The Private Tracker Barrier Of Entry & TPS' Role In Gate Keeping

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#1
The loss of What.CD was the loss of the greatest collection of music ever created, but there was another effect of its demise: accessibility to the private tracker community diminished severely afterward as well. Anyone new to the community would be advised to take What's interview, even if their interest in music wasn't that high, simply because succeeding there pretty much assured entry to almost anywhere they wanted to be. That gateway is gone now.

Looking back at how active TPS used to be circa 2008-2009 it seems TPS played a much larger role in facilitating the entry to this thing of ours. I have no idea how many trackers were recruiting from TPS back then, but there still seems to be a certain level of coziness between tracker staff & the staff here. The difference however is the number of members this board sees on a regular basis. All around me are familiar faces. While not necessarily a bad thing, it goes to show that new users don't see TPS as an avenue for entry. Either that, or interest in private trackers has regressed substantially since then & there simply isn't the same swath of new blood ready to be pumped into the system.

If the latter is the truth the reason for that seems to be pretty obvious: the advent of streaming platforms. Back then Netflix wasn't the behemoth we know today & neither was Hulu. Spotify? UK only. Pandora? Nowhere near as popular as today. Apple Music? Didn't exist. Long story short, people had more reasons to pirate then than they do now. While I believe that's a big part of the downturn in popularity here, I believe that both of the aforementioned issues contributed to the lack of interest. Besides, there's still the issue of new members coming directly to TPS.

Reddit seems to be the popular means of entry nowadays, at least on the inside looking out. There are tons of new invite threads on /r/invites, plenty of discussion on /r/trackers, etc. I'm not sure how well off other "invite forums" are doing but it seems to me the majority of them are trading / selling boards in the first place so probably not stellar. TPS doesn't seem to put its face at the forefront of these places to let users know "hey, we can help you out too." Word of mouth is the only way I'd even heard of this place when I was a wee lad to private trackers (6 months ago this month).

So my question is this: Does TPS want to fill the void that What's death opened? Or is it content with playing the cut & letting people find their own way? The current & previous staff obviously differ & maybe the vision changed with the people in charge, but I'm curious as to how the runners of this board think nowadays. Thanks for reading.
 
Dwarsligger

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#2
Anyone new to the community would be advised to take What's interview, even if their interest in music wasn't that high, simply because succeeding there pretty much assured entry to almost anywhere they wanted to be.
That was in fact a wrong reason to join a music tracker imo...

While not necessarily a bad thing, it goes to show that new users don't see TPS as an avenue for entry. Either that, or interest in private trackers has regressed substantially since then & there simply isn't the same swath of new blood ready to be pumped into the system.
Torrenting has slowed down, on every forum/tracker, and new users don't take the time to get to know people and invest some time, they want their free stuff which can easily be obtained for a few bucks on IPT for example, so why do some effort?

Word of mouth is the only way I'd even heard of this place when I was a wee lad to private trackers (6 months ago this month).
Recruitments are up too so it's not just mouth to mouth anymore, been going for about 1,5 years now. Again the above, people have little interest these days, those who do often have not-so-good reasons.

So my question is this: Does TPS want to fill the void that What's death opened?
Fill that how, turning to a pure invite forum with people joining for the invites, like they did on What? Members rushing up the userclass ladder to get something, and once they have it stay away, not use the forum like all those people on What didn't use the tracker?
 
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#3
I would not like to see TPS get anymore invite centered than it already is. To be quite honest, TPS gives more than enough information as to how to get into certain trackers. I like TPS for the discussions and the culture (for the most part, some of those gross shout box memes can go though. lol), and an influx of temporary users would have a bad effect. Dwars is right, if we try to become what WCD had, we would see a lot of people join for the wrong intentions.
 
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#4
I never had that much interest in Music, a year ago before taking the interview I was only active in Bitspyer elbitz etc.

