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

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thedeh

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#21
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.
There are a number of reasons for the changing community, but I think you really hit the nail on the head here. Largely people choose the most convenient option when it comes to consuming entertainment media, and entertainment media is more readily, conveniently, and economically accessible than ever before.

To use myself as an example, I'm about the most shameless thief you can imagine when you're talking about digital media content. I don't think it's right, nor do I delude myself with arguments of "copying isn't stealing" and "all information should be free", I'm aware that my actions are morally objectionable. I just don't care.

Yet since the advent of Spotify, I've downloaded about a total of 10 albums in the last 5 years. I love music, but I could care less about lossless and super-rare pretentious shit. Spotify satisfies all my music requirements and does so in a much more convenient manner than downloading and archiving the actual files. In fact, it's that convenient I actually paid for Spotify premium, simply because I value the service so much.

Or at least I did, until about a year ago I discovered that I could obtain all the benefits of Spotify Premium simply with a hacked version of the app. :D

I do the same thing with Netflix. If the content is available on Netflix, it's much more convenient than private trackers. And although I don't currently pay for Netflix (I purchased a stolen login for $10 which has lasted 2 years), I have done in the past and would do so again if I found myself otherwise unable to access the service.

This sort of trend appears to be occurring throughout most of the developed world. This is why we're seeing a major decline in the new community entrants from wealthy English speaking nations in favor of poorer non-English speaking nations. As these platforms often remain unavailable in developing countries due either to lack of access to streaming services or lack of economic viability.

I believe this is also the primary reason for the rise of selling tracker invites/accounts, as the economically disadvantaged have turned invites into a commodity, one that appears to net a healthy profit when adjusting for exchange rates and purchasing power. This rise has in turn led to a more guarded, hostile, and insular community as trackers have sought to protect themselves.

Combine these factors to the history of TPS which was severely crippled after the previous staff ran the site into the ground and the rise of open discussion platforms such as Reddit, which has certainly filled much of the role once served by us in this community (a central location for topical news/discussion) and TPS has seen a marked decline in activity from our height of popularity in 2010.

For those that weren't around during that era, to put things in perspective, we usually have between 10-40 members browsing TPS at any one time (excluding guests and including members browsing in hidden mode). Conversely, the record for number of users browsing the old vBulletin version of the site (TPSv1) at one time was over 500 members. That's the approximate number of members we now see in over 48 hours.

We'll probably never be that active again, largely due to the aforementioned drop in not only the overall activity of the community, but the additional decline in the quality of new applicants (translating into far less members that apply and that are actually approved). So the question then becomes, who do we want to be? What role do we want to play in the new private tracker community? And are we willing to make radical changes to evolve with the times?

The answer to these questions then determines where we go as a community. I see a few options offhand:
  1. We're content with our rate of growth/activity and are happy to continue doing what we're doing.
  2. We actively promote a policy of becoming a "gateway" into the private tracker community, similar to that of the role played by W.CD.
  3. We remove invites completely and open registration for everyone. (Gasp!)
I would expect most of our current members to prefer the first option. This will essentially mean we continue with minor improvements/changes to the site and site policy, and we continue to strengthen and grow the community at an organic rate, but largely remain the same. We continue our policy of being accessible to new members, while remaining somewhat hidden behind the curtain.

The second option would require a much more active role in promoting TPS as an option for entry into the PT community. This has the potential to be not only beneficial for us, but beneficial for the entire community, as we're in a very good position to educate new entrants to the community with the wealth of knowledge and information available in our existing posts and from our existing veteran members. We also have the added benefit of being much more stable due to our status as a fully legal site, as opposed to a "gateway" that is always at risk of being shutdown.

The problem I see with this option, is that a very large percentage of members applying via the public application process are of extremely poor quality and are immediately rejected. Many of these people are referred here from Reddit and make no effort to write a serious application (these kinds of people make for extremely poor and entitled members). Increasing the number of these applicants would be pointless. In order to avoid this, there would need to be an equally well promoted campaign to communicate our expectations when applying for membership (similar to the whatinterviewprep.com site).

