To the members of AboveTopSecret.com, a gut-check

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posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 02:49 PM
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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 deeply.


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?




posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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Yeah sure, no prob, good post SO.

I will though express my discontentment at your recent move to only promote ATS Mix podcasts. You're leaving the rest of us out. I may have crap podcasts, but I'd rather the members decide that.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Deal?


Absolutely



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:02 PM
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As an ATS newbie, I'm still learning the ropes so to speak but so far I've had nothing but a great experience here from the friendly staff and members to the great variety of topics covered.

So what ever you guys do is all good to me. Keep up the great work maintaining this site. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed and is not taken for granted.

looking forward to the next few years of posting



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:02 PM
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im a bit confused on the message of this post.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
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.



to me, that seems extremely difficult when another member here on ATS basically represents everything I might think is wrong with this screwed up world. For example, debating with someone who is pro-police brutality, saying things like "they deserved it," and etc.

My only response to that lately has been to click ignore.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:04 PM
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ITs been interesting watching ATS grow from my seat in the science and black project forum that is the Aviation threads. Always enjoyed the place that is offered and exp from senior posters and new input from the less experienced on ATS. Hope that we can continue to push forward even a new way of looking and compiling all the work that is done here.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:06 PM
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Oh man, I 'don't envy the mods here on ATS. I used to think it would be awesome to be a mod, and part of the best staff on the internet. Now I'm not so sure I'd want the added responsibility of managing the number of BS posts and threads that will be flowing in torrents from n00b posters.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by scientist
 


Sometimes ignore is the best response when you already have enough to deal with. We have all been there. I think its the true test of a ATSer.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
I will though express my discontentment at your recent move to only promote ATS Mix podcasts.

There's only so much real-estate available for stuff like that. However, our reasons will soon become clear... and then our podcasters will get some new exposure. Hang tough.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:08 PM
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Great post, Skeptic Overlord!

If I could give you an applause I would.


As one of those members who was feeling the unrest I admit I was not fair in my assessment of the deeper issues with the staff here at ATS.

ATS has been my home site for two years now, I love being here and interacting with you all.

I admit, I was feeling very negative and seriously considering this site as history, but after looking at some other pieces of the puzzle (admittedly my picture does not encompass the big picture) I have decided to lay back and let the people who have made this site great continue to do what they do best and not challenge every thing that I see as a "slight"

With all change there is discomfort, on a conspiracy site we tend to see the changes as well, a conspiracy, but I as a member here would like to put my words on trusting that is is all for a greater good and soon we will be happy and resourceful here at ATS once again.

HAIL ATS!!! LOL!



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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Last time I checked my gut, it was a few pounds on the heavy side.


I say congrats to ATS on continuing to attract new members, and kudos to the hard working staff.

Also, here's a warm welcome to the new members. Keep it cool everyone.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:11 PM
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And can we get some negative star type system? I keep seeing absolute crap posts (kinda like this one right here) and wish I could show my displeasure with it. Especially when I see it so heavily positively starred. After all, we do get negative points, why not negative stars.

And what is the deal with airline food?



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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This is so funny, I don't complain much but I got the point when I was reminded that I have been here too long to complain at all.
I should know better when it comes to dealing with other members that seems to just get on your nerves.

scientist, you are no alone, been there and done that I can actually feeeeeel your pain.


Ignore, Ignore, Ignore, I do the mantra a couple times a day, even went I am not in ATS.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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Growing Pains

In my time as a member I've observed that as ATS continues to grow, it goes through various phases, each with its own unique "feel" or "flavor".

Ironically enough, a common theme underlying a lot of the stress I've been seeing lately among members and staff alike is a sincere desire to help.

People naturally want to help. If they didn't care, they wouldn't care.


Opinions will vary regarding what the best ways of improving ATS may be, but with patience, understanding and recognition of the importance of mutual respect as a foundation for discussion, I'm confident we can all find the best way forward.

Also, cutting each other a little slack can go a long way toward making life better for all of us.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Absolutely, deal.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:14 PM
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Man ATS is going through the roof and i for one have enjoyed the last 4 years but mostly im in awe at the rate this place grows. I had a friend in work mention this site just yesterday and i was like "Er yes i know already". There really is an ATS community growing off the web too or so it seems.

Anytime we can help out SO im sure some of us time served members would happily put something back into this place.

LONG LIVE ATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:15 PM
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I would also like to encourage those, who have any beefs with Administrative or Moderators, to please kindly address your problems to The Board.

This cannot be emphased enough.

We have stipulated this protocol from the get go, and remind members to take their Personal 'Missgivings' Aside.

This does NOT detract postal thoughts, wheereas we emphasise THIS situation to be condusive to the ATS atmosphere.

This is NOT a 'Business...Before Member's Site'.

Each and everyone of US, wants to know the truth.

Let us continue on; doing our own homework, and realizing that one's own truth, does not subscribe to ALL, but has lead to a bigger credence that might subcribe to many.

~Ducky~



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlordSo 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?


Deal.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:17 PM
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Congratulations on the growth


I think we all appreciate the difficulty of the Mod's efforts and appreciate their time and effort.

You Exec's have proved yourselves by the phenomenal growth here.


I freely admit I need to learn to ignore more posts and not take the bait. Point taken.



posted on Feb, 29 2008 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by TrueAmerican
I will though express my discontentment at your recent move to only promote ATS Mix podcasts.

There's only so much real-estate available for stuff like that. However, our reasons will soon become clear... and then our podcasters will get some new exposure. Hang tough.


Ok, I will trust you on that, as I always pretty much have. I know I have gone through my spells here, especially when other people come in here saying really bad things, even to the point of me calling you out on other websites. But when it's all said and done, on the overall, you see where my heart lies. It's still here.

It is a bit frustrating when other members make comments in my podcast threads like "The only way I would have ever found this is by the link in your signature." And it's no wonder that I have noticed a steep decline in the views on my podcasts since you made that move. But, I will hang tough.





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