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

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posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: mirageman
a reply to: zazzafrazz

Well you can of course tailor your answers to avoid revealing that information. Or you can avoid answering all together. Which will it be?

Do you ask people for money to prop up your business with cash donations?

Do you want to be a moderator?

Are SO and Springer your mates?

Yes and No answers will suffice.


That reads a lot like an interrogation of a suspect criminal.

You should read the individual their rights first.





posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:04 PM
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I fail to see how this personal squabbling is anything remotely close to the topic. Let's knock it off.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:25 PM
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a reply to: intrepid

You're right. Apologies to all especially zazz. I was being a total arse there.

I guess that we are all really concerned about this site & its future. Thats the important thing.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: argentus




No ATS member is being "charged". The way I see it, this thread is a request


Yes its a request hence in my post I said nobody is being forced. However, if you want to participate in that particular thread than you are expected to pay to get access or at least that is how I read it.




You don't really believe that do you? ATS is member-driven content. Always has been.


Are you saying that money doesn't influence.,if so please tell that to lobbyist.

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

I start giving you 50K you just might start to listen to me a little louder in that thread. Perhaps I rather not hear any Clinton bashing so maybe a little heavier moderation when it comes to Hillary? I'm not saying that something like that will happen or even likely to happen but certainly money can influence, especially in thread where its about giving advice on the direction of the site and its content.

My understanding is that its already happening to some extent on ATS. If I'm not mistaken certain topics are off limits because it negatively effects the advertisers.




I don't really see any "attacks",
What is the problem?
I really don't see the value in any drama


Funny because that is what I said :



1. SO has every right to do as he wishes and not discuss his business model and requests donations or charge to access the site.

2. ATS members have every right to ask questions or express their concerns.

I see no one being forced to either answer the questions or forced to pay?

So what is the problem?


The only thing I objected too was other members attacking each other for expressing their concern.

However, I find it odd to donate/pay in order to participate in a thread where I can give advice but to eachs own.

edit on 02430America/ChicagoSun, 17 Apr 2016 19:02:48 -0500000000p3042 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:03 PM
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a reply to: interupt42

I don't see where you and I are in disagreement.

This:

I start giving you 50K you just might start to listen to me a little louder in that thread. Perhaps I rather not hear any Clinton bashing so maybe a little heavier moderation when it comes to Hillary? I'm not saying that something like that will happen or even likely to happen but certainly money can influence, especially in thread where its about giving advice on the direction of the site.


I don't see where this relates to ATS. Surely, in the real world, money influences. ?? I am speaking to you now as a member. As a moderator, I won't hear you any louder no matter how much you donate. I won't hear you any louder or any less if you don't donate at all. I am not a lobbyist. I don't sell my views. That's part of why I'm here.

Listen, I don't mind if people go on the muscle. Hell, it's entertaining to all of us. I guarantee you right now there are members watching because they think you and me are going toe-to-toe. Truth is, there is no conflict. You want to probe around the edges and I don't care.
No harm to it.

This thread is about SO asking members if they want to donate. No pressure. I thought I could help clarify things. I donated. I was not required to. I did so because I could, and because I love this place. I think it is a unique space on the interwebs to discuss and explore ideas that are outside of the mainstream "news" items. SO doesn't owe any of us anything. Just that simple.



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 03:44 AM
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originally posted by: zazzafrazz
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Hows about you may likely be one of customers...Does that irk you ?


Why would helping someone make a living irk me? However, if you start asking for donations, I'd like to have the privilege to say "no", unless you explain to me how it is that your business does not make you sufficient money to lead a decent life.


And I don't need to tell you my business models. Members certainly are not working for ATS, you certainly aren't. If you think it's work, why bother coming here?


This one sentence says a lot about your attitude: "I don't need to tell you my business models" - no, you don't. But by keeping them disclosed and by putting up the image of a well functioning company, you make the impression that all is well. As soon as you start begging for donations then, people will start asking weird questions like "but, hey, what are you DOING there? Your site should make you heaps of money, what happened?" etc. And if you then respond by "I won't tell you, and you don't HAVE to give me money" - well, guess what..

"Members certainly are not working for ATS" - you underappreciate the importance of the collective work done by members (including mods), which represents REAL monetary value. "If you think it's work" - yes, I do - "why bother coming here?" - because I don't dislke work, actually, so I don't avoid it. But I DO need to feel that it is worth my while and that it is appreciated. I do a lot of voluntary work - in some cases, I even have to pay to be allowed to, e.g. pay my own expenses etc. But in such situations, NOBODY earns a dime from that work, it's all done as a joint effort by volunteers, and to serve the general public.

