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Submitted on
December 17, 2013
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Activity vs. Community

Tue Dec 17, 2013, 1:49 PM

    When combining millions of artists working with different media, style, experience level, etc. being here can become overwhelming and finding your "place" can seem almost impossible. Throughout the last few weeks I've noticed more and more people asking "how can I be more active?" and "how do I get involved in the community?"
    These are both the same question and completely different questions at the same time. Though the answers to both are quite similar if not the same the difference between activity and community is huge! We're going to cover the answers and difference to both of those in this article.

The Basics

    There are three basic ways to being active on dA and getting involved the community. Everything after this will actually lead right back to these three things.
grey heart bullet  Commenting: is the best and most effective way to particicpate in our community because opens a way for you to communicate and interact with your fellow artists on  dA. A good comment takes time and allows you to give your opinions and thoughts and give the other person feedback, which is awesome to almost any artist out there.
    For some people commenting seems hard, almost scary sometimes because they don't know what to say and/or how to say it but there are quite a few guides out there to help you:
    :bulletwhite:Why Comments in the First Place
    :bulletwhite:Giving & Receiving Quality Feedback
How to Comment: Pointers & Examples
    Commenting isn't limited to deviations; comment on journals, polls and forum posts as well!
grey heart bullet Favoriting: Adding artwork to your favorites/collections allows you to store all the art you've found outstanding in one place. It's like telling the artist "you did awesome!"
grey heart bullet Watching: If you actively watch someone it allows you to go a step beyond leaving a single comment or favorite; it allows you to keep updated with their work, journals, and polls making you a part of their deviantART experience.

Diving Into deviantART

    Like I said everything will go back to those three basic concepts, but what about finding ways to use those? Surly you can browse all day and filter through all the art that doesn't interest you OR you could dive deeper into the deviantART community at large and target your interests without hours of searching hundreds of pages. (just saying that sounds strenuous!)
grey heart bullet forums our forums have a variety of interests and categories from general discussion, projects, help with life and of course art and sharing your artwork itself.
grey heart bullet chat like forums there are many chatrooms with various incentives from general chatting, art type, etc. The one thing I've always liked about chat is chat events hosted by deviants and/or groups. It brings people together for a common reason from comment/critique nights, chat hosts and various other projects.
grey heart bullet Groups are a great way to find smaller communities and artists with similar interests, tastes, skill level and more. It helps break the millions of diverse artists down into smaller groups of similar artists to share your artwork and interact with.
     Bullet; White A Guide to Groups.

Involving Yourself in the Community

    Here is where you can stand out among your deviants and become an active member of your community at whole. To get the most of your community it takes both parts participating and contributing. Even the smallest things are what keep our communities active and going. Without people contributing and participating within them there would be no real interaction or activity among the community at large; and this is where the difference between activity and community really comes in.
grey heart bullet Participating there are many ways to participate within our community with all the groups, projects, contests, chat events, etc.
If nobody participated there would be no point in having these events put on. These are what make you active in the community. By partaking in the ongoings with your fellow members and being part of the fun!
    :bulletwhite:you can find community happenings at CRCommunityProjects
    :bulletwhite:101 Things 2do on deviantART

grey heart bullet Contributing just like participating there are many ways to contribute as well. Running contests/projects, donating to them, hosting chat, having a bigger role in groups, etc.
It's a simple downfall if nobody did these things, there would be nothing to participate in and then we wouldn't have a community to be part of.
It doesn't have to be something huge, it can be a simple gesture, a journal with a project. A co-hosted contest. Giving comments and critiques. All these things are what bring people together to form our own little worlds here.
    :bulletwhite:A Guide to Individually Hosted Contests
    :bulletwhite:If you like it; Feature it!
    :bulletwhite:Getting the Most out of dA

What's the difference between activity and community

    Activity and community do go together and this is where this all gets complicated. Like I said before there isn't one without the other; but activity alone does not equal community. Let me explain:
grey heart bullet Activity can be based on your stats... the number of comments, critiques, favorites, forum posts, people you watch. The higher they are the more active you've been BUT that doesn't mean you've been active within your community.
                :bulletblack:Example A: if you go to one deviants gallery and leave 10 comments, 2 favorites and watch them your stats will go up by that number.
                :bulletblack:Example C: if you go to 7 deviants galleries leaving a total of 10 comments, 2 favorites and 2 watches your stats will go up by the same amount as example A.
                :bulletwhite:the difference: in example A you were only reaching one person while with B your reaching seven.
Community (n.) an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location

grey heart bullet On a related note: Message Center: friend or foe? is an excellent article for not just writers; but for all deviants.
        Activity often leads to an onslaught of messages; I'm not saying ignore your messages but I am saying get out of your message center! Assuming I'm not the only one I find myself spending a lot of time in my message center; but how are you going to discover new things without leaving it? Make sure you make time to browse, discover and participate in deviantART outside of your message center and enjoy deviantART and your community!

Finding Your Community

    Like I explain in the beginning; deviantART is a very large community containing millions of artists with many smaller communities within them. Some groups to help in finding your place in a community that would be best for you are:

    You can be as active as much or as little as you wish. There is no required amount to participating and/or contributing. It's not about the amount but the quality of your participation. As long as you are happy and doing what you feel comfortable with, you are doing perfect :heart:

Getting Noticed on deviantART

This question is sometimes included when asking how to participate and be active; that being said here are a few guides on just that...
      :bulletwhite:PE: Getting Noticed in dA
      :bulletwhite:5 Tips to Maintaining and Gaining Watchers
      :bulletwhite:Get your Art some Attention on deviantART

A guide to finding your place and participating within the community :heart:
Add a Comment:
Sserenita Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you! This was very helpful!
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014   General Artist
My pleasure :heart:
I'm glad you found it helpful!
Mtn-Man Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Thanks for writing! Its good for people to know the ins and out of dA participation. :nod:

I myself like to leave positive feedback on the new deviations late at night after have a few. I call it CWI(commenting while intoxicated) :ahoy: Its like being in a happy hit-and-run. :lol:

WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014   General Artist
Thanks for reading :la:

I may or may not CWI myself :lol:
I do the same thing though :nod: I find around 1am after a bottle of wine I just want to run through galleries and groups commenting on everything. haha
Mtn-Man Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha right? I think we could all use a little more CWI'ers out there. Not as it pertains to being on dA hammered, but the idea of loosing a bit of your inhibitions and timidness about commenting and posting on random peoples pages. I Want to start a commenting revolution 1 beer at a time. :ahoy:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014   General Artist
I've been on dA hammered :no:
I think it should be like driving and have a limit :lol:

I'll join that revolution :la:
Mtn-Man Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ha ha! I'll hold you to it! My next journal entry is gonna going to officially unveil my CWI conquest of DeviantART. Mind if I give you a shout out?
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014   General Artist
Oh I will (=
Go for it :heart: it'll remind me to look at it :giggle:
I can't wait to read this journal haha
Mtn-Man Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice! I should have it up tonight or by tomorrow.
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014   General Artist
:la: do let me know :dance:
I often miss things :hmm: even if you show me once, I still sometimes seem to not see them :lol:
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