The Instigator
s0m31john
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

The upcoming Debate.org forum should start with no more than 5 boards.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
s0m31john
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,719 times Debate No: 5195
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (9)

 

s0m31john

Pro

In the past I have tried to join multiple forums, only to stop posting in them because of lack of activity. The Debate.org forum has a lot of potential to be moderately active, but they can mess things up by having too many boards.

As I type this there are 13 users online. That's usually around the peak, and shows that we don't have a large user base to mess around with.

If the forum were to be split into more than 5 boards, I'll list my ideas for specific boards in another round, the posts in specific boards would become fewer and farther between. People would be worried what board their topic goes in, when the fact is, barely enough topics will be made to keep one or two boards active.

Right now there are 8 users active on the Black Sheep forums, they have only one board. Their max ever online is 82, and that just happened a few days ago.

(http://www.bsforums.com...)

The average time between posts on there ranges between 30 minutes to an hour, and their user base is larger than the one here. They only have one board, and it's still moderately slow.

That leads me to believe that In order to keep activity high, and provide a fun forum, the upcoming Debate.org forum should have as few of boards as possible.

I'll provide more evidence to support my claim and go into further detail in later rounds.
Danielle

Con

Pro's only point here is that he does not feel enough posts will be made in each board to keep it interesting. He draws this conclusion based on the fact that there are usually not a huge amount of users online at a time, and therefore there would logically be posts few and far in between which would make the forum boring and therefore useless.

I disagee.

For one, just because only 13 members may be online at a time does not mean that only 13 people will post in the forum(s). In no way are forums meant to be a chat room; someone can leave a post and have another respond back hours later -- the purpose of the forum will still be achieved. Further, debate.org supposedly has upwards of hundreds of members (last time I checked... it might be in the thousands by now). If that statistic were true (and it's sort of all we have to go by), then we cannot assume that there will only be a mere few posts in each forum.

Further on my side is the fact that people tend to comment on specific debates, often 10 - 30 comments per match (some have more!). If 30 comments are made in one particular debate itself, we can only logically conclude that there would be a lot more than that in a forum where the subject encompasses a lot of views from more than a few debaters.

As a contention for Con, I argue that there is no harm in having more than 5 discussion boards in a forum. Even if Pro's highly unlikely point were true - that there would only be a few posts in each board - that still doesn't make it a bad thing. Pro's disinterest does not mean that others will not get enjoyment out of posting.

Additionally, Pro suggests that people might be "confused" as to where to make a post (under which heading). I argue that this is more true with a limited selection of boards. For instance, if there were 5 subject boards consisting of the areas of: Politics, Religion, Philosophy, Debate (LD, Policy, etc.) and Science, where would someone post to let's say talk about sports?

Even if you were to create a forum board for General Topcs (various ideas), that would mean that you would have to eliminate one of the afforementioned ideas, while I believe that most of us would consider those to all be interesting and valid topics of discussion. Moreover, if a 'General' topic were to replace one of those, that leaves the category FAR too broad. For instance, someone might want to talk about anime in there, while another about movies and pop culture, while another about sports, etc. This would make this particular thread completely confusing and be more of a turn-off than if there were threads that some people didn't post in as much.

To elaborate, consider a dicussion such as Sports. There are a lot of subjects people can discuss under this title, for instance: The Olympics, College vs. Professional, ideas about the draft pick, etc. Such can be said about many subjects. So again, just 5 boards is too little (even to start off with...)
Debate Round No. 1
s0m31john

Pro

I'd like to expand on my idea. My suggestion for the set up of the forum, with commentary on each board.

Announcements:
Only Admins could post here. Global announcements could be made, as well as rules and guidelines.

Introductions:
You don't want your main board to be full of "Hey I'm new here" threads, this is where this board comes in. If people want to write some introduction monologue let them do it here.

General Discussion:
This is where the users should be concentrated. If it turns out we need more boards, they're easy enough to make with most forum software. Anything can be posted here, within forum rules. Things about specific debates should be left out, my next board is for that. In here, anything other than debate stuff. Politics, News, Science, Chit Chat, Music, etc.

Debates
Board will be used for specific debates, asking for challenges, talking about other members, and other site stuff.

Site Stuff/Support
No site is perfect. I commend the Webmaster on his work, but this should be one of the boards just in case. If you have any problems or glitches on the site, they could be asked and discussed here.

Yes, just because there 13 people online, that does not mean 13 people will be actively posting. This is in my favor, as is further cuts down the user base.

My opponent is correct in saying that a forum is not a chat room, but it does not need to be a stagnant pool of hours old topics to respond to. In an active forum you will be able to communicate with other users at a slower and more formal way than in a chat room, but in a faster more lax way compared to a debate. Communication like that is better done while both parties are online.

Debate.org has 6,165 members right now, but if you take a look a very large portion of them are no longer active and have not been active for months.

28 pages Offline 9 months (http://www.debate.org...)
201 pages Offline 8 months (http://www.debate.org...)

