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How YOU can improve the Quality on ATS

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posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:35 PM
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Definition of Quality-on-ATS: Posts that are well-researched, well-sourced, entertaining, helpful or revealing something new. Respectful Behaviour towars others

You can help to improve quality at ATS with the following measures:

1. Instead of Complaining about bad quality, post good quality yourself or refrain from comment

Its a fact that most threads that we term "bad quality" are promoted and "bumped" by the people complaining about them. Someone posts something lousy and then you have 20 people responding What a lousy thread!...and this is what lets that lousy thread become more popular, make the ATS front page and gain a lot of attention and momentum.

It is a fact that some of the worst threads of the most replies, and some of the best threads the least replies.

If you see something you dont like, leave it alone and look for something you DO like. If you cant find anything you like, make a quality-thread yourself.

Its basically a waste of time to create threads about how bad other members are, how bad a certain thread is, how bad ATS is. If you want to see it any better, you have to do it yourself - because this place is created by the users.

2. Support Quality Threads

One problem with well-researched threads that deliver clear answers is that there´s not much to discuss. These threads are more for reading than for responding to. But they have to be supported nevertheless, so that as many people as possible get to read them. If you see a high quality thread that does not incite much discussion, you can "bump" it, by adding to the information provided by the OP (links, more info) or asking questions towards the OP.

You also support quality threads by

a) Giving Flags, Stars and Diggs

b) Alerting others to a high quality thread

c) Linking the high quality thread in your signature.

3. Do more reading than posting

One of the main quality-downers are the many threads and topics that have been seen and posted over and over and over and over since years. It is advisable to do a Search before posting to see if the topic you want to post about has already been covered several times. If you find that it has not been covered yet, or that it has not been covered in good quality, or has not been covered in its entirety, then its time to make a new thread.

By reading more than posting you will get a feel for whats quality and whats not, what has already been covered, and how to write good posts.

And you will also discover a massively huge archive of rare jewels.

4. Know what you want to get out of ATS everytime you log on.

Another quality-downer is that many posts seem to be random, unfocused, grown out of boredom or frustration than enjoyment of this place.

What do you really want when logging on? Why do you come here?

By remaining keenly aware of what you want (quality reading, quality writing, making friends, intellectual stimulation, fantastic entertainment, interactive synergy, humor, learning, teaching...or whatever else) your surfing behaviour here changes and turns from random to focussed and bearing great fruit.

You then meet people with common interests, learn stuff you´d never suspected, and contribute great insight everywhere you go.

5. Remain mindful and respectful that there is a human being on the other side of the computer.

Communicating without seeing faces, eyes, bodies, beating hearts, a persons possible issues, sometimes makes us behave coldly and without interest, compassion or tolerance toward our fellow humans here.

If someone appears to be an idiot, remain aware of the following:

Hurting people often hurt

Respect is a lubricant that keeps good communication flowing.

6. Diversity of Opinion can be a cause of fun rather than a cause of anger

If you feel that "everyone else is wrong" and that others should agree with a certain viewpoint or have a certain belief, you are, without knowing it, working towards conformity. If everyone had the same beliefs our society would stagnate and eventually die. Diversity of opinion is a great thing and it is possible for you to be "right" about something, without belittling others. It is possible to disagree with someone without calling them a dumbass for having their own opinion.

7. What makes a good thread?

I dont know. Thats up to you. But judging from the history of ATS and which threads were much liked by the membership, a good thread usually has one or more of the following characteristics:

* Some of your own original thoughts and ideas (rather than a mere copy/paste from somewhere)

* Some of your own research and source-references built in (rather than a mere idea without any backup or reason-for-it whatsoever)

* Some unknowns or questions for discussion

* Maybe some pictures

There is stuff only you know.


Possible Objections could be "yes, but, this and this member or this and this thread, or this and this behaviour is really bad!".

However, it still cant be solved by pointing it out, only by doing something better yourself. And if something is really bad, all you have to do is file a post-alert towards the staff of this site.

Another Objection might be Who are you to say whats quality and whats not?

To which I respond: Im not saying what is and what is not quality. Im just saying how you can support the things you think are important, you think are quality.

