Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category
Today we launched CreateDebate in the Classroom, which is a culmination of months of hard work put in by the CreateDebate team. Now, teachers can leverage all of the features and functionality of CreateDebate in a private setting specifically designed for a classroom. We have worked with several teachers to understand what’s important to them and their students, and have built the site accordingly. We are giving away a free 30-day trial to all teachers who sign up for a private site.
CreateDebate in the Classroom enables teachers to customize and build an online debate community that can be easily incorporated into almost any lesson plan. Typically, teachers will create debates around questions that will build on the current course of study. The goal is to engage students and enrich the classroom conversation through peer collaboration. Debates can be conducted in the classroom “real-time” (if computers with Internet access are available) or participation can be assigned as homework and reviewed in class.
Students love CreateDebate because it brings the power of the Internet into the classroom. For instance, the debate scoring mechanism allows students to vote on the arguments written by their peers. As a result, the most compelling arguments are voted to the top of each debate. The net effect is a competition where students are striving to craft well-written, logical arguments. In addition, the CreateDebate platform includes a host of social networking features that allow students to build their own profile and make connections with their classmates.
Teachers love CreateDebate in the Classroom because it’s simple to configure and administer. It typically takes about 15 minutes to create and personalize a new debate community. The admin panel guides the teacher through set up and offers access to a wide array of features that make teaching easier. Teachers can make announcements, see who is online, track and evaluate participation, give private feedback, filter inappropriate content and more!
CreateDebate allows students to practice their persuasive writing, critical thinking, and constructive reasoning skills in a modern online environment. Know a teacher who could use CreateDebate? Help us to spread the word about CreateDebate in the Classroom!
After more than 50,000 nominations and 80,000 verified votes, we’re pleased to announce that CreateDebate is a finalist in Mashable’s 2nd Open Web Awards!
Mashable has selected the three start-ups in each category that have received the most votes. CreateDebate was nominated in the politics category and thanks to you we are only 1 round away from winning the whole thing!
We are very excited to be in the final and we would love even more to win. Therefore please vote for us using the widget below. Remember you can vote once every 24 hours between now and midnight PST on December 14th.
Now it’s time to help us win the award by voting for us! You can vote for one company in each category per day until midnight on November 30th.
About the Open Web Awards:
The only multilingual international online voting competition that covers major innovations in web technology. It is a unique opportunity for the most accomplished websites and services to receive international recognition for their achievements.
Election Day is closing in so quickly! We’re happy to announce that we’ve widgetized CreateDebate2008 to help get the word out. Now its really easy to embed and share accurate election information.
Please help us inform the populace by embedding this widget on your blog, website or social network profile! The widget is below, give it a whirl and use the get & share tab to distribute.
Who Needs the Pundits? Debate It All Online
By Tricia Miller
Roll Call Staff
September 9, 2008
During an election year many people start to channel television pundits such as Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow. They spend so much time arguing over the water cooler that they start to talk about sending off an audition tape to a number of their favorite cable news shows. And now they have yet another way to sharpen their arguing skills.
Two relatively young Web sites — CreateDebate.com and Debate.com — have recently unveiled election-focused sites that allow aspiring pundits to debate each other online.
While the original sites allowed visitors to debate everything from the best video games to the worst sports teams, the updated sites focus on candidates, political races and local issues.
“I think the whole idea of finding places to debate like this online is catching on,” said Georgetown University political science associate professor Diana Owen. But, she warned, these sites are unlikely to have much effect on the national election.
Owen said she “always gets excited” to see candidates and outside groups develop new Internet ventures to get voters involved but that few of these, including candidate Web sites and YouTube videos, have changed the outcomes of elections.
Entrepreneurs like Bryan Orme hope she’s wrong. His site, CreateDebate.com, is gearing up for the general election by promoting a new politics alias, CreateDebate2008.com, which he and his partners launched in August. The site allows users to initiate a discussion over a political topic — say, Obama vs. McCain — and then support their views. Users argue for one side or the other and then vote for the best arguments. The most popular arguments rise to the top, while unpopular arguments disappear.
For example, in a debate over who will be the next president, user “Kneville” supplied the most popular argument in favor of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
“As much as I think we need a change in the White House, I think that McCain is liberal enough of a Republican to be elected,” Kneville wrote. “Obama is too polarizing and too liberal for the majority of the country. ”
On the other side, a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) identified as “Sysiphuslove” wrote, “Obama was nominated in an entirely new way — with the power of the Internet behind him, and everything that entails — and he isn’t a serf of the big-money interests that have kept real change from taking place in Washington.”
Orme said high interest in the election made the addition of a separate site focused on politics a natural extension.
