Newgrounds has had a lot of new additions lately, especially given the influx of new artists. A lot of friends have come here, and I've seen my follower count shoot up as people are finding me here now too.
I've mentioned this before, but some art friends have been a bit surprised by how Newgrounds is. One thing I've expressed to peers coming here is that Newgrounds is a gallery-oriented site, not a social media-oriented one. It's fundamentally different from places like Tumblr, Twitter, etc., and is closer to things like Pixiv and Deviantart, and that's by design, not accident. I've seen some people say they'd want to see a complete site overhaul so it'd be more like a blogging platform, which I don't think would be good. It shouldn't completely redesign itself to be a social platform and sacrifice its identity. (Plus it literally just had a redesign a few months ago.)
That all considered though, it can take a few cues to implement some new features that benefit creators without fundamentally changing itself. Already a few changes have been made which has been great. There's a few things that I want to see as well that I feel would work well on Newgrounds:
- Photosets - This is my biggest 'want.' For some reason this kind of option is popular more with places like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, which has been weird to me as it's the most 'gallery' like feature they usually have. And weirder still, Pixiv afaik is the only gallery site that utilizes it. The ability to upload multiple photos to a single art post on Newgrounds would be a huge advantage--this opens up to art sequences, variations, alternative comic styles, and more, without spamming the art portal or hiding things in the dumping grounds.
Gallery Folders or organizational tags - I've always really liked how Newgrounds has your works sorted by year, so I'd want this preserved. But, I'd also like the option to put folders in the art gallery, just for organizational purposes.
- Or alternatively, maybe organizational tags. Tags you use or select would show up on the side when viewing your gallery, and clicking one would only display content that has that tag. I was gonna say these could be separate from gallery tags, but with the tag expansion they could just use the standard ones.
- A more casual comment system - At the moment, the only way to comment on a video or art piece is to leave a review, which you can only leave one of, which kinda makes it hard to discuss works back and forth. It'd be nice if there was kinda like a small, separate comment section in addition to reviews where people could comment freely, while keeping reviews front and center. (Thinking on it, there might be a reason something like this doesn't exist, but I'm not aware of specifcally what it is. I still feel like it has merits still that outweigh potential negatives.)
Some way for users to share others' works - Taking a cue from more mainstream social media, things like retweets and shares result in a lot of exposure for an artist. They also allow for content-aggregator type users to share and curate works without reuploading them. The curator is able to partake in art communities even if they don't have much drawing ability (in ways other than critique or commission), and it's in a productive, symbiotic manner, so long as they abide by the community's guidelines. (FB and Twitter in particular do have issues with reuploads, but that more comes from their nature as social-media specific platforms, the impulsive nature the sites encourage, and that most of their moderation is done by robots.)
Currently, favorites exist on Newgrounds, but they only appear on your page--they're strictly for your reference, not so much anyone else's.
- One option is if there was a toggle when you follow someone so you could see what they favorite as well. Their favorites would show up as actual posts in your feed. (This is kinda what Deviantart has.) This let's you follow someone cause they find content that you want to see.
- Alternatively and more ambitiously, maybe if there was something like a special feed, either individual or a kind of group one that one or more people could manage and curate. People could follow this feed separate from (or in addition to) its the curators and its contents would appear in their own feed. The curators would be able to embed content, be it their own or from other users, and since it's embedded, it'd go directly to the original creator's upload instead of duplicating it. This hypothetically could also handle content from the dumping grounds, which would allow people to take advantage of it a bit more often. (This isn't something I'd really expect to be implemented cause it's kinda complex and probably wouldn't be realistic to put in at the moment.)
- Drafts and Scheduled posts - Pretty simple, just a way to save WIP journal entries or media posts, or to set a timer for when posts will go public. This would be super useful for videos in particular, especially in cases where you might have early access on something like Patreon.