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About Photography / Hobbyist Premium Member Robert HeischmanMale/United States Recent Activity
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  • Listening to: Mass Effect 2 - Afterlife (Lower Level)
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DeviantArt is now a social network. If you hadn't noticed over the past week or so, the site has transitioned from using keywords to describe submissions for search purposes to using hashtags instead. Hashtags. Because Twitter. Because Tumblr. Because Instragram. Because hashtags are universally used as they were originally intended and are not at all abused to make crappy one liners at the end of people's crappy one liners. Because DeviantArt is now a social network.

View the stealth journal describing this stealth change by clicking here!

My thoughts are these: Keywords were not broken, so there was no need to fix them. That's all there really is to it. Beyond signifying a shift in attitude regarding the purpose of this site, these changes make writing out keywords more involved and potentially balloon the number of tags that people have to use to even match the searching efficacy of the previous system.


Images with the keywords "sumatran tiger" return in searches for three things: sumatran, tiger, and sumatran tiger, organizing results by popularity and by time (and presumably by relevance at least to some extent; if not, then a relevance search is what they *should* be adding instead of hashtags). So as a photographer posting my work, I write only those two keywords, knowing that the system will pull the image back with searches for any combo of those words.

Under the new system, "sumatran tiger" is written #sumatrantiger, which returns results only for images with that exact tag. Now, if someone searches #tiger, missed are all of my tiger photos tagged #sumatrantiger. Missed are the images posted from before this change, because "sumatran tiger" in the keywords before is auto-translated now to "#sumatran #tiger". Data is lost, and the only way that I can adequately cover my bases is to be incredibly redundant with my tags:

Instead of: "sumatran tiger panthera tigris sumatrae",
I write: #sumatrantiger #tiger #sumatran_tiger #panthera #pantheratigris #panthera_tigris #pantheratigrissumatrae #panthera_tigris_sumatrae

And that's only for four of the usually 20-25 terms I put on each of my images. This system seems to promote more generic tags (i.e. #tiger instead of #sumatrantiger) because the more specific ones are more trouble to search for/are likely to yield far fewer results, and the end result of that is that more images get jammed into fewer tags -- a major problem, given that the journal linked above touts this new system as a way to "better surface artwork." All it's going to do is congest searches even more and make it harder for people to get noticed.

And as I mentioned before, because of how the new system operates, tags on all 974 of my previously submitted images are now broken to various degrees, and it's up to me if I want to go back and fix them.

Really an inexplicable change from my point of view. Was this really needed? Does DeviantArt really need to conform to the lowest common denominator to operate? What are your thoughts?


Robert Heischman
Artist | Hobbyist | Photography
United States
Wildlife photographer, 27, Master's in Biology, Fairfield, California, love big cats, hate domestic cats, smart but absent minded, pretty much permanently stressed out. :)

Current Residence: Fairfield, California
Favourite genre of music: Classical, soundtrack (anime, VGM, etc.)
Favourite photographer: Mitsuaki Iwago
Favourite style of art: Abstract/Impressionist
Operating System: Mac OSX Mountain Lion
MP3 player of choice: my trusty iPhone
Wallpaper of choice: One of my pictures
Favourite cartoon character: Hobbes (not really a cartoon, but who's counting)
Equipment: Nikon D90/Nikon D5000, Nikkor 300mm f/4.0, Nikon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6, Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0



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NB-PhotoArt Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Happy birthday, man, and happy shootings in the coming year!
UpYoursFuckers Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Cheers Cheers for your Happy Birthday Grin 
GarryKirsch Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
R3DCheetah Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New member Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday! :party: :cake:
MorningIrbis Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Happy Birthday!! :party:
Jasperinity Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Happy birthday! :D
DiamondDog777 Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Happy birthday! It's mine too. :)
birthdays Featured By Owner 3 days ago
:woohoo: :party: :iconcakelickplz: !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! :iconcakelickplz: :party: :woohoo:

It's September 15th which means it's that time of the year again and your special day is here! We hope you have an awesome day with lots of birthday fun, gifts, happiness and most definitely, lots of cake! Here's to another year!

Many well wishes and love from your friendly birthdays team :love:

Birthdays Team
This birthday greeting was brought to you by: KoudelkaW
MYPeanutGallery Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Cake FOR Bday by KmyGraphic
Enjoy your special day!
SuperMonpo Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional
Happy birthday! :3
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