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What Improvements Could Be Made to Cross-x.com?

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What improvements would everyone like to see to cross-x?

 

Personally, I'd like to see a return of the Thursday File, and a version of Evazon that pays it's authors.

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get rid of the manhood academy debate troll

Honestly, I haven't seen him around since a few days ago. Don't wanna speak too soon, though.

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Give us a new supermod for dealing with trolls.

Chaos for SuperMod 2K17

 

Honestly a working version of Evazon would be great, especially considering that without it buying files is a mess 

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we should ban piece of shit faggot cucks on here who TYPE TOUGH BEHIND MOMMY'S KEYBOARD but are TOO SCARED and TOO FUCKING STUPID to live webcam debate. then you faggot crybabies would have nothing left to cry about LOLOLOLOL! 

guqqWU.jpg

 

i'm weirdly amused by the fact that you used baudrillbabe's picture. Keeping it fresh. i like it

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Honestly, I haven't seen him around since a few days ago. Don't wanna speak too soon, though.

You had to fucking say it Nick...

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soooooo funny how these pathetic faggot sissy bitch cowards are SCARED TO DEBATE LOLOLOOLOLOL! 

 

https://i.sli.mg/Wudzc9.jpgWudzc9.jpg

You do realize that usage of foul language isn't going to make any of us want to debate you, right? Why do you even care about this to begin with? What benefit do you even get if you win?

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Hey, I totally hear your feedback on the site and wanted to give some insight about what's going on behind the scenes. I have a feeling that a lot of people on the forums aren't super familiar with how the system works (I know I sure wasn't before I became a mod) and I think this is as good a place as any to give some insight. This is especially important given the manhood academy troll.

 

So there are three levels of users (technically four, which I'll touch on in a moment). First is the member, which is anyone with an account. Second is moderators, and what mods can do is sometimes a point of confusion for people because mods have localized power. Any mod can issue warnings to any member, with punishments ranging from a verbal warning to a permanent ban depending on the number of warning points associated with the infraction. However, we can only delete, move, lock, pin, and merge posts/threads in the specific subforum that we're a moderator of (for example, mine is Culture). This is why some threads stay up after a poster is banned, as the mod that did the banning may not necessarily have the power to remove the post. The technical third is supermods, but we currently don't have any and the last one we had was done within a year of me joining the site, so I'm not as clear on what their powers are. I know that they can do thread moderation for any subforum, but I don't know if they have any other powers or responsibilities.

 

Last is administrators, and this deserves a paragraph of its own. The site was initially administrated by Phil Kerpen, who is now a conservative hack at places like Fox and American Commitment. The leadership was passed down to two people who co-bought and co-ran the site, South-X and David. South-X eventually left, citing his professional life, leaving David as the sole administrator. We don't know how recently he's been around because he turned off his "last online" tracker on his profile page, but he hasn't posted since November 11, 2014. Thursday Files stopped happening because people stopped being paid, and the only one who can issue Evazon payments is the administrator. Mods are chosen by election, but the only level of user that can add and remove mods is the administrator, so we currently can't change mods or add a supermod. We also haven't had a mod election in years, so several mods are no longer active on the site. Those of us who are left are trying to do everything we can to salvage the site. Cross-x was a great resource for me when I was a debater, it gave me a sense of belonging and community that I really value and it gave me a soundboard for arguments that I could use to get better at the activity. It's important to me to try to preserve that as much as possible for future generations of debaters, but it feels like we're fighting a losing battle. I've been exploring other alternatives to these forums that might give us better tools to keep the community engagement up even if cross-x eventually is crushed under the weight of absent leadership. Facebook groups seem like an option worth exploring, since while it removes anonymity it also provides a space for conversation and a fresh start for finding active and engaged mods.

 

One final note on the troll--whoever it is, they're deliberately obscuring their IP address. An IP ban wouldn't be enough to stop it permanently, and mods don't have the ability to do one anyway. The regularly active mods have no choice but to play whack-a-mole whenever a new account pops up.

 

Happy new year, everyone!

 

That's a pretty sad situation, but thank you for taking the time to explain all that and for working to keep the site going. Happy new year!

