Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby torbjon » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:54 pm

So let me see if I got this straight:

The Amigos are willing to ban people based solely upon their own personal Emotional Assumptions with a complete disregard for their own T&C.

The Amigos are willing to Intentionally Ignore requests for communication via their officially sanctioned 'Contact Us' form despite the fact that the auto responder states that a human will reply within 48 hours AND despite repeated assurances peppered throughout their web site stating that members with problems can ALWAYS communicate with the staff via the official 'Contact Us' form.

Both 'Banning based upon Emotional Assumptions' and 'Intentionally Ignored Requests for Communication' are in direct odds with their sites motto of "Deny Ignorance"

The Amigos seem unwilling to implement any machinery or apparatus intended to Safeguard their members against 'Banning based upon Emotional Assumptions' and 'Intentionally Ignoring official Contact Us requests' in future upgrades of the system.

So we've established the above four 'Generic Company Policy' points during the course of our dialogs here, correct?

Interesting.

And that's just generic company policy stuff, not specific hoax involvement / coverup stuff....

Speaking of which, did anyone catch this regarding the actual O'Hare event data?

In the Fair Skeptics forum TheSkepticOverlord made this statement:

posted on 7-2-2007 at 06:27 PM (post id: 2935963)

This is the first time I saw this thread... been busy with RL stuff and offline ATS stuff.

And I must say... WTF?

Where does this crap come from?

You guys aspire to be crtical-thinking "researchers"? Seems more like you're moving well down the path of becoming "conclusion jumpers".

1) I pointed out the O'Hare thread at a time when you were still wondering what to do with yourselves.

2) I labeled images that were sent directly to ATS that I deemed headed toward massive online attention... and they were, and now the source is preserved.

3) You offended real researchers with real credentials, not the intent of ATS nor this group... I'm closing this forum in 24 hours and killing the project. If you want the domain, let me know.

This is a shame.

==============

Then, here at RU TheSkepticOverlord made this statement:

In the case of the image, with so many other O'Hare images cropping up, we want to ensure that some mechanism was in place that signified the origin of the image... a member of ATS. The image, in context with the thread and the detailed analysis and resulting split decision on fraud-or-not is an important piece of the puzzle. I'm sure you've seen "UFO photos" that have circulated far and wide with such frequency that the origins are now fuzzy, or completely unknown.

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=1286&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=60#p19378

From ATS at the time of the event:

"2) I labeled images that were sent directly to ATS that I deemed headed toward massive online attention... and they were, and now the source is preserved."

From RU, a year later:

"In the case of the image, with so many other O'Hare images cropping up, we want to ensure that some mechanism was in place that signified the origin of the image... a member of ATS."

(For the record, there were no other images at that time. The Second O'Hare image "cropped up" two days later, AFTER the first image had already been product branded.)

The first statement, made closer to the actual event, seems more truthful: "...I DEEMED headed towards massive online attention..."

I find "deem" to be an interesting choice of words...
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:47 pm

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:The ever-growing traffic numbers indicate more and more people have a high degree of interest in what our members are saying. What other way would you look at increasing popularity?


Four words is all it should take: Britney Spears Train Wreck.

Clearly this example is a good one to illustrate that just because a topic is "popular" does not mean it is a topic that has fundamental relevance to our lives. Sometimes popularity is nothing more than someone's macabre tendency to look at things/people that are very strange. An overt fascination with this kind of stuff is also what drives some people (Bennewitz anyone?) to begin to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

Someone who promotes strange fantasies, and does NOTHING to refute their veracity is not doing much to help cleanup the cesspools of civilization.

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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby JiveTurkey » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:08 am

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:
JiveTurkey wrote:Bill (skepticoverlord), makes a habit of throwing the "numbers" around on the site on a near daily basis.

I do? Really? On what do you base a statement like that? I could agree with monthly, but certainly not daily.

I said NEAR daily. I base it on personal experience.


