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  1. #1
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    What would you change on ODN?

    If you could add and/or change anything on ODN, what would it be?

    I am starting this to simply brain storm a few ideas among the new members and the old timers.

    Is there anything that any of you would like to see changed or added to the ODN site?

    For one, I would like to see full Facebook integration at some stage. As you all know, this site's existence is dependent on your contributions. If you are unable to contribute financially, one can at least try to contribute by means of sharing, marketing and brain storming some ideas?

    The idea is to attract quality debaters to ODN and guard against people who only like to argue for the sake of arguing.

    Please share your views here.
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  2. #2
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    What happened to the chat room? It wasn't heavily used, but when it was, it made for an entertaining discussion when certain folks were in the room. I would bring it back.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  3. #3
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    I always wanted some kind of scoring system where you could indicate which posts you though turned an argument or how persuasive you though they were.

    Also some kind of visual threading in debates would be interesting, a way to branch debates into different lines of inquiry and chains of responses, but that would be really require a ground up effort to make and may just be too complicated to really express as a manageable UI.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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  5. #4
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Speaking of a scoring system, I suggested something similar to that a while back where formal debates would involve a formal points system in which judges score opening post, counter-argument, compelling argument, form and structure, and persuasiveness, but apparently it couldn't work with the site's features. That would be an interesting feature which could generate renewed interest in the formal debates section.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  6. #5
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    A Concession button. If you're going to concede a debate, there could be a button on every person's post, similar to the 'Like' or "thank" button that lets you concede to that person.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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  8. #6
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Off the top of my head...

    Dedicated debates. I have suggested this before, and still think it is a good idea. For people interested in a more focused discussion that "gets to the bottom" of things--not to suggest that this may be possible, but just to have this be a more defined goal. This would moot the dreaded "too busy" / "I will get back to you" cards. Could be done several different ways, but a simple solution would be to have say no more than one week to post a rebuttal.

    Moderators more active to point out that challenges to support claims have either been met or ignored, and having this in plain view for all to see. Would discourage, perhaps, the dreaded "nuh-uh" vs. "yuh-huh" back and fourth exchanges that are not progressive.

    For longer threads, something to cut down on wall-o-texts, i.e. summary of most important points of the debate after say, every 5 pages.

    Similar to Hyde's concession button, a withdrawal button, and a way to explain (if so desired) why one is withdrawing.

    Youtube debate discussions forum. This would probably help boost membership as well. I, for example, am familiar with many excellent atheist videos that I feel offer excellent challenges to theists--and many of these videos have either no or unsatisfactory rebuttal videos directed at them. This could also offer an nice place to call out people on youtube that are provocative in the comment section, maybe get people to put their money where their mouth is and actually debate in a more structured and moderated forum.

    This is also an old idea, and I still like this one as well: ODN member live video chat debates. I have personally challenged anyone to live video debate here on several occasions, and only once (with RabbiDak) did it actually happen--and it was a great and friendly experience on both sides. I again submit a challenge to anyone here who wishes to debate me live, the two subjects I am perhaps the most opinionated and interested in are religion and politics, and for the record I am still an atheist and a socialist.

    For us old heads, more IRL social events/networking, perhaps in the regs private forum something like a ODN couch-surfing... thingy. There are plenty of members I'd like to meet IRL, and surely at least some of them travel, so why not try and hang out?

    That is all I can think of now. Also, hello everyone.

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  10. #7
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    I've been thinking about doing some Google Hangouts with folks here. Especially when we get all grumpy I feel like a live chat would douse the flames a bit.

    I'd be more for live discussion than live debate... just due to the evidence factor, but could be cool none the less.

    So if you want to do a live thing PZ I'm up for it schedule permitting.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  11. #8
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    ok...here we go...

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspoestertjie View Post
    For one, I would like to see full Facebook integration at some stage. As you all know, this site's existence is dependent on your contributions. If you are unable to contribute financially, one can at least try to contribute by means of sharing, marketing and brain storming some ideas?
    Social media is definitely something that every community like ours needs to take advantage of. vb has some FB integration but can be wonky at times. XF, the new system I wanted to migrate to does it well, but the issue now is whether or migrate to XF or wait to see what vb5 is like when it is released later this year.

