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A note about the seeming "commercialization" of ATS.

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posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:07 AM
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Form time to time, comments have occurred relating to the increased number of ads on our website. These have come in the form of U2U's, comments in posts, e-mails, and similar means. I thought it a good time to address some concerns of members and onlookers. Generally, the cost of keeping this website running is increasing every month. Our traffic requirements are beginning to exceed the capacity of even the most powerful single-server typically available at dedicated hosting providers. We're looking at advancing to a custom built hosting installation which would be somewhat expensive to set-up, and cost nearly twice our current monthly bill to maintain. But such is progress and the demands of our members and especially the phenomenal number of guests who come every day. Our current strategy is to subscribe to two advertising networks, one for the contextually-targeted text ads (Google) and another for a broad spectrum of ads from RightMedia. The graphic banner ads are seen mostly by guests. First and foremost, the content of AboveTopSecret.com will never be influenced by any advertiser. From the vantage point of the casual onlooker, it may seem as though ATS is sponsored by AOL, Disney, Netscape and Classmates. Nothing could be further from the truth. We subscribe to an ad network, and the advertisers in the network select the sites they appear on. So in reality, AOL has decided ATS is a good place to advertise. ATS Members will always receive minimum advertising. Our members are the ones creating the content the rest of the world comes to see. So our basic model is to "make the guests pay" by delivering the bulk (80%) of the advertising impressions to the guests. Bigger is not always better. True... unless, you define "better" as helping the most people understand alternative ways of thinking about current events. If you define "better" as the most intense and hard-core conspiracy discussion, we may not fit that definition. However, given where ATS has evolved, that may not be appropriate for us. What we have evolved to is a massively popular destination for conspiracy and alternative topics... a grand smorgasbord of ideas and conversation that is an ideal first stop for people just learning about our topics. Once they learn, if they move on to a more "hard core" site, so be it... at least we played a role in someone discovering something new and that is the best we can hope for. So, in the end, we need the advertising to keep this site up and running and most important, free for all to join with never a query to our members for donations. Your best "donation" to ATS is to continue to crete the killer content that attracts thousands of people every day. This is how we will continue to pay larger bills, and attract even more people.




posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:11 AM
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Mind me asking what the price is a month for such a setup??



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:17 AM
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Yep , same question ....

we seem to be sheltered once we are in , but what does this big boy cost , and should the ATS store surplus go to server costs?

Admire the donation thing though...

-curious george

*needs to order t-shirt or shut mouth*

[edit on 22-6-2004 by oddtodd]



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:19 AM
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The Overlord speaks the truth. The site is getting more traffic everyday and the costs are escalating at a fast clip.

The reasons are obvious. The membership of this site is one of the most intelligent/creative groups of people I have seen gathered anywhere, cyberspace or otherwise.

This talent's output, the threads, posts, ATSNN articles, research projects, short stories, awesome debates, etc... are the attractions bringing the guests here.

Once here if the guest desires to join the community they are free to do so at ZERO COST and the adverts are dramatically reduced since they have chosen to participate in creating the goodness.

m...



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:22 AM
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I know that ATS refrains from asking for donations, but I'm a volunteer Firefighter/Paramedic, someone who is all too familiar with the way dontaions work. How come it seems to be such a problem to accecpt donations? I have seen many people who want to donate to ATS, IMO every dollar counts towards to goal and making things better at ATS. It would be one thing to always ask people for donations because we have no other source of income(like what we have to do at the fire dept.), but to just set up a paypal account or something like that and put it somewhere conspicous, seems like a good idea, why restrict the amount of money that can help further the progress that could get us to the next level. This is just my 2 cents worth of opinion. -Muzz



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by dreamlandmafia Mind me asking what the price is a month for such a setup??
Yes... because we'd rather not have members coming forward to dontate money. Please donate your best writing. It wouldn't be hard to look at the top-end machines offered by dedicated server companies, add the costs of additional security, blog software, webmail software, and other "golden items"
to make an accurate guess as to the costs of running ATS. And from there, imagine the costs of going to the next-level in web hosting. Once we go to that next level, montly costs will likely be measure in thousands, not hundreds.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:27 AM
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Where is ATS Hosted, New York, England, Antartica? -Muzz

[edit on 6-22-2004 by muzz]



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:29 AM
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Either donations or membership charges, why not?