Perhaps that would be a good model for ATS: turn the LLC into an association, with member that have the final say (vote) on how the site is run, but whom in return have to pay a (modest) amount of money to help cover expenses. Members would have full access to all financial data, so they can see for themselves how well "we" are doing. Given there are 290.000 members here, and say 10 percent of them became paying ATS members and they all payed a tenner each year - managable by even the poor - you'd have 290.000 dollars each year to cover expenses. I think that would do.. you would not even NEED ads. But say members voted to allow them, well, that would easily bring another $100.000,- .. show me the necessary expenses that aren't covered by that!

ATS either is a business - and it does not need no frigging donations then - or it is a charity / non-profit organisation, in which case it is perfectly allright to beg for donations. You really can't have it both.



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 04:06 AM
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a reply to: ForteanOrg

3000 active members times $100 ....that makes a total of $300 000.....am i wrong here ?, if anyone would like to correct me i am all ears ...
Anyhow....that's a chunk of change to host a website....if i am way off here and someone can show me where i am wrong that would be great, because i was under the impression websites do not cost that kind of money to run especially considering ad revenue is not a factor in these sums ....



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 07:07 PM
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This sort of thing comes up whenever any donation based model or aspect thereof is introduced. It comes up in crowdfunded video games, too. "I demand to know X if I'm to donate!" "How do I know X won't happen after I've donated?"

It's donation. Donation is charity. We are not entitled to know the results of said donation (we're entitled to feel we should be, of course,) nor guaranteed a positive outcome. When you give a few dollars to a homeless person pan handling, they might really need it, or they might be lying through their teeth.

All charity is an act of faith and trust, and a gamble. You don't do it because you expect a return on your investment, because it's not investment - it's charity. If it were investment, then there would be (and would have to be) reasonable expectation of at least a good faith maximal effort toward a positive outcome, and a guarantee of a return should said outcome be achieved. This is not that.

The owner of a privately run business of which we are not customers but voluntary users who have agreed to arbitrary terms over which we exercise no control, are being invited to voluntarily donate money (or not) in exchange for a defined privilege. Nothing is being purchased. The closest analogy would be a subscription (something I think most want to avoid becoming necessary to keep ATS afloat I would imagine,) and even there, most subscription services have a "service may be altered or terminated at any time without notice" clause or something similar.

That's all.

We're entitled to debate, discuss, disagree with, and lament any decision or course or action taken. We aren't entitled to the information being asked for by some though. Nor are we entitled to any guarantee that a certain path will be followed for this site going forward versus other alternatives. We are here voluntarily, as members of what - in its most ideal state at least, though this is sadly rarely attained imho - a positive and respectful community full of information and content from which many, many people benefit daily. We are responsible for the content. But the platform hosting it is not ours, never was, and never will be. Nor the personal lives - which includes the site's finances - of those who do own and operate it.

While it's great they take our opinions into account, this isn't and never will be a democratic, user controlled website where our whims (even the $100 donators' whims) dictate the future of the site.

If I'm wrong and ten or fewer years from now there's a paid user council making decisions about the future of the entire site against the wishes of a majority of users who aren't paying a fee, and it should come to light that SO & co are making massive bank and they never needed this help to keep the site afloat... then I'll be upset. I see absolutely zero evidence of that happening.

Peace.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 04:01 AM
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originally posted by: AceWombat04
It's donation. Donation is charity.


Agreed. So, according to you, ATS is a charity then?

If so, what is the purpose of the charity, may one ask? What are its (beneficial) goals? And also: is an LLC with payed staff the best way to work towards those goals? Can a LLC be a charity at all?

Let's see: if an organization is to qualify as a charity (and hence for tax exempt status), given it's an association its articles of association "must specify that no part of its assets shall benefit any of persons who are members, directors, officers or agents (its principals). As well the organization must have a legal, charitable purpose, i.e. the organization must be created to support educational, religious, or charitable activities. These elements do not mean that the organization cannot pay employees or contractors for work or services they render to the organization. This limitation means that as long as the organization operates within its exempt purposes and it maintains an endowment or uses any excess revenue to further develop its activities it will not be taxed by the Internal Revenue Service." (source)

So, since everything here benefits the principals (and according to American Law, we ARE principals), I don't think ATS would ever qualify as a charity. And so your "donations" are actually voluntary payments for services rendered here. A bit silly, if you ask me: paying money to a healthy business, whom should make plenty of money.

If you set up a special forum for people that pay money - then "donate please" is just a sneaky way of saying "pay the bill". In which case ATS should simply announce a new payed for forum to which one can subscribe for a one time fee of 100$. That's what a business would do.


The owner of a privately run business of which we are not customers but voluntary users who have agreed to arbitrary terms over which we exercise no control, are being invited to voluntarily donate money (or not) in exchange for a defined privilege. Nothing is being purchased.