    I can mess around with the of the available FB integration mods for the current vb system though, but no promises if we'll be able to keep it as I don't know how reliable they are atm.


    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    What happened to the chat room? It wasn't heavily used, but when it was, it made for an entertaining discussion when certain folks were in the room. I would bring it back.
    It wasn't used very much so I disabled it. It's still installed, but there just didn't seem to be much interest in it. It's always possible to bring it back, but I prefer it to be that if we have a feature in the community is used by the community, and not by a few members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I always wanted some kind of scoring system where you could indicate which posts you though turned an argument or how persuasive you though they were.
    Still open to it, but there is no internal feature that allows this so I'd be hiring a coder to write a custom script for ODN. I've been quoted $220. But then, there's the problem of actual integration vs sloppy code writing, security and updates as the forum is updated. It isn't a simple issue unfortunately.

    Also some kind of visual threading in debates would be interesting, a way to branch debates into different lines of inquiry and chains of responses, but that would be really require a ground up effort to make and may just be too complicated to really express as a manageable UI.
    We have something like this already, but just never use it. You can actually choose how to display threads. We use the default "Linear" view that shows one post after another in sequence as they were created.

    There is also "Threaded" where you see at the top of the thread, how each post is related to another by response then click on a post to see it (showing only 1 post at a time), and then there is "Hybrid" (which does both).

    I've temporarily enabled both. The user can change their view settings at the top of each thread under "Display."

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    Speaking of a scoring system, I suggested something similar to that a while back where formal debates would involve a formal points system in which judges score opening post, counter-argument, compelling argument, form and structure, and persuasiveness, but apparently it couldn't work with the site's features. That would be an interesting feature which could generate renewed interest in the formal debates section.
    See my response to Sig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    A Concession button. If you're going to concede a debate, there could be a button on every person's post, similar to the 'Like' or "thank" button that lets you concede to that person.
    Good idea. I'm already in the works of changing the "challenge" feature into a "support" feature, but it still works the same way (a graphic w/i the post).

    I could create a new graphic and button to use that would appear w/i a post that would graphically say the user has conceded, but having this button be similar to the like/thank feature would be much more involved and would probably, not be seen as much as an in post graphic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Zombie View Post
    Off the top of my head...

    Dedicated debates. I have suggested this before, and still think it is a good idea. For people interested in a more focused discussion that "gets to the bottom" of things--not to suggest that this may be possible, but just to have this be a more defined goal. This would moot the dreaded "too busy" / "I will get back to you" cards. Could be done several different ways, but a simple solution would be to have say no more than one week to post a rebuttal.
    We have a Formal Debate forum for this.

    Moderators more active to point out that challenges to support claims have either been met or ignored, and having this in plain view for all to see. Would discourage, perhaps, the dreaded "nuh-uh" vs. "yuh-huh" back and fourth exchanges that are not progressive.
    The challenge feature is being reworked. However, the best way to get mod intervention if it isn't already noticed, is to use the report button as the post goes into our staff forum for discussion and review.

    For longer threads, something to cut down on wall-o-texts, i.e. summary of most important points of the debate after say, every 5 pages.
    This is more user based than it is feature based.

    Similar to Hyde's concession button, a withdrawal button, and a way to explain (if so desired) why one is withdrawing.
    I think an in post graphic representation would work best...one that could be pulled up like the challenge and question buttons.

    Youtube debate discussions forum. This would probably help boost membership as well. I, for example, am familiar with many excellent atheist videos that I feel offer excellent challenges to theists--and many of these videos have either no or unsatisfactory rebuttal videos directed at them. This could also offer an nice place to call out people on youtube that are provocative in the comment section, maybe get people to put their money where their mouth is and actually debate in a more structured and moderated forum.
    Not what this is exactly you are proposing. A new forum where people could post videos they think support a position? More of an awareness type thread that hopefully brings interest and discussion? If so, then one possibility would be to have a member based "team" who perhaps, once a week would be responsible for posting a video for their respective fields (atheism, theism, conservative politics, liberal politics, philosophy, etc...). Either each category could be posted to each week, or the team could decide which submission (by the respective team member responsible for their category) should be the "video of the week." We could have a dedicated forum for the videos and even post each video on the home page to draw attention to it.

