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A History of Cross-x.com

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Colin (Rawrcat) and I are interested in trying to develop a full history of cross-x.com available so that new members can look back and see what it used to be like, but also so that it can be used for good ole' nostalgia.

Also: curiosity.

 

It ought to be chronological, so if we could find the oldest member of cross-x and get them to tell as far back as they can remember, that'd be awesome.

C'mon fogeys, we know you're out there.

 

You guys know the drill.

Thanks to Ryan, by the way, for modding the trolling on this thread.

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We should make a list of topics to discuss. We should also divide the history into different eras.

 

stuff for the modern era

The Leper Wars redux

Andrew Casso's transformation into Clifford

Hadoken / Red Spy

 

I think Tommy Ferguson deserves a section.

Edited by Chaos

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Did the 4-power wars pre-shutdown in 2004 actually happen? Because a chronicle of that would be awesome.

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Some more topics:

Yellowtail

 

Yes. But only if you refer to it as the "Yellowtail-Ticketgate Affair"

I may be amenable to changing affair to scandal or dropping the word entirely.

But it just sounds so Harlequin this way.

 

so if we could find the oldest member of cross-x and get them to tell as far back as they can remember, that'd be awesome.

 

I believe that distinction would go to me as all 16 of the people who joined before me are dead, in jail, in Gitmo for crimes against the state, or just stopped caring about cross-x. Not necessarily in that order.

Edited by Ankur
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Yes. But only if you refer to it as the "Yellowtail-Ticketgate Affair"

I may be amenable to changing affair to scandal or dropping the word entirely.

But it just sounds so Harlequin this way.

 

 

 

I believe that distinction would go to me as all 16 of the people who joined before me are dead, in jail, in Gitmo for crimes against the state, or just stopped caring about cross-x. Not necessarily in that order.

 

Then the job falls to you to begin our history book. This is going to be awesome.

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Whats to tell? Oren (Nero) started the site.

 

There was a golden are of utility. People came and went but the site provided provided an opportunity to learn about debate, specific arguments, techniques etc. This was an era during which there was little need for a "misc" forum or a "hole" as the site was largely educational. The big players during this time were: Rabidbadger, berg, Suni, crowley, Allison, mustang, me, synchro, strobl, mapman, mitch, eapen, scott fshs, the infamous Scu, eback, tomak, justin and a few others.

 

Next, circa 2000-2002 came the era of popularity. Across the country, Cross-x was the "in" thing. Judges and competitors were known by their cross-x handles. You'd show up to a tournament and debaters would be like "Oh, you're Scu. Awesome." Debaters bought cross-x.com bumper stickers for their tubs. Camps began advertising on the site, evidence began being sold/traded and groups formed block-cutting groups.

 

With popularity and an absurd growth rate in members came the immaturity of high school students and around the 2003-2004 time period, there was a lengthy discussion about bringing the site back to its roots of educational value. Unfortunately, a burgeoning number of trolls, gimmick accounts, and non-contributors managed to sink the idea like the iceberg that killed Titanic. Many of us stood around on the decks, watching the crumbling ship fill with water and knew it was doomed. There was no hope.

 

2005-2007 ushered in the era of massive trollery, the misc forum was quite easily the most popular forum. Moderators still did a fine job of weeding out the clutter in topic specific fora, but it was a losing battle. A number of the old timers who had since graduated both high school and college and yet were still making regular appearances left the site.

 

2008 provided a brief experiment in revitalization - the virtual debate. I judged a few rounds early on, but the rounds slowly atrophied into nonsensical drivel as there was no incentive to actually participate in the process. This would be the time of the last hurrah.

 

And ever since, the site has steadily lost value as a resource, as a tool of social networking, and everything else. Through repeated crashes, hacks, lost posts, ever more trolls, and so on, the site is now a shell of what it once was.

