I know Elfwood has repeatedly shot itself in the foot many times, with certain (hopefully ex-) moderators simply making the Elfwood experience even more miserable with their uncalled-for snarkiness and seemingly whimsical judgments. There's really nothing else to add, nothing that's been said or discussed a million times on this page (or the sub-journals). Quite simply if you don't listen to your base, or at least consider their expectations and desires, the place is eventually going to become a ghost town. And even when the site is revamped and modified with the very things the people wanted in the first place, years ago, it may be too late to reel them back in. I've seen this here and also on Elftown.
And why do I mention Elftown? Originally Elftown was meant to be an Elfwood e-community, before things got muddled and it became a hangout for displaced Myspacers and cyber-whores. Elftown is currently a site that is far better than it's ever been because after several years of a "yacht club" mentality where they turned deaf ears to the artistic backbone of the community, they are finally---and very belatedly----trying to make Elftown a great place for artists and writers. Sadly, most of the real talents left Elftown long ago and have little or no desire to return. Of those who remain, there just isn't the same shared passion. So now there's a million and one contests to enter (contests that are no longer tainted or rigged, by the way!), and these are now very well advertised on the site, but the interest just isn't there. Apathy prevails. It's sad when you compare the year-to-year turnouts and submissions to various major contests (like the Elftown Christmas and Halloween contests, for example). Everything is there in place for the people who matter---but where are they? Oh, that's right. They were alienated from the site long ago, and they still see no reason to return. Silly me.
Elfwood looks a lot better than it did before, and now of course there's a lot more things to do on Elfwood than ever before. EW respects your copyright far better than DeviantArt ever could, so that SHOULD be motivation enough for people to submit their art there. I certainly want to update my EW pages despite all of the inherent Elfwood bullshit lingering on from the past, because after all the past is behind us. I thought this way ever before I got this automated message:
A friendly reminder from Elfwood.comTuesday, February 3, 2009 4:05 AM
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>Add sender to Contacts To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
We haven't seen you around at Elfwood for a while...
Elfwood is expanding and new exciting SciFi and fantasy art and stories are added every day. Welcome back to http://www.elfwood.com/
Your login and user name at Elfwood is 'pjdoyle'. In case you've forgotten your password, you can retrieve it at http://www.elfwood.com/members/lostpass.html
If you need any help, go to http://www.elfwood.com/contact/contact.html
Thomas, Elfwood Founder.
PS, you -cannot- reply to this email, which was sent from Elfwood management to 'xxxxxxxxxxxx ', a registred Elfwood.com user account. To Leave Elfwood, login and visit: http://www.elfwood.com/members/leave.html
Well . . . I really need to update my Elfwood pages. But----nah. Why bother? I'll update the DeviantArt page first, because even though dA is run by a corporation and has a questionable TOS, there's isn't a fraction the headaches. There's enough real-life headaches in my life as it is, so why add avoidable Internet headaches, especially considering some of the crap I had to contend with on Elfwood in the past?
I will eventually get around to updating the EW page, no doubt about it, but something tells me I'm by no means the only person who has these mixed feelings. To love EW is also to hate it to some degree, and because of that the updates get shelved to a later date, once again.