The final option is a radical yet interesting proposal. For a long time now TPS has not been about invites, we're almost exclusively a private tracker & piracy discussion forum with a very minor part of the board dedicated to invites. Yet much of TPS site policy is determined by the idea of providing a safe environment for people/tracker staff to distribute invites. The NML, the application process, the necessity to root out traders/sellers/cheaters, the restrictions on new members; all the barriers to enter TPS and contribute are centered around this idea.

By removing the invite requests sections of the site, all these extremely important and necessary polices evaporate in an instant. Access can be restored to thousands of inactive members without worry of lurking traders, membership can be opened to everyone, and TPS could once again have the potential to become the primary hub for this community to meet and congregate, with the added bonus of avoiding the downvote brigade, much better organization and information collation, more involved moderation and integration, and a much more personal platform for members to meet and network with each other (IMO the most valuable part of TPS).

I personally believe the platform TPS utilizes is better suited for this community than that of Reddit. Yet Reddit maintains a much larger "market share" (if you will), this is due to the open nature of Reddit. TPS could provide the same sort of openly accessible discussion, without being indexed on search engines (retaining the existing private subforums/threads system) but allowing for anyone to register and contribute.

Another variation of the final option could be to allow invites to remain, however, move invites behind a special "Application Approved" usergroup that requires an application/approval process similar to the existing membership application, except geared toward approving members for access to the Invite Requests and Tracker Recruitment sections of the site. Therefore allowing public access to everyone for discussion/involvement at TPS, while still providing a firewall between potentially bad users and any available invites.

Regardless, spacely spacely you've just taken the first step in building some real friendships here, and our members are some of the most well-connected veteran members this community has. If you stick around and continue to contribute at this level you'll quickly earn the respect and friendship necessary for whatever you desire.
 
Cherokee

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#22
I'm glad that TPS is not focused on invites. I didn't know anything about the invites when I joined. Back then, they had seedboxes for members to buy, and someone suggested I check out TPS, as they had seedboxes. So I took the interview, never did get around to getting a seedbox, but since I love forums, I never left. The first and only person I invited off the forums here got banned for inactivity, which sort of freaked me out at first. I never invited anyone else anywhere, except for people who I actually had gotten to know.

I never joined a site for their invite forums. I only join torrent sites if they have something I want. For that reason, I will never join a FLAC only or HD specialty tracker, because I like mp3s and standard definition when it comes to downloading. I have plenty of great trackers. Some of them I got in through open registration, but now you need invites to get in. I like those kinds of trackers best, because they tend to be the most active. I got into what.cd by invite, even though I wasn't looking for it. I got into several other trackers that way. If you hang out with people in irc, or get to know people, sooner or later things come your way.

When I first started at private trackers, I just wanted to get the shows I wanted. But I did participate in the forums. I was very lucky to get into the first places I wanted by open registration. After awhile, I got to know people. People would just ask me in irc if I wanted invites to places. I would be like okay. Other places people would tell me about, and they'd be open signup. Believe it or not, many great places I've joined have been open signup when I joined. Some of those places are harder to get into now, but I think it's a mistake to think that the harder to get into trackers are necessarily the best trackers to actually be at. The best trackers to be at are the places that have what you want!
 
DaggerSA

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#23
I for one am glad this topic was brought up spacely spacely its sparked conversation and the camaraderie I'm used too at TPS I was never a forum junkie because I loved the shoutbox so much. I think its important to know that each of us are here for various reasons thedeh articualted it so nicely though
TPS IMHO will always be a place that will have a wealth of knowledge for the so called "Digital Thieves" meh I like Pirates better !
 
spacely

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#25
Thank you thedeh thedeh , I was hoping for a response from you specifically. I don't have a problem with proposal 1, & it seems like proposal 2 wouldn't be an issue with you at all which is interesting. I had no idea this place had 500 active members at once, can't imagine that now. I do imagine it'd be a lot of fun though. You're on the money with the downvote brigade on /r/trackers & not much discussion there is all that insightful to begin with outside of news which lately has been jock measuring between two music trackers, but I digress. I would like to see TPS again take its place as the main hub because I think as our community gets smaller places like this become more important.

