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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.

What's New


More Characters in Deviation Titles
By popular demand, the following characters are now allowed in titles of deviations: =~`@#%^*[]()/{}\|

Screen shot 2012-02-15 at 3.48.54 PM by danlev

Sleek, New Prints Pages
We've heard feedback that some members wanted a simpler and clearer interface when ordering prints. This week, we enhanced the modules on the Prints pages to simplify the process of configuring a Print and made the options more clear. These changes have been rolled out to a number of users and will soon be rolled out to everyone.

Shop by danlev

Fair Exposure Applied to "Popular All Time" 
We recently published a Journal about Fair Exposure, deviantART's algorithm for determining Popular results. As we mentioned before, changes to Fair Exposure and Popular browse are in the interest of highlighting the best from a wide range of deviants and showcasing an array of styles and genres. Today, we're continuing our rollout of the new algorithm and applying it to the "Popular All Time" Browse mode.

Whereas the previous "Popular All Time" Browse favored digital art and fan art, Fair Exposure allows the most popular deviations in a variety of categories, such as literature, sculpture, fractal, jewelry, architecture, and artistic nudes, to take a more prominent spot. This is to highlight the best from our diverse community.

General


:bulletblue: What's New
:bug: Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue that made the browser scroll to the top of the page when previewing a note and then switching back to editing mode. Fixed by $Nodren
  • On a mobile device, Writer deviations -- which are too large to fit on the screen -- are now always rendered in desktop mode. Fixed by $lendrick
  • Pressing "tab" while writing comments now behaves consistently in all browsers. Fixed by $helloandre
  • Fixed various display issues on Group galleries that displayed for logged out users. Fixed by $helloandre
  • Fixed the search box's display in Chat.  Fixed by $ZombieCoder
  • Improved the display and performance optimization of the Llama Trading Game page. Fixed by $knightar
  • Improved the display of the username entry on Premium Member gift page.  Fixed by  $ZombieCoder
Sta.sh


:bug: Bug Fixes
  • Updating a title on a Sta.sh item from the inline editor could break auto-saving under some conditions. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • When updating the title of a Writer item in Sta.sh, the title inside the scrolling part of the thumb now updates immediately. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Fixed a bug that disabled uploading from Opera. Fixed by $adahacker
  • Improved responsiveness of thumbs going back to their original position during drag & drop. Fixed by $adahacker
  • Selection was overwriting the displayed title inside stacks. Fixed by $adahacker
  • Fixed several bugs with selection, including displaying the item's title rather than "Selected (1)" when a single item is selected. Fixed by $adahacker and $aMoniker
  • Fixed several bugs related to the "Move to Sta.sh" button. Fixed by $aMoniker
  • The "Save and exit to Sta.sh" button would redirect even when validation errors occured. Fixed by $aMoniker
  • In IE9, the dark grey bottom of hovercards were 2 pixels too narrow. Fixed by $aMoniker
  • Fixed a long-standing issue where some deviations would be marked as being Group-exclusive when they weren't. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Fixed an issue in the Sta.sh API with a replace file operation. Fixed by $samshull
  • The delete button was not working on the Sta.sh item page (Trivia: we call this the "Stashiation" page). Fixed by $kouiskas

Sta.sh Writer


:bug: Bug Fixes
    • Embedding a video was often causing Writer to stop working correctly. Fixed by $Alisey
    • Non-literature category thumbs from Writer deviations had incorrectly sized shadows. Fixed by $inazar
    • Fixed several small bugs in Internet Explorer. Fixed by $Alisey
    • Clicking the Writer margin would change the selection that the toolbar acts upon. Fixed by $Alisey
    • $kemayo briefly broke and then fixed deviation thumbs all disappearing when opening a document to edit. Fixed by $Alisey
    • Many times the ">" selector didn't work in CSS. Fixed by $kemayo
    • Keyboard shortcuts for the WYSIWYG toolbar actions weren't working. Fixed by $Alisey
    • Improved click-to-add images across browsers. Fixed by $Alisey
    • Dragging a thumb from the sidebar will now have the editing cursor follow the mouse much more accurately to indicate drop position. Fixed by $Alisey

    Your Feedback
    • When visiting a member's profile, display whether or not the member is watching you. From =shardwind, =deshardiii, and many others in the Suggestions Forum.
    • Add shortcut keys to remove deviations from Message Center or add the deviation to your Favourites. From =fenyxdesign
    • When browsing, add a star icon next to deviations to show that you've favourited them. From ~UnsealedSpiral
    • Add the ability to drag and drop Journals into Collections from the Message Center. From ^pica-ae 
    • Increase the max character limit of literature deviations from 64k. This feature surprisingly poses some technical challenges, so we'd like to get an idea of who wants this and what the limit should be. From *BellicoseBreakfast and ~balarious
    • Allow members to continue writing comments while the emoticon modal is still open. From *Dizzyatdizumnl
    • Add the ability to Watch a forum thread and be notified of any replies. From ~NeonSilks in the Suggestions Forum
    • On Group blogs, all admins should be able to hide comments, rather than just the admin who submitted the Journal. From *Drache-Lehre
    • Remove Journals from "Random Deviation" button. From =chaoskomori and several others in the Suggestion Forum
    • When you start to have many Collections, the Collections dropdown on the header becomes harder to use since it requires scrolling. From =Luna--Rose  
    • Add a "hovercard" that displays more information when you rollover someone's avatar and/or username. ~Cenit-v provided a mockup:
    DA suggestion: pop-up information by Cenit-v

    Last Week's Discussion


    Last week, we asked for input about the new deviantID widgets. Members gave feedback about the specific artist types listed, asked for the ability to select multiple types, and made some suggestions about the visual style of the widget.