    If that is what you are referring to (or something similar), I like it. We'd need some ground rules though. Just a few things that I immediately thought of:

    min and max length of video?
    does an argument need to accompany the video?
    how is the video to be addressed (with discussion or links to other videos)?
    is there a criteria for determining what is appropriate and what is not?

    I'm sure there are more issues to consider, but if this idea gets fleshed out by the members here and there is interest, we can do it. The "team" members can have their own private forum to discuss issues/videos they want to submit, but should be active members and in good standing.

    This is also an old idea, and I still like this one as well: ODN member live video chat debates. I have personally challenged anyone to live video debate here on several occasions, and only once (with RabbiDak) did it actually happen--and it was a great and friendly experience on both sides. I again submit a challenge to anyone here who wishes to debate me live, the two subjects I am perhaps the most opinionated and interested in are religion and politics, and for the record I am still an atheist and a socialist.
    There just needs to be more interest from the community in this before we can roll something out like a dedicated section of the site to it. Some people (like myself) don't have a webcam/mic on their primary computer (I do on my laptop however...I just don't use it very often).

    I think however, that one way it could get started, is if people who were interested, RECORD the video chat between both members, then we could host or link it, creating an ODN channel to link to. I could even look into some ways to create transcripts out of the chat so that they could be posted/announced and used for following along for those who enjoy that sort of thing. It could be a part of a "discussion about the debate" type thing, a simple announcement/link to the video debate, or a debate starter that continues with the rest of the community in a thread.

    For us old heads, more IRL social events/networking, perhaps in the regs private forum something like a ODN couch-surfing... thingy. There are plenty of members I'd like to meet IRL, and surely at least some of them travel, so why not try and hang out?
    ODN is my 3rd large community I've created. My prior 2 were gaming communities (back when CS and DoD were the top games to play). One was based in Las Vegas, the other in San Diego. We had real life get togethers all the time, and in fact, a couple of my "teammates" from one community were the cooks at my wedding! It was a lot of fun having a relationship in rl as well as online. But a community like this is a little different I think. There is nothing geographically to bring people together on a regular basis...this community is spread out all over the place. Some members do live relatively close together and they've met (even had serious relationships with one another). But we just aren't big enough to have official live events.

    That is all I can think of now. Also, hello everyone.
    Howdy, long time no see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I've been thinking about doing some Google Hangouts with folks here. Especially when we get all grumpy I feel like a live chat would douse the flames a bit.
    This would undoubtedly be much easier than a live meet and greet (although, I know the latter would be more fun). Just found the link to it: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/

    Never done it, have no idea how it would work. But it would be interesting to say the least and I'm sure you are right that it would squelch the flames of heated discussions rather easily.

    All in all, good ideas from a pretty creative bunch. I dig 'em.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




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  13. #9
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    It wasn't used very much so I disabled it. It's still installed, but there just didn't seem to be much interest in it. It's always possible to bring it back, but I prefer it to be that if we have a feature in the community is used by the community, and not by a few members.
    It was just a thought. Most of the people that used it seemed to like it and it was nice as a feature that could be accessible to those who wanted to debate in real time. Then again, you won't have a feature/forum that is going to be used by everyone (e.g. Science and Technology Forum). But obviously, it's your discretion whether or not you'd want to keep it disabled.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  14. #10
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    btw, I think this is more of a site feedback topic, so I'm moving the thread accordingly.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  15. #11
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    I'd try to change the overall tenor of the site. I'm sick of every discussion turning into some sort of stupid "battle" where we all wave our cerebral penises around. I'm more interested in interesting discussions at this point. I'm tired of all the arguing and fighting, but that's how it always, always, always goes.