I could go on, but as you see a large majority users haven't been on in months, and we can't really expect them all to come back all of a sudden. A better estimate of possible active users would be about 280. (28 pages of people online in the last week http://www.debate.org...)

Your comment about the comments doesn't mean much. All that would mean is a bunch of active threads, not active boards. Plus debate conversation usually dies down within a week, and a thread would just sink down off the page. Plus, we're not getting rid of comments on debates, just adding a forum

You have a problem with a General Discussion board, but different topics would just exist in different threads that could easily be ignored. "Olympics Thread" "Lucky Star Thread" etc

My proposition is not permanent either, I just suggest this as the launch, and we add on as needed. It's easy to add boards.

I'll write more R3, running out of characters.
Danielle

Con

I would agree with my opponent that 280 is a more realistic number of active members on the site. Even so, assuming that each person only made 1 post per day per board, that would = 280 posts. Realistically, however, we know that while 280 people not make 1 post, we also know that there are a lot of people who would probably make many posts as opposed to just one. Thus with 280 being the base, central figure, I conclude that 280 is enough posts (for one day or one week) to have in a board. Why must there be tons and tons of threads? As I have already pointed out, this can make things disorganized, confusing and unappealing.

Next I would like to firmly disagree with my opponent's meager few suggestions of boards. According to his proposition, right off the bat the majority of users would only have 4 boards to post in, as 1 board would entirely be dedicated to admin postings only. So realistically, Pro is suggesting that debate.org offer just four boards for public use. I agree with his proposal of having a board for debate stuff, site support and even a place for admins; however, I find the Introduction Board to be a little frivolous and unnecessary. People can introduce themselves in the Debate board, perhaps, or just assume that others will check out their profile and/or get to know them as their action on the site increases.

My main opposition to Pro's stance is having just one board for General ideas, to which he suggests there just be many threads. I argue that the General topic is WAY too broad -- after all, how else will debates be sparked unless people post their opinions? A broad topic like Religion cannot be left up to a single thread! There are so many things to talk about: different denominations, atheism vs. agnosticism or theism, etc. My argument is that those threads for big topics will be too long to be cohesive, and it will encompass to many ideas to be effective.

In his defense, Pro argues that new boards can always be added on as needed. But I offer the contention of why wait until something is bad or messed up before we fix it? Common sense tells us that this is not a good idea, and points us in a better direction. It won't take longer or require much more work/effort to make more than 5 boards, so I'm for more than 5 being implemented right off the bat. Plus, just as boards can be added, they can just as easily be taken away if deemed inactive or unnecessary.

Further, if you agree with my reasoning that there should be at least 6 boards based on the wide array of topics I have provided (as well as agree that there should be a board just for Admin postings or things like site feedback), then you should vote Con. Again some suggestions for boards that I had were: Admins, Site Feedback, Debate, Politics, Religion, Philosophy... that alone is 6... but what about broad subjects such as Pop Culture, Sports, Entertainment, etc.?

Bottom line: less is not more, in this scenario. And there's no reason for it.
Debate Round No. 2
s0m31john

Pro

I'd like to use another active forum as an example in favor of the one general off topic, in this case non-debate, board. The G4 Forums (http://forums.g4tv.com...) have more than five boards now, but they have significant more users than we do. As you can see they don't have a separate board for religion, politics, science, philosophy, or any other general topic. What they do have is multiple boards about the site's main purpose (they have boards for each show, and each show has a large fanbase), which would correspond to our one "debate" board where users would discuss the like

This brings me to their off-topic board, the second most popular board. Allowed on that board is "anything that is non-tech or gaming" and that leaves you with a VERY broad array of topics. If you take what theLwerd says to be true, it would be full of a ton of random threads, all disorganized, with topics everywhere that only a few people would want to discuss, but if you take a look you'll see it works out pretty nice

http://forums.g4tv.com...

First let's look at the times between posts. It's not too fast, looks like they may average posts every 10 - 30 minutes, longer depending on the time of day.

A thread about Comcast's new bandwidth caps.
A broad thread: Socialism vs Capitalism
One about McCain's VP pick
One on reasons to dislike Obama
General threads about member's daily lives, other topics like music and television.

Having such a broad amount of topics to discuss you'd think it'd be a mess with a million billion different threads, but it's rather organized and the users discuss what happens to be on their mind at the time.

Let's image if that board were split up into categories like Politics, Religion, Science, News, General Chit Chat. Members would have to actively check numerous boards when everything on one board as it is now is working just fine. The number of posts per board would decrease so much that you'd end up with replies from 2 days earlier still on the page.

My opponent seems to think forum threads need to be super serious business where has formal debates, but as you can see by looking at my example of an active General Discussion board, you'll see that is not how forum communites work.

We do not need a separate board for every type of discussion, let the people online at the time decide what they wish to discuss. There may be an influx of religion threads, or perhaps the collective hive mind wants to talk about some recent event, this would be decided by the users online and post rates would not have to be slowed. If someone has a philosophical question on their mind, let them make a thread about it, but I do not see there being so many members that we'd have 30 philosophical threads going on at one time.