JiveTurkey wrote:This is usually done in response to one of the many users who are expressing their "concerns" with the direction in which ATS is headed and/or some of the bullcrap that goes on there on a daily basis...

There's that "daily basis" again... as if you're trying to promote the myth that we have complaints and/or members with issues day-in and day-out. On what do you base an implication of such grand proportions?

I said they had issues with crap that goes on there on a daily basis. The crap continues day in and day out. Though, the complaints aren't much less frequent. However, I would appreciate a bit less off that high handed talk. Especially since you still don't seem to be able to fully read what someone is saying before those ASSumptions kick in.


JiveTurkey wrote:Then, we have the rules that are set into place so that ATS can avoid those net nanny filters in public places. One of the major ones being the "censor circumvention" rule. Both of these things deal almost exclusively with keeping the numbers up in order to maintain the revenue of the site.

If you did just a little bit of research, you'd quickly discover that the rules about swearing and content that would trigger filters were put in place before the site even had advertising. In fact, such policies were begun by Simon even before I was a staff member. However, in April of 2003, we did get more strict with enforcement, and that's around the time our traffic began to grow.

I base this on what I was told by Mark during that time I was having the discussions back and forth with the staff about this "issue". I pretty much quoted him up there. Notice, I said "pretty much". It has been awhile.


JiveTurkey wrote:A prime example of this is the situation with John Lear.

You're right. Our reasons for John Lear's post ban (it still is just a posting ban) were initially elusive and we didn't reveal the entire story. It was our hope (at the time) that the issues would eventually be resolved and if not, our explanation provided him a "graceful exit" should things change in the more distant future. However, when it became clear he wasn't interested in a resolution, I gave him full permission to post our entire private exchange on Zorgon's website. While we tend not to discuss the rationale behind bannings on ATS, I wanted to ensure he could reveal what he believed to be the "record."

This is one of those times when ballsing up would be nice.


JiveTurkey wrote:John received a great deal of praise from Mark (springer) and Bill for a hell of a long time until the time of his banning

Actually, I still praise John to this day. It's possible to both express frustration over the "souring" of a professional relationship and continue to admire key attributes of that person. Granted, there may be just as much to dislike as there is to like about John, if not more so, but as a human being I still hold him in high regard and always will continue to wish him well.

Also, it seems you're not completely "up to speed" with what we've discussed on ATS regarding John Lear. Have you see this post and the related follow-up discussion?

Sure haven't. Though, I will check it out. If I am wrong, you have my apology.



remus wrote:You say that ATS is all about the members and their content yet both you and Bill answer any criticism with statistics.

The ever-growing traffic numbers indicate more and more people have a high degree of interest in what our members are saying. What other way would you look at increasing popularity?

The ever growing traffic numbers indicate nothing more than good SEO. Since this is one of those "tra la la look at this" things you throw around, I am sure that you are aware of this. However, I am not saying that people aren't interested. Strangely enough, you still managed to totally ignore the point being made here.


remus wrote:That your members have issues means nothing to you as long as the counter keeps clicking over

The percentage of our members with "issues" is amazingly small, and well-expected when we attempt to maintain an environment not everyone can "grok."

What about the percentage of the highly active membership? Surely you aren't counting the "amazingly" large number of members who are banned or never post at all? Wait, yes you are. Silly me.


JiveTurkey wrote:You guys can speak of the success and the numbers all you want to as it doesn't really amount to anything.

Why?

Because it's still just success and numbers. While that is great for you as a businessman, it doesn't much matter to the core of ATS.


JiveTurkey wrote:However, there is absolutely no way in hell that it can continue on the current path.

On what business and/or Internet experience do you base such a definitive statement?