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Forgot to mention this, but if anyone else has good ideas on possible cross-x alternatives totally feel free to post them here! I'm happy to take the lead in helping to re-form this community elsewhere if and when it becomes necessary.

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I don't check cross-x that often - although, in the past week, i've had to deal with reports and delete posts quite a bit for obvious reasons. I second everything The X Factor said on this note - the mods are in a bit of a bind here. 

 

The forums used to be browsed by a lot of people. Many of the purposes cross-x used to have - tournament invites, getting cites, talking smack privately, coaching position advertising, etc - have been supplanted by facebook, tabroom, and the wikis. Since these things made up much of the reason for the high traffic on cross-x in the early and mid 2ks, there are far fewer people on cross-x. This, consequently, means that there is less ad revenue, it's no longer all that profitable, and so there is less incentive for the owners to care - esp given that the supermod is unpaid and has no incentive to check cross-x. Plus, the rise in trolling gives cross-x a pretty bad name - it kind of becomes a joke at debate camps, and much of the college debate community still jokes about the forum. These things, of course, end up feeding back upon one another: more trolling means less people come to cross-x and that it gets a bad name in the community, which, consequently, means that there are fewer active leaders on cross-x, and so the trolling gets checked on less (and, hence, it becomes pretty easy for a troll's stale misogynistic memes to become the most recent post on the majority of forums). I know of many high school coaches that explicitly ban their students from posting on this board - it's time to make cross-x a more credible place for people to talk about debate. 

 

The board needs to be revamped to reflect that many of the regional forums are no longer necessary. Debate help should be expanded, boards to talk about recorded debates need to be expanded (we should have threads that do indebth studies on single debates - imho one of the most useful things one can do to improve on debate is to discuss "what if" questions while watching other debates), and there should be more active forums for specific arguments on each topic. I got a lot out of this forum during my first two or three years of debating - getting posters to give me indebth answers to my questions about debate gave me the stimulation that I needed to become more successful at debate, as someone without a coach my first year of debate. I know a lot of debaters who have had similar experiences with cross-x - some who have gone on to be TOC champions, even - but it doesn't seem like cross-x is getting that level of traffic anymore, due to trolls and an overall decline in the quality of commentary (which, again, feedback on one another). 

 

Cross-x should become more of an open-source, communal, online workshop - although, there should be unfixed definitions of teacher/student (I personally made a lot of gains as a debater by helping others, and I think that the older varsity debaters judging VDebates and responding to novice Q threads are probably learning a lot themselves). The "Red Pedagogy AC" thread that's going on right now is an example of what I'd like to see more of - people helping each other make their arguments the best they can be. It's a good thing for people to be exposed to different ideas - this is the case in talking about debate arguments, in analysing debates, or just even in asking simple questions about debate - which is why having more people on the board to talk about this stuff would be productive for both those asking questions and those responding to them. There aren't many "right answers" in debate, and having a board that catalogues how different people think about the same issue should be really helpful for someone in both shaping their own viewpoints, learning how to effectively adapt to judges, and getting into the mindset of thinking through how an argument will be played out when prepping it. This is why I think that cross-x is a great way to expose yourself to viewpoints other than your team's, your region's, or your coach's - and why coaches shouldn't tell their debaters to come on here. 

 

If I owned cross-x, I would attempt to reach out to qualified community members and pay them to do AMA-style question answering. This might cost some money, but it would easily be paid for by the ad revenue that camps pay, which would probably increase if we got more traffic. I think that this would be a good way to attempt to bring in more of the community and create a different name for cross-x, which, in turn, would bring in more people to talk about arguments, files, help, etc. 

 

Evazon also needs a revamping. Authors need to be paid, but that's the bare minimum revamp that needs to happen. It's time to forego Phil Kerpin's free marketeering idea to force the authors to sell as independent contractors. Evazon should operate like a journal of files - an editorial board should be paid to evaluate whether a file is of a sufficient quality to be sold, and a price should be set by someone other than the author (and then the author can choose to accept or reject the price, still getting 60% of the files bought). That way, we can do away with the sheer number of files that are functionally copy-paste jobs done by 17 year olds. Let's put quality above everything else so that Evazon can get some credibility - I think it'd get more users if that were to happen. 

