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So recently, I've been sending notes to artists on deviantART to invite them to join the archive in order to put alot of activity in the site. I made sure to mention their names in the messages and reply back so they won't think it's spam. I even made a journal on deviantART, a sort of advertissement. It worked pretty much.

But I worry that it won't help at all and that the new artists will register then leave as if it was nothing.

But the future will get bright for TLKFAA, I hope. :)

18:48 Mon 1/9/2017
KristynLioness
I think it's wonderful of you to try

20:06 Mon 1/9/2017
Aslana
Great idea! I have seen people come from dA, even though they'll only post a few things, then just kinda forget about here and vanish. Maybe some will join and stick around, who knows! :) <3

02:55 Tue 1/10/2017
Alan the leopard
Hey, that´s supposed to be Brian´s business! X)

Now seriously, it´s unbelievable what you´re doing for this site, Suka ;) Massive collaborations on canon characters, inviting people at DA to join in... It proves that you love it for real ^^ And I totally support you about this. TLKFAA needs a lot of love from us; way more love than DA does (in fact, I´d say that DA already has much love from hundreds of people who are not at TLKFAA), and sadly, there are people over here who are leaving us, which doesn´t help much... :/

Maybe we need extra help from veteran partners (Tima, Audrey Cosmo,...), but I fear that those "have put TLKFAA in their behind"- ahem, I mean "their behind on TLKFAA"... Well, you know what I mean, don´t you? X9

07:07 Tue 1/10/2017
KimiKubby
Great ideas Suki! :D I'm going to try and post more again this year.

Starting with that comic...

That aside I am not leaving and never will be! (you will be stuck with me foreveeeeer!!)

10:40 Tue 1/10/2017
DoodleDayDream
Wonderful idea Sukie! ^.^

09:14 Wed 1/11/2017
Fluffybunny
From talking with other veterans of the site the problems TLKfaa faces are more than just new blood. Here's the main list I've gotten from myself and other veterans:

*One of the main issues is AOTM is dead. We haven't had a new one since MAY last year. Back in the day, people would stick about just to get that award. It made a lot of people's careers start. Now? No AOTM, no need to stick about. The fact we don't even have them makes the site feel even DEADER. When you get here you see the front page the first thought is 'This person is still on the front page. The site must be dead'. I've been toying with the idea of a 'The TLKfaa Community Award For Outstanding Fan-artist' But with no new blood coming in there doesn't seem to be a lot of point. Plus who cares if I give them an award? I'm not a well-known artist and I don't run the site... It's not going to be worth much xD

*Another is lack of canon. Unless there is an artist here is who SUPER MEGA popular, no one is going to stick about for OCs.

*Lack of feedback and CRITICAL feedback. If I want critique, I'm sure not going to find it here. Feedback is what artist thrive on and if they aren't getting any? The site is annoying enough to upload to. If I'm not getting feedback, I'm not going to bother.

*Picture character limit too is an issue as many people who like to write stories with their pictures are forced to cut it down or post in the comments where it can be lost.

* Sketcher is now a terrible size and is a pain to draw in. Plus no one goes in there. I sit all day, check the logs, No one.

*Artists no longer feel welcome in the community (although this has a lot to do with feedback)Veterans turn up, no one to greet them, no one looks at the artwork because they aren't in this little 'group' that the archive has merged into. They leave.

*The TT. It's dead. In the old days people would wake up every day and RUSH to the TT to look at adoptables. But when it changed to where the character had to be listed in your OC area and must have the picture uploaded in your gallery, all the creativity died. Now? I keep forgetting about it.

*People just move on to other things. DA is a great place to post everything so why not just stick to DA to post? The TLK community is MASSIVE there. They get a following, switch to another fandom, most people stay. Here? Can't post non African, non big cat, Non tlkfaa art. So when they are done with TLK... they leave.

There are most likely more than this, but these are the main ones that keep coming up when I talk to other 'oldies'. And I'll be honest.I too am thinking of leaving. Not because I don't love the site, but all the above reasons don't give me much reason to stay. And I can't see much that WE as a community can do to fight all those problems. I'm sure there is a way, but the lack of AOTM is a huge one.

Anyway, it's great you're trying to bring new blood into the site, but like I said, it's just one of the issues the site is having.
Edited 09:16 Wed 1/11/2017

15:19 Wed 1/11/2017
KristynLioness
I think these are all excellent points. I see that Brian posted a bulletin about bugs last month, so why not update AOTM while he was at it? There were several bulletins from him over the last year. I don't understand why the May AOTM would still be on the front page either if he was here to post bulletins.

