It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

PayPal Donation Form is Back: We could use a little love...

page: 5
59
<< 2  3  4    6  7  8 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 09:13 PM
link   
Man, this seems off to me. Didn't we just have a big convo on how ATS could cut costs? Why with the current traffic ATS has does it need revenue through donations?

I mean, the ads are already abrasive enough, content blocked or modified for those using ad blockers and the website has already been set to a Punky Bruster level by disallowing any topics that could possibly offend people that generate ad revenue.

Lets get real here for minute....... If you can't handle server cost from ad revenue then you need to cut hosted media. That would take care of all your problems in a nutshell and it's not hard for people to view external links.

If you wan't people to respect the site enough to donate then you need to cut the crap of removing and censoring topics that you think your advertisers will not support.

This website was great at one point and for a long time but it has gone off the rails and fallen from grace from many of the people that made it great since this site exists from solely user generated content. The administrations lack of being able to balance what the sites purpose was on conception, it's core user base as follows and then what they expect out of that same user base now is ridiculous.

Do some housekeeping, figure out why the site isn't making money, it's not the users fault because the site could still be growing except the most popular users have been banned and many people that wan't to broach important topics are also banned because it doesn't gel with your advertisers.

Next level bull# in my humble opinion. Sort out your own issues and make the everyday user a priority again and maybe people will make the site relevant again. Approach it any other way and your giving mouth to mouth to a corps.




posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 03:39 AM
link   
I would love to support this site if I was wealthy enough to do so



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 07:14 AM
link   
While far from perfect, for all its issues and the challenges arising from its growth and more mainstream status in recent years, it's still infinitely better than many other alternative sites in terms of moderation and - in particular - the resource that is its user created content and references. I love this site, and would rather an arguably more flawed form of it survive than see it suffer or - god forbid - fail.

Donation is voluntary. No one is holding a gun to anyone's head, and I don't get the sense that those who don't meet this donation level (I haven't met it, and I'm not at all fearful that this free - let me reiterate - free website is going to suddenly treat me more poorly than those who have) are somehow going to become second class ATS citizens overnight personally. If that should prove wrong in the future, obviously I oppose that, but... We don't have full insight necessarily into what exactly the realities of how this site is run are (nor are we entitled to know what they are re: finances etc.)

A lot of assumptions and feelings of self-entitlement flying around this topic imho. It's a completely free resource requesting completely voluntary donations and offering - when it doesn't really have to - the barest minimum incentive for doing so imo.

Everyone may feel free to disagree of course. Peace.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 07:28 AM
link   

originally posted by: zazzafrazz
Done! can we have mutter or chat back

Keep ATS alive and social!


I would love mutter or chat back! I'd empty my bank account lol



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 09:02 AM
link   
Honestly the sheer amount of ads that you are bombarded with on ATS is beyond belief, its not just limited to sidebar ads but ads in between posts. Look I don't want to see a gross pic of some nasty toenail or a picture of Obama with some click bait headline. Honestly its what has made me stop frequenting the site. User generated content being moderated and removed is ridiculous as well and goes against the Motto "Deny ignorance". ATS pretty much turned from a fun site to discuss conspiracy's and what not with others with similar interests to pretty much forum to discuss politics and is over run by liberal rhetoric. God forbid you have an opinion that someone disagrees with because it will probably get moderated due to the sheer amount of pressure on the Mods to keep this place a "Safe Space" that won't offend and affect the cash flow from sponsors. On top of that if you use a Ad blocker your chastised because your preventing the flow of cash to the site....How much can it really cost to host monthly?? How much money is being made on top of that?? I'm sure the profits are supposedly going to fund the Maintenance of the site but hell, I liked the older format from around 2006. The new format is a hot mess and there's more concern about having the right emoticon then to promote interesting discussions about topics that are of interest. Anyways I'm getting off topic, I agree with posters that are appalled by the request to donate more money towards ATS. There should be tons of funds in the coffers from the billions of Ads that have been run through this site for the last decade...Where'd all that money go?? how do we know that our donated dollars are going towards the cause and not someone's pocket....there needs to be some sort of transparent accountability. Are ATSs financial records open to the public?? What is the annual expenses to host the website?? What are the annual ad revenue?? Provide me a accurate representation of how finds are being allocated from the sites ad generated revenue and prove that there is a real lack before you come asking for handouts knowing that loyal web user traffic will jump to support their site. I see big red flags when you start rewarding $100 donators especially knowing that some of people on ATS suffer from mental disorders and some of those people do not have that kind of money to throw around. Honestly I'm kind of disgusted by it and Id warn other users to be wary before blindly throwing money at a donation link. I highly advise that all posters start requesting the same level of transparency that I'm looking for...once its provided and we that there is a serious issue I have no problem donating to keep a site. which I value, up and running.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 10:13 AM
link   
Well,,,
I guess its not surprising that so many here are seeing a conspiracy in a request for donations
It's kind of... natural?... instinctive?...