 

 

Along the way, there have been epic story lines. But over time, the site fades further and further into irrelevance. The other thread on this very same subject pretty much covers the list of epic story lines. And Yellowtail-ticketgate was probably one of the funniest things to ever happen on this site. Other than universal Tommy-hate.

Edited by Ankur
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What's the history of the super-modship stuff? How did all of that get decided?

 

Also: I don't know much about the actual origins of the site. You said Oren (Nero) started the site, but I have no idea who that is. When did Kerpen come into the picture? Who's Oren?

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Oren was just a guy with a vision and the stones to get the project rolling in 1999. You have to remember that back in 1999, most people still paid for internet access by the hour. It was a different breed of people during that time largely because everyone there saw potential and wanted to make it work. So his project took off largely because the people who were on the internet at the time understood the potential of the internet as it applied to debate, and not just the site. We users WANTED the site to be great and we devoted much time to writing arguments and critiquing them and doing all manner of things just in the spirit of giving back to the debate community which had given us so much. This was especially true of the former competitors like myself who had long since left the competitive arena.

 

I honestly don't remember where Oren is from or exactly when Kerpen bought the site. If I had to guess, I would think Kerpen bought the site around 2001-2002.

 

Once there were many fora, and the membership swelled with regular posters, Oren started elections for moderators. Eventually there was an expansion of the fora from topic specific + garbage to region specific, coaching, judging as well. At some point, there became the need for Supermod to run the daily operations of the site. I would guess the supermod position came about probably around the same time that Kerpen took over.

Edited by Ankur
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Oren was just a guy with a vision and the stones to get the project rolling in 1999. You have to remember that back in 1999, most people still paid for internet access by the hour. It was a different breed of people during that time largely because everyone there saw potential and wanted to make it work. So his project took off largely because the people who were on the internet at the time understood the potential of the internet as it applied to debate, and not just the site. We users WANTED the site to be great and we devoted much time to writing arguments and critiquing them and doing all manner of things just in the spirit of giving back to the debate community which had given us so much. This was especially true of the former competitors like myself who had long since left the competitive arena.

 

I honestly don't remember where Oren is from or exactly when Kerpen bought the site. If I had to guess, I would think Kerpen bought the site around 2001-2002.

 

Once there were many fora, and the membership swelled with regular posters, Oren started elections for moderators. Eventually there was an expansion of the fora from topic specific + garbage to region specific, coaching, judging as well. At some point, there became the need for Supermod to run the daily operations of the site. I would guess the supermod position came about probably around the same time that Kerpen took over.

 

Well obviously the supermod position has a lot of politics behind it. Was Mat always the supermod? How did that get decided and who wanted it?

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If you sort the member's list by number of posts, you will see that the vast majority of the most active members all joined around the same time 1999-2003. Many of us have remained active over the years, but most have left the site for various reasons, not the least of which is the presence of trollery.

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Well obviously the supermod position has a lot of politics behind it. Was Mat always the supermod? How did that get decided and who wanted it?

 

i believe the first ever moderatorships were appointed by nero. but soon thereafter, elections for 6 month terms. and for a while, mat being half troll himself, had a number of gimmick accounts which he used to swell his elections results. thus began the sham of most elections to begin with. pretty much the only elections that were pure and free of elections fraud were the region specific ones.

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i believe the first ever moderatorships were appointed by nero. but soon thereafter, elections for 6 month terms. and for a while, mat being half troll himself, had a number of gimmick accounts which he used to swell his elections results. thus began the sham of most elections to begin with. pretty much the only elections that were pure and free of elections fraud were the region specific ones.

 

What happened to Nero? Did he leave like the rest of the elders?

 

No one ever... called Mat on fraud? Couldn't the IP's of his gimmick's be traced and their votes discounted?

 

Also: what happened to Mat? We never really see him post any more unless it's election time.

 

Side note: what do we have to do to rebuild this site like it used to be? Is there a way to restore Cross-x to its former glory?

