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Should we look at new ideas for the debate forum?

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posted on May, 4 2006 @ 07:51 PM
I was just having a little gander at the debate forum and noticed that, views seem to have fallen. It is possible that people keep going back to older debates, but I have to scratch my head and wonder. I’ve taken screen shots and will monitor the forum for a while to see what the revisit rate is.

What I’m wondering though is if perhaps there were things that could be done to make the debate forum more interesting to members (since I obviously want people watching as long as I’m not losing).

I’m not suggesting that we need to have more debates immediately- I know the mods and judges put a lot of time into reviewing and carefully judging these things- but I think at some point it might be cool to work in more events like the holiday skirmishes, such as comedy debates or team events. I’m also intrigued by the loose run of the early debates.

A debate with more rounds but much shorter word limits would be interesting in my opinion because it puts so much more emphasis on rebuttal and being able to gain the initiative.

Any chance we could get more suggestions and perhaps play with a few of them?

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 08:01 PM
firstly, congratz on winning the first debate tournament of 2006!!!

secondly, i had an idea about the debates:

could we please have "tag-team" debates, with two ATSers to each pro and con???

that would be great...

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 08:08 PM

A debate with more rounds but much shorter word limits would be interesting in my opinion because it puts so much more emphasis on rebuttal and being able to gain the initiative.

I like this idea a lot.
By its very nature such a debate is going to be more soundbytes than substance, so I don't think it would be a good idea to forsake the old ways entirely, but to add some lighter reading to the debates forum would be a good thing.

Congratulations on your recent win BTW, five minutes on top of the mountain and you're already taking on a leadership role. Suggesting ways for your subjects to better themselves.

I'm just messin' with you, that was a great debate.

Edit: What about live debates in chat? Is there any way to make certain rooms accessible but read-only except for the contestants? Might be something to look in to, could be a lot of fun.

[edit on 4-5-2006 by WyrdeOne]

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 09:36 PM
I'm glad I started this thread when I did- I wanted to get it posted before the tournament results came back so it wouldn't be like I was just calling attention to my win.
The live chat debate sounds VERY tough and very interesting.

And it is true that a rapid-fire debate would be rather soundbytish, and definately should not replace the current system, the results of which I am quite happy with obviously. It would be nice though to bring in those who really don't consider writing college level essays a form of entertainment.

I think a debate like that should probably be strictly philosophy oriented with an unknowable answer. Philosophy can be soundbytish, and that form would lend itself to socratic debate very nicely.
(Perhaps mandating that questions be answered when posed would make that even more interesting).

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:00 PM
One of the things that I've been wanting to try is an essay competition. Where people have to write a short standard format essay on a topic, and then the judges pick a winner, we wouldn't assing pro or con positions or anything like that.

Another was to have a competitive essay, where one person write a pro essay, the other writes a con essay, on a topic, and that is judged. There could be multiple rounds (in which case we'd probably have to assign topics and positions), or we could just have it as a one off thing, announce some topics, say we need a pro and con, and accept applicants.

The 'skrimage' is something that we've been trying to work out for a while. To have a mini tournament with much fewer responses.

A problem with making things faster paced is that people usually can't respond consistently on a shorter-than 24 hour basis. The progress of the whole tournament is usually limited by how quickly the judges can make their determinations also, maybe having a 'permanent' panel of judges might fix that.

I assure you though, we've been tossing these ideas around for a while. The whole debate structure took a hit not so long ago, fortunately, with a lot of help from Kano (oh yeah, he's still working behind the scenes, and in front of them too!), things are slowly progressing.

Any suggestions would be great too.

live chat debate sounds VERY tough and very interesting

We do have pod mods who are tech savvy enough to possibly moderate such a thing. I'd think that it can be done with something like Skype or some other VOIP service, on a conference call, record it, then upload it to the podcast directory.

We did have a debate tourny where people made podcasts and then responded to one another. It would be nice to have one that flows quickly and off the cuff though. However, that does require paying for the phone to phone call, so far as I know.

to bring in those who really don't consider writing college level essays a form of entertainment.

Bah, screw those people! I want my 5 paragraph format!!

Another thing that we've been trying to encourage is for people to challenge other posters, formally, on a topic, and "take it to the debate forum".

A long while back I was trying to get together a 'Team Debate', wherein we'd create new accounts for the pro and con positions, and have, say, three or four members collaborate on their responses, and then post anonymously under that name.

The problem with that was getting enough people to do it, also, you can imagine that that'd require a much longer period of time between reponses.

Some good ideas here so far, it'll be neat to hear from more members!

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:08 PM
I think a chat debate would be best carried out via chatroom rather than voice, unless there is some wonderful technology I just don't understand that makes live voice debate.

Team debates would be a great idea too, I'd be game for that.

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:14 PM
BTW, we can probably have the next tourny within, say, three weeks.

TV, with Voice Over IP services, like Skye (also see wiki entry), you can do this. The program functions as an iming chat device also. But what you do is, you pay the connection fee (as cheap, or thereabouts, as a phone call), and you can teleconference with a bunch of people. So what we'd do is have the two participants and a moderator conference together, and then debate the topic for, say, 15 minutes, or some such. Record the teleconference, then upload as a podcast, the judges would download, and then we'd get the decision. Its workable. The cost is a limit though, there's gotta be some way to do it for free (or at least no more than, of course, the cost of connecting to the internet).

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:24 PM
I don't know if it's still around, but I know there used to be free voice chats around. ATSers using it for this purpose may be considered commercial use however, so we'd have to do our homework before attempting to find and use one of those. (Voice quality is normally poor on such services in my experience).

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:30 PM
ATS has chat. Why not use it?

If there was a way to give judges read-only access to a special chat room, and give the participants full access for the period of the debate, then the debate could take place in real time, text though.

If the judges can't sit in, they could always just get the log delivered to 'em.

Seems easier than messing with conference calls.

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:58 PM
We do have at least one 'restricted use' chat room, or at least have that ability, I beleive.

However, an im debate, how's it delivered to the ATS reading public? People are going to read the chat logs? Might work, might work.

I'm looking into more VoIP services. Apparently, Vonage and other mobile 'phone companies' are actually VoIP services, I didn't know this. I thought it was just things like skype. So this is interesting. I've used skype, for the text aspect anyway, and I think, but am not certain, that when there is a Two outta three amigos podcast, that that's how its done, with Skeptic recording and him and Springer carrying on a conversation in that way. Conference calls would work the same way. Presumably the person moderating would be doing the recording and uploading.

I do like that idea, the more I think about it. But, again, big problem is, what program to use, and everyone that does it is going to download that program??

posted on May, 10 2006 @ 12:33 PM
In the inter-mediate phase, one thing that we can do right now is encourage people to issue "Challenges" to others, in the forums, and then have them duke it out in the Debate forum.

So, if say, a person is discussing the Iranian situation, and they feel that current nuke technology prevents iran from having a bomb within the next 5 to 6 years, and that the iranian government can't possibly be considering making a nuke weapon, then someone else can slap them in the face and say "I Challenge you to A Debate". They can then U2U me and we will work out a short debate on that topic which will be judged.

That's something that we can encourage right now.

Infact, I've just created a post within BQ&B for just that purpose. I would suggest putting a link into your sigs in order to 'spread the word'.

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