Proposal 3 I wouldn't mind either tbh but I figure it'd require more leg work from the staff. It's easier to police the party when you weed out the bad ones before they enter the door. I'm not exactly sure why most applicants are as bad as they are. Maybe their expectations of TPS aren't that high so they put in minimum effort, they don't like the idea of having to convince someone that they're worthy (which while I don't necessarily agree I understand - but why apply in the first place at that point), or they're just lazy. But I agree that would make for a much more active community like you said.

When I made this post I didn't know what to expect, but I'm glad to see that you guys respect my opinion enough to discuss it with me, so thanks for taking the time & that last bit of your post.
 
fdemon

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#26
The answer to these questions then determines where we go as a community. I see a few options offhand:
  1. We're content with our rate of growth/activity and are happy to continue doing what we're doing.
  2. We actively promote a policy of becoming a "gateway" into the private tracker community, similar to that of the role played by W.CD.
  3. We remove invites completely and open registration for everyone. (Gasp!)
So which one do you personally prefer? I know you like to leave decisions like this to a majority vote which is great but you didn't really reveal your opinion on it. The decision is ultimately yours.

I'm torn between options 1 and 2, but leaning more and more towards 2. I dont think 3 is viable because it would turn us into a competitor to reddit, and thats a competition we would lose. The site would shrivel up and die or just be turned into an archive of outdated tutorials that just end up being reposted to reddit for upvotes there, with all the discussion about them being held over there and not here. The respect we get from trackers themselves would be mostly gone too. No reason for users to respect trackers that dont want to be discussed or reviewed because the consequences of breaking those rules is gone. Sure you can break your back moderating and deleting references to HDb and E but why bother when the user u ban just reregisters?

In regards to option 1, you mention a steady decline in active users and quality applicants over the years due to streaming access so wouldnt that regression just continue if this place just keeps on keepin on the way it is now? If it is a growth (or even stagnation) then 1 would be more viable but your post makes it seem like a downward trend due to the changing times. If we truly are on life support then option 3 is yanking the plug and option 1 is keeping us on it until we get tired of living and quietly die in our sleep.

That leaves 2, which im going to make a tldr case for now.
Lets address the big negative first.

A ton of work, both to set up properly and then to maintain afterwards.

I have been offered several positions at trackers over the years but I always turn them down due to a sense of self preservation. I never wanted the label of staff at a tracker because I think it makes you a target and I dont believe I have the technical knowledge to keep myself safe from constantly evolving threats if I put myself out there like that. This is the only place I even feel safe discussing things of this nature and is one of only 2 piracy forums I participate in, the other being a tiny niche tracker with around 300 members. I avoid irc and forums on trackers like the plague because I like to keep my profile as small as possible and not shit where I eat. There is also the "why bother" factor to consider, meaning why would I put in hundreds of hours toward improving a community thats just going to get erased? Everyone here has had the lesson of dont put all your eggs in one basket at one point with trackers, especially in 2016.
All those reservations are gone here and I'm more than willing to put my money where my mouth is and dedicate a couple hours a week to screening apps or whatever else is needed that is within my abilities to give for the betterment of this place and I imagine im not the only one with this mindset. Also I'm sure the increased exclusivity of option 2 would drive the motivations of the epeen seekers to the point where finding enough quality hands to help out with the workload wouldnt be an issue at all. Just look at how fast the monotonous bullshit jobs at PTH are being filled up. As long as the job is being done and power isnt abused who gives a shit.

The problem I see with this option, is that a very large percentage of members applying via the public application process are of extremely poor quality and are immediately rejected. Many of these people are referred here from Reddit and make no effort to write a serious application (these kinds of people make for extremely poor and entitled members). Increasing the number of these applicants would be pointless. In order to avoid this, there would need to be an equally well promoted campaign to communicate our expectations when applying for membership (similar to the whatinterviewprep.com site).
All this is solved with volunteers helping out, which would be offered in droves if this was the new gateway. Set up a script for interviewers to follow, teach app screeners how to spot red flags etc. The prep site would require at least personal supervision to set up but it would only have to be done once, with perhaps minor revisions as time goes on. Separating the wheat from the chaff will always be an issue for private communities, the only change here is the volume of both. Think about how many good WCD and BCG users are still homeless out there and how many good posts they are capable of contributing here. Just need a couple extra forum mods to weed out the shitheads that wiggled thru the entrance filter who just end up spamming for postcount.
All that being said, it will still be a ton more work for existing staff. Thats why its a negative.

