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Myth of the ATS Cool Kids Club ( How To Win The Game Of ATS )

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posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 12:18 AM

Myth of the ATS Cool Kids Club

How To Win The Game Of ATS
As of late I have noticed quite a few posts, seemingly from a resentful point of view, from multiple sources... all inferring that ATS has a clique of people who "matter more" or who might receive special favor, from both staff and from the membership at large. Tales of a "Cool kids club", so to speak - and a general sense of dislike towards those perceived to be included in that club.

This is what I wish to address tonight. Not as a staffer. Not speaking on behalf of, or at the behest of ATS. Just "Heff". Just my thoughts and opinions. Ponder them, take them, or disregard them as you please.

ATS is a community. I realize that a segment of our members disagree with this assessment and tend to be very vocal in their opinions. For them ATS is any number of things:

A news site.
A psyop.
A place to act out.
An opportinty to hoax or disrupt.
An enemy.

I think that these people are, by far and away, the minority. Unfortunately, they are a very, very vocal minority. A problem exacerbated by cheap tricks and deceits that can make their voices even more loud. I think that many of us who have been around awhile learn the ins and outs and sometimes take for granted that not everyone knows the "lay of the land" as well as we do. How many of us have sat and sadly watched a newer member implode and either quit or get themselves banned because they were too unfamiliar with the place to understand some of the nuanced realities here?

"I can PROVE that ATS censors people!!! I found a thread where FORTY-SEVEN different people disagreed with the OP and ALL FORTY-SEVEN WERE BANNED! DELETE MY ACCOUNT NOW!!!"

All while those of us with more experience can only sit back, sadly thinking "No, no, no. It was just one person who came back forty-seven times. One known troublemaker with an agenda... " as we quietly hope that, maybe, the offended member might relax just enough to say "Wait... all forty seven of those banned people happened to make the exact same grammatical mistakes...."

This same sort of rational deduction applies to other subjects as well. Those may or may not be a conversation for a different day. But whatever happens to come to mind, as you read this... is probably also a factor that newer eyes are struggling to understand. Part of what makes them vulnerable to the very loud minority.

For the sake or argument, at this point, please allow me to strip away many trappings and important factors ( I will reinclude these in a minute ) and simply state: Yes, ATS is a community. And just as in any community, there are going to be people who are more well known, popular, or admired than others may be. This is just a truth of life. In all social environments there is a median, and then there are those who either rise above that margin, or fall below it.

Having said that, I offer this truth: ATS is not as challenging as the real world is, socially speaking. We have a much more balanced playing field than your high school did, or your local pub does. Looks? They don't matter here. The "beautiful people" lose their inherent edge simply by walking through our proverbial door. Some folks do attempt to use the beauty factor, with mixed results. But, for the most part? It is a non issue. Thus one standard "social barrier" is mostly irrelevant here.

Money? The single greatest social weapon used to create elite classes? While I suppose it is theoretically possible that a member could offer to buy flags and stars from other members... I would quite honestly laugh until I ruptured things if I ever were to hear of anyone doing it. Having a lot of numbers in ones profile really does not make that much of a difference at all. Those of us with gold or silver borders, for example. Much ado gets made of those... Do these borders make our posts larger than the others? Does it change our fonts, backgrounds, or post properties in any way that provides unfair advantage? Of course not. These borders do not even skew the search engine results. They are merely a slight reward for higher levels of partcipation and nothing more. In fact, IMO, they actually have a negative effect at times. They provide that vocal minority with the chance to marginalize and to make accusations like "paid poster" or "lackey". And, believe me, it happens often. So the prospect of anyone spending real world money to have advantage in their "ATS rep" is simply beyond my ability to fathom. Especially since all one really need to is invest time into ATS and it will eventually happen anyway.

What I am getting at is that, while there is a social heirarchy here... it's not a loaded one at all. Just about ANYBODY who wants it can have it. The caveat? Since one cannot use their looks or their money to get into the social fabric here - that means they have to work at it. Getting to the top is going to take some commitment, dedicaton, patience, and work. It is not really that hard, neither is it easy. But it is there for the taking. It is my intention to help guide those who are interested onto the path. There is no reason, at all, for anyone to feel left out or excluded from such a diverse and global community. All it takes to reach the level of a Top member is desire, dedication, and work. That's all. No politics, favoritism, or any other tricks involved. It is all on those who want to be there, to get there.