Are you aware that a group of disgruntled former members who were banned for their excessive swearing, pranking, and drug-related topics formed another small discussion board and all essentially parroted the same thing you're saying here? They all got together in their little corner of the Internet, made up lots of lies about ATS, nodded their heads that we were doomed to fail very soon, and all five of the core "anti-ATS" trouble-makers agreed we were pure evil. If this sounds familiar to you, it's not about your site, don't worry. The site was "The Shadow Confederacy," and they had their fun in early 2004. Today, two of them are on staff, one is a hell-of-a solid contributing member, and another is on ATS from time to time.

We've seen this before.

I never said anything about soon. And I still stand by this statement. Sure, ATS may still be around. It may also have more members than ever. But, in my opinion, when it has been completely overrun by "trolls", it will have failed. The quality of the site has dropped tremendously just since the whole November 5th ordeal. The failure may not effect you financially, so I'm sure you will not mind. However, the "purpose" will be completely lost. ATS has already lost a tremendous amount of it's heart.
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby TheSkepticOverlord » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:22 pm

torbjon wrote:The Amigos are willing to ban people based solely upon their own personal Emotional Assumptions with a complete disregard for their own T&C.

That has happened, but it's very rare and is clearly accounted for in the Terms and Conditions.


torbjon wrote:Intentionally Ignore requests for communication

We've admitted our screw-up in your case.


torbjon wrote:The Amigos seem unwilling to implement any machinery or apparatus

Automated code-based solutions would be just as prone to error (if not more so) than staff intervention. Additionally, your incident happened more than a year ago which is a long time for an online operation, and much has changed since then... including an offer to reinstate your membership.


torbjon wrote:You guys aspire to be crtical-thinking "researchers"?

No. We aspire to provide a venue for a wide range of people, among them would be critical thinkers concerned about quality research.





You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Four words is all it should take: Britney Spears Train Wreck.

The train wreck came and went as video pabulum for those with a limited attention span. We're talking about the sustained and growing interest in the content on ATS.





JiveTurkey wrote:I said NEAR daily. I base it on personal experience.

Well that would still be several times a week... do you have links to posts of mine on ATS that "throw the numbers around" several times a week?


JiveTurkey wrote:...the complaints aren't much less frequent.

Are you seeing complaint posts on ATS I'm not seeing? If so, could you link to them please?


JiveTurkey wrote:This is one of those times when ballsing up would be nice.

Allowing John Lear to post our full email exchange along with whatever commentary he felt he needed to add isn't "ballsy"?


JiveTurkey wrote:The ever growing traffic numbers indicate nothing more than good SEO. Since this is one of those "tra la la look at this" things you throw around, I am sure that you are aware of this.

Unfortunately, and this is not intended as a jab, you're revealing your inexperience in such issues with this kind of response. The best Search Engine Optimization available won't magically bring traffic if the source content is crap and irrelevant. Given that the overwhelming majority of our content is provocative commentary on a broad range of current events, experiencing more than 1.2 million visits a month from search is a highly significant metric. And since the average visitor who arrives from search looks at more than five pages, there's clearly much more than good optimization going on.


JiveTurkey wrote:What about the percentage of the highly active membership? Surely you aren't counting the "amazingly" large number of members who are banned or never post at all? Wait, yes you are. Silly me.

What about the highly active members? Do you have some evidence that would indicate dissatisfaction among them?

On what do you based an assumption there are an "amazingly large number of members who are banned"?

Have you seen this post on RU?
"3,032 accounts are banned, but only 1,872 of those have posts (meaning slightly less than half of all banned accounts are related to returning banned members or usernames that were not allowed), which translates to 2.6% of all the accounts that have posted, have been banned. If our tactics were so heavy-handed as claimed, I'd expect a much higher number.


JiveTurkey wrote:The quality of the site has dropped tremendously just since the whole November 5th ordeal.

Ordeal? What makes you think it was an Ordeal? Your post here didn't seem to indicate you thought it was some type of "ordeal" two days after the event.

Have you seen this post on RU? I showed how to actually compare the topics that become popular on ATS from week to week.

