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The ATS Issues Thread

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posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by gps777

Originally posted by Amaterasu
Relative to the issue of nomadrush...

Was nomadrush given any kind of heads up?

Well by what he posted that was against the T&C that I read before it was removed, without a doubt he was informed and given a heads up and in no way was it said harshly/rude or otherwise.


Well... I am unsure. I checked out the blog, and it looked as if he first got wind of the deal by virtue of a U2U that, while I agree it was not rude or nasty, seemed to suggest that it was a done deal without his foreknowledge and that was his first notification.

That is why I asked the question. Perhaps what he posted there was only a part of what he received. [shrug]

My point is that, if *I* were in charge, I would have made sure those affected by my decisions at least knew it was in the works before it was a done deal - regardless of pay status. It is common courtesy, really.

And since I have very little data to work with, I asked.




posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:14 PM
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Originally posted by daystrom
Why did the Above Network choose to become a For Profit Organization instead of becoming a Not For Profit Organization?

Creating a company with aspirations to expand from online into multiple offline channels requires a level of capitalization and potentially more than one round of equity funding. It's generally pretty difficult to attract investors to buy into a not-for-profit company... not impossible, just very difficult.




Originally posted by Amaterasu
My point is that, if *I* were in charge, I would have made sure those affected by my decisions at least knew it was in the works before it was a done deal - regardless of pay status. It is common courtesy, really.

Our agent has been negotiating on our behalf for quite some time, with multiple parties. Brand exclusivity was not part of the back-and-forth negotiations until very recently. However, we were also not able to discuss the deal outside of The Above Network, LLC... so even if we were aware of a possible issue, we'd not be able to discuss it until after the deal is signed. Pretty standard, really.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by RRconservative
 


My experience as a member points to the perceived problem beginning after the seperate AP board was canned . Over on AP I was happy to trade the lack of recognition of some of the highest quality discussions that I have taken part in on the boards in exchange for the slightly less hands off role the mods played . In effect you have an angry man with no pillow to beat up any more .
Now all the focus has been on the lesser quality political topics and now there is the rules that prove that hypercritical measures knows no boundaries .



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Our agent has been negotiating on our behalf for quite some time, with multiple parties. Brand exclusivity was not part of the back-and-forth negotiations until very recently. However, we were also not able to discuss the deal outside of The Above Network, LLC... so even if we were aware of a possible issue, we'd not be able to discuss it until after the deal is signed. Pretty standard, really.


Thank you for your response. I can relate to your problem here, but I also can sympathize with nomadrush's feelings of betrayal.

Sad that business puts people in this situation. You all had your situation and he has his.

Maybe it was U2Ued to him in such a professional yet aloof manner for legal reasons, but it might have been better handled in a more personal fashion. Like (if it was an option) taking the guy to lunch and explaining the situation and that your hands were tied in telling him sooner... Or at least a message that acknowledges a sincere personal respect.

Let's face it, that message was quite dry of endearing qualities.

Well, now that I have a better set of data, I can forgive this despite thinking it could have played out better with a little empathy thrown into the mix.

Thanks again for your response.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by daystrom

Why did the Above Network choose to become a For Profit Organization instead of becoming a Not For Profit Organization?



My hunch is,when the bills to run the site were piling up because of the costs involved and its growth,when in order to maintain such a site would require full time positions,when someone with the know how and passion for ATS and its members,who loves to expand its horizons which also creates more members and traffic which in turn requires more money,whilst making it their living.

Yet for all the years yourself and myself alike have paid zip to come here,who if similar to myself have spent utterly countless amount of time here enjoying this free community as members all at our leisure,with only a few things asked of us........obey the T&C and play nice people.

I`d be more concerned if ATS wasn`t making a proffit or at least trying to make a proffit otherwise this place could cease to exist.

Its for these reasons I do get annoyed with some people when the staff here deserve a lot more praise than they get and I hear too frequently those that cry foul for little to no reason at all,where the vast majority that I`ve seen were totally in the wrong which lead them to cry foul in the first place.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 01:42 AM
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S.O. I understand your perspective but I also see it from Ross's perspective. If I had have had such a friendly, mutual involvement in this forum only to be told, out of the blue, to pack up bags and move along (I know you were not kicking him off the board but that's how it would have felt), I can totally understand his reaction and quite frankly it would certainly feel like I was being sold-out for the 'bigger boys'.

I believe this could have been handled a lot better than the way it was.

Just my 2c.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 03:01 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I appreciate what you guys do here.


I have been far more harmed by members, their actions, and responses to their actions, than I have by the owner/operators. (aside from a poorly aimed smack-down from Springer.)