I rather change my memberships from some of this web places like real player and gaming places (my children have this) and put it on this site, after all is worth it.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:43 AM
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The reason for disliking accepting member donations is simple... you're already donating through your posts. And it's the quality of your posts that is causing the hugh increase in demand for ATS. It makes the most sense to find a business model that takes advantage of that simple concept: members => post content => attract visitors The model seems to be working well enough so far, more than 75% of our daily traffic is from non-member visitors reading the posts of our members. If we "make them pay" through giving them advertising, everyone wins: 1- members continue to enjoy a robust free community 2- visitors enjoy the writings of members for free, except for some banner ads And really, the $20 here and there from members every month would only be a "drop in the bucket" and not worth the effort. Sorry to belittle your desire to contribute monitarily like that, but it's the hard truth. The most worthy and effective donation you can make is to continue making quality posts. It's pretty simple.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 11:50 AM
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Cool , will do!
*accepts one liner penalty....*



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:03 PM
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My 2 cents:

Non-members should continue to be able to view freely but you should be charged a fee to become a member in order to post. And charge whatever is necessary to support the cost of running the system.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:11 PM
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Welcome to Corp. Earth guys. Long gone are the days when 'Love made the World Go 'Round.' It's the almighty Dollar that People are after now. After all, what did you expect when society is based upon Capitalism?

IMO, the advertisements here are minimal for such a large and popular site and the Management does keep it as non intrusive as possible too.

The only thing I'd suggest is adjusting or redesigning the Main Heading & Title at the top where the 'Flashing Ad Box' is at. To me it's not only throws off the balance with it spliced in there, but it covers up part of the ATS Logo & Pictures. It looks bad not only visually but tarnishes the ATS image and style because it sorta looks like the ATS Logo comes Second to the Advertisers. Making it fit properly without covering up something else would look much more professional, yet still provide the same service.

*Side Note: I'm a little disgusted in just the fact that AOL is advertising on here!! That just personal however, but I still think you should consider adjusting the placement, regardless of which Corp. Scumbag it is who has purchased your soul.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by sen5e
My 2 cents:

Non-members should continue to be able to view freely but you should be charged a fee to become a member in order to post. And charge whatever is necessary to support the cost of running the system.




That would discourage alot of posters, and as a consequence whatever left over may not be that interesting to read, then ofcause ATS goes under.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by sen5e
Non-members should continue to be able to view freely but you should be charged a fee to become a member in order to post


Hi sen5e

IMO, that would defeat the whole purpose of A.T.S.

"FREE speech"
Sanc'.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by sen5e
My 2 cents:

Non-members should continue to be able to view freely but you should be charged a fee to become a member in order to post. And charge whatever is necessary to support the cost of running the system.




There are alot of kids on ATS. We cant afford something like that.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by mOjOm
*Side Note: I'm a little disgusted in just the fact that AOL is advertising on here!! That just personal however, but I still think you should consider adjusting the placement, regardless of which Corp. Scumbag it is who has purchased your soul.


It could be worse, they could be letting Wal-Mart advertise here...



Seriously though, I never thought of ATS as being or becomming commercialized, it never really hit me until reading this thread.

I understand the need for the advertising and support it 100%, I don't mind the flashing ads etc.

Good Job on a great site, the best on the internet if you ask me !



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:07 PM
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T-shirts,cups,etc is a good way to bring the pennies in, i prefer that then forcing new members to purchase membership. ATS is "FREE speech" not $20 to have your say

Here is a excellent way to make money, extortion. Governments have to pay us to keep silent
that would bring the pennies in or a law suit


(extortion idea is a joke)



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:09 PM
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A good model to follow:

www.ezboard.com...

There is enough that is free to allow anyone to participate.

They charge for the bells & whistles. Maybe the same concept can be applied here. For example: posts are free up to a certain quota per day after that you need to pay, you need to pay to have an avatar, different colour backgrounds etc.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:15 PM
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Damn it, guys, Skeptic has made his position on donations and payments clear. Instead of spending time coming up with new ways to give him what he said he doesn't want, go and research UFO activity in Bolivia, or the Masonic origins of Burger King or something similiar, and work on some outstanding posts.

Hang on, now I've posted on this thread instead of working on a "real" post...



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:17 PM
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no,no,no,no


don't change anything to do with the board, membership will decline. Either stick with the t-shirt and stuff or resort to organized crime
ATS mafia


But i think that SimonGray should write a book about his theories on the world, i would buy it
the rings game could be made into a real game, people can purchase it for their PC.



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