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Postby magicfanny » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:12 am

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Subject title: Forums are quiet

Is it just me or is this forum been really silent lately?

 

Postby azarga » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:10 pm

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Been that way for as long I was visiting the forum. Sketchbook section is more or less active, the rest of the sections are pretty much dead.
Please check my stuff here:
My dA, it is pretty bad.

 

Postby magicfanny » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:34 am

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but even the sketchbook section is quiet too. hmm i guess its because sycra doesnt really post videos anymore.

 

Postby Koźlik » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:28 pm

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It's not something that is not normal. Some people might be busy these days, some people are in some discord / skype groups etc. Some people doesn't have time to update their sketchbook regularry. And the thing that Sycra doesn't post his videos that often might be reason too.
I like to draw girls. If you like girls too, you should check my Sketchbook ^^
There's stuff on my Twitter and Instagram too.
I do streams sometimes, mostly weekends on my Picarto channel.

 

Postby Plumbum » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:43 am

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I know I personally have been busy with school. My universities of choice requires so high grades (to get in to them) I better not slack off :? .
We have DID (the thing Sycra has).

Quick summary of forum writers:
Artist: she is mainly the one who draws.
Writer: he is usually the one who writes on the forum.
Lawyer: he studies everything, honestly.
Real names are private.

Sketchbook: http://www.sycra.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14540

 

Postby z4m97 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:21 am

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new years always has this effect, most users go into art blocks, or into schols, or stuff like that, it starts to kick off around may....











let's do something fun! :D

 

Postby Ambiguity » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:47 am

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I approve a new user almost everyday, so things are still happening. I'm sure come summer everything will pick up again. It's always been like this since I joined the forum back in 2012, every time winter hits everyone goes missing.

 

Postby magicfanny » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:05 am

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Ahh ok this was my first winter so i was worried lol

 

Postby Oli » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:48 am

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If we find enough people I (or Ernie, or someone else) can launch a challenge in the Arena. However, this is only fun when more then 2 people contribute something.
My sketchbook | My dA | My Facebook

Life is too short for bad coffee!

 

Postby z4m97 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:15 pm

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Oli wrote:If we find enough people I (or Ernie, or someone else) can launch a challenge in the Arena. However, this is only fun when more then 2 people contribute something.

what's a good challenge? :O

 

Postby Oli » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:22 pm

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z4m97 wrote:
Oli wrote:If we find enough people I (or Ernie, or someone else) can launch a challenge in the Arena. However, this is only fun when more then 2 people contribute something.

what's a good challenge? :O


so far Ernie was hosting the "character design challenge" and I hosted the "Illustratuion challenge".
My sketchbook | My dA | My Facebook

Life is too short for bad coffee!

 

Postby z4m97 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:16 pm

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Oli wrote:
z4m97 wrote:
Oli wrote:If we find enough people I (or Ernie, or someone else) can launch a challenge in the Arena. However, this is only fun when more then 2 people contribute something.

what's a good challenge? :O


so far Ernie was hosting the "character design challenge" and I hosted the "Illustratuion challenge".

yeh yeh, i remember xD
i mean, a good challenge to amuse everyone while we wait for this to get back on shape xD

 

Postby Wyntry » Wed May 31, 2017 2:36 pm

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im game for either..... and might i suggest a comic challenge?
"Study hard and all things can be accomplished; give up and you will amount to nothing". -Yamaoka Tesshu
Sketchbook: http://sycra.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9424
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artofwyntry/

 

Postby z4m97 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:32 pm

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Wyntry wrote:im game for either..... and might i suggest a comic challenge?

that wold be cool o3o

 

Postby Oli » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:25 pm

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Wyntry wrote:im game for either..... and might i suggest a comic challenge?


We could do that! How'd you go about it?
My sketchbook | My dA | My Facebook

Life is too short for bad coffee!

 

Postby ErnieTheMighty » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:52 am

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Thing about the CD challenge is from what I'm gathering people are becoming more and more lazy. I mean compare first 5 challenges with last 5. I just don't have guts to advertise the challenge on all sycra skypes/discords, knowing that only 2 people will join;;;

 

Postby fi_le » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:46 pm

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-----------------------

I think the original post of this thread is becoming relevant again. Hello, echo! Hello, echo! Hello, echo!
...you see, it's supposed to be fi_le like the file from the computer... the one where you put the data things in.

my sketchbook on here and my Instagram

 

Postby Polymath » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:59 am

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...

but nobody came

 

Postby svarn » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:09 pm

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Unfortunately yes. And I don't imagine that things will improve, since Sycra is no longer that active as a teacher as far as I know.

 

Postby Ambiguity » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:59 am

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Sketchbooks are still being updated pretty much everyday. I think the real reason for less activity is because Sycra stopped uploading videos bi-weekly like he used to, that was bringing in a constant influx of new members. He was only active here for the first year, and it wasn't even that much, so I don't think it's because he's not here.

