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Things just aren't the same! - Disgruntled Elfwoodians

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September 3rd, 2005


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dustphantom
01:10 am - Things just aren't the same!
Are things ever getting back to normal? Since the crash, the elfwood I knew and loved is slowly deteriorating. I discovered elfwood about 2 years ago, joined up and it really became a great part of my life. I loved uploading my art! Once i published a piece, i'd get excited about getting through the queue, couldn't wait for feedback. don't know about you, but when I draw or paint something I absolutely love it, but once i create more the flaws begin to show and I usually end up despising it. thats the problem with the queue now! I will finish something publish it, but it take practically a month before it actually gets through. by then, i have created new things to be excited about, and couldn't care less what comments or critique people have to offer on my old work. by that time, I have noticed all the flaws and pretty much critique it myself. about a year ago I got an account on deviantart, loved the quick posting and response, hated the comments! rarely do you get a good critique on deviantart, most often its "awesome!" nice getting feedback but that really isn't helpful! so, i abandoned deviant art, but after the crash, I found myself on deviantart again because of the whole quick response thing. when I create something I want people to tell me what they think as soon as possible! after a month or so, I don't really care. i want the old elfwood back!!!! I promised I wouldn't leave, but I'm just not feeling passionate about it anymore. elfwood used to be my life, maybe thats pathetic, but I LOVED it. I used to check my comments every day, now lucky if i do at all. what is the future of elfwood? do you think more and more people will abandon? are things ever going to get back to how they used to be? gra! sorry I just needed to rant.
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
Current Music: Suffragette City - David Bowie

(69 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lukadia
Date:September 3rd, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it's definitely starting to fall apart. I don't think it will be around long.

Icompetence: the silent arbitrarily enforced killer!
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From:dinogrrl
Date:September 3rd, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC)
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...er...in the three years I've been at Elfwood, two weeks to a month is the typical time I've always waited for a ticket to get processed. I'm not really sure what 'old Elfwood' you're talking about o_O.

I for one am not abandoning it. Mostly because I hate dA and its many clones.
[User Picture]
From:lukadia
Date:September 3rd, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I guess I'm not leaving either. I must be nucking futs to stay, but every community in peril needs people to call 'foul' sometimes. Keeps ya honest ^.^
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From:sandelwood
Date:September 3rd, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
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I've been on Elfwood for six years, before queues and mods and the rest. I don't dislike the moderation at all, and I update so rarely that I can live with the wait. But I used to be in your position, used to love it, checked everyday and so forth.

However, I get maybe one comment every few months. One. Usually its anonymous, and usually not more than three words, and usually not helpful in any way, shape or form. So you'll forgive me if I've lost interest.

You want my opinion, Elfwood is too big. Everybody wants and they aren't the least bit willing to give in return. Nobody cares anymore.
From:dustphantom
Date:September 3rd, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
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yea, I have been getting a lot less comments too. but I though that was due to my inactivity...so you think it is because people don't care anymore?
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From:dustphantom
Date:September 3rd, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
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I totally agree :)
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[User Picture]
From:klawzie
Date:September 3rd, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
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Word: it's always taken me at least two weeks for something to go through too.

But also: wow, you get insightful comments at Elfwood more often than you get insightful comments at DA? Wild. I only get insightful comments from friends.
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From:dustphantom
Date:September 3rd, 2005 11:45 pm (UTC)
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you mean you only get insightful comments from friends on elfwood??? I just find that people give much better comments on elfwood. Rarely do I get a critique on deviantart. actually, I think I have received one good critique in the whole year I have been there.
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From:hbrika
Date:September 4th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)
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I don't get comments on Elfwood, I think I maybe got 3 the whole time I have been there and they weren't useful critiques. Granted on Deviant it is mostly WOW COOL but I have gotten a few decent ones.

