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There are no rules on the community forum. Write whatever you like at the very top of this page (below this messagy) by starting a header with "== Header Title ==" and then writing your comment/suggestion/question below and "signing" it with ~~~~. Some typical things you can do on this forum include:
- Suggest a debate topic.
- Make comments and express your strong beliefs in a particular debate.
- Encourage people to help with something your doing on Debatepedia.
- Shape the policy and direction of Debatepedia.
- Ask questions and respond to questions.
Go ahead and comment here!
Click on the pencil icon to add to this community forum.
Great progress has been made on the Libertarian debate. I'd love to make it a daily debate soon. Are people interested in improving this debate article to get it to this point? Let's set a date for it. I've put it on the publishing calendar for --
Check out Debate:Animal testing. We're going to cross fertilize many of the arguments found here onto an array of other animal rights debates: Debate:Animal Rights, Debate:Fish farming ban, and Debate:Vegetarianism. Please join in. -- Brooks Lindsay 00:28, 12 May 2008 (CDT)
What's wrong/right with Debatepedia?
Give some thoughts below.
The difficulty on Debatepedia right now surrounds the community-building front. We have been scratching at various efforts. Some have had mixed success. The internship program is attracting applicants and new "interns", but few of them, unfortunately, have as much time as we would like (8 hours per week is the amount we are asking). Indeed, the interns that are applying are super ambitious students that put a great deal on their plates, which is totally admirable, but not great for the program. Nevertheless, we've pushed forward other fronts such as the administrators program. This has given people a greater incentive to participate; the reward of gaining administrative status. What other reward-systems might everyone suggest? -- Brooks Lindsay 13:33, 23 April 2008 (CDT)
I'm not too sure - have you tried free advertising methods??
I know that Debatepedia is used as a very useful and highly recommended resource. Many debaters use Debatepedia as a resource but don't consider editing on the site. Matt 18:02, 25 April 2008 (CDT)
Can I draw everyone's attention to the debate of Debate:Chicken or the egg please.
If you have an idea for this debate, please write it down on the page. It is a potentially good debate but needs some work!! Matt 17:58, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
- That sounds cool, but we gotta focus on more bread-and-butter debates for now, I think. This is largely because we need to generate content where it will be widely viewed, largely via Google searches. Viewership is good in itself, but it also has the important function of increasing the growth of the community. -- Brooks Lindsay 13:23, 23 April 2008 (CDT)
Join in, I'm sure you have something to say
I want to emphasize our encouragement on Debatepedia for our community of editors to begin thinking communally. What do you think about Debatepedia? What is good and bad? What debates are missing? What are you working on that you want other people to join in developing? -- Brooks Lindsay 16:35, 11 March 2008 (CDT)
Merging drugs in sports pages
Matthew.graham26 did a great job creating Debate:drugs with the drugs in sports debate. We already have one up though on this topic - Debate:Drugs in Sport. We're going to merge this work and then elevate this debate to feature status next week so we can put it on the main page as one of the Daily Debate Digest debates. I've set a Debate Collaboration on this debate for Friday the 14th. It will be the daily debate for March 17th. -- Brooks Lindsay 11:48, 9 March 2008 (CDT)
Debate:Multiculturalism vs. assimilation March 7, 2007
We're working on this debate right now. It's really interesting because these two opposing systems are so well developed and engrained in different societies, so there is plenty of evidence for the debate. The two most common examples sited are in France, where assimilation is the model, and the UK where multiculturalism is on display. -- Brooks Lindsay 13:05, 7 March 2008 (CST)
Technically, of course, these are two opposing systems, but this is one debate that, for me, is rather blurry in terms of actual practice within democratic nations, despite the official stance of a nation. France and the United States may have (more official) policies of assimilation, while the United Kingdom and Canada may be more multicultural, in policy, but clearly both operate with elements of both. In fact, looking at the violent tensions between groups in France and America, there may be correlation between the implications of an assimilationist policy versus the multiculturalism.--Miskas 14:30, 2 April 2008 (CDT)
Dollarization debate on March 6, 2007
We're working on the dollarization debate right now if anyone wants to join. In general it seems to be an important debate. -- Brooks Lindsay 14:07, 6 March 2008 (CST)
Might somebody be willing to initiate a debate on whether water-boarding can be considered torture?