And now the positives.

- Gateway stability and insulation from private trackers for the betterment and security of the whole community.
- Revitalized userbase of both this forum and private tracker community with good quality new blood.
- Improved longevity for both this forum and the bittorrent protocol as a method of piracy and retaining the archives that have been built up.
- Providing another entryway into private trackers with content people actually want without wasting time downloading shit they have no interest in to "prove" competence.
- The increased security measures would allow for deeper trust from private trackers which would provide even more allowance for reviews and recruitment threads/discussion about tracker internal ongoings.
- More users means more donations means more features to improve the site and keep us the fanciest forum on the interbutts.
- More movement from threads here, I hate spending an hour on an effortpost just to have 3 views and no comments after a couple days.

I could keep going but im getting hungry.

I'm sure there are variables im not taking into consideration because I dont know that they exist. I welcome any and all criticism and concerns about the above brainfarts. I would also like to urge those who are against promoting invites here to consider if they would still feel that way if they werent already well connected and didnt already have every tracker they want. "Fuck you, got mine" works well for DDL or usenet but not for torrents, not for retention. The protocol wasnt designed to flourish with that philosophy. An inbred circle jerk can only last so long.

Imagine only using TPB and KAT for years, you are a good user and seed even though you dont have to. The former gets blocked by your isp and the latter gets shut down. No tracker worth having has open signups anymore. You didnt chat on forums or irc because you have a life. What do you do?

There are millions in that boat, while private tracker user numbers are slowly declining. Makes no sense to me.
 
largos7

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#27
A very stimulating thread. Props to spacely for sparking it.

Another aspect to consider is that fewer kids these days have access to "real computers". They have their smart phones, smart TVs with Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming capabilities built in, possibly a tablet, a locked down console that needs replacement with the next gen every 4 years. These kids have their phones with them 24/7 trying to stay socially active and cool with their circles. All these devices provide access to a digital ocean of content on-demand.

There has to be a marriage of frustration over content access combined with adequate technical capability so my point is that it's simply a much smaller pool that pirates are spawning from. The trickle of fresh pirates that do indeed emerge, I'd say they'd largely be very content to get access to a gen tracker such as IPT.

Also from my perspective, obtaining tracker access particularly at the higher level is very much connected with social skills and to unapologetically generalize, today's kids are simply socially awkward.

If there's going to be surge of new applicants, I think it's going to have to be triggered by content industry crackdowns and trackers responding by going further underground.
 
Xemaniac

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#28
  • We're content with our rate of growth/activity and are happy to continue doing what we're doing.
  • We actively promote a policy of becoming a "gateway" into the private tracker community, similar to that of the role played by W.CD.
  • We remove invites completely and open registration for everyone. (Gasp!)
I think the application is too daunting, even though it probably serves a purpose, but it should maybe be a little easier. Maybe even allow us plebs to invite trusted "friends".

I also feel that the rank to get access to invitations and request invitations is too low, should be higher. A lot higher?
We see people just commenting on stuff to get posts, and some even ask for likes in their signature.

So no, I don't find us being a gateway a good idea. I think we should first and foremost be a community, and the invites are just a perk. And to be honest, one doesn't need to request invites once friends are made here...and that is thanks to the community, not the recruitment.

Open registration is never a good idea, with this Reddit generation. It would just be a lot of extra work for the moderators, and frustration for those trying to contribute to the community.

today's kids are simply socially awkward.
I couldn't disagree more. The majority I know are socially very competent, and the minority are inept.
 
largos7

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#29
I couldn't disagree more. The majority I know are socially very competent, and the minority are inept.
I'm glad we have a difference of opinion and that your experience is much more positive! I expect you to steer them here when they're ready ;)

I'm also wondering which corner of the globe you call home, but no pressure to give anything away. My contrasting viewpoint stands, however. In my mind, we're dealing with "generation now", "generation entitlement". They expect instant access rather than setting long term goals and committing to rules such as those mandating seeding over period of days.
 
fdemon

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#30
I also feel that the rank to get access to invitations and request invitations is too low, should be higher. A lot higher?
This is what I was talking about when I said to try to put yourself in the shoes of someone trying to break into the dying private tracker world.