There is room at the "cool kids table" for everyone who wants to sit down. There is no reason for anyone to feel alienated or marginalized here. All are welcome.


edit on 10/22/12 by Hefficide because: typo and broken link

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 12:18 AM
[color=green1]How To Win At The Social Game Of ATS

1) Pick the subjects that matter to you and participate, participate, participate. Make your name known in the forums you enjoy and study.

2) CONTRIBUTE! Write threads about the things that interest you. Put your own spin on things. Invest in this and engage others. Even if you do not have a specific area of interest or a desire to discuss it, there are ways to contribute unique content... be a local reporter. Bring your local issues to an international stage! There is something for everyone here. Find what you enjoy posting and then POST!

3) Play by the rules. Yes, you can get a lot of short term popularity by breaking them ( many use this trick ) - but this is short lived acceptance and.. funny thing about that... those who cheerlead the rule breakers? Most of them still have their original and active accounts. Don't let others live vicariously through you - all at your own expense. Stick to the rules, be polite as possible ( Yes, it can be hard sometimes, for all of us ) and build a solid foundation for your reputation here. Believe me. It takes more work, but is much more rewarding than shortcuts.

4) Give respect to get respect. Heated debates are awesome! They truly are. Engage in them respectfully. It is very rewarding when those you rabidly argue against msg you to tell you that they admire you, even if they do not agree with your thoughts.

5)Take ownership of your role in the community. Find your niche. Let the real you shine through and figure out ways to use your real life areas of expertise and knowledge to benefit ATS and yourself. Many real world strengths can be migrated into your ATS identity and persona.

Quick Tips

A) Watch the Freshmans Forum to see if any newer members post questions that you already know the answer to.

B) Adopt a new member

C) Greet new arrivals in the Introductions Forum

D) Watch the Computer Help Forum to see if you might have answers to the questions posted.

E) If you're artistic in nature, help out in the Avatar Creations Thread

F) Dabble at writing? Engage in the Short Story Forum or the Collaborative Writing Forum

G) Even if your social talent is being cantankerous and argumentative... we've got you covered! The Debate Forum

H) If your area of expertise or interest doesn't fit into any category that you see? Use "General Chit Chat" and post there offering to share your experiences or wisdom.

I) Socialize! Use the ATS Chat - once you have enough posts (150) and get to know folks in a real time way. You will likely be surprised at how jovial and lighthearted most of us seasoned thread warriors are between battles.

There are many, many other worthwhile ways to engage and contribute to the community - the above are just the obvious ones that come to mind. Be creative. Be confident, and claim your seat at the cool kids table.The truth of the matter is that every single person on ATS who is perceived as being there? They earned that seat. They gave to ATS. They invested their time and their talents. They created and engaged. It honestly bothers me when others come along and try to mariginalize or negate that work out of jealousy or maybe just a desire to provoke or hurt others.

If this thread resonates... and you really do feel as if there are those who are considered special? The fact is that everyone here is special - and what you get out of ATS will, in the end, honestly be a reflection of what you have put into it. If you want to be at the top of the community? Then claim it. Work at it. Earn it. There is nothing stopping you!

Anyone who can think of things I have missed that might help some of the newer folks acclimate or merge into the community... by all means, please feel free to include those thoughts here. Let us do all we can to enable those who feel like they are on the outside looking in - to realize that they have an open invitation to come in from the cold.

edit on 10/22/12 by Hefficide because: formatting - spacing

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 12:28 AM
Speaking as someone who isn't cool, I make the argument that disagreeing alone will not get you banned. People don't know what goes on in U2U's. Just because someone gets post banned does not mean they are banned. Also, I'm sure there are people on here that continue to argue and maybe even call names via U2U. This might be the reason for banning.

I argued with SO on a thread and I didn't get banned. I tried to make my point without devolving into name calling and when I was postbanned, I kept it civil. I enjoy coming here, reading what you weirdos write (myself included) and I don't pay a dime!

Take care.
edit on 22-10-2012 by superman2012 because: took link out

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 12:39 AM
Wow Heff, Nice post.
Two things:

Wall-o-text, can you summarize this into one short sentence so i don't have to find my glasses?

Does this mean that the 3 am anti-conspiracy hating society where we sit around in our underwear while condemning ourselves for not picking up an extra six pack and joyously tap-tap on our keyboards until we realize that, yes indeed the sun is coming up and the dog wants to go out non-conformist Social Club meeting is cancelled? I thought we were friends Heff?