 

Postby bluepencil » Wed May 22, 2019 4:38 pm

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It's a very common trend lately for classic-style Internet forums and communities to be very quiet, struggle to find new members, and even disappear completely. I myself was a very active member of a tight-knit UK-based art forum back in 2006-2012. Eventually the forum was shut down, citing the availability of social media as the main reason. But I think we can all agree that the two are not the same experience, not even close, and social media has definitely changed a lot since 2012 (gotten a lot noisier, more hostile, faster paced).

I'm very interested in this trend myself, and am trying to figure out why this is happening and what can be done about it. This excellent article is thoroughly researched and very well argued, doing a much better job at explaining the situation than I think I could:

Image

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-rise-fall-internet-art-communities

So it seems that the nature of the Internet is changing (passive rather than active use, primarily consuming rather than creating, hostile (nigh on dangerous) rather than safe). Less anonymous.
The way modern social media sites are structured - focusing on viewing and posting as much content as possible, and forcing content channels to compete with each other on volume - is no doubt a big part of it.
But I might also add that we as users are changing. We're being changed by the vast, dam-busting rivers of information that flow through our orbits every day. Yes, this is the fault of the massive data companies who benefit from that situation. But I might argue that we're also letting it happen. We're becoming less discerning in our "consumption", often going for volume over quality. We haven't held onto our old communities, protected with them, continued to engage with them, instead hopping over to the passive convenience of the modern algorithmic stream, choosing scrolling over discussion and engagement.

What do you think? The article doesn't provide any kind of solution. But I think there's space for small communities to thrive, away from all the noise of the "Modern Internet". A slower, quieter sub-net, if you will. In fact, we're probably in desparate need of such a change of pace (there's a whole slow Internet movement, but I don't know much about it yet). Community is essential to the creation of art, so we as artists can only benefit from pushing to make our communities really work. How do you think a small forum like this one can generate a little more buzz and encourage people to visit and engage more?

There are two things I've noticed/think might be relevant:

1.) When I visit a forum these days, the off-topic/discussion board is usually very, very dead. Some art forums today hardly even provide a structure for this, with minimal sub-categories or sub-forums for the discussion/chit-chat/fun side of things, instead focusing primarily on sketchbook threads. Back on my old forum though, discussion was the main order of the day! Discussing technique, sharing tips, talking about art and movies and comics and entertainment, playing silly drawing games. Discussion is where you get to know other forum members. Once people become friends, they're much more invested in each others' work.

2.) A strong community with strong engagement seems to require some pillars of the community. Users need to step forward and start threads, respond to discussions, organise forum events (or even RL meets). The forum I used to be in revolved around a collective of artists and their books, so things sort of revolved around our fandom of the creators. This gave everybody some common ground to start building a community around. There was something uniting everybody. But there were also lots of people (starting with the artists of the collective themselves) who were very engaged in the community and helped it flourish, grow, and helped the quieter people start to engage.

I have lots more to say about this topic, but I would like to hear what you have to say!

 

Postby fi_le » Fri May 24, 2019 3:09 pm

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Hi man,
thanks so much for this post.

I agree wholeheartedly that there's a lot of fun to be had on sites like this one that specifically defies the constraints of big tech company platforms.
That article gave me really strange trains of thought, I can only faintly remember these smaller communities when I was on the internet ten years ago, this kind of site gives me a feeling of comfort. And I mean, I was six years old back then, I barely have any memories.
There is such a clinical vibe to sharing drawings and paintings on Instagram, I'm beginning to think I'm not the only one who feels that way. In fact it felt like that article read my mind, pretty powerful stuff there.

Solutions?
I mean if I had my own way I'd just smash those big tech companies up and take the pieces for ourselves, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon.
Regarding this forum specifically:
Maybe a start would be to add some functionality on here. Is that even possible? I wouldn't know who's in charge of the code that sits on this domain, when I hit Sycra up because of the recent shutdown, he told me this:
It's a pretty bad situation because the people who were looking after the forum are no longer working on the site it seems... They changed the passwords and things so I can't even log into my website anymore to access files...

Theoretically, I could try tinkering with this place, but I'm fairly sure that my web design skills would only yield minimal incremental improvements and that there are people who are better by orders of magnitude. Reach out, I guess?

The most important part though, as you pointed out, is the community. There are quite a few art discords spinning off of this, which seems to be the cool new thing overall, too. Well, I'm not going there.

Honestly, I can't even imagine an active off-topic section here, that definitely could be my particular ideosyncracies though.

Please tell me more about your findings, I like this topic very much!
...you see, it's supposed to be fi_le like the file from the computer... the one where you put the data things in.

my sketchbook on here and my Instagram

 

Postby Polymath » Fri May 24, 2019 4:55 pm

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What do people even gain from using social media?
I never got it. For example my local gym makes advertisements with "follow us on instagram".
I dont get it. Why would anybody want to see what they post there and why would they want people to see their posts?
..does one get money if many people follow one on instagram? that would be the only reason where I could understand why somebody does it.
but since everybody posts stuff and wants others to follow them, nobody cares about the posts of other people, right?
I completely dont get it why people are motivated to use it.

