Growing, and growing, and growing...
We're transitioning through another difficult growth spurt here on our beloved ATS. Our overall traffic is nearly twice what it was a year ago (back
when we thought our traffic was awesome), and our average daily post count is 75% higher as well. Not that this is anything new for us... we've been
growing at this rate for very nearly four years.
Groaning, and groaning, and groaning...
There are many known factors to a site such as this during such sustained periods of growth.
(*) New members unfamiliar with our "style"
(*) Old members experiencing topical burnout
(*) Frustrations as the infrastructure is stressed
(*) Staff burnout as the workload increases
(*) Members interpreting policy/updates/issues incorrectly
(*) New staff getting their "mod legs"
(*) Some short tempers
Actually, we've been discussing many of these issues within our moderators-only forum, and the results of some of our discussions may have been
noticed by some members via our "kinder-gentler" alert graphics, like this one:
And with the new images that aren't so "in-your-face" is a new staff policy (none of you would be aware of until now)
to apply these
post-deletion warns with a softer touch.
"Never get involved in a land war in Asia"
In any event, you can be certain we have noticed varying degrees of "frayed nerves" and "tender spots" over the past couple weeks... often
resulting in what a couple members have called, an "us versus them" mentality.
I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of us love this community and especially the ideals of free expression that it represents. Your
contributions to the vast knowledge base are as much a "labor of love" as our staff's efforts to maintain civility and order within a growing
cauldron of chaos. We can assume your criticism is because you care, if you can assume our sometimes short-temper is also because we care... very
For me, this is well beyond a labor of love and well into the territory of a "passion." Having been involved in online technology, advertising, and
marketing since it was possible to do so, I can assure you there are several easier ways to make a living online than running a big conspiracy board.
But just like many of you, playing a role in building something that matters is what draws me to give it my all, all-day, every-day.
Let's all remember why we're here...
Let's take a collective deep breath and turn our attention away from the smaller frustrations and refocus on the larger picture that brought us all
here in the first place -- it's a screwed up world out there, and perhaps through our collaborative and wide-open discussions, we can make some sense
of it together. You have my personal pledge that every one of our staff is committed in this way, and we are committed to you to help you communicate
to the world your deepest and most important thoughts.
So if you (our members) can see past some of the issues that inspire your complaints and focus on the important issues that brought you here, we (the
staff) will do our best to give you fewer things to inspire your complaints. Deal?