What does postcount have to do with someone's ability to seed back something they leeched? Obviously there needs to be some minimum to make sure the most basic undesirables dont see whats available in there but beyond that whats the point? Being able to request an invite is not the same as being granted one. There are already a bunch of invite requests in there that dont get filled. If a user here requests a site that i have an invite for and they give me 3-4 profile links with TBs of buffer on hard sites that you cant buy upload on they are getting the invite whether they are new recruit or dark pirate. On the other hard if a captain or dark pirate gives me garbage links I dont care how many comments they have or what their reg date is, no invite for them. Unnecessary exclusion just drives the whole system further underground and as accounts get pruned for inactivity the userbase gets smaller and smaller until all that is left is a couple thousand guys archiving PBs of content they will never watch and no one has access to while the rest of the world moves on to netflix as it methodically gets the rights to whatever country they are in. I post here because i like to, it has nothing to do with my ability to seed my torrents. WCD interviewers never asked potential members to be their friend for a couple months first.

I agree with you that kids today are very socially adept, but the reason they arent flocking to private trackers is because they live in a world of instant gratification. Forcing someone to pointlessly ++postcount before you give them the access to the media they want will just make them look elsewhere. And then who is going to download that fourth remux of Die Hard 2 you uploaded to try and build buffer on a site dominated by scene topsite upload bots? These are the same people that grew up with the ability to order sex on tinder like a pizza ffs. Like it or not, we will eventually need them, because pretty soon it will be too late.

This whole mentality of "If I did it why cant they?" needs to stop if we are to survive long term. Because you probably did it when it was much less of a pain in the ass to do, before a bunch of sites got shut down and everyone else tightened up their sphincters. Just look at all the oldschoolers even in this very thread that said they got into the hard sites back when they had open signups. Exclusivity does not equal security, 2016 taught us that and how. Unless you know the person you invite in real life and know they arent a copyright troll every precaution you take is easily defeated and ultimately pointless and making the barrier of entry insanely convoluted only hurts us as a whole in the end. Trackers are dying, and we are in a unique position to be a paramedic and give it CPR. I cant think of another place that has the respect of that world without also getting its hands dirty and becoming a target itself.
 
largos7

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#31
What does postcount have to do with someone's ability to seed back something they leeched? Obviously there needs to be some minimum to make sure the most basic undesirables dont see whats available in there but beyond that whats the point? Being able to request an invite is not the same as being granted one. There are already a bunch of invite requests in there that dont get filled. If a user here requests a site that i have an invite for and they give me 3-4 profile links with TBs of buffer on hard sites that you cant buy upload on they are getting the invite whether they are new recruit or dark pirate. On the other hard if a captain or dark pirate gives me garbage links I dont care how many comments they have or what their reg date is, no invite for them. Unnecessary exclusion just drives the whole system further underground and as accounts get pruned for inactivity the userbase gets smaller and smaller until all that is left is a couple thousand guys archiving PBs of content they will never watch and no one has access to while the rest of the world moves on to netflix as it methodically gets the rights to whatever country they are in. I post here because i like to, it has nothing to do with my ability to seed my torrents. WCD interviewers never asked potential members to be their friend for a couple months first.
I really don't feel the post count system that's in place here is asking too much from the userbase. It's encouragement backed up by incentives that aren't found anywhere else. I'm happy to pay my dues and await a brief period for the required rank date. That time period being the 2nd trial, following on from the initial application and filtration process. If posting wasn't encouraged in some way, would this place remain a forum? The social atmosphere and exchange of ideas, good and bad would go out of the window.

This whole mentality of "If I did it why cant they?" needs to stop if we are to survive long term. Because you probably did it when it was much less of a pain in the ass to do, before a bunch of sites got shut down and everyone else tightened up their sphincters. Just look at all the oldschoolers even in this very thread that said they got into the hard sites back when they had open signups. Exclusivity does not equal security, 2016 taught us that and how. Unless you know the person you invite in real life and know they arent a copyright troll every precaution you take is easily defeated and ultimately pointless and making the barrier of entry insanely convoluted only hurts us as a whole in the end. Trackers are dying, and we are in a unique position to be a paramedic and give it CPR. I cant think of another place that has the respect of that world without also getting its hands dirty and becoming a target itself.
When trackers open their doors, that can be a sign of desperation for fresh users, but also confidence (or perhaps naivete) that they can effectively weed out the bad users in short order. Sites have so many leaks already, I'd be surprised if trackers truly feared that agents associated with the copyright industry will penetrate their user base and hasten a downfall. How can shutting down private trackers be a priority while their user bases are so small? TL was just open and AB was open for a period earlier in 2016 (albeit pre-WCD raid.) I doubt the staff at these trackers are losing sleep at night.