 

Postby Ambiguity » Sat May 25, 2019 1:43 am

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bluepencil wrote:Community is essential to the creation of art

I don't think I can agree with this, but I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts as to why you draw that conclusion.

bluepencil wrote:We're becoming less discerning in our "consumption", often going for volume over quality. We haven't held onto our old communities, protected with them, continued to engage with them, instead hopping over to the passive convenience of the modern algorithmic stream, choosing scrolling over discussion and engagement.
I agree with the first points, but I don't think the last one is true, it's just that people generally don't start discussions often on social media sites(to be fair, the cramped formatting on most of them tends to discourage this). I've seen multiple times on places like Instagram where someone will post a huge wall of text under their image and get tons of engagement from their followers, but at the same time people who just ask things like "hey guys, what is your favorite color?" will obviously be met with a bunch of one word answers.

bluepencil wrote:How do you think a small forum like this one can generate a little more buzz and encourage people to visit and engage more?

As I mentioned before, in my opinion, this site has slowed down greatly in terms of getting new members due to it no longer being constantly promoted in Sycra videos(because he doesn't really make many free ones anymore). Everyone knows all the big social media sites because they were spread by word of mouth to everyone, and now that smart devices are big, their logos show up in every app store, so it's almost impossible to not at least have heard about them. Getting people to come check out anything is just a matter of making them aware in my opinion, however, getting them to stay when they get there is another topic entirely. I think creating a mobile friendly app version of a forum would be a big help if all you wanted was quantity of members. Convenience, as you brought out, is a big factor in getting people to actually use something.

bluepencil wrote:2.) A strong community with strong engagement seems to require some pillars of the community. Users need to step forward and start threads, respond to discussions, organise forum events (or even RL meets). The forum I used to be in revolved around a collective of artists and their books, so things sort of revolved around our fandom of the creators. This gave everybody some common ground to start building a community around. There was something uniting everybody. But there were also lots of people (starting with the artists of the collective themselves) who were very engaged in the community and helped it flourish, grow, and helped the quieter people start to engage.

I agree, and this is actually one of the fastest ways to kill a forum. Forums that revolve around a few people are at the mercy of those few, when they leave, the clock starts ticking down as to when the forum will die. It happened with Conceptart.org with the Massive Black guys leaving and all of the other pros becoming disillusioned with the way Jason Manley was running the business side of things, and it happened to CrimsonDaggers when Dave Rapoza started getting regular work and decided to leave the forum to the people he helped that weren't willing to take on that mantle. As I stated before, I think this forum actually benefited from Sycra never really being all that active here(although we'd of course love to have him here more). I think it was because of that that it didn't hurt us at all when he stopped posting here for good because it made us come here for the community rather than a "leader".

I think one thing old forums had that is going to be almost impossible to get back is industry professionals that are willing to engage with noobies. I don't think that is for lack of want on their part, but most art jobs have gotten shorter and shorter deadlines as more and more artists turned to photobashing and 3D. Long gone are the days where half of an art team would be working traditionally, or at least had to have drawing skill to complete works. Couple that with the fact that ART forums are primarily for ARTISTS and not the general public like social media, and you'll realize that you are basically asking pros(freelancers especially) to give up some of their time that they could be using to build a following for business or even give up what little free time they have with their loved ones, and instead allocate that to helping a bunch of noobies get to their level. Almost no one would make either of those trades.

 

Postby ehlihr » Sat May 25, 2019 5:25 am

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Can’t really add much to what Ambiguity said tbh, other than to say:

1) The formatting of this forum is very unfriendly to mobile users and I think if it had better image uploading handling or whatever it would be a breeze. Like, I know it’s a more trad forum setup but I think if you didn’t grow up with that (I didn’t, and the only reason I kinda stuck with this for the last five or so years is bc I really liked Sycra’s stuff back in the day) you don’t have that like connection with the medium. This style of posting is very unfamiliar to the New Kidz tm (mostly) that I think it draws away newbies in the youth and experience sense, and that lack of activity doesn’t incentivize the professionals or students to use the forum as much. As well has how many people who used Sycra’s vids as a learning tool are now in school, professionals, or maybe just dropped art.

2) This forum is a lot more niche than I think I realized. It’s just intrinsic to the work Sycra and Co make: concept stuff for cards and video games, leaning heavily towards fantasy stuff. You can disagree with that, but the more illustrative character stuff isn’t at all what I see (with more of a draw to animation/illus) and I think that’s more of the “fashion” of todays youth. Idk that’s not a critique, just like an observation of what I’ve noticed over the last few years.
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