In an effort to stimulate the Debatepedia community, what suggestions might you have everyone? As a wiki, we're completely dependent on building a community, so let us know of your thoughts, and let's get this party started. Brooks Lindsay 14:41, 8 January 2008 (CST)
Torture debate is quite good now
Spent alot of time making the torture debate into a shinning resource for personal deliberation. Check it out -- Brooks Lindsay 12:01, 6 December 2007 (CST)
Check out the new Debatepedia Facebook group. Join it, and network with the participants on Debatepedia!
-- Brooks Lindsay 20:55, 24 November 2007 (CST)
We've been trying to get our press release out to the market niche of Debatepedia, in the world of debate, deliberation, online discussion, e-participation, citizen journalism, open politics, and much more. Check out our list of these contacts here. Debatepedia:Contact list It's just a great resource for understanding the movement that Debatepedia is a part of. Brooks Lindsay 19:25, 6 November 2007 (CST)
Really interesting debate - Debate:Debate vs. dialogue
This is a debate that was sparked on the mailing list of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. Dialogue and deliberation could be defined as a non-combative, collaborative group approach to problem solving that ultimately aims at forming consensus and action. This debate is very interesting regarding the main premises of this site. Is debate a force for good or is "dialogue" better? -- Brooks Lindsay 17:42, 5 November 2007 (CST)
Still debatable? - Debate:Global warming, human-caused?
There's much more of a debate here than you might expect; many people consider the debate to be over. I was convinced that global warming is human-caused primarily. But, there's a very strong case for the chief cause actually being the sun and its interaction with the earth. Just watched "The Great Global Warming Swindle" (link posted to it on the debate page). The sun may be the main cause of our 100,000 year cyclical ice-age patterns. Indeed, we are still in this cyclical pattern and in a part of history where we would be naturally warming irrespective of human carbon emissions. The crux of the debate, then, becomes "are humans the primary cause of our existing global warming phenomena? Have we added substantially to it or are we just a footnote to a natural phenomenon?". It still appears to be a raging debate in society and academia. Pretty important stuff, particularly from the standpoint of addressing the problem. If humans aren't the chief cause, then, some would ask, what's the point of cutting back on carbon emissions and potentially at certain economic costs?. These sorts of questions are still very much alive, despite what some would call the "conclusion" of this debate...Worth a look. -- Brooks Lindsay 15:38, 4 November 2007 (CST)
Having trouble with the debate pages structure?
Admittedly, the debate page structure we've created is imperfect. It is a bit sensitive to new editors that are not familiar with the table code that creates the structure you see. We're working to improve this all and would love any suggestions you might like to provide. -- Brooks Lindsay 15:18, 4 November 2007 (CST)
page looks great. look forward to participating! thanks. --Sm8900 12:40, 2 November 2007 (CDT)
- Thanks for the kind words Sm8900. Indeed, the appearances are great. Now, it's all about the community-building. True beauty is in the community.:) Brooks Lindsay 15:22, 4 November 2007 (CST)
Has NAFTA benefited Canada?
Community-building ON THE SITE
Contests/Recognition/Awards/Incentives for production
If possible we can even attempt regular contests that encourage people to contribute: exempting ourselves, we can provide recognition to the best developed debate, best school/class/club contributing to debate, best new debates, and so on.
- Volunteer of the week section on main page. Brings the focus to volunteerism, and gives an incentive to be the best.
- Most edits. - An on-going, public list of the edits done by different editors. I think that this capacity already exists within Mediawiki.
- Awards - Like on Wikipedia, awards for different qualities or level of volunteerism from different editors.
- Debate of the week. Hold-out the incentive that if volunteers create "feature quality" articles, these articles will appear on the main page "Daily Digest" or "Debate of the Week", where their work will find thousands of viewers and they will gain credit. We should give brief mention to these contributors.
- Argument of the week. Feature a specific argument every week made by a user that is a model, that is interesting/important, and give the user credit.
- Academic awards. If the project is teacher-guided, give credit, AP credit, or just a certificate of achievement the student can use in college applications. Build a page that describes the standards the student complied with, so that colleges can see it. Once you build an active program, approach a Fortune 100 company with a reputation for supporting education (they all need to, because employees arrive increasingly unprepared) to provide scholarships with the awards. Cisco is big into education. Find a mailing list for debate teachers, if you haven't got one of your own, and circulate announcements about the opportunity to contribute for this recognition.