I bet a judge would see this differently. The T&C aren't even important here: judges have dealt with ridiculous T&C's before and tend to ignore them if they collide with the Law and/or common sense (at least in my part of the world). So, a judge would probably rule that ATS may SAY they do not have customers, but since they offer services that are only accessible for paying users makes these users customers (as an LLC is not a charity).


The closest analogy would be a subscription (something I think most want to avoid becoming necessary to keep ATS afloat I would imagine,) and even there, most subscription services have a "service may be altered or terminated at any time without notice" clause or something similar.


You can write clauses that say that I must agree that the sun rises in the north, but it will rise in the east anyway and a judge will consider this. If you give me access to a service BECAUSE I pay money, that's a payed for service and I am billed. Paying a bill is not a donation.


We're entitled to debate, discuss, disagree with, and lament any decision or course or action taken. We aren't entitled to the information being asked for by some though.


Of course not, and I can't recall saying so. But if you go begging, you either are in such a deplorable state that all can see you really need the gift, or you have some explaining to do. ATS is a healthy company that makes hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, so why do they need "donations"? Oh, wait, you don't make hundreds of thousands each year? Really? Just 10K? What's that car you driving there - hey, a brand new BMW? Mm....


While it's great they take our opinions into account, this isn't and never will be a democratic, user controlled website where our whims (even the $100 donators' whims) dictate the future of the site.


Nope, it's a business. So, even suggesting that the whims of $100 donators are more important than the whims of non-paying contributors is absurd. But .. that IS what SO did: a forum to help ATS steer into a succesful future etc. - I can hardly interpret that any other way: those folks whims will be heard louder than say mine (I will not pay to advise business staffs thank you).

Now, if a business is having temporary problems, there are banks that will loan them money. A healthy business will recover and can pay back the money.

So, I think it's quite simple: ATS either is a healthy business, in which case they don't need the money - or they aren't, in which case a new business model should be invented, or even the entire business should be restructured. Making it a charity would be one way to go, loaning some money another (and they even might crowdsurf here, why not). But pretending to be a healthy business on one side and then ask for "love" (where you clearly mean: money) on the other is just absurd.

Be a business and charge us, or be a charity and beg.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:27 AM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Indeed. Other models might also be considered, e.g. our friends over at the Farsight Institute have an interesting split-up between a non-profit and a for-profit company:

farsight.org...

(I'm not dis- nor encouraging the activities of the FSI, this is meant merely to be an example).



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: ForteanOrg

originally posted by: AceWombat04
It's donation. Donation is charity.


Agreed. So, according to you, ATS is a charity then?


No. That's not what I'm saying. ATS is not a charity, ATS is a privately owned service under the auspices of a privately owned business.

I'm saying donating to ATS is charity, i.e. a charitable act. In support of a service we are voluntarily partaking in. Just as, say, a Kickstarter campaign is essentially charity in support of a creative endeavor that it is understood will also, ideally, end up being profitable for the creator in question. When you donate to a Kickstarter, you are not guaranteed that the project will even see the light of day. Just as when donating to a pan handler, you have no guarantee they aren't going to take that money and buy booze. It is an act of trust, and a risk, to be sure. At your sole discretion. And we are not entitled to any guarantees or insights beyond that point.

That is all I'm saying.



I think it's quite simple: ATS either is a healthy business, in which case they don't need the money - or they aren't


Or, in 2016, thanks to the internet and the emergence of crowdfunding, it's possible for a business entity to be both occasionally, and for users to, at their sole voluntary discretion, kick some monetary support to a website, service, or product they choose to support.

Just my opinion, feel free to disagree. People have differing beliefs with respect to how a business should be run. At the end of the day though, that's not our decision.

Peace.
edit on 4/19/2016 by AceWombat04 because: Typo

edit on 4/19/2016 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)

edit on 4/19/2016 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 02:18 PM
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originally posted by: AceWombat04
I'm saying donating to ATS is charity, i.e. a charitable act.


I may be overly rigid - but in my world there are charities and there are businesses - there is no overlap. I know, a lot of people think nothing of it, but to me these two systems are firmly opposed. One centers around service to self, the other around service to others (pardon my New Age, but at least these terms are self-explanatory). And a very old trick of those that mainly serve themselves is to PRETEND they serve others.

SO might be a poor sap , struggling to pay the bills - I'm sorry for him then. But he just as well might be a multi-millionaire. I don't know. I don't have to know if the SO does not want to share it. But as soon as he starts asking for donations because "february has been a particularly harsh month" - I'd like to know HOW harsh. The numbers, please, and some proof, because, frankly, anybody can say he's poor and ask for money, then drive away in his new car to buy his fourth wive a diamond ring (if you're into such materialistic nonsense).


a Kickstarter campaign is essentially charity in support of a creative endeavor that it is understood will also, ideally, end up being profitable for the creator in question.


