The Instigator
TUF
Pro (for)
The Contender
Coveny
Con (against)

Fordebating.com will not see a substantial gain in membership based on the site owners advertising..

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Argument Due
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Time Remaining
02days17hours14minutes51seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 1/12/2018 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 hours ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 86 times Debate No: 106662
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

TUF

Pro

Full resolution: "Fordebating.com will not see a substantial gain in membership based on the site owners advertising methods on Debate.org"

The site owner in this context is coveny, who is also my opponent in this debate. I mean for this debate to be a well thought out construction of arguments to settle a dispute we've had in the main forums for some time now.

The debate resolution was agreed upon by my opponent in this post:

http://www.debate.org...

I wish my opponent the best of luck in this debate, and encourage fair voting. Because my opponent has shared his opinion that his public perception in this debate may be biased against him, I will personally be reporting any votes that I don't feel fairly show they represent they have read both sides of the debate to the fullest, or overtly display bias.

Thanks coveny in advance for accepting this debate. 1st round will be for acceptance, and I have the character limit set to max at 10k. Select winner system is in effect to suppress vote juicing. Arguments should be prioritized over conduct violations, spelling and grammar, and sources, though all of these things collectively should attribute to the argument.

Good luck.
Coveny

Con

Accepted.

Thanks much more equatable that I was expecting. I like it. I look forward to seeing you work.
Debate Round No. 1
TUF

Pro

Thanks again Coveny, for accepting this debate. I look forward to an intellectual debate with you, and hope this goes well.

Key Affects of Advertising

To start the debate I would like to post my thoughts on what effective advertising is, and how I don't see Coveny specifically hitting the major points that would require him to be successful. In an article by author Rick Suttle, we can see what he feels are major important factors in hitting a target audience.

The first is Reach. "This measurement pertains to the number of people who actually saw a company's advertising."(1) Keeping in mind that Coveny's advertising most likely extends other places besides just Debate.org, when we look at the physical amount of individuals he is appealing to, we have to consider how many active members are even aware of his posts. It's safe to assume that the majority of active forum users are also long term users who either been around for a long time, or look for a community they like to stick with and grow. That said, the number of individuals he is appealing to, is already a very small portion of the website. As far as I have seen, Coveny's only made a public spectacle of himself and his website within the forums, and one debate between himself and Mikal in which the topic specifically refers to Fordebating.com. (2) A debate that despite the appearance of a large amount of views (Views are counted upon refresh, so can easily have been pulled by the two debaters and any moderators that had to look at the controversial debate multiple times) only ever received one vote. Even if we were to grant him that all of the users he engaged with in heated arguments in the forums or even people who just saw the drama and were interested in his website for some reason, were to sign up as members of his website, by contrast the total intake of members isn't going to be large. I'd be surprised if there are more than 20 people in the forums who even know about or care about the drama on top of that. Assuming he was able to convince all 20 individuals he's appealed to through his out-reach on Debate.org, that doesn't seem to qualify as a substantial gain. At least not substantial enough to justify all the time he has spent appealing to these forum members, where this time may have been better spent advertising elsewhere or even working on his website to ultimately yield more of a growth in user base.

Another point Mr. Suttle lists is Sales and Profits. "The best way to build sales and profits is by reaching the right target audience. In other words, small business owners must make sure their advertising reaches the people who are most likely to purchase their products." (1) In context to Debate, he certainly is on a website that is topical and relevant to debating, but the real question is how he is pitching his website to these debaters in a way that would make one heavily consider switching the community they spend time on from Debate.org, to ForDebating.com. Coveny believes that by simply being a presence he is marketing his website. What he hasn't been focusing on nearly as much, is pitching the benefits of the whole package. He made one initial forum talking about ForDebating, and occasionally he makes little quips about his new website to individuals who complain about the site of DDO here and there. But we should think of a decision to move website similar to switching an Internet provider. If I have spectrum Internet, and I hear about savings, faster speeds, and less of an agreement term, I am more willing to switch than simply seeing an advertisement where the owner of AT&T makes fun of Spectrum's consumer base and constantly argues with them. Coveny has a whole theory on "drama being an effective advertiser" which I will get into later, but what he isn't prioritizing is focusing on key aspects that are far more likely to attract people. Coveny would be much more successful by putting a greater focus on the benefits of his website, and highlighting key features people will be able to take advantage of.


