Appreciate this : A move to creative meritocracy

In 2010 Behance launched a new social feature called ‘circles’ (Dev, 20122) which enabled communication on projects through joining or forming an inner circle of like minded people, these communities allowed members to post work and provide feedback privately in the group. However site coordinators started getting criticism by users about:

• Members frequently messaging their entire Inner Circle, creating what most users consider to be “spam.”
• The purpose of the Inner Circle was confusing, especially for new members.
• Some users were using their Inner Circle to assemble conversations rather than creating a “Group.”

Taking this feedback Behance altered their system, cutting down the number of people in the ‘circle’ and adding a ‘follow’ feature so members can stay in touch with their favourite artists while the ‘appreciate this’ button acts similar to a like on Facebook or YouTube.

appreciate it

At the 2012 Wired conference, Scott Belesky shed some light on the shortcomings he had about the ‘appreciate this’ button, noticing that the most liked YouTube videos or Behance portfolios weren’t necessarily the best quality and that there may have to be a distinction between responses from the critical mass (how many people ‘appreciate’ something) and credible mass (considering who like it- professional critique) audiences’ in order to facilitate what he calls ‘creative meritocracy’. Through the integration of community features into the creative process, Behance has facilitated the cultural shift towards a ‘participatory culture’ (Jenkins, 2006 p.17) where users seek the power to create, collaborate and connect with strong and vibrant communities.

Just recently Behance launched the ability to inbox and message on the site, creating an instantaious and more personal way that members can communicate, the update features the ability to thread messages, while the new notification tab integrated the social networking aspect of the site which is something that Belesky received many requests to create and just emphasises the dialogical nature of the site and the communication between the site and its users.

Messaging on Behance

Wk 5 -2

WK 5


Burke, P. S 2009, ‘Design-focused networks offer inspiration and connections’, Computers & Applied Sciences Complete, Aug2009, Vol. 26, Issue 8, pp.2-3

Wadhwani, D 2012, Adobe & Behance: Empowering Creatives, Adobe Featured Blogs: Behance, 20 December, accessed 17 March 2014,

Jenkins, H. (2006). “Worship at the altar of convergence”: A new paradigm for understanding media change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide ,pp 1-24,. New York: New York University Press.

Dev, S 2014, accessed 1/04/2014,

Dev, S 2012, accessed 1/04/2014,
Note *Images found at Dev 2012 and 2014 sites


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