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ATS selling out: Membership quantity over quality

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posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:22 PM
reply to post by Crakeur

Wait a minute....jews DON'T have horns???!!!???
Just kidding.

That story was equally sad and hilarious all at the same time. What do you even say to something like that?

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:24 PM
Well I can say I am not one of those new ones... ATS is an addiction for me.. I vist at least 5 times a day... Anyone know of a 12 step program?

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:38 PM

Originally posted by Rasobasi420
I'm pretty sure that the things discussed by SO (Bill) in this thread are no longer in practice


That initiative was tried more than three years ago and resulted in no substantive improvement in the overall subjective "quality" of new members... and worse, created an elitist posture we're no longer interested in expressing.

Our goal now is elusively simply to describe, and confoundingly difficult to deploy:
1) Create a wildly popular website that is noticed and respected.
2) Make it easy for anyone to join and express what is important to them.
While there are countless examples of major media and the world noticing the content our members post, there are perhaps just as many frustrations over material that some feel shouldn't be on ATS.

Now, with the idea that 'you can come on in, as long as you don't violate the T&C' is reducing that quality of membership.

Or... I would rather our approach be seen this way...
The majority of fine and involved ATS members create an aspirational environment that encourages any to join, yet asks all to elevate their level of discourse.

You see it as a lowering of standards.

I see it as removing barriers to entry.

You see it as a potential harm to quality.

I see it as the potential to teach what quality is.

But the higher the membership and the more threads create the more 'hits' the site gains on web searches, and the more ad revenue it gains, right?

Not in a strict sense. Threads that become popular with members are rarely also popular with visitors/guests (and members make up only about 10-20% of our traffic). For example, the threads from John Lear and Sleeper gained a significant involvement from members in relies and views. However, none of their threads were top performers from an overall traffic standpoint... and rarely were even in the top-500 monthly threads (when viewing guest-only traffic).

That's always been the way I've seen it. And if that is moderately correct, does that mean that the quality of the threads doesn't necessarily matter, as long as it has more pages, and the possibility of hitting certain key words in google searches.

Quality matters very much. Here's the top most-viewed-by-guests threads of the past 30 days (not in order)...
Barksdale Missile Number Six: The Stolen Nuclear Weapon
FBI Fears Chinese Hackers Have Back Door Into US Government & Military
The End of The United States: The Bush Administration Plan
The Metaphysics of Music
USA Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11
Alien Spaceships Around Stargate/Time Portal? Take Out Your Telescopes Now!
We Weren't Designed To Eat Meat, Here Is Proof
Global Economic Crash Late July!

Some are popular because they're current and got flagged onto the home page, others are popular because they were very-hot topics that have multiple links from hundreds of other websites.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by BlackOps719

this one doesn't. as to what I said, it was something along the lines of dead silence coupled with a slack jawed stare. I was really stunned by it.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:40 PM
If there is true racism here you are right. I must say that I did experience some comments that go a little far, but I do not see the larger process of extreme racism that you see.

I also want to mention that criticism on Israel is a lot of times mistaken for anti-semitism. A lot of times when Israel is -rightly- criticized some jews immediately call it anti-semitism. That is quite easy to avoid any further discussions. I don't say that this is true this time. Perhaps you are right and there are real anti-semitism comments here. If that is true than I did not read those comments.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:43 PM
reply to post by Crakeur

If we wanted to sell out, the fastest route would be to remove all "edgy" topics that make people uncomfortable.

No, Crakeur. As I'm sure you know very well, that would make ATS money for a short time but kill the forum in the long run. It's the policy that killed the music industry and is killing Hollywood. And I'm sure you and the other site owners/management are smart enough to know that.

Let's keep this real, shall we? The fact is that ATS has to walk a thin line. You need the visitor numbers to get revenue, and the optimum way to get them is to make the site edgy enough to be interesting, yet not so edgy as to drive the masses away. This feeds into the compromise you make in terms of site policing: not too strict to drive away the unwashed masses, yet not so lenient as to turn the place into a free-for-all. The trick is knowing where to draw the line you have to walk -- pardon the mixed metaphor.

I bet you guys have long meetings on just this subject. In fact, I bet it's the central management issue for ATS.

Am I wrong?

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:52 PM

Originally posted by Astyanax
Am I wrong?


The mention of topics within the context of "management" discussions takes up perhaps 2% of our time, at the most.

