|A sample of some of my past work, to give you some idea of what I can do. I'm not kidding about being a Wearer Of Many Hats!|
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Redunser Creative Solutions (graphic design, print, packaging, digital content creation & conversion)
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Reading this was like reading something I could have wrote in the last five years that I've been trying to figure my issues out. I've been here for over a decade too, so I guess we see the longer patterns in the tapestry. Great minds think alike and all that.
These are my thoughts:
We've seen dA go from a tenuous gathering of the internet's artistic explorers, to a more stable community. To a busy town, to a city, to a country, to whatever. And to repeat something I just said in another comment to you, deviantart seems to be reshaping itself into a free-to-play sort of service. They're reacting and adapting.
They shut down devwear, so I assume it wasn't worth the effort, and I don't know how well prints is doing, but even if it's doing fine, finding new ways to make money is the goal of any business. The internet is a different place ten years later - compare the difference between decades through 1900 and 2000. Look at Google on the day it went live, and compare to what it is for the internet now.
To deny the business side is to say, No, this is good enough. This thing, deviantart, has come far enough. dA cannot be like Facebook, like Google. And sure, maybe it doesn't need or want to be. But how does it know when to stop? Who are we to call for stagnation and/or suicide? Without money dA couldn't have hit the milestones it did. So, really, when we say dA has changed for the worse, our subconscious mind is trying to say it's afraid of change, the unknown.
I'm reminded of the suggestions forum. There were a few people who made it their life's mission to hang out in that place and beat the life out of anyone with a foreign idea. Imagine that, a never ending stream of people ferociously explaining why good ideas cannot be implemented. Or worse, some would be apologists, treating dA as some sort of religious tome.
Jark's gone, but dA is still here. It was his baby, but when he left it became everyone's baby. It hasn't been perfect, but then, everyone has a different dream dA.com in their head. Could Jark, if we asked him now, tell us what differences his dA would have? I don't think anyone could divine that.
Speaking of dreams. Every day someone else starts their journey here. We started ours ten years ago, and this is the story we have to tell. Those that start today are going to have their own history to weave. But here's the thing, we're the elders now, LITERALLY if not by status. We can't ever get that NEW feeling from dA, the same way a child's wonder gives way to an adult's boredom.
To get anything out of dA after 10 years it's reasonable to expect one to reassess their place in the social network. A rebirth almost. Are we the village elders? The crazy uncles? Older sibling? It darn weird talking about it in those terms, but we are children of the internet, and we're dealing with uniquely internet emotions.
So Alan, this might not be the little village we remember. Tall buildings loom above us now, and there are flashing neon signs and strange music that sounds like farts and dial-up modems by a band named Poodude and the Muddy Dicks. But within the network of friends you've made here, they've identified you, and they've named you a respected elder. This isn't your choice. People outside that network might not even know who you are, but you matter to the people that matter to you, even if you don't like what has become of the place.
And that's kinda beautiful isn't it?