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Fur Affinity and Discoverability

Dunked0n

New Member
I feel like it's important for content to be tagged appropriately on this site, But I think that the biggest problem with Fur Affinity is discoverability. Fur Affinity is usually the first stop for anyone who's remotely interested in the furry fandom (Be it their considering joining us, or they're just here to learn a little more about the fandom), And you don't get a second first impression. So we should strive to place content in a more fashionable order.

The problem with Fur Affinity doesn't lie in the fact it has weird people, because every site has weird people. The problem that Fur Affinity has compared to other sites is that everything is just kinda smooshed together, and that the weird stuff is almost always in the browse section. The furry fandom is a very diverse subculture, and with new content being posted to Fur Affinity all the time, be it some cute doodles or something that was clearly made to arouse. The first thing a new user (or even a returning one) sees is a bunch of recently posted things they may not agree with.


I think that the problem with Fur Affinity isn't that content isn't tagged appropriately, it's that this content is being shown up front in the first place. Look at DeviantArt, a site known for having some insanely weird users with insanely weird fetishes. Open a private window (Or just log out or DeviantArt), and go to the homepage. The content you see is stuff that wouldn't make anyone feel uncomfortable, because it is handpicked by staff. And also makes things easier to look for by having generic topics of the things users most come to the site for. Of course, this doesn't mean that weird fetish art is on the site. Because if you look up fetish topics in the search bar, you are going to find them. In fact, DeviantArt has a whole topic for fetish art titled simply "Kinky", a topic easily titled in a neutral fashion with a description that makes it so you know that if you don't want to see weird content, don't click. Note how Fur Affinity doesn't have these types of controls. In fact, Fur Affinity's type categories actively mentions numerous fetishes. And it's made even worse by the fact that these sections are thrown into the ones with generic filters like "Abstract" and "Traditional" Artwork.

The next problem lies in Fur Affinity's submission categories. Excluding Flash (because it's discontinued and no longer applies), I feel like Fur Affinity's content categories could be easily slimmed down. First, why are story and poetry based submissions required to have a file attached to them? Beyond cover art, It doesn't make any sense to attach a word document with the story/poetry when I could just copy and paste it into a plain text document, or save it into my notes app. Second, do we really need to have two different submissions for poetry and stories? Why not just have a "Text" submission? Fur Affinity's submission types could be easily be reduced to simply Images, text, and Audio if we did this. Three generic names that open the door to virtually anything. I feel like most people don't actively seek out a specific type of story. And if they were, they could just use the already existing tags system to find what they're looking for.


So what are my main takeaways from all this? Well basically:

1. Add basic topics to Fur Affinity so that furs and non-furs alike can find interesting and inspiring content much easier.
2. Simplify and reorganize the types of submissions on Fur Affinity
3. Provide a homepage screen with content (ideally curated by a living being) that's more than what was posted to the site just recently
4. Another thing I didn't mention, make reporting content easier. Right now, to report content, you have to dig through menus. You should just be able to click on a button on a post and easily submit a reason



So these are my thoughts. At the end of the day, Fur Affinity is one of the most well known furry sites, so it should have an interface with content that makes users feel comfortable, while still catering to those who might want something else. Because remember, we don't get a second first impression, and this fandom's already horribly misunderstood by normies.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
Look at DeviantArt, a site known for having some insanely weird users with insanely weird fetishes. Open a private window (Or just log out or DeviantArt), and go to the homepage. The content you see is stuff that wouldn't make anyone feel uncomfortable, because it is handpicked by staff.
Daily Deviations (or whatever equivalent they might be using now; I haven't used dA for years) are an interesting concept but in practice they're not actually good for artists. Because if you don't happen to come on a staff member's radar, it doesn't matter how 500% wholesome and excellent your art is, someone else is getting the traffic because it happened to get picked. There's no possible way for dA staff to view every single thing uploaded, so it's an inherently gambly and skewed system.

First, why are story and poetry based submissions required to have a file attached to them? Beyond cover art, It doesn't make any sense to attach a word document with the story/poetry when I could just copy and paste it into a plain text document, or save it into my notes app.
Aaand... that file can be a plain text document. There's no requirement that it's a "fancy" formatted file format, just that it's an upload. I can understand why someone would prefer a text editor worked into the submission workflow, but that's a preference thing. There are equally valid reasons to prefer not having to copy+paste things onto a web form, and I've seen plenty of people complain on web form-based story sites when they've been writing their story directly into the form and lost the story due to a browser crash or whatever. I don't wish that bitching on site staff.

Second, do we really need to have two different submissions for poetry and stories? Why not just have a "Text" submission? Fur Affinity's submission types could be easily be reduced to simply Images, text, and Audio if we did this. Three generic names that open the door to virtually anything. I feel like most people don't actively seek out a specific type of story. And if they were, they could just use the already existing tags system to find what they're looking for.
While I can agree that the upload process separating prose and poetry is a bit superfluous, since they're effectively the same form, readers of poetry definitely aren't the same group as readers of prose (who in turn aren't the same group as readers of non-fiction). I don't know if that's what you mean by people not "actively [seeking] out a specific type of story."

In fact, DeviantArt has a whole topic for fetish art titled simply "Kinky", a topic easily titled in a neutral fashion with a description that makes it so you know that if you don't want to see weird content, don't click.
That only makes sense for dA because dA has a much smaller fraction of kinky content than FA does. While I'm not going to claim (because it's not true) that kink makes up the majority of content on FA, it's enough of a portion that having only a supercategory to shove it all into would just present people with more content they didn't want to see if browsing by category, not less.

Hierarchical categories would be a better solution, but also a much bigger technical undertaking.
 
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Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
Administrator
Beep beep!

*drops a dev screenshot*

We're working on some improvements to help discoverability. Some will be here sooner than others, others will take time. =3 It's on the list.

1625154991432.png
 

Attaman

"I say we forget this business and run."
I would just like to take this moment to say that I am 100% on board with the icon for the SFW / NSFW toggle being a hotdog.
 

Lutro

Writer
I would like to say I approve of "Writing" being a top-level item.

And you have a few new submissions to check out it looks like.
 

Hogo

Unrespectable Member
I just want the search function to be more sophisticated to where I can block out certain tags in advanced search like 'scat' 'diapers' 'gore' 'hyperobesity' and so on. And incorporating that into browse as well. That would make browsing all categories (SFW, Mature, Adult) a more pleasant experience for everyone. It will at least reduce some of that content you don't want to see down. I think if you add something like 'fetish' a fifth category of 'extreme fetish' would be best.

I still like browsing FA more than twitter for example because pages vs endless scrolling...much friendlier for loading.

Again though I imagine all this is more or less a moderation issue/nightmare if anything.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I just want the search function to be more sophisticated to where I can block out certain tags in advanced search like 'scat' 'diapers' 'gore' 'hyperobesity' and so on. And incorporating that into browse as well.
Doesn’t work for Browse, but in search you do have the option to add NOT operators to your search. So if you want art with dragons, your search might look like this:
dragon !scat !diaper !gore
(I couldn’t think of what tag an artist might use for hyperobesity; if you see tags/words coming up again and again on these submissions you can obviously append them as well. - will work as well as the ! but I tend to prefer the ! as it isn’t a character allowed in eg usernames.)

It is slightly clunky, but there’s ways to make it more convenient, including browser extensions (if you’re on desktop) that let you paste in preset phrases from the right-click context menu.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
Administrator

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
The function I want most on FA is the ability to sort my gallery according my preference.
 
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