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Johnathan

The History and State of Cross-x.com

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I have been wondering for a while what the history of Cross-x.com is and what happened to it. Apparently no one has spoken to the owner in a long time and at some point a bunch of evidence authors got ripped off. What happened to this owner? Why are there old posts about Cross-x "not being dead"? Was cross-x much larger at some point and if so what happened?

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People consider cross-x dead because it isn't as lively anymore and that people don't really use it.

What happened? Also I see some old posts about mod elections, what were those?

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I joined cross-x about a decade ago.  During that time threads would regularly get to 100+ replies.  College debaters, HS coaches, and other extremely qualified and talented people frequented the site regularly to provide advice, chat with each other, and otherwise produce content for free on the forum.  Cross-x was THE place to go if you were young and didn't know a ton about debate as you could find ample discussion on any given topic.  There was a relatively large moderator squad who were very active, so there were fewer duplicate threads and shitposts.  There were still some shitposts, but your posts generally had to be solid or you'd get ripped by others.  During this time Evazon was very active and authors were paid regularly. 

 

Then Phil Kerpen sold the site.  It was sold to Ross Garrett who is by all accounts a good dude, very responsible, and generally ran the site well.  However, at this point Facebook has started to take off along with a multitude of other platforms for talking to debaters across the country.  Coaches started to backlash against Cross-x as the content quality declined, debaters were more likely than ever to get in trouble for things they posted online, and the website started to get a bit of a juvenile reputation. Interestingly, this was also the exact time the Digital Debate Camp began as we tried to purchase the site ourselves as a sort of integrated platform.  Had we outbid Ross, the site would currently host free lectures, sample files, and other goodies to encourage traffic.  Alas, we did not win the bid but at the time it seemed fine because Ross was so great.  Evazon authors at this point could request payments at any time and would receive them via paypal within days.  

 

As with all good things, the Ross times were quick to end.  I'm not really sure why he left, but he did, and instead of holding an open auction for the site he gave it to someone (who I know has been named somewhere but not on the site, and not publicly). Since then there has been 1 Evazon payment (maybe 2 and I'm forgetting one) which came after months with no contact, no information, no transition plan, nothing.  When that payment occurred we were promised that we would return to a regular payment system.  We were promised accountability.  We were promised visibility.  None of that has come to fruition.  As a result, and I've said this many times before, the website has entered a positive feedback loop of exodus.  If you don't pay Evazon authors they have no incentive to post in the forums to prove their credibility and drum up interest in their product.  If you don't have experienced, qualified debaters posting on the forum the quality of advice declines and fewer people are interested in coming here to post on the forums.  Fewer debaters means fewer sales means fewer Evazon authors and the cycle is complete.  

 

From here the website can go in 3 directions.  First, maintain the status quo and the site has at best a few years before it's a complete ghost town.  Second, the owner (or whoever) can return to the site like they did once before only this time actually check in on us regularly.  Even monthly Evazon payments would be sufficient to get me back to writing files.  Ya'll love that DnG file so much, but you have no idea the amount of cool shit I've got up my sleeve.  Over time, I imagine even more authors would return and the site would steadily improve, even if it could never reach the peak 2005-6 times. Third, the owner sells the site and someone else picks it up, which could go in any number of directions.  I'd personally prefer the second option - we literally just need this person to press some buttons and prove they aren't robbing authors blind. 

Honestly, I wish you'd won the bid. Isn't the site run by username "David" at this point?

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I joined cross-x about a decade ago.  During that time threads would regularly get to 100+ replies.  College debaters, HS coaches, and other extremely qualified and talented people frequented the site regularly to provide advice, chat with each other, and otherwise produce content for free on the forum.  Cross-x was THE place to go if you were young and didn't know a ton about debate as you could find ample discussion on any given topic.  There was a relatively large moderator squad who were very active, so there were fewer duplicate threads and shitposts.  There were still some shitposts, but your posts generally had to be solid or you'd get ripped by others.  During this time Evazon was very active and authors were paid regularly. 

