We've thought about utilizing alerts as an automated response tool that continuously evaluates the strategic landscape and assigns alerts accordingly, but it seemed a bit too heavy handed... for now, at least. We still have the goal of players self-organizing and being the ones to drive the flow and strategy of the game. We realize organizing players and getting them to achieve large goals isn't the easiest job right now, but we have some new community-driven systems coming online soon (such as the player-mission system) that will help in this area.
All that being said, we haven't set the future of alerts in stone. As the game grows and evolves so too will our ideas of what alerts are and what their role is.
We definitely like the idea of having a CTF-like alert. It has good potential to create a lot of interesting/heroic scenarios. We've been actively exploring a CTF-type of alert design and I'm hoping we can get it into the game soon. As for alert ribbons, that's a great idea and I would like to see those in as well as many more.