I recently read a journal from jeremymjack asking if DA was dying. He's seen a number of artists announce they were leaving DA for greener social media pastures, and it sort of reaffirmed some feelings I expressed in my last journal post about how folks use DA, and if it was effective for them.
DA has been around for a very long time, and when it launched, it was at the cutting edge of social community building. However, over its lifespan, it's remained rather stagnant in its growth, and allowed technology and other social media platforms to completely pass it by. Now folks have other options like Instagram and Tumblr and Twitter and even Facebook... all of which have simple to use phone apps that make posting work and pictures easy. Better yet, those other platforms have the option to connect to one another so you can post to one, and instantly post to all of them. Does DA have that? Not to my recollection. (If it does, please let me know.)
Yes, DA allows you to post to other platforms, but only after posting to DA first. You then must share your post to the other platforms individually. While that seems like a minor quibble, when you're looking at drawing and posting your art everyday--mostly from your phone--that's either super tedious or not even an option.
In my opinion, DA has allowed itself to become the Blockbuster of art communities. Rather than being at the forefront of innovation, it's woefully behind the curve, attempting to sustain itself on an outdated platform that does not service the needs of its community TODAY. Instagram and Tumblr have taken (and will continue to take) artist attention away from DA, because they're easier to use, and actually give artists more options to share their work, which is what the world of social media is all about.
Give me an easy to use phone app that allows me to post my work, as well as connect it to my other social media platforms, and I'd consider making DA my initial focus. Allow me to connect my account to my other social media accounts, and I'd definitely post to it nearly everyday. Continue to do business as usual, and you'll continue to be an afterthought.
What say you guys?