I joined Gaia in 2005. I did my first roleplay on this site. I ran a comic for a few years, which was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I've been running art shops off and on since I registered. I recently got into Club Verge with GC I made from video offers. I don't post too often, but I am dedicated to this site.
I loved the way Gaia treated its community. That is the number one reason I loved the site so much for so long. I loved that our announcements were funny, I loved that the moderators were so personal, I loved that the staff communicated so openly and kindly with the users.
I still like most of the staff, but the warmth is gone. I don't feel welcome. I don't want to quit. Please, seriously re-evaluate what you're doing to this community. Look in the GCD. Just skim the thread titles. Is that encouraging? Is that what you want it to look like? This is what TinierMe and MissBimbo looked like before they died. I don't believe Gaia is going to tank anytime soon, but your leadership is steering it in that general direction.
The best thing about Gaia was that it always listened and responded to its users.
You are corrupting the soul of the site. You can make the precious money you want to without alienating everyone. Stop. Stop seeing your users as just customers walking into a mall. Gaia is not a mall.
We aren't here just for stuff, no matter how wonderful a job the artists do.
We're here for each other. We're here to support the idea of a welcoming, friendly online community run by people who care about what they're doing because they honestly love making their users happy. I want to give all of the artists, devs, and mods a giant hug for their hard work and dedication, especially those who are still doing so even in this climate of negativity.
Please don't make their effort meaningless.
Please realize that your management skills just don't fit with the kind of company that Gaia is. I'm sure you got great grades and I'm sure you're very talented--but this is not a normal company. Gaia's not-normalness is exactly what makes it such a great place. Or, is what made it a great place. I'm not sure anymore.