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  • David

    I would like to apologize for my management of Cross-X over recent years. For nearly two decades this site has been a valuable resource for debaters and I have misserved that legacy. My absence and neglect allowed this community to atrophy. I have let the community down. I am sorry. I am embarrassed and ashamed of how my tenure as administrator has played out. I regret that my inaction has decreased the educational potential of this site.

    Quite simply, there are no excuses. I do not wish to deflect or blame. This is on me. I can't offer a full explanation for my unavailability. Legal and personal factors have prevented me from tending to Cross-X as the community deserves.

    At this point, the best I can do is try my hardest to earn your trust. I am now free, able, and dedicated to rebuilding Cross-X into a truly useful destination for debate on the web. I have a few ideas for improvements that will I will announce in the coming days and weeks, but I want your thoughts. How can Cross-X serve you better?

    For the Evazon authors, I apologize for the great delay. Going forward, payouts will be processed weekly at a minimum. Instructions for requesting new payouts are located here. I am working on creating automatic payouts through PayPal and hope to have more information soon.

    Ask me anything. I'll do my best to answer.



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    Here is what I'd do if I owned cross-x. Full implementation of this slate will complete your rebirth. 

    1. Pay Evazon authors to jumpstart the cycle of college debaters commenting on the site to drum up proof of expertise and drive sales traffic. College debate posts are essential to increase the quality of discourse on the site and fulfill pedagogical needs. 

    2. Pay mods - something modest, but enough to keep the boards clean and productive. 

    3. Advertise the site.

    4. Probably get some google ad stuff going to bring in monthly cash outside of camp ads and evazon. That wouldn't be super popular, but I'd want a steady stream of income to make adjustments as I see fit during off-season time. 

    5. Theme weeks, better use of sticky threads, permanent memes board, theory crafting board, video archive board with discussion threads. 

    6. Try to improve community features like following posters, real time chat, etc. No facebook tie-in though, not never. 

    7. The Big One: Yelp-type board where people can hire coaches as hired guns. Reviews for hired guns. Reviews for semester-long/season-long coaching. Older debaters offering their services hourly, weekly, etc., at prices that match up with their demand. I think I'm a pretty good coach, and it's hard as heck to convince a parent of that when they've never seen a college debate before, and don't understand the significance of "unranked to top 5 in 2.5 years" for long-term coaching. Yelp-type reviews would help make that sale. It also makes sense to me that someone coming here has limited coaching resources, and while most can't shell out $10k for a season-long coach, many can shell out $20 for 2 hours of coaching or something along those lines. I cannot believe this service doesn't exist in an open-market format. The closest was the debate consultantship thing Seth Gannon was trying to do, but I'm not sure where that ever went. Such a system wouldn't be able to sustain itself independently and needs the infrastructure of this website (traffic, brand-name, heavy community involvement, open feedback) to really work. Plus, all those people trying to sell their services would have a heavy incentive to post a ton so people have immediate proof of their qualification. 

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    Thank you for your thoughts, that's a great list. Here's my general thinking at the moment about these idea:

    1. Payouts have been sent. I plan on sending a broader email to all Evazon authors this weekend. Part of the difficulty of recruiting college debaters is the perception of the site as a non-serious venue. College debaters would help improve that perception, but many don't want to contribute while that perception is low. The ole chicken/egg problem.

    2. I agree. There's a couple issues built into this one. First, a new group of moderators is needed. Typically this has been done through elections, but that has also led to Russian collusion gaming the system. I'm leaning towards appointing a small, core group for at least the short term. Second, what is an appropriate payment? I think this should probably scale depending on the success of the site, but I don't know what a reasonable range/number/percentage is.

    3. I'm not convinced that the site needs general advertisement as much as specific promotion of content like new files. At a minimum, I think some organic change and growth is necessary before general advertising in order for it to be effective. Advertising a ghost town probably won't lead to new, active users.

    4. I have gone back and forth about this since basically day 1. On the one hand, a steady revenue stream would make things like paying moderators much easier. On the other hand, as a user, I dislike most ads and run an ad-blocker. The compromise I'm leaning towards is showing google ads to guests but not logged-in users.

    5. Theme weeks is interesting. I'm going to have to brainstorm some themes, any suggestions? I plan on removing a lot of the current rules stickies and promoting a site-wide set of rules. The current draft is here. What is the difference between a permanent memes board and miscellaneous? Video is one of my higher priorities, including integrating the collection from DebateVision.com. My current conceptualization is as a separate app (in the sense that calendar is a separate app) with comments integrating into threads.

    6. Yeah, there's a long list of improvements that would be great. Following posters exists, but you have to visit their profile to do it. I've been experimenting with various chat systems including some that integrate video, but finding the right software is tricky. I'm also concerned that a chat might lead to the site being blocked from school networks. I think the reward outweighs the risk, though.

    7. This is very interesting. Lots of jobs get posted across a lot of different mediums, and none have really had success, so I've shied away from this idea. Integrating reviews of coaches and promoting smaller increments of coaching time might be a worthwhile differentiator.