The effects of controversy against Brand Awareness

If there's one thing to credit coveny on, it's his Brand Awareness for the website. Certainly when Coveny is brought up, the automatic thought is to place him as a the head of a website he has invested time and money into. The heart of his pitch has constantly been that he is not adverse to the controversy that has taken place between him and the other members of the website, because it furthers awareness of his website. But we can take my earlier point into consideration here, that the controversy is driving away the same members he is or should be trying to appeal to. Again we are taking a very small margin of a forum based community, as opposed to appealing to other aspects of the site. When the majority of a community tend to dis-agree with you or think you are an "@sshole" (3) as one of his recent debates lists him as, he is not setting up a whole lot of incentive for these same members to check out his website.

So I think an important point to talk about here that will inevitably be brought up during this debate as it has been discussed about in length on the website, is the effects of advertising through drama. My opponent has consistently brought up the point that controversy will aid him, the same way it aids others like Alex Jones. Alex Jones has a net worth of 10 million, which coveny attributes to him marketing through drama. Well this isn't entirely true. Alex Jones appeals to the insecurities of his listeners: "An examination of his business seems to indicate that the vast majority of Infowars’ revenue comes from sales of these dietary supplements. Infowars isn’t a media empire — it’s a snake-oil empire." (4) But Alex Jones certainly is a character, and his outlandish views and beliefs certainly bring him an audience, even if a major portion of that audience deigns to listen to him knowing he is absurd to make fun of him.

So granting coveny that being absurd can attract an audience in specific situations, it is definitely not the same situation with Coveny's debating website. Alex Jones is a radio show, and when you listen to him you know you are going to hear some oddball theories. Is that what people in a debating community are looking for though? Is this really what Coveny should be wanting for his website? I don't think it is. In fact, Coveny himself said otherwise by constantly highlighting issues with debate.org "There seems to be some major problems with spam, voting, and just a general disinterest in the website over there. All looking very good Fordebating.com" Wouldn't this make a better selling point than a "Hey look at me, I am controversial". Users aren't going to be hooked by drama, they want features and this is what Fordebating has. This should be his selling points. To equate Alex Jones to himself, is essentially saying that he knows what he is saying and doing is bull crap for clicks. Getting quick clicks doesn't create a community of members though who are prone to refresh a page daily and make them more likely to click advertisements, or engage in other aspects of the website that will produce money. Coveny should be looking forward to building a professional environment that encourages and challenges free thinking, networking, and better features. An Alex Jones approach is just selling snake oil for money, and if money is the only goal this simply won't work. Obviously this is a business venture for him, but it needs to be more than a business venture in order to be successful. Great YouTubers who make money like Casey Neistat, or successful business owners, all have to have a vested interest in their product, show, and believe in what they are doing, and the money comes later.

Conclusion

Advertising a product through negative attention will not yield a substantial gain from this website. It is my belief that Coveny could have been more successful with his website if he had invested his time with trying to sell the product, rather than himself. It is my hope that Coveny finds this out, maybe even through this debate. I genuinely hope his website does well, and I think with a bit of proper focus, he can make that happen.



Sources:

1. http://smallbusiness.chron.com...
2. http://www.debate.org...
3. http://www.debate.org...
4. http://nymag.com...
Coveny

Con

***Note***

The use of the future continuous tense of the verb (will not see) means that Pro must prove that it is not possible for substantial gain in membership to happen ever, and that I must only prove that it is possible. I think it’s very important for voters to understand that the debate is set not just in the present. This is similar to reasonable doubt in a court case, even if you don’t feel like I have made substantial gains, if you have a reasonable doubt that I could achieve substantial gains then you should vote for me. Again this debate is about what will happen in the future.