Issues related to ensuring that anyone can discuss anything because of well-managed rules of decorum are our primary concern.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

Oh, but that's exactly what I meant.

Content is immaterial. It's all about the degree of policing.

That, I'm sure, is what takes up most meeting time.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:56 PM
well i just started this whole ATS thing and i must admit there is quite alot on here that has literally changed the way i look at the world, and that is to say the least an amazing accomplishment.

as a new member i apologize for not being of such high caliber thinking as many of the vetrans to this site, however im still formulating my ideologies based on what others say and one has to admit when sifting through the worlds largest idea box its expected that quality formulation may take ime.

matters of posting threads. When it comes to posting threads im not really sure how to do it im still learning the sites policies and procedures.

i spend an obscene amount of time on this website which has fastly become my very favorite. rest assured ladies and gentlemen this is one new member that will contribute his fare share when the time comes.

in the mean time i honestly dont know what the problem is with letting people speak their minds.
i have read in many posts people using passive aggressive tactics to attack my religious beliefs and it offends me greatly. lets face it no one like christians. I am christian. to me thats no different than racial bigotry, or any other bias. There are many veiws and life styles on this site that i dont agree with but it comes with the territory.

i find that hearing people speak their minds regardless of how it offends me is what makes this forum great because it brings all aspects of reality to the table and allows me to pick and choose enlightenment.

i feel a need to defend myself as i read many posters complaining about the "new boots" in this forum. I hope i dont turn out to be "that guy"... and ruin it for everyone else by posting substandard material that finds its way to a skunkworks folder with in an hour.
I do however want to bring my experiences as a former soldier, as a parent, as a world traveler and as a member of ATS to contrubute what i have known in my life to hopefully change peoples way of thinking the way mine has been changed since i found this site.

sorry for the rant..


posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:58 PM
Some of us new posters have only recently discovered this site.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:59 PM
I haven't been here long enough to see some of the changes in quality that you mention - other threads have made the same claims - I don't have a good feel for the then and now comparison

but I've already seen enough bigotry in some of the posts to understand what you're talking about - and it's disturbing

but I say let them talk, and talk, and talk

you can't have that kind of censorship on this site - especially this site

and it's always worth it to reexamine this stuff - and for people to be able to freely confront it for what it is

it's not going to go away - and sometimes it's so subtle you don't realize at first that it's even in the thread

and as long as it fits within the parameters that ATS has established - I think they're fair game

either you'll end up with a great thread that puts people on the line and makes us all reexamine what we think - and why

or you'll end up with something so distasteful, or lame - no one will want to give them the attention and it'll just die

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:59 PM
I take it I’m one of those new members of which you speak of but I assure you that I’ll be around here for awhile. And my views are usually not that controversial: )

Best Regards,


posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:05 PM

Originally posted by lucid eyes
Ive been reading this Forum since 2003, and every few months someone who is bored and/or frustrated will come up with "ATS is selling out" or some other BS.

You're right, I've seen it too. As a matter of fact, I used to joke about the whole 'kids these days' thing. But now, with a membership topping 150,000 I'm seeing what they're talking about.

Instead of contributing their own threads or remaining silent, they bash the place, ignorant of the fact that it is their own threads that make this place what it is or is not.

Get a clue, get a life.

Well, here's a link to a list of threads that I've contributed to this site.

I'll also point out that I've started about 255 threads, and received a lot of applause. That's not to brag, that's to point out that I've contributed a lot to this forum in my opinion, and others.


I suppose I see the point of avoiding the elitist exclusion of people on ATS. And, to look at the bright side, it seems like this is a good place to see what the population really thinks in an 'uncensored' environment (that's to say without fear of politically correct repercussions).

However, I might want to rethink my OP. I suppose it's not ATS membership that is getting more and more racist and closed minded, but the American/world population in general. This site is just a reflection of that.

not to flame

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:05 PM

Originally posted by Crakeur
Unfortunately, that pesky freedom of speech thing forces us to allow many of the posts that the staff would love to remove. We do our best to remove the blatant, obvious hate filled messages and I'm sure some do slip thru the cracks but, when someone says "(insert group) is the cause of all things bad" we tend to let them slide as the discussion of this so called conspiracy can serve to enlighten and there is no better way to combat hatred and ignorance than by speaking out against it with facts and data.

Except that the forums are now constantly spammed with posts that are merely small variations on the same subject. Countering the sea of bogus claims that are put out minute by minute by the same few individuals who have obviously joined the site with a set agenda is limiting the diversity of the discussion on the board.

