Sunday, August 5, 2007

Debate News Sources Proliferate

The purpose of this website is the use of the news feeds on the right. I survey them daily and take stories for the Global Debate Blog. Once a month, however, I do post some commentary here about the process of gathering news about debating.

Since I moved to with the Global Debate Blog, other sites have also come over and started doing the same sorts of news circulation that I am.

One is the World Debating Website organized by Colm Flynn. He has been running a different blog site and I think was also attracted to the ease of using Blogspot. The site has a lot of good information but tends to have a preference for information about international parliamentary debating. There is also a nice news feed at the site that I check out regularly.

Another is the Asian Debate website at
which is organized be Rashedul Hasan Stalin of Bangladesh. A very active debate promoter, this site is designed to "see debate through the eyes of Asia." Given how explosive the growth of debating in Asia has been recently, this is an excellent idea. He and I have cooperated and shared links and publicity, and I congratulate him on his work.

I am glad to see this taking place.

First, we are not competitors. We are all trying to promote debating and share information, and the better job we all do the better off debating will be.

Second, we can help each other. Stalin sends messages to a variety of listservs about his stories. I used to do that every month but got harsh emails from some people who didn't want to hear about debate events in the USA (hello Australia) so I stopped. I will occasionally send some emails to some lists if I think a story specifically interests them. Stalin has also sent a number of emails about my stories from both the Global Debate Blog and other sites I have, such as Flashpoint Television I look forward to meeting Colm in Malaysia later this year and hope to strike up a cooperative relationship.

Third, I sometimes will take a story from them. I cannot say that they do the same from me, and it might just be that we find the same story, but we have had some appear on the Global Debate Blog and then on one of their sites. No problem. I usually will take a story from them if it is also circulated by email (like Stalin's Tibetan Buddhism debating story) or if it just looks too good to pass up. However, if it is marked as an "exclusive" I will not take it, with an example being the Red Mosque of Pakistan debate story

Fourth, someday I want to have a discussion with them about how they find stories. We might want to exchange some tricks of the trade as to how we find out content. For me it is often the first thing I do in he morning as I troll for debate stories. This website is one that I use to find some of them. We shall see.

In any case, another month down (July) and a lot more debate stories to circulate. I have been pleased with the number of debate stories available during the northern hemisphere summer, so it looks like we can sustain a 12-month news cycle.

Good luck to all of these stalwart debate supporters.

1 comment:

Colm said...

Hi Alfred,
I agree that we should open lines of communication to better optimize how we share info and promote debating. We more than likely have overlap on our readership (the largest "country hits" I get on my tracker is from the US).

However I expect there are also a lot of readers who only visit one of the sites.

The recent, shall we say, "issue" with the Red Mosque post on my site shows that while we would like to think that debaters are more open minded and informed than the average person some cultural barriers still remain between the debaters of US, Europe and Asia.

I agree we're not competitors (although I’m sure we will still all try to beat each other on announcing the breaking news but that sort of competition is good for the end user). I don't generally copy posts from your site or Stalin's. When I have they tend to be invitations to events that I believe deserve publicity. When I have sourced an article at a site I've listed the source.

If there is an interesting article on one of the sites I put it onto the News Feed section to link people to the article at its original home.

While I would argue that I was on Blogger since 2005 and therefore it is I who should welcome you and Stalin to the format ;-) I will admit to joining you and Stalin in using news feed sources such as google reader and yahoo. I have around 170 feeds on google reader and at least 100 of these are debating.

That said a significant number of updates still come in on e-mail either directly or from the many mailing lists I've joined over the years (e.g. today’s post from Jens).

I would like to see us as members of the same media "family". The analogy of CNN-US, CNN-Europe and CNN-Asia springs to mind as it's on the TV in the corner. Perhaps this idea of affiliates or members of a group of quality debate blogs is something we can work on to help promote all the sites.

I'll send you an e-mail to start things off.


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