We can compare the week ending 11/3/2007 with the week ending 5/31/2007 and get a sense for what "rises to the top."
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby ryguy » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:53 pm

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:Unfortunately, and this is not intended as a jab, you're revealing your inexperience in such issues with this kind of response. The best Search Engine Optimization available won't magically bring traffic if the source content is crap and irrelevant.


That's a tad misleading, don't you think S.O.?

Top hitters for SEO "interest" in content is (as I'm sure you know):

1. Keyword optimisation - particularly keywords placed toward the top part of the page. Webmasters have been taking advantage of this by "spamming" pages with keywords improve SEO. Search engines have caught on and will not blacklist such sites...but keywords optimisation is still critical when it's done carefully. A few placements at the top of the article and peppered throughout.

2. Inbound Links - Links placed on other websites into your website is golden. The more inbound links, the more google thinks you're king.

3. Constant Updates - If your content changes rapidly on a daily basis, google loves you. Search engines like new, fresh content. Websites can be keyword optimized to the hilt with inbound links all over the internet, but a similar website with hundreds of daily updates will race to the top of a search engine.

Quality of content is not a concern of search engine algorithms. Visitor stats, links, keyword use - yes. How on earth would an algorithm determine whether particular content regarding claims like Lear's and Sleeper's are "quality"? How ridiculous to suggest such a thing.

Given that the overwhelming majority of our content is provocative commentary on a broad range of current events, experiencing more than 1.2 million visits a month from search is a highly significant metric. And since the average visitor who arrives from search looks at more than five pages, there's clearly much more than good optimization going on.


Again, you don't get it. Quantity is not quality. Here - maybe some statistics from the retail industry will help you understand.

***
Walmart Revenue (2007): 387.69 BILLION
Gross Profit: 92.28 BILLION

Tiffany & Co of New York Revenue: 3.01 Billion
Gross profit: 1.63 Billion
***

Get it now? Sometimes in order to maintain higher standards of quality, you have to accept that a certain portion of the population may not comprehend your content, they can't "afford it". But I'll tell you what, your reputation for quality will reflect those standards even though you generate less revenue or attract less of a crowd.

But hey...you guys keep doing what you're doing. I mean, someone needs to serve the redneck population worthless, poorly researched, "provocative", National-Enquirer, Lear/Sleeper/Clifford Stone content.

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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby Chorlton » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:55 pm

Good Grief SO, are you as boring with your family as you are here? constantly blowing your own trumpet and telling everyone who stands still long enough how good you are?

It would seem to me that you are amazingly ignorant and actually believe the pap you post or you are just posting it, ad nauseum to help cnvince people that you really understand business and how to run one.
If the latter is true then I pity you as you have a hard lesson heading your way. If I were you I'd be looking around for another income, because if you really believe your site is going ahead in leaps and bounds you really are naive.

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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby TheSkepticOverlord » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:57 pm

ryguy wrote:1. Keyword optimisation - particularly keywords placed toward the top part of the page. Webmasters have been taking advantage of this by "spamming" pages with keywords improve SEO.

Since the content is created by our users, we're not doing any of that. The most we do is ensure the HTML is "legacy valid" with appropriate -H- tags and such.


ryguy wrote:2. Inbound Links - Links placed on other websites into your website is golden. The more inbound links, the more google thinks you're king.

Inbound links are more important for newer domains. Both Live, Google, and Yahoo currently place more priority on the search returns actually clicked by users. Inbound links help to define your domain's overall rank and can improve both the position and relevance of specific returns on specific pages.


ryguy wrote:3. Constant Updates - If your content changes rapidly on a daily basis, google loves you.

This is more better-defined as "content freshness" which is very similar to what you're saying, but again, reflects the more current direction of the algorithms in use today. Search arbitrage sites attempt to spoof this by using randomized systems that add new content to existing pages several times a day... that's technically content that changes, but it no longer has much of an impact on search returns.


ryguy wrote:Quality of content is not a concern of search engine algorithms. Visitor stats, links, keyword use - yes. How on earth would an algorithm determine whether particular content regarding claims like Lear's and Sleeper's are "quality"? How ridiculous to suggest such a thing.