P.S. Good Shtuff in the OP above this comment. As usual you are Mod-u-rific(that's Mod + Terrific)

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 12:43 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

While I suppose it is theoretically possible that a member could offer to buy flags and stars from other members...

I tried to sell my "ATS points" once.

A dollar each but I had no takers so I put them on a 50% off sale then a different mod came along and admonished me for such an act.

I was told they were non transferable and to basically knock it off.

That's funny somebody trying to buy flags or stars I bet it has happened.

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 12:55 AM
As far as flags and stars are concerned, I only star and flag things I think are a valid argument, or in some cases, even if it opposes my view it at least offers up a good point, or makes sense in some way. I notice I end up starring the same people over and over again, as their viewpoints often are close to mine, or they enlighten me in some way.

You really do see after awhile there are two camps though, and I'm sure they both receive equal amount of attention. There are a plenty who receive stars based solely on declarations like:

"Autism = Vaccines"
"CIA = Freemasons"
"2012 = End of the world"
"NWO is taking over the world"

etc, etc.

And, on the opposite side, some people simply get starred for having sourced their material, at bare minimum, or at least interject some rational thought into a discussion.

So... Two camps, popular participants on both sides. Stars/flags will never be a reflection of how valid something is or if it is true or not. At least it's a good indicator of whether or not something is worth reading. Be it something you like or something you might not (but still worth the read).

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 12:56 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

G) Even if your social talent is being cantankerous and argumentative...


-Slowly exists the room quietly-

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 01:01 AM

Originally posted by Hefficide
...inferring that ATS has a clique of people who "matter more" or who might receive special favor, from both staff and from the membership at large. Tales of a "Cool kids club"

I treat everyone equally.
I find many avatars distracting, especially any with changing colours, faces or animations and have used adblockplus to KILL those avatars so I never see them again.
This renders users mostly anonymous (unless I take the time to look at the username) so there are an awfully large number of users out there who have been around for years and posted thousands of posts... who I wouldnt know from a bar of soap.
Everyone's the same - its what people write that matter.

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 01:03 AM
reply to post by redbarron626

Did you not get the memo???

We banned 6 packs 3 months ago and instituted our own "Agenda 21"... never have less than 21 beers on hand at any given time! It was in the "Bug Out Bag" update!

"One sentence summary"?

Be the change you want to see. Or, maybe:
Don't complain about not having what was yours to take.

Walls of text are my forte' however.... so practicing what I preach.


posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 01:13 AM
You've done it again Heff. Another insightful thread...a vivisection of the inner workings of our little community. Showing that we are all indeed the same here. We're just another slightly dysfunctional family. We all have days that are good, and days that are ...not so good. But, what I love about this place, we ban together like a family, in times of need, times of joy, times of sadness. We sometimes shout at each other, poke fun of each other, just like a family.

In my opinion, Heff. There really is only one table here at big family table. We all sit at it together, unless one of us is pouting, and chooses to sit off in a corner. But, that chair at the table is always waiting for us to come back to, whenever we want. No cool kids table, just one big family table.

I've had to learn my lessons here just like everyone else.....I have some awesome teachers in other members here. Members who took the time to let me know when I was being a jerk, when I deserved to have my hands slapped by the Mods. From Mods who slapped my hands when needed. I've learned this table I sit at is an honorable one.

ATS may be a free website...but, what I've learned here, is invaluable,,,,,

Great thread Heff....


posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 01:36 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

Hi Heff

Having read this OP three times - it is a reprimand well deserved for myself.

No doubt I am a contributing factor in your motivation to post this thread, so in the interests of transparency and because I always wear my heart on my sleeve, I'll post my dummy spit for all to see...........

Response to OP
Dummy Spit
Justification and Apology

Sorry to all my brothers & sisters here on ATS - I really was having a bad hair day and vented unnecessarily

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 01:43 AM
reply to post by Sublimecraft

Sublimecraft my friend, I promise you that in no way, shape, or form did I have you in mind when I sat down to write this - nor during any part of the "drafting process" ( in my case that's usually crossing my fingers and hoping that I free-handed all of the BB tags properly, as I author my threads in Word ).

For what it's worth, I feel that you are a strong member of the community and a blessing to ATS. Your participation in several of the forums and threads I referenced speaks to this and is worthy of notice and acknowledgement.

