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Luther Legion's Radical Reformation

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Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 25 2014 12:28 AM
I've actually been giving it a lot of deep thought, and I definitely feel this site is going in the wrong direction. I've been a member for awhile now. I was attracted in the mold, and what the final product could be. I thought we were off to a good start. Lord knows how much ass admin kicked in shaping this site, but I feel that we're on the pitfall straight back to the dumps if we don't change our course.

I always wonder, why do people join DDO and not Edeb8? The problem isn't that we aren't putting out a better product than DDO, because you sure as hell know that we do, so why does nobody visit our site? Why do people, who see the better debating features on our site, choose to stay at DDO? We have been giving to many concessions. The mold that we are creating is starting to look like a mini DDO mimic.

People aren't joining our site because there is nothing original. We aren't attracting our own market for that very reason. If we try to do everything better than DDO, we will fail 95% of the time. This isn't because we're worst than they are, but because we are split between three different identities, which are all subsects of debating.
- An Intellectual Community
- A Social Community
- A Competitive Community

I feel the site is putting 75% of our effort into creating a "Social Debate Site", and the other 25% into creating a "Competitive Debate Site".
Almost every member on this site agrees, this shouldn't become a social site. So why do we keep selling out and adding social features. It feels like even debates have been compromised to the social craze.

This needs to end, if there are any hopes at ever creating a bustling community, of coaches, teams, and scholars working on creating fabolous intellectual debates.
50% of our energy needs to be centered at creating a more intellectual community, and the other 50% needs to go towards creating a more competitive debating community. If we don't make radical changes, there is little hope for what this site will be.

My "Initiative"

- Change the name of the site to something more formal and intellectual, such as "Online Debate League", "Debaters Alliance". IDK, something that can be branded and have name recongition. The National Forensics League is a good name, and it has a formal and intellectual touch to it. Edeb8 does not.

Five Pillars
- Revolutionize the five pillars of this site
1. Debate
2. Coaching
3. Teams
4. Scholarship
5. Organization

If we can be the best at all 5 of these areas, then we will attract a far larger user base than if we have more social features than facebook.

Pillar One: Debate
- Expand the HTML and Features that can be done within a debate. This is the only area of the site where more means better. If we can provide a pallet that offers even half the features of Microsoft Office, then we are golden.
1. More Fonts
2. More Formatting Features
3. More Debate Features
4. MORE

- When reviewing my Econ books, I remembered one of the golden rules for running a small business. Layout your store to display the best products first. Move the shoutbox from the forum page, to the debate page. If the shoutbox is on the debate page, considering the shoutbox is the most active part of the site, people are more willing to think of this place as a debate site. I strongly am of the position the shoutbox should be switched from the forum tab to the debate tab.

Pillar Two: Coaching
This is the feature of the site that has the most potential, but it is done entirely wrong. It isn't that helpful to just accept someone as your coach and play it by interpretation.
There needs to be a revolutionary design to coaching. We need to implement interactive features and tools that can help form meaningful learning relationships between coaches and trainees.

My idea is to add a complete coaching interface, complete with several interactive tools, that coaches can use. I also think coaching should transition from being a 1 to 1 experience, and a coach to group experience.

Pillar Three: Teams
This site needs more team debaters. There needs to be a team interface, much like the coaching interface I proposed, and lots of features to promote the use of teams. Teams are the main advantage of this site. That is simply the truth.

Scholarship
This will be the most detailed part of my proposal, and the one that will be the most fleshed out.

- The name edeb8 wont attract any intellectuals. It doesn't sound like a debating site. TBH, the only thing that rings debate when you enter this site is the tab titled "Debate". This can't just be a debating site. It needs to be a professional debating site. Edeb8 isn't a professional debating name. I've created several proposals...
1. Association for Internet Debating
2. Online Debating Alliance
3. International Online Debating Alliance
4. International Online Debating Association

- Promote a more official vibe. Make people think they are on the online version of the National Forensics League. We need a new image. One that attracts "Professional Debaters", "Students", "Scholars", and other people who would be willing to join an "Alliance" or "Association". This sounds more professional, classy, and original, but it only works if we promote a site image that is professional.