Content quality will indeed effect two factors that can improve search performance...

1) Since the "big three" are tracking what search returns get clicked, there is an indirect but important link between the immediate user's perception of the quality of the content and the eventual search return performance.

2) Also, quality of content would have a direct impact on the number of sites linking to your domain, which has an influence (though not as much for "aged" domains) on overall search performance as well.


ryguy wrote:1. Keyword optimisation - particularly keywords placed toward the top part of the page. Webmasters have been taking advantage of this by "spamming" pages with keywords improve SEO.

Since the content is created by our users, we're not doing any of that. The most we do is ensure the HTML is "legacy valid" with appropriate -H- tags and such.


ryguy wrote:2. Inbound Links - Links placed on other websites into your website is golden. The more inbound links, the more google thinks you're king.

Inbound links are more important for newer domains. Both Live, Google, and Yahoo currently place more priority on the search returns actually clicked by users. Inbound links help to define your domain's overall rank and can improve both the position and relevance of specific returns on specific pages.


ryguy wrote:3. Constant Updates - If your content changes rapidly on a daily basis, google loves you.

This is more better-defined as "content freshness" which is very similar to what you're saying, but again, reflects the more current direction of the algorithms in use today. Search arbitrage sites attempt to spoof this by using randomized systems that add new content to existing pages several times a day... that's technically content that changes, but it no longer has much of an impact on search returns.


ryguy wrote:Again, you don't get it. Quantity is not quality. Here - maybe some statistics from the retail industry will help you understand.

I don't think you're quite getting it either.

I'm not saying because we have a lot of content that means we have quality. I'm saying that the overall constant increase in interest from Internet users is an indication of the growing popularity of the content posted by members.
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby ryguy » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:44 pm

Thanks for reiterating those points S.O. - at least it appears we agree on the nuts and bolts of what generates high search engine ranking.

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:I'm not saying because we have a lot of content that means we have quality. I'm saying that the overall constant increase in interest from Internet users is an indication of the growing popularity of the content posted by members.


Maybe I should have phrased it like this:

"Popularity does not equal quality."

But I do note that in your statement above you're only claiming that the constant interest from internet users is an indication of growing popularity of the content. You're not claiming higher quality content, at least in the quote above.

Of that - I can't disagree. That kind of content has always been considered interesting and popular by a majority. Similar to the reason supermarket tabloid sales do so well.

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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:02 pm

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Four words is all it should take: Britney Spears Train Wreck.

The train wreck came and went as video pabulum for those with a limited attention span. We're talking about the sustained and growing interest in the content on ATS.


And once again you completely ignore the point I am making and that others are pointing out: That "growing interest in the content of ATS" does not equal quality content. Just as growing interest in Britney Spears, or the travails of any number of "reality stars" does not equate to quality content. Or to state the best the way Ryan has recently said it:

ryguy wrote:"Popularity does not equal quality."

and

That kind of content has always been considered interesting and popular by a majority. Similar to the reason supermarket tabloid sales do so well.


It is wonderful that you are only concerned about "how popular" you are. But if you are only popular with the types of people who consume tabloids, what does that say about the quality of your content or its relevance to the truth?

Or don't you care about truth anymore?
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby TheSkepticOverlord » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:19 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Or don't you care about truth anymore?

Since last evening I've been looking for a couple old posts of mine that illustrate an important point. I don't think I found the one(s) I'm looking for, but this one comes close enough:
First, let me point out that we (ATS) have no illusion that we are now or ever will corner the market on the best conspiracy theory material anyone can find online... in fact, we may never achieve such a goal. However, through hard work and with the help of our members, we hope to become a large collection of pretty good material that becomes popular and introduces a large number of people to the important topics our members discuss. If those people then grow beyond what we can offer through ATS and make their way to smaller more-specialized sites or offline groups with an intensity gained through a single-minded approach... so be it... actually, that'd be awesome and I'd consider something like that to be a victory for ATS and our members.