As this is the first round I will wait to rebuttal Pro and just put forth my arugement.


The five points that I will use to prove that ForDebating.com will have substantial gains from my advertising

1) Substantial gain from Mikal’s to Tuf’s debate

2) People openly support me or defend my behavior.

3) Advertising based on my strengths

4) Strategies other than smack talking and fighting

5) Marketing through controversy works



1) Substantial gain from Mikal’s to Tuf’s debate

Before I talk about the future though let me start with the present. Do you consider a 30% increase as substantial? Pro needs to prove that 30% isn’t a substantial gain. Would you consider 30 years longer on a 100-year lifespan substantial? Would you consider $12,000 more on a $40,000 a year job substantial? I think we can all agree that 30% is a substantial gain.

I posted my numbers during my debate with Mikal. Here is a link to that debate for reference: http://www.debate.org...


Here are those numbers compared to my current numbers showing an average of a 31.6% increase.

As of 1-13-2018

Mail list – 3 > 4 = 33% increase

YouTube – 6 > 8 = 33% increase

Facebook – 35 > 45 = 29% increase

Stats from Mikal’s debate - https://imgur.com...

Current stats - https://imgur.com...


As you can see my lowest stat is a 29% increase. This is a substantial gain in membership, and I don’t need to prove the future possibility of gain as I have achieved it already, but I’ll continue for the sake of debating.


2) People openly support me or defend my behavior.

I have had several people support me both publicly and privately. Here are a few examples.


From Inferno’s “DDO’s rising star” thread – “Coveny is the coolest muther-effer in the world…. he has made his presence known on this site so far and Im impressed, which is rare for me here.”

http://www.debate.org...


From zmikecuber’s “Coveny” thread – “Literally has done nothing wrong… I think alot of people support him and know he's right … Any semi-intelligent person knows he crushed Mikal in that debate…. Coveny, keep doing what you're doing.”

http://www.debate.org...


From Mikal’s “Can we Vote Coveny off the Island” thread –

#41 Leaning – “He doesn't seem to me to be any more rude than any of the people he argues with.”

http://www.debate.org...


From EmilRose’s “Cowards on DDO” thread

#32 Vaarka – “at this point you guys are bullying him imo”

http://www.debate.org...


Even from those smack talks, fights, debates, etc. people supported me. This is proof of something Pro doesn’t want to give credit to… respect. If you check the video at 1:00:40 you’ll hear someone accuse me of “running away from conflict”. To which at least two people speak up to defend me, saying that I have not done that and that I am the opposite of that.

http://www.debate.org...



3) Advertising based on my strengths

I hold no illusions about my charm or social skills to win friends. For me to attempt to win people to my side with friendliness would be futile because it’s simply a skill I don’t possess and given that I’m 45 I’m likely to never possess it.


This is a debate website, I enjoy debate, and debate at its core is conflict, it’s fighting for what you believe, and fighting for my convictions is something that I am strong in. Smack talk is no different. So not only is it something that I am good at, it’s also something that shows, at least to a degree, that I have debating skills. People respect a fighter and someone who stands up for what they believe in. I believe in debate and I’m passionate about it.


My actions have garnered support not because I “sold” them on how great of a person I am, my actions have garnered support because I have fought my detractors. This doesn’t tend to start off with a good impression, but it does work over time as people see my character in the fight. You see how dirty they are, how far they are willing to go to “win”. My fights have shown both my ethics and my integrity to those willing to see them.


Here are a couple of examples of winning over people who thought badly of me at first. (RocketEngineer’s change of attitude toward me is a great example of the change I’m referring to).


From airmax1227’s “Tough Questions Special E1: Coveny and Mikal” thread

#43 – RocketEngineer – “I will admit I didn't like coveny very much”

http://www.debate.org...


