Let's Make a site for Debate Q&A

So Area 51 is officially publicized now, so it's time to get a campaign for a Debate Q&A site underway.

Wait, what the heck is Area 51? Actually, there are a lot of sites here with a lot of names, let me explain.

So, start with Stack Overflow, which is a site that programmers use to ask questions and get answers. It's awesome. The moment it came out, I thought "wow, we need one'a these for debaters!"

Some time in the future, the same company launched Stack Exchange, on which you could pay money to get your own hosted Q&A site.

Eventually, they changed directions and decided to offer new sites for free as long as there was a viable community to support it. They're calling this "Stack Exchange 2.0" and set up a new site for proposals called Area 51

My proposal on Area 51 for a Debate Q&A site is Right Here.

Why do I think we need a Debate Q&A site? Well, we debaters have plenty of online places to hang out and argue (as we are wont to do), but we don't have any place to get questions answered. And we have plenty of questions! New coaches and debaters have questions! Experienced coaches and debaters have questions! High school debate people have questions about college debate! And vice versa! Lots of people have answers to these questions, but there's no place to go to get one's questions answered. We ought to change that.

Here's how:

Proposals on Area 51 go through three different phases before they become a real site:

Right now the debate proposal is in the Definition phase. We need to decide what a Q&A site about debate looks like. I've got some ideas, but I need your input!

When we get enough highly-voted examples of on- and off-topic questions, we'll move to the Commitment phase, during which we'll need people to step up and commit to making the site a success. These brave pioneers are basically saying "Yes, I will help start this site with a thriving community of experts with insightful questions and smart answers!"

With enough committed individuals, we move to the Beta phase, with a live site to fill with questions and answers. Here is where we'll work out the kinks and show the world how useful a debate Q&A site can be.

If it all works out, we'll move to a fully-fledged Stack Exchange site, which (hopefully) can turn into the place to get one's questions answered about debate.

My goal through all this is to make it just a teensy tiny little bit easier to learn debate, or to coach debate, or to start a debate team. If you think I'm on to something, please Sign up!

The Official Debate Knowledge Exchange proposal

StackExchange has opened up their official proposal site, so if you are reading this, you should head on over to my proposal and do the following:

  • Follow the proposal. Yes, you need to log in, but the site uses OpenID so you don't even need to make a new username/password to do so.

  • Submit some sample questions, good examples of what is on- and off-topic for a debate Q&A site

  • Vote on sample questions, so we can refine the "vision" for the site

I already made my pitch for why I think this would be an excellent resource for the community, but I'll add this little bit. If you are an experienced debater or coach, think of how many times you've been asked the same set of questions by a new user or coach. Wouldn't it be nice if you could send them to a helpful website instead?