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Transparency On The Future of ATS

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posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:48 PM
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It's time to face the harsh reality. This website is quickly approaching a difficult situation. Here are the facts:

For independent sites like ATS, advertising revenue has been dropping across the entire Internet for the past five years. Combined with the recent significant drop in advertising due to the economic fallout of the pandemic, and it's horrible.

The number of visitors blocking what meager revenue is available on ATS continues to climb. We're well above the broader Internet average at more than two-thirds of all visitors blocking ads and other analytics tags.

The blocking of the analytics tags artificially deflates our actual traffic and visitor statistics. Making it impossible to attract a higher-quality ad supplier. Compound that with the reality that the current political climate has made many of our freely-expressed topics "toxic," and it's double horrible. (For example, Google AdSense is not an option for us.)

There are only two options:
1) Find a suitable buyer with the resources to invest in growth.
2) Slowly fade away until revenue can't support hosting.

We don't say this lightly — especially me, who has devoted 12+ years to this endeavor.

I can imagine the long list of ideas our members will suggest. I appreciate your passion and enthusiasm. It's why I did this. However, they would all require time and resources that we don't have.

The best hope for this project's longevity in free expression is for someone with resources to pick up the torch and carry it where we currently cannot. A new torchbearer would be critically important in these times where "free expression" is under attack.


Some contextual history:

We've entertained acquisition deals from a few suitable entities over the past several months. The most recent company was a near-perfect fit. But they are also suddenly facing an uncertain financial future due to the gutting of the online advertising markets.

We cannot find a business broker specializing in websites that are willing to represent a 100% ad revenue model to their buyers (for now).

Marketplaces and auctions such as Flippa are problematic. First, for success, an upfront investment that we don't have is required. Second, confirming the intent and principles of a potential buyer is near-impossible.


What Comes Next

Soon, we will make some type of "this website for sale" indication. From there, we'll see what interest we get. Please trust me in that we will have high standards for any new owner.

The website will continue to run. In the event we begin seriously fading away, there will be a fair warning.

With a heavy heart, thank you for your participation. It's my sincere hope that a new "torchbearer" will come forward, and you all will continue your efforts unabated.
edit on 17-6-2020 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

This is truly sad....been a member for many years.


edit on 17-6-2020 by RickinVa because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:51 PM
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posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:53 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Well gosh.

Ummm.

Wow.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:55 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Sad to hear. ATS has been my goto Website for 10+ yrs.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:56 PM
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Sad to read this I have invested a lot of time in this site and back in the day it was turly amazing and saw me through some tough times. That said I am not surprised by this development.

Question though: do the owners have any kind of time frame on how long we have?

Thanks for the update bill



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:00 PM
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originally posted by: OtherSideOfTheCoin
Question though: do the owners have any kind of time frame on how long we have?

Potentially months. However, I don't see us lasting the year under the current circumstances.

More and more ad networks are deciding not to run ads on sites with comments. Our entire site is comments.
!
edit on 17-6-2020 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Change your business model to a paid membership with boards that are only available for paid members.

Keep the ones now available free with ad revenue and for God's sake, change your site so that you can't view with an ad blocker.

That isn't hard to do.

That being said,I would pay $10 a month for the subscription all day long.

That's the same as Netflix for me... which I use like 5 times a year.

I'd probably pay double that for keeping ATS going.

Just a thought.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:03 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord
I am amazed that ATS has not been shut down for comments some of the cancel culture find offensive.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:04 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Appreciate the transparency then.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:04 PM
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originally posted by: SkepticOverlord

originally posted by: OtherSideOfTheCoin
Question though: do the owners have any kind of time frame on how long we have?

Potentially months. However, I don't see us lasting the year.

More and more ad networks are deciding not to run ads on sites with comments. Our entire site is comments.
!


Such as what happened with Google and The Federalist etc, they had to disable their comments sections to remain more of less relevant in the engine results?

2020 just keeps getting worse and worse.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Worries about the fate of Section 230?

Section §230(c)(2) provides immunity from civil liabilities for information service providers that remove or restrict content from their services they deem "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected", as long as they act "in good faith" in this action.

en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 6/17/2020 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:09 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:10 PM
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originally posted by: Lumenari
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Change your business model to a paid membership with boards that are only available for paid members.

Keep the ones now available free with ad revenue and for God's sake, change your site so that you can't view with an ad blocker.

That isn't hard to do.

That being said,I would pay $10 a month for the subscription all day long.

That's the same as Netflix for me... which I use like 5 times a year.

I'd probably pay double that for keeping ATS going.

Just a thought.



This and open it up to cryptocurrency. For starters, Basic Attention Token, which is designed for this type of capital generation.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:10 PM
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Hey SO....I actually wrote up a very long post about this topic as a response to a previous post you had several months ago. Unfortunately, my computer crashed (conveniently) and I lost the entire post. I never got around to reposting it all. However, given your current news, it is best to open the discussion....

As a cybersecurity expert, there are all kinds of problems with ads which is why most cyber and IT personnel will tell people to block them. I'm sure you are aware of "drive by malware," not to mention tracking and other intelligence skimming that can occur through ads. Remember that this is a conspiracy site so people are pretty much paranoid by nature.


That brings me to options. You need revenue to support operations. There's no question about that... There are also many long-time people on this site. Most of these people pay $15/month for Netflix or Spotify or whatever because they find value in those services. Have you considered creating a service or access through this site that people will find enough value to pay for? Hell, if you brought back the chat feature, I'd pay $10/month just for that... Maybe do a virtual meetings, seminars, etc... There are a lot of authors and others who would love to provide presentations in a formalized format to your crowd. I'm just saying there are a few options here... Create a committee of dedicated and business focused people who can create the business development potential to float the site. I'm in, if you want it. I'd hate to see you sell and walk away....

Just my $.02.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:11 PM
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originally posted by: Lumenari
Change your business model to a paid membership with boards that are only available for paid members.

First, that would require infrastructure and new code investment we cannot afford.
Second, the paid subscription model remains unproven, and would require hundreds of monthly subscribers to sustain an active business that could support operations.



change your site so that you can't view with an ad blocker.

The ad blocking software has always been good at evolving to detect such efforts. We tried that... the result...
1) members FREAKED out
2) it was an arms race we lost



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:14 PM
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originally posted by: CIAGypsy
As a cybersecurity expert, there are all kinds of problems with ads which is why most cyber and IT personnel will tell people to block them.

Reputable ad networks, such as the one we use, regularly scan for such ads, and never allows "self-serve" ad campaign by advertisers. 99.9% of the types of malware you refer to come from ad networks that allow anyone with a credit card or bitcoin to run ads.



There are also many long-time people on this site. Most of these people pay $15/month for Netflix or Spotify or whatever because they find value in those services. Have you considered creating a service or access through this site that people will find enough value to pay for?

See above.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

inam wi6th luminari on this one it would be money well spent



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

I thought of ATS and how it may be effected after reading about Googles demonetization threats against the Federalist and some others ( mainly conservative sites). Sad to hear this Skeptic 😭




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