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May 17, 2013
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Thoughts about community

Journal Entry: Fri May 17, 2013, 5:26 AM
Community is a word that is used on dA a lot. It's a huge part of the site and the main reason why I love this place so much and have stuck around for so many years, even when I haven't had time to indulge in my art or felt like sharing it for whatever reason. I've made true friends here who I care for deeply and can't imagine not using dA in some capacity to keep in touch with all of you wonderful people.

The thing with a community, in my opinion, is that it's kind of a by-product. I don't mean that in a bad or belittling way. What I mean is that you can't actually force a community to thrive, or even to exist. You can provide a context (like a website or a message board or a physical-world organisation) and tools (like comments or chat features online or a room to meet in for offline events). You can invite people to join in, encourage them to interact and even moderate destructive or negative behaviour but you can't make a community - it's something that happens by itself, through the involvement and passion of the people who create and maintain it.

Conversely, I don't believe that a community can be destroyed by the introduction of additional features to the context. For example, I've seen so many people complaining on dA (for the entire time I've been here, not just recently) that things like prints, merch and Points are killing the community. You know what? They aren't. Yes, they are additional features for people who use the site and yes, they generate (OMG!) money, but they don't actually prevent you from engaging with the people you care about, interacting with strangers, making new friends, creating and sharing art, commenting on, critiquing and collecting other people's art or doing all the other things that make this community what it is.

These additional features don't (or at least shouldn't, in my opinion) reduce your desire to be a part of the community that you create just by being here, being yourself and doing your thing. You may choose not to get involved with areas of the site that don't interest you, but they don't actually stop you from enjoying the things that DO interest you. We are not only more than the sum of our parts, but we are more than simply the context and the tools provided for us.

:heart:




[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]
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:iconnameda:
Nameda Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
the community here is great :) there are other things I don't like about dA but nothing that would disturb me that much I would stop being around with the fabulous friends I found here :)
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:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
:highfive:
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:iconnameda:
Nameda Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
:huggle:
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:iconmoonbeam13:
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:thumbsup:

:hug:
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:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
:tighthug:
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:icondianagrigore:
DianaGrigore Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Professional Photographer
I'm always trying to find some time to spend here, and always do interesting things. What I love about it the most are the wonderful friends I've made.
:heart:
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:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
Me too. It blows me away when I think that I've been here for 8 years and some of the people I know are people who I met right after I joined :)
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:iconmariellealien:
MarielleALien Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
amen^^
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:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
:D
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:icondistortedsmile:
DistortedSmile Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I find the most wonderful thing about dA is that it's always there - I can spend 5mins or 5hrs a day on here and the community is always around you.
You can leave for 2 weeks to go on holiday, or 2 years for a hiatus and you are ALWAYS welcomed back with open arms. You don't find that kind of environment often.
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