I seriously don't.
Like... "here's an original superhero character club! Come join and be original with us!"
And then it's a bunch of teen titan fan characters. The entire folder that's supposed to be full of original universe superhero characters is just empty. Like the Marvel and DC folders sucked all the life out of it, screaming "give us all your characters that will never be a part of story canon! And make every single one of them have a crush on a canon character! Like... whenever you get a crush on a new character, make your own character to smex them up! Bwahahaha!" Every week I glance at that folder and think "yeah! I'm gonna fill that poor empty folder! And it won't be as pathetic anymore!" (in the sense that it won't be empty anymore, not so much in the sense that my characters will be filling it because let's be honest that's not exactly a step up from 'pathetic'). Then a new fan character is posted and I just slump in my chair and throw my hands up in defeat. I remember making a collective--oh what was it? Three? Four?--some small number of fan characters when I started on this site and then I quickly realized "wow. trying to stay within the confines of a pre-determined universe is boring. Let's see what else I can do." Bam. No more fan characters. I so don't get the appeal anymore.
Plus, what is even the deal with memberships and DA points, or whatever they're called?
The only benefit I've ever gleamed from memberships is the ability to further sort your gallery folders into more specific groups within those folders. Folder-ception if you will. DA gave us a day where everyone got to be a member for a day, I splurged on making new folders and sortin' my stuff, and then I was done. And I was sitting there like "well now what do I do?"
People do DA point-centric commissions. Like... why?
The DeviantArt page describing what points are for figuratively says "they're for sharing and buying stuff". Seriously, they list sharing points with your friends, asking for points and getting stuff with points as the list of what you can do with them.
Okay, first of all, sharing points with friends is dumb. "Oh! It's your birthday? Here's some DA points!" To do... I don't even know what with. Why is that even a thing? I could understand if maybe they wanted a print off of DeviantArt or something for their birthday, but if that were the case then why not just buy them the print? Even more puzzling is why not just send them the money for the print? Why spend it on DA points in the first place? It's a useless middle step that amounts to the exact same thing.
Asking for points is also kinda dumb. Actually, no, it's pretty all around stupid and useless. If you want points but haven't got them then buy them yourself. If you haven't got the money for that then open up commissions and earn actual money. DA points are only useful on DA. Money is useful *gasp!* everywhere~! If you still want points when you've gotten some money then fine, do what you want with your own money, but I feel the need to point out that a good chuck of what you can do with DA points you can still do with actual money so it is, still, an unnecessary middle step.
Buying stuff with DA points seems like the most sensible of the three options, and even then I say 'sensible' with a grueling level of cynicism. Apparently what you can buy is stuff in the DA Marketplace, Premium Memberships, Digital Resources, commissions and prints. Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you get every single one of these things with just a monetary transaction? Granted, the list also specifies that "Coming soon, deviantART will release all kinds of things, big and small, only available by using Points!" but I have no idea when this was decided because with how long points have been around now I would have figured those special items would be a thing already.
Seriously, unless those 'special items' come out and happen to be the bee's knees, there is no use for points on DeviantArt. Frankly, I don't like people messaging me and asking me if I'll "do a point commission." If it's not listed as something I do then what the hell do you think? Points are freaking useless. The only instance in which I can currently see points as being useful is collecting them from various people in order to save up for a membership (since you're less likely to spend points on frivolous things than maybe you are money). However, that brings me to my next thing.
Memberships are dumb.
Okay, maybe not in such a broad definition of the term, but I've looked over the list of benefits given to members and very few of them pop out to me as something worthwhile or even remotely useful.
The benefits are as follows:
"browse more content, more quickly"---"no ad browsing *does not exclude promotional messages from DeviantArt*"---"Schedule and submit multiple deviantions at once"---"change your username"---"unlock your Sta.sh with 10 GB of storage"---"save 10% off print purchases (can be stacked with most other special events and sales!"---"cruise through 400% more devinations per page"---"Get exclusive access to archived content"---"Give your journal more pop with custom
skins"---"Engage and track your visitors with extra widgets and stats"---"Give and get meaningful feedback on your art with Critique"---"Gain instant community privileges"---"Administrate more than three Groups"---"Access exclusive weekly giveaways"---"Beta-test new site features"---"Earn more with exclusive commercial tools"---"Buy your own work at a discount - up to 50% - for gifting or reselling"---"Make more money on each sale by setting your own print prices"---"Promote yourself with Portfolio - your own personalized website and art showcase without any dA branding."
