The discussions of the pros and cons of "kudos" on AO3 reminded me that I've wanted to post about whether others found the comment culture and discussions about them (and long critiques as well as the favorite and collection buttons) on deviantArt even more neurotic and fraught than on the typical fan archive/forum or fannishly used LJ/DW.
I mean, whenever I see discussions over this in posts on dA it's likely to be some sort of screed how these days people were only doing "fav and run" instead of how it supposedly was in some mythical ancient time when everybody wrote lengthy comments to help artists improve. (For an example, see this recent post
and the comments on it, as well as the second part
more about the group feature.)
First, seriously, what is it with that expression, as if it was a bad thing akin to a "hit and run" to bookmark an artwork as a favorite and give it more exposure through people browsing the favorites of artists they like to find new stuff? I know I find most art on dA like that, and more recently also through groups (that I also find by accident when an artwork I like has a group button), since neither the search function nor the categories are up to cope with the sheer number of works.
And second, all this whining about how the quality of the comments sucks and nobody was posting long comments (anymore -- it's always combined with nostalgic projections, which I can't verify, since I have used dA for a bit over two years), actually makes me even less likely to comment on the site, even though I can't quite believe the majority of users would really expect the average comment to be some sort of indepth analysis or review, rather than a quick "Awesome! I like the costume." or "Cool how the fur turned out." or something like that.
I mean, I freely admit that on dA my interaction is mostly of the "adding as favorite" type, because to me it seems a "win-win". I get a bookmark of great art I liked for myself with one click, and the artist gets a quick notification that I added it as favorite, and potentially more viewers if people who landed in my gallery also take a look at what art I liked. And that with none of the social awkwardness of commenting on strangers.
As for the complaint that even comments that are made are of the "worthless" kind, I'm not about to offer unwanted technical advice to random strangers, not to mention that more often than not I'm not actually more technically versed or knowledgeable etc. than the poster, or in the habit of doing technical art reviews, so what could I even say
in a comment that would satisfy these demands? For the record, personally I'm happy to get fav'ed, and like short comments. Longer ones would be awesome of course, but I don't expect them as the norm
Perhaps it is the huge range of users, from professional artists with many followers to the occasional inept doodle poster showing a sketch to some friends, that makes the popularity issues even more central on dA than on fanfic archives, because the displayed stats (number of views, downloads, favorites, and comments) aren't that different from fanfic archives like the AO3 that display hits, comments, and bookmarks.