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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.
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... :)
An IRC-style ignore list. I want to wholesale block all the contributions of a particular user and see "This debate contains blocked content" at the top of a debate page so that I can unblock the content (temporarily) if I need to e.g. to understand another user's point etc.
Agreed. It might also good idea to limit the number of new debates an individual can generate daily to one or two. This would cut back on spam, and hopefully influence users to choose their topics more wisely.
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.
Good points, especially the idea of being able to vote a debate itself up or down based on its merit. What do you think about a feature that allows you to play devil's advocate publicly? I don't know, maybe that's just me not wanting to look like an ass, but still wanting to stimulate a lopsided debate. Like, "Skinning baby koalas alive? Yes or no?" A lot of political arguments on this site seem to have less variety as far as conservative viewpoints go.
Well, I think the whole point to CD is being able to argue this or that. If you cannot argue the side that throws off the debate, I mean, if it's a large enough gap then perhaps it's just a bad debate. The whole idea of a debate is to work out a problem. If there's no problem, what's the use, you know? If everyone agrees, why are we working on it?
If you can debate for the other side though, then you can usually do it well enough to where people will agree with you, maybe not about overall topic, but your valid points.
I think a key to a good thinker is not being biased. Most people who want to debate are not going to be biased enough to vote you down for being the only person on the other side that can come up with an argument... at least if you're making valid points. I honestly don't think people will think differently of you if they don't see that you're playing devil's advocate... at least you're coming up with reasons that validate the debate in the first place, you know?
But...but... what if it's about abortion rights or gay marriage! I can't tarnish my interweb reputation!!!!
What I mean is that I am such a naturally honest, sincere, genuine person, that it would feel wrong to debate against something I feel very strongly about without publicly acknowledging it. Then again, maybe I'm being too uptight. :)
I have been in so many situations where, I want to favor someone for coming up with a good argument, but they aren't arguing civilly, or they have good points but are missing a crucial point that invalidates their argument... I don't always need to be opposing, sometimes I just need to ask a question, or reaffirm what they are saying in my own words so that I can get a better understanding of what they are trying to convey... so, when I am confused or someone else is confused.
I often find myself wishing I didn't have to do either.
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.
That's simple. Copy the menu up on top and paste it on the bottom so that when I'm at the bottom, i don't have to scroll all the way up. Unless, of course, you guys plan on getting me in shape with all this scrolling. Although, I believe believe I'm already in shape. I mean, round is a shape, so....
According to you I'm "misusing the site and abusing the point system." Which begs the question, Who the hell made you an authority on what constitutes "misusing this site and abusing the point system?" You come across as highly intolerant. If I don't use this site exactly as you see fit, I'm misusing and abusing. That's pretty presumptuous of you but I'm sure you'll be able to rationalize your position.
The site works on the presumption that the quality of a person's argument and their involvement in "actual" debating is what constitutes their "ranking" on the site. What this doesn't mean is that you can create stupid debates, and then write God knows how many arguments, reply to your own arguments, and use THIS as the basis for your site ranking.
What you're doing is abusing the points system, and to try and argue against me for saying this is pointless. Everyone knows you're doing it.
You're not just abusing the points system though. You're making a mockery of the site. The site is currently in a beta release, and I assume that the makers of this site are still doing all they can to promote it. Then people come on the site, see a load of debates started by you with arguments solely by you; I can only assume this will turn people away.
Don't try to argue against it; just stop doing it. You're ruining it for everyone else.
Yeah, and you definitely need to get rid of your two or three (or god knows how many) different accounts. That is playing the system and throws three or more votes in your favor at any given time. You should be banned from the site for that and would be had you been caught doing this on a bigger site like digg.