Hey all! Long time since I've posted, but I saw this here and I thought it was a good time to talk about my own feelings.
The first reason I started getting mild on Shirt.Woot was (drum roll please), the Anvil blanks. I gave them a fair shot and bought quite a few. But, I find that I will rummage through my shirts to find my older AA models rather than wear my newer Anvils. The Anvils just...I'm sorry they fit so poorly on me. My older, faded, cracked-print American Apparels are still more appealing to wear. As an artist, I am reluctant to give them art to print if I know the resulting product is going to look bad on me. :\
Second, when the blanks changed, the community was affected badly. So many people I liked and interacted with weekly just up and left. That was a big morale hit, as the community was a huge part of why I enjoyed it here. I'm not sure if people have returned full tilt or not, as I've still been a bit absent. But during that time, it felt so empty that I just stopped thinking about the site for a good while.
Next, the pop culture has been a huge turn off of the derby for me. Every time I do pop in, I see the same things. Good designs fall by the way in favor of the same jokes about the same properties. I liked it so much more when pop cult was a rarity. We tended to get better pop cult designs, because people had this built up hunger for them. The rest of the time, we had really interesting or cute original ideas. Now though, people seem to be defaulting to the same ol'. Makes the derby a lot less fun to pop in and look at, let alone compete in. I like pop cult, I own it, I make it. But the derby was one of the places I wanted it to stay mostly out of.
Lastly, I agree that the community has lost a lot of it's thunder. Whether it's because certain members left, or rules aren't being enforced evenly, everything feels a bit 'off'. Part of what I enjoyed was the tightness (or at least the familiarity) of the people here. When a lot of key members started leaving or not participating, it took some air of out the derby, at least for me.
But, I'm afraid the #1 for me is still the blanks. I cannot, for the life of me, get those Anvils to look decent. I still wear my Woots from my first months here way back, but I try to not wear ones I got recently.
In short, here's what I'd like in order to feel more excitement about Shirt.Woot again.
1) Bringing back quality blanks. I dont want my art on shirts that I don't want to wear myself.
2) Put the derby rules and algorithms back to how they were at the height of the derby's popularity!!! Quit messing with the hotness, make it so it shows the gain in votes like it used to. People get excited to see a shirt rocket upwards, etc. Bring back sort by recent so new designs get seen.
3) Encouraging more creativity, less same-y same art. We have enough Totoro, Cookie Monster, and ninja turtles. I hate to pull an Adder, but it makes the derby feel like a contest of who can out-lazy one another for the same joke.
4) Build the desire for artists and members to return. Sometimes pay and goodies aren't what people want. They want the experience, the interaction, and the quality they loved back
I do miss it here a lot and Im so glad to see a lot of y'all still here. If Shirt.Woot ever does any of this, I'd be thrilled to come rollin in with my cute mouse art huurrhurrr. Stay strong! Maybe something will happen!