Of course there is a need for income. Someone has to pay for the hosting, domain, DOS attack mitigation, etc.
There might be software costs, depending what they are using.

Do those complaining above really think this site just appears magically for free?
This is not some free go-daddy 3-page web-site. A site like this requires some resources.
Do some here really believe the owners should just pay for it out of their own pocket?
And of course it is a business. Like any business, the owners put effort into keeping it running.

I have donated previously, will again, and would LOVE to see this as a regular alternative to (or reduction of) ads.
Please, seriously.

SO - have you considered making products available through www.cafepress.com... ?
I don't think there are any up-front costs there.
.

Are those here who are saying this site should be totally free also voting for Bernie?
(sorry, had to throw that in)

.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 10:19 AM
link   
a reply to: BlueAjah

I agree with you. The owners put a lot of time and energy into this site.

This is their living. There are employees to pay, server hosting fees.

I am sure many more fees we would never know about.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 12:03 PM
link   

originally posted by: BlueAjah
Of course there is a need for income. Someone has to pay for the hosting, domain, DOS attack mitigation, etc.
There might be software costs, depending what they are using..



ATS uses Open Source tools (linux, PHP, MySQL). Free of charge. You can check for yourself how much their coloc vendor asks for its services: see securedservers.com... - ball park figure: 500 bucks/month. That includes bandwidth, DDoS mitigation and 24 x 7 service.

So, to TECHNICALLY run ATS, that's all it takes: 500 bucks each month. And a lot of volunteers.

However, ATS also employes a number of people whom receive an income from it, and it is safe to say that the overwhelming amount of money ATS makes will be spend on these salaries / incomes. You're talking 100K or more p/a. Note that it is not surreal to have to pay that much: a PHP programmer can easily make 50-70K p/a, and a proper sysadmin roughly the same, so it's not that they are stinking thieves or what.

The elephant in the room is of course the question why a small group of people should earn money from this site that is largely built by volunteers - and even worse: why the same volunteers are asked to donate money to ATS. It's weird: if you do not have an account here, you can obtain all the information you want, free of charge and nobody cares if you use an adblocker or not. But as soon as you open an account here and hence can (and often will) contribute - you are suddenly asked to disable blockers and donate ..



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 01:57 PM
link   
a reply to: ForteanOrg

What I can't get my head around, is why anyone thinks it is any of their business to look into someone's financials? The cost to run this business has factors outside of your or mine understanding.

Put it this way if I want to go watch a movie, I don't first look into the financials, expect an answer on what the cost of production was, make ascertains why it isn't free and say "how dare the patrons have to pay to see it, without patrons there would be none to see the movie" and complain and cry about the film in general.

If providing someone with a service and I want to use it as a business model, that is my prerogative, if I want to ask for membership, donations, ad revenue, whatever its no ones place to interfere with any of it.

This isn't a socialist site, nor is it a charity. It is a web service like anywhere else, go tell eBay to make no money, or reddit or Youtube. Did ATS ever say we are here to be a free service for conspiracy theorists? EVER?

