The Small Print
But not small. And at the beginning. I want to make it clear to everyone, up-front, that none of the content in this blog entry is official dA information, policy or anything else. The posting of the polls referred to here, the encouragement of people to vote and share their opinions, and the gathering of all that stuff into this blog entry was all done by me. And that's me-the-person, not me-the-GM. Just so you know. And when I saw 'you', I mean you-the-collective-respondents, not you-personally.
What You Want
The thing that most of you want from a group is, by a huge margin, more exposure for your work, closely followed by a feeling of belonging and support and more detailed critique. For the cynical among you who hate the alleged popularity contest aspect to dA, More pageviews trailed along last with a tiny little 1% (4 deviants).
Contests and Events
While 28% of you most of you love contests, challenges and events, a big 46% of you enjoy them but don't see them as a big deal and 20% don't care. Maybe this is an opportunity to seek group members' ideas and opinions about creating events in a way that will appeal to more members.
Reading the Rules
A huge 65% of you always check a group's submissions guidelines and rules before submitting, followed by 20% who check most of the time and 4% said sometimes. A tiny little 1% said they never check and another little 1% said they checked not very often.
Stacks in Your Message Centre
Upon finding a stack of deviations from a group that you're a member of, 35% of you open the stack, glance over the deviations and perhaps leave a comment and/or a fav, or two and 28% open the stack, look at some deviations and maybe leave a few comments and/or favs. Sounds encouraging? 21% of respondents don't open the stack at all before deleting it and it's contents. The results for the same poll about groups that you aren't in are almost the same.
Most of you (71%) use Stacks in your message centre and 25% of you don't (with 4% who don't know what Stacks are!). The comments left on the polls involving Stacks show quite a fierce loyalty for or against them, but those strong opinions tend to relate to wanting to view and respond to other people's art in the best possible way.
Working Both Ways
If you're submitting to Groups to bring more viewers to you gallery, remember that the system works both ways - you should take some time to give other artists and their work the attention and feedback that you would like for yours. If everyone submits to lots of groups but doesn't bother to look at other group submissions, it all becomes kind of pointless. Do onto others, and all that stuff.
Feedback On Submissions
If your work was declined from a group, a substantial 70% of you would like a detailed reason, following by 16% who would be happy with a copy-pasta comment and 9% who are happy with no communication at all about declined submissions.
It's not always possible to provide detailed responses when rejecting a group member's submission, but it is worth considering as 66% of you could be swayed from staying in a group to leaving based on how group mods handle declined submissions.
From the Mods' Point of View
On the flip-side, 39% of group admins handle declining submissions by hitting the rest button and not thinking about it again. Another 39% leave a comment explaining why the work was declined. If you don't have time to do into each rejection in detail, it might be a good idea to make the submission guidelines on your Group's page a little (or a lot) more prominent.
The reason most of you (37%) reject submissions to Groups you run is low quality, followed by irrelevant subject matter. Others cited submission to the wrong gallery folder and wrong medium as reasons submissions are rejected. Comments left on the poll also mentioned repetitive submitting, and controversial subject matter.
In the majority (30%) of groups, submissions are voted for by the founder, co-founder and contributors and 25% have voting handled by just the founder and/or co-founder. Worryingly, 36% had no idea how voting works. Group admins - this could be an opportunity for you to give your group members an update about how the mechanics of dA groups run.
Quality, Judgment and Personal Taste
With so many Group admins citing low quality as a major reason for declining submissions, it's interesting to see how many Group admins base their judgement on personal taste. 40% of you said it doesn't really matter whether a submission is to your taste and 34% say my individual taste is entirely irrelevant when accepting or declining a submission. A combined 25% of you say that the acceptance or rejection of a submission is based quite a bit, a lot or almost completely on your personal taste. If your personal taste is a factor in assessing contributions to your group, be honest and clear about it so that members are aware of how judging works.
If you take anything from this blog, I hope it's a genuine desire to interact within your Groups - as members, moderators or both - in the most positive way possible, however you choose to do that. Peace.