I've just joined but . . .

What is this site and, more importantly, what should it be?
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I've just joined but . . .

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Postby Bic » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:33 am

. . . it feels kinda weird here. Very subdued, maybe?
I've been a member of photoshopcontest.com (PSC) for many years. So many in fact that I was their when it was at it's height of popularity, with one of the best online communities I've ever known.
Having been a part of that has sadly, also meant I have had to witness its slow and almost painful, decline over the last few years, as members grew up, moved on or just didn't have the kind of time spare that is required to continuously produce chops of the quality they used to, anymore.
It's still going but it'll never be what it was. There is a new photo to chop for the daily competition still, with between 8 and 15 entries each time. It just doesn't compare to when it used to be 60 or more entries for every daily competition, with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places regularly getiing 70+ votes each. Plus, the endless amount of side-games, serious discussion, piss-taking banter, tips, tutorials and loads more . . . .
I heard about this site from a someone that recently joined PSC so thought I'd sign up and check it out but it''s not been as . . user-friendly? as I'd assumed it would be. It might just be me and it's the first time entering one of the contests here. That's when I started checking the forums. recent contests, etc. and that has lead me here, to this post and that empty feelng I mentioned at the start.
The reason for explaining about what happened to PSC is because its the same kind of feeling I get here. It's the kind of empty that comes from something that, for a long time, used to be full.
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Re: I've just joined but . . .

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Postby Diogenese » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:03 pm

Honestly it's pretty much the same way here, and Worth1000 was running into the same issues. We had a good core of people when we started, but younger people in general don't seem to get into this kind of place and attrition happens. If anybody comes up with an answer we would love to hear it.
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. :roll:

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Re: I've just joined but . . .

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Postby Bic » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:08 pm

Yeah, it's a damn shame, man
I suspect it's just not instant enough to keep the attention of the younger ones.
It's still an interesting site though. Will enter a contest or two, no doubt :)

Stay safe, well & happy

Bic :)
I think I must be a God because every time I pray, I feel like I'm just talking to myself . . .
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Re: I've just joined but . . .

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Postby AinSeattle » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:06 pm

I wrote up an even longer rambling rant with my strong opinions about this subject, and then realized it is my opinion that all I typed should be reduced to:

Dagger Bay has become repetitive and redundant.

NONE of this, however, is a judgment on the great work, time and effort put into the site by the admins and regular participants. For that, we are very grateful!!

Back to my observation. To get to that conclusion, I evaluated why I used to require my adult students to sign up for Dagger Bay but wouldn't today.

1) Mentor/mentee relationships -- They aren't here any longer and the educational content is more complete and better on other sites. Today Dagger Bay contests feel like popularity contests instead of collaboration to further artists.

2) Basic art concepts -- by the time they are old enough to hold one, everyone knows how to use a smartphone to make art. Unless it is for "going pro", there is very little incentive to do any more than the minimum to support art.

3) Common content -- Somewhere, somehow, someway it is already done and out there for the finding. Even new content on Dagger Bay is derivative or similar to something existing. I stopped focusing on content for contests long ago as my time-shifted to higher priorities. Most contest site statistics show I'm not the only one pulling back from using their time to create content for someone else.

4) AI - It does the work for us. Anyone and everyone can now create their own "art" cheaper, faster, and instantaneously without having to rely on any other input.

5) Reviews - While this is more a personal decision, Dagger Bay lost me and my students for posting photos (even for critiques -- a biggie for using Dagger Bay) when I read "In posting photos here you are giving permission for them to be used in Illustration and Photo Effects contests." One of our major discussions was opt-in vs opt-out on internet sites. I couldn't require my students to fully participate when it was an opt-out situation. If the Quartermasters want additional details, you'll need to PM me.

6) Build a personal portfolio -- Outdated concept. Personal portfolios are on smartphones for the average person while a professional needs a professional portfolio site.

BUT I still love Dagger Bay!! and want to see it revived and thrive.

IMHO, here are a few ideas for that to happen...

1) Make contests with a tight, specific theme. For example, a technique contest where you must use these x,y,z techniques in your process. It could include illustration combined with shading, combined with highlights. Or cropping, sizing, and scaling with the comments showing where each step was placed in the process.

2) Have contests or moderator led discussions that require the participant to follow a specific masters' or Dagger Bay members' style. Anything from Leonardo DeVinci to Ansel Adams to Monet to Vangough to the Dagger Bay greats with a modern twist by doing it on the computer.

3) Before, during and after contests where all three stages have to be shown. The theme can be any theme but the contest or forum discussion must include the inspiration behind the chosen subject to the process used to create the item to the finished product.

4) Comparison contests or discussions. Dictate the subject -- tree photography contest is a good example -- but the equipment must be within a range (lense length, xx number of pixels, or ??). Or the opposite is to leave the subject wide open and make the technical requirements a list of options -- can only use Illustrator against Affinity against hand-drawn/scanned.

5) Bring back the interviews with the greats in each category and how they create their art! So much can be learned from the personal side of the artist. If these already exist, they aren't easy to find.

6) Become more of an art management site. Currently, it seems the galleries are created and then...nothing! No suggestions on how this could be incorporated into the site, but I do see it as a way to refresh Dagger Bay's usefulness.

7) Personal gallery showings. Randomly pick 5 people a month and have a gallery showing of their works -- a virtual museum show.

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