Entry #2

Rating system

2015-01-18 05:22:40 by inkveins

As petty as it is, something deep down gets me a little moody at poor ratings. Mostly because I don't believe in an abstract artistic opinion being expressed numerically; like some kind of snooty jouranlism opinion generator. At least I'm confident enough in my art to not let it get to me. But what bugs me, is I've seen fellow artists get upset about their art being crucified without any genuine critique. Anyways, I think it imparts a bad notion. It gives the rater a position of power they don't deserve (because much of them are users who have posted, created, and contributed absolutely nothing to this website, and very likely to this whole world), and it bums out the artists who worked hard on their artwork only to have someone look at it and slap it with a poor rating.

It's funny, because I've already heard the argument "That's what leaving reviews is for", but that's assuming people aren't going to extend their asshole jurisdiction to the reviews section just the same. Most reviews I've seen offer either nothing constructive whatsoever, or it's just a one word review like "bad" or "meh". So Just by having a numerical system, you've devided the website into three groups: entitled jerks, entitled jerks who put in slightly more effort and think they're more important and interesting than the other jerks, and people who actually have things to say. And you can't even assume that the latter aren't going to be mean with their critique themselves, if they're around at all. You could also bring up voting power, but now you're leaving it to chance that the 1/3 of those people who actually give a damn actually see your artwork and critique it fairly. 

idk. This has probably been complained about a lot. I'm no designer obviously and it's easy to complain about these things, but I think it's pretty counter productive. Destructive, even. I understand they're reworking the system as we speak, so yay. Y'know, one thing that deviant art does with critiques is a minimum character limit, which I quite like. It means that if you don't have anything to say, you simply cannot. It also means that if they're just being mean and post something like "this is gaygaygaygaygay" a hundered times, you can just flag it as spam as apposed to just saying the review is negetive (which btw, does that even do anything??)


-Edit 2/14/15-
Lemme also just add that it's been pretty cool getting feedback on this entry, and how civil everyone is being even if they don't quite agree. I'm getting good impressions about the newgrounds community. 


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2015-01-19 14:36:25

i'll go ahead, and try to say something smart :/. I know the rating system tends to be bullshit, but i think people give too much importance to the opinion of the wrong people. try this out: display your art in the street and see if someone gives a shit; what is more, there's pently of blokes out there that are willing to shit on anything, regardless of the quality of your art. you just don't give a fuck.
As regards Deviant Art, and i'm just talking out of a quite short experience; DA seems to be a fairly self-regulated HUGE community, whit TONS of great artists. As good as that sound, that makes things terribly complicated for new artists to be noticed and get constructive critiques or whatever. check this out, your "Cute oni girl" has more views than your page on deviantart...and don't tell that's not important. as bullshit as the numerical voting system is, when you post something in NG you get up to an entire day in the latest art section, right next to a, say, Sabtastic's piece....that's something, isn't it? I don't know....perhaps i just like NG better, because it feels more human.
I feel i have to apologize for unpolished english and, consequently, messy train of thoughts :D. btw, i really like what you do, keep it up.

inkveins responds:

I appreciate your opinion. I don't really think the street analogy works though, because this is a website made by creators, for creators. Throw a rock and you'll hit someone that cares, at least in theory. You also have to compensate for the internet being a horrible place filled with vile pretentious egotists, but y'know.

DA has it's share of problems, but one thing I will say, is all of my inkveins accounts are relatively new. When I started posting more frequently, my page views shot up by about 200 views in 48 hours. I can guarantee with almost complete certainty that a year down the line, my DA will have significantly more attention than my newgrounds. Not to mention the community is generally a lot nicer than other facets of the internet. As weird as they can get. Newgrounds seems to have a lot of that 4chan edgy persona hanging around like an eggy fart, and it's a bit of a red flag to me (and likely anyone else).

I do like being able to be alongside other artists as they're creating as well. That's a pretty nice feeling.


