I've been on deviant art for many years now, and have learned how to work the system, to get noticed. I belong to many groups, lead one and help on others.
If I see a piece I like I fav it. If I see a piece which is good, but not necessarily like, I will still fav it. Favs to me are a daily reminder of what others like and wish to encourage. I use it as a pat on the back.
But "watching someone" means much more. To me it signifies what is consistently above average, and worth looking forward to see more of that individual's work. It is a proven superior job, well done. If I keep coming back to an artist's work, or if it is so great, at first look, I will become a watcher for them.
DDs come and go, and it is still a grab shot to earn one, and it can be quite subjective and doesn't mean the work is extraordinary. If the right person, gets the attention of another right person, ultimately if it all goes well, it might become a DD. Even so it is still an honor to receive, but not near as great as being watched by a large number of faithful who seek out your work everyday, if possibly have the time.
To this end, I am very fortunate to have over 700 who regularly get to see what new pieces I am showing. Many of them, leave comments or send me notes bringing me even closer to their lives. I try to respond to each of them, when the numbers permit.
But about the count...
My theory is to be a dA success, it would be nice to have as many watchers as submissions. At the moment I have about 1291 submissions, and 738 watchers. The gap is closing every day. I figure I am about 1 DD away from tying up and then finally after 5 years of going ahead on the ratio, thus being a success.
Are you keeping count?