 

Then Phil Kerpen sold the site.  It was sold to Ross Garrett who is by all accounts a good dude, very responsible, and generally ran the site well.  However, at this point Facebook has started to take off along with a multitude of other platforms for talking to debaters across the country.  Coaches started to backlash against Cross-x as the content quality declined, debaters were more likely than ever to get in trouble for things they posted online, and the website started to get a bit of a juvenile reputation. Interestingly, this was also the exact time the Digital Debate Camp began as we tried to purchase the site ourselves as a sort of integrated platform.  Had we outbid Ross, the site would currently host free lectures, sample files, and other goodies to encourage traffic.  Alas, we did not win the bid but at the time it seemed fine because Ross was so great.  Evazon authors at this point could request payments at any time and would receive them via paypal within days.  

 

As with all good things, the Ross times were quick to end.  I'm not really sure why he left, but he did, and instead of holding an open auction for the site he gave it to someone (who I know has been named somewhere but not on the site, and not publicly). Since then there has been 1 Evazon payment (maybe 2 and I'm forgetting one) which came after months with no contact, no information, no transition plan, nothing.  When that payment occurred we were promised that we would return to a regular payment system.  We were promised accountability.  We were promised visibility.  None of that has come to fruition.  As a result, and I've said this many times before, the website has entered a positive feedback loop of exodus.  If you don't pay Evazon authors they have no incentive to post in the forums to prove their credibility and drum up interest in their product.  If you don't have experienced, qualified debaters posting on the forum the quality of advice declines and fewer people are interested in coming here to post on the forums.  Fewer debaters means fewer sales means fewer Evazon authors and the cycle is complete.  

 

From here the website can go in 3 directions.  First, maintain the status quo and the site has at best a few years before it's a complete ghost town.  Second, the owner (or whoever) can return to the site like they did once before only this time actually check in on us regularly.  Even monthly Evazon payments would be sufficient to get me back to writing files.  Ya'll love that DnG file so much, but you have no idea the amount of cool shit I've got up my sleeve.  Over time, I imagine even more authors would return and the site would steadily improve, even if it could never reach the peak 2005-6 times. Third, the owner sells the site and someone else picks it up, which could go in any number of directions.  I'd personally prefer the second option - we literally just need this person to press some buttons and prove they aren't robbing authors blind. 

I believe their identity has been exposed here:  https://www.cross-x.com/topic/60128-pay-evazon-authors/?p=928010

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I joined cross-x about a decade ago.  During that time threads would regularly get to 100+ replies.  College debaters, HS coaches, and other extremely qualified and talented people frequented the site regularly to provide advice, chat with each other, and otherwise produce content for free on the forum.  Cross-x was THE place to go if you were young and didn't know a ton about debate as you could find ample discussion on any given topic.  There was a relatively large moderator squad who were very active, so there were fewer duplicate threads and shitposts.  There were still some shitposts, but your posts generally had to be solid or you'd get ripped by others.  During this time Evazon was very active and authors were paid regularly. 

 

Then Phil Kerpen sold the site.  It was sold to Ross Garrett who is by all accounts a good dude, very responsible, and generally ran the site well.  However, at this point Facebook has started to take off along with a multitude of other platforms for talking to debaters across the country.  Coaches started to backlash against Cross-x as the content quality declined, debaters were more likely than ever to get in trouble for things they posted online, and the website started to get a bit of a juvenile reputation. Interestingly, this was also the exact time the Digital Debate Camp began as we tried to purchase the site ourselves as a sort of integrated platform.  Had we outbid Ross, the site would currently host free lectures, sample files, and other goodies to encourage traffic.  Alas, we did not win the bid but at the time it seemed fine because Ross was so great.  Evazon authors at this point could request payments at any time and would receive them via paypal within days.  