Smorgasbords can be a difficult place to get a gourmet meal. While some of the items may indeed be very good, the quality of all the food might tend to be inconsistent and not very healthy. However, it can be a place where you would encounter something you've never had before, that sends you elsewhere, perhaps even eventually ending up at an awesome French bistro that has impeccable entree and wine pairings.

The analogy isn't ideal, but it's close enough. With a near 100% emphasis on user-generated content, we have no false impression that we'll end up with consistently high-quality content. However, with rules of decorum that encourage users to focus on the issues and not each other, we feel the content will be good enough to achieve the two most-important objectives: get people interested and get people talking. If the result of a new visitor's (or member's) new-found interest in a topic from ATS eventually sends them to a more-seriously-focused online or offline outlet, awesome... we were able to play a role in attracting someone to an issue our members thought important... and if they grow beyond what ATS can offer, there's no better accomplishment.

My statement of 2004 is as true than as it is now, and has been the consistency behind our efforts of getting people interested and getting them talking.

Quality is a highly subjective thing. In your (RU members) mind, on these subjects, quality content may be a scholarly peer-reviewed piece that breaks new ground... certainly one measure of quality. In my mind, quality content is also that which inspires conversation and encourages people to look further... and I believe we have a good measure of that type of quality.
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby JiveTurkey » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:06 am

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:



JiveTurkey wrote:I said NEAR daily. I base it on personal experience.

Well that would still be several times a week... do you have links to posts of mine on ATS that "throw the numbers around" several times a week?

These days? No, I don't bother reading ATS very often and I try to completely avoid anything that isn't posted by friends. A few months ago, sure, I could have provided plenty of examples. Even though a good many were posted then deleted (usually along with the thread).

JiveTurkey wrote:...the complaints aren't much less frequent.

Are you seeing complaint posts on ATS I'm not seeing? If so, could you link to them please?

Check the BB&Q forum, the Rant forum and General Chit chat. While these aren't the only places you can find these complaints, you should find a sufficient amount limiting your time to these three.

JiveTurkey wrote:This is one of those times when ballsing up would be nice.

Allowing John Lear to post our full email exchange along with whatever commentary he felt he needed to add isn't "ballsy"?

That had nothing to do with ballsy. It was my opinion that it was done so you could later use this exact example. Ballsy would be a bit of hardcore honesty posted ON ATS.

JiveTurkey wrote:The ever growing traffic numbers indicate nothing more than good SEO. Since this is one of those "tra la la look at this" things you throw around, I am sure that you are aware of this.

Unfortunately, and this is not intended as a jab, you're revealing your inexperience in such issues with this kind of response. The best Search Engine Optimization available won't magically bring traffic if the source content is crap and irrelevant. Given that the overwhelming majority of our content is provocative commentary on a broad range of current events, experiencing more than 1.2 million visits a month from search is a highly significant metric. And since the average visitor who arrives from search looks at more than five pages, there's clearly much more than good optimization going on.

I revealed nothing. You revealed, once again, your reliance on assumption.

JiveTurkey wrote:What about the percentage of the highly active membership? Surely you aren't counting the "amazingly" large number of members who are banned or never post at all? Wait, yes you are. Silly me.

What about the highly active members? Do you have some evidence that would indicate dissatisfaction among them?

On what do you based an assumption there are an "amazingly large number of members who are banned"?

Have you seen this post on RU?
"3,032 accounts are banned, but only 1,872 of those have posts (meaning slightly less than half of all banned accounts are related to returning banned members or usernames that were not allowed), which translates to 2.6% of all the accounts that have posted, have been banned. If our tactics were so heavy-handed as claimed, I'd expect a much higher number.