15:47 Wed 1/11/2017
Fluffybunny
Me neither. It feels like he hasn't got the time or will to sit down and do a AOTM write up. It's so sad to see such an important part of the site's community just.. left.
I feel like EVERYONE needs to pull together not just the active members of the site.

17:37 Wed 1/11/2017
Aslana
YESYESYESYESYES!! Everything you said is so on point! AotM is a big one. Like Kristyn said, while Brian was at it writing the big report and whatnot, why not take the time to do another AotM? I feel so bad cuz like you said, it seems like he doesn't have the time or even the will to write up an AotM, which SUCKS. A lot of people who never got it and are still here still deserve it. Lack of canon, yes. Lack of comments, yes. I've tried multiple campaigns in the past to get people to leave comments anywhere they don't see any comments. They worked for a while, but they always taper off. Character limit, yes. Sketcher used to be such a big thing. I never used it, but EVERYONE used to clamor to get in there. Now, I never see anyone in there. I don't feel like everyone active here has turned into one big clique, I wish we all were, but I kinda see that. Even though I feel any veteran who makes a spontaneous return gets greeted to high heaven. The only reason I don't make as many adoptables as I could is nobody ever regularly draws them. Either they adopt it and leave, or just draw it once. I'm kinda guilty of that too but still, I'd like to see someone who actually appreciates the character I made instead of just hoarding it and never drawing it. DA, I agree with that too. I wish Brian would get on board and listen to these concerns. Maybe we could have a big revamp and spur new life here if he joined in and helped. We can't do it alone :(

18:22 Wed 1/11/2017
Fluffybunny
Some of those are from oldies. I can see the clique thing about a year ago when it was a case of those who weren't in it weren't commented on. And I have seen some of the less well known vets ingored sadly.
When we (BBM,Suka and I) were doing the background there was so much stuff Brian said he was going to do. It hasn't happened sadly. He did ask what I thought was causing the site to die but back when it wasn't too clear. Now it's painfully obvious :c

22:27 Wed 1/11/2017
Aslana
True true, I can see that. And now I do recall a lot of popular pictures only getting 1-3 comments yet they would be the top most recently uploaded picture. Which is crazy! It didn't used to be that way. Dang, I wonder why Brian never did any of those things. I wish he would, even just a little thing like getting rid of character count or maybe doing an AotM just to update the front page. And I wonder why he hasn't really had the time or ambition for it. I feel like we're all kinda suffering from this lack of activity, I know I am. I've had less drive to draw since less and less people are here to see it and whatnot. Even if I do have more time for the people still here to see my art on the front page since less and less people are uploading, I know only a couple people would actually care enough to leave a comment. This whole mess is just ugh. Help us, Brian! XP

03:42 Thu 1/12/2017
Alan the leopard
I pretty much agree with you, yet I feel the need to dig a bit more into one or two points.

For a start, what you correctly called "new blood": it´s not that the site needs of new blood: we have it here already: the new generation at TLKFAA. It´s showing us that (rude as it might sound) renewals are not always good, or that changes are not always for the better.

About ten years ago, when I joined this site, there was a crazy flow of feedback, and other activities over here (TT, Coloring Cave, Sketcher, welcoming newcomers and others). It was like a river in heavy rain. Okay, I admit that I rarely visited the Coloring Cave and Sketcher, but at least I´ve always been a more frequent visitor to other parts of the site. Now all of them seem equally dead; like a river after a long draught.

Some classic artists have left us not just because of their responsibilities in real life (work and family) but also because they´ve grown up and thus have left things associated with their childhood behind them... including drawing. At times I feel tempted to do that too (I´m supposed to be old enough too), but I have such fond memories associated with this site that it´s hard for me to forget about it...

Changes are usually tough, and also is it hard at the beginning to start anew (in this case, with a new generation with us). But maybe we the most veteran members that still remain here have some guilt about it, and maybe we should start with welcoming new guests as they deserve. That should be the beginning of all, and then there´d be a chain-effect who, who knows, help everything else wake up too...

As for the AotM section, that´s one of the sections that I most frequently visit, and still today I cannot understand not only that it seems to have stooped (forever?) but also all those gaps when the AotM section began to die. I once asked Brian by email about this (among other things) and he told me something in relation with the drop in votes.

Now my point is: even if a partner today gets, say, just four votes as the top-rated artist, that still makes her/him AotM, so why not giving her/him the prize and fill the list on as we adapt ourselves to this current lack of interest on the site? Maybe now someone is not elected AotM for getting- who knows- hundreds of votes, but just barely 10. But still, even if we´re talking about 3 or 4 votes, that´s "majority" of votes, funny or ridiculous as it might sound.
If the winner has no interest on the prize, that´s another story, but I cannot believe it so easily that NOBODY has interest on it...

