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A Valentine Birthday Wish from +Spyed

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 10:48 PM by spyed:iconspyed:



:iconspyed:













In Angelo's words...


All of my birthdays have always been about stuff. Stuff I don't want, stuff I definitely don't need.
I'm surrounded by very giving people, and I'm always honored by how gracious my friends are, but when a guy gets to a
certain age, you kinda just buy the video games and books and music right when you want them, you know?



This year, I decided to do something a little different for my birthday. I was introduced recently to a charity
called charity: water, and I love this organization. The people behind it (like Scott Harrison and Michael and Xochi Birch)
are people I've come to really admire for what they're doing. They're very effective in all that they do, and their sights
are now aligned with solving the worldwide water crisis. I've looked closely at the organization, and Scott is very approachable
and open about the books. They're entirely transparent about how things are going, how the money is allocated, etc. and I've
developed a genuine trust in them and how they're doing this.



That's why this year on Valentine's Day (which happens to be my birthday!), I want to focus the love I have from my
friends and family to build a WELL in a developing country. They cost $5,000. And for the next 20 years, this well will provide
fresh drinking water to a village.




I'm going to spend my birthday itself marketing and promoting this cause to raise the $5k, and if I get there then charity: water
will build a well in my name. If I get to $10,000 I'm going to build a well in deviantART's name for another village! If you'd like to
see the effort in action you can follow it here: mycharitywater.org/angelo31







100% of the money donated goes to the well. We'll be able to see the well on Google Maps, or go visit it one day if we want. I'm really
excited to share this organization with you and to bring you all along on my journey to fulfill this birthday wish!



Every day we lose 30,000 people to dirty water. We need a lot of wells and we're going to make a difference here with 1 more.



I'm posting this here on deviantART mostly to tell you about this amazing cause, and if you like it perhaps on your birthday you'll follow my lead and donate your birthday too!



Just visit www.charitywater.org and pledge your birthday. I can't describe what a great feeling it is knowing that the people
I love and care about are banding together for this great cause. If your friends are at a loss as to what to get you for your next birthday, what greater way for them to make a
difference in the world than to help out the 1 billion people who really need clean drinking water?



If you feel like contributing to my cause you can do so on my charity: water page here: mycharitywater.org/angelo31 --
Either way, let me know when you pledge your birthday by sending a note and I'll either contribute or help you spread the word about your charity water birthday!







Angelo Sotira
Co-founder & CEO of deviantART
spyed




Message Center Performance Upgrades

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 7:40 PM by Heidi:iconheidi:


:star:  Message Center news to know!


Today we completed a three-month process of implementing performance upgrades to the Message Center.  With these improvements in place, we're able to increase site speed and decrease the amount of errors deviants may experience in their Message Centers.  Our Devious Technology and Tech Ops teams have been working hard to move Message Center data to its own dedicated database cluster. We made a considerable investment in servers with 96GB of memory and 12 CPU cores to handle 6 billion messages and 6500 queries per second.

What does this mean for you?  :sherlock:  

  • Absolutely nothing.  We hope.  The upgrades have already taken place and you shouldn't notice any change in your normal deviantART experience.  Eventually, you should notice an increase in site speed and a decrease in Message Center errors.
  • If we do run into hiccups, you may experience slowness and possibly errors in the Message Center.  Some of these errors may include: delayed deliveries, failed message deletes, and things of that nature.  Members who have more than 10,000 messages in a single Message Center folder may possibly experience some issues, including a few messages not being delivered or a few messages reappearing after they've already been deleted.

We are closely monitoring site performance in the wake of this upgrade.  In the event something goes wrong and major issues are detected, we will revert to the old system to prevent further issues.  However, things are looking good.  As they say, hope for the best and expect the worst.

~Heidi


The Help Desk: a year in review

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:51 PM


DeviantART's Community Operations department aims to foster an environment where deviants can come together and be empowered within, and by, the community.  By providing an organized, motivated, accountable, and effective department, we are leading the way for deviants to participate in a manner where they feel listened to, valued, and inspired.  2011 was an amazing year for Community Operations and we wanted to share a few of the highlights!

:star: Introductions


The Community Operations department is comprised of both the Copyright & Etiquette Administration and Help Desk teams.

Fiona (fourteenthstar): Director of Community Operations

Copyright & Etiquette Administration

Daniel (realitysquared): Project Manager
Aun-Juli (aunjuli): Team Leader
Kay (damphyr)
Jenn (y2jenn)
Bryan (godofodd)
Dom (dxd)
Kassandra (kozispoon)

Help Desk

Evanita (ewm): Team Leader
Chris (Ikue)

dAmn & Forums

Pete (Tachy-on)


:star: Quick Stats Overview


Over the course of 2011 Community Operations solved:

34,249 General Help Inquiries,
17,981 Bug Reports,
2,931 Chat/Forum Inquires, and
46,399 CEA tickets. That's 101,560 tickets over the whole year.