People, Get your head out of ATS being a free place to come and bitch. Never was that business model, and sure isn't now. Go whine at Reddit to be a cost centre not profit centre.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 02:43 PM
link   

originally posted by: zazzafrazz
a reply to: ForteanOrg

What I can't get my head around, is why anyone thinks it is any of their business to look into someone's financials? The cost to run this business has factors outside of your or mine understanding.


Because they ask for people's money. Simple as that. No one cares what they make as long as they don't come asking for a donation. A donation needs to be justified. and a donation is only justified when its a none profit.


This isn't a socialist site

The irony... indeed it isn't. This is a profit organization so it's shouldn't be relying on hand donations ( you know the socialist thing to do ), again.
If the business model doesn't work. Either move on or change the model.
They already have a stream of revenue, its called ads.

This site is basically dying because of the draconian moderation and the absurd limited freedom around certain topics. instead of going back to it roots ( which most people beg for ) you know more conspiracy and less politics, they choose to ignore and try to move on to the next venture.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 03:10 PM
link   
a reply to: zazzafrazz

Erm. Nope.



1) Service Changes and Discontinuation. Our services provide you with access to a diverse collection of online resources, including several types of communication tools, online forums, personalized content and branded features. Services are provided free of charge with no warranty as to quality or availability. TAN reserves the right to change or to discontinue temporarily or permanently the services at any time without notice. You agree that TAN will not be liable to you or any third party for any modification or discontinuance of the services.


Also, Fortean has a valid point. Access to the site could be way more limited for non-registered users, think something like RATS. Just saying.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 03:13 PM
link   
a reply to: PublicOpinion

When is a donation considered a fee?

You know no one is being told they have to donate. If you don't want to donate you don't have to. Period.
Don't like the site model, don't use it.

Why is this such a difficult premise to understand?
edit on 16-4-2016 by zazzafrazz because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 03:40 PM
link   
a reply to: zazzafrazz




What I can't get my head around, is why anyone thinks it is any of their business to look into someone's financials? The cost to run this business has factors outside of your or mine understanding.


Agreed up to this point zazz.




Put it this way if I want to go watch a movie, I don't first look into the financials, expect an answer on what the cost of production was, make ascertains why it isn't free and say "how dare the patrons have to pay to see it, without patrons there would be none to see the movie" and complain and cry about the film in general.


Yes but do you go to a watch a movie that all the patrons you are watching the movie with helped create in the first place? Because ATS does not create the entertainment on it's own. That's the difference. Using ATS as the metaphor It may provide the 'cinema' but it certainly isn't the scriptwriter, cast and crew that created the movie. No that came from the members who are ironically the audience and patrons.



If providing someone with a service and I want to use it as a business model, that is my prerogative, if I want to ask for membership, donations, ad revenue, whatever its no ones place to interfere with any of it.


That's fine. No one can demand to be provided with any of that information. But if you are casting out a begging bowl (for the second time in two years) to the people who actually help keep this place alive then some people will feel they need to know a few things before digging into their pockets. Is this 'donation drive' going to become a permanent thing?

I enjoy this site just like yourself and I would hate for it to fail. No one has to donate a penny. That is clear. But whilst ATS remains a 'business' and not a 'not for profit' site then I can see why some of the members are asking for a bit more transparency on here.

Say you donate $100 (as I am sure you have or will do) then what if the site folds at the end of the month? Or what if the owners are making $0.5m dollars a year from ATS and feeling the pinch because they can only pay themselves $100k. Wouldn't you feel cheated just a little bit by that?



edit on 16/4/16 by mirageman because: clarification



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 03:46 PM
link   
If you're going to have an exclusive forum for those who want to cough up a hundred bucks for access to it, then you may as well eradicate free access to any other part of the site and have the whole of ATS be accessible via paid membership only; it would be just as foolish an idea and just as bound to fail.

Selling privileged access to an exclusive forum on a site that is supposed to be a community of folks collectively discussing topics together will serve only to further deteriorate the quality of the site and the discussion therein, as well as create unnecessary animosity and division among its members.