Yes, I have seen plenty of evidence of dissatisfaction amongst many of the more "respected" members of ATS. Again, check the 3 forums I mentioned earlier. Also, you will likely find plenty in the trash bin.

How many NON banned members have zero posts?


JiveTurkey wrote:The quality of the site has dropped tremendously just since the whole November 5th ordeal.

Ordeal? What makes you think it was an Ordeal? Your post here didn't seem to indicate you thought it was some type of "ordeal" two days after the event.

Have you seen this post on RU? I showed how to actually compare the topics that become popular on ATS from week to week.

We can compare the week ending 11/3/2007 with the week ending 5/31/2007 and get a sense for what "rises to the top."


Again, stop reading into s***. My calling it an ordeal was not a shot at you, the staff of the event. The actual "fiasco" and "uproar" was mostly confined to the chat during the event and for a short while after.

The quality of ATS is in the toilet and has been for the last several months. Since you have no concern whatsoever for the quality, I don't expect you to understand where I am coming from. Our idea of quality has nothing to do with numbers.


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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby TheSkepticOverlord » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:07 am

JiveTurkey wrote:The quality of ATS is in the toilet and has been for the last several months. Since you have no concern whatsoever for the quality, I don't expect you to understand where I am coming from. Our idea of quality has nothing to do with numbers.

My most recent post has related two points of view on quality, and what I tend to feel is important on ATS.

However, your comment about "in the toilet" caught my attention. Over the past 75 days, we've had the following traffic from some sources that, for the most part, tend to be interested in quality.
stumbleupon.com --- 72,182 visits
news.com --- 57,924 visits
slashdot.org --- 55,641 visits
en.wikipedia.org --- 49,917 visits
guardian.co.uk --- 48,112 visits
nytimes.com --- 47,893 visits
digg.com --- 44,503 visits
wired.com --- 31,837 visits
latimes.com --- 28,741 visits
cnn.com --- 21,663 visits
msnbc.com --- 19,004 visits
(there's more)
Can you explain why sites like this would link to ATS if the "quality was in the toilet?"

Now... before you and others slag off on subjective comparisons of what is or is not quality, combined with general derision of mainstream media, let me reiterate that my points have not so much been focused on the notion that ATS is brimming over with awesome quality content... instead, my point has always been that the totality of content draws a lot of interest, and the tools our users have available to them make it easy to draw attention to the quality threads they feel are important. And, most of those sources listed above have quality checks-and-balances in place to vet content links... so... the system works... the members promoted content that was important to them, and sites (for the most part) that have additional content quality checks-and-balances saw fit to notice ATS topics, write about them, and link to them.

But if you'd like to do a subjective comparison with the links I provided... comparing the quality of the popular topics from any week in 2008 to prior weeks in 2007, 2006, or beyond, I'm game. That would be the easiest way to see if your statement, "ATS is in the toilet and has been for the last several months" has any validity.
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby Access Denied » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:50 am

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:Can you explain why sites like this would link to ATS if the "quality was in the toilet?"

Not without knowing why those sites linked to ATS (what they linked to)… i.e. the context. Was it a one time deal or what? I don’t see how anyone could answer that question unless you post links to each of those sites showing where they linked to ATS.
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby JiveTurkey » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:34 am

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:
JiveTurkey wrote:The quality of ATS is in the toilet and has been for the last several months. Since you have no concern whatsoever for the quality, I don't expect you to understand where I am coming from. Our idea of quality has nothing to do with numbers.

My most recent post has related two points of view on quality, and what I tend to feel is important on ATS.

Fair enough.

However, your comment about "in the toilet" caught my attention. Over the past 75 days, we've had the following traffic from some sources that, for the most part, tend to be interested in quality.
stumbleupon.com --- 72,182 visits
news.com --- 57,924 visits
slashdot.org --- 55,641 visits
en.wikipedia.org --- 49,917 visits
guardian.co.uk --- 48,112 visits
nytimes.com --- 47,893 visits
digg.com --- 44,503 visits
wired.com --- 31,837 visits
latimes.com --- 28,741 visits
cnn.com --- 21,663 visits
msnbc.com --- 19,004 visits
(there's more)
Can you explain why sites like this would link to ATS if the "quality was in the toilet?"