“Our target audience is people that are interested in the issues pertinent to that particular debate and want a platform to debate those,” Orme said.
Orme hopes that as the site grows, more users will weigh in on state and local races. When users register on the politics site, they can enter their ZIP codes and see lists of debates on federal races in their area. He also sees it as another tool candidates or staffers could use online. For instance, a candidate could use it to see what his constituents are talking about and even offer rebuttals to those who may misunderstand or disagree with his decisions.
Owen said the idea of these sites having an impact at a local level is more realistic. She said that similar sites in the U.K. and Germany created two years ago helped politicians see which issues their Internet-savvy constituents cared most about.
The second site, Debate.com, began as a relatively simple site late last year. The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Philip and Crystal Ferreira, it has grown to more than 5,000 registered users and was relaunched last week in its third iteration.
The Ferreiras’ site allows an “instigator” to establish a debate topic and a specific number of rounds in the debate. That instigator can then invite another user to represent the other side or wait for someone else to join independently. In the newest version of the site, users can search for opponents based on ideology, geographic location, gender or other characteristics. Once the last round is over, other individuals can cast a vote in favor of one debater or the other, ultimately choosing the winner.
Philip Ferreira said the couple’s own political discussions inspired the idea for Debate.com, though the site hosts debates on a wide variety of subjects. He said they haven’t done much to promote Debate.com at this point and have attracted users by word of mouth, but they will begin advertising now that the most recent update is public.
There have been several inquiries lately regarding the sort people algorithms. As many of you have pointed out, the nuts and bolts of a few of the sort methods have changed recently. I can’t give away all of the secret sauce but here’s a few hints pertaining to how the algorithms work:
The cool part about the people categories is the Activity Period filter. Whenever you change the period, the rankings are determined on-the-fly. Everyday I check to see who’s tops for the day.
The first ever CreateDebate Town Hall Chat will take place from 4-5 PM EDT on June 26, 2008. The entire CreateDebate team will be on hand to discuss the topics submitted by everyone as well as any other agenda items you’d like to discuss.
We look forward to connecting with the CreateDebate community and understanding more about what you like, what you don’t like, and suggestions for how to continually improve CreateDebate.
Accessing The Town Hall Chat
In order to access the Town Hall chat, simply click here and you’ll be taken to the chat room. The official chat will start at 4 PM EDT and will last about an hour, but the transcript will remain on the site in case you have to miss it.
We’ve received a lot of agenda items from you all and we want to make sure we address your questions. We also want to make sure we leave plenty of time for Q&A, so we’ll try to keep the
For starters, we’ll try to address the following:
- Rewards Points
- Debate Voting
- Giving “props” for a good argument
- CreateDebate Roadmap
We’re hoping for a big turnout, so be sure to mark your calendars, tell your friends, and bring all of your great ideas on what we can do to continue to make CreateDebate the best social debating site on the Internet.
If you can’t access the link above, the URL for the event is http://www.createdebate.com
Mark your calendars now! The first ever CreateDebate Town Hall Chat will take place on Thursday, June 26th at 4 PM EDT. The CD team will be on hand to answer your questions, listen to your comments and suggestions, and explore any topic you’d like to discuss.
Have a topic you’d like to discuss in the Town Hall? Post it to the Town Hall debate at any point up to the 26th and we’ll try to address it. As with everything on CD, the meeting will be totally driven by you, the CreateDebate community.
We look forward to connecting with you all in the first of many Town Halls to come. Be on the lookout for a communication coming soon regarding the event. Until then, we’ll keep working hard to ensure CreateDebate remains the top social debating site on the Internet.
Mashable, one of our favorite technology review websites, has recently started a series called The Startup Review (sponsored by Sun Microsystems) that showcases new startup technology companies. This morning, Paul Glazowski from The Startup Review wrote a great article on CreateDebate, which can be found here. Mashable finds CreateDebate to be a “a worthwhile place in which to spend one’s argumentative energies, one you may very well enjoy.”
Additionally, one of our newest users, JWitter, wrote a great blog post about using CreateDebate in the classroom yesterday. We think this is a great application of CreateDebate’s technology and one that could be very useful for middle school, high school, college, and graduate students. What do you think? Drop us a note and let us know what other applications you think CreateDebate might have. If you’ve experimented with it’s efficacy in the classroom or in a work environment let us know how it went.
CreateDebate is officially in public beta. Finally, its time to grow! Josh Catone at ReadWriteWeb wrote a favorable review of our site this morning. Josh notes that CreateDebate “offers an extremely slick interface for online debate.” Check out the complete article here. What do you think about our site? What do you think about our competitors? Sound off in a new debate!