- We need to stop being the "fun" site. Social features don't attract serious debaters. They probably sway away real intellectuals from our site. Take groups off the main page. Remove the +1 button. Reduce the forum size. Shift the shoutbox from the forum tab. We need to minimize this site, and focus on our priority. Intellectual debate.

- The only things that can promote intellectual communities are Presentation, Product, and our Policy. More users is not always better, especially if they aren't the intellectual competitive debater's we are looking for. I agree this site should have the opportunity to cater to all debaters, but there must be a preresiquite. If the "bad" debater is not willing to learn and get better, then s/he has no place on this site. Foremost, before this site can become a place of learning, we need to attract good debaters before bad debaters.

- New Policy. We're already on the right track here, but now the proposal get's radical.
1. Ban all non intellectual topics from the forums (games, community, ect.). It doesn't allign with a professional site.
2. No tolerance for trolling
3. Make the debate page the center page. The forums should not be the hub of activity. I agree we should restrict to "one forum per hour".

Pillar Five: Organization
The site needs to feel more like an interactive organized site. There are three areas I would like to focus on here.
1. Purpose
2. Resources
3. Structured Competition

- This site often use's the term "World". World's first, world's only, ect.
Let's strive to be a truly international debating site. After we succeed in creating the best debating format possible, what now? We need a purpose.
Forgive me for thinking ambitiously, but I believe that this site can be the pioneer in a new field. Online Debating has the potential to be the hot new thing. I know it.
We just need more direction than being the best debating site.

- Resources need to take central focus. I lied about my promise to post 2 a day. I wont lie again. I'm not a fan of how resources are structured, and the lack of features available to make official and presentable publications, but it'll do for now. I'm going to fill the resource section with information and advice. I'm requesting administrative help in getting it going.

- Structured Competition. Debaters pretty much have the freedom of making their own debates on this site. I like that, and it shouldn't change. I do think we should continue to do annual tournaments as the new, professional site, get's rolling. Structured and Formal Competition that achieves the original goal of our first tournament. A true world debating tournament.
Thumbs up from:
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 25 2014 12:30 AM
Additional Proposal for the Intrests of Internationalism. Debaters take the role of governments 90% of the time.
When creating a debate, there should be an option to select which country the debate is centered around.
Non-Specific Country, or a Specific Country.
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 25 2014 12:36 AM
I'm going to re summarize what I said, in dash marks
- Change the Name to IODAA (International Online Debate Alliance)
- Reduce social features to a minimum
- Promote a more professional, scholarly, and competitive image
- Create a unique interface for coaches and teams to utilize
- Formulate an organized site with a purpose
- Change our policy to promote more intellectuals and less non-intellectuals
admin
By admin | Oct 25 2014 12:57 AM
Blackflag: The following are things I'd be interested in implementing on edeb8:

+ More Fonts (difficulty is that fonts need to be "web safe" so all browsers can render them)
+ More Formatting Features (don't have any particular ones on my to do list right now but I'm definitely open to suggestion)
+ More Debate Features (sounds great to me, hence why I keep making them - just a week ago I launched live debates)
+ Interactive features/tools to help coaches (anything in particular you have in mind?)
+ Better interface for teams (as above)
+ Lenient posting restrictions (which was my idea originally anyway)
+ More structure for resources (which is ultimately going to be informed by how the resource section is used now that I've opened it up more)
+ More structured competition

These are things I might but have reservations around:
- Shoutbox to the front page (I think a shoutbox is too social! I didn't want to have one on the site and am still a bit unsure about the value it brings. I don't think it's led to many debates. Also, debates are the site's most used feature in terms of commitment, and the forums in terms of interactions.)
- A new direction rather than just the world's best debating site (We already are, but if online debating is a hot new thing then we want to lead the charge)

These are things that probably won't unless you want to take me up on my offer of making your own, separate debate site with edeb8's backing:

- A different name (sorry, but it's a little late to change that)
- Promoting an official vibe (sounds very pompous, not really the sort of site I want to lead)
- Stop being a fun site (fun is the most important part of debating IMO. It's why I debate)
- Destroy social features (unless there's a very good reason. The only time I can remember when we removed a feature was when we implemented nominated judging after DDO did it, because we decided it could detract from debate)
- Banning bad debaters just because the site lacks good debaters (way to be elitist)
- No tolerance for rule breakage (under such a policy almost every site member - including you - would be permanently banned)
I'm the main developer for the site. If you have any problems, ideas, questions or concerns please send me a message.
Let's revive the forums!
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 25 2014 1:19 AM
admin: More Fonts (difficulty is that fonts need to be "web safe" so all browsers can render them)
There are more important tools than fonts.