The only reason I joined WCD - and subsequently PTP/BTN/HDB/BIB.... - because I've heard WCD is the gateway to other trackers.

Filled some requests, made some requests, uploaded a few books, downloaded a lot of files & transcoded many many FLACs and became TM. I never listened to much music so you could say I joined it for the wrong reasons, but afterwards I contributed in so many other ways.

Imo PTH will fill the void hopefully.
 
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SHA-1

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#5
and new users don't take the time to get to know people and invest some time
One fact blatantly obvious after What's demise. Refugees were getting together EVERYWHERE - every IRC, every tracker, every other sharing community in existence and at lots of music communities. Yet still there's complaints 'ooh I didn't take a screenshot', 'so and so many years on What and now I have nothing!', 'you OWE us ex-whatters an invite to [your site]'. Well if you'd get to know some people they might shoot you an invite, users are eager to invite nice guys that they know. C'mon the internet is bigger than /r/trackers and Facebook.

Word of mouth is the only way I'd even heard of this place when I was a wee lad to private trackers (6 months ago this month).
This is fine. I've recommended this place as a nice pirate hangout to some people. Wouldn't recommend it for invites though. TPS has had it's fair share of people trying to abuse the ranking system to gain access to the invite forums in the past, IIRC. Also, when I was 6 months into private trackers I don't think I even knew of What's existence :p
 
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#6
That's very honest shanjan shanjan and I appreciate such candor. There are tons of peeps who joined WCD for that reason but won't admit it.
There was even a thread here, a long time ago, that recommended people to join WCD if they wanted to get into other trackers.

Whether or not it is wrong to join trackers in order to use them as stepping stones is a never ending debate.
You could argue that it can't be wrong because trackers are responsible for making it possible, that it's all right because you'll contribute back later on, or that it's wrong altogether because it's abusing your invite somehow. And there probably are more stances to be taken.

What matters most is that people know how to get to different places, what the do's and don'ts are and how to stay safe.
Should PTH fill the void WCD has left? Music wise, I hope they will, and they're on the way. Invite wise, they're getting there too.
I don't see the problem with it to be honest. All parties seem content with it.

TPS decided a while ago to remove invite offers and now there's only a request section. I don't think it has affected the site much.
I don't miss that section personally, and I doubt many people do. A lot of requests are filled, which goes to show it's a relevant part.
But I don't think TPS should become more invite oriented than it already is. Why?

Because the limelight is already on trackers these days. It can't be good to have a huge influx of users to several sites coming from TPS.
Rather, sail the course TPS is going now; as a discussion forum full of pirates.

The surprising thing is that when I first joined, I was hungry for invites and could barely get em.
Then after a while when I settled in, I was over my initial ravenous hunger and the best things happened unexpectedly.
This is another reason people, and TPS, shouldn't focus too much on invites and instantaneous gratification.
Give it some time, make some connections, learn some stuff. I know I've come a long way lol and still have heaps to learn.

What do you think spacely spacely , should TPS be more invite oriented? Or PTH? And how would you school new blood?
 
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#7
Torrenting has slowed down, on every forum/tracker, and new users don't take the time to get to know people and invest some time, they want their free stuff which can easily be obtained for a few bucks on IPT for example, so why do some effort?

Recruitments are up too so it's not just mouth to mouth anymore, been going for about 1,5 years now. Again the above, people have little interest these days, those who do often have not-so-good reasons.
Already addressed these in the OP...

