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Weasyl

Weasyl was founded in 2012 as a general art site, but swiftly became a furry-centric community with the unstated goal of unseating Fur Affinity from its dominant position. On paper, it has the features to make it happen, but it doesn't – yet – have the traffic. A favourite of social justice activists and those wary of downtime.

Comparison of furry website HTTPS configurations

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Security is necessary for one's own protection, both offline (to protect one's physical safety and possessions) and online (protecting identity, money and, as the our digital and real lives become more integrated, even physical possessions). Our own behaviours and security systems need to work together to be effective. It's no good having the latest burglar alarm, strong locks on your doors and a security gate if one leaves the door wide open. Similarly, it's great to lock the door each time one goes out - but if that door is secured solely by a latch, it won't be effective. As I've given some basic guidelines on how to stay safe online, I'm now comparing how furry sites are helping their users stay safe.

Update (Jan 28): All Weasyl servers now receive an A grade, however the server configuration is still not consistent.

Which furry art/story community improved the most over 2014?

Fur Affinity
18% (17 votes)
Inkbunny
24% (22 votes)
SoFurry
16% (15 votes)
VCL
4% (4 votes)
Weasyl
37% (34 votes)
Votes: 92

Furry websites face broad denial-of-service attacks

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (18 votes)

Fur Affinity connection timeout Online furry communities are reeling after a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks now entering their second day, which not only knocked out Fur Affinity, but have impacted a variety of less-well-visited art and chat sites.

Fur Affinity has been practically unavailable since the disruption started, at 10PM EDT on Tuesday. Its forums, which initially remained up, went offline Wednesday afternoon.

SoFurry was the next-worst hit, with almost complete downtime since their attack started, also late on Wednesday, while Inkbunny, Weasyl, e621 and F-list have all suffered attacks.

Reactions to the attacks have been mixed, with Weasyl upgrading servers, while Inkbunny advised users to "take the opportunity to spend time with the important people in your life".

Fur Affinity announces Project Phoenix; Weasyl traffic spikes

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

On January 15, Fur Affinity made its latest announcement of its intention to revamp their site. This new effort, code named Project Pheonix, is intended to bring massive updated to the site's interface to make it more user friendly, as well as incorporate a simplification of rules and decrease response time to trouble tickets.

However, the news caused a stir as it was stated that Adam Wan, known in the fandom as Zaush, would be leading the user interface development. Major controversy has shadowed Mr. Wan following the note leaks back in late 2010 revealed a private correspondence where an individual went to Dragoneer to discuss the possibility of going public with their experiences of sexual abuses committed against them by Mr. Wan. In that correspondence Dragoneer told the alleged victim they believed taking this action was not a good idea as making such public accusations would lead to public backlash against both the accused and the accuser. The victim took that advise and did not go public. Only after the security leak did the public get a hold of these accusations.

Fans fret as Fur Affinity nears fifth day of read-only mode

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (6 votes)

Nearly five days have passed since Fur Affinity entered read-only mode, and despite ongoing staff efforts, the interruption has led many users to mull alternatives.

The unheralded change, initiated in an attempt to resolve slowdowns during peak hours, caused consternation among artists, many of whom rely on the site for their income:

The problem is, this was unplanned downtime. […] If it was planned […] people would have had time to get things together. Such as commissioners, contests, bids, etc. and where to get in contact or if the bids/auctions are postponed while the site is down.

[…] at first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make any money for christmas, but now I'm starting to worry that FA will be down so long that I won't be able to make enough for rent. […] it's so very disheartening when it was supposed to be a nice holiday season...

Operations team lead yak began an attempt to clear backlogged database transactions on Monday afternoon "as fast as the RAID10 array of 15k drives allow". A day later, FA status forum poster Raptros reported that the database would be transferred to a different server.

Staff then reported "waiting on two new hard drives to come in" to replace failed hardware, which they did on Friday afternoon. Advertisers were given ten extra days in compensation.

Update (15 Dec): An announcement posted on Sunday morning:

The last of the data is importing, and we'll be standing by to finish the upgrades. ETA should be tonight.

Update 2 (16 Dec): Oversized notification tables were cited by FA coder net-cat as both the source of delays and a reason for the slowdowns:

[The current method of notification handling] is not scalable and quickly becomes unsustainable for sites with 10^5 and 10^6 users.

Staff have rewritten queries, tweaked database settings, and intend to prune notifications older than 90 days soon after the site returns.

Update 3 (17 Dec): Fur Affinity came online for a few minutes before stalling and returning to read-only mode, "unable to handle a flood of users while rebuilding the RAID arrays". The site returned eight hours later, with mass notification clearing options disabled.

Users flooded social networks to complain about the disruption and compare alternate sites; primarily Inkbunny, SoFurry and Weasyl. On FA's forums, a 20-page thread was locked after discussion degenerated; it was soon replaced, while fans clamoured for software upgrades.

How to switch art sites without losing customers

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

As someone who has been in a community of artists, I hear a common conundrum arise:

I really want to leave this art site, but it’s too popular and leaving would mean losing out on a valuable resource to gain/keep customers.

This article presents ways you can use your control over your own works to influence your customers to view them where you wish them to, while also maintaining a presence so that others may find you.

This is written as a neutral piece and the methods can be used on any free art posting site. To that end, we'll call the site you wish to vacate “BadVibeArt”, and the place you want to go “NewBeginningDoodles”. Both are general-use sites for stories and art alike, comparable to sites such as deviantART, Fur Affinity, Inkbunny, SoFurry or Weasyl.

Weasyl goes up, then down again over "obvious issues"

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Weasyl on an easelNew art site Weasyl has been taken down after just a day online, while developers "work on some obvious issues".

The site's support forum has been flooded with threads reporting a variety of issues and feature requests.

More seriously, some are already probing for vulnerabilities, though at least one has been reported responsibly.

Weasyl appears to be hand-coded, raising the spectre of security holes, although past experience may have been enough to encourage the use of basic precautions.

Update (8 Oct): Weasyl is back, with a laundry list of fixes.

Profile: Upcoming art site Weasyl seeks $5000 by July 31

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

Weasyl's site mascot, Wesley, drawn by Fay V.A new site is to open this year: Weasyl, for "artists of all kinds". But they need money to do so…and the countdown ends Tuesday.

If funding falls short, the group will still be paid, but must forfeit an additional 5% - up to $250 - as well as the regular fee of up to 7%.

Update (30 Jul): The goal is met; funding is still open until Aug 1.

Update 2: The total raised was $6015.

A variety of artists are offering services to donors, who can also receive paid site access, ad space, and merchandise.

Staff plan to use cloud hosting (Amazon S3 and EC2), rather than purchase their own servers. The site is being organized by a team of eighteen, headed by co-owners Benchilla and Kihari, and lead admin Taw Echo.

Three staff gave an hour-long presentation at Anthrocon 2012. Members also promoted the site at this year's FWA.

Weasyl links: Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook accounts — ScreenshotsForums