Searching For Commissions – Your Ideas


Art by Firequill

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

We had quite a few responses about the previous post where we asked what would help when searching for commissions. Many suggested various filters that could be used – price ranges, key words, content rating, and media types were some of the major ideas brought up. In some form or another, we are planning to include all of those.

A few suggestions that came through are definitely needed, but the way they are implemented can be a little trickier. I wanted to discuss some ideas that we have to fit these suggestions – if you have any other suggestions for how to implement them, feel free to tell us on Twitter!

Highlight what artists love

In many cases, artists’ best work comes out when they’re working on something they love. It could be different species, action poses, paws – there’s a wide variety of interests out there!

In order to get capture that, we’re looking at having three fields: what a creator won’t do, what a creator will do, and the creator’s specialties.

  • Won’t do. Some creators have a limit for the type of content they’d wish to create. If they put a search item in the “won’t do” category, that creator would not appear in the search for that item.
  • Will do. There are two ways to go about this. Either we can have creators list what they will do, or we could simply exclude the “won’t do” creators from this list. Both have some benefits and setbacks, and we’ll listen to feedback as we start working on this.
  • Specialty. A creator who lists items as specialties will appear higher in the search list; in addition, a badge will appear over that creator, showing that it is their specialty. In order to create a fairer market, we’re planning to limit the number of specialties for each seller, potentially unlocking more slots as they receive good reviews or have more successful commissions.

We’re hoping this system allows creators to focus on what they love while also being rewarded for being awesome – the better you do, the more options you have to make yourself visible.

Showcase art

The great majority of commissions in the fandom work with a visual element – we have a flood of art, fursuits, and crafts. Just like window shopping, it’s helpful to be able to see examples quickly.

Right now, the commission section merely shows creators’ icons. This isn’t extremely helpful – many of them aren’t representative of their work.

We’re planning to change the commission section so that art is the primary feature. If an artist is selling different types of commissions (sketches, digital art, etc.), they can select multiple images to show on that page; a simple click will switch from one type to another. We want users to be able to see these examples without navigating to a new page.

However, creators usually have a wealth of past projects uploaded in a gallery. We will be creating a portfolio system for each art type – if you want to sell sketches, it will be a matter of a couple clicks to add an image to your sketch portfolio. These will automatically appear on your commission page, as well.

We are still in the process of adding and refining features for the commission tool. If you do have any other ideas that you feel would help you find a creator you’d like, please let us know!

As always, thank you for all your support.


Searching For Commissions

Search CommunityOne big development focus that we have over the next couple of months is for commissions. The basic commission tool is mostly finished – it’s relatively easy to start a commission, track its progress and wrap up payments.

However, finding the right seller can be difficult. At this point, we only have an option to search by character – you have to know who is selling before taking a look. Once the site has more sellers, it’ll be difficult to browse and find someone you like.

We’re planning to implement more search options for commissions – media types, artists’ specialties, and price ranges, for example. We want to hear your opinion. What fields would you find helpful when searching for a new artist? Be sure to hit up our support forums or let us know what you think on Twitter!

Thank you again for all your excitement!


Creating Your Community


The furry fandom is unique. Other fandoms revolve around movies, stories, or TV shows; they focus on something was created specifically for an audience. To some degree, our fandom does the same – simply put, most of us talk about Rocket Raccoon on a weekly basis. However, the great majority of the fandom focuses on its members. You are the stars.

A few problems pop up because of that uniqueness, though. For other fandoms, executives come together to create marketing strategies, backing communities with a wealth of content. On our end, though, the great majority of creators start on their own; some begin simply with a pencil drawing in a notebook.

While the furry fandom itself is a giant community, individuals can sometimes feel like they’ll never make their own mark. For me, I originally joined Furtopia; they were extremely welcoming, but as a writer, I didn’t know how I could get my work noticed. Eventually, I found my place and even put out a few publications, but it took a good amount of work to get there.

The best way to get to that point is to work on creating your own community. If you are able to get a group that loves the content you create, you’ll have a much larger drive to finish projects. This may sound intimidating, but odds are, you already have the foundations of a community around you – friends you talk with, creators you follow, and others who follow you. The furry fandom likely brings you together, but your own creativity has a chance to solidify these relationships.

