry is just too narrow a scope. The intent was to provide a space and service for a variety of artists modellers, photographers, artists, etc. And to focus only on furry would mean that how the site develops would work around furry.

    I say this as being one of the original policy drafters and having a tenure as a moderator both on furry and non-furry sites. Coming up with furry specific art policies is different than non-furry, or any niche group really.

    So no, do not assume that there is a negative reason like not wanting to scare people off. While the staff may be largely furry, it's not the only aspect of the lives of those involved on staff currently or in the past, and the better less projecting way to view them would be to imagine that the staff want to form a site which allows them to host the furry community and take part in those interests, and also take part in other groups of interest.

    In my experience, most people volunteer to run (and fund) community art sites not because they have a love of the artistic community in general, but to maintain a space for the creators and fans of a specific type of work which they enjoy. Some variation can be nice; but if it becomes a different site, hosting a different community, they'll consider whether their interests would be better-served by doing something else.
    Anecdotal evidence is not proof of anything. I think your experience is biased again by your own values. Not to say that this is not true in many cases, but that you're not considering something. A lot of the staff here are artists that actually create outside of the fandom. So at least from my own experience a lot of the focus was not "lets develop based on my interest in furry, or ponies, or whatever other fan community", but rather "let's develop based on this shared interest in creation, how do we best suit the creators." which is a very different beast.

    Now, I won't argue whether or not it's a good idea for weasyl to be furry specific or not. I think a hell of a lot of assumptions, weird assumptions are being made without any actual data to back it up, just opinion, bias, and anecdotal evidence, which ultimately is a useless discussion.

  10. #70
    Senior Butterflygoddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vae View Post
    I personally don't understand why furries need furry to have furry in the name of furry everything furry with an active furry userbase.
    I mean, you already have the numbers. Why does it need to market itself specifically to furries to make you feel better about using it?

    Like 90% of what I do is koopalings art,
    but I don't need the site to advertise or present itself as being "for" koopalings fans, or Mario fans, or fanartists to feel like my presence is valid.
    Very nice post here. I think a general site is best because it's less limiting to all artists. I'd upload more human stuff to fa if it wasn't just a furry site.

 

 

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