Userpages - encouraging bios, pics, videos, bragging, networking, accountability
Create section on the main page explaining this. First, get everyone to put pictures and bios of themselves up. Build a Sense of Community Contributors through Recognition and Authorial Transparency: If there is an easy way to indicate it, maybe every time an editor contributes something significant to a page, he or she is credited in some way. So, instead of just the original Debatabase author, we could have a section that lists the various authors (even if only in pseudonym) of the debate. This may also help lend greater weight to Debatepedia, since a criticism of many online resources is the lack of determining authorship. Plus, it may be a way to motivate those “publish or perish” motivated scholars to get some easy “publication,” which is also related to both service and teaching. Then again, the Debate Steward status may be enough recognition in this regard.
- Give greater, systemic encouragement to users creating their own profiles, bios, and uploading pictures. Perhaps too labour intensive on our part, but we can approach certain debate/rhetoric related profs/teachers/coaches or local politicians/activists/important people with opinions and interview them, placing their profiles or videos on our site. This may be flattering to them? Maybe it could be an assignment for IDEA’s journalist students that feed into Debatepedia. Encourage users to put up videos of themselves, their general philosophical beliefs, how they are getting involved, and so-forth.
- Debate Community Videos - : Ask debate clubs/organizations to uphold short videos about themselves, their schools, and so on.
- Vidoes - Pro/con argument videos on IDEA’s Encyclomedia and Debatepedia, and with rules about a lack of offensiveness, we ask users to upload videos of themselves onto their user pages verbalizing on some provocative issues from either a pro or con position. They can also place these vidoes in the pro/con videos section of Debatepedia at the bottom.
Meet the Debatepedia leadership (section on the main page?).
- Debatepedia:Leadership - A page featuring the bios and links to the user page of the people involved in the project.
- Bios of interns. Actually right on the Debatepedia:Internships page.
A section of online tutorials (short videoes) on how to use Debatepedia to accompany our existing instructions. As you are probably already working on it, we need it at least one overview video with some voice over (for better audio) instruction (perhaps from Brooks?) about how to edit, how to create new pages, how to research. I think we need only one video that covers a lot in about 5 minutes, so it is easy to download and easy to view, without having to go through numerous videos, which can be annoying. Later, we could probably create additional “themed” videos offering instructional ideas or calling for contributions on timely topics, maybe? In this school, we could start some suggestions as to how to use debate in the classroom. Ideally, users may then volunteer their own suggestions. This could be a good way to foster the teacher community side of things. (Brooks, make sure to use a better microphone).
- As part of this “school”, we could encourage teacher to encourage students to not only use Debatepedia, but if they want to explore their ideas before they write them into the wiki, they can engage in discussion on Debatepedia or on idebate.org.
A place where nearly empty debate pages are presented every day. Where a bunch of pro/con articles are presented, so that readers have in front of them materials to draw on to build pro/con content, but with no content actually provided yet. This could be worked into a "Debate Workshop" section on the main page, where we call on users to "read pro/con articles and frame the debate".
Instant messaging on Debatepedia
This could be very useful, although perhaps distracting. Is it possible.
Is this possible for Debatepedia, where new additions to certain sections on the main page are "fed" to people that choose to receive this "news feed".
Other various ideas
- Community forum, make it the place for all conversations, comments... Make section on main page that highlights this.
- Create a "perfect", model debate for reference. Create a prominent place on the site for the model, perhaps even a link on the left side-bar. This will make it easy to keep everyone on the same page as far as the objective for each debate, and it will be good for showing to potential funders, advocates, instead of hoping the land on an ok debate by chance.
- Make Debatepedia more visually dynamic by including videos or more links to videos.
- Debatepedia specific section on IDEAWeekly, where we provide specific news/reports directly to editors/users and build a sense of Debatepedia community, maybe recognizing editors there as well as on the Debatepedia site.
- Promotional lines: “Debatepedia asks: Did you know that 80% of pro athletes have experimented with performance-enhancing substances? Check out the debate at . . .”
- Debatepedia cartoons (from Dalbir):
- Link to them on main page.