 

FWIW, I don't wish to bemoan the olden days of cross-x (to be clear, I started here around the tail end of the peak of cross-x). There were still trolls, and there was a lot more smack talking and people mocking eachother. I think there are actually more threads where people are being helpful towards novices and people who need help than there were in the past - but a lot fewer people around to provide that commentary. 

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I don't check cross-x that often - although, in the past week, i've had to deal with reports and delete posts quite a bit for obvious reasons. I second everything The X Factor said on this note - the mods are in a bit of a bind here. 

 

The forums used to be browsed by a lot of people. Many of the purposes cross-x used to have - tournament invites, getting cites, talking smack privately, coaching position advertising, etc - have been supplanted by facebook, tabroom, and the wikis. Since these things made up much of the reason for the high traffic on cross-x in the early and mid 2ks, there are far fewer people on cross-x. This, consequently, means that there is less ad revenue, it's no longer all that profitable, and so there is less incentive for the owners to care - esp given that the supermod is unpaid and has no incentive to check cross-x. Plus, the rise in trolling gives cross-x a pretty bad name - it kind of becomes a joke at debate camps, and much of the college debate community still jokes about the forum. These things, of course, end up feeding back upon one another: more trolling means less people come to cross-x and that it gets a bad name in the community, which, consequently, means that there are fewer active leaders on cross-x, and so the trolling gets checked on less (and, hence, it becomes pretty easy for a troll's stale misogynistic memes to become the most recent post on the majority of forums). I know of many high school coaches that explicitly ban their students from posting on this board - it's time to make cross-x a more credible place for people to talk about debate. 

 

The board needs to be revamped to reflect that many of the regional forums are no longer necessary. Debate help should be expanded, boards to talk about recorded debates need to be expanded (we should have threads that do indebth studies on single debates - imho one of the most useful things one can do to improve on debate is to discuss "what if" questions while watching other debates), and there should be more active forums for specific arguments on each topic. I got a lot out of this forum during my first two or three years of debating - getting posters to give me indebth answers to my questions about debate gave me the stimulation that I needed to become more successful at debate, as someone without a coach my first year of debate. I know a lot of debaters who have had similar experiences with cross-x - some who have gone on to be TOC champions, even - but it doesn't seem like cross-x is getting that level of traffic anymore, due to trolls and an overall decline in the quality of commentary (which, again, feedback on one another). 

 

Cross-x should become more of an open-source, communal, online workshop - although, there should be unfixed definitions of teacher/student (I personally made a lot of gains as a debater by helping others, and I think that the older varsity debaters judging VDebates and responding to novice Q threads are probably learning a lot themselves). The "Red Pedagogy AC" thread that's going on right now is an example of what I'd like to see more of - people helping each other make their arguments the best they can be. It's a good thing for people to be exposed to different ideas - this is the case in talking about debate arguments, in analysing debates, or just even in asking simple questions about debate - which is why having more people on the board to talk about this stuff would be productive for both those asking questions and those responding to them. There aren't many "right answers" in debate, and having a board that catalogues how different people think about the same issue should be really helpful for someone in both shaping their own viewpoints, learning how to effectively adapt to judges, and getting into the mindset of thinking through how an argument will be played out when prepping it. This is why I think that cross-x is a great way to expose yourself to viewpoints other than your team's, your region's, or your coach's - and why coaches shouldn't tell their debaters to come on here. 

hey thats me

If I owned cross-x, I would attempt to reach out to qualified community members and pay them to do AMA-style question answering. This might cost some money, but it would easily be paid for by the ad revenue that camps pay, which would probably increase if we got more traffic. I think that this would be a good way to attempt to bring in more of the community and create a different name for cross-x, which, in turn, would bring in more people to talk about arguments, files, help, etc. 

