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Profiles, Reputation, Contests, etc.
Profiles, Reputation, Contests, etc.
I was about to reply in the Future Features but then I went off-theme again giving ideas so, here goes. I'll go forum inactive for a week at least, cuz I feel like I am starting to annoy you with stuff you probably already have in mind.

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I wrote something here, saying that VMs and PMs should probably be made before Chat but, since expanding the site makes it cost more (as far as I read), Chat would probably be better to make first.

I made a gif image based on THW (a war3 old site). Take a look at it.http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/pastebin_data/78uvi6/Untitled-1.jpg I deleted lots of text I had written to put it short: the expandable [+] [-] Visitor Message, + reply (Yours) under it for a conversation is I think best from all sites I've seen. Having many pictures on a user profile makes it more personal (like Profile Avatar, Forums avatar, Friends forums avatars (not just Friend names in the friend list, but also their avatars or such), Sketchbook could use an icon as well. Having a profile with many stuff gives others more information about you, meaning, increase the chance for them to write a visitor message on it and to start a conversation from there --> activity.

There are two important tabs needed which weren't amongst the Improved User Gallery Global Features list: Visitor Messages and Private Messages Inbox or whatever.

Reputation/achievements/contest awards always motivate people to compete, friendly or not, a.k.a. draw more, start more sessions. Also, if people can give reputation for a certain post they agree with, feedback will be Ultra boosted because when given feedback, people will probably give rep back, thus more people will give feedback to get rep. And good too! Cuz the random feedback won't get you reputation. And even though it's something virtual and some may think no one would really care about it, well, unfortunately, in a lot of sites people care about those grinding stuff. I don't like it, but it is a good booster for activity. Besides, being greedy isn't necessarily evil, so moralwise reputation is neither a good nor bad thing.
I think it's not only about giving people an easier way to give feedback (The Feedback Tool) but to make them give it at all. Like, most people don't bother. If they started giving feedback they wouldn't much care whether it took them a few clicks on the Feedback Tool or 2 minute writing down stuff. It's just that, I guess, they want something in return. PersonA gives feedback to PersonB, but B cannot give feedback to A because he is probably on a lower art level. So what can he give? Virtual reputation. You can exploit PersonA's greed for grinding and make him give feedback. The cool thing is, he does it on his own will. Contests? Contests are practically nothing from your side, just a forum - threads might be official (started by you guys) or unnofficial, user ones like in Sycra's Forums. I'd recommend the second since it doesn't require you to bother with ALSO thinking of contests. But if a rep system is included, then the official ones will give rep/awards, so you'll have to eventually host some from time to time. I would definetely start a simple contest at once, if only I knew where. Something like 100 sketches for 1 week, random tags are voted by people and everyone draws on them. And with a chat you can even make Contest sessions or something like this. Friendly, of course. Uuuuuu, I'm stopping. ENOUGH. Enough spam.
Replies:
RE: Profiles, Reputation, Contests, etc.
Wow great feedback ! Sorry for us responding so late sometimes, its to find the time and we actually want to give a worthy answer to posts like this..

A chat system is currently fixed on our radar, it's something we'd like to see as soon as possible. Visitor messages sound really cool as well.. expanding the user gallery and making it more like a personal portfolio has been on our wishlist for some time.

Reputation, or gamification, is something we've been thinking about quite a lot. You give all the reasons why it should be added, but we don't want CAS to become to gimmicky. But it might be an idea to iterate on it, see if it works and how people like it before implementing it all the way.

Contests are a good one, that we would also really like to see in CAS. I think the Best of the Week is a start.. but we could do much more with contests. We think also this will need to be iterated upon. We want to start with Joining Sessions; clicking on one of the active sessions to start a session with the same tags and deadline. People could then choose a winner of the contest based on how many likes the pieces have.

I hope I've covered everything, if not let us know! Please don't stop spamming the ideas. We might not be able to write and extensive response every day, but it is no less appreciated!
RE: Profiles, Reputation, Contests, etc.
BEFORE YOU SCROLL DOWN THIS WALL OF TEXT: Tell me if you want me to condense this wall tomorrow if it's too time-consuming to read as it is now.

First of all, I want to apologise for the shitstorm of words. Also, I can wait, I mean, you're answering every day and then you apologise to ME for the "short" replies you give. Seriously? I'm the one who should apologise here. You're being too polite Joris :D Sure, I would like to hear your opinion why exactly you think reputation for example sucks, but I do not mind not getting an answer. I'm just here to give the ideas, it's up to you admins what to do with them, reject, ignore, accept and so on.