Sure. All of those sites can be added to (or straight out edited) by the "public" at large. Yes, even the mainstream media sites. The links be recorded even if posted by users in something as simple as a "comments" section.

Now... before you and others slag off on subjective comparisons of what is or is not quality, combined with general derision of mainstream media, let me reiterate that my points have not so much been focused on the notion that ATS is brimming over with awesome quality content... instead, my point has always been that the totality of content draws a lot of interest, and the tools our users have available to them make it easy to draw attention to the quality threads they feel are important. And, most of those sources listed above have quality checks-and-balances in place to vet content links... so... the system works... the members promoted content that was important to them, and sites (for the most part) that have additional content quality checks-and-balances saw fit to notice ATS topics, write about them, and link to them.

But if you'd like to do a subjective comparison with the links I provided... comparing the quality of the popular topics from any week in 2008 to prior weeks in 2007, 2006, or beyond, I'm game. That would be the easiest way to see if your statement, "ATS is in the toilet and has been for the last several months" has any validity.


I didn't say ATS is in the toilet (though, this is a personal opinion of mine), I said the QUALITY has been in the toilet. Since the numbers ARE steadily growing (which I will not deny), it's only reasonable to expect more and more user links from other sites. Half of those links from said sites could EASILY be of the "check out this s***" variety.
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Re: Touching On a Few ATS "Issues"

Postby ryguy » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:33 pm

Access Denied wrote:
TheSkepticOverlord wrote:Can you explain why sites like this would link to ATS if the "quality was in the toilet?"

Not without knowing why those sites linked to ATS (what they linked to)… i.e. the context. Was it a one time deal or what? I don’t see how anyone could answer that question unless you post links to each of those sites showing where they linked to ATS.


I agree - it's pretty disingenious of S.O. to imply that CNN or NYTimes stories have linked to ATS as a "source", when it's most likley that a comment at most of those websites linked to the site. lol...I'm getting flashbacks of debating with Gary Bekkum and breaking out into a cold sweat and nausea.

In all fairness - besides the fact that S.O. felt the need to take such a tactic to defend against the "toilet" comment, I think his post before that one is fairly accurate. ATS isn't catering to select groups who enjoy gourmet food - it caters to the public at large who does, in fact, enjoy mostly junk food. S.O. would like to take credit for netting these large groups of people and directing the subgroups (the gourmet lovers) over to the sites that can cater to their specific needs of which ATS can't meet.

I like the description, it's fair enough - and in my mind it was the closest I've seen S.O. come to a "middle-ground" or compromise regarding the quality aspect. At the least he's agreed, to an extent, that what we've been saying is true - that there is a population of internet users that ATS simply isn't capable of serving if they also intend to cater to the needs of the majority and their love of brainless Stone/Lear/Sleeper-quality stories and content.

This doesn't mean we should slam ATS (any more than we slam Wal-Mart anyway...), it just means that we drive past Wal-Mart with a shake of the head in dismay of the direction of media in this country. It means we avoid it at all cost, and patronize only those businesses which encourage a higher level of analysis. The only way we can change things is to change how people think about the world, one person at a time. We might still have to visit the new Wal-Mart of media for those "little things" like toilet paper and laundry detergent...but that's about it.

And you know...Wal-Mart may never die. It may become king of Retail and devour everything around it with it's China-made clothing and lead-paint plastic toys....but it doesn't mean we have to be a part of the problem. It doesn't mean we shouldn't make an honorable stand with confidence that even if the tide is against us - we're doing the right thing in fighting against the distribution of cheap plastic Chinese toys (brainless tabloid-content).

-Ry
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