For comparison, in 2010 we solved:

33,787 General Help Inquiries,
19,083 Bug Reports,
1,730 Chat/Forum Inquiries and
40,281 CEA tickets for a grand total of only 94,881.


:star: The Help Desk


The deviantART Help Desk is home to three teams:
  1. The main Help Desk team, in charge of answering tickets related to General Help, Bug Reports, and Chat/Forum Inquiries;
  2. The Copyright and Etiquette Administration, responsible for Abuse Reports, Account Ban Appeals, Policy Inquiries, COPPA Reports, DMCA Reports, and Spammer Reports;
  3. The Retail Customer Care department, which handles all retail-oriented inquiries.
The Help Desk is open Monday through Friday. Most issues, aside from CEA matters, are able to be resolved within four days -- and often, much quicker.  Due to their nature, CEA-related tickets require more time for investigation, and as such, the response time is greater.  

:star: Recent Improvements


We've been using Zendesk to run the Help Desk since September 2009, and it's greatly improved our ability to provide the best assistance possible.  Over the course of 2011, we were able to add several new features to the Help Desk, including:
  1. Two CEA ticket sections -- COPPA Reports and Spammer Reports -- that allow us to better monitor these types of situations.
  2. Additional requirements for filing Abuse Reports: name of offender and direct links to the abuse. These requirements have greatly reduced the amount of time it takes to make sure these situations are handled as diligently as possible.
  3. Ban Appeals are now exclusive to only deviants who are banned and need to appeal their ban. An amazing 49% of all tickets submitted to this category prior to the change had nothing to do with appealing a ban. The change allowed us to make sure that all Ban Appeals are truly banned deviants seeking to appeal their ban.
  4. "Satisfaction," a tool to help gain feedback on the satisfaction of the tickets we handle. When tickets are solved, deviants are able to vote either "Good Satisfaction" or "Bad Satisfaction" and can optionally leave a response stating why the satisfaction rating was given.
* Please note that the Help Desk only includes tickets submitted via the Help Desk Contact Form. This does not include all reports made by using the report violation button on deviations which are submitted to the Moderation Desk.


:star: Ticket Satisfaction Ratings


We began using the Satisfaction feature in April, and have maintained a positive rating of 83% across the entire Help Desk. This includes all departments within Community Operations, as well as our Retail department (which handles all tickets relating to deviantWEAR, Prints, Points, AdCast, and payment support for Premium Memberships).  Each department also has its own rating over the past 60 days.

General Help/Help: 83%
Bug Reports: 86%
Chat/Forum: 83%
CEA: 82%

:star: For 2012 and Beyond


As 2012 marches on, it's the aim of all Community Operations to:
  1. Respond to deviants as soon as possible, given the current volume of deviants in need of assistance.
  2. Respond with a positive friendly attitude.
  3. Respect and treat you as we would want to be treated.
  4. Guide you in the right direction.

:star: Thank You


It was a pleasure to help everyone last year! We look forward to serving you this coming year and hope to provide all deviants with the best Help Desk experience possible.


The Resource Roundup is a regular feature showcasing some of the best resources deviantART members share with the world!

Whether you're a beginning artist or seasoned pro, deviantART's Resources Gallery is an inspirational and beneficial asset for art creation.  Take a look at a few of the incredible submissions below – they might help enhance your next artistic creation!

This issue is all about Valentine's Day. Below you'll find all sorts of fantastic resources for creating the ultimate valentine!

What should the next Resource Roundup theme be? You tell us!
• A different stock photo theme
• Crafts you can make at home
• Marketing yourself: website, logos, and business cards
• Awesome application resources (from Photoshop brushes to Gimp scripts)
• Or, suggest another topic!




Textures

Heart Bokeh Textures. by gloeckchen V-Day Papers by AFineWar Vintage Valentine Paper by Aramisdream Saint Valentine, 4 by ItSurroundsMe Textura Radiate Love by SmailyAlways Silk and Lace 2 by amethystmstock White Lace 5572 by DonnaMarie113 Glitter Bokeh Texture Pack by xKimJoanneStock Love Lyrics Textures by obscene-bunny Bokeh Pack 5 by joannastar-stock


Photoshop Brushes

12 Abstract Hearts by Diamara My Valentine's Day brush set by noema-13 Vintage Love by Diamara Love brushes by stardixa lace brushes by gimei Lace Brushes by kabocha Strands by spiritsighs-stock Sparkle Brushes by Tempting-Resources