So long as the TPB remains afloat, the more casual pirates are going to remain perfectly happy and largely unaware of the private tracker scene.
 
violentnature

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#32
I'm glad we have a difference of opinion and that your experience is much more positive! I expect you to steer them here when they're ready ;)

I'm also wondering which corner of the globe you call home, but no pressure to give anything away. My contrasting viewpoint stands, however. In my mind, we're dealing with "generation now", "generation entitlement". They expect instant access rather than setting long term goals and committing to rules such as those mandating seeding over period of days.
I think you are generalizing terrible social representations of millenials which don't even matter. It doesn't have to deal with how they approach goals or how good they socialize with others. People my age and younger invest their money in the wrong equipment for long-term tracker use. They buy over-priced phones with over-priced limited data plans, new age consoles and games and only have enough money left over to afford netflix or other streaming services for their entertainment. You can't expect me to invite a friend who could really use a decent pirate site if they only have a ps4 and phone or a shitty walmart laptop that overheats after 2 hours.

The target group for private tracker enlistment is PC gamers because they have the gear on hand or can throw together a spare PC or dedicated server after upgrading their gaming rigs. And if you take a look at the lives of some people that dedicate their money to PC gaming they usually are immersed in the games and spend little time seeking out other forms of entertainment. Not to mention avoiding having their bandwidth robbed by torrents seeding all the time.

Private trackers are a niche market that doesn't advertise to the general public. A majority of people don't even know we exist let alone the requirements they need to bring to the table to be a contributing member.

If I started over on the private tracker world I think I could get in to enough sites in 1 year to fulfill a majority of the content I seek without ever posting on a forum or having any original content to upload. Add another year and I could get in to most of the sites I am using granted they open a recruitment thread and not having to rely on a personal invite from someone. Socializing has very little to do with it, but can immensely speed up the process.
 
fdemon

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#33
I really don't feel the post count system that's in place here is asking too much from the userbase. It's encouragement backed up by incentives that aren't found anywhere else. I'm happy to pay my dues and await a brief period for the required rank date. That time period being the 2nd trial, following on from the initial application and filtration process. If posting wasn't encouraged in some way, would this place remain a forum? The social atmosphere and exchange of ideas, good and bad would go out of the window.
Oh I agree that the access to the invite section here is fine the way it is now, I was addressing the suggestion to make it more difficult. Getting into that forum doesnt get you the invites, you still have to convince someone you are worthy. Getting a glimpse inside definitely acts as a carrot on a stick for motivation tho and theres no need to take that away. I'm not going to describe the internals of those forums here but I will say that getting to the minimum rank needed by itself is definitely not going to get you all the trackers you want right away. Its a small first step in a very long journey to the high end shit. Getting to the better trackers on WCD required being successful there for a long time, it would be no different here.

I believe it would definitely still be a forum, and it would improve. Of course there would be a portion of users that would just do the bare minimum to get the first invite and scram but thats also part of the nature of being a gateway, if we were to take on that responsibility. As long as they are good users for their first private tracker experience we did our job correctly. And again, no one who doesnt already have experience on lower tier trackers is getting to anywhere fancy. When I think of a gateway I think of the easiest trackers to get into, places that you can snatch an invite on reddit or some other open forum, but with us it would include a proper education not to fuck it up instead of "Heres the invite, you are on your own. And pray this invite tree isnt banned randomly in the future." What I'm envisioning in my head about this is more like "Ok you read all the materials provided and passed the little quiz and the interview, here's your ipt invite. Come back in 3 months and show me your stats and we can talk about another site then. You are also welcome to stay and chat with us here and learn how to get better at this which in turn will help keep you safer and allow you to download even more free shit."

