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Transparency On The Future of ATS

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posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:17 PM
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originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
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.


I have a solution..."Deny ignorance now". Don't allow intolerance and hate...I could elaborate, but you know what I mean. Done, you will make lots of money and fame by inclusion. Why didn't you think of that at the onset?




posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:20 PM
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25k a month seemed a little off to me to as well, but whatever.

At this point if ATS is in the red, or if they are fine, and are just struggling to stay in the positive and they can't find a buyer then they should just shut it down.

Then, maybe someone can come round and modernize everything. Like someone said before an ATS2.0 or something.

To be quite frank I don't know how I feel about new ownership. The site could be bought, wiped cleaned, and then be under heavy handed censuring just because the owners don't like anything that goes against their narrative.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: Nyiah

It's a platform where you can set up server rooms and connected channels, along with tags and priv settings. Think of it as a beefed up voice and text chat. You can also integrate other software (like Spotify). I use it for school and other community related stuff. It's also very tailored to gaming.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:22 PM
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originally posted by: AutomateThis1
25k a month seemed a little off to me to as well, but whatever.

At this point if ATS is in the red, or if they are fine, and are just struggling to stay in the positive and they can't find a buyer then they should just shut it down.

Then, maybe someone can come round and modernize everything. Like someone said before an ATS2.0 or something.

To be quite frank I don't know how I feel about new ownership. The site could be bought, wiped cleaned, and then be under heavy handed censuring just because the owners don't like anything that goes against their narrative.


It would be a crying shame to shut down ATS because there are so many great minds here that are able to keep the down up.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:22 PM
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a reply to: zvezdar

Let's get the numbers first.

Completely disagree with your suggestion to remove the politics. That's what conspiracies are today. UFO's are cool, but you've got to roll with the times. Otherwise you become a dinosaur.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:24 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

I have to say, this is troubling. ATS has been an addiction for years. I'd hate to think how the world would even function if not for the input we here at "nerve central" offer. Together we have solved so many mysteries. Or not.

If there is an option to fund this privately, and still allow Bill to be Sceptic Overlord, I'm open to hearing what choices might exist.

I hope for some way to keep this dysfunctional family together.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:25 PM
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originally posted by: zvezdar
You could think about this a little differently. Rather than the revenue side, look at the expense side.

Seems to me that the cost blow out is due to bandwidth requirements rather than storage; storage is fairly cheap these days, bandwidth for a high volume of users is expensive.

Bandwidth seems to be driven by the numerous political discussion threads, which are way off topic from the ATS that many of us joined many years ago. So cut the politics out; allow political-related conspiracy as the site used to but the discussion needs to be targeted and issue focused. Basically, return ATS to the former ATS. Chances are this buys some of the time needed to secure a longer term future for the site, but it should also reduce the time requirements for ownership and mods.

Seems to me that ATS got caught up in the idea of continual growth, without realising that unending growth is unsustainable. This is a conspiracy site, not a political site. Less is more.


I actually like this. Keep the politics, get rid of the mudpit.
Place more emphasis on the strange and unknown. Hit up A&E for their History Channel connections, or hit up Discovery Inc.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:26 PM
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originally posted by: network dude
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

I have to say, this is troubling. ATS has been an addiction for years. I'd hate to think how the world would even function if not for the input we here at "nerve central" offer. Together we have solved so many mysteries. Or not.

If there is an option to fund this privately, and still allow Bill to be Sceptic Overlord, I'm open to hearing what choices might exist.

I hope for some way to keep this dysfunctional family together.


Hey, what about contacting those celebrities that thought 'at one time' it was great to voice their opinion here?



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:26 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: zvezdar

Let's get the numbers first.

Completely disagree with your suggestion to remove the politics. That's what conspiracies are today. UFO's are cool, but you've got to roll with the times. Otherwise you become a dinosaur.



Yeah I really don't get it. 9/11 conspiracies contain a lot of politics, but nobody was whining then because it was about a Republican. Now that a lot of the conspiracies are about Democrats, suddenly it's "Waaaaaaaaaaa! Politics are ruining everything!!!"



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:27 PM
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originally posted by: AutomateThis1

originally posted by: zvezdar
You could think about this a little differently. Rather than the revenue side, look at the expense side.

Seems to me that the cost blow out is due to bandwidth requirements rather than storage; storage is fairly cheap these days, bandwidth for a high volume of users is expensive.

Bandwidth seems to be driven by the numerous political discussion threads, which are way off topic from the ATS that many of us joined many years ago. So cut the politics out; allow political-related conspiracy as the site used to but the discussion needs to be targeted and issue focused. Basically, return ATS to the former ATS. Chances are this buys some of the time needed to secure a longer term future for the site, but it should also reduce the time requirements for ownership and mods.