A slow board is a boring board, put the users in one place and let them decide what is important at the time. Let topics be discussed when they come up.

Vote pro for an active forum!
Danielle

Con

Pro's first R3 attack was in the form of using another forum as an example to prove his point. However, this is a forum that pertains specifically to discussing TV shows. Sure people can post about other things; however, that is the general direction of the site. Debate.org is different because this is a place where people can and do debate and discuss a wide array of topics on a daily basis. Further, the example that my opponent provided admittedly uses more than 5 boards. To me, offering that as an example was a horrible move debate-wise, as it definitely helps to prove my point rather than my opponent's. Even if that forum has more members, like I said, there is no way of proving that what "few" members that debate.org has won't post a Hell of a lot...

And while we're on the subject of examples, let me offer my own. Check out the forum of the site thoughts.com (http://www.thoughts.com...). The forum topics there are more broad, as they should be on debate.org. On that site, they have a variety of topics including the website itself; current news; entertainment; life requests; lifestyle; math and science; politics; relationships; religion and beliefs; whiners and writing. Under those topics are on average 3 - 5 boards of subjects that pertain to those categories (and 3 - 5 is not a lot or too much). For instance, under the Entertainment category includes boards with the subjects of Books, Games, Movies, Music, Photos, Sports and TV.

My point has been that regardless of how many or how little posters we have or will have, people will go post under the category of a topic that is of interest to them, which will keep the interesting boards alive. From my experience, the users on this site are well-rounded and knowledgeable/opinionated in a lot of areas, so my prediction will be that the forums are very active. Thus my opponent's prediction that, "The number of posts per board would decrease so much that you'd end up with replies from 2 days earlier still on the page" is seemingly false.

Additionally, Pro has never explained why that would be a bad thing anyway. Even if a post was from 2 days earlier, that does not mean that someone won't post after 2 days and keep the conversation going and interesting. Like I said (and Pro agreed) - forums are not chat rooms. Who cares if one board doesn't have THAT many posts anyway? Pro has not answered this question. Saying HE would be bored with it is not enough to win this debate.

In conclusion, Pro has never responded to my point that it's better to be safe than sorry, and that if boards were too slow for his tastes (ha), they could be removed. Why put limits on ourselves right off the bat? The General Forum will be riddled with threads... And finally, keep in mind that Pro is suggesting that there actually only be FOUR active boards, as 1 would be limited to admins only. If you agree that there should be more than 4 boards for a better forum experience, vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MeganLoaskia 7 years ago
MeganLoaskia
The L werd, why do you always votebomb your debates? scared of loosing? ust a Q
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
brian_eggleston,

1,200 of those views came from me. I was testing it out with an auto-refresher. I racked up than many views in about 3 minutes.
Posted by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
DucoNihilum
I agree with s0m31john completely. With my knowledge from the IT field, I take it that even large forums should have relatively few boards so that there can be a closer community, more posts in each board, and all in all a better system. The more boards you have per forum, the higher the risk is of the forums appearing to be vacant, when they potentially aren't.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
"Further on my side is the fact that people tend to comment on specific debates, often 10 - 30 comments per match (some have more!)."

At time of writing, this debate has been viewed 1,485 times, which shows that debates can be of interest, even if it is to more non-members than members of debate.org.
Posted by Labrat228 8 years ago
Labrat228
Wow, I'm loving this method of voting!
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Guys I was gonna post this topic here but my sentence stared with an "g", I better post it in the "g" board.

Oh no this sentence starts with an "o", it belongs in the "o" board.

Phew, it's a good thing we separated the forum in to so many boards, could you imagine the mayhem if we let all the letters in one board

Over 9000 boards, 1 post in each for the win.

Woo
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Oh, and If you aren't up to date with forum terminology here's the way I'm using the terminology:

Forum: The overall Debate.org forum, contains boards.

Board: Category of Discussion, contains threads.

Thread: User made title, where other users can discuss the topic set by the original poster. Contains posts
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Yes, private user made boards would be a good idea.

theLwerd it seems wants a board for every topic under the sun, instead just let the users online at the time discuss what they want. There aren't enough users on here to flood a board with so many threads to justify more boards. If that time comes, then we'll add a board as needed.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
I think I can provide a reason for that. There were probably a lot of people complaining about users (such as myself) having a habit of posting an argument in the comment section, thus giving someone (who may not have had much of an idea on how to debate the topic) else ammunition. Also, alot of times, this applied to users who accepted the debate, but didn't actually post their argument yet.

As for this debate, I think the idea of only having 5 boards is good provided each member who creates a group gets their own sub forum (sort of like facebook or fanfiction.net). That way, everyone is happy.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Sorry 'bout that Lwerd, the outline took up most of my R2, R3 will be better. I changed the character limit just cause I was wanting to tests out the new features.
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Vote Placed by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
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