The site new layout doesn´t seem to have helped much (I´ve always been pretty much of a "fuddy-duddy" thing who misses old things like the site old layout, in spite of their restrictions ;P), yet it allows for some good new things, like what I´m doing now- commenting directly on someone else´s comment ^^

Either TLKFAA is going through a kind of "metamorphosis" to change for the best (like some animals that remain inactive as they change, like a worm to a butterfly) to amaze us with an explosion of activity, or this site is simply dying... I do hope for the first option.

16:40 Fri 1/13/2017
Fluffybunny
I agree about AOTM and that the number of votes shouldn't be an issue. I mean it's still people voting for them so why should the number make a difference?

And I agree the new site didn't help. It felt like we were promised so much for nothing really to come of it. It felt like the heartache of the fact that it was just a small layout change and a few things reworked. Well we were given hope only for nothing really new happening. As such I think a lot of people left after because of it.

03:34 Sat 1/14/2017
Alan the leopard
Well, the new layout is just in it´s "birth" state, so better let it grow a bit like the old format did over time as well... :P Nonetheless there are a few things about it that don´t convince me much.

Voting for someone and then seen that your vote is worth nothing because there are no changes on the section makes you wonder whether it´s worth to keep voting for anyone, and even if it´s worth to keep that section on AotM activated... Or are they keeping it as a memory from the past? If only we could see the full list on AotM... I can´t.

One of the "minor" problems on the site new layout, as I see it, is calling "Art Wall" to the section on gifts from partners. To me, "Art Wall" is a rather vague or imprecise term, not as accurate as the former "art trades/gifts". I even have problems to find my front page as if I was someone else watching my gallery!

One redundant feature, in addition, are the "tagged characters" and "key words" sections when we upload new art. Aren´t those terms ("tagged characters" and "key words") supposed to be rough synonyms, meaning more or less the same? Is it necessary to keep them? Couldn´t we do away with the "characters tagged"?

The old format was simpler yet neater at some points; for instance, the front page of any artist was neatly separated into the sections "artist profile/ most popular pictures/ characters/ art trades/ notes". Now everything has turned out more chaotic at these aspects.

But well, as I said before maybe it´s just a matter of time... while the lack of activity and maintenance doesn´t leave things as they´re now. Again, I hope it´s just a transitional period that at one point will end with an improved site. Hopefully.

Moving back to the lack of activity from people here, I have to say that the habit of uploading works and never (or hardly ever) commenting on other people´s works (and even replying to the comments that they get) applies even to a few old partners here. I wouldn´t define that as "feedback", if all you do is basically upload works and that´s it. It might sound tough, but I see it rather selfish, which in the case of the most veteran partners can be specially worrying. That´s why I stopped watching them, nor even bother to reply the few times that they bother to comment on my art. What for? Not saying names, though...

To the other pole, there are lovely partners over here who prove to love this site for real (at least for the moment X) and they work more than Brian or anyone else does to keep it alive; as if they were the new and real administrators ;P

09:56 Thu 1/12/2017
Blazing Black Mage
Honestly, I fully agree with this. And it makes me really sad.

I know some might say that AotM is a frivolous award that means nothing when you step foot off this website, but to me (And I'm sure others) it was a huge accomplishment and an honor to see the community we grew so close to hold our work so high in the spotlight, if just for a little while. It made people feel valued and acknowledged and plain just felt great! With it gone I feel like one of the biggest sparks and drives fizzled out, I wanna see fresh talent get the attention it deserves, I want to see everyone being able to congratulate one another on such a cool and amazing feeling. It really brought the community together at the start of each month, and made me personally want to keep coming back to see who'd get it next. I even know people who have said once AotM died last year they just left, knowing their dream of getting it will never happen now. I know that might sound silly to newcomers to the site who have no idea what AotM was like back in it's glory days but it was definitely one of the biggest backbones to the site's traffic and longevity, at least I feel like it was. Now it just feels cast to the side and that it doesn't matter anymore. Hell with the new site update you can't even SEE the old AotM's anymore, I figured that'd be fixed and AotM would be updated at the same time but now it just feels abandoned.

I remember someone told me they had spoken to Brian once about revisiting old AotM's in a "Where are they now" type of interview, I thought that would have been a great idea, but I doubt it'll happen.