+ More Formatting Features (don't have any particular ones on my to do list right now but I'm definitely open to suggestion)
+ More Debate Features (sounds great to me, hence why I keep making them - just a week ago I launched live debates)

We are indeed on the right track here. This should be the #1 focus. I'm not sure it has been recently.

+ Interactive features/tools to help coaches (anything in particular you have in mind?)
+ Better interface for teams (as above)

For coaching, I was thinking that some sort of "interactive" resource can be created to allow coaches interact with the debate. I did propose a "coach advice round" in the past, but now I'm thinking differently.
For teams, I like the idea of having boards on the team in the same manner groups do. It is more vital to communicate with teams over groups.

Lenient posting restrictions (which was my idea originally anyway)
I was validating this good idea. I wasn't convinced until you showed that chart.

- Shoutbox to the front page (I think a shoutbox is too social! I didn't want to have one on the site and am still a bit unsure about the value it brings. I don't think it's led to many debates. Also, debates are the site's most used feature in terms of commitment, and the forums in terms of interactions.)
The point is for the debate page to be the center of the site, instead of the forums. It defines the purpose more than anything.

new direction rather than just the world's best debating site (We already are, but if online debating is a hot new thing then we want to lead the charge)
Exactly, this site is suffering a terrible identity crisis. I think this site should be more structured along the lines of formal debating organizations.

A different name (sorry, but it's a little late to change that)
Completely false. Now is the right time to change the name. There is no brand recognition, several people have commented the name is ugly, and it doesn't ring debate in the slightest. This doesn't promote professional debate at all, and is sub-par of what the site could be.

Stop being a fun site (fun is the most important part of debating IMO. It's why I debate)
Agreed, but that wasn't the context I was trying to convey/

Destroy social features (unless there's a very good reason. The only time I can remember when we removed a feature was when we implemented nominated judging after DDO did it, because we decided it could detract from debate)
All social features do is distract our purpose. We should be a professional debate site. Out with the old.

Banning bad debaters just because the site lacks good debaters (way to be elitist)
Debater's who aren't willing to get better I said.
drafterman
By drafterman | Oct 25 2014 11:55 AM
Blackflag: How is this site becoming more like DDO? You throw this accusation around but I don't see any support. I saw it the thread where the "thumbs up" was implemented, which is silly: adding a feature here that DDO doesn't have makes us more like DDO?

The strong allusions to DDO are - unfortunately - inevitable because this site was created almost as a DDO refuge. There *are* things people like about DDO, that's why it's so popular.

If you want this site to not be like DDO, then stop talking about DDO. I joined early too, but participate infrequently. I find it really disheartening and annoying that, a lot of the times when I check in here, all that is going on is a big discussion about stuff happening on DDO.
Thumbs up from:
admin
By admin | Oct 25 2014 11:58 AM
drafterman: Exactly. I find it really annoying too.
I'm the main developer for the site. If you have any problems, ideas, questions or concerns please send me a message.
Let's revive the forums!
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 25 2014 1:29 PM
admin: Exactly why I want to differentiate this site from DDO. I talk about DDO to make a point.
admin
By admin | Oct 25 2014 1:51 PM
Blackflag: But it IS different from DDO. That's what annoys me. There are similarities and there are differences. Get over it. What happens on DDO is really not my concern. Making this site as different as possible is really not one of my concerns either. My passion is to make edeb8 the best online debate site that it can be. Likewise, what happens on edeb8 is not DDO's concern.
Thumbs up from:
I'm the main developer for the site. If you have any problems, ideas, questions or concerns please send me a message.
Let's revive the forums!
drafterman
By drafterman | Oct 25 2014 8:18 PM
Blackflag: How is this site like DDO? You are not justifying your accusation.