Here's the 7 things that come to mind:
I apologize in advance for some horrible grammar and misspellings if any appear. It's cold so typing is hard to do, haha! Sorry :I
1. Take actual cases of art theft a bit more seriously.
This seems to be the one most people are on about and yeah, I get pissed off about someone stealing my stuff but what really gets me is how hard it is to resolve the situation. It shouldn't be that hard to get staff members to remove a stolen piece. More so when it's the original artist reporting it.
It doesn't take a genius to review a situation where the works are side by side and compare if they are indeed stolen or flat out traced. If it makes it easier make it mandatory that people who are reporting for unauthorized tracing supply an overlay image or a side by side comparison.
Most of the time in my own experience I've been able to ask the person take down the work on their own and sometimes (often actually) they do it. Maybe after some persuasion but they usually do it. If not then I report it to the admins/staff, otherwise I do take the matter in my own hands. It's the cases where they don't listen and make it hard that is the problem. That is where the admins not doing their job is an issue.
If someone is reporting stolen screen shots from movies or TV shows, take them down! This is not that hard, seriously, it's not. The more you let this kind of stuff stay up on this site the more time a rep from one of those companies can find it and come at you for it. Thing is they have the power to do more than just 'report', they can and will take dA down if they so choose.
dA is filled with fan art and while fan art IS allowed under certain terms tracing other artist's artwork is not fan art unless they are asked if it's okay. Screen capture cropping and editing of movie scenes isn't either. That is illegal and yes, this site can get a cease and desist order for allowing that kind of thing to be posted.
Don't believe me? Disney pretty much put a shut down a website that was sharing HD screen shots from their movies. Not even getting money, just for sharing them without permission.
It's your legal and moral obligation as admins and staff to take action accordingly. It is your job.
2. Reduce or amp up the lock-down on pornographic imagery on the front page.
This has nothing to do with the age limit but rather the fact not everyone is thrilled to see genitalia in their face when they first log on. It's not just the popular section or the newest page either, it's everywhere.
Now look, I'm an adult and have been for some time now. I'm not squeamish and I know what genitals look like and breasts as well. I've studied anatomy. So it's not that I myself and too sensitive. I've drawn mature content before.
This isn't all about me here, it's my journal but still this is more opinions I've gathered from multiple people in the same standing point I am on this... so that said, let's move on:
Now you all can say 'we don't allow pornographic images' but in reality... y'all do, get over it. Some of my own friends know this place for it's free porn photos and a few frequent the site to look at them.
This site is seriously a free for all to get free shots of snatch and balls without having to pay and without the risk of getting a virus with your free fapping session.
Come on now... You want more money? Make people who aren't members PAY to see the mature/adult content. Thing is that would probably cut down dA's revenue like tenfold since many people who come here for the free smut don't stick around to actually stay on the site for anything else.
There are kids here and while in this day and age vag and penises aren't something new their the brain it's still common decency to make sure people who take these pictures are adhering to the rules of posting them.
3. Take on a stricter policy for bullying.
We live in an age where anonymity is a thing and with a site this large it's hard to keep tabs on all who join and what their intentions will be for joining. However, when a situation arises where someone is coming to you clearly distressed about being bullied or trolled (either or, some 'trolls' don't know the difference it seems) then do something about it instead of asking them to. They come to you for help because they trust you to help them by stopping the problem at it's source. When you simply tell them to 'block and ignore' you're just enabling the problem to continue, maybe on to someone else.
Bullying is a big deal and while some can handle it others can't. It is your moral obligation as staff of this site to take action to ensure the safety of the users of this site. This is an art website, not Facebook. Bullying should have no place here whatsoever yet it's rampant here. That is just unacceptable. I can't get any more thorough than that, and I shouldn't have to, to be completely honest.
(For the record I do know that trolling ≠ bullying, alright. It can when someone doesn't know the difference, but it doesn't always. "Trolling describes actions meant to cause anger or irritation from others. Bullying is a form of intimidation.")
4. Take more measure of those that pay your salary, AKA: the members of this site.
When someone shows a concern for certain areas of the site make yourselves a bit more available to speak with them. Yes, it's understandable that you are busy and may not always have time to address every concern that comes your way but for the most part 99% of the things people have openly complained or expressed concerns about as far as the site's running and functionality goes have been ignored or unanswered.
You waste no time in fixing fancy doodads and widgets to make someone's page look good but there's little function for those if pages don't load properly, people's works are altered or messed with, or people can't post comments or favourite things.
Right now as it stands most of the time we members feel like we talk and talk and talk and get nothing but the cold shoulder.
Some of us pay for subscriptions and buy things for and from this website, we pay good money for services from the staff and as such we kind of expect it. This isn't unfair or even an over the top request. When people pay you for services and to keep your site running you should show a bit more respect for them and take the massive vote on what's bothering them into account. It's not just common decency, it's good business. Happy customers come back, bring more money, AND tell their friends to come join too! So a little more effort goes a long way in the grand scheme.