Finally: Why would you want to improve Quality at ATS? Because good quality posts attract more good quality posters which then again make more good quality posts. Build Momentum. What you give to this community, you get back.

The best comments to this thread are examples showing what you think are high-quality threads.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:37 PM
Hmmm. How did you write that, that fast? I took it as you are countering the recent posts that came about.

But, great points either way.

The biggest point, cannot be stressed enough. If it's a horrible thread, don't reply and it will die. People seem to cannot refrain from hitting that reply button.

[edit on 29-8-2008 by jhill76]

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:38 PM
Definitely flagged this..
Let's hope it makes a difference.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:44 PM
Thank you for the guildlines on a quality post. I have been on ATS for about a year, I'm guessing. In that small time-frame of a year, I have seen a quality decrease.

Thank you again, hope many people read and learn from this. Starred and Flagged.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:55 PM

Originally posted by jhill76
Hmmm. How did you write that, that fast?

Rush of fury about the same old complaints about other threads, other members, quality, etc.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by truth_seeker3

Just a question. Why do you say star and flagged, and you can't star threads in this forum. Or, i just can't on my end?

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:57 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Here's a good example, cause I know you're all humble and such: Untersberg

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by jhill76

It was metaphorical. (Is that even a word!?) But totally agreed.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 03:26 PM
Just wondering, the time stamp for the last post was at 3:00 PM... But in recent posts it says 4:09 PM. Is this a tool that you guys can use to bump a thread?

I'm not saying it is wrong, just a curiosity.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 03:32 PM
I wholeheartedly agree, Sky. I have recently found myself digging around the forums to find good posts/threads which never got the replies or attention they deserved and trying to add something to bump them, or at least reward the OP with some response for a good post.

Your Untersberg thread is great and I'm following it too; of course last night I got sidetracked and stayed up until 1am reading the "Ted the Caver" stuff.

Here are a few more threads that I don't think got the attention they should have:

What would it take for you to believe?

The Height 611 UFO Crash

Why are we so fascinated with the otherworldly?

The Conspiracy Against American Awareness

A reason we do not see more UFOs

Skyfloating, you are an example of the Number One reason I keep coming back to ATS. Keep up the great contributions!

(edit to fix typos)

[edit on 29-8-2008 by Heike]

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 03:37 PM

Originally posted by Skyfloating
One of the main quality-downers are the many threads and topics that have been seen and posted over and over and over and over since years. It is advisable to do a Search before posting to see if the topic you want to post about has already been covered several times.

This is making the assumption that the search feature of ATS has been implemented in a useful way - but it hasn't.

The "Search" feature is nothing more than just searching google for

" chupacabra"

This means that if someone had chupacabra in their signature, by-line, name, etc. it will produce inconsistent results.

[edit on 29-8-2008 by scientist]

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 03:39 PM
jhill: Thats possible yes.

heike: Thanks for the great links.

scientist: Have you checked out the new search functions (you can search by thread, thread author, key-words, etc.)

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 03:56 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Imho, I think a search should be mandatory before being able to start ANY thread.
Just today we have 5 or 6 McCain VP threads going, surely we only need one.
I just saw the 3rd Swedish Lock Ness thread come up today. Make it mandatory, inflict point deductions, do something. It will save mods time and all the rest of us who have enough respect for other members not to compete for thread space and topics.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 04:00 PM
reply to post by schrodingers dog

I agree! Or, if the lazy ones don't do it. We could have something like, where the software searches for similar posts and shows them to you, then asks if you would still like to post.

LAMP guy here....

[edit on 29-8-2008 by jhill76]

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 04:00 PM

Originally posted by Skyfloating
scientist: Have you checked out the new search functions (you can search by thread, thread author, key-words, etc.)

yes I have, they do not work as expected.

for example:

click on the search tab, then put in "scientist" under "post author" and hit search.

guess what.. it returns ALL threads with the word "scientist" in it. Not a single result on the first page (or probably any after that) are mine.

TO be fair, using the "search by thread title" and putting in "scientist" as "post author" works as I would expect it to.

again, this highlights the inconsistency of the search function.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 04:22 PM
two ways of looking at the OP

A. it is a good source of helpful info in creative writing & presentation

B. it is a guideline to how we are supposed to behave as authors

so, we are left with the choice.... is this thread 'altruistic'
or just 'behavior modification' of the sheeple

?? when & where does the conspiracy stop ??

