Time for the next step in the evolution of this online community.

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posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:26 PM
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A lot has been happening on ATS over the past year (and more), and much of it is unfortunately related to various issues with members feeling disconnected from the operations of ATS. I've long been a student of the digital culture and the various societal changes that have their birth online. But even I have been surprised by what's been happening here under my very nose. And yes, we have been watching, listening, and thinking... never think we haven't.

Many of us on staff have come to the realization that, for a good portion of you, ATS is not "just a website" as we've often been heard to say, but a critical component of your daily lives. And for many, participation in this community has become more important than anything in your offline life. This collective board psyche of taking itself seriously is at the core of nearly every unfortunate event of member drama.

There have been many comparisons of ATS to a municipality, especially as you have contributed to the growth from what one member termed a small single-neighborhood "frontier town" to a vast metropolitan sprawl with multiple urban, suburban, and rural areas. But during that growth, our structure has not evolved properly with the board. We're still structured as any typical online discussion board:
-- Benevolent Dictator: Simon
-- Government Branch: Admin & Supermods
-- Law Enforcement: Moderators

Continuing the comparisons to civil organizations, what missing is a means for the citizenry to organize and begin to shape their environment as a group. We're proposing the formation of a new board role subordinate to moderators, with the responsibility of managing the needs and desires of membership.

For lack of a better term, we've settled on ATS Council Persons. As with civil organizations, the Council People will be organized along "regional" (topical) districts:
- ATS Ex Council Person: ATS alien, UFO, Science, etc. forums
- ATS Gov Council Person: ATS gov, NWO, conspiracy, etc. forums
- ATSNN Council Person: ATSNN issues
- ATS DISC Council Person: DISC Manager
- BTS Council Person: All BTS forums
- PTS Council Person: All PTS forums
- ATS Council Person At Large: Helping where needed

(All DISC members remain as our valued resource for focusing thought and planning on improving content quality, but with a dedicated DISC leader, should be able to regain momentum.)

These new people will be selected through a voting process. We'll accept nominations, and select up to 10 appropriate members (warn history, and membership length for example) for each position for the primaries. Members vote in the primaries, and the final three for each position campaign as finalists on BTS.

Elected Council People appoint two assistants, and all are admitted to a new private forum where they can begin to organize and plan. Council people also will have new capabilities on ATS (such as warns, for example) and they and their staff can communicate with new members (before the 20 post ceiling for full U2U functionality).

Ultimately, we hope to better lean what is working, what isn't working, and what is needed to improve the membership "quality of life" and lead to improved quality of your all important content.

The Council Persons and their staff will work directly with members to understand their desires and motivations. Twice monthly meetings with senior staff will be planned to help us understand what new strategies and changes might be needed.

Initially, we'll be trying this as three-month test. There is tremendous potential for high drama from this... but I think there is more potential for a successful experiment that could lead to completely new territory for ATS.


Feel free to comment on this new initiative. We'll be announcing how to make appropriate Council People nominations in the very near future.


Council Member Nomination Form


www.abovetopsecret.com...


[edit on 19-5-2005 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:32 PM
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Like I said before, I like it.


Any age limits like for being a mod?



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:33 PM
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Sounds like a logical step forward. I like this and I think it'll bring good results.



*quickly runs off to make Vote Nerd banners*



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:33 PM
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Wow, this is an amazing development! I have great hopes for it, I think the community here is one of intelligence and this will work out (hopefully)...

* fingers crossed *



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Initially, we'll be trying this as three-month test. There is tremendous potential for high drama from this... but I think there is more potential for a successful experiment that could lead to completely new territory for ATS.


HUGE potential for drama.

I'm interested in seeing how this plays out, though.
There could be some interesting successes, and there could be some interesting failures as well. Depending on how this turns out, whether it be a success or a failure, we can learn a lot about the board and determine what is important to the members here even if this isn't fully implemented.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:42 PM
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This sounds like exciting news. The prospect of making ATS/BTS better is always a good idea. The fact that any new changes will be limited to a three month trial period is also a good idea. What might sound like a good idea in concept might not be quite so good in practice. It's nice that "we" are not chained to these aspects. Anyway, I look forward to following the developments and, certainly hope that my own input -- and the input of other ATS/BTSers -- will be heard and considered.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:43 PM
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Just a few replies and we have campaigning already!

A better ATS for all through a simple democracy.. Is that possible?

Looks like we will all see how it goes together.



Gazz






[edit on 18-5-2005 by UM_Gazz]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:43 PM
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Great idea.
Heres hoping the quality of ATS will improve with the guidiance of the new council.

# paints vote for Xpert11 bill boards#



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:44 PM
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Take it from someone who has seen it all, this will not end well. Though, since I adore chaos, find stupidity amusing, and have the luxury of being Springer's specially created AI program that secretly monitors the drama index, I am growing excited about this new plan.

Now excuse me whilst I stop riding the goat and ride the dramatic wave of begging and popularity contests!

Let the games begin!



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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Okay, two questions...

Will this be outlined further, when to campaign, how to do it etc.

Can a council person hold more than one council position?



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia

HUGE potential for drama.



It is drama, the best kind... A self governing one.

Let the games begin.

Campaign Monkeys, not just for Presidential Elections anymore...



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:47 PM
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I'd like to make it clear that all my opponents have illegitimate children.

Just getting a head start.

This means you Mirth, I see the trail of little monkey babies you have left.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:47 PM
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Can political parties be formed?



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:49 PM
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just to let you's all know my vote can be bought


oups I mean can't


[edit on 18/5/2005 by Sauron]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by Kai-Raega


Now excuse me whilst I stop riding the goat and ride the dramatic wave of begging and popularity contests!



Now now this isnt high school I have faith that ATS members will vote on merit rather then popularity.
#digs up dirt on rivals#



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:00 PM
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This idea could work. It may start out a little rough but if the new council puts a lot of thought and consideration into their new position, it may benefit ATS greatly.

I've mentioned the need for councilors in the past and recently. This is something I felt was needed long ago here at ATS. Members need to communicate their concerns directly with a appointed council member.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:14 PM
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mmm, jedi council... my favorite flavor.


(heavy breathing) *choking* (spits up a loogie)

man... i need to quit doing that.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by Kai-Raega
and have the luxury of being Springer's specially created AI program that secretly monitors the drama index,


You do huh? And WHO are YOU?

m...



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:23 PM
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It doesn't take much.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by Nerdling
This means you Mirth, I see the trail of little monkey babies you have left.


Trying to smear my good [sic] name, by such ridiculous claims?

Didn't know you valued the "Moral Monkey" vote so much.

Family Values Monkeys, not just for a "G" rated ATS anymore...



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