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
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"
- ATS Ex Council Person:
ATS alien, UFO, Science, etc. forums
- ATS Gov Council Person:
ATS gov, NWO, conspiracy, etc. forums
- ATSNN Council Person:
- ATS DISC Council Person:
- 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
[edit on 19-5-2005 by SkepticOverlord]