This was not a kickstarter campaign - it was begging for free money - but with the promise attached that those that voluntarily donated money would get an extra service. It's neither business nor charity, it's a strange, unhealthy cross-breed in my opinion.


Or, in 2016, thanks to the internet and the emergence of crowdfunding, it's possible for a business entity to be both occasionally, and for users to, at their sole voluntary discretion, kick some monetary support to a website, service, or product they choose to support.


The ONLY reason the closed forum that SO suggested he might set up would be of any interest to anybody is that there are thousands of volunteers here whom - free of charge - donate: their time and intellectual capacity. So, over the backs of these members, a payed for forum is created, only accessible to the rich. You may think 100 bucks is nothing, but there are many members here that struggle to keep afloat and to them 100 bucks is A LOT.

Anyway, let's wait and see how this develops, then decide what to do. I can't do much more than simply refuse to contribute here anymore, of course. Or simply start OpenATS - a charity in support of the absurd :-P



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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originally posted by: ForteanOrg

originally posted by: AceWombat04
I'm saying donating to ATS is charity, i.e. a charitable act.


I may be overly rigid - but in my world there are charities and there are businesses - there is no overlap.


This is where we - respectfully - disagree. I don't see a business asking for a voluntary contribution as becoming a charity or overlapping with the status of charity. For me, it's no different than, say, a store owner falling on hard times because a hurricane damaged their property and their insurance didn't fully cover it, and then starting a GoFundMe page to ask for help. It's just the way things work nowadays and I for one think it's a great option.



SO might be a poor sap , struggling to pay the bills - I'm sorry for him then. But he just as well might be a multi-millionaire. I don't know.


Nor are we guaranteed to ever know. That's how voluntary contributions work. They're voluntary risks. Sight unseen. Back to the pan handler analogy, you never know if the guy you give ten dollars to on the street corner really needs it or not. You act on good faith and hope for the best. Or you don't, because you choose not to trust him. There's no right or wrong here, just your own judgment call imho.



This was not a kickstarter campaign - it was begging for free money - but with the promise attached that those that voluntarily donated money would get an extra service. It's neither business nor charity, it's a strange, unhealthy cross-breed in my opinion.


Kickstarters almost always have outside investors, their own capital, as well as being business entities. They then likewise "beg for free money," with zero guarantee of the product being backed ever coming to fruition. And there is no implicit or guaranteed recourse or refund when a project fails to materialize. That's why to me they are analogous. And I've backed plenty of projects on Kickstarter, and I've donated what little I could for the moment to ATS. Voluntarily and happily. Even if ATS closes tomorrow, and, say, Shenmue 3 never gets delivered to me, I won't regret it. I knew going in what the risk was. Just like when I gave $10 to the homeless guy downtown. Maybe he'll buy himself a meal or a hotel room. Maybe he'll go buy some drugs. I'm aware of the risks and willingly take them. That's how voluntary donation works imho.

This ultimately comes down to a difference in philosophy. Yours is, by your own words, a rigid business ideology wherein voluntary contribution and business are separate entities and never the twain shall meet. I don't see it that way personally. As I said, agree to disagree. There is no right or wrong, just our own personal judgment calls.

With no enmity or disrespect intended, I have no intention of, nor indeed any expectation of fruitful results from, debating it or trying to change your mind about it. Such is not my intent. And arguing on the internet triggers my hives. (Wish I was kidding lol) :p

Peace.

edit on 4/19/2016 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 04:30 PM
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originally posted by: AceWombat04
This ultimately comes down to a difference in philosophy. Yours is, by your own words, a rigid business ideology wherein voluntary contribution and business are separate entities and never the twain shall meet. I don't see it that way personally. As I said, agree to disagree. There is no right or wrong, just our own personal judgment calls.


Well, at least you did me the honour of a pleasant exchange of opinions - alas, something that has become a rarity on these premises

Indeed, let's agree to disagree, there is honour it that too



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: ForteanOrg

Likewise. If every disagreement online proceeded in this manner, I wouldn't be anxious about them. Thank-you - sincerely - for that.

Peace.



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord
Was anything ever done with this? A new forum a new something???



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 08:55 PM
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a reply to: Martin75

I'm giving it a little more time before we open the forum, some donations are still trickling in.



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 08:58 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord
Thanks for the update!!



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 06:58 AM
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originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
a reply to: Martin75

I'm giving it a little more time before we open the forum, some donations are still trickling in.


Ok, a little more time has passed...let's see that new Forum!

My Benefactor privilege has been checked for a while and can no longer be held back.

Open the Gates Chief...



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 11:11 AM
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a reply to: BestinShow

I'm waiting until after the David Icke AMA this coming Tuesday.

Stay tuned.



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