Fill that how, turning to a pure invite forum with people joining for the invites, like they did on What? Members rushing up the user class ladder to get something, and once they have it stay away, not use the forum like all those people on What didn't use the tracker?
I said in the OP that TPS did more to facilitate entry back in the day. What exactly that entailed I wouldn't know since I wasn't here. It was probably just a by-product of the popularity. I don't know how TPS grew to the size it was before, but someone who was around back then could tell me if people just split after they received invites because given how active the board was it sure doesn't seem that way...

oklahomaboy oklahomaboy Not at my discretion tbh. That's why I asked you guys if that's what you want & some discussion on why / why not. I'm not telling anyone what to do or how to do it. If PTH implements an interview system then I think PTH will fill that void. I'm not a PU yet (78 uploads & only 17GB upload rip me :() so I'm not sure how the invite situation looks there but I'll take your word for it. As far as getting more people in the know about TPS, there's something odd about how reddit handles it. Some of them hate it here, others are so-so about it but none of them really gave a glowing recommendation which is why I was apprehensive to join myself. Then again, it's reddit so I decided to try it out myself.

I don't think TPS should go waving a big pirate flag yelling "yo we got your invites here" sort of thing but your "make some connections" part is harder than it seems on the surface, especially now with trackers getting more strict on invite offers & people not wanting to risk their accounts even for someone they get along with fine. There's no statistical way to back that up though but it seems more often than not the newer folks to this community struggle getting past that first wave. I got lucky with What & almost got everywhere I wanted to be. The others are within reach, but making friends didn't really get me there. Though I did get into PTH through the lone friend I have on this corner of the internet so I guess that counts for something.
 
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#8
spacely spacely well, seems to me TPS is going more or less the same route as most private trackers; invite people you know and trust.
It seems the best and only truly viable way on the Internet. How well do you ever really know the ones you invite anyway?
Even TPS peeps aren't always as good users as you think they would be, or they can surpass your expectations by far.
My point is, it may seem hard to make friends and I may have used a wrong term of phrase in my previous post. Maybe I should have said "a person you reasonably trust because you have established some kind of relationship with them over time, so that there's at least a mutual feeling of trust" or something along those lines. This largely helps keep the community safe, although even this seems not enough for some staffers but most are content with this.

So I think things are basically all right the way they are. Yes, you and everyone else is kind of dependent on your people skills, to a certain extent with the demise of WCD and with no readily available alternative in place with PTH still building up and not everyone in the higher ranks yet. You seem to have had a good start in torrentland to be honest, way better than how I went about it.
Keep that friend you made close. I haven't made that many friends in the private tracker world but the ones I have made I am loyal too and so far they have been too. It's completely different from other forms of getting the files you want, in trackers you simply need connections with people. That's why the making friends part and being patient is inevitable. That's why TPS is sailing the correct course, not prominently screaming and waving with invites, but on the DL connecting with peeps that can be trusted.
 
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#9
I never felt that TPS was an "invite" forum and I'm personally glad we abolished the open tracker invite offering section. Anyone can ask for an invite to any tracker , except the NML, and if he/she has been here for a while, they probably will get that invite. Since one bad user in an invite tree can screw it up for everyone, we should not be critical of pple who guard their invites.
 
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#10
PTH is recruiting interviewers now so it will basically be a carbon copy of WCD; a system outdated by almost a decade. Easy to get into, hard to build buffer, stepping stone, next target of RIAA. Check, check, and check. Make sure you have a backup if you actually care about torrenting music long term.

The king is dead, long live the king, and pay no attention to all the better forms of government that exist now.

As far as gateways is concerned, it really should not be connected to a tracker. There is no reason why a couple profile links arent sufficient proof of being able to torrent. Whether thats on reddit or here or irc or wherever. You will never know for sure if someone is a good torrenter until you give them an invite and they dont fuck it up.
 
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#11
I like what SHA-1, said if anyone took the time to do what a lot of the torrent sites did was be apart of the community they would n't need to join other forums for refugee invites because
you would already be at that tracker. Dwarsligger Hit the nail on the head too, the torrenting scene has evolved I think and the new breed of torrenter is just like the rest of the social media
world everything is rushed and hardly any interaction is required or wanted . Its just grab my free stuff and go. The community side of things have dramatically declined I hardly see anyone
lurking in the IRC's of most of the high level trackers. I myself am guilty of letting a few of my trackers go into dormant mode and eventually disabled because I guess IRL i suppose. TPS has always been a means for me to catch up with old friends of mine from SCT ,SCC and PTN to name a few. whenever I miss the banter in the chat with kbaby and muddslinger you could just login and there they would be .I think its more the individuals that make the site an "I want to be in that site" than a collectors or a status thing which for a while there was a huge spell of eliteness behind the torrenting scene. Anywho I have rambled on long enough lol. Compliments of the Season to all of you TPSers may the new year bring you lots of Aarrrrr , wealth and health and all that.
 