    Some members have expressed that they missed the old "member type" dropdown list, and that the new types are too serious. The old list of member types become too long with way too many "types" to pick from -- many were comical, random, and inside jokes. The original intent of this dropdown became lost. Our intention with this new dropdown is for members to use the "Artist Type" feature as a serious description of themselves as an artist. Everything else that you'd like to express about yourself, your skills, and and your personality can be described in your bio or tagline.

    We received some suggestions on different artist types that should be added, but we'd like to pose the question to everyone: Which specific artist types would you add?

     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!)











    2012: Year of the Dragon



    :icontechgnotic:
    by techgnotic
    Thu Feb 16, 2012, 3:00 PM














    According to the Chinese zodiac, 2012 has ushered in the year of the dragon upon the world stage.


    In addition to occupying an ages old position in our cultural consciousness, legend and folklore surrounding
    the dragon mythology has long been firing the kiln of our dreams with fright and menace. When we are speaking of
    Dragons, we are speaking from ancient texts gathered form the beginnings of kept records of any kind and from all
    points of the Earth Sphere.


    In a time before modern science and anthropology, farmers tilling their fields and
    fishermen drawing their nets would find amazements that struck them with fear and awe: fanged serpentine skulls
    larger than the tallest man, along with other bones indicating powerfully-taloned creatures taller than the treetops.
    All creation itself was assumed to be no more than several dozen human generations’ lifetimes’ long, so the idea
    of dinosaur remains from 200 million years ago was beyond the most educated human comprehension of the time. The
    mind of ancient man must have been reeling.







    Dragon by TheMinttuDragon Mage by kerembeyitLava Dragon by kerembeyitBahamut by GENZOMAN


    What were these creatures? Monsters? Gods?! And more pressing: Did they still walk the earth? (Or fly above the clouds?)  
    In what remote lairs could they be found?  Mountaintop keeps?  Inside volcanoes?  Living deep beneath the oceans?






    Believable stories, legends, mythos had to be created to help humans
    calm their fears and place these terrifying beings within some kind of manageable
    context in their lives and societies.

    The dragon mythos was born.












    Although ancient Europeans imagined their dragons to be originated from the seas (like the terrifying “sea serpents” and
    giant octopuses and squids that haunted the seafaring Europeans’ nightmares) and the Chinese and Far Easterners imagined their
    dragons to have flown forth from volcanoes, spewing the volcanic fire that was their birthright – what is remarkable about
    dragons is their ubiquitous presence in the myths and legends and historic consciousnesses of peoples and societies all over
    the world. "Dragon” is an instantly understood idea and image held in common by every person currently alive. Dragons have continued
    to evolve as frightful symbols of nature’s overwhelming destructive forces, far beyond the defenses of humankind, on down through the millennia.





    Of course, in our warp-speed modern times, just when science might be thought powerful enough to finally “explain away” the “dragon”
    skulls and forever vanish the monsters from our fitful dreams – we, being the fun humans that we are, have decided to embrace The Dragon
    in our pop consciousness like never before, even transforming him (and her) from a force of destruction into a friend and protector (as in
    Anne McCaffrey, George R. R. Martin, and Harry Potter novels and many highly-grossing films and video games). It would seem that while we
    as intelligent beings value our scientific discoveries, we value just as much our marvelously crafted and generationally passed-down stories, myths and legends.




    Thus: Our Dragons will live forever!




    Grimbelly by kerembeyit:thumb99595873:Quetzalcoatl by GENZOMANHydra 2 by el-grimlock









    Questions for the Reader




    1

    What aspect of the “dragon” most fascinates you personally? The mystery of their possible actual reality (now or long ago)?
    The amazing worldwide span of the “dragon story” and belief as well as the millennial timespan of the legends? Or simply the
    the incredible fun that fills the dragon stories and artful depictions?






    2

    Do you think science ruins wonderful myths like “dragons”?  Or can science and mythic consciousness exist side by side if both are respected, appreciated and given their due?







    3

    Which dragon story or depiction most influenced your childhood?










    4

    What is your first impression of a person you see wearing dragon jewelry?





    :thumb201999787:Spirit of the Dragon by KellyMorgenJewelryChinese dragon pendant by ukapalaIce Dragon Necklace by foowahu-etsy



    5

    If a living dragon were discovered to be living in an Icelandic volcano, what impact do you think this would make on our world?  What if because they emerged in Iceland, Bjork and Robbie Rotten were designated as our human ambassadors to the upper echelon of an emerging dragon society?









    6

    If we ever needed to, who, in your opinion do you think we should assign this most important of positions, specific and depending of course on which Volcano in what part of the world they were to emerge from?  And why would they be best for the job?









    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.


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