 

As with all good things, the Ross times were quick to end.  I'm not really sure why he left, but he did, and instead of holding an open auction for the site he gave it to someone (who I know has been named somewhere but not on the site, and not publicly). Since then there has been 1 Evazon payment (maybe 2 and I'm forgetting one) which came after months with no contact, no information, no transition plan, nothing.  When that payment occurred we were promised that we would return to a regular payment system.  We were promised accountability.  We were promised visibility.  None of that has come to fruition.  As a result, and I've said this many times before, the website has entered a positive feedback loop of exodus.  If you don't pay Evazon authors they have no incentive to post in the forums to prove their credibility and drum up interest in their product.  If you don't have experienced, qualified debaters posting on the forum the quality of advice declines and fewer people are interested in coming here to post on the forums.  Fewer debaters means fewer sales means fewer Evazon authors and the cycle is complete.  

 

From here the website can go in 3 directions.  First, maintain the status quo and the site has at best a few years before it's a complete ghost town.  Second, the owner (or whoever) can return to the site like they did once before only this time actually check in on us regularly.  Even monthly Evazon payments would be sufficient to get me back to writing files.  Ya'll love that DnG file so much, but you have no idea the amount of cool shit I've got up my sleeve.  Over time, I imagine even more authors would return and the site would steadily improve, even if it could never reach the peak 2005-6 times. Third, the owner sells the site and someone else picks it up, which could go in any number of directions.  I'd personally prefer the second option - we literally just need this person to press some buttons and prove they aren't robbing authors blind. 

Wow, hopefully the site can recover, did any other sites pop up and take the old Cross-x's place? I know duhbait was a thing but it doesn't seem that large.

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Honestly, I wish you'd won the bid. Isn't the site run by username "David" at this point?

 

We got crushed in the bid and at that point in my life I probably would have run the site into the ground. So I'd give it a 50/50.

 

Wow, hopefully the site can recover, did any other sites pop up and take the old Cross-x's place? I know duhbait was a thing but it doesn't seem that large.

The problem is that online activity is heavily dispersed. Between a handful of major facebook groups, twitter, reddit, even just mass cell phone access, cross-x can't hold onto that much of a market. Seriously in 2005 it was REALLY hard to contact someone across the country and cross-x was one of the only places debaters could get together and chat.  The region boards, for example, were POPPIN. I made some of my longest lasting friendships (and enemyships) on that region forum...and now it's dead. However, cross-x has something important: it has nostalgia, name recognition, and sticky users.  The name is synonymous with "internet debate" and dominates google searches. Evazon alone should legally qualify as a debate archive, where you can literally see the evolution of debate over the last decade by sales numbers alone.  But it's the user base that matters most.  People come here and then come back again and again because debates require argumentation.  You can't do that nearly as well on facebook or other sites because of the character limits of inability to host multiple images etc.  This place is great for that.  

 

I can summarize everything that makes this site valuable in 1 word: Ritz.

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I have been wondering for a while what the history of Cross-x.com is and what happened to it. Apparently no one has spoken to the owner in a long time and at some point a bunch of evidence authors got ripped off. What happened to this owner? Why are there old posts about Cross-x "not being dead"? Was cross-x much larger at some point and if so what happened?

Nowadays I think that openevidence is kind of destroying the need for cross-x more and more. There are also other sources of debate help now like the NDCA website and people's wikis. Along with that other places are giving things that are similar to cross-x like Millenial.

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The biggest draw cross-x had for me was the community focus. I (along with Steven) competed in central Texas, and every weekend there would be a thread posted for each local tournament. Trash would be talked, drama would be exposed, and competitors would discuss new arguments at the tournament. Some time around 2008, those weekly threads stopped. I'm not sure what changed, but that was long before the sale or anything else. The community had already moved on and Kerpin was pretty smart to sell the site when he did.

 

Current threads for UIL State are smaller than many threads for local Austin and San Antonio tournaments from 10 years ago.

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