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  1. #1
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    San Diego, CA
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    ODN Update / Changes

    UPDATE 2/06/2019

    A few community members have donated funds to keep ODN online through at least June 2019. That's 5 more months (including this month, February). Our monthly upkeep for our host is $20 / month. Thanks to those who have donated. I'll refrain from naming names unless I'm told I'm allowed to release them.

    /// end update ///

    Hey guys, this is an important update about the status of ODN.

    My original intent (if you recall, from months and months ago) was to revamp ODN with new software and new debate systems. However, I've decided that I just don't have the energy or time to do this major overhaul. As a result, I do believe it is time to take ODN down for good. If it were free, I'd have no problem leaving it up for those who still frequent it. But I'm paying each month to keep it alive, and it's something I don't use, visit, or have interest in any longer. Instead of selling it, I plan to make a backup of that database (just in case I ever decided to do something with it down the road) as it would be nice to preserve all these discussions we've had over the years. I will then take the site offline and move the domain name over to a different server that for a while, will just have a splash page, maybe give a brief explanation (for those older members who visit it well after this announcement), and a link to a new project.


    That being said, I've started a new project, one that takes considerably less time and energy for me, but also one that takes considerably less server resources (making its cost next to nothing). I'll link to it once it is a little more fleshed out. It's essentially an aggregate site for sources about a particular event (current or historical) or topic that is frequently discussed in social media, but are used to set the discussion straight and shut down misleading or outright false statements and arguments. It's not a Wiki, it's not list of topical links. It's more like a Snopes site without some of the bias, but allows the inclusion of local events, as it is maintained by the community itself.

    The motivation behind this project stems from a discussion I was having with a couple people on NextDoor. It was regarding the problems that a halfway house was causing in a particular neighborhood. Some of the complaints were legit. But one of the biggest, the most focused criticism that a few people had about this halfway house, was about the person who was involved with the organization managing it. A lot of misleading and false statements were made about this person. I don't know the person personally, but what was claimed about him didn't correspond with available public records. It became clear that a smear campaign was underway, and facts didn't seem to matter.

    I participated in this discussion for quite some time, primarily asking for sources and facts, focusing on the Socratic Method instead of actually debating. What I would receive in return was hearsay or screenshots of other websites that made similar claims. What I wanted was the actual sources, such as public records. After not getting the proper sources by the opposition, I went to the County Courthouse and obtained them myself. What was actually on public record was quite different that what was being claimed. After pointing this out, and making these public records available to anyone who asked me, the thread created closed the thread, disallowing further discussion between neighbors. They re-opened it temporarily to post screenshots from another random website, didn't offer its source, but it was clear it was not official by any means, then they closed the thread again, thereby, controlling the dialog in an extremely biased, one-sided way.

    I received a lot of support from those following the thread's discussion. I decided that instead of having to post a source every once in a while, thus, spreading sources throughout the entire discussion, that it would be so much easier if there was one place where someone could go to review all the facts and sources related to the event and the person in question. No place existed. So I decided to create it.

    What this new site will be: A community driven, argument-less, holding site for relative sources and facts that are relevant to a social media discussion which tends to move fairly quickly and involves people of all backgrounds (few with proper critical thinking knowledge or an understanding on how to properly support an argument).

    It isn't a debate site. It's not a place to debate X issue, because X issue is already being discussed on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, NextDoor, etc. It's not a place where someone can say "You don't understand Islam, go to this page to learn more." They may as well use any random site or just use Google. It's a place to merely send people to review the available sources and facts that are pertinent to that specific discussion IF that discussion has devolved into a feels > fact exchange. Each page will be dedicated to that particular issue.

    A forum will be set up for community members to ask for assistance, discuss technical issues, or best practices. It's doubtful that any sub-forum will be set up to debate a particular topic. Again, that discussion is already supposed to be taking place on social media or elsewhere. This is a repository of sources for the purposes of keeping the discussion on track with proper facts as well as to let the lurkers of that discussion decide for themselves by having access to the relevant news articles or public records (vs 2nd hand sites or blogs).

    Once I've completed the page for this particular issue involving the halfway house, and create an FAQ page, I'll consider the site "live" and link it.


    I will probably keep ODN up in its current state until January 2019. I definitely won't take it down before then. This way, many of you can save your favorite posts or threads, or have time to get contact information from one another. The new project will have a new database and all members are welcome to join there once member accounts are enabled. It'd be nice to see your ODN name there for familiarity, but it certainly won't be required.

    I'll post more information about that site in the near future. Until then, carry on the good fight in the debate forums here at ODN. It's sad to see the site go, but it all good things really must come to an end, and it's ODN's time.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; February 6th, 2019 at 01:24 PM.
    Senior Administrator

    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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