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Well I clicked to log in, and the login page was https, but after that, I don't see the lock anymore. Is that supposed to happen?

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Several things. I like to think of art, not as a trip where there is a specific destination but a journey. One that doesn't end. And part of that is that your art style and skill level will change over time. It might get better, it might get worse, or you might just have more styles under your belt. You're never going to be your "best" because you can always do better, and seeing how your art has changed is one of the most interesting things about art.

The other reason I do it is to express an idea. I draw some things sometimes because it has meaning to me, and I like to share it. (It's unfortunately also the reason I don't keep a lot of scraps or random things.)

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I'm also on Tumblr under SchwarzerAlptraum (beware; I have a bunch of horror NSFW stuff there as well). I guess that is what I like about Tumblr over DA. You get some freedom in the content of your postings, but I'm not really fond of the layout. It's got too much ads, and there are some people I like to watch because they have good art, but then they proceed to bombard their Tumblr blogs with other irrelevant stuff I'm not interested in, and I don't have that much time to trawl through everyone's posts on my dashboard. I guess it's a bit hard to cater ads on Tumblr that is actually relevant because Tumblr doesn't exactly have a theme or a target audience in mind. It's a lot easier to do stuff like sponsor or host ads for artists on an art gallery and it won't seem irrelevant, annoying or dangerous.

Because of its format though, I tend to treat Tumblr like a free for all blog where you put all your scraps. I don't usually post scraps on my other art galleries. I reserve Tumblr for that.

It might not actually be such a bad idea to have a Paperdemon account on Tumblr. You can post updates and other dev related things, or just stuff in general. I know other art platforms that do it. It's also a good way to get connected because people know about Tumblr. Of course, that also does take some effort as you still have to follow the right people on Tumblr and get some people to follow you as well.

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So, something like "Welcome to the art chat room. Feel free to use this chat room to discuss all art things related to critique, software tools, tutorials, resources and so on."

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That's a good start. If we get to the point where people demand a separate chat room for XYZ, then people can request it I guess. Wonder if we should have a process for that?

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Well I was thinking more of having some sort of listing where people can see various channels for the chat room because that chat box in the forums + chat link doesn't obviously look like it has multiple channels. It doesn't just have to be for critique, it could also just be for help or support requests, tutorials for specific painting software, certain fandoms, etc.

But then if it was that detailed, it might deserve a link and page of its own. Not sure if people would be up for using the chat like this. What do other people think?

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Well there appears to be this chatbox that is a part of the forums, but it doesn't have "channels" like a proper chat does. So it's difficult to use it for anything specific. Not sure what other people think about that, but if you want a place for critique, I find that format works better. Not sure if it works better than having a forums board dedicated to that like they do on HF. The only difference being HF is strictly moderated for quality control, so it makes sense to have some way of offering critique.

Generally, I think of Paperdemon as a general gallery like DA, only with fewer people on it and the possibility to upload NSFW stuff. I'm not sure if it's so general like DA that abstract artwork is allowed, because it looks to me like Paperdemon caters to fantasy anime/cartoon work, and maybe some form of realism. Or perhaps that's what the people who have chosen to post here think about it. I guess that's what makes it special. Other than that, it could use a bit more activity, but not so much it becomes another DA.

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Well ja, a more focused chat could be a good idea. Not sure how much effort it requires to make more chat options to allow that, but I find on DA that chats like Artgerm are much more useful for critique than any number of critique groups there. I tend to find one of the problems with critique groups is that people just post there because that's what the group is for, but there are far fewer people that show up there just to offer constructive critique. If there are one or two people doing the critique because the group belongs to them, they don't have time to go over everything that gets submitted there. This kind of imbalance makes it difficult for critique exchange type groups to do well. I find in a chat setting, people just naturally gravitate there and help if they can just for being there.

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Well, I was also considering some sort of quality control myself, but that really just opens another can of worms. Now there are various ways of going about that. You can just have basic rules like on Y!Gallery, where it's just don't scan your work badly, don't take selfies with bad lighting, etc. Or you have something like Hentai Foundry that screens every work for every little thing or Newgrounds, where the QC is a community effort. There are various advantages and disadvantages for all of them, but I'm not entirely sure if they're successful at getting more people to come--or they may just attract a specific target audience. That depends on if you are trying to get a specific audience to come. But if you just want anyone and everyone, that might not be a good idea at this point. But if the problem is too many artists and not enough viewers who will take the time to comment, it might not matter that much. Besides, it can be more appealing to viewers if you can guarantee that there is some form of quality in your gallery.

Personally, I think it's okay if you want a general site that fits everyone. I think if you have a site like that though, you should also make it easy for people to find what they're looking for. Perhaps encouraging people to start groups would help there.

If you want more viewers rather than people who just come to upload, perhaps try some features or events that support commissions. Sometimes, people browse on galleries because they want to commission people.

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Well I don't think DA in particular is ban happy, but I do know of other sites that are like that. Y-Gallery is known for banning people. Not sure if they're still like that now, but a lot of people complain that they're very picky about submission content and referencing your work. It's a pity though because it's one of the only few places that focus on yaoi.