Before joining FN, I was active in the speedrunning community. The only problem is that I had an odd niche – bad video games. There were just a handful of speedrunners who focused on bad video games, and most others didn’t care for them. However, we started to come together. We realized the humor that can come from low-quality media, and we focused on entertainment. Because of that, Games Done Quick started having an awful games block. A tournament began focusing on bad games, and a marathon dedicated to these games will be happening later this year. The community is still growing, but it has no signs of stopping.

I’ve seen the same thing happen with smaller groups in the furry fandom. One of my friends began with very little drawing experience, but because of persistence and love for transformation, he has helped form this smaller community. Jokes and memes spread across the internet to bring others together. Simply put, if there’s something in the fandom that you love, there are others that love it, as well.

Things to Help Build a Community

Sometimes these smaller communities form naturally, but there are several things you can do to help foster these relationships.

Be visible. When you are actively posting online, others will take notice. If you’re a creator, it’s easy to go without posting or talking to others until you have a new finished piece; others online want to see that, yes, but they also want to know more about you. Sharing bits of your life, talking to people, or even posting works in progress can go a long way to bringing people into your community.

Share what others share. You likely have furries around you who are creating, sharing, or commenting about things that matter to you. Taking the time to share will show your appreciation, and it will help your followers see what you love. It’s likely that people who engage with your content want to be involved in some way, whether it’s more casual or more formal.

Create a hub. In order to last for a long time, communities need to revolve around something; without something central to the group, others will often drift away after time. This hub can be as simple as a weekly meetup, an art stream, a Telegram group, or a Discord server. The community could revolve around an event, a competition, or a critique group. No matter what form it takes, if someone asks how to get involved, have a way they can take the step from being a follower to being a member.

Be genuine. Others will see through you if they realize all you’re doing is working to get followers. If complimenting an artist, describe the reasons you like that art. If starting a conversation, reply to others and dig deeper into the topic.

FN’s Role in Building Communities

Furry Network works to help others find like-minded individuals while eliminating the feeling of isolation. Right now, selections from galleries can be shared and commented on, and furries on the site can interact with comments on submissions. In addition, we have a Discord server that’s grown in activity, and we’ve had the chance to start forming some friendships.

However, I realize that there are ways to improve that sense of community as well as encourage others to form their own sub-communities. Some of them are in the works now while others will likely come over the next several months. Here are some of them:

  • Sharing posts to social media. We discussed this last week on Twitter, and it seems like a solid idea. Links can currently be shared with others, but copying and pasting feels like work – it just takes too long for most people to do. Adding a quick share button would increase the amount that content is shared with others.
  • Making promotions more visible. Right now, promoted images are not highly visible on the activity feed. We’re planning to consolidate multiple promotions of single submissions and enlarge the images; this will allow users to quickly see promoted images from people they follow. In addition, we plan on having a section for users’ profiles to show promoted images – if you’re promoting it, we want to make sure it can be seen.
  • Improving the activity feed. Right now, the Activity History tab on Furry Network will show you what people have posted, commented on, and promoted. However, it’s not easy to always see what’s happening there. We want to make this closer to a timeline that you’d see on Twitter or Tumblr – allow you to see submissions, share them, and make a comment all from the same page.
  • Adding announcements. When you have something happening, the easiest way to get that across is through a journal. However, a full journal often isn’t needed. Announcements will allow you to share an event that expires after a certain amount of time; this way, if you have an event or a sale happening, users can quickly know and participate.
  • Adding comments for profiles. Right now, sending a compliment either happens on a submission or in a private message; allowing people to drop a quick comment on a profile would help build some of those relationships essential in a community. We understand that some users would prefer not to have that, though, so we’d likely make this optional.

We have several other ideas that we’re working through, as well, but we’d also like to see what you have to say! What do you think we could change on Furry Network to help you build your community? Shoot us a message on Twitter with your thoughts.

As always, thank you all for your support. We hope to help everyone build the community that they love!


Brushing Off the Keyboard

Hello, everyone!

As we’ve been working with developers for the upcoming site changes, we’ve let the blog slip to the back burner. Over the next few months, we’re bringing things to a full boil. During this time, we’re planning to have several posts throughout the weeks about a variety of topics, either focusing on future development or things that will help site users:

Possible Site Improvements

While we have some ideas for possible site improvements, there are a few problems that don’t have a cut-and-dry fix. We’ll post about current suggestions, throw out new ideas, and ask for readers’ opinions about the right direction for the site.

