reply to post by SkepticOverlord
I've always held ATS in high-esteem for both its efforts and methods and have been pleasantly surprised by its growth. Clearly, ATS is at a point
where it can take a number of different paths, each with its own rewards and pitfalls. Deciding on which path to walk is not an easy task and I hope
that every step is considered carefully before being placed.
The danger of keeping the site 'as is' would not permit the extension into interesting new fields which will inevitably be met by other sites.
Stagnation on the internet is not sensible; the internet is still in its infancy, its silent era and the death of ATS would be swift should it refuse
to speak. I hope that long standing members understand this and continue to embrace and support the developments being made.
The honesty of those running and owning the site, their openness in matters of advertisement, aims and potential has fostered an environment in which
the members, who pay no subscription, feel they can criticise and protest the running of the site. This is something that must be applauded when it
remains within obvious limits.
The increasing commercialisation of ATS will have effects and like many others I too am worried. It would seem to me that the very nature of ATS
dictates a separation from commercial interests where ATS is the provider of the service. Printing t-shirts, self-publishing books and running
non-discriminatory advertising space permits ATS to choose the nature of its correspondence. An 'if you don't like it, don't buy it' policy can be
applied and ATS controls the pack.
When ATS becomes the provider of a service, the maintenance of the position reached requires an increasing degree of subservience. The flat-lining of
commercial television news is an obvious point of reference. A company having a stake in a TV network does not want its other interests criticised in
its TV network's news releases.
What happens when a thread appears on ATS, for example, that posits that the William Morris Agency in Shanghai colludes with the Chinese government to
blacklist outspoken Chinese artists? No contract will be save, or be saved, should WMA ask ATS to remove the thread and ATS decline. The knock on
effect is that other agencies decline to take on a maverick website that won't back down if their commercial interests are threatened. The other
option, of course, is to take the thread down.
You can easily see how this could happen to an ATS television show, too.
I hope the Three Amigos get this right, I truly do, because a globally respected ATS would be a wonderful thing.
[edit on 19-9-2008 by Woland]