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    Try to find ways to have Camps advertise this site as well and make yourselves more known to HS debaters.

    Also something cute you should do is have sponsered debaters where idk u give them deals on Evazon or hell even pay them to Rep Cross X with Stickers on thier laptops or Crates and maybe a cheeky pins.

    But ways you can better this site is find ways to have a Traditional Circuit voice here as well. 

    But these are just some thoughts with the help of my Econ Teacher 😄

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    Camp advertisements used to be the norm here, and it'll be returning, but camps don't typically advertise until early January.

    Sponsored debaters is interesting and a nice way of advertising the site generally. Stickers is a really old school thing that the site used to sell, and I've been toying with the idea of rebooting that. I'm thinking a contest of sorts for designing new ones with prizes for the winners. Stickers would probably be sold basically at cost, and bunches given out as free promos.

    I agree about traditional circuits. I bungled a lot of my response to your round with Ktyler. Debaters can be hotheads, myself included, and I've got to do a better job of mediating that. Instead of a separate commentary thread, I should have just shut that down and encouraged people to open new threads that weren't based on personal attacks. Disagreement is fine, hostility is not.

    I appreciate the thoughts!

    EDIT: I just noticed that I misread your point about camps and advertising, I got it reversed. As a broader goal, I'm hoping to improve the quality of the site enough that people want to refer debaters here, and working with camps has to be part of that. Advertising with camps makes more sense to me than generic ads.

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    On 9/14/2018 at 4:51 PM, David said:

    Thank you for your thoughts, that's a great list. Here's my general thinking at the moment about these idea:

    1. Payouts have been sent. I plan on sending a broader email to all Evazon authors this weekend. Part of the difficulty of recruiting college debaters is the perception of the site as a non-serious venue. College debaters would help improve that perception, but many don't want to contribute while that perception is low. The ole chicken/egg problem.

    2. I agree. There's a couple issues built into this one. First, a new group of moderators is needed. Typically this has been done through elections, but that has also led to Russian collusion gaming the system. I'm leaning towards appointing a small, core group for at least the short term. Second, what is an appropriate payment? I think this should probably scale depending on the success of the site, but I don't know what a reasonable range/number/percentage is.

    3. I'm not convinced that the site needs general advertisement as much as specific promotion of content like new files. At a minimum, I think some organic change and growth is necessary before general advertising in order for it to be effective. Advertising a ghost town probably won't lead to new, active users.

    4. I have gone back and forth about this since basically day 1. On the one hand, a steady revenue stream would make things like paying moderators much easier. On the other hand, as a user, I dislike most ads and run an ad-blocker. The compromise I'm leaning towards is showing google ads to guests but not logged-in users.

    5. Theme weeks is interesting. I'm going to have to brainstorm some themes, any suggestions? I plan on removing a lot of the current rules stickies and promoting a site-wide set of rules. The current draft is here. What is the difference between a permanent memes board and miscellaneous? Video is one of my higher priorities, including integrating the collection from DebateVision.com. My current conceptualization is as a separate app (in the sense that calendar is a separate app) with comments integrating into threads.

    6. Yeah, there's a long list of improvements that would be great. Following posters exists, but you have to visit their profile to do it. I've been experimenting with various chat systems including some that integrate video, but finding the right software is tricky. I'm also concerned that a chat might lead to the site being blocked from school networks. I think the reward outweighs the risk, though.

    7. This is very interesting. Lots of jobs get posted across a lot of different mediums, and none have really had success, so I've shied away from this idea. Integrating reviews of coaches and promoting smaller increments of coaching time might be a worthwhile differentiator.

    I think it's fantastic you're willing to revamp the site.  What's the timeline for implementing the changes?

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    It's tough to estimate with any precision. Some things are fairly easy (revamping sticky threads, theme weeks) while others are complicated (building a worthwhile videos section and integrated chat).

    What needs prioritization?

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    8 hours ago, David said:

    It's tough to estimate with any precision. Some things are fairly easy (revamping sticky threads, theme weeks) while others are complicated (building a worthwhile videos section and integrated chat).

    What needs prioritization?

    @maury's list not mine ... ask him

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    Honestly I think that was a good list. Start on some of the things that you think you can implement right now but also put out the ideas you have for the community, ie the sticker competition should be started soon for people to make as many stickers as they want. Long projects will take too long for those to be prioritized even if they would do a lot. Show that you are trying to push the site so that others can also invest their time and be secure in the knowledge that you won't leave, they will get paid, etc.

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    On 9/15/2018 at 4:57 PM, David said:

    Sponsored debaters is interesting and a nice way of advertising the site generally. Stickers is a really old school thing that the site used to sell, and I've been toying with the idea of rebooting that. I'm thinking a contest of sorts for designing new ones with prizes for the winners. Stickers would probably be sold basically at cost, and bunches given out as free promos.

    11/10 I'd buy it.

     

    On a side note, it kinda warms my heart to see ownership back. You done good David.

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