  16. #12
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    The problem Dio, is that there needs to be mechanisms in place to prevent that. Overall, we've done a good job I think in that outright flame wars don't exist. I agree that there has always been a certain level of abrasiveness and hostility that sometimes permeates some discussions. I think we do better than most communities, but there is definitely room for improvement.

    I think that is one of the more difficult issues to resolve though as it isn't necessarily something that can be objectively measured.

    If you have suggestions, I'm certainly open to them.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  17. #13
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Thanks for moving it Apok. I started it in STB, not knowing if I will get any responses. I am amazed that even PZ came on board (Hi PZ!).

    Why can't one use the chat room for video conferencing as well? I am sure that the chat room can have that functionality?

    I don't particularly like the idea of leaving the ODN site to just have an online conversation. There was at one point a template you loaded Apok that gave good integration with Facebook and live chat as well. I can't remember what happened to that version.
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  18. #14
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    I would implement the debate manners and some sort of punishment for users who attack the person and not the argument

  19. #15
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Quote Originally Posted by neutron6277 View Post
    I would implement the debate manners and some sort of punishment for users who attack the person and not the argument
    This is a rule that already exists and has existed for over a decade.
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

  20. #16
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    I see a couple of years ago someone suggested a plus one system. I think it would be cool if people could simply mark plus 1 or minus 1 for a post and it would be nice if it was public so everyone could see it. It may dissuade some of the dopier arguments of they see they are getting neg one's which would be different then a neg/pos rep. Perhaps, over the course of a thread if someone got pwned, then the thread could just auto-lock and it would be done. Something like a 10 point mercy rule. Just a thought. It may stop threads from degenerating into name calling if they were stopped before one debater or the other became thoroughly crushed.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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  22. #17
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Bring back neg reps.

    Clive's reputation is WAY too high.

    ---------- Post added at 08:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:54 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I see a couple of years ago someone suggested a plus one system. I think it would be cool if people could simply mark plus 1 or minus 1 for a post and it would be nice if it was public so everyone could see it. It may dissuade some of the dopier arguments of they see they are getting neg one's which would be different then a neg/pos rep. Perhaps, over the course of a thread if someone got pwned, then the thread could just auto-lock and it would be done. Something like a 10 point mercy rule. Just a thought. It may stop threads from degenerating into name calling if they were stopped before one debater or the other became thoroughly crushed.
    Auto-lock at minus ten?

    A mercy rule?

    I say thumb's down on that.

  23. #18
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofnietzsche View Post
    Bring back neg reps.

    Clive's reputation is WAY too high.

    ---------- Post added at 08:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:54 PM ----------



    Auto-lock at minus ten?

    A mercy rule?

    I say thumb's down on that.
    Care to expound?
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  24. #19
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I see a couple of years ago someone suggested a plus one system. I think it would be cool if people could simply mark plus 1 or minus 1 for a post and it would be nice if it was public so everyone could see it. It may dissuade some of the dopier arguments of they see they are getting neg one's which would be different then a neg/pos rep. Perhaps, over the course of a thread if someone got pwned, then the thread could just auto-lock and it would be done. Something like a 10 point mercy rule. Just a thought. It may stop threads from degenerating into name calling if they were stopped before one debater or the other became thoroughly crushed.


    The first part of that is easy enough to implement. http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=170419

    I'm not sure how to do the second part is much harder and is something I've been looking at for awhile.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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  25. #20
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    Re: What would you change on ODN?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The first part of that is easy enough to implement. http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=170419

    I'm not sure how to do the second part is much harder and is something I've been looking at for awhile.
    Yeah. The advanced post rating thing definitely seems pretty cool. I would imagine some added Java script to that plugin would lock the thread should you exceed some amount of thumbs up/down behavior. Although, I suppose only the person who receives 10 thumbs down votes should be locked out from posting in that thread. There may be other debaters holding a similar position that are providing better arguments. That would actually make the java script easier I'd think.

    Of course, I am no web page guy....
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

 

 
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