Ok, regarding reputation:
Last time I wrote about why I think reputation is okay. Now since you said it's too gimmicky I decided to talk about people behaviour that follows from reputation. If it is the grinding fest you're worried about, since I didn't quite understand what exactly you meant under gimmicky, then I still think it's cool because playing Diablo 2 isn't a bad thing. It isn't a waste of time even though you just grind for items. Grinding for rep is no different. If you like it and it's fun, why the hell not? I remember when I was younger I used to care about rep (in other sites) and it gave me motivation to create stuff - textures, icons, maps for Warcraft 3 in THW. Resources. If it goes the same for art for others, then, Awesome! Later on I realized I actually dislike rep and I was just trying to prove myself to others.. huh. Still, did I make resources? Yes. Did I try to upgrade my skill to make better ones to reach the skill and rep level of the pros? Yes. So I did learn. It was worth it. The tricky thing here is to not become an asshole once you have a lot of it. To fight greed.. That depends on the person and that kind of person who is a douche for having rep would be a douche anyways, so you cannot stop him from being himself. Rep is merely a tool here, I do not think it will ruin the site's friendly behaviour between people.. but who knows, who knows. I understand your doubts about reputation. You know, the two sides of the knife - one is used for slicing bread, the other for killing people, or it was something of that sort. Does that make the knife a bad thing? Is rep guilty for people becoming greedy gimmicky bastards? Morals questions are the toughest to answer... I think there is no need to cover the Reputation discussion anymore, it is up to you what to do with it now, unless you have more to say. I am willing to listen, but I don't know what else I could reply with except repeat myself. There is no right answer here so the discussion about rep could go on forever. Just think of the pros I pointed out and the cons you think it might posses and decide whether it's worth it or not.

Regarding contests:
I believe that a good contest system is Sycra's Arena - http://www.sycra.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=9 check it out. Best of the week isn't really contesty for me, because it is more like Editor's picks in Art Station (Trending or whatever it's called) - people don't aim for it, it just happens, kinda. They make good art and do not expect from it to be put on the "best of" wall... it just is some times and they're happy... and that's it. For a contest however people are competing for a prize or just for the sake of competing. But it is a competition. Me starting a random session isn't a contest, even if I got in the "Best of" list. I just started it cuz I wanted a session. There is a different thing people expect to kind of "earn" from the two things. Not saying "Best of" isn't a cool thing, I like that you keep it Weekly, active and even post it in Facebook and such. It gives movement.
Also I believe contests should be in a forum section. You can't have a contest session, like the ones we have in the Google Hangouts (just today, participated in 2), we vote different tags and draw for 1-2 hours.. but that's no contest, a contest is something which requires time and rendering/many sketches to feel like a real contest. And you can't have a 1 day contest cuz it will take at least 3-8 hours for one to draw his submission. Contests are weekly/monthly stuff. I divide them in 2 main categories: Serious (with prizes like rep, money, fame, etc. - those are the ones usually started by official people from the particular art site - not something to bother with yet I'd say, it's more for Art Station pro level stuff, not a learning site like CAS) and Friendly (competing for skill and the challenge more than the prize). Friendly ones can be divided into Study Contests - 100 Hand sketches for example in 1 week, next week, same contest but 50 head poses lets say, etc. ( http://www.sycra.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11818 ) and kind of Fun, but still Learning Contests - Draw a concept of a Jungle Temple, Sand Transport vehicle and the tags are re-voted every week (a good example is the Concept Hunt in Sycra - http://www.sycra.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12092 people get to choose from different themes every week and so on.
Sure, session contests sound awesome and probably aligning your time with the already started session won't be a big problem either but... those aren't really contests for me. As I said, it's more like a Too friendly challenge. Like the ones we have in the hangouts. When it's too short you can't really study what you're drawing. No time for making the anatomy sometimes or thinking too long for pose and so on. This type of session is a pro thing for people who already know the fundamentals and just want to present their idea. They can do it quickly. Others cannot. That is why 1 week contests are better because both Unexperienced and Pros can participate equally. The unexperienced will probably put in more time for it, thus balacing the scales between the beginner and pro. Although, I'm all in for the Session Contest thing. It sounds cool. The more type of contests the better. What I mean is, the more important type of contest (for me), weekly, is probably even easier to make. In fact, I could start one by myself right now in the Forums, I'm just not sure where to put it, General? I don't expect many people will join, but it's worth a try right? Like a test. As far as I recall, Sycra's first contests started slow as well (please excuse me for giving Sycra's forums as an example so often, but it is just too good of an example not to give).
RE: Profiles, Reputation, Contests, etc.
I really like these ideas. Would love to see them applied here!
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