For one thing I don't understand how "no ad browsing" would be appealing when adblocker exists. Secondly how does getting a membership mean that you browse more quickly? Doesn't that generally depend on how quickly the person browsing tends to go about it? Does that tie into the 400% more devinations per page thing? Because that's not exactly a huge thing, if I'm going to be honest. I feel as though people with a bad internet connection would actually be more hurt by that than benefited, since they'd have to wait for more content to load on the pages.
The only benefits listed here that I could understand are changing you name, saving 10% on purchases (that's assuming you even buy DeviantArt stuff in the first place), getting the discount on your own work, setting print prices and maybe administrating more than three groups.
Here's the thing; changing your name isn't a big deal. Maybe if you made your account when you were 14 and now you're well into your twenties and you can't go around advertising yourself as "Orochimaruprincess87," otherwise you could also just make a new account, bring over your followers and repost your work. If you buy prints off DeviantArt then I can see the discount being useful....... provided you buy enough stuff on a regular basis to make use of the discount and having to pay the membership on top of the print prices. In the discount on your own prints that really depends on whether it's cheaper to get them shipped to you from DA or if it's cheaper to go to a print shop closer to where you live. Even with administrating more groups--1.) you could still make another account to do that. 2.) why on earth would you need over three groups to admin for?
Everything else is just... meh. Beta-testing new site features? Only useful if your input on the feature goes into altering it. What the hell are these "community privileges" you gain? Exclusive weekly giveaways? Whatever. Archived content? What archived content? You mean the hidden stuff that artists don't want people to see anymore? Because I'm pretty sure that was hidden for a reason. Tracking visitors? Why? Them just coming to your page isn't exactly a huge thing, shocking as I know that is. I've clicked on plenty of DA user pages, only to take a glimpse at their stuff and immediately hightail it out of there. Visiting you doesn't mean they like what you have to offer. The journal thing is just dumb. A lot of what I tend to notice people using when they get a membership is the customization tools and I just think it's a waste of time. It's like myspace. I hated myspace.
They don't even expand on a good chunk of these benefits. They're annoyingly vague.
By far the absolute dumbest thing on that list is "give and get meaningful feedback on your art with critique." Really? Really? For one thing, you could just ask for it in the description of the piece. A novel concept I know, but hey it works! Furthermore, the lack of specifying that "oh I want critique" doesn't mean that you're not going to get it. If I have something to critique about a piece then I'm bloody well going to critique it! It's actually kinda sad that people feel the need to specify that they want critique on a freaking art site.
TL;DR? Memberships don't seem like something worth spending money on.
There's such a slew of people that post things that baffle me. Those people who post images and explicitly tell everyone, in the description, not to favorite it.... yeah, guess about how many seconds it takes most people to disobey that command. People who post vent artwork, disable the comments and then berate anyone for asking them that's wrong in a PM or something. People who post up commissioned work that they bought from someone else--aren't there specific commission sites for doing that? I mean, I know you own it at that point but DeviantArt is sort of riddled with people on the look out for art thieves so you'd think it would be more of a nuisance. People who just... ugh... I'm trying to think of a way to describe their galleries but I can't seem to think of anything better than "facebook-esque".
That's not even going into the slew of oddly specific accounts that I dare not even badmouth because good lord I've seen how reactive their followers can be. I will say that a lot of them involve fan characters. Those that post comics with their fan characters often have the worst fans.
Don't get me wrong. I love using this site and I'm not planning to stop using it anytime soon. But it's reasons like these that I tend to stay in a very small part of it. I hear tales of how horrible DA has become and what sorts of awful, fetishistic, disgusting lurkers purvey its servers, and I'm just sitting here like ".....I think points are dumb."