After almost a month in Public Beta, we’ve noticed that some debates take off in popularity and remain in the Most Heated debates page for days, while others never even make it close. Many of you have asked what you can do to increase the chance that your debate gets noticed and gets the attention of other debaters. To that end, we present to you the Top 10 Tips for a Great Debate:
10. Make the debate title controversial. This probably seems rather obvious but having a controversial topic that stands out from the rest will encourage people to click on and debate it.
9. Choose the right type of debate. Is it a debate that can be broken down easily in two sides? If so, choose a 2-Sided Debate. If not, choose a Popularity Contest. Not setting up the debate properly is a recipe for an empty debate.
8. If it’s a two sided debate, pick clearly distinct points of view for each side. Yes vs. No, Black vs. White, Democrats vs. Republicans are just a few examples. Whatever you choose, make sure that they’re clearly opposing points of view.
7. Embed a link or a video as a central point for people to focus on during the debate. This will ensure the debate stays on topic and does not wander into oblivion. Make sure the link is from a reputable source so it will ground the debate in reality.
6. Invite your friends to the debate. Use the “Share This Debate” feature of CreateDebate to invite your Allies, Enemies, and anyone else in your Address Book. Inviting friends to a debate ensures they know about it right away and can be one of the first to post their opinion.
5. Add Research to the Debate. Use the Research feature of CreateDebate to add RSS feeds regarding the topic being discussed. This is a great way to inform your users of the various points of view on the topic being debated.
4. Add an Argument. Add an initial argument to one side of the debate that is well thought out and that clearly states why your side of the debate is the correct side. If you need help crafting a great argument, check out our previous blog post on How to Write Strong Arguments.
3. Proofread your argument for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Nothing makes an argument weaker than a bunch of sentence fragments, misspelled words, and grammatical errors. Use the Spell Check feature of CreateDebate just to make sure your argument is correct before posting.
2. Add references. Back up your argument by citing reputable sources. Be sure to include a link to the source so others can view the entire text you’re referencing.
1. Build debate traffic. Submit your debate to the top social news sites (i.e. Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Mixx, del.icio.us, etc). CreateDebate makes it easy for you to share your debates by using the “Social Bookmarks” tab in each debate. Once you post the debate to the sites, leverage your network to move it in to the most popular categories where more people will view it and hopefully debate your topic. If you need help learning how to make stories popular on Digg, check out this article loaded with great advice.
Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to getting a debate listed on this page.