Recently, dA decided to DOUBLE the price of membership, without any explanation. I'm a paying member, yet I received no communication from DA. Maybe it's hidden away somewhere on a forum I don't visit. Whatever. Tin ear marketing and management is the order of the day here.
There's no "good" reason to double the price. By that, I mean there's no good business reason to do it, so I assume that the site is in fiscal trouble. I'm sure the community would pull together to help out, if asked, but the management of this site doesn't work that way. Instead, they aren't up front with us and will no doubt wonder why their loyal members are leaving in droves. Clueless. Oh well, I've enjoyed it here, paid for it when I could, and will be sad to see it go.
Here's my suggestion for pulling out of this nosedive: charge a LOT (like $100 or more) and require payment for membership (Don't hurt me, listen). And not only that, but you have to be accepted by a jury. The high cost would keep away kids and garbage--and it would change the site to one focused on quality. A Daily Deviation would actually mean something. People with talent would find an audience for their work. There could be a "junior" site, as well, but again, you must pay. Perhaps there could be a "pay to be on the front page" option. Why not? What a great way to get exposure, and there will be a lot of folks willing to pay for publicity and exposure. I've never sold a print on DA, though on another site, I pay $30 a year and I sell work. Not much, but still. Plus I get a website, which I direct my domain name to. I would never use my dA "site" professionally. The name alone (Deviant) would send buyers running.
The idea that favoriting will allow the best work to rise to the top is just that: an idea. A wrong idea. A bad idea. It doesn't work. My digital piece Myrddin has had over 1.3 million views, but most of my work has 50 views or less. So the process (at least in my case) doesn't work. And waiting for some staff member to notice you and give you a DD...professionals would rather pay for recognition. So I'm suggesting a PROFESSIONAL version of DA. And let's change the name to something not so ridiculous.
I'm assuming the cost of hosting more data than the NSA is causing dA to jack up their prices. And they wasted a bunch on an image overhaul that went nowhere. They've made a lot of bad decisions in the 7 years I've been here (Muro, anyone?), now that I think about it. The biggest decision of all was to not listen to the community. Don't nurture the Goose which layeth the Golden Eggs, just throttle it for all its worth and walk away. Perhaps a buyout would be the best thing. Trying to be all things to all people is not working.