I think one of the biggest downfalls to TLKFAA and by extension MyLionKingFAA is the limitation in what you can draw. Now before anyone says "But BBM! There are no limits in what you can draw in the TLK universe!" that's not what I mean, what I mean is the massive truckload of people, the veterans, from back in the day have all grown up and have since then expanded their horizons. A lot of them moved on to bigger projects and different mediums and Lion King has taken a backseat to other interests. Which is 100% okay. I was a fan of a lot these older artists and I've since made DeviantArt my main website so I could keep up with their artwork. Even I've been drifting away from TLKFAA, not because my love for the site has vanished (Though, since the update, it's taken a hit) but because everyone I want to keep up with I can keep up with on another site. Hell, even DeviantArt has a far larger treasure trove of canon artwork now, so I can only assume a lot of people take a look at TLKFAA and go "I can get more somewhere else". DeviantArt's Lion King fandom is just as lively and huge as it was back in TLKFAA's glory days, it's just somewhere else now. But that limitation that TLKFAA/MLKFAA has is that these artists that have grown up can only share the bare minimum with us now whenever they do decide to draw TLK art and post it over here, instead of on DeviantArt or FurAffinity where we can see everything they've done and where they're far more active.
I know that sounds like a tough pill to swallow, that eventually an artist can or will grow out of TLKFAA and leave, even yourself, but you'll understand when it happens and why it does. When I was younger I didn't think I'd ever stop drawing TLK, or lions, or anything that would be considered offtopic here, but...things change.

I won't name names, because I don't want anyone to feel bad, but have you noticed that when someone who was once popular leaves a lot of people go with them? The most recent time I've seen here that we had an artist that was very popular (and honestly, made TLKFAA feel a little bit closer to it's glory days)they left. I understand their reason behind it and I could sympathize for them, and by no means am I putting any sort of blame on them because it's not their fault, but when they left I noticed that the archive went back to being what is once was, it was quiet again. While I don't think we need to cherry pick an artist to put on the popular pedestal I feel like we could get a little bit of this life back if we did the same thing we did to this popular artist before, we comment, on everything. See something on the front page with 0 comments? Make their day, make them feel welcome, make them WANT to stay.

I'm probably not going to win anyone over with this next statement, but.
If you're not leaving any comments on anything, and expecting them in return, don't complain about the lack of feedback because you're not doing anything either.

Back in TLKFAA's glory days I saw artists bloom under the praise of others, I saw things with 15+ comments on the front page and I'm almost certain that artist was over the moon with joy that something they drew garnered so much good attention. I know the argument of "don't draw for comments" and while I can see there's good intentions there I simply don't agree with it. Yes you should draw for you, first and foremost, but wanting some feedback on something you worked so hard on and not getting it is a valid reason to be upset or sad and not want to bother uploading to this place that's given you the impression that you're not welcome here. Maybe I'm projecting, maybe you don't care about comments, but when it's one of the biggest reoccurring complaints against the archive that I've heard from ex-members then I'm at least reassured that it's not just me.

Picture character limit sucks, end of story. TT is dead because we have so few people making adoptables and icons. Sketcher size is awful and honestly I don't know why it ever got changed, Sketcher was one of the biggest parts in the community that really brought people together.

"*Artists no longer feel welcome in the community (although this has a lot to do with feedback)Veterans turn up, no one to greet them, no one looks at the artwork because they aren't in this little 'group' that the archive has merged into. They leave."

I feel like this too could go both ways, new artists should be greeted with the same amount of enthusiasm as the veterans. Everyone needs to be told they're welcome here and we want them to stay. Not the usual song and dance of "Welcome to the archive! Here's a bunch of comments from people saying hello and then.....Nothing!". I've noticed the cliques and groups, and that just rounds back to my "comment on everyone" statement, you can have your groups and popular tables so long as everyone gets their equal share of friendly comments and whatnot.

I'm gonna wrap that up here though, as I feel like I probably rambled a bit too much and started getting a bit to repetitive near the end but.

TL;DR: Comments are life blood, AotM makes the site look abandoned, all the little quirks of the past like TT, Sketcher, etc aren't as great without a lot of people contributing to them, no matter your status just give someone a nice comment. I don't care if you're a veteran, or a newbie, or someone who's inbetween, everyone deserves praise and comments. Also people migrate as they get older and that's just an unfortunate fact of life, but we can keep TLKFAA alive if we all at least try to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated. etc.

Sorry about the half-rant, it's a subject I've been stewing on for a while.
-BBM

20:23 Sat 1/14/2017
Fluffybunny
I don't have anything to add apart from 'all of the above' c:

/useless reply is useless

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