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#12
As far as gateways is concerned, it really should not be connected to a tracker. There is no reason why a couple profile links arent sufficient proof of being able to torrent. Whether thats on reddit or here or irc or wherever. You will never know for sure if someone is a good torrenter until you give them an invite and they dont fuck it up.
I totally agree on that part. I've once been on the accident to talk to a guy for a while he send me links to proofs and then suddenly I was deactivated on the site he invited to. I went straight to staff and asked what was happening. The proof suggested he was a good user. What happened was.. "Fake Ratio". He would "seed" more than he actually did, which got him banned multiplesites and also hit me. So yea, I got in contact with staff and got back.... Those things kinda ruin it for others. Why should I trust others now? :) (I do though).

In terms of TPS "getting more recruitments", shouldn't be a thing we should concentrate about. I don't see why this should be the way into trackers. I know that forums gives access to different trackers, but this is about something much more than just the "Gateway" WCD was back in the day and this kinda still is for some sites atleast.
I would highly prefer, that the tracker doesnt get a flow of thousands people just because a recruitment thread to HDBits - BTN and such. I would pref people being here because they like the discussions - friendships and everything else that exists here.

As a guy from the Danish community... it's almost dead, so I would say it's important to keep whats left!
 
violentnature

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#13
The thing about using a tracker as a stepping stone into another tracker is that users generally have to contribute to the tracker in some way. To become Power User at WCD required 5+ uploads and upload credit. Take that times the thousands of users who might only be interested in a different tracker (books, movies, tv) and you are talking about a lot of the content that made WCD the library it was. Even if those people stopped uploading a lot of them kept seeding and maintaining their accounts and they learned how to use trackers and contribute for when they get in to the place they desired. I don't see it as a terrible thing by any means.

TPS, on the other hand, isn't a tracker and doesn't prepare a new user for anything more than contributing to a forum. Which is valuable but doesn't remain useful after the user is gone.
 
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#15
As I am a fresh member here and don't know the history of TPS all I can say is that most trackers have difficult times concerning active users and fresh blood. But the same is general problem in todays "outside" world. Being overwhelmt with informations and "broken" long-term focus. No wish nor time to read long articles or papers, just reading the titles and becoming "experts".

As an example you see and compare cracking/reversing scene then and now. Just the sheer knowlegde that was passed down and written in tutorials that can be found all over the web which was led by wish to learn, understand and general curiosity how things work plus share the knowledge. I used to enjoy reading nfo files from groups that explained how and they did with the protection. I really miss days of UCF, CIA, Fairlight, Razor 1911, Hydrogen, etc..

Now I have a feeling that everyone want everything served on a silver plate which by one part is not that bad (why not use the technology since we made it) but in the same time it has become a pattern. "I want this and I want it now!" Similar can be said for invites and trackers. "I want access to every tracker and I want it now!"

I've joined TPS seeking this type of discussions, not even knowing that TPS is/was a gateway, plus I'm mostly covered regarding trackers. Long live discussions! :D

EDIT: Few spelling errors :D
 
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spacely

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#16
Hit the nail on the head too, the torrenting scene has evolved I think and the new breed of torrenter is just like the rest of the social media world everything is rushed and hardly any interaction is required or wanted . Its just grab my free stuff and go. The community side of things have dramatically declined I hardly see anyone lurking in the IRC's of most of the high level trackers.
That's what the 3rd paragraph in the OP is about. I know it's different, but blaming social media doesn't quite add up to me. What does connecting with friends have to do with instant gratification? Besides I don't think this instant gratification thing is new at all. On the older invite threads on What there were already caveats to applying such as account age of 6 months+ so users couldn't rush to PU & get in quick. If that happened to the extent that a requirement was created to combat it then it goes to show that mind state was already prevalent.
 