2015-01-19 16:13:41

Wether it is made by creators for creators or not (which is just a slogan) is way too relative to be relevant, since you don't really have power to control who visits your page. On the other hand, i dare to insist with my analogy: the internet is no place filled with nothing, the same kind of people who surfs the net are the ones that you see out in the streets; the only thing that prevents people from telling me that i'm an asshole or anything like that is that they have to be in front of me, and the subsequent possibility of being smacked in the face. Internet's anonymity plays a huge part on that.
But you're right, you'll have more attention, but then again, DA it's a way bigger community; and that doesn't mean that content creators are looking at your work.

I'm sorry if i made this into a big argument; i was just trying to cheer you up, mate.

inkveins responds:

Nah man, you're just arguing your point, I can handle a civil debate. I see your point. c:


2015-01-19 16:20:52

Having said that....i have to state that i also have a DA account ;). peace.

Sorry for the double post.


2015-02-13 22:30:07

It's still better than getting fewer, more ass kissing reviews elsewhere... like dA, though it might've improved. Haven't really hung out there since NG created the Art Portal, one of NG's better Portals. The scouting system works, but there's no clear cut explanation... it does say somewhere, that only finished, complete works are allowed to be tagged for the Art Portal, so unsophisticated sketches and WIP's in the Art Portal are a no-no, and could get you de-scouted.... fans will still see new WIP's and such on their feed.

inkveins responds:

I never really understood the opposition to a little positive reinforcement every once in a while. It's not like artists aren't already historically and socially roughing it; no need to remind them that their efforts are like a message in a bottle being thrown into a sea comprised of messages in bottles. Like Kevin Smith said, nothing good comes out of discouraging an artist. Always critique, always try to make them better, but there's no need for hurtful language.

Nobody's ever really brown nosing on deviant art. If people are following you and complimenting you, it's pretty much because they genuinely like your stuff and want to see more. Generally if you're not very good, you just don't get a whole lot of attention. The leg up that newgrounds has, is the prominence of the art forum, and lots of people who can tell you how to improve your trade.

Deviant art is kind of the same way actually with wips and all that. Frankly their categorization system is much better. They have a category dedicated to sketches, and they'll show up to your followers in their news feeds, but it won't be in your featured gallery. You kind of have to dig for it.


2015-02-14 00:43:24

Damn, Kevin Smith said that? Cool on him.

The NG layout is more minimal, almost too subtle, but NG's been running for a long time with only a handful of admins to program the site, unlike dA or a shit ton of other mainstream sites. Despite the headaches and (again) problems digging around for content, NG's not a bad place, though thanks to porn, we attract a lot of 'unsophisticated humans'.

There's a plan in works to make NG SFW, and the porny stuff gets migrated to another site....then you have to ask, is NG going to police all user content, like blogs? It's confusing...

inkveins responds:

Oh believe me, DA is in dire need of a bigger staff as well. Being the go-to has its downfall. And as for the sfw newgrounds, man, that's really something. What, a decade of tired ass penis jokes, and now your website is taking a turn in a direction that you can't control, and you're going to take your ball and go home? Almost JUVENILE, really. To my understanding, the adult content of newgrounds has been one of its biggest selling points. I can't post some of the art I make on deviant art, but newgrounds offers a more lenient venue.

And I mean lets face it, youtube took over as the go-to because they pay you. The people that are still prominent here are niche. And now they're planning on stamping out the niche? What a terrible fucking idea.


2015-02-14 03:54:35

You mean like blog comments being in reverse order now? http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1383910 The terms 'shark jumping' and 'willy-nilly' have been used lately... and the new adult website seems (seemed) like a good idea when Tom mentioned it last year. It just sucks we can't get good sponsorship because of our adult content... it's doubtful NG will ever get ad-sense back, so much for google's 'do no harm' banter.

Yeah, YouTube and more niche sites have certainly run railroad over poor ol NG. Lol, tomorrow will mark my 14th year here - scary.

inkveins responds:

Yikes. That's a long time. I remember coming to this website when I was in middle school and discovering dudes like Ego and David Firth. Times have definitely changed. You always want to see that awesome mom and pop joint down the road succeed and be the best; the one that's been around for decades, and has stayed pretty true to the original menu and they're nice to their regulars. But then it's like, Across the road, not only are they offering your food for cheaper, but they're actively rewarding you for eating it. I don't think newgrounds has the kind of time and money to speak the language of the starving artist. I appreciate the voting power system, but it's like, the people who have the kind of ability to do that shit are off elsewhere trying to make a career happen. It's just a bummer all around.