From YYW’s “RFD: Mikal v. Coveny (Coveny Trial)” thread -

#17 RoketEngineer – “This was a clever comeback lol”

http://www.debate.org...


But there is also Disc who has re-evaluated his opinion of me from my interactions

From Varka’s “Beginners' Mafia 56.1: DP1” thread -

#371 Disc – “Coveny is acting stupid”

http://www.debate.org...


From Forever23’s “Coveny Is A A$s Hole” debate –

Disc Comments – “Coming from someone who absolutely enjoyed being a dick to Coveny in the mafia game and is only now realizing all the other 'controversy' about him, I'm definately leaning con on this.”

http://www.debate.org...



4) Strategies other than smack talking and fighting

My detractors act like the only thing I do is get into fights and talk smack, but that’s not the case. I have used several advertising strategies. Such as:


Offering to play League of Legends with people

“Open invite LoL ARAM with Cov between 7-9pm”

http://www.debate.org...


In Inferno’s “DDO’s rising star” thread I told a story from my time in the military.

#38 - http://www.debate.org...


I created “Want to debate me on something from my book?” to get into debates.

http://www.debate.org...

This got 17 people to download my book.

https://imgur.com...


Which Danielle saw and lead to a discussion of topics in

UtherPenguin’s “I publicly challenge Danielle to a debate *”

http://www.debate.org...

#11 Danielle – “But you proposed topics that were really interesting and unique.”

On finding out that I used smack talk to generate interest she responded with


This debate also has ForDebating.com in it, and counts as advertising, and there is no smack talk in it. Now that attention has been generated and people have started listening to me I’m garnering more and more support and membership from DDO.



5) Marketing through controversy works

In the above thread Danielle is familiar with the tactic and how successful it can be.

#13 Danielle – “the old guerrilla marketing tactic through stirring up controversy online. I can appreciate that… Ryan Holiday … While promoting a movie… He would post on all these feminist forums about how the people behind it were filthy misogynists, etc, and sure enough the chatter got the movie a bunch of attention. He's pretty brilliant and became Director of Marketing for American Apparel”


I have given several examples of how effective this technique is in the past, but getting past the subjective dislike of the technique to see the objective effectiveness of it isn’t something everyone can do. So let me repeat Danielle here: they considered a person who’s used my tactics “brilliant” and that person became the director of MARKETING. From the linked interview at 1:04 “it was a brand that deliberately courted controversy and attention, and sometimes there is a backlash to that, but what people didn’t understand was the reason … we went that route because we didn’t have a billion dollar advertising budget”

http://fortune.com...


To define what Guerrilla Marketing is:

“Guerrilla Marketing is about taking the consumer by surprise, make an indelible impression and create copious amounts of social buzz”

Or from individuals in the marketing industry.

“…unauthorized and disruptive” and “sticky.” – Brett Zaccardi of Street Attack

http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com...



Conclusion

Advertising in general is about testing what works. I continue to change and adapt my strategies to see what gets me the most engagement for my time. I don’t need to win everyone over right now, I just need them to know I exist. As a small business, I have the flexibility to try all sorts of different ways to advertise and I have many more up my sleeve. For example, I intend to make a video where I play up my Arkansas accent and call myself the “redneck debater”. I’ll make a bunch of goofy comments, and get a laugh. If it works out I’ll make more of those. (the two people who I’ve read the skit to thought it was hilarious but that’s hardly proof) The point being that smack talk and fights are just one of the many things I’m trying, and it’s not even the only thing I’m trying here. The numbers (and the community) show I’m gaining traction, and I’m getting people like Mikal who hasn’t debated in 7 months, Tuf who hasn’t debated in 5 months, Bsh1 is debating again after 5 months, and Danielle who hasn’t debated in 3 months debating. Who here can claim that? How many have tried to get them to debate and failed?


Even if you don’t agree with my methods, how can anyone disagree with my results?

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