I'm not advocating a shortcut here, but a doorway like WCD was without the threat of getting shut down and the door closing. If anything it would be a longer journey to the top, since you would have to be active here AND do well on several sites where on WCD you only had to do well on WCD.
 
Xemaniac

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#34
What does postcount have to do with someone's ability to seed back something they leeched?
It has nothing to do with it, but since we are not an invite forum, nor a tracker, more contributions in the form of posts is necessary.

What happens too much otherwise is that people only come here for the invites, and then we never see them again, until wcd goes down and people who have been here for years, and barely have post counts over the required amount, request invites again.

You need to let go of the issue that posting has nothing to do with seed/leech, since the point of the requirements is to make "friends" and keep the community alive.

So yes, we should demand more of our members, and then one filters out the unwanted.
 
fdemon

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#35
It has nothing to do with it, but since we are not an invite forum
....wut?

This thread is about discussing the hypothetical situation of becoming a gateway to private trackers, the benefits and disadvantages it would bring, the changes to the core foundation of the site it would require and your argument is that it wouldn't work because that's not what this forum is right now.

I need to go lay down.
 
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#36
....wut?

This thread is about discussing the hypothetical situation of becoming a gateway to private trackers, the benefits and disadvantages it would bring, the changes to the core foundation of the site it would require and your argument is that it wouldn't work because that's not what this forum is right now.

I need to go lay down.
Yes, exactly what you read: We are, and never will be an invite forum, that was never an alternative. A gateway is not one and the same. This was an answer to your statement.

The point I feel you're missing is that this community's absolute best part is just that, the community.
Even without the recruitment and invite requests this place is probably already THE gateway to trackers, since there's a lot of experienced people here.
Heck, I've gotten in to sites that most only dream of by making friends and contributing to the common wealth, never asking to get invited.

And yes, my opinion still stands that if we were a gateway, or even if things stay the same, we should require more activity.
 
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#37
Yes, exactly what you read: We are, and never will be an invite forum, that was never an alternative. A gateway is not one and the same. This was an answer to your statement.

The point I feel you're missing is that this community's absolute best part is just that, the community.
Even without the recruitment and invite requests this place is probably already THE gateway to trackers, since there's a lot of experienced people here.
Heck, I've gotten in to sites that most only dream of by making friends and contributing to the common wealth, never asking to get invited.

And yes, my opinion still stands that if we were a gateway, or even if things stay the same, we should require more activity.
You are stuck on the label of "invite forum" like you are picturing this place becoming torrent-invites or something. I assure you this isnt what I'm talking about.

And I'm not missing any point. I stayed here after I got the invite I wanted because I realized how great this community is. That doesnt change the fact that I joined because I had a tracker void, all I knew was that there was a potential invite that I needed in here. This place could have been filled with assholes for all I knew. But the initial incentive remained the same. You cant view the other really good posts before joining so its delusional to think that the the majority of applicants to this place go thru the whole process to gain entry without even a hint of that motivation in the back of their mind. Whether they follow through is another story. Maybe theres no recruitment thread for where they wanted to go, or it was on the NML.

And yes in the context of this thread and hypothetical exercise, gateway = invites, not just imparting wisdom and being friendly. The gateway part is for users that have zero private tracker accounts. None at all. The dream trackers you talk about getting invites to would require the same amount of effort and contribution as you put in if not more. Nothing about that should change. A gateway to replace WCD requires an invite upon passing screening so an applicant can get started at a basic "test" tracker and further prove they can survive. The interview there didnt last a month or more before you downloaded your first torrent. If that were the case it never would have grown to the level that it did. You studied, you passed, you got into your first tracker. You went no further unless you rose in rank and took care of your account. No one would be getting invites here to their first tracker that they cant get on reddit from some random person. Why not here where they can do it safely and with the best guidance? You think if we give someone their first invite to some semi private tracker like demonoid they wont stick around anymore because they are set for life? I seriously doubt it. If anything it would suck them in further because the education we give them would include knowledge of awesome trackers that they wouldnt get access to right away. And even if they dont come back who cares. Its not like you wasted a PTP spot on them. What I do know is that the people who do stay will actually want to be here and not forced to. Their posts are less likely to be spam which will keep the quality up and even if only a portion stay we still get an increase in active users instead of a steady decline. Demonoid is just an example but maybe a better option would be to direct them to whatever trackers have open signups at the time. Then it would really cost us nothing if they dont come back.

