I check in here every once in a while and, at least among the people I used to follow here, dA has turned into something of a ghost town. My Watch feed just isn't as busy as it used to be. Folks aren't uploading, and quite a few unequivocally left the site and/or closed their accounts.
Because I'm so scarce and the folks I follow here are scarce, I'm pretty out of touch as far as what the current state of dA is. I'm terribly curious to know what you guys (those of you still active here anyway) think about this platform, and how you've perceived its changes in the past few years.
dA used to be my main online profile, but back in 2013 a layout change covertly but undeniably changed the backend algorithm by which users are discoverable on this site. The activity on my page and artworks dropped dramatically, literally overnight. I don't remember the exact ratio, but I probably got less than half the traffic I used to. Basically, only my existing following saw my work anymore. Nowadays, I'd imagine this lowered ratio of activity has become the new normal on this site; it's just something folks have come to live with. But it just seemed pointless for me to remain entirely active here when more and more people were leaving the platform, and the algorithm didn't allow new users to find my work as easily as they used to.
Whatever the intentions of dA staff over the past few years, the net result is that only the certain "chosen few", the top echelon of users on dA, get big chunks of traffic nowadays. I've read that some theorize this is because dA pushed them to the top to make the site look better and to make more money. My stance on this is more moderate: those users with a larger following simply felt the traffic cut far less than the rest of us, and were therefore able to stay at the top, as opposed to ever being at risk of newer or unknown users invading this top layer.
The site used to be so much more volatile. There was a time you could become popular by accident. It was actually possible for your image to become viral. I personally don't see that happening anymore. And a Daily Deviation meant thousands of people saw your work. It will remain a fond memory of mine, checking out the Daily Deviations every day to find some amazing unknown artist, to see one of my friends featured, or in my case, to wake up to thousands and thousands of notifications because I got a DD. (Only happened to me once many years ago, but it was AWESOME!)
With that excitement and volatility gone, my passion for this platform has gone as well. I appreciate the people here, which is why I still post and update every few months. Those of you who I've befriended and who have supported me over the years, you're the sole reason I haven't disappeared altogether.
Now I basically post to Instagram and that's it. Even Tumblr has lost its shine to me, but for entirely different reasons.
So, yeah. Those are my thoughts. But I'm coming at this from the view of a 2013 user. It's been a while.
What do you guys think of all this? Do I have a skewed take on things? Have things changed or improved? Are you happy posting here? What do you think about the amount of people who have migrated to other sites? Who are the users you miss the most? And what do you miss the most about the "old" dA?
Allow me to also take this opportunity to ask any of you who have supported me a good while (you know exactly who you are, you lovely little rascals), if you have an Instagram, I'd love to follow you there, so please pop your username in a comment if you can. Otherwise you can shoot me an friend request on Facebook, and just let me know either in a comment here or in a private Note what your real name is so I can accept your request. (I always decline requests from people whose names I don't recognize.) I'd hate to lose touch with you guys in case dA caves in.
Thanks for reading my gobbledigook. Looking forward to reading what you guys think!