As part of the 2008 Toronto Wiki Tuesdays Guest Speaker Series, Adrian Fritsch (Software Consultant and founder of debatum.org) will lead discussions at Toronto Wiki Tuesday at Epicure Cafe. This is a cross-posting. Here's Adrian's event description:
What: Toronto Wiki Tuesdays: using Wikis to Debate
To form a well-reasoned opinion, you need the best arguments on different sides of a debate. Wikipedia stresses neutral point of view and so make it's content hard to contrast with your current understanding. While every wiki houses content, a method is needed to help the community express contrasting opinions.
The Debatum solution
Debatum is a wiki with a method that guides uses to document and interconnect arguments. Examples it uses include debating controversial issues such as:
Can computers think?
When is a declaration of independence reasonable?
Does God Exist?
Should there be Net Neutrality?
Debatum overlays a methodology over the wiki to encourage the growth of disparate viewpoints to inform and persuade readers. This provides users to enrich the arguments and powerfully inform and influence others.
While Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, Debatum wants to be an interconnect of arguments, ideas, and lines of thought. While Wikipedia stresses a Neutral Point of view, Debatum's goal is to write the best arguments of each side and include weak, yet popular arguments together with (strong) counter-arguments. Unlike Wikipedia, which accepts content only if it is written outside, Debatum seeks to mesh arguments with original thinking from participants.
Debatum's goal is to well-thought-out opinions, rather than to facilitate "winning"; debates. Debatum's motto is "Knowledge by debate".
We will discuss other attempts to approach online debates (wiki-based or not) and compare them to Debatum.
We ask whether Wiki is actually the ideal format for documenting debates.
We question whether (controversial) subjects be learned faster from a "debating construct"; instead of a "plain"; layout?
We discuss whether a wiki format discourages rhetoric and ask whether this is a good thing.
After Adrian's talk we'll turn the conversation to the audience to discuss how, where and why Wikis are usually used in Politics and in what ways Debatum offers something new. Expect a lively discussion of the opportunities and resistance to wikis in politics.
Interested in the topic? Got an opinion or unique use of a wiki? Or just interested to network? Come join our community.
Parties interested in expression of contraversal or political material on wikis.
Wikipedians responsible for promoting a neutral point of view
Anyone who thinks that wikis are not the place to express dissent
Technical writers responsible for documentation tasks
Managers and leaders trying to understand the potential of wikis
Change transformation agents using wikis to instigate organisational transparency using a wiki
Wiki users and Wiki gardeners who improve content clarity
About Toronto Wiki Tuesdays and Blended Perspectives
Toronto Wiki Tuesdays has been running since 2005 and has a mandate to spread the word about how a wiki can transform communication in organisations and the nature of business. Toronto Wiki Tuesdays was founded and is run by Martin Cleaver M.Sc. MBA, Head Blender of Blended Perspectives, a wiki consulting firm based in Toronto, and a Chair of WikiSym, the International Symposium on the use of Wikis.