Got a Debate to Ignite? 5 Dedicated Online Debate Services Compared

It’s the communications revolution of the Internet that made it successful in the first place, it’s also the communications evolution that defined the rising of Web 2.0.  Debate has always been one of the most popular forms of communication that people reside to in order to resolve conflicts and share information.

People have always utilized every possible available platform to debate one another; face to face, phones, emails, message boards, blogs, and now twitter – all have been means for communication and debate. But are there any dedicated platforms for debate online?

We did our research, thinking that there should be many good debate websites out there, only to find out that there are only a few:

All 5 Debate Platforms Traffic compared at Compete.com

All 5 Debate Platforms Traffic compared at Compete.com

1. Debate.org: It is a sophisticated membership-based online debating platform  designed to provide an easy and free system to intellectually challenge, debate and communicate on the Web. The debate is cut into rounds where two contenders present their arguments. Votes can only be cast when the debate is over. It is good that they have such rounds and time limits for each one, but we feel that it would be better if they allow people to vote before the time is up, and also to show people’s comments right below the arguments instead of in a separate tab.

The core strength of debate.org lies in its social networking options which include adding friends, challenging others, exchanging messages between members and sharing debates with other social networks platforms. It has also an addictive nature due to the point and trophy system they carry.

The weakness they have is that they do not offer any widgets or plugins to embed debates on your own site. They also require membership from users, even if you just want to add a simple comment.

2. ConvinceMe: It offers three main types for debate; Open, Battle and King of the Hill. For the Open debate, there are no main contenders, someone just presents a topic and people either argue with or against it. For the battle, there are two main contenders, they present evidence, arguments and people can comment. The winner of the debate takes all the points. For the KOTH, anyone can present an argument, and people vote for all arguments, the one which gets the highest votes, collects all the points.

ConvinceMe offers some decent social networking options that include adding friends, exchanging messages and challenging others. It also offers a widget to add to one’s own website, but in my opinion, this widget is very primitave, that we didn’t even use it on our blog for our previous debate article. Furthermore, ConvinceMe really misses a proper categorization of debates (beside the categories cloud), and a better user interface. I think they can do better.

ConvinceMe Screenshot

ConvinceMe screenshot

3. CreateDebate:  It wins in terms of the user interface as it offers a clean and slick one. All organized in a neat way which gives every section of the website its share of views. It offers the best social networking experience with its layout and customization options like the ones offered by the Facebook.  Categorization of debates and people are simple, clear and innovative.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a real “head-to-head” option. It is more about group debates rather than one-on-one. That makes it more like a social networking platform with debating options – like Reddit – rather than a dedicated debate platform.

4. Debatewise: It’s a debate platform aiming to build a universal debate wiki-style encyclopedia. It has a simple interface to allow people to agree or disagree and give their opinion about a certain debate topic. Unfortunately, their social networking features seem to be limited to their Karma point board. All in all, it’s one of the most active debate platforms we encountered.

DebateWise screenshot

DebateWise screenshot

5. DailyArgue: If you are looking for the fastest and easiest way to get into a debate then this is where you should go. It offers a very simple interface with very little options. You can even vote and add to arguments without signing in to the system. It can be cool to pass sometime, but it gets boring very fast as it has very little to offer. That’s my opinion, at least!

Some news sites offer debates too, but these are organized by them and not anyone with a debate to start. Such as: BusinessWeek and The Economist.

Conclusion & an Open Question directed at our readers:

There are very few platforms that are dedicated to online debate. What does this mean? Is there an area that is yet to be conquered? Or is it just that people are satisfied with using other platforms they have on hand? Are you satisfied with the available debates options?

Comments and Reactions

  • Jad

    I tried to register with Debate.org and I got this message

    It appears that you are attempting to access Debate.org from a region we consider high risk. Due to the overwhelming volume of spam and/or scams that originate in your area, we are unable to provide you access to Debate.org at this time. We do this in order to protect the other members. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please send us your comments.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    Hmm, so it's also a clearly biased debate system, too! What kind of debate system is that?

    Where are you located, Jad?

  • johnsparsky

    You might want to update this post to include Argumentum as well. Argumentum is a debate/argument service based on argumentation theory, behavioral economics and neural networks, but its sophistication is hidden behind a common sense exterior. Its real easy to use, and is completely integrated with Google, Blogger, Twitter and Facebook. You can also argue using Argumentum using email. Its real innovation lies in the structure's natural inclination towards breaking down arguments point by point, generating more stimulating debate. There's a brief tutorial here: http://arg.umentum.com/about. It's definately worth a shot.

  • jadmadi

    Jordan

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    Hello mate, your site seems to be very young time-wise to be included in our list. I just check your ranking on Compete, Alexa and Quantcast, and found no record of your site.
    If it becomes an active enough debate platform, please let us know and we'll sure look into reviewing it on our blog. Best of luck :)

  • johnsparsky

    Thanks, sure its a new site. I will surely let you know when that happens. You might also want to remove “DailyArgue”, as it no longer exists.

  • http://www.debatepopular.blogspot.com Juliocefer

    Excellent article, I think it is an area that has yet to be explored. I know because I write a blog called http://www.debatepopular.blogspot.com and more or less I can see the reactions that take the reader into this segment of the internet a few years ago. Very good article and in my opinion I prefer the first.

  • Livedebating Com

    check out this cool debate platform http://livedebating.com/
    it's different then all the others – this debate platform is in real time with webcams

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