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The Standard of Discussions on ATS

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posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 01:24 AM
I remember some time last summer or autumn there were a lot of complaints about an influx of new members, saying a lot of them were younger and prone to making immature or facile comments, etc. 'The board is going to the dogs' was the basic argument. At the time I felt there was little substance to the accusation, though I accepted that perhaps certain forums that I didn't really frequent might have been experiencing such problems to some degree.

I felt the need to reignite the issue as I have been struck by the quality of many discussions of late, particularly in terms of strikingly thoughtful and perceptive posts, not to mention OPs. Just a few quick examples I happen to have come across in the last 30 minutes or so:

Where's the proof of the world unwinding USD?

Shocking discovery at local farm!

Codex Alimentarius - 3,000,000,000 deaths forcasted, December 31 '09

It's not so much the question of whether I agree with this or that poster. It's just great to be faced with such quality - even if I only happen to be lurking.

I accept the above are a very brief list of examples, but I'm confident I could go through my 'history' and list endless others.

So so what is your impression - do you agree the general direction is very positive? Was the debate about a deterioration last year perhaps driven by a few disgruntled members?

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 01:34 AM
I've been a dedicated Internet Warrior for almost 20 years and one thing I can tell you is that on EVERY board, site, and group I've EVER spent time on, the "this place is going to the dogs" threads start about a week after a given site goes up. "Things were better in the old days" seems to be a constant whine on EVERY BBS out there, no matter whether the "old days" for the board in question were one month or fifteen years ago.

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 01:48 AM
...So in comes ST to illustrate exactly what I'm talking about. He/she comes straight back with some very perceptive thinking. Nice going.

Do folks agree that their is a perceptable improvement?

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:13 AM
You have to keep a couple of things in mind... ATS - much like everything else where humans are involved - is a living, breathing entity. Its life force is naturally the visitors and members. ATS as a being will behave a certain matter or grow in a certain direction because of the living force that drives it. ATS will never be exactly the same entity at any given point in time. It changes from minute to minute.

Its life force in turn is influenced by world events. Visitors happen upon ATS searching for "Swine Flu", Air France crash and so forth. At times we will be joined by members with an affinity to Blossom Goodchild. Other times we will be joined by people looking for an answer about a certain Norton Antivirus program... But these "new members" come and go as the fads come and go. ATS isn't for every one. Most of us that has been here a while demand quality. Those fly-by posters that come and go like the seasons simply doesn't share our high demands. Yet, they are very much part of the ATS entity.

That is why ATS seem to go "up and down". Just because we see a rise in "Blossom Goodchild" threads doesn't mean the quality of ATS dropped. It just means there's a rise in threads that doesn't meet our demand for quality.

There will always be quality threads on ATS. In fact there is one being posted right now (
). The question is - will it disappear into the great abyss of history as an unpolished gem, or will the members grab it and go with it?

All that said - the bad news is - we are approaching that time of the year again. Troll season. The time of year when some of the younger folks aren't at school and they get bored and hit the Internet with the sole purpose of entertaining themselves at the cost of serious ATS members.

But do not fear. Between our hoax-slaying members, sharp debaters and staff with polished ban hammers we'll keep ATS to the standard our valued members demand.

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:18 AM
reply to post by pause4thought

Yes, more positive and seemingly more scholarship. But I see more one-liners than ever before. And maybe I missed the announcement that one-liners are now acceptable, but it is pretty lame the "yah, me too! lolz!" I can forever due without that crap. And smileycons/emotocons or whatever they are called as well. I was taught by rhetorical scholars to say what you intend to say, strengthen your language to promote discourse, anything else will cheapen and degrade the rhetorical tradition...but I must stop now before I bite my hand in frustration until it bleeds.

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:33 AM
reply to post by pause4thought

The board is going to the dogs' was the basic argument.

To Scooby Doo maybe? Anyways...

I have just joined ATS not long ago, and have found it to be a great place where people of all opinions are welcomed. In that time I have come across great threads, and joined in depth conversations with other members.

Certain people will always come and try and ruin the integrity of a website, and spoil the members enjoyment. That is why we have a great moderation team watching over the boards and keeping ATS a fantastic place for all to use.

Woof, woof, Scooby Dooby Doo

[edit on 18-6-2009 by Scooby Doo]

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:42 AM
My history on this board is not as long as that of some of you (I've been lurking maybe 3 or 4 years ond posting only a year and a half or so) but in the time I've been here I've noticed a lot more "solid" political articles and a seeming reduction in the more esoteric subjects like spirituality, aliens, UFOs, etc. I'm a fan of both types of discussion, but my impression is that the board is moving more into "hard news" (so to speak) and away from UFO-ology and mysticism.