GIMP Brushes

Floral Brushes by surfing-ant Bokeh Brushes by asphyxiate-Stock Heart Brushes For Gimp by inge123 Hearts Gimp Brushes by kward1979uk GIMP: Hearts by hawksmont Heart Icon Brushes by webgoddess Gimp Brushes: Tattoo Hearts by coffinkittie Hearts Gimp Brushes by kward1979uk


Designs & Patterns

X-Stitch Spirk Valentines Card by black-lupin 10 Seamless Valentine Patterns by Divenadesign Scrapbooking Papers Valentine by Divenadesign Rainbow Heart by alcnaurewen Scottish heart pattern by YokoEternalDiva Heart Equalizer - Card by vicexversa Heart Pixel Pattern Pack by Mirz123 Cris Affection Papers by only1crisana


Tutorials

Heart Shaped Pompom Tutorial by VioletLeBeaux Plush Heart Pin Tutorial by damaskangel Folding Pokeball Card Tutorial by Cristophine Heart within a heart tutorial by colourful-blossom How to make V-day Card Pockets by SapphireWarrior Rose-WalkThru-PS by Rach-Resources :rose tutorial: by WoO-angel Chocolate Filled Strawberries by ElwynAvalon


Photoshop .PSD Files

PSD O3 by mandiiehw Valentine's Day Retro Greeting Cards by kripalser :thumb279980758: Red rose petals PSD by StarsColdNight Beautiful Valentine Styles by Romenig Free Valentine Cards PSD format by Elliste Love Tickets by AFineWar Love Mini Kit by slavetofashion69 Love is in the air  PSD by ronnyyax


Site Update: February 9, 2012

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 7:22 PM


In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes that have been made, including new features and bug fixes. In the "Your Feedback" section, you'll find suggestions and known issues that were brought up by members in the last Site Update.

Change Log


General


:bug: Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a problem where some would be redirected to their Sta.sh when editing an old Journal. - Fixed by $kemayo
  • When viewing Journals on member profiles and Group profiles, the "More Entries" button sends you to the next entries rather than the ones you just saw. - Fixed by $Nodren
  • On the Groups Portal, the "Read More" button on Group descriptions no longer displays if there's nothing "more" to "read." - Fixed by $Nodren
  • Fixed layout issues with the Channels page. - Fixed by $allixsenos
  • Tweaked the Message Center layout so that long titles and a narrow browser window now play nice. - Fixed by $allixsenos
  • Fixed multiple issues that sometimes caused modal windows to have an ugly white background. - Fixed by #ArtBIT
  • Fixed a bug where some people couldn't switch out of the mobile version of deviantART. - Fixed by $helloandre
  • Fixed an issue with Collections where dragging thumbs into newly created folders was not registering without a page refresh. - Fixed by $helloandre
  • After an account has been deactivated, members are no longer restricted from signing up with the same email address of their deactivated account. - Fixed by $samshull
  • When browsing on the front page while logged out, the "next" and "previous" navigation buttons now correctly skip over mature content artwork. - Fixed by #ArtBIT
  • Fixed an issue that caused some display errors when dragging and dropping. - Fixed by $helloandre
  • Improved Google Web Font detection for people who make Journal Skins. - Fixed by $kemayo
  • Fixed the category selection button on original Journal submission form. It is no longer slightly cut off. - Fixed by $Alisey
Sta.sh


:bulletblue: What's New
:bug: Bug Fixes
  • Sharing from Sta.sh as a Note now links to the Sta.sh item instead of producing a non-functional :thumb: code. - Fixed by $kouiskas
  • The "paper leaves" of the corners of stacks now show up correctly in Safari and Chrome. - Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Made the button style more consistent on Sta.sh items. - Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Right-clicking the "view" and "submit" buttons on a Sta.sh thumbnail to open a new tab or window now points to the correct URLs. - Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Under some circumstances, members would get the deviantART login modal on Sta.sh, now they always get the Sta.sh one. - Fixed by $adahacker
  • When merging items in Sta.sh, if at least one of the merged items has a non-default stack name, it becomes the name used for the merged item. - Fixed by $aMoniker
  • For a short time, the controls when hovering a selected Sta.sh item weren't wide enough. - Fixed by $aMoniker
  • Banned users now see a proper error page when trying to access Sta.sh. - Fixed by $kouiskas
Sta.sh Writer