Tips and Guides for Users

While we have some things we’re working on to help your work get noticed, there are quite a few things you can do to help get an audience. Throughout posts, we’ll give some information to help you become successful with your work. We’ll also ask for you to chime in if you have any additional tips. As we move along, we’ll compile these posts to give you a solid help database, both specific to the site as well as for success in the wider fandom.

Site Updates

While we have the groundwork for a great website, we have a lot of work during the beta period. Luckily, our development team is digging into the next update, and we’re hoping to have it ready by September.

This upcoming update will focus on honing the commission tool and setting up the groundwork for finding sellers with content you want – for example, it’s a bit hard to find writers in the mix of artists right now. We will be adding an option to receive an email when there’s an update to a commission.

Other updates through the following months will include:

  • Better tools for sharing and discovering artists.
  • Displaying promoted images on users’ profiles.
  • Additional search functions for commissions.
  • Integration with other select furry sites.
  • A WYSIWYG text editor.
  • More bug fixes!

Our goal with the updates is to be able to open the commission tool to public testing; we’re also hoping to have all of the major site features completed at that time. From there, we will work on refining individual features and squashing any remaining bugs.

Thank you again for all your support! We hope these upcoming changes and posts will help make the commission process more enjoyable and easier for everyone in the fandom.




In Response to the CloudFlare News, Please Change Your Passwords

Hello, everyone.

Last night, CloudFlare announced that they had an extremely small percentage of requests that could result in leaked information from previous requests being included by mistake. Furry Network uses CloudFlare to help protect against distributed denial of service attacks.

CloudFlare has since resolved the issue that was leaking information, and they have contacted staff to let us know that no Furry Network users were affected according to their knowledge. However, as a precautionary measure, we have logged all users out of the website. We also request that you change your password.

Because issues like this may affect a large number of sites, we recommend reviewing your password sharing habits. You should also consider using a password manager and a unique password for each site.

CloudFlare’s announcement can be found here.

A list of potentially affected sites can be found here.

We thank you for your patience with this matter.

-Digby and the Furry Network team

Furry Network Update – February 16, 2017

Hello, everyone!

We’ve been working with our developers to roll out our next update, and it has now gone live! This update involves reindexing submissions, and this process will likely continue through most of Friday. Parts of users’ galleries may not be visible during this process, so if it looks like you have a few submissions missing, don’t worry – those will show up soon.

Here are the updates for the site.

Activity History Feed

home-page-toolbarThe Activity History feed is a record of the activity for all the people you follow on Furry Network. Previously, the Activity History feed was text only – there was no way to view submissions or promotions without clicking on the item in the feed.

The feed has been changed to have a visual element. Now, published artwork appears large on the feed, and any promotions or comments have a smaller icon on the feed item. This way, you can get a quick glance at the submission and see if this is an artist that may interest you.

As a quick note, favorites still do not appear in the Activity History – these remain private to you. If there is something stellar that you want your followers to see, though, hit promote!

Activity History Feed.PNG

Sorting By Most Popular

For several months, sorting by popular has been frozen on past submissions; the “Most Popular Last Week” and “Most Popular Last Month” sections were identical, and there wasn’t any movement in the submissions over time.

We corrected this issue, and the sorts now work correctly. The popular feeds now react in real time to the activity on the site, updating as submissions are viewed, receive comments, and are favorited or promoted. We want our users to find some of the most outstanding content on the site, and this will make discovering fantastic creations much easier.

Sort By.gif

Full Change Log

  • Added outlines to blank area when scrolling down.
  • Changed users’ activity to show content when promoting, commenting, or publishing.
  • Fixed issue with not being able to remove the first tag from the Global Blacklist
  • Popular feed fixed so it updates regularly.
  • Changed What’s New feed to truncate automatically, avoiding site slowing when a large feed is cleared.
  • Corrected issue with imported items appearing in a random order.
  • Extended login tokens from a week to a month.

Known Issues

  • Not all gallery items are appearing in users’ gallery – should be resolved as gallery submissions are reindexed through February 17th.
  • What’s New feed is not showing recent submissions, and some past submissions are appearing multiple times.

What’s Next?