I would have to say that all things considered, this is a positive development because it extends the reach of ATS and broadens its appeal. There are a lot more people aware that "something's wrong with the government and economy" (even if they don't have much of a clue what exactly it is) than there are people interested in debating the nuances of Area 51, say. So this board can take on a "sharper edge" as a real weapon to question the illusions of the mainstream media and it can broaden its appeal far beyond its initial scope. If this trend continues, I think ATS could develop into a real force with more clout in the real world and more torque in terms of debating concrete issues.

As I stated, I also like the more esoteric topics, especially the spirituality threads, and the fact that I can flip back and forth between these threads and more politically oriented ones on the same board is a big draw. But we live in increasingly darkening times, so I guess its good that more attention is being paid to the nuts and bolts of politics and the economy.

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:51 AM
Hey, I still love this place.
But, i miss the ol GW Threads.
Man, he really stapled here at this place.
Ahh George..

Ill be honest, i come to ATS every morning.
I get my coffee, I sit at my desk, I open the stocks, ATS, cnn, and my email, in that order!

Nothing like starting you day with a totally up to date view of the world!
Especially in this day, Nkorea, Iran riots, Swine flu...

If only they had a board for the Allblacks, Nomadic Backpacking and a '' what did you do this wknd '' thread.. it would be heaven!

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 03:32 PM
I registered at a what I consider a "bad" time, when the Goodchild hoax was going on, although I was a lurker for a while prior to that.
This place can be a bit intimidating, as the core members / contributors of this site seem to be highly educated individuals, rather than immature flaming trolls that frequent numerous other boards.

Because of this I have tried to contribute in a manner that is beneficial to the site and it's members (although, I suppose I do slip up sometimes), and because I am kind of expected to keep up such a high standard, I appreciate this site and its members that much more, you know?

As far as the general quality? To me it seems that when something is big (i.e. Goodchild, H1-N1, 2012, etc...) in popular culture, new people tend to gravitate towards ATS because lets face it, in most cases we have been talking about a lot of the "new" things for quite a while , therefore giving a Google quite a large database to draw from yes? Eventually, these new people decide to contribute, and perhaps their standards are not as high as what we are used to. Eventually, they get ignored, the current story or fad fades, and they go away. Then it all happens again a few months down the road.

Just my two.

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 04:57 PM
I feel the responses so far have been extremely enlightening. Trying to get a feel for the current state of play is no mean challenge when it comes to something as complex as ATS. It seems to me it's as important as the stats. Qualitative research I believe they call it.

I think the explanations for the fluctuations in quality are excellent. Obviously we can't expect those who are finding their feet as it were to fully comprehend the whole ethos from the off.

And thank goodness for the characters. Plucky: I seem to remember a fair few one-liners from you.
Most of them contained two words beginning with P & S, incidentally.

As for Scooby Doo - looks like we may have another Schrodingers or Major in the making.

And I see Blossom Goodchild receives more than a single mention. What a Dame!

Am I perhaps the only ATS-er who had the audacity never to click on one of those threads?

Interesting what Juston has said about initially feeling intimidated. It may be a very personal thing, but I can't help wondering if a simpler, overhauled FAQ instruction booklet might enable newcomers to find their feet a little more easily, as it would arguably free them up to concentrate on the 'what' more than the 'how'. (I don't want to go off topic - just a thought.)

Juston: interesting how you describe the basic tenor of this site. From what you and others have said the way it is policed has a positive impact on who choses to stay. There are plenty of trashy 'post-what-you like' mob-rule sites out there, so I really hope this board maintains its distinctive character for many years to come.

Interesting what ST said about topics too. I agree the harsh realities of recession are hitting home to such a degree many people are naturally gravitating towards current affairs.

But long live John Titor and Blossom Goodchild, not to mention knife-bearing fish-aliens. (Oops - controversial

There's quality in every discussion, pretty much. The broad opinion - so far - seems to be the good quality discussions are prevalent, at least for now.

I have to admit, though, sometimes the lighter topics are incredibly entertaining.

(I should probably spend more time in the Gray Area, not to mention Skunk Works!)

posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 12:30 AM

Originally posted by Juston
I registered at a what I consider a "bad" time, when the Goodchild hoax was going on,

All i can say or was of expecting is that she and all her content over youtube and meta cafe and selective chat room's that were set up were quickly taken offline and not by the owners.

[edit on 19-6-2009 by tristar]

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