I pick bad times to upload pictures like before the crash or when the queue is horrendous
[User Picture]
From:micole
Date:September 4th, 2005 04:30 am (UTC)
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Back when Elfwood was young, the updates came nightly but the site was small enough that one could actually view much of the new art in one sitting-- even with Dial-up! This encouraged commenting, and made getting visitors very easy-- even though there were no links in the comments. We made a lot friends and helped each other to get better as artists. The rules were meager, the art mostly sucked, and a fair bit of it was non-genre, but we looked past all that and we had fun. (The Back Button Rules) :-)

Now a days, the site is buried under the weight of numbers and cumbersome rules, yet burdened by a slow upload time and procedure rulings that discourages new posts. It is the worse of two worlds, really. There are far more updates per day on the woods now, but the time a single given artist can and does update is far less. This discourages loyal viewers and fans-- the very people who leave good and constructive comments. The comment form introduced in 2001 didn't help either, for it made it seem that one had to be a member to comment. Combined with a mass exodus of artists, and well, you pretty much get a dead site.

Thomas changed his vision and the rules in 2001. The site has slowly withered since then. Moderation has NOT helped in any way. Sure, pictures are somewhat organized now, but the process has caused so much strife, hassle and alienation that much of the old community left. Even to this day, moderation continues to be a source of grief-- for both the artist and the moderators-- yet nothing really improves; it is only better categorized.

Added to the above, Elfwood, after moderation, kind of had this attitude of, "It's Thomas's site, OUR (admin)way is right no matter what, and YOU (the artist) will do it OUR way or leave." That was fine when Elfwood was the only game on the net... Now a days, folks can post anywhere, and, well, they do. (Bye Bye Elfwood)

If only Thomas had realized the power of the "Back Button." lol
[User Picture]
From:flasher
Date:September 8th, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
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Speaking as one of the artists that left, I have to say that I rarely regret my choice. The Elfwood I joined back in the late 90s disappeared a long time ago.

Visions change, ideas mature, you hope for the better but thats not always the case. I didn't have a problem with the moderation at first. It did cut down on the obvious tracings and completely non-genre pictures being posted. As more and more rules were added, it just seemed to become a top heavy monolith. Anyone else here remember the god awful discussions that showed up ~2002 because fairies in high heels were being labeled "not fantasy" by the mods due to the modern clothing?

The final straw for me was the "My site, my rules, I can do whatever I like" mentalitiy that showed up around the same time. I guess Thomas never realized how much that would put people off, especially those of us who felt that we had helped build Elfwood from the beginning. Back then it was the only thing around like it and it was amazing. Now, its a joke on the other art site.

Anymore I stick to Epi, Deviant and semi-private forums, as well as my own web page. Each have their plusses and minuses and none of them really replace the Elfwood of old. But then again, none of them are nearly as aggravating as the current Elfwood either. Artists always have the choice to vote with their feet.
[User Picture]
From:paul_doyle
Date:September 4th, 2005 07:57 am (UTC)

The $128,000 Question? :P

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*is mildly sarcastic*

Hmmm . . . why not make lots of people happier by further reducing the infinitesimal Elfwood rules, and increasing Elftown rules for the benefit and well-being of those of us Elfwooders who still go onto Elftown on a regular basis?