Seems to me that ATS got caught up in the idea of continual growth, without realising that unending growth is unsustainable. This is a conspiracy site, not a political site. Less is more.


I actually like this. Keep the politics, get rid of the mudpit.
Place more emphasis on the strange and unknown. Hit up A&E for their History Channel connections, or hit up Discovery Inc.


The mud pit is necessary...bread and circus'.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:30 PM
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a reply to: AutomateThis1

Ya but guys the last thing skeptic, wrote, is he is putting the site up for sale. So I dunno I don’t think they are really looking for solution it sounds like, I maybe wrong communication in a 2 dimensional, platform can be difficult to translate, but it sounds like the site is up for sale, and if no buyer comes around it’s RIP.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: InTheLight

We may be just going through some Zarathustra aging issues right now, but it sounds as though SO is serious about wanting to unload the site.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:32 PM
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originally posted by: Slichter
a reply to: InTheLight

We may be just going through some Zarathustra aging issues right now, but it sounds as though SO is serious about wanting to unload the site.



So, make a lot of donations guys and see if he changes his mind. It's all about money at this point. Everything is really expensive and so are your desires here, so pay up.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:34 PM
link   

originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
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.


I am not sure of the number of persons visiting here regularly, but hey, just let us know how much money you need from each of us and some will comply some wont...so average it out. How much do you need from me, so that we can get rid of that monkey on your back named ads?
edit on 16CDT05America/Chicago13550530 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:40 PM
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Im sure a large number of people would be delighted to see the demise of ATS. a reply to: SkepticOverlord



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: AutomateThis1

Let's get the real numbers.

Capital costs for hardware:
- RU requirements
- Redundacy
- Storage (unless cloud)


Recurring costs for:
- Software licenses
- leased line
- hosting
- cyber security
- technical support
- RU requirements
- Power (connected load)
- HVAC
- Storage (if cloud)


Don't really care about the revenue side at this point. Just would like a more accurate "ballpark" idea of costs.

The other thing we'd need to know (if anyone is serious about this) is, are there any full time / part-time employees. For example, are moderators paid? The site would absolutely need moderators, and in an ideal world they would be the same ones.

I think there are a number of people here who have the technical skill sets to knock out the technical piece, but the larger questions would be if we could put together the bigger picture in a distributed environment. There would be some profit, but profit can't be the goal. In this type of an environment, profit screws up everything, hence the distributed nature of the way forward. Small margin, but robust platform and operation.

Anyone game? I'll get out my checkbook, but I can't be the only one.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:42 PM
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originally posted by: ARM1968
Im sure a large number of people would be delighted to see the demise of ATS. a reply to: SkepticOverlord



Alternatively speaking, quite a few would be willing to have it continue. I, on the other hand, would only contribute if changes were made...significant changes...it's a wild world and running a social site requires wild and wonderful people who don't let their egos get the better of them. Get me?



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: InTheLight

That's not going to work. There has to be an set objective and a way to measure progress towards that objective.

Free money is like giving money to the guy on the freeway ramp. It works if there's millions of people, but not so much if there's a much smaller subset. There has to be accountability. Not saying there is no accountability currently, but when you go to an unbounded model in a closed membership set, you have to have a way to measure results, else the generosity will dry up.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:47 PM
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originally posted by: Bicent
a reply to: Nyiah

I have to see the books, to see where they are losing money. Sounds like ad revenue is drying up, so innovation is needed to break even, and make a profit for my investment. If I had to guess a paid membership would be a start, but that is very volatile.. selling merchandise or having a member selling auction tab might help, etc. this is just some guesses. Again, I have to see the books.

Then I would need advertising to build my member base, then I have to keep them active, want to keep coming to ats etc.


The membership auctions idea is actually a very GOOD idea, and the honchos would do well to heavily consider it. Make it it a tiered thing, perhaps, if that would work. But I could see an ATS eBay-like feature doing quite well even with a high house fee even. A lot of people on here are probably looking to get a hold of whatever the next guy in their interest group is looking to be rid of, so it's worth a try, even if as < ding ding ding > a possible annual fundraising auction for site costs.



posted on Jun, 18 2020 @ 05:47 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: InTheLight

That's not going to work. There has to be an set objective and a way to measure progress towards that objective.

Free money is like giving money to the guy on the freeway ramp. It works if there's millions of people, but not so much if there's a much smaller subset. There has to be accountability. Not saying there is no accountability currently, but when you go to an unbounded model in a closed membership set, you have to have a way to measure results, else the generosity will dry up.



Will free speech ever dry up?




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