The point is to bring new users into the fold and help them get started so that this protocol doesnt slowly die off and the archives arent lost. If trackers trust us as a source of good new users more and more recruitment threads will open up which will revitalize both this forum and the community at large.
 
Dwarsligger

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#38
I'm not advocating a shortcut here, but a doorway like WCD was without the threat of getting shut down and the door closing. If anything it would be a longer journey to the top, since you would have to be active here AND do well on several sites where on WCD you only had to do well on WCD.
The gateway part is for users that have zero private tracker accounts. None at all. The dream trackers you talk about getting invites to would require the same amount of effort and contribution as you put in if not more. Nothing about that should change. A gateway to replace WCD requires an invite upon passing screening so an applicant can get started at a basic "test" tracker and further prove they can survive.
I don't even know why people want TPS to become some gateway, or more than it actually already is? When you want things to be like What, be prepared to just let anyone in (yes, the interviews were semi open registrations, therefore the +200k users) and be prepared to just let them in for getting invites to trackers. We don't offer invites, besides recruitments and requests, which will stay that way. People can join forums enough to get invites, use them at your own risk because our invites are gone for a good reason.

Now, we already let people get in TPS through recruitments on trusted trackers, and run an open-to-all application form which everyone can use, even people not into trackers yet. Every application gets reviewed by staff, and this is done in such way we already refuse about half of them. Applicants who need to give more info come to our irc help channel to give it, or to fail on that part. Now what would some irc interviewing 'gateway' add to this? We are discussed on trackers as it is, we are discussed on (open) forums as it is, we are even discussed on trader/seller sites as it is, so why would interviews give us more applicants?

Regarding the invites (why else would people want a 'gateway'?) we only work with recruitments, and requests outside the NML. Getting recruitments isn't all that simple now many trackers are slowly dying but staff here keeps working on that as much as possible. Attracting people and offer them a 'gateway' to trackers is done in the way we do it now, it can't be made much easier unless we will just open all doors to everyone and throw them invites, but we might as well change our name to TheInviteSociety then.

Alot of people joined What for invites, and just for that, just as people join forums like TI and such, just for invites. My personal view is we are better off providing a solid discussion forum where no one needs to risk accounts/invites on trackers while we can still openly discuss anything related to them.

TLDR: if you ask me we are a gateway to private torrenting and all that comes with it, we are quite easy to enter, and we offer members a safe environment with recruitments, what more do you want...?
 
fdemon

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#39
I don't even know why people want TPS to become some gateway, or more than it actually already is?
Because I personally believe that we are in a unique position to safely make it easier for people to start with private trackers and bring in more users to our way of life. We have the respect of private trackers combined with immunity to being shut down. If we can make a few changes to our recruitment process/how we advertise ourselves and as a result attract more *new* people to our culture and at the same time continue to assure tracker staff that we are not allowing for this,

the rise of selling tracker invites/accounts, as the economically disadvantaged have turned invites into a commodity, one that appears to net a healthy profit when adjusting for exchange rates and purchasing power.
then perhaps we will be in a better position to reverse this,

a more guarded, hostile, and insular community as trackers have sought to protect themselves.
and this,

TPS has seen a marked decline in activity from our height of popularity
but most of all this,

trackers are slowly dying
In the end my reasons are just as selfish as the reasons to keep things closed up; self preservation. Only difference is I'm looking a decade down the road, not just next week.
 
Dwarsligger

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#40
If we can make a few changes to our recruitment process/how we advertise ourselves and as a result attract more *new* people to our culture and at the same time continue to assure tracker staff that we are not allowing for this,
Again, we are recruiting on trackers, we have an open application form to all, we have people being pointed here from open places like Reddit and such, how would you like us to advertise? A facebook page, some twitter account, a post on opentrackers?

What is the difference between an interview and an application, and how would an interview suddenly attract more people than an application?

In the end my reasons are just as selfish as the reasons to keep things closed up; self preservation. Only difference is I'm looking a decade down the road, not just next week.
We aren't closed up as you claim, we just don't go full monty, but I'm glad you're a decade ahead...
 
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