Technically, the membership vets itself continuously every day. Not from a background perspective, but that's never going to happen.
Once upon a time, this was a dark little backwater of the Internet, usually discovered by someone who had been referred here. It was like a little
private club in someone's basement. You even had to submit a few lines of text about why you wanted to join and then be approved for membership.
We've grown way past that concept. Now, we're more like an open mic in a public park. Anyone can step up and speak, providing they register with an
As with anything, there's good and bad associated with that. Yes, it means there's more volume which means more dreck. I honestly think the volume
of gold to dross is about the same as it ever was. And there's no doubt everyone suffers from some "site fatigue" after they've been here for awhile.
It all starts to look overly familiar.
Our challenge as a site is to keep things as civil as we can to encourage participation from everyone who joins. The more we can do that, the more
My personal opinion is that the concept of TPTB somehow being involved in manipulating the content is way, way overblown. I have yet to see a
situation where it wasn't more a contrary opinion that someone voiced labelled as "shill".
There's no doubt we have people who come here and attempt to create havoc for their own amusement, but they're more akin to common vandals than
organized official attempts at disinfo. Believe what you will, but after 7 years here and 5 of them on staff, I can state unequivocally that I've
seen nothing that would lead me to believe the government(s) give a single whit what we do here.
We're a discussion forum. We provide a venue for discourse. The membership in aggregate does a pretty good job of vetting the info. At the end of
the day, it's the information that's important not who delivers it.
The only time we'll get involved in any sort of vetting is if someone registers claiming to be a person of notoriety. The ownership will get involved
to assure the person is who they claim to be.
Sure Skeptic owns the site but without us there is no ATS. Trolls don’t click on the money ads here on ATS. Real members generate the
As far as revenue, yes the content drives it. The fact is, non-registered lurkers generate far and away more ad revenue than participating members.
There are a lot more lurkers, and they see more ads, and that's what makes the money. The stats don't differentiate between registered vs lurker.
It's views, in which members are far outnumbered by lurkers following a link.
Without content there's nothing to see, so we certainly are dependent upon the content providing members. But a registered non-participant doesn't
make much revenue for the site.
By the way, SkepticOverlord is the top tech guy, but he has equal partners.
From the Forum Page
CEO & Community Director: Bill (SkepticOverlord)
COO & Marketing Director: Mark (Springer)
CFO Stephen (Crakeur)
[Edit to add]
And now I see two other staffers chimed in while I was composing this post. This was a coincidence, not a designed staff pile on. And that's just
how organized we are.
edit on 5/30/2012 by yeahright because: Adding