As a conservative, free-market individual, I applaud you standing up for the way you want your life's work presented.

As a member, I only hope that any changes make my stay here a better one.

That's my two cents.

-Jason



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 03:49 AM
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Originally posted by Kryties
S.O. I understand your perspective but I also see it from Ross's perspective. If I had have had such a friendly, mutual involvement in this forum only to be told, out of the blue, to pack up bags and move along (I know you were not kicking him off the board but that's how it would have felt), I can totally understand his reaction and quite frankly it would certainly feel like I was being sold-out for the 'bigger boys'.

I believe this could have been handled a lot better than the way it was.

Just my 2c.


Agreed.

The thing that irritated me was Ross wasn't even allowed to publicly announce his departure as all threads were immediately locked and deleted, almost as if the team was trying to hide this fact.

When I started the thread "Everyone has their price, Don't they ATS" I was expecting a debate and some kind of explaination but instead that was locked too.

Although this is a conspiracy website I don't think you guys are above conspiracy, although I understand you have the interests of the website to protect.

Kryties said it perfectly, I needed to be handled better and Ross should ahve been allowed to atleast make his anger at the situation known, rather than him being literally silenced when his posting privilages were removed.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 04:44 AM
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The Dark Path of Contractual Profits

It is easy to forget how things started out in the beginning when money and careers become involved in matters of personal interest. An often said phrase goes, “The best way to kill a hobby is to turn it into a business.” This thinking also follows the old adage of, “Don’t mix business with pleasure.”

What happens when we sign a contract of exclusivity? We understand that it is a common and necessary business practice, but what does it really mean? Let’s take a second to restate the essential part of the contract three times for clarity. As you will see, it’s not really an exercise in redundancy if it brings greater focus on an overlooked, hidden truth.

Exclusivity
Exclusivity
Exclusivity

It is only when one repeats the word a few times that the nature of the signed contracts fully begins to take focus. Exclusivity means just what it says, excluding others. This is the first step that a business entity takes in securing support for programming and assistance.

At first, the step seems benign and harmless. People who were allowed previously to post or continue as otherwise simply will have to be relegated to the same status as others. Where’s the harm in that? Why should any normal member be given a separate section of the forum just because he produces multimedia content instead of textual replies? It could easily be argued that no one on a forum should be given an elevated status as a poster over other regular members.

But then the plot thickens and one begins to realize that all along certain agreements were made with certain parties that elevated them above others from the very beginning. It is just that very little to no money was involved in the process at first. It was a two way street really. The preferred or elevated members provided additional content for the site in a more engaging manner to view and, as individuals; they gained marketing for their own services and branding. I hope people can begin to see the progression that has taken place here over the last few years.

At first, everyone was the same. Then, you had the experts, the low level media producers, and other noted authors being given special places of their own and given elevated status as members. But it wasn’t exclusive yet, of course. Anyone could, and still can, become a general member of the site. Yes? But can anyone still become a media producer for the site? Can anyone bring forth their videos, radio programs, and books for others to view if they wish? Or have too many exclusive deals been made that limits media of certain types, topics, or sources?

There is a historical progression of continued exclusivity when a company is driven by profits to make contractual agreements with other companies. The challenge as a forum is to continue to allow “freedom of the press”, so to speak, while at the same time navigating the complex realm of verbal and written agreements.

I feel that it may benefit the site to publish a statement to its members explaining a few possible facts in light of recent events.

Is this site exclusive concerning multimedia posting?
Can anyone post content to the site, or do they now have to have a contract?
Have any freedoms been taken away from regular members?
Are deals being struck that would limit the disclosure of possible conspiracies?

For whatever reason, I believe members are confused about what ATS still is and hopefully always will be. I hope that a better and more complete description can be given concerning the bridge burning "Ross Incident", and the rights given to, and enjoyed by, all other members of the forum. It is clear that many people see Ross as the poor victim of a corporate empire, and not someone who chose, of his own volition, to abandon his viewers because he was no longer given undue preferential treatment and a glorified status as a member.

Thank You

[edit on 20-9-2008 by Hot_Wings]



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 05:10 AM
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reply to post by dodgygeeza
 


I couldn't agree more. No one said Ross couldn't bow out in a graceful manner and/or announce the closure of his forum, but the way he did it - by breaking several T&Cs - caused the closed threads and ultimately his post ban. I understand his frustration but the rules apply to him as much as it does to any other ATS member, including myself and every other staff member.

He was notified that his forum will be closed, and was given more than ample time to get things ready for the closure. No one at any stage said he should quit/leave ATS. That was his decision.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 


Ok, in that case can my thread be re-opened.