- Idebate Magazine: If it hasn’t been done already, an article on Debatepedia, or one, or both, of those Debatepedia cartoons I sent out, can be included in an upcoming edition of idebate magazine.
- Maybe get a new one rolled out every month. Keep users on their toes, laughing, and saying, "oh, these guys aren't as dorky as you would imagine.".
- Polls/Rankings: You may already be planning this for Debatepedia, but create very brief polls on different issues. Anti-Abortion or Pro-Choice? A user clicks one, sees the results, but all the while a link to the Debatepedia debate is there, waiting to be clicked and edited. Maybe we could have polls on each debate? Or, maybe just have feature polls on featured debates?
- List of newly created debate articles. I think there's a special page for this. Featuring this would be a good way to get users finding immature debates.
Marketing/community-building OFF THE SITE
- Market on listservs...
Fully exploiting IDEA's existing resources/networks
More “synergy” and internal cross-promotional stuff. Make better use of our existing resources, and to bring together the larger IDEA “family” of users.
- Spreading word of internship opps
- Debatetracker for contacting
If the project is teacher-guided, give credit, AP credit, or just a certificate of achievement the student can use in college applications. Build a page that describes the standards the student complied with, so that colleges can see it. Once you build an active program, approach a Fortune 100 company with a reputation for supporting education (they all need to, because employees arrive increasingly unprepared) to provide scholarships with the awards. Cisco is big into education. Find a mailing list for debate teachers, if you haven't got one of your own, and circulate announcements about the opportunity to contribute for this recognition.
Perfecting the message to get out
- “Become a Donor of Ideas . . .”
- Learn your positions and beliefs as an editor.
- Help other people learn their positions. Have an impact on thousands of readers.
- Have an impact on decision-makers.
Pitches at key wiki/technology/politics/debate conferences
See Debate:Contact list for a list of conferences. Sign up for "pitch-it" sessions.
Slippin’ In Debatepedia pitches on other listservs...
Get into the habit of referencing Debatepedia debates or idebate.org as much as reasonably and comfortably possible. If you are averse to tattooing the IDEA logo on yourself, you may want to include a link to Debatepedia under our names on our e-mails. Or, If we are in any chat group or discussion forum, slip in a link to a specific Debatepedia debate: “. . . speaking of abortion, check out this link . . .mother.” If you are teaching a class, or writing an article, don’t be afraid to include a reference to Debatepedia.
Actively invite individuals to join the list-serve and send out daily emails. College library listservs may be a good start. Re=post the list-serve link on the main page of Debatepedia.
- When people sign up for Debatepedia, maybe we should include an option to sign up to our listserv or to sign up to receive IDEAWeekly? Similarly, if this doesn’t already happen, all new IDEAmembers should get a “Get a Debatepedia User Name” option. Also, existing IDEA members should be offered Debatepedia accounts: “As an IDEA member, you can also become a Debatepedia user, sign up” type of thing.
Specific debate pitches - approaching stakeholder/advocates:
Find out exactly who is an expert on an issue and contact them.
In the debate community
- Internships are big. A huge "in" into the debate community.
- The message: It may be that debaters will not contribute due to competitive self-interest, but it seems that at least a small portion will be willing to do so. Getting the right message out to this prospective community is very important. That message is that the debate community is in a powerful position to have a greater impact on the world, the public, and decision-makers with the research it is doing. They should VOLUNTEER THEIR MINDS TO DEBETEPEDIA for this reason.
In the classroom
Approach professors, teachers students (who are also highly engaged in a particular debate topic or subject area) and ask them to contribute their expertise. Approaching these groups should be part of the daily-debate routine. Contact schools, school boards, and debate clubs with the broader message that Debatepedia is a tool for the classroom.
- Incorporate into Schools/Life: We can consider providing a tutorial or online curriculum that shows teachers how they can incorporate Debatepedia and creating/editing debatepedia articles into their curriculum as a teaching tool, a team-building tool, group assignment, and so on. Make “I’ll Debatepedia it!” into a common part of the international English lexicon. Here, we may also consider creating “heavier” debates in specific fields and sub-disciplines (academic theory, literary studies, sociology).