These site changes have come in preparation for commission testing. Originally, we had planned to begin testing at the end of January or the beginning of February, but we wanted to make sure the rest of the website was functioning well. We are still aiming to begin testing before February is over.

We are also working on a text editor for the site. At the moment, the tools to format stories and journals on Furry Network are nonexistent. Our developers have put together tools that will allow easier formatting, and this is expected to be implemented in the next site update.

We appreciate your enthusiasm, and we hope these changes will help you find and share content that you absolutely love!

-Digby and the Furry Network team

Policy Changes and Updates – February 2017

Hello, everyone!

As we are moving closer to testing the Furry Network Commission Tool, we have worked to clarify policies and add documentation about how information gathered on the site is used.

Acceptable Upload Policy

We have added guidelines in our Acceptable Upload Policy for game and program screenshots. These will be considered artwork and should include content that has been created by the user. Made a detailed red panda model on Second Life? Show it off! Modded a Khajiit to have Nigel Thornberry’s nose? A little odd, but sure, upload it!

Screenshots of things that were already in programs or games won’t be permitted. Yes, we know that black chocobo in Final Fantasy XV is adorable, but screenshots wouldn’t be allowed since they would not contain user-created content.

Privacy Policy

Furry Network has also put together our Privacy Policy. This policy shows the ways that information is gathered by the site and how that information may be used. Most of the information gathered goes towards improving the site and analyzing its current tools. We value our members’ privacy, and information will only be used as detailed in this policy.

If for some reason information does need to be used in another way, the policy will be revised, and we will post an update outlining that change.

What’s Next

The development team is currently working on an update for Furry Network. We will roll out several bug fixes, but the biggest change will be with sorting by popularity. Currently, sorting by popularity always shows the same images; this will be fixed to show submissions with the most activity. You will be able to sort by weekly, monthly, or lifetime popularity. We want your outstanding art to be seen by the community, and this will help veterans and newcomers alike to get their work out in the open.

Shortly after we have rolled out the site update, we will begin testing the commission tool. For now, sellers are being hand-picked to test, but any Furry Network users will be able to purchase commissions. We still have a few slots open for sellers, so if you are interested in helping test the commission tool, feel free to fill out our volunteer application.

We appreciate the talent and the warm-hearted nature of this community!

-Digby and the Furry Network team

Volunteers Needed for Commission Testing

Hello, everyone!

When Furry Network was created, we wanted to help people throughout the fandom come together to bring worlds and characters to life. We’ve seen the wealth of imagination submitted through various media to the site’s gallery, and your creativity continues to amaze us.

One sore spot that has remained for many, though, is the commission process. We have seen cases where people on both sites of a commission have fallen through on commitments; at times, these are eventually resolved, but some disputes drag on for months or years. Many worry about the risks that have come with commissions.

We believe that bringing an idea to life should be a fun and exhilarating experience for buyers and sellers alike. Because of that, we have created Furry Network’s commission tool, and we are now accepting volunteers to help test the commission process.

How Is This More Reliable?

Traditionally, buyers and sellers commissioning art have discussed payment terms. People paying upfront have sometimes never received the final commission, and content creators accepting payment at the end of the commission risk not being paid at all.

Throughout the commission process, Furry Network will act as a third party, ensuring that payments are made, cancelled commissions have refunds processed, and disputes are resolved. Having a third party gives several benefits during the commission process:

  • If a commission needs to be cancelled for warranted reasons, refunds are guaranteed to be available for the buyer
  • Sellers are guaranteed that funds are available for payment once the commission is complete
  • Any payment issues can be resolved if either party becomes responsive
  • An unbiased staff member is available to assist with any disputes and ensure that matters are resolved according to commission rules

The commission tool also comes with space to upload reference sheets, a summary showing the scope of work, and statuses to easily sort through the progress on current commissions. In addition, a page showing accounts open for commission provides more visibility for both experienced and new content creators.

We will provide more information about the tool as well as the full rule list in the coming weeks.

Signing Up as a Volunteer

We are looking for 20 content creators to help test the commission tool for the website. Tests will begin either at the end of January or the beginning of February. Because this is a new tool, we expect for some problems to appear on occasion; we will have a staff member available to help whenever any issues arise.

