I stumbled upon RedBubble entirely by accident. Actually, I was doing a google search for “deviant art sucks” (seriously!) hoping to find some new cool sites and found a link to RedBubble through this t-shirt design
There are a few things they do here on the bubble that struck me as genius right off the bat:
1) Page views and favorite add statistics are private – I think this is a great idea and discourages a lot of the unhealthy competition and bragging that you find on a site like DeviantArt. It also let’s the image speak for itself and consequently the viewer can be totally unbiased and not swayed by how many other people like it etc. (not that any of you free thinkers reading this would ever fall into that category of course!)
I don’t think an an artist should ever gauge the worth of a creation by how many comments, page views, or fave adds are on it… Some of my least favorite images far outweigh my own personal faves in that category – but I do think it is a good barometer of what kind of work people respond to (especially when I compare it to my flickr or deviantart statistics) and an effective marketing tool in that regard..
2) I love how RedBubble combines the easy navigation of a site like Flickr with the do it yourself entrepeneurialship of cafe press…. The Popular/Featured/New search categories are also very helpful and are a great way to discover new images and artists.
3) This is definitely the friendliest net communitiy I have ever been involved with – so many people send messages and leave comments back and forth and all with a sincere enthusiasm and love for art . I hope the site always retains that feel. I think part of it can be attributed to the fact that RedBubble is so new ( and I’m guessing that membership is only in the hundreds right now) and that it hasn’t been besieged with thousands of budding artists all bent on self promotion, but not willing to interact with or support other artists… It kind of reminds me of that cool little band you like but at the same time you dread the day they sign to a major label and aren’t “yours” anymore…
My main quibble so far is this weird tag system they use here in the place of html and the lack of a comprehensive tag guide in the FAQ section… but I’m sure they’ll work that out eventually (I still haven’t figured out how you do space breaks and paragraph breaks in text – so if anyone knows that – please enlighten me!)
This place already feels like home to me and in one week, I have met some incredible people, seen some fantastic art, and have gotten a response to my images that far outweighs what I had on a lot of other sites that I had devoted a lot of time to maintaining… So thank you again – each and everyone of you – for making this such a great community to be a part of!