Create Your Own Debatepedia 'Course' or Club (Debatepedia:Lesson plan)
Advise teachers to try at least a week or two in their normal curriculum to include (complementary to their normal curriculum) some Debatepedia research, editing, and/or debate creation. This could be a good opportunity for teachers to make their students Internet saavy, teaching students the ethics of contributing to online forums/wikis, and provide students a direct lesson in the responsibility involved in teaching/learning. It also provides students a cooperative framework, where knowledge is shared by several users, working towards the same goal of developing the best arguments. Free speech, democracy, open dialogue . . . all that good stuff. Independent and team learning at the same time. Incorporating Debatepedia into courses should be easy, and if it works, we can ask for testimonials or video diaries that they can upload onto our Encylomedia or Debatepedia (if we have the capacity for it). If that works, we may consider advising schools or asking schools to create somewhat “permanent” Debatepedia clubs, (the Chess Club of the Internet Generation). Attractive to debaters, writers, young journalists, young politicians, and other nerds and “losers” (just kiddingJ), the club could work on creating debate pages on topics of interest to the group. A Debatepedia Club would combine intellectual interests with volunteer activism – many schools do not have clubs/pursuits with such a combination.
Have an annual or bi-annual Debatepedia-themed Conference with various paper topics (“Arguing Online”) where we can include workshops on how one can access Debatepedia, edit it, do some group participation in terms of editing, and help them start a new page. Alternative to a conference, we can simply have lessons (for teachers, students, or contacts at different schools, who then can teach others) or workshops held at schools/universities in our area. Maybe we could have an Economist/Debatepedia Event of some sort.
If you like, I can create some ads, not too different from what I do for TPS, if you are familiar with them, for Debatepedia. With certain important dates or issues, we could send out themed promotions asking people to add to the debates. For instance, with the war effort, we can send out an ad for Debatepedia in general, but also include a link to the specific existing debate on the war, asking people to check it out, contribute to it, and so on. Following this e-mail, I will send out a couple of possible ads and if the tone is alright for Debatepedia, then maybe we can send them out to our lists.
Other various ideas
- Book Summaries: We could include summaries of debate or debate topic related books, with links to Amazon, so we draw some attention to the author’s work and hopefully then, some authors will be flattered enough to contribute to the Wiki.
- RESPONSE FROM BROOKS: Let's not get distracted.
- Debates about Documentaries: Several documentary films deal with contentious issues that we can “debate” through Debatepedia. With catchy names, “The Super Size Me Debate,” we should be able to draw fans/critics of such films into the online battle. Here again, we can include links to these film’s homepages, IMDB, and so on, making them indirectly cross-promotional.
- RESPONSE FROM BROOKS: I think documentaries should be used as evidence, but not as the subject matter of a debate, unless it is a legitimate public debate.
- Merchandise/advertising: A friend of my wife convinced her to put their school logo on our car. I think it looks kind of cheesy, but it is free advertising for my wife’s friend . . . until I can somehow tear it off while my wife is not lookingJ I know IDEA does some merchandise promotion; perhaps we could do it with Debatepedia or the newer IDEA resources (radio, media) as well?
Content-building as community building
The main priorities in 2008 should revolve around the debate-community 2008 topics, the 2008 US elections, as well as the upcoming 2009 EU elections. We will use the categories for each to help guide content-building and community-building around these topic areas. My personal editorial strategy will be to focus on one debate in these areas each day. At the end of every day, I will post my daily debate onto the "Daily Debate Digest" section of the main page. As you have suggested, this should be a good way to generate a consistent flow of daily return traffic to the main page (similar to the Debatabase format and to blogs in general), which will have various benefits for the site in general. This will also be a good content-building benchmark for me, and is certainly a high-bar to meet, which is important.
Conferences are a very important part of fund-raising, with substantial potential existing with "pitch it" sessions at conferences. This is a very high impact approach marketing, community-building, and fund-raising, and I've developed a good list of potential conferences in 2008. Continued writing of "letters of inquiry" and "proposals" will be significant as well through 2008. The Foundation Center is a highly valuable resource in this regard, and I will continue to exploit it. The aim/benchmark for 2008 will be to generate an additional $50,000-$100,000. This money would best be spent in ensuring attendance at the appropriate wiki, web2.0 conferences, securing additional contracted editors (perhaps in a structure similar to Debatabase), and possibly to initiate a "best 5 editor contest".
Fee-for-services arrangement for content-building on Debatepedia, similar to the UNF-model.