What you're doing is the equivalent of fleshing out a piece of the site's soul for a buck -- all under the buffering umbrella of 'donations.' Wrap it in whatever package you like, but it still stinks.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 03:55 PM
link   

originally posted by: zazzafrazz
Put it this way if I want to go watch a movie, I don't first look into the financials, expect an answer on what the cost of production was, make ascertains why it isn't free and say "how dare the patrons have to pay to see it, without patrons there would be none to see the movie" and complain and cry about the film in general.



Your example is not particularly well chosen: in your scenario you are a passive customer: you sit and watch and judge. You did not participate in making the movie. If you did, you'd probably wanted a fee. And you WOULD disagree if they asked you to pay for your participation.

Unless of course - and there are business models that revolve around that principle - you are slightly narcissistic. In my region we have a nice glossy magazine, that is distributed to a lot of businesses for free - and it is filled with interviews with "important business people". If I decide I want to be seen as an "important business person" I simply give them a ring - they will come and interview me, publish the interview in the glossy magazine and send me a steep bill. If I want a photo, an even steeper bill. So, it CAN be done.

However, I was not under the impression that ATS revolved around narcissists - but perhaps, come to think of it, they do. In which case their business model makes sense, as narcissists WILL pay for the privilege of being mentioned.


If providing someone with a service and I want to use it as a business model, that is my prerogative, if I want to ask for membership, donations, ad revenue, whatever its no ones place to interfere with any of it.


That's a fairly surreal depiction of reality: any business will - at least pretend to - listen to its customers. After all, without customers, you don't have a business. This holds especially true for ATS, which is mostly build by and maintained by volunteers.


This isn't a socialist site, nor is it a charity.


Well, it somewhat IS a socialist site, and that may well be the reason that many ATS members disagree with the movement of late to pretend it is not. In a socialist state, the people ARE the state. And they contribute as well as they can to the general good whilst only taking what they need. I believe that that is exactly what the ATS population does too: we donate our time and knowledge so others can make use of it, and read, with great interest, what others have written.

If this were a capitalist site, you could only enter if you payed for it and the folks that wrote stuff would get payed for it.

(Unless you go for the capitalist narcissist model, in which case those that contribute here should PAY for each contribution, and others would be free to read it gratis).


It is a web service like anywhere else, go tell eBay to make no money, or reddit or Youtube. Did ATS ever say we are here to be a free service for conspiracy theorists? EVER?


I don't recall having said that making money is something undesirable. I despise the monetary system, but am unable to change it, so I have to live with it. Hence, I make money myself.

But when I have a BUSINESS relation with somebody, I will never ask him/her for a donation. I'll send a bill. Donations are asked for in the context of VOLUNTARY work. That's exactly what is confusing: ATS is a business, but does not play by the business rules. ATS pretends to be a group of friends, that work together to "deny ignorance". "We can do with some love here" was almost literally what SO wrote in the OP. Sure, friends help each other: hence we have voluntary moderators and truckloads of contributing members. Good. Yes, you can ask for a donation then, and they do, so it's clear to me: ATS is not a business, it is a charity. I might even donate.

But wait - on the other hand: they ARE a business, they are an LLC, which employs at least 3 people whom get payed. It it exactly that, that they aren't a real business, nor a real volunteer driven organisation, that confuses matters.


People, Get your head out of ATS being a free place to come and bitch. Never was that business model, and sure isn't now. Go whine at Reddit to be a cost centre not profit centre.


I do not visit Reddit, sorry. I do visit ATS and because I like the site and fully realise it can't exist without members, I became a member. I try to contribute in a constructive way here. I will not nor ever have asked a penny for it. I also don't mind if YOU want to send money to the owners, it's up to you.

But I DO resent the idea that we, the contributing members, should pay for the privilege of becoming part of some "inner circle". An idiot with money - Lord knows there are far too many - will get a say in how this site will be run, and the poor guy that has limited funds, but is a creative genius is casted out. I find that despicable.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 04:33 PM
link   
What happens if I donate the money and 6 months down the Line ATS rum out of cash again and introduce a subscription is that more money I have to spend



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 06:11 PM
link   

originally posted by: ForteanOrg
But I DO resent the idea that we, the contributing members, should pay for the privilege of becoming part of some "inner circle"


The opening post said; "a private forum dedicated to brainstorming on new ideas, technology, strategies, content, etc. for keeping ATS strong and moving forward."