If you are interested, please fill out our volunteer application. Note that you do not need to fill this out if you wish to purchase a commission through this system; any Furry Network users may purchase commissions during the testing process.

We are thrilled to begin testing this tool, and we hope all involved with commissions can find more excitement in the process of creation.

-Digby and the Furry Network team

New Staff, Changes, & What’s to Come

Hello, everyone!

This small update is coming from someone you haven’t heard from before. My name is Digby, and I will be working as the site community manager for Furry Network as we work towards the full release of the website!

A Taste of What’s to Come

Furry Network development has been on hold over the past few months, but now that we have the manpower (or foxpower, I suppose), we are expecting updates to roll out over the next couple of months. We have revised the Code of Conduct and the Acceptable Upload Policy in order to add clarity to the rules; this revision will outline content appropriate for the three content ratings and clarify the purpose for the rules in place. We are also preparing the commission tool for live user testing.

We know you’re excited for our commissions system, and we are, too! In the near future, we will ask for volunteers to help test commissions. Be sure to keep your eyes on our Twitter account for the chance to get involved in our testing and the project’s ongoing development!

We’ve had some great ideas and received lots of suggestions for how we can improve the community involvement aspects of the site for both artists and followers. As we near the full release of the site, we will begin to hold our first artistic competitions! Some contests will focus on artistic prompts while others will throw in added challenges. If you’re not an artist, don’t worry – we’ll have opportunities for all types of content creators (and even if you’ve never made anything before)! We hope to give recognition to your individual way of expressing creativity. If you can make it, we want to celebrate it.

About Digby

Hi, I’m a fox, and I’m new here!

I first discovered the furry fandom around 2002, and have been active on and off in it for 10 years. Of course, for the sake of uniqueness, I chose a fox fursona. I’ve written several small fictional pieces within the fandom, and I tried my hand at publishing a series of short story publications. Outside of the fandom, I perform improv comedy, and I volunteer for gaming charity events. My favorite movie is Troll 2, and I make the best lasagna in the world.

We all look forward to making this the most exciting site for the fandom!

-Digby and the Furry Network team

Site Update – August 11th

Hello everyone –

We’ve just launched a little update to Furry Network, improving the Popular feature on the siteas well as fixing a number of bugs. This is one of our ‘wrap-up’ updates adding final polish to the site, before we change gears and start working on policies, promotions, tutorials and commissions.

New Popular Feed Sorting

The popular feed now has three options: most popular of all time, most popular last month, and most popular last week. This was added to fix the popular algorithm and keep the popular feed from feeling stale. This is now present in both the main galleries and the character profile galleries.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.12.55 PM.png

We also fixed a bug which was causing some submissions to not appear in the Popular feed when they should. All newly-uploaded content from now on should show up correctly in the Popular feed.

Profile Bug Fixed

Quite a few users informed us of a strange bug that has been causing people’s profiles to display the wrong contents; this usually came about when you’d view someone’s profile from the following/followers section. This has now been fixed.

We also fixed a ton of other little bugs site-wide; if you’ve been having an issue with something on the site, give it another shot – there’s a good chance it’s working now!

Full Changelog

  • New popular feed sorting. The popular feed now has three options: most popular of all time, most popular last month, and most popular last week. This was added to fix the popular algorithm and keep the popular feed from feeling stale. This is now present in both the main galleries and the character profile galleries.
  • Fixed bug with some submissions not appearing in the popular feeds when they should
  • Fixed bug that would cause another user’s profile information to initially display when clicking a character in the following/followers list
  • Various other fixes and polish

Now Hiring: Community Manager

We’ve set up a shiny new Jobs page, and are looking for an outstanding Community Manager to help take Furry Network to the next level. Do you want a full-time, paid job supporting the Furry community and helping it grow and develop? This might be just the thing for you. See our Jobs Page for more information and to apply.

Next Steps

Our Development Team is going to be taking a break to focus on other projects for a bit, while we get the documentation, tutorials and policies side of things brought up to date. As mentioned in our last update, we have quite a few new things ready to go out on the non-technical side of things – and we want to make sure Furry Network is a well-rounded experience.

We’ll also be starting the ball rolling on testingo our on-site Commissions features, and refining them for a gradual production rollout (similar to how we did our initial early Beta, where you had to request a key).

Thanks everyone!

-Varka and the Furry Network team