:bulletblue: What's New
  • The "Edit in Writer" button is now always available on the top right corner of Journals and Literature created using Sta.sh Writer. - Added by $kemayo
:bug: Bug Fixes
  • Searching twice in the sidebar would result in the second search not updating the set of thumbs. - Fixed by $kemayo
  • Replaced the "empty literature" thumbnail image with a version showing empty text rather than a generic image. - Fixed by $kemayo
  • Bumped the number of thumbs shown in the sidebar to 120 for everything. - Fixed by $kemayo
  • Clicking a Writer document in the Writer sidebar no longer offers to load it as a draft; instead it inserts it as a thumbnail, but the pencil menu on that thumbnail has an "edit draft" option. - Fixed by $inazar
  • Fixed a bug where the pencil menu on images inserted into Writer would not close when changing image size. - Fixed by $Alisey
  • Stack thumbnails on Writer are now even better than last week, because they're not vertically squished now. - Fixed by $Alisey
  • Sta.sh Writer now accepts all YouTube URLs, even if there are extra parameters on the end of the URL. - Fixed by $inazar
  • Dragging on stacks/skin thumbs in the sidebar is suppressed, because letting them get dragged into the writer area resulted in broken images on submit. - Fixed by $inazar
  • The Writer sidebar loading indicator no longer accidentally covers up artwork. - Fixed by $kemayo

Your Feedback


  • The "Friends" dropdown should be sorted by Friends Lists. - From =alpin-j
  • Add the ability to add links in Critiques (for external resources, etc...). - From `ClefairyKid
  • When searching and browsing artwork, add the ability to move to the next and previous pages of results by using the left and right keys. - From =excentricjester 
  • Add a "Last Edited" timestamp to Journals. - From =virgino0owhore
  • There should be a "Remove from Favourites" button when browsing Favourites and Collections. - From *digitalkitty in the Suggestions Forum
  • It's not possible for non-Premium Members to reply to a Critique, even if it is their own Critique. Thanks for pointing out, we'll fix this! - From *Wraithldr in the Suggestions Forum
  • Increase the limit of deviations per page in the deviantWATCH section of your Message Center. - From =ArO113
  • Group collapsed comments (hidden and spam) together. - From *psychoplumbers and =MissPinks
  • `LostKitten provided some suggestions for watchers and friends lists: separating Groups from deviants in your friends lists, and consolidating the Watcher, Friends, Groups, and Recent Visitors widgets. See the following mockup:
Watch List by LostKitten

Recurring feedback from previous Site Updates:
  • Some members were frustrated and confused with the listing of groups on the "Submit to Group" modal on deviation pages. Currently, it lists out groups you've frequently submitted to (regardless of if you're still in the group) and groups you're an admin of, but some people suggested that it should just be a straightforward list of groups you're a member or admin of. - From `apocathary, ~Kracov, *Blooper-Love, ~velka, and others
  • On Journal deviation pages, add the "Remove from Messages" option that appears on art deviations. - From ~PerfectDerealization
  • After we added the ability to have "!" characters in deviation titles, some deviants requested other characters (such as & ? * " @ ' [] () ...). - From *PinkLace, *chriseastmids, *ninjatron, ~Alisbet, and others
  • Bring back the functionality where Group admins receive notifications when Group Journals receive new comments.
  • Various upgrades to deviantART's mobile interface, including Sta.sh support, Notes, ability to watch deviants, access to friends lists, etc.
  • Add the ability to browse Journals in your Message Center using the "next" and "previous" buttons like you can with art deviations. - From *xPastxChaserx and others
  • Some members asked that the browser upgrade notice be removed since they couldn't update their browser for various reasons.

:lightbulb:  Discuss These Ideas!

  • Some members have brought up issues with the new deviantID widget. Several people suggested that the artist type was too restrictive and some members didn't want to display "Other" on the header of their profile. One illustrator had a concern with labeling herself has a digital or traditional artist when she was in fact both. A few members didn't like that their username was listed on their deviantID as well as on the top of their profile. What do you think? How could the new deviantID be improved?

Last Week's Idea Discussion

In the previous Site Update, we received some very helpful feedback about the ideas suggested by members of the community.
  • Last week, the comment rating system created some interesting debates among members. People liked the idea of surfacing great comments, especially for Journals and Forums with hundreds and thousands of comments. However, many people had concerns with abuse, ganging up against people, and people not having the ability to voice an unpopular opinion.
  • People suggested many Message Center improvement ideas, many of which pointed to the fact that people are overwhelmed. Some of the suggestions were: Sorting by art category or member, separating Group messages from member messages, realtime updating, setting priority to certain members (for example, your best friends or favorite artists), and watching only certain categories of members and Groups.
  • Some members liked the idea of email notifications for messages and Notes, while others said they check deviantART too often for email notifications to be useful. Some would prefer a digest email. Customization of which message types you receive was requested by multiple members. 
 Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk! (Be as detailed as possible!)




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