It might go quite a ways toward improving the .lysator.liu.se experience for those of us who still really do give a damn about both places, and still have romantic illusions of them being two parts of some kind of online Avalon. :P
[User Picture]
From:mnight
Date:September 4th, 2005 08:08 am (UTC)
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I too have been on Elfwood about two years or so and I'm not noticing a downward spiral. Yes, sometimes it takes awhile to get stuff through the queue. But if you follow the rules pretty well, then your ticket is A) easier to process and B) it doesn't take three tries to get a story up on your page.
I only have a Wyvern's shelf and don't really get too many comments too quickly on stuff I have up, but over the two years I've managed to acumulate 30 comments and I'm happy with them seeing as most are helpful.
One thing I have noticed is that there seems to be more people who want comments than those giving them. This could be because of people being self-centered and not giving them out. Personally I browse with an eye towards saying something about at least two or three pieces in a sitting. Or this could be because there is so much new art being uploaded its harder and harder to find pieces that inspire. I don't really think its that but I suppose it could be.
Either way, I'm content with the way Elfwood is nowadays. If I really really need someone to critique something I've written, say because I'm going to try and get it published, then I ask someone I can talk to in person about it, say my mother(who is a really really good test subject since she's not really into scifi so much and therefore only likes it if it really grabs her attention). A comment online is okay and such, but a person's body language doesn't come across and that for me is kind of important.
From:catelfemma
Date:September 7th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
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I think the main thing that's killing Elfwood is the fangirls/boys. They create S/F galleries so that they can create Fanquarter galleries, they updates loads in the first few months and then go again, leaving abandoned galleries taking up space. This is a mass generalisation, sorry - but I think this is the problem.
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From:halwyn
Date:September 7th, 2005 11:35 pm (UTC)
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Well, I left. And that was after 5 years on Elfwood, almost all of them on staff, first as a join coordinator, then as other things, including head of Mods and head of support.

I removed my gallery.

At the moment I'm starting a fantasy and sci fi community with places people can upload their art and stories. I'm not as clever as Thomas! It probalby won't be as smart as Elfwood, and it's NOT in competition with Elfwood (the same way that the corner store is not in competition with a major chain) but I'm hoping it will be friendly. I do need help with icons and graphics though, so if you are interested in helping me email me eliza@elizasart.com
[User Picture]
From:kythsharra
Date:September 8th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC)
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I'm intrigued. I think I'll send you an email.
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From:kehrli
Date:September 8th, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC)
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Okay I'm ignoring most of the conversation here, I just wanted to point out that the art queue is currently running at about 9 days. Essentially, after the huge ticket backup that we got after the crash, we seem to be coming back around to normal for modding speeds - hopefully it will be under a week for art, soon.

In other sections, FanQuarter is running at about eight days (though there are a few slightly older tickets hanging out) and the Wyvern's crew is really good at keeping the library queue under a week. (5 days right now).

:)
From:dustphantom
Date:September 9th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
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really? *checks* my ticket has been in the queue for 8 days. I'm number 629. maybe things are getting faster!!!! hallelujah :D
[User Picture]
From:darksavvy
Date:September 8th, 2005 11:34 pm (UTC)

the old versus the new

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It seems to me that the people that are most unhappy are the ones that have been here since the begining. People that joined 2 or 3 years ago really don't know how close this community used to be, the days of instant uploads and instant comments, where I felt like I knew every gallery personally.

It seems a great shame now that the people who helped to realize thomas's vision, the ones that were here at the very begining are the ones being left in the dust. If the people who helped to create this site, that weren't just here for the past couple of years but have been here for 4 or 5 years or more, are the ones leaving, then I think we have a real problem. Because it's not for lack of wanting. I've been here for at least 5 years and I'm sad every time I see one of long time members leave. It means another piece of what made elfwood great is slipping away. And the fact that they have bothered to leave a goodbye comment means that they still care about elfwood, but they don't know what else can be done.

There have been a number of suggestions, on how we can help revive elfwood, and I think they should be taken seriously instead of being scoffed at. The older members of elfwood helped create this site as much as Thomas himself, and it would be a great shame if we did not at least consider their words seriously.
From:exons3084
Date:September 9th, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC)

Re: the old versus the new

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I totally agree with you! I think the whole "take it or leave it" mentality is really becoming quite a deterrent for those who once loved this site to care anymore...
[User Picture]
From:chironsoldier
Date:September 11th, 2005 02:30 am (UTC)
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i don't get comments at either, but that's because i rarely upload at DA and haven't uploaded at elfwood probably for 2+ years. give me your d/a username and i'll comment on something. and i won't say "oo pretty" either.
From:dustphantom
Date:September 12th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
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my username is dustfaa :)

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