As it stands at the moment, "Everyone has their price, don't they ATS" is front page and has been flagged 70 times since yesterday. They see my post, asking for the thread not to be closed (which it quickly is) and to top it off there is no explaination or rebuttal from the staff. So instead, this appears to other ATS members that I was infact correct and that my thread has been censored (look at its popularity). In short, it doesn't help you guys at all.

In my opinion it should be reopended so this can be put to bed in a public fashion, rather than in the 'back rooms' of ATS.

I hope you understand what I mean.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 07:44 AM
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reply to post by Kryties
 


This whole website is a controlled joke now! Its like we are all being treated like little kids, by those whom want to control the direction of certain threads! It obvious, and a joke!

Most certainly, above top secret!



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by DarksDeception
This whole website is a controlled joke now! Its like we are all being treated like little kids, by those whom want to control the direction of certain threads! It obvious, and a joke!


Why is it that the ones who claim they're being treated like little kids are the ones who seem to act like little kids?

That's a conspiracy right there, I tell you what.

Kee-rist. You mods must be nuts to want the job of policing this site.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
In no way did we ever consider it would be the end of our long-standing mutual relationship, and we fully expected him to remain a member of ATS in good standing, and continue to be active as "a member with a TV show," just not a special status member with a "dedicated forum for his TV show."


Agreed! Now why should anyone use a dedicated forum in a popular site like ATS with the aim of promoting their own programs that earn them money? The bottom line is, there are NO free binges! Period.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by Kryties
S.O. I understand your perspective but I also see it from Ross's perspective. If I had have had such a friendly, mutual involvement in this forum only to be told, out of the blue, to pack up bags and move along

But I am having trouble understanding the nature of the reaction because we did not tell him to pack his bags. We had a strong desire to work with him to work out a "graceful" method to close his forum, but keep him on as a valuable member and contributor to the broader spectrum of alternative topics.




Originally posted by dodgygeeza
The thing that irritated me was Ross wasn't even allowed to publicly announce his departure as all threads were immediately locked and deleted, almost as if the team was trying to hide this fact.

That was irritating to me as well. In fact, I'm still clueless as to why a gentleman with a radio show he's trying to grow and a nascent television effort would "fly off the handle" as he did... before even making any attempt to communicate with me, Simon, or Mark as to our thinking about how to curtail his ATS-brand-related activities. Twenty four hours later, I'm still at a loss.





Originally posted by Hot_Wings
It is easy to forget how things started out in the beginning when money and careers become involved in matters of personal interest. An often said phrase goes, “The best way to kill a hobby is to turn it into a business.” This thinking also follows the old adage of, “Don’t mix business with pleasure.”

(emphasis mine)
I'm wondering where you've heard such an adage? In fact, the reality is just the opposite. Countless business self-help books and start-up consultants/advisors recommend that people who are considering becoming entrepreneurs do so with something that is either a passion, or a hobby in which they are an expert. How many stories have you hear of passionate people with keen interests or hobbies turning that passion into a successful business? (I'll give you a couple hints, Netscape, Yahoo, Google, AOL, Sun, Apple, Hewlett Packard, TD Waterhouse, etc.)

The rest of your post seems to portray a similar fundamental understand of these types of matters. I'm at a loss as to whether you're really not fully understanding these concepts, or if you purposefully posting cynically contrarian ideas just to stir things up (because your writing style would betray a degree of "smarts").



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
reply to post by dodgygeeza
 


I couldn't agree more. No one said Ross couldn't bow out in a graceful manner and/or announce the closure of his forum, but the way he did it - by breaking several T&Cs - caused the closed threads and ultimately his post ban. I understand his frustration but the rules apply to him as much as it does to any other ATS member, including myself and every other staff member.

He was notified that his forum will be closed, and was given more than ample time to get things ready for the closure. No one at any stage said he should quit/leave ATS. That was his decision.


While I agree that Ross's behavior was not well thought out, I would also point out that, under the circumstances, it IS understandable. People who were thought to be allies and friends send a dry message saying that a corporate deal has been cut which precluded the agreement that had been made with him, rather out of the blue, with no personal touch whatsoever - and, yeah, it hurts.

And people who are in pain are not notorious for thinking their actions through, n'est pas?

I suggest cutting the guy some slack, apologizing to him as personally as one might, accepting the fact that the behavior on the part of the representatives of ATS could have been better chosen and admitting that to Ross, and offer to reinstate him as a member.

If ATS accepts responsibility (and it really doesn't matter who's to blame, when one gets right down to it) and approaches Ross in that mode, things can only get better.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 08:58 AM
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I feel that this is an example two diverging philosophies and perspectives which neither party can really help, and which simply are what they are.