5. Stop forcing your members to pay more for things they shouldn't have to pay more for.
Subscriptions, just one example but it will work since there's not a dA store anymore.
There used to be where you could buy a 3 month for yourself and what, 600 dA points ($7.50) and now you can't do that anymore. There's 12 [2,396pts *$30], 24 [3,836pts *$50], or 'until Hell freezes over' [16,000pts or $200.00]. What the heck is this? I mean really...? Why did you get rid of something that probably brought in more money than anything else?
Yes, you can still buy someone else a 3 month subscription but you can't buy yourself one anymore? Why?
It's little things like that that make people mad. You don't tell when you're going to mess with the site and basically throw everyone for a loop and then you wonder why there's an uproar when you do it!
TELL US BEFORE YOU DO IT, it'll make it a bit easier for some of us to adjust and accept the changes rather than just slapping in our faces and just making us deal with it because you guys want it this way. Fine, you want to fix the site's looks and mess with things, go for it! But at least have the decency to tell is what you're going to do before you do it.
When you're going to take something away from the site tell us before you do so we know and don't go looking for it later only find out it's been gone for months.
Right now many subbers are paying for basically what, 4 interesting features? Subscriptions aren't 'special' anymore and you're trying to make someone pay $50 for 4 features? Come on... Bring back the option to buy 1 or 3 month subscriptions on our own rather than asking someone else to do it.
6. Make the rules of this site more well known to newbies [new members].
Most of the time theft happens because a lot of new members don't know the rules of dA's stand on what is considered theft and copyright laws. They also don't know the rules of conduct either. Why? Because the rules aren't drilled into them in the beginning so they know what they are. First of all where are the guidelines and rules links? At the bottom of the site's page(s). Why the heck are they there? Who looks there without it being an accident?
No wonder no one knows the rules, they're incredibly hard to find if you don't know the lay out of the site. There should be a link to them in plain sight so those that need to know or want to know can find them easier.
-- When you first join there should be some kind of trial period where for a week you cannot comment to people you don't watch and if you're found to cause 'problems' you're account is suspended or banned.
--There should be a limit on the number of accounts people can have/make before you have to pay to make more (2-5 should be the limit imo) and accounts with multiple marks on their record should be monitored and put on a list to be watched if they're reported.
--If you're reported more than 2-3 times for harassment/abuse you should be suspended from using your account for a set period of time. Should evidence present a case where the harassment is severe enough the person will be banned/IP banned.
7. Be a little nicer and respectful to members.
This kind of goes hand in hand with #4 but (but I like odd numbers :U so... 7)
You made this website and I can only assume you hoped it would reach the numbers it has, we're the ones that helped you get so well known by not only joining but by telling our friends and so on.
We love this site but many of us aren't liking how we're treated. This site used to be a much better place and while it'll never be perfect or some kind of artist's haven, it should be a lot better than what it is now.
I know it isn't going to be hard to just push this off as just another 'blahblahblahpayattentiontomenowdamnit!' journal but you guys (the admin*s) asked what we wanted. I can't speak for everyone else but these are things I think need to be addressed.
Any time I've reported something or someone in the last year or so (maybe longer) I've been treated like I'm a bother for following the rules. I'm talked down at like I'm stupid and it's just not very nice at all to be treated like an idiot for doing what you were told to do in the first place.
I will be honest, I do not want to leave dA, but this place is just not what it used to be by any means. There's so much crap that goes on here that is just unnecessary and stupidly simple to fix/get rid of but it is allowed to continue to the point of chasing people off.
In the grand scheme of things my being here or not being here doesn't matter at all. I'm number what, 1,573 out of 1 million plus members on this place? My words may mean nothing but you asked so here you go.
Seeing as my being away for a few days and my inbox is full I may take a page from AgentWhiteHawk's book and only come on to check messages and reply to things, but as far as submissions and stuff goes I'm not going to do it until my boycott is done.
I'll use either Weasyl or Tumblr for that.
If I do ever post again my work will have a visible watermark on the image and I don't really care people complain about it being obstructive. My work is to look at, not to use without asking. If an ugly watermark helps deter someone from taking my pics and using them on a T-shirt, so be it. My work may not be unique but it's mine and I spend too much time on to have it become someone else's property on account of it being online.
So this is my stand. Call it what you want but it was asked for and I presented it.
I am not 'back' so don't think I am. I'm still going to avoid being on here as an artist posting my work until February 17th and even then, if I find somewhere else better than dA (which I am liking Weasyl somewhat) I may just go there and stay there. I don't know. That's kind of up in the air.
For now, this is all I have to say on it.
You don't have to agree but I'm not going to cater to everyone's difference in opinion and change words or say something else. I was asked what I thought needed to be done/said. If you want to share what you think should be done/fixed then by all means, there's a comment box for that. Post away but be nice and don't bash and call names.
Be mature and civil.
PS: Yes, I have sent this to an admin who said they were willing to listen. So no, I'm not just 'whistling Dixie' as they say.