I understand and very-much appreciate and am flattered by the enthusiasm expressed here. Proactive members are among our most-valued assets.
But... there's a "however,"
A grass-roots member-driven awareness drive has a certain amount of risk, not that any of you may personally represent a risk, but someone else might.
Our continued growth relies as much on our continued reputation as it does on great content and civil discussions. An overly-passionate supporter may,
with the best of intentions, offend the wrong person at the wrong time/place and end up causing some harm to that reputation.
For example... it wouldn't be unusual for someone really "into" these topics to say something like, "You've been lied to all your life and are
clueless, go to ATS to stop being a sheeple." In their mind, from the point of view of the sensibilities of an enthusiastic ATS supporter, that may
seem like an appropriate or even normal statement -- but to the average person, it could be offensive or even insulting.
If we have a wide-open awareness building campaign calling on members to "spread the word," there is significant risk that something like that will
happen... in fact, it may be a certainty.
While it may come across sounding overly "corporate," the truth is that such efforts are best left to us. We are indeed ramping-up a PR effort and
preparing some rather targeted efforts at getting the media to become aware of our expertise on certain subjects. Our communications will be more
tempered and fine-tuned to the sensibilities of the recipients, and more likely to receive a positive response.
But still... what can YOU
do? Because, we know many of you would want to do "something."
While it may seem overly simplistic, it's all-too true. Good threads and good posts are the foundation of why ATS has grown. Among the long-history
of members seeking to donate money, time, or other efforts, our response has always been, "just divert that energy to good posts." The long-standing
arrangement of our promise to work hard to get people to notice what you post continues to be successful, and there's no good reason to alter that
Second-Most Important: Attitude
All one need do is review the "antics" portrayed in video of those who are intensely-passionate about ATS-styled topics. Overly-zealous 9/11 Truth
supporters and people claiming to be part of "We Are Change" have allowed their passion and exuberance to distort what should be an important
message. When you speak with someone about any topic represented on ATS for which you're really passionate, we must work exceptionally hard to "tone
it down" and be polite, respectful, and empathetic. No one wants to hear their preconceptions are wrong or their education has been skewed. And for
the most part, many of our topics contain ideas or assertions that will be not just only shocking to most people, they won't even want to think about
Calm. Respectful. Polite. Sympathy. Whenever you speak with someone about our provocative topics, those four thoughts should constantly ring through
Third-Most Important: Humor
Humor is society's antiseptic. Almost any highly-toxic subject can be examined when done so through a bit of humor. Certainly we don't want to make
light of our subjects, but being able to see the humor others seen in some
of our subjects will -- I guarantee -- make you and the topic
If you are really so passionate about the conspiracy subject matter that rises to the surface on ATS, you owe it to everyone else who feels the same
to treat the subject with the utmost respect. Never insult someone to make your point. Never exaggerate the truth to make your point. Never contrive
"evidence" to make your point. These are serious subjects with, if true, serious implications. On the whole, no one should want
many of our
subjects to be true... but we should want
the truth, no matter how painful it may be.
For lack of a better analogy, treat these topics as if you're an 18 year-old stud protecting your innocent and beautiful 13 year-old sister.
If every ATS member does those four things when creating posts and discussing our site or our topics in every-day life, the rest will easily fall
[edit on 28-4-2010 by SkepticOverlord]