That is the only purpose of the forum. The presume anything else is wrong.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 06:24 PM
link   
a reply to: SkepticOverlord


"a private forum dedicated to brainstorming on new ideas, technology, strategies, content, etc. for keeping ATS strong and moving forward."


Great site and you have every right and SHOULD make as much profit as you like and can.

However its a little strange to pay $100 to be a consultant or an advisor? Typically you get paid for consulting services not the other way around.

Maybe that is the confusion?

Doesnt help that there is a rumor that there are a few conspiracy theorist on this site


edit on 32430America/ChicagoSat, 16 Apr 2016 18:32:03 -0500000000p3042 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:06 AM
link   

originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
The opening post said; "a private forum dedicated to brainstorming on new ideas, technology, strategies, content, etc. for keeping ATS strong and moving forward."

That is the only purpose of the forum. The presume anything else is wrong.


Then, methinks, I'm right.

For what you describe there, to me, is an inner circle. They will advise you on how to keep ATS strong and how to move it forward.

Nothing wrong with a forum like that. But given It's an influentual position, you should be hesitant to have people pay money to obtain that position. We can look at all this from various points of view, e.g. political, economical or social, and it does not make sense anyway.

From a political point of view it's absurd: in politics we call it "corruption" if people pay to obtain an influential positon. Also it's a blasphemy to a capitalist, to suggest that valuable goods are not merely given away - no, that one has to PAY to give away valuable goods! Also, it's a blasphemy to a socialist, as the rich will be able to influence the process, whilst the poor are left out in the cold.

Businesses aren't political entities, of course. So, let's see, is it sound practice for a business? From a business perspective, the people in that forum might be seen as "The Board (of directors)". And usually, board members are being payed huge fees, they do not have to pay for the privilege. Granted, that comes with a price: they can be held responsible for their decisions. You probably don't want them to be. Okay, if they aren't held responsible, their fees are far less, they are then "merely" consultants (as member 'congress' suggested). But, though consultants come in many sizes and flavours, a ball park figure would be that they still would cost you at least 100 euro (110 US$) per hour. Some are far more expensive, e.g. legal and medical counsil. So, though it would be quite profitable, it is uncommon to be payed to be given advice.

But perhaps you're not running a 'real' business, after all, there are plenty of social connections, many people work for free here, so, is it social to ask for money to achieve a position in that forum? Well, if you simply asked for donations (as you did before), no strings attached, the rich might donate and hence help the poor. Okay with me. But you are now offering payed for seats in an influential forum, and those that do not have the money can't get in. Not very social.

So, from whatever political, social or business perspective one looks at it, your idea is not very sound.

Of course, if the members OWNED ATS, that would be an entirey different thing. You could perhaps consider transforming the LLC into an association, with a board of members that are choosen by the other members based on their capacities, whom would decide how to run the site. We are all fully aware of the need to have some full-time employed people to maintain the software, administer the servers etc, so I guess that the association would do its best to either solve that with volunteers or hire somebody - it might even be you, given you do a decent job

That's of course not what you'd want, methinks. You want the benefits of an association (a steady income, generated by paying members and income from ads etc.) without the hassle of having to explain to members what you do and why you do it.

I don't think you can have it both.

And BTW: if the forum is NOT an influential forum, why would I pay 100 bucks to join it?
edit on 17-4-2016 by ForteanOrg because: he misspelled and whilst correcting also added some bits.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 08:51 AM
link   
a reply to: ForteanOrg




And BTW: if the forum is NOT an influential forum, why would I pay 100 bucks to join it?


Then don't. Thanks for stopping by with all those words though....
You don't need to pay, and you don't need to tell me not to.

Problem solved.




edit on 17-4-2016 by zazzafrazz because: (no reason given)




top topics



 
59
<< 2  3  4    6  7  8 >>

log in

join