2015-02-14 13:00:01

Usually, I'll say good job or whatever, but I do that out of respect because well, people tend to do good jobs on here. Most people act like it is facebook, like, say something nice, and move on. You are right to a degree that I can agree with, but you have already stated the main argument against you in your post, the "That's what the reviews are for." With that said, it would be better if the review system was constructed in way that actually made people to give a more meaningful, or in depth review of their art or flashes or whatever they post, but still within the limits of being serious but legit and warm welcoming. For me, I would prefer to get to know the person, or artist first, before I would go out of my way to let them know know exactly how I feel on their art, part respect, part because you never know how someone will take criticism, because no matter how you word, that is what it is basically, and I think that is a huge problem for people giving more meaningful reviews, fear of being able to speak freely without judgement, so you either get the "Way to go!" guys or the haters. I just recently came across your stuff, I like it enough that I will add you to my favorites, I think you got talent, I respect you because your self aware, I do think maybe there are some things you could brush up on as a artist, but that is true to any artist, but your fairly solid. Hope you keep posting on here man.

inkveins responds:

Thank you! I appreciate you saying I could improve, because it's true. Nobody's perfect, and you should always be trying to hone your craft.

That is one of the things I like about the deviant art critiques, is the minimum character limit that insures that if you have nothing to say, you fundamentally can't. It means that you have to actually think about what you're going to say before you just word vomit into your keyboard. Where as someone here can leave a review here as blunt and anemic "1 star, meh i don't like it". Which seems pretty common. People want to have fun and be a part of the website, but they're really inarticulate and aren't really in a position of being able to properly critique. Which is something I think of myself sometimes; I'll want to talk to someone about their art, but I don't really know how to put it eloquently enough, so I just don't.


2015-02-14 16:10:22

Good analogy you made! Well, NG does pay ad-rev, though it's not the best, mainly because of the adult content bundled in... plus Tom never changed ad-rev companies, after his buddy sold it to another guy a long time ago. However there's a few ad companies that did come on board, and there's new pre-roll ads n stuff...

The problem is, once artists make it big on YouTube or elsewhere, they stop doing anything on NG (like Egoraptor). The opposite is true - animators can sometimes get more fans and views here, than on YouTube.

One thing I found from ppl IRL: they love the Art Portal... but they found it through hentai and porn *sigh*

inkveins responds:

Well let's really face it here, I don't think there should be any pretension about porn and hentai here, because it's pretty much newgrounds' fault. Pretty much everybody in the NG staff from day one had rude humor. Dick jokes, perverted shit, etc. You can rag on the hentai artists all you'd like, but uh hey, how's penicorn been doing lately? lol. Newgrounds has been happily exhibiting this sort of thing for as long as I can remember, and it seems from entering the community in 2015, it's been pretty much the same thing.

I actually think it's a much bigger problem on deviant art; I don't know how familiar you are with the past redesign and how the front page works. But a couple years back they reworked the front page system to feature more of a variety so that it wasn't just a bunch of digital art. But they shot themselves in the foot, because popularity is subjective to how niche the category already is. So for example, a beautiful traditional surrealist painting can be on the front page sitting next to some rudimentary ass typography piece, because the typography piece happened to get like, 30 favs. And since typography isn't popular, on the front page it goes. This also means that at any given moment, the "popular, past 24 hours" section will have anywhere from 2-5 sexy women in it, because pandering is fucking awesome. So basically, they tried to add variety, and it backfired immensely.

I like the newgrounds approach of being self aware, and knowing people just want to get off to some kinky fetish shit.