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 05:03 PM

Originally posted by St Udio
so, we are left with the choice.... is this thread 'altruistic'
or just 'behavior modification' of the sheeple

?? when & where does the conspiracy stop ??

How about .. it is just what it appears to be - a well-written, thoughtful, and helpful response to all of the complaining about the "deteriorating quality" on ATS?

I realize this is a conspiracy site, but sometimes I think some of y'all look WAY too hard for conspiracies everywhere.

I'm the "rescuer" type myself and I also tend to offer suggestions/solutions when people are complaining. It could also be that Sky is annoyed about all the whining and complaining by people who apparently have nothing better to do than complain, even though they aren't contributing any quality content to ATS themselves. I know I am. Luckily for you guys Sky got around to posting about it before I did, because I wouldn't have been nearly as nice about it.

"If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 05:36 PM
As an observation, you can find a regional politics forum if you click the link in my sig.

Some good stuff going on there.

The amount of times I've clapped while reading a thread, and laughed, and got angry - there's some really good threads, if you like politics.

There's also some really good stuff in other forums - at the moment, I read more than I post, and there is nothing I like better than a really good, informative, slightly scary, controversial thread or post.

TBH I generally avoid flame fests - it just spoils my enjoyment of a great site, where I can have a good read.

I also avoid the threads which seem just a little too outrageous, although I enjoy reading them.

Skyfloating was right though - the way to improve the board is to do it ourselves.

Because as anyone will tell you: it's our board.

Deny ignorance, and have fun doing it is my motto.

[edit on 29/8/2008 by budski]

posted on Aug, 30 2008 @ 02:10 AM
We can all seriously improve the search function by using the tag option at the bottom of the thread. If more members would add a thread tag the search option would work much better.

Again, if you hate a thread topic, and have nothing of real substance to contribute other than to expunge on how much you feel the topic is unworthy of attention. Please by all means do not post in said topic. Trolls exist en masse in forums posting ridiculous threads for the expressed purpose of getting those hate filled, short, cur,t derogatory posts.

However if you seriously disagree with the topic and have supporting documentation to debunk said topic. It is well within your rights to rip apart the post of the topic primer using your evidence and or your own personal knowledge base to completely debunk the topic at hand. One must however remember when doing this to do so in a courteous and respectable manner and present your case in detail so that you debunk the topic, all the while, respecting the poster.

Getting involved with a flame war on this site is far too easy. What we as members need to remember is that while we may disagree with the topic primer, the poster does not. Again etiquette should prevail and we should give the poster respect while debunking the idea.

Sometimes personally I agree with a topic or post but have little to contribute to the thread itself. This is when the Star and Flag options come into play for me. One can star a post, or flag a topic without resorting to the useless "I agree, star and flag for you" post. This does nothing to add any merit to the topic at hand.

I believe this thread is going to go into my signature line myself. I believe in this website. I love ATS/BTS and love to participate in as much as I can here. I think that many members are brilliant people with varied experiences and are articulate enough to ensure that this site remains the best discussion board on the Internet.

posted on Aug, 30 2008 @ 02:29 AM
reply to post by whatukno

You make several great points. Star for y ... oh wait, I can't!

The issues arise because of all the divergent ambitions of ATS members on any given day. One doesn't even need to use the search option to see that there are now at least 8 different threads on Palin, it's right in front of them on the "recent posts" page. But you have crews that have agendas one way or the other, you have point "slutts", you have restricted forums, and you have haters, thinkers, and nutters. Not knowing that there's 3 Swedish monsters threads already is laziness, to create another Palin thread is intentional, and imho should have consequences, cause that's how we learn to play with others.

One of the best ways this was handled by the mods recently was with the Russia/Georgia threads. They really clamped down and closed all the marginal or duplicating threads that kept popping up every hour or so. Though one would think the same principle could be applied with all the political threads, it seems ATS is more hesitant to do this in these forums, though it would surely be just as effective.

[edit on 8/30/2008 by schrodingers dog]

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