 

Evazon also needs a revamping. Authors need to be paid, but that's the bare minimum revamp that needs to happen. It's time to forego Phil Kerpin's free marketeering idea to force the authors to sell as independent contractors. Evazon should operate like a journal of files - an editorial board should be paid to evaluate whether a file is of a sufficient quality to be sold, and a price should be set by someone other than the author (and then the author can choose to accept or reject the price, still getting 60% of the files bought). That way, we can do away with the sheer number of files that are functionally copy-paste jobs done by 17 year olds. Let's put quality above everything else so that Evazon can get some credibility - I think it'd get more users if that were to happen. 

 

FWIW, I don't wish to bemoan the olden days of cross-x (to be clear, I started here around the tail end of the peak of cross-x). There were still trolls, and there was a lot more smack talking and people mocking eachother. I think there are actually more threads where people are being helpful towards novices and people who need help than there were in the past - but a lot fewer people around to provide that commentary. 

All joking aside, I completely agree with Liam about all of this. Cross X definitely needs a revamp, or if not, then a replacement. I haven't been on these forums for long but I've already seen a lot of community here, old debaters and new, and I've learned a lot just from my few posts here, I can't imagine what this site was like in it's prime. I feel like we could learn a lot, incidentally, from the debate subs on reddit, in that on there I see a lot of the same great things I see on cross x, but with the added benefit of function.

Edited by AQuackDebater
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Forgot to mention this, but if anyone else has good ideas on possible cross-x alternatives totally feel free to post them here! I'm happy to take the lead in helping to re-form this community elsewhere if and when it becomes necessary.

I sent you a message.

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Realistically, I think we should probably just use /r/policydebate more. Starting a new website is more difficult.

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Does anyone know if there is a way to block some of these posts? Some sort of blacklist or something? 

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What if the Cross-X community held a free online debate camp when the new resolution is released? This is an idea I've been thinking about for a while, but I'd love to hear input. We could have some mods/coaches be lab leaders to produce an Aff/Neg and 1 other file with their lab, do practice Vdebates, hold online live chats about various parts of debate/the topic, and maybe even have a camp tournament at the end. That way, we gain credibility (because we're seen as productive) we gain website traffic (because, if nothing else, people want the files we produce) and we help people learn how to debate on the new topic at the same time.

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What if the Cross-X community held a free online debate camp when the new resolution is released? This is an idea I've been thinking about for a while, but I'd love to hear input. We could have some mods/coaches be lab leaders to produce an Aff/Neg and 1 other file with their lab, do practice Vdebates, hold online live chats about various parts of debate/the topic, and maybe even have a camp tournament at the end. That way, we gain credibility (because we're seen as productive) we gain website traffic (because, if nothing else, people want the files we produce) and we help people learn how to debate on the new topic at the same time.

I'd love to help out with something like that.

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What if the Cross-X community held a free online debate camp when the new resolution is released? This is an idea I've been thinking about for a while, but I'd love to hear input. We could have some mods/coaches be lab leaders to produce an Aff/Neg and 1 other file with their lab, do practice Vdebates, hold online live chats about various parts of debate/the topic, and maybe even have a camp tournament at the end. That way, we gain credibility (because we're seen as productive) we gain website traffic (because, if nothing else, people want the files we produce) and we help people learn how to debate on the new topic at the same time.

Great idea!
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The problem with a free online debate camp is the incentive structure. Your lab leaders have very little drive to produce content so it drops off quick. More importantly the debaters most often feel like they have no skin in the game and will stop participating.

 

A tournament is soundly out of the question (just trust me this) but file workshops, mentor office hours (think something like 1 hour consults), organization of public lectures and files, stuff like thathat could easily be put together to create a sort of free camp, or at least stand in for a camp experience. Given my experience with the DDC, I'd be happy to work on something like this for the cross-x community.

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The problem with a free online debate camp is the incentive structure. Your lab leaders have very little drive to produce content so it drops off quick. More importantly the debaters most often feel like they have no skin in the game and will stop participating.

 

A tournament is soundly out of the question (just trust me this) but file workshops, mentor office hours (think something like 1 hour consults), organization of public lectures and files, stuff like thathat could easily be put together to create a sort of free camp, or at least stand in for a camp experience. Given my experience with the DDC, I'd be happy to work on something like this for the cross-x community.

I didn't attend DDC, but I had Maury as a lab leader at Baylor and 10/10 would recommend. (throwback to Oso lab)

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