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The New And Improved "Way Above Top Secret"

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posted on May, 2 2007 @ 02:52 AM
My fellow complainers and moaners have already mentioned most of the issues, so there’s no need to repeat them. I think it comes down to making members AWARE of either the old WATS system or that they should be more sparingly and judiciously with their flagging. Many members don't know what either of the two is really about...

Perhaps a sub-voting? Make a list of the top flagged threads and then at the end of the month let members vote for which of these threads/thread starters they thought was the best? This way nonsensical threads will never "win" even if they have top flags. And this will also mean that a member can't win because he started 50 threads and got 3 votes per thread. The same idea can be used with the old WATS system... The downside of this is it means extra work for SO or one of the other Mods...

Edit: Perhaps the "best of both worlds"... A best "post" award (WATS) i.e. a particularly good post and a best "thread" award (Flags) which speaks for itself?

All that said, I see no reason why JacKatMtn doesn't deserve it this month. Congrats sir!

[edit on 2-5-2007 by Gemwolf]

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 05:09 AM

I think that was quite eloquent. I'm always willing to listen to new ideas, and even try them out, so long as they're fair for everyone. Maybe I was a bit hasty on the not liking it, but that's because in it's current state, it leaves huge holes for abuse. No one wants that, not even SO. As always, if a compromise could be reached, as you suggested, I'd be very inclined to listen.

If, on the other hand, nothing changes, then I'll be happy with it either way, because I'm not usually one to care TOO much whether anyone likes what I say or not. I just want everyone to be treated fairly, and I don't see how that can happen as it is right now.

I simply speak the truth. Whether people like it or not doesn't stop it from being true.


posted on May, 2 2007 @ 06:38 AM
I and other staffers had previously posted (more than once) on the problem of the Way Above post-voting, and that too many members were involved in a low-vote tie for the lead spot.

Originally posted by TheBorg
Maybe the reason there's not been a clear winner in the past 3 months is because no one was deserving enough for it. I don't mean that with any mal-intent, but it should at least be said that maybe, just maybe, the members saw nothing of any real interest posted in these past months.

With more than 500 members casting 1,487 votes, it was our most active voting month ever. I tend to see the opposite... there was too much content that members saw of value for any clear leader to emerge.

Originally posted by TheBorg
I understand the need for role models, I truly do. But if we have to have one decided every month, regardless of whether they deserve it or not, who's to say that they will be the role model that ATS needs them to be?

We have an RSS feed of our most-recent highest-flagged threads:
Most of what's in the feed is certainly the type of material we want to see being noticed and discussed on ATS.

When we launched the Way Above voting system, and throughout its existence, there were similar cries of potential voting abuse and popularity contest concerns. However, each month we had a winner, it was always clear as to why that member won... contributions that matter.

Highly-flagged threads are contributions that matter... they inspire discussion and attention from our members. Certainly not everyone may agree with the opening post of controversial threads... but in the end, such a thread with a high flag tally has inspired discussion, attention, debate, consideration, contemplation, and more.

And if you review...
(and so on)
Can you really say that the flagging system is not doing a good job of improving the awareness and visibility of important topics? And if someone consistently creates topics our members feel are important, why would the Way Above award not be for them?

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 07:08 AM
I have been a proud member of ATS since 2004, I enjoy the vast amount of topics discussed, the art of the debate and the different way the members' personality comes through the screen. I love to learn and this site allows me to accomplish this on a daily basis.

I am not an expert in any one field, and I was trying to find a way to fit in an contribute to this board and thanks to ATSNN, I was given a niche to contribute while I gained knowledge from the efforts of other members' contributions. I was given a reporter slot by the ATSNN editors and it gave me a chance to keep members informed of news items that you do not see on the MSM.

Now that ATSNN is no longer around, we still have the Alternative, Politics, and General news submission, this is how I like to contribute to the site and "earn my keep" so to say and I will continue to do so in the future.

The WATS award was something that I never expected to get and I am quite honored, my thanks go out to those who made this possible, YOU the members.

In a strange way, I feel like I am in the middle of an ATS version of the Diebold scandal, but after reviewing the posts I can say I understand some of the concerns members have voiced, but we should remember that ATS is a living entity constantly changing and evolving and I am sure that the 3 Amigos and Staff will review and probably tweak it here and there, and end up with a system to reflect some of your concenrs in the future. Should my award have an asterisk placed next to it, in some members' minds', so be it. This will not tarnish, nor diminish this honor in mine.

Once again, I thank the members who made it possible for a humble reporter to receive this coveted award...

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 09:38 AM
Congratulations, JacKatMtn. The folllowing comment is not directed toward you.

I really think that it would be better to just let WATS die than to let it be decided by flags.

I never used the WATS vote all that often, but it was a nice way to pat someone on the back with a few points.

I think that feature should remain, even if it doesn't count toward a WATS. Everyone should be allotted three applauds per month.

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 11:38 AM
Hmmm I like that Grady ..

Give everyone 3 applauses per month worth 500 points maybe?

People will still give it out to less then desired posts, but at least some fool who post how he thinks his cat is a reptilian shape shifter will not get the prestigious award.

And who cares if no one wins that often? I believe that last guy to win was that nutty word changer guy..