SHA-1

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#17
I'm not a PU yet (78 uploads & only 17GB upload rip me :()
Really, get the best seedbox you can afford or stop thinking this way. Activity in the forums, helping another user out with filling a request, donating or just keeping an IRC chan active with mindless banter is also helping out and being a good user :)
 
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#18
ok honesty time, thank you for bringing this up because you are totally right
i think anyone that doesn't realize that one of the reason What was what it has was because of its invite forum he/she is not being a realist, yes gazelle is great and What had a great system and people come in with the proper knowledge to make proper uploads, but many people got there to get to other places
i see people on reddit and here say all the time that they don't give any invites anymore because it too risky, it makes me wonder, how many trackers did YOU obtain trough invite, what would have happen if your inviter had the same train of thought
IMO i think it is to demanding for some staff members to be able to check every member though applications, although trackers like btn and ptp trade information it is still more efficient for some trackers to let the members do some filtering themselves and invite trust worthy people


And for THOSE trackers there is no place left for them where they can get a healthy new flaw of people and one of the reasons for that is because What banned members for even being members on any of this forums
 
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#19
The thing about using a tracker as a stepping stone into another tracker is that users generally have to contribute to the tracker in some way. To become Power User at WCD required 5+ uploads and upload credit. Take that times the thousands of users who might only be interested in a different tracker (books, movies, tv) and you are talking about a lot of the content that made WCD the library it was. Even if those people stopped uploading a lot of them kept seeding and maintaining their accounts and they learned how to use trackers and contribute for when they get in to the place they desired. I don't see it as a terrible thing by any means.

TPS, on the other hand, isn't a tracker and doesn't prepare a new user for anything more than contributing to a forum. Which is valuable but doesn't remain useful after the user is gone.
I totally agree with your first paragraph but not the second one. You have to already be an established thief to even gain entry into TPS - more so than a good number of trackers. Most people here are already prepared for successful torrenting accounts. You don't need to pass a quiz about audio bitrates in order to know to continue seeding the movies and games you downloaded.

There are plenty of posts here made by castaways or inactive users that i have read and enjoyed or learned something valuable from. Those will never get deleted where a torrent someone uploaded to advance user class can die at any point after they get the invites they wanted. A forum where no files or links are shared is pretty safe from getting shut down but a gateway connected to a tracker will always be at risk. Same goes with other legal services connected to a tracker needlessly like whatimg. It baffles me that people use ptp's image service for anything other than linking to on ptp itself. There is no valid reason to bundle everything together like that, and even less reason to recreate a system that was defeated just moments ago instead of improving on it and learning from past mistakes.

I keep seeing so many staff decisions being made in the private tracker world that are less based on security and sharing and more about having the ability to say "I'm a really big deal on the internet." I put up with it and play the game because I'm a criminal and want free shit, but I'll never buy into it.
 
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#20
Really, get the best seedbox you can afford or stop thinking this way. Activity in the forums, helping another user out with filling a request, donating or just keeping an IRC chan active with mindless banter is also helping out and being a good user :)
I have a seedbox & I seed from home. The issue is 99% of my uploads haven't gotten snatched. And in what way am I thinking? Lamenting that my effort has been fruitless so far isn't a bad thing. People can have more than one reason to upload & mine was two-fold: to help with the archival & be rewarded in the process. Part 1 of the mission accomplished. I contribute in a bunch of ways, but the only way to climb the ladder isn't in my control at the moment.

edit af fam: I think I see what you mean now, that I don't think I'm a good user because I'm not PU. Nah, it's not like that.
 
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