On the one hand, ATS is doing what it feels is in the best interests of its own growth, and thereby its membership and their work. It also sounds to me like they are doing their utmost to do so within the confines of their personal ethics, which is an extremely challenging and at times painful undertaking. The business world, especially if one wishes to grow their business (which is, unfortunately, what has to happen in order for any real impact or good to be accomplished by an ethically-driven business,) is often antithetical to the very concept of idealism. Springer and company are clearly (to me at least) trying to maintain a balance between ATS's necessary growth and health (which does include their own security which, as they have said and as anyone should expect, must be preserved in order for this site - let alone their wellbeing - to even exist,) and their idealistic vision for what ATS should be, and what it should continue to provide its membership with. This is a gross oversimplification, but I'll just say: "That ain't easy!" and they have my respect and thanks for it.

On the other hand, there are some with different ideals, who feel that the entire substructure of corporate commercialism and brand ownership is, in and of itself, wrong. For those people, any commercial effort to grow ATS in this way is unpalatable, not because they fail to see that it is necessary within the system our civilization presently operates under, but rather because they view that system as fatally flawed and wrong in the first place. The same people may tend toward a philosophy of absolute fairness, in which advertising a well known person like Robbie Williams' experiences versus those of any other ordinary member might be likewise unpalatable. This philosophy as well I can understand and respect.

It's a bit like me abstaining from voting not because I fail to realize that one candidate or the other is at least a lesser of two evils due to the existence of that same system, but because I abhor that system itself and refuse to take part in it until given a better choice. So when cast in that light, I can also respect their point of view and their convictions. Indeed, I probably fall closer to them on the gradient of opinion or philosophy than I do to ATS's owners.

Nonetheless, I still understand and respect both. It's a difficult philosophical conundrum simply because, at the end of the day, despite common cause, we're all different people. That doesn't mean I won't continue to use, and remain grateful for, the resource that is ATS. All any of us simple human beings can do - and that includes both ATS's owners AND NomadRush - is what we believe is right, and try to respect and tolerate one another's differences with regard to what constitutes that for each and every one of us.

I call it "attempted selfless assertion," which is to say that I assert my beliefs while attempting to be as selfless and respectful as possible in so doing. That, too, "ain't easy."

Edited for spelling.

[edit on 9/20/2008 by AceWombat04]



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 09:29 AM
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Originally posted by Amaterasu
I suggest cutting the guy some slack, apologizing to him as personally as one might, accepting the fact that the behavior on the part of the representatives of ATS could have been better chosen and admitting that to Ross, and offer to reinstate him as a member.

I did sent Ross a regretful email at 10:15 (EST) yesterday morning, which was intended to open the door for a mutual apology... however, it was vehemently rejected by Ross and he continues to talk trash about us ever since.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 10:11 AM
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I expected as much, the way that the thread has been moved was predicatble. Tell me SkepticOverlord, what the was the point in moving the thread to the "rant" board, but keeping the thing locked?

I should have kept my mouth shut.

[edit on 20-9-2008 by dodgygeeza]



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Creating a company with aspirations to expand from online into multiple offline channels requires a level of capitalization and potentially more than one round of equity funding. It's generally pretty difficult to attract investors to buy into a not-for-profit company... not impossible, just very difficult.


Mr. Overlord, with all due respect I am required to say Posh. There is a level of "double speak" in your statement, perhaps inadvertent, which needs to be addressed. Investors do not "buy into" a Non Profit Organization. Why would they? There is no return on their investment. You are too intelligent and too business savvy to not be aware of that, so for the time being I will grant you a "slip of the tongue".

Non Profit Organizations do not function on the support of investors. Non Profit Organizations function on the support of donors and grants. They sponsor paid events and have raffles. They sell advertising, merchandise, and services. If they are good at what they do, which you seem to be, then their funding and their organization grows.

It is misleading to the membership to imply that it requires profits in order to expand this organization. Expanding this organization requires funding. Profits and Funding are not synonymous. The Above Network chose to become a for profit organization for a reason, and funding was not that reason. Profit was the reason.

If The Above Network had chosen to become a Non Profit Organization it would only have strengthened the integrity of this network. Detractors would not be able to cry "foul, ATS is only in it for the money". The Amigos would have maintained total control over their network and there would have been no need to delete content or close down sections of the network in order to appease investors or fulfill contractual obligations. This would still be ATS as decreed by the Amigos, and not the William Morris Agency show.

There was a time when the Amigos could do anything they desired with their network. It was theirs and theirs alone. We knew who the Amigos were and we trusted them. Now there are investors. Some we are aware of, some we are not. This recent event clearly illustrates that the investors have a great deal of control over this network and the content it is allowed to present.



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