Countering every ignorant claim as you suggest serves to leech energy and attention away from other discussions on the forum. This is why the quality and diversity of the board seems to be eroding.

These posters realize that if you flood a forum with posts that serve a certain agenda and nothing but, you set the conditions for the debate and limit other discussions.

The problem with this forum is not that it limits or not limits free discussion, but that it allows obvious spam from certain members.

Currently any ATS member is allowed to start as many threads as they want as long as topic contains just the slightest variation. In actuality the threads are essentialy cloned. Some members are exploiting this loophole as a means of controlling and limiting the debate.

Until you see some sort of system that encourages diversity on this site, you will see a slide toward the diminishing quality of the debate.

[edit on 24-6-2008 by clay2 baraka]

[edit on 24-6-2008 by clay2 baraka]

[edit on 24-6-2008 by clay2 baraka]

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:15 PM

Originally posted by clay2 baraka
Currently any ATS member is allowed to start as many threads as they want as long as topic contains just the slightest variation. In actuality the threads are essentialy cloned. Some members are exploiting this loophole as a means of controlling and limiting the debate.

we do our best to close duplicate threads and redirect the original poster, and anyone who has posted in the new thread, to the threads that have been previously started. sometimes the new threads are done too quickly for us to keep up, sometimes we simply don't see the duplicate threads. our members are rather good at alerting us to this issue and we ask that you continue with this practice.

A good example of how we try to avoid threads to be made when the topic differs slightly from another can be found in the stephenville sighting threads. every time a small bit of news came out we had several new threads started. we managed to redirect whenever possible and, I think, we did this rather well. yes, we had plenty of members complaining that their thread was different because of some minor reason but the end result is that it is always in the best interest of anyone involved in the topic to keep the conversation in one place as all ideas and thoughts can be seen together.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:15 PM
reply to post by Rasobasi420

So are you presuming yourself to be quality rather than quantity...just because you were here first
These are desperate times and people are looking for answers that traditional outlets have not been able to provide. So, someone joins and only posts a couple of times...BIG DEAL...that does not mean that these same people are not lurking in the shadows and reading the posts daily. Get over yourself please...if you don't like it, then perhaps it is time for YOU to leave!

to you

[edit on 24-6-2008 by no name needed]

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:25 PM
Can I complain about the OP being newbist. noobist?

I only joined recently and haven't made many posts. When I have I've tried to make positive, helpful comments and I've had a go at the caption competition. Pretty inoffensive so far.

One thing I've noticed during my short membership that is that if there's not much interest in a thread it goes away. I hope this thread goes away quickly, I've read all of it because I wanted to reply, but except for some really thoughtful replies from some members, where's the value of it? I wish I'd spent the time reading something informative and intelligent. Or funny.

About the time I joined, I found an old post from someone called Jessica, it went on for over 20 pages. Her girlfriend had coughed up a tiny piece of metal and they wanted to know what it could be. There was a grand debate about alien implants, government implants and the like. Jessica even went to a top ufologist.

There were arguments over whether or not it was a hoax.

Eventually, the item was identified as a small clip that holds the bristles in a toothbrush. I went to check my brush and, sure enough, there were metal clips in it.

That post kept me amused and guessing for a couple of days. I stayed up late to read it. When the mystery was solved I shrieked with laughter.

I'd be impressed with the OP if they could keep a thread of that calibre (mystery, suspense, intelligent debate, a hugely amusing outcome) going.

[edit on 24-6-2008 by berenike]

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:31 PM
i remember when these boards weren't all "2012 planet x ascension indigo children lookatthisyoutubevideoofanalien/ufo mayan calandar end of the world"

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:32 PM
I have seen many new members contribute vast insight and information.
Not all new members are prejudiced idiots.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 02:33 PM

Originally posted by no name needed
reply to post by Rasobasi420

So are you presuming yourself to be quality rather than quantity...just because you were here first

Not at all, and i never claimed to be. I was observing the overall quality of other posts. But, since you brought it up, I think that I've contributed better quality posts than some of what I've seen lately. But then again, some new users have as well.

. Get over yourself please...if you don't like it, then perhaps it is time for YOU to leave!

to you

I think that's the point I was making in the OP. There is the threat of other quality posters not wanting to be a part of ATS after seeing some of the extremely prejudiced posts being added to the forum. If you'd like to force them out, then enjoy.

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