We all have bad days! The fact that feel you had one and owned it? Speaks volumes about your character! Sir, I was hoping that you'd put a good word in for me at the cook kids table.


posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 02:28 AM
I lurked a few years before becoming a member; I suppose I wouldn't say it is a cool kids table so to speak; but some mods have "followers" I haven't seen it lately as often as in the past...but I have seen a mod state their opinion on a topic...then a flood of their closest allies/brown nosing friend come through and wreck the whole threads direction...then when a poster complains trying to get things back on track, they get modded with snips/violations when worse offenses or off topics just sit there...not being modded out at all either.

One of my favorite posters of all time, that seemed to put a lot of thought and absolute genius in their posts...apparently saw what I am talking about, got tired of it snapped and got banned for it. Following this posters writings is what led me to see what I described I have said I haven't seen it recently, but then again I'm not a here every day die hard member either...

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 02:30 AM
Egos are a MFer ain't they.

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 02:43 AM
I am having a bit of a laugh with this right now. I was reading another thread just before I opened this one. Heff made the same point I made in a different thread a few months back, only he got a ton of stars while I got none but a few people saying I was wrong. I thought to myself "It figures, Heff is one of the Cool Kids."
Then I open this thread.

Honestly though, it doesn't matter much to me. Most of the time when I do get a chance to post, it's late at night after I have gotten the kids to bed, finally have a few minutes of me time before I pass out. I am generally to exhausted to make well thought out posts, let alone make them comprehensible and probably shouldn't be posting to begin with.

Maybe one day I'll have the time and energy to play the "ATS Game" but I would have to beg the mods to delete all my "was I even awake when I posted that?" posts first.

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 02:54 AM
Oh, of course you would post this, as you're not only the head of the Cool Kids Club, you're also a client!

edit on 22-10-2012 by The Old American because: I'm dumb.

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 02:57 AM
reply to post by calstorm

If we removed half-awake, late night, or sleep deprived posts... My own post count would drop to about two or three hundred!

The interesting thing about your POV vs mine is that I was invited to join staff in January of 2011. Two months later, towards the end of March, real life financial situations caused me to cancel my Internet access. I only logged in a few times between March, 2011 and August, 2012.

When I did finally make it back to ATS, just a few months ago? There were staff members who did not know who I was. Even some of my old friends seemed to have forgotten.

Another post in this thread mentioned ego. If ego were a serious factor, I might never have returned to posting. I would have been offended that I had been forgotten so easily. The fact of the matter is ego has nothing to do with ATS. At least not for me. So I assume it's that way for most others too. Pride? Yes I try to post with that. Integrity? That too. But ego? Not so much.

Some of my posts do end up with a lot of stars. To be honest I have always thought this to be due to my off the wall sense of humor and to my uncommon way of seeings things.

The real slap in the face? When somebody else just quotes what you said, and gets ten times the attention. That is enough to make anyone go "Huh???"

In short, if I ever did "position" snipe you, and collect stars without earning them? I didn't mean to!


posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 02:59 AM
reply to post by calstorm've actually got it right. Posting while brain-fogged is the way to do it. It has to be, that's how I post most of the time. So, that makes us the *cool kids*....right...


posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 03:04 AM
As a reformed, self described cool kid from long ago on the boards, I must say this thread was a great read. Very well stated and insightful. I could not agree with you more.

I only recently became active here again, with my last activity even coming close to this being in 2006 or so. I actually went back through my old posts. It was weird to see where I went over a year in between posts, but now that I've been back for about a month it's like I never left. ATS is truly one of the best communities on the web!

posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 03:06 AM

Originally posted by The Old American
Oh, of course you would post this, as you're not only a member of the Cool Kids Club, you're also a client!


This I would disagree with! Read my posting history or my threads! I am a man without a country in many ways. Most of the time if I am in a debate, it's me against whoever else. The left think me too conservative the right think me too liberal, and the middle? Well most in the middle seem to prefer steering clear of debate. I don't get many free "atta boys" around here. In fact, I sometimes have to fight my way out from under some pretty intense opposition.

As frankly as I can state it, I've never thought of myself as anything more than an average member of ATS - the one caveat being that I was asked, and accepted the responsibility of doubling as a hall monitor, so to speak. The difference between me and others? My nature is to speak my mind and assert myself. Believe me when I say, that often carries the price of being disliked - it's not the path to popularity.


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