What simple, light-weight enhancement would you make to this site?
I actually have quite a few suggestions:
Allowing different arguments (regardless of which side they are on) to be easily distinguishable between which side they are arguing for; possibly, as geoff mentioned previously (at least, this is what I think he suggesting), with a subtle background colour of orange and blue?
The ability to add more then one bit of supporting evidence, and then reference that supporting evidence (think Wikipedia) within your argument.
When you are told there are updates (such as 1 vote up, 2 votes down, etc), being able see exactly which argument it was that was voted up or down or replied to. This is due to the fact that I often find myself writing many arguments for a specific debate, and when I'm told there is an update it is often difficult to see which argument the updates occured on.
Also, fix the bug where editing your argument changes the formatting. (Does anyone else get this? If I have a statement in bold, when I then edit the argument, the statement changes to italics).
Colour-coding the backgrounds (subtly) of all argument boxes. Arguments placed either side of the motion should be differentiated by colour as well as position. This enables a visual queue for arguments made by those for the motion against arguments from those opposing the motion (physically placed on the other side) and vice versa.
I'm sure I could have worded this better!
Make the act clarifying terms part of the debate structure. Many debate questions are phrased in ways that makes it difficult to place yourself firmly on one side or the other. Debate results might be more illuminating if there were a way to interact with the moderator ("what do you mean by X?") without using side channels. Of course, that might take some of the drama out of debating... :)
I asked them to add an actual debate field, where there was enough room to write out a whole scenario that didn't have to be 90 character's long.
Logically, there is a "Title" and title's are basically names of compositions. If there is no "composition" field, why is there a Title for it?
So, I'm waiting to hear about that because I feel it would greatly improve the quality of debates here.
No Jub, that would cut back on productivity. How many people are here on the site and how many of the debates do you see on the front page from the same users? It's a wide gap. Most people don't want to create debates, it's the same with Digg, some people come to read, some people read the articles and then digg up and bury comments in threads, some only go for the threads and comments, and some actually participate in submission. The difference between those who RTFAs and those who submit is BIG.
People contribute less than participate, and people participate less than drop by (on digg). People on CD contribute less than argue, and argue less than vote (or so it seems, but voting isn't all that popular yet for some reason, and I think it has something to do with invalidating or over validating an argument rather than agreeing or giving props for research).
I think it would be much more useful to be able to vote on a debate's legitimacy, like on digg. If an article comes up that is inaccurately, it's buried as inaccurate. If it's just something you don't want to see, you bury the article as lame.
It would be nice to see a feature like that implemented in CD, but it would have to work a little different. Perhaps just add a main vote for the debate... I know there are some debates here that people don't see, but that I am not going to argue because no one else seems to have an opinion. I also don't like to argue on topics that I post, before people have contributed because why would I want to answer my own question? I already know what I think...
Anyhow, if there were a main vote, it could bring good (but inactive) debates to our attention without limiting people to a certain number of debates a day. I think the best way to do that is have a separate filter for most-voted-for debates. So if you're done with the front page and you want to dig through more debates to find something worth while, you could just hit that filter and see all of them.
The only reason I think this would work is because I see that more people vote than argue. My most frequent alert to "New Activity" is the vote, it's always up and down and up and down and up and down... I probably get replies 1/3 of the time I get votes. This tells me that people don't want to take time to contribute to the argument... so, what if they are the same way about the whole debate? They will stop in and vote one side up, and leave... How about you just add a vote for the debate for the people who are too lazy (or don't have the time) to contribute.
Just wanted to say if people would stop arguing with Joecavalry he would not have anything to respond to. And then some of the 'abusing of the site and points system' (as some call it) would be limited. The more people argue the more opportunity he has to reply. Personally what harm is he doing? None that I have read so far. I know I am new to this site,but that is my objective third party opinion.