Or maybe make a thread raising awareness?

I know I intentionally only use my WATS unless its a damn good thread, I vote maybe once every 4 months or so..

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 12:57 PM
Add in some thread rating. Then multiply thread ratings by flags per thread to determine the most deserving.

Best quality X most interested= best thread

Know there are some threads that are pretty bad, but at the same time because of others comments it can become quite entertaining. Just thought I'd share and know thats probably a lot more work to implement.

Quick example or two.

5 star threadx10 flags= 50 total
4 star threadx12 flags= 52 total

Anyways an idea how to account for both quality of a thread and quantity of flags on the thread.

And despite being the noob and a lurker to boot, the applause was cool. Was looking forward to giving out some more later this month, alas it's not to be.

[edit on 2-5-2007 by kameuh]

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 02:45 PM
If you ask me (which nobody in any way associated with ATS has ever done, but i have a lot of hubris) this system will only work if we limit the number of flags available to each member per month.

Unless we come up with some sort of system to ensure that flags are doled out only to quality threads, this new system will lead to a rash of WATS winners that don't deserve the thing. We got lucky this month, but next time it could be some tripe like "PHOTO EVIDENCE OF ALIEN LIFE IN CHILE" that takes home the prize.

i like ATS, and i like that it's respectable, but making sensationalism a requisite for recognition works counter to this purpose.


posted on May, 2 2007 @ 02:56 PM
Why not keep it simple and tally up the WATS every 3 or 4 months... or even in a year! Surely a winner will emerge from that amount of time?

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 03:44 PM
I understand the need but I believe spammers will probably take advantage of it. Hope it succeeds though.

[edit on 2-5-2007 by riley]

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 08:32 PM

Originally posted by antar
Wow some of you are very serious about your reccognition. ...

I now will have to take more seriously the posts I choose to flagg, because it is often not the thread starter that I am flagging...

I agree. Not only that, but as in my case... I don't post very often, because I have either nothing to add, or feel like the thread may be a little bucolic, or worse...

I posted on a thread recently in the UFO section and got two WATS. I took the time to personally send Thank you U2Us to those folks.

I never considered myself to be any sort of a serous contender for any awards, but always king of took the WATS I've gotten as personal warm fuzzies... Kind of like someone say, "Well Done, Dan".

I don't guess it will keep me from posting if I feel the spirit move me, but it was kind of cool to get those personal warm fuzzies and know that someone else is as smart as I am.

BTW... Congrats to Jack

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 09:58 PM

Originally posted by sigung86
I don't post very often, because I have either nothing to add, or feel like the thread may be a little bucolic, or worse...

What could be worse than a bucolic thread? Well, quite a few things, I think.

No offense, but I couldn't help myself.

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 11:34 PM
No offense taken Grady

It sort of depends on if you take definition one or definition two. I live in a distinctly rural setting, and have absolutely nothing but love for it... But! Have you ever followed a herd of cows around?

Now that we have that out of the way, and I squeeked under Grady, and before anyone else cuts me up... I don't think that the other threads are bucolic by way of definition two... And while Grady is not looking ... I did misuse the word. I musta been asleep. Mea Culpa! but don't tell Grady.

posted on May, 3 2007 @ 01:25 AM
I would really like to know how people have the time to post more than a hundred threads a month. Especially over a hundred quality threads. Maybe I'm just too new here to be able to come up with a good one.

posted on May, 3 2007 @ 03:47 AM
"Shadoww ---> 99 "

Great. So to get WATS now the n00bs ---who post misleading/phoney threads like "Alien evidence found" (copper mines in Google Earth), and "Vatican officials supports UFO's" (one guy who's associated with the vatican claims ufo's exist; an astronomy guy from the vatican says other life probably exists elsewhere) and get other noobs to jump on the flag bandwagon without actually critically analyzing it or the responses--- have basically the best chances.

[edit on 3-5-2007 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on May, 3 2007 @ 04:35 AM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Can you really say that the flagging system is not doing a good job of improving the awareness and visibility of important topics? And if someone consistently creates topics our members feel are important, why would the Way Above award not be for them?

I can see where you're coming from on this, and I like the flagging system. I think it has potential, but it can be misunderstood I think.

Say someone sees a thread with a view that they can't stand, and are adamantly against it, but all they do is go into that thread to argue without giving any quality responses. Are we to give the person that made the thread a WATS for a thread that got nothing but meaningless bantering?

I guess my main question is, is there a system in place where the quality of the threads is the main criteria for the WATS vote, rather than simply the number of flags that it gets? Sorry if I'm not seeming to get this, I'm kind of stubborn that way.


posted on May, 3 2007 @ 09:06 AM
Boo! I only missed it by 63 points

►Isn't there some sort of 2nd place boobie prize or something!?◄

posted on May, 3 2007 @ 09:09 AM
Here you go, here is second prize

posted on May, 3 2007 @ 09:15 AM

Originally posted by greatlakes
►Isn't there some sort of 2nd place boobie prize or something!?◄

I'll take two.

[NOW I'm motivated]

posted on May, 3 2007 @ 09:18 AM

Boobie Prize = ☼

so two for you ☼ ☼

There ya go!

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