The community is angry
Let's get right to the point. We know the community is angry, and we completely understand why. You're angry because you've been told that the one man responsible for deviantART.com and its success over the past 5 years has been removed against his will. We need to clear up some facts: This is not what has happened: no one person is responsible for deviantART. A Brief History of deviantART, backstage
and I have worked together on deviantART from day 1. A little bit after the first year, we were joined by $mccann
who created the Sonique
MP3 player back in 1998. He began providing us with technical and financial assistance to keep it going.
Before this, deviantART was quite small and the costs of operation were nominal. With it's rapid growth thereafter, it began costing an arm and a leg to operate.
I was the first person to work on deviantART full time in 2002, and am also the only co-founder who took the risk of working with no salary at all
. That is how much I believe in this community. I have dedicated my life to it
. The other two co-founders have never worked fulltime on deviantART. They have always had either college, or a full-time job to contend with. Without question, especially in the early to mid parts of deviantART's life, Scott (°jark
) sacraficed all of his available free time. And this was a significant sacrifice.
The second fulltime
employee of deviantART was $chris
at around the same time I joined in 2002. He was our CTO; today he manages our architecture.
I personally hand built and "installed" deviantART's first 35 servers. Chris rebuilt and maintained all of deviantART's code-base, servers and architecture beginning in 2002. We're talking math, computer science, architecture. That kind of stuff.
Around 2003, we were joined by $spot
who worked full time for deviantART for a full year without pay. He slept on the floor of a closet next to a bathroom in his cousin's apartment. That's what you call dedication to a community my friends. And where's his praise? It doesn't matter: he doesn't ask for it.
I represent the people who keep this place ticking: the people who are so busy that they don't have time to enjoy interacting with the community; the people who do nothing but
work on deviantART, but take quiet pride in knowing that they help keep it running.
We're not trying to belittle jark's work on the site over the past 5 years: he has given more than most to something he believes in and loves, most commendably. What we are trying to do is defend the same love that we have all put into the site. What about what $chris
has given? What about $realitysquared
? As it happens, °jark
, myself, and many others have been in the community spotlight, but is the love, sweat, and tears that anybody else has given the site worth any less? What about the deviant with under a hundred pageviews that selflessly gives out encouragement and pushes for new features? Everyone
deserves the utmost respect for what they give to this site, and no one person can be attributed with the credit. So who is responsible for deviantART?
Every one of us, senior members, volunteer staff, regular deviants: we have built this and we take care of it and pour love into it every day. Most obviously, the site would be nothing without the art that we all upload, but it goes much deeper than that. The userpages, for example, that we know and love are shaped completely on deviants' ideas and requests. deviantIDs started as a type of commdev project! Favourites came right out of the suggestions forum! We all built it. You
built it. deviantART and money
In the early days, deviantART.com was running just fine without any revenue, because $mccann
was sending $gazillion checks out of his pocket every month to pay for the server costs. As costs got steeper, along came the subscription and print programs, which were embraced with open arms by the community. Somewhere since then the community and the company lost touch, and even additions to the subscription package are met with resentment... it is a shame that this has happened, but hopefully we can make amends. With $gazillion being spent to keep deviantART.com from getting unplugged every month, hopefully you can see why the site has grown to need prints and subscriptions to hold it up. We're not out to swindle anybody: in fact the deviantART staff works its collective butt off every month to keep this place from having to sell a huge chunk of it to a Venture Capitalist just to keep it alive, and so far we've beaten all the odds. That's
There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding whether DA has "gone corporate": please send me any questions at all you have about this aspect of deviantART, and I will be glad to answer them: we don't keep secrets. The Future of deviantART
Let me first assure you that deviantART's future is in the hands of the same fine crew it has been for years. Our IT team, some of the same people that have been involved in deviantART's code since version 3, are currently building an enhanced message center, collections system (remember devPacks?), and a fully-featured search engine for the community.
is the new head of community development, but that doesn't mean he's replacing °jark
helped to build the code for deviantART.com v1 and has been very active in the community for years since. You don't 'replace' that. $lolly
has been giving his all to deviantART for a long time, and will continue to do the best that he can in his new role.
Please use this journal, or send a note, if you prefer, to send me any questions you have, and I'll answer them as best I can. I am deeply sorry for the delay in this dialogue: it's certainly been a hectic few days! I'll edit this journal to answer any frequently asked questions where the the answers can easily be found. I'll start with the main question so far: Your Questions so far Why is jark no longer on staff?
Because of legal issues, we're not able to say why this has happened just yet. What we can tell you is what it is not
because of: it did not happen because of any corporate plot or conspiracy. The core team of deviantART has worked every day for the last 5 years to ensure this place runs smoothly without having to sell out to any other company or swindle the community, and none of us
has any intention of letting that change. We're not going to put somebody else's logo all over our site. You wouldn't want that; we don't want it, and we won't let it happen. °jark
no longer being on staff is due to a completely separate matter, which, as I'm sorry to say, we're not able to go into the details about. Why were comments deleted?
A comment thread was in fact deleted by a staff member. It should not have been, we wish we could undelete it but we can not. This person was acting independently and not per the instruction of anybody else. Also the thread deleted was originally posted by the person who deleted it. Because of this, the ability for staff members to delete posts has been revoked. The "delete" comment feature was previously available only for the purpose of removing threads that violated some type of law or contained spammed code that crashed viewer’s browsers. In this instance it was misused. Unfortunately the FAQ has not been updated to reflect this capability.
As for journals; Staff does not have a ‘delete journal tool’. We must assume that these reports were user side errors. Or were edited by the journal author by accident or intentionally.
Sadly due to this one error in judgment people are now making claims that we are deleting journals in their entirety, deleting comments, and removing deviations. This is not the case whatsoever and spreading these rumors is disrespectful to what is otherwise a long standing integrity.