53 weeks ago I decided broken DDL links & public trackers weren't good enough anymore, so I took a look around to find something else. I stumbled upon this thing of ours & luckily AlphaRatio had open registration. Sweet. I started googling for better trackers, the ways to access them, & what it'd take for me to survive there. Prior to this I had no clue about maintaining a ratio or what a seedbox even was. The learning curve wasn't so steep, but I will admit I'm disappointed by one thing: the "community" aspect of it all. Don't get me wrong, there are some great people who chill in the irc channels & on various message boards I sift through sometimes. However, there is a pretty strong sense of ego in the communities that I've become a part of. When I first started learning about private trackers I saw that buying & trading invites created a hierarchy of trackers. Their perceived value influenced their market, but it also reflects back into this though not always for the same purpose. I don't mean that people who are in the upper echelon of trackers look down upon those who aren't, but I've noticed that the "higher" I go the more likely it is that I run into more smug people. I'm not sure if it's always been this way or if it's just the ones I'm in. From what I've read though this isn't uncommon sadly. What's death created a ripple effect for various reasons as I've gone over in other posts, but another phenomenon that I hadn't noticed at first was the jockeying for position that occurred when the new heir apparents were created. Everyone seemingly craves status, & the path of least resistance isn't always friendship but sometimes prestige. You're a "torrent celebrity" if you staff at another reputable tracker & that "fame" leads people to act funny. Let me postface this by saying I don't believe everyone's intentions are strictly for ascension, but the motives aren't all that ulterior if you pay attention to some of the conversations from those looking to rise. All of that, plus the cliquey aspect of some of my trackers left me a little, jaded I guess. But I digress, let's get to the content. Sweet jesus the content. I had no idea that there were sites dedicated for almost everything you can imagine. If I want a VHS tape of Saturday cartoons from June 15th 1997? There's a tracker for that. If I want access to some super obscure D-List movie? There's a tracker for that. So on & so forth. It's great & almost everything I could ask for. The way you guys have managed to automate it with things like Headphones, Sonarr, Jackett, etc. makes this a breeze. From a thread on /r/trackers one of the biggest reasons for pirating was ease of consumption. I get it; Spotify & Netflix still earn my money because of this reason too. When I learned I could seamlessly curate my own content with a Plex library - & how sophisticated it can get - my mind was blown. This in tandem with the wealth of content available is something I don't think any media company can surmount, at least not for a fair price. Then again, nothing beats free I'm a little saddened that I missed the private tracker heyday. Since I've started a LOT of trackers have bit the dust which is scary to be honest. I don't regret getting into this one bit though & I'm looking forward to future (I've even got some ideas myself ). Thanks for reading.