posted on May, 17 2005 @ 01:07 AM
Staff here always get upset when people complain about the way the board is run and repeat the mantra of "This is a PRIVATELY owned board, etc,
etc", and rightly so. Yet when the same staff become saddened by the direction that ATS is being dragged in by its huge, increasingly
bipartisan membership, they come out with an eccentric, alter-ego username and attempt to rally the members back to ATS's roots with witty satire.
While this may have worked in the past, it's not going to work now with 30,000+ ATS members. Most members either see it as a joke, completely ignore
it, or get their panties in a bunch because they don't understand the point of the satire. I even saw a mob of members gang up on one of the
senior admin in chat and start railing on him because they were angry about GeneralDilemma. Unbelievable!
I wasn't here for the "Take back ATS" days, but from what I hear it was a ballsy initiative, assuming it entailed mods being assertive. If you lot
want to see change in ATS, you're going to have to strap on your cojones and MAKE some changes, whiners and resistant members be damned, because
it's not going to happen naturally. If it's a privately owned board, then stop pussyfooting around and act like it. Tell people what you
expect of ATS. Delete threads and posts that are complete bollocks. Make mission statements and direction statements clear and cold cut.
Initiate research/investigation and invite members to participate. Sure, you'll get a reduction in membership as the crusts are cut off the
bread, you might even have an uprising of disgruntled members, but if you want ATS to move forward and develop, then this will be a necessary
by-product of that. If all you want is to increase ATS's membership count and increase the topboards rankings, or you don't have time for all that,
then carry on with the diplomacy. We newer members look to you more experienced lot for leadership. But lately all that seems to be happening is the
increase of an "Us vs Them" atmosphere, with admin on the defensive, and members whining about their rights to do this and rights to have that.
I think you all do a fantastic job and I know you're volunteers. You can read my comments in this post as criticism if you so wish, a natural
reaction I guess since I'm on the member side of the fence, but that is not what it is. I merely have high ideals for the future of ATS and ATSNN,
and I think it can happen if you toughen up a little, if members smarten up a little, and if members and staff are working together for the same
goals. ATS has become a flailing behemoth and it needs whipping into shape.
My major focus at ATS until recently was ATSNN. A while ago, I was advocating for more proactive investigation into government cover-ups the likes of
which Valhall has produced, more online investigative journalism, the consideration of sources other than corporate media, and less regurgitating of
mainstream news which, if you have two brain cells to rub together, you know is controlled by big business and big government. Consequently I had one
or two moderators and several members call me a complainer. But then I see members creating threads whining how their thread was moved and everyone's
like, "HELL YEAH!" I guess it's hard to see the difference between immature whining versus advocating for positive development of an information
resource and community that you care greatly about.
ATSNN needs dedicated editors. Get rid of the voting system. Have editors allocate research and investigation tasks to reporter members, or teams of
members. Five members researching hammer-and-tong on the Montgomery Paisley story might be able to dig something up. ATSNN can be a leader in this new
field, but instead it is being led around by the nose and wallowing in United States topical issues and runaway brides. Leaving the voting up to
members was a nice novelty, but the novelty has worn off. I would much rather see editors or experts telling contributors that their article is not
suitable for ATSNN or needs revision, than some dude who wandered into terroranalysis and didn't like the story. If you don't have enough staff,
then make GradyPhilpott, Sanctum, and djohnsto77 and other major contributors editors. It would also be great to see a stronger effort and emphasis
placed on the research forum, along the same lines as what I mentioned for ATSNN but more academically flavoured.
This is all just my .02. I don't claim to have the answers and I don't claim to be completely guilt-free of some of the things that are detracting
from ATS's quality. Thank you for the reminders of what ATS should be striving for, and I for one will do my best to contribute to those goals.
[edit on 2005/5/17 by wecomeinpeace]