2015-02-14 23:27:36

Tom says this is the 20th anniversary of NG, which is partially correct, only problem is: old, shit posts! He graduated college, worked the entertainment business, started to keep throwing logs on the NG fire, got married, had 2 kids... ah! Now we see why he wants the split! Upon reflection, there shouldn't be an adult spin-off site, there should be a top-shelf version of NG, where the adult stuff is forbidden, and good artists can get paid better and shine brighter.

Diversity is good, it just need to coagulate at it's own pace. Our last redesign in '12 also went badly - putting the newest games and movies on their own pages, kinda took the focus away from the Portal, which then became "classic portal" IDK... the front page is nice. All the stuff is mostly handpicked, aside from voting results, sponsored games etc, so there's definitely pandering, but mostly to keep good artists here. You can tell by the rank and file voting, who the favorites are - sometimes new artists fall through the cracks.

inkveins responds:

Well there's certainly no doubt that after 20 years, things start to get a little screwy. I've also noticed that the redisign came with a bit of the dog loosing a few teeth, with things like "blam this piece of crap!" being changed to "blam this, plz!" and the worst award being omitted (or at least I can't find it anymore.) It seems almost odd that they want to sort of move on into this sort of safe, minimalist aesthetic, when the strength and pull of newgrounds from day one was that it did the complete opposite of that. Or maybe that's just my nostalgia goggles.


2015-02-15 01:27:23

Yeah, they had something called Turd of the Week, whatever entry came closest to being blammed. It's still listed in spots... it was taken down because some kids were aiming low for the 'honor' of getting the award. NG is trying to go mainstream and still remain 'edgy', but that has to come from the heart... and when there's bills to pay, and liability around every corner...

Today's my 14th year here, and I'm spending it yelling at Tom and whoever else changed the comment order in our blogs... there's so many other loose ends here, why mess with something no one complained about (except Tom of course)?

inkveins responds:

Yeah yeah, turd of the week! I remember now. That's the thing about edgy humor, is if it's just for the sake of being edgy, it's not funny and incredibly disingenuous. I'd like to think the past FOREVER of newgrounds has been from the heart, but if they're having second thoughts about how to treat the business end of the website because of things that they've done, it makes me kind of wonder what they think they're going to do. I understand them fearing obsolescence, and trying to figure out how they can stay relevant. But anyone could tell you why. It's not exactly a brain teaser. The answer isn't "fundamentally change the website", because as we all know, that's worked out so fucking well in the past (deviant art, tumblr, myspace). You can still be yourself and make business decisions. Kevin Smith is living proof. He, and no one else around him were fooling himself that he was the guy that wrote the "37 dicks" joke. But look where he is now. He stayed true to himself and didn't let anyone compromise his work, and if he ever did, he sincerely regretted it.

This attitude these websites have been having lately stink of deviant art's pretentious as shit new logo, and with it came a sort of redesign of the way the staff are referring to everything. Now they're acting like they "REVOLUTIONIZE ART' and have like, the most sophisticated website on planet earth, and it's like, dude, this is the place that has stayed alive because of it's community of furry fandoms and homestucks, at what point did you think you were "sophisticated" all of a sudden? lol. I think that's ultimately the point too, is the biggest variable here, no matter what website you're on, is "community". Which is something newgrounds have purported to have a lot of pride in. But when you're making these decisions like, "we're going to split up the website into echelons, and the higher echelons are sfw and HQ and clean so that we look good", you're fucking up the community. You split the community in half, people develop an ego, and you're not going to make any more money than you are. It's for its own sake.

Maybe these are the thoughts that just kind of need to happen though. The midlife crisis of a website, so to speak. wondering if it's right to go on and "follow your dreams" and take a risk, or slip into conformity for guaranteed income.


2015-02-19 09:43:19

Mr. Smith's rise wasn't an easy one, he certainly stumbled a lot, trusted a few wrong people... he doesn't still live in Red Bank, NJ does he? That town will always be known as homosexual place to live, not unlike San Fransisco O_O

What really killed NG, was ignoring the Portal (calling it Classic just made it all the more evident..)

And now that Tom complicated blogging by reversing the comments... eh, I'm kinda done trying to keep up correspondences, it's just one more nail in the coffin.