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No one ever... called Mat on fraud? Couldn't the IP's of his gimmick's be traced and their votes discounted?

Oh, that happened. No one really cared. I remember it came up when Krebs and Wiley were running against him in the supermod race several years ago. Mat has always had massive support from the troll population who all have more accounts than everyone else. Plus, kerpen didn't really care.

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Once Nero sold the site, he was gone.

 

Everyone called Mat out on fraud. But with dynamic IP addresses, we would first need to cross-link users to the same IP and then sort out which users are legitimate (e.g. multiple students could be accessing the site from a single IP at school) and which ones were illegitimate. And who has the time for that when you consider the sheer number of trolls and gimmick accounts? Kerpen sure as heck wasn't going to do it - that's the sort of job for the Supermod to sort out. Hence why it has turned from elections to dictatorship for life.

 

I have no idea what Mat is up to these days. I don't really keep in touch with him even on FB.

 

I spoke briefly with the new owners of the site and gave them my unsolicited two cents. In my opinion, there is no resuscitating the site without a complete reboot and subsequent imposition of draconian law by moderators who are committed to the project. Zero tolerance for trolling and off-topic discussions. I also suggested that the moderators be recruited from the pool of talented rising juniors and seniors, have them write relevant articles for the site and spur real discussion. They would have an opportunity to fulfill the site's mission in being perpetually student-run and student-influenced. In retrospect, I regret that I spent many years post-college graduation as a moderator because I ought to have passed on the reins to someone younger. I figure, the students can make a little money, do something for the site, gain some experience in a different capacity (and one that might help them land eventual jobs at camps) and everyone wins. The problem is likely that as the trollery gets worse, site downtime worsens, the advertising revenue and evazon sales fall probably putting a serious stranglehold on the cash flow with which to support my ideas. Unfortunately, such ideas defeat the unique webspace that cross-x.com occupies in debate on the Internet.

Edited by Ankur

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These were my suggestions from the other thread:

Things i feel might be worthy :

yellowtail

the story of *

RITZ or GTFO

the epic love of luke and aubrey

And homages to some of the departed (Ali, Burns, Scu, etc. )

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I think from my experience one of the most important single events was the purge. Obviously this has been discussed frequently but for young members who don't know it the story is worth retelling.

 

To my understanding in the mid-2000's increased usership (and trolling) had created an explosion in the demand on the site. There were lots of problems with the site. One solution was to eliminate older threads to help alleviate the problem. This was done by Kerpen.

 

The big problem this created is that many old timers had invested a lot of time in some of those threads and enjoyed being able to come back to them and reminisce. This was great because they would often stop by contemporary threads and add their wisdom. The Purge basically also purged a lot of prominent users, and made the way clear for the epic trolling years.

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I think from my experience one of the most important single events was the purge. Obviously this has been discussed frequently but for young members who don't know it the story is worth retelling.

 

To my understanding in the mid-2000's increased usership (and trolling) had created an explosion in the demand on the site. There were lots of problems with the site. One solution was to eliminate older threads to help alleviate the problem. This was done by Kerpen.

 

The big problem this created is that many old timers had invested a lot of time in some of those threads and enjoyed being able to come back to them and reminisce. This was great because they would often stop by contemporary threads and add their wisdom. The Purge basically also purged a lot of prominent users, and made the way clear for the epic trolling years.

Yeah, the purge also cleared out a lot of substantive threads (CX-related as well as many of NDD's finest threads on everything from religion to drilling in ANWR) that the users involved have neither the time nor the inclination to re-create.

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[picture deleted: the admin deleted it earlier. I defer.-Coolmew]

 

Posted this earlier this afternoon. Got modded? But seriously...why? This picture communicates more than 1000 words could about The Affair.

Edited by King of All Cosmos

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I love the idea of a history of Cross-X.com, and support the idea. However, it is not acceptable to embed images that were graphic enough to be their own historical event.

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