2011 Disclosure Award

There hasn’t been the lead in discussion of the disclosure award this year that there was last year, which to me is ironic because I believe the graduating class last year did a much more thorough job of updating their wikis than several schools this year. Part of that may be that I found this year’s wiki to be more cluttered/disorganized than last years which was more bare bones imo.

So this year for the disclosure award I will be throwing in a twist. This year the award will go to a team who shows not only that they were committed to disclosure by putting up their arguments but also to the team who best comes up with a way to organize their wiki to make it easy to use.

What I mean by easy to use is not only that the information is organized, but also that the form of organization/division is either great, innovative, or somehow distinguished from the general field. So for example, early in the year Batterman divided the St Marks BM wiki into different subcategories like disad, cp etc. I have written earlier about how I liked the scribed approach used by some teams where they embed the doc in the wiki (I believe it was Edgemont that first brought this method to my attention).

At the outset, I don’t really know what the best method will be. Part of the goal here is to generate some different approaches and see what works out best instead of saying “i like X the best, lets see what dancing monkeys can format their wiki the way I want it”.

So here is how the process will work, students will have 1 week (until 5-24) to update their wiki by adding things/organizing it etc. If you want your wiki considered, after you have fixed it up then post a link in the comments section of this thread. In your post feel free to explain any organizational features you think distinguishes your wiki as being superior/explain the rationale behind them.

One note- as per last year, open source/full text will be given a bonus in my mind. However, the organizational burden goes up with full text because it makes it so much more difficult to scroll through the wiki- some peoples full text 1AC’s with huge cards take hours just to figure out what the advantages are. So if you use full text, you need to find a better way if you want to get the W.

After 5-24, I will come up with a list of finalists and submit them to Roy/Batterman in addition to posting the list for community comments before selecting the winner.

20 thoughts on “2011 Disclosure Award

  1. milansavani


    We put the 1AC up full text on the main page of the wiki, advantages separated by headers. After that, we made word documents with each category of negative/2AC argument and posted those under headers, giving a list of arguments on the wiki. This solved the "impossible to scroll through" problem and still allowed easy access to all of the evidence. As opposed to the Sribd approach, this keeps all of the information on the wiki and also allows the document to be downloaded when doing a wiki download (as long as you use a download utility that downloads multiple levels of files), and allows for cutting cites easily. This also fixes all of the random bad formatting problems on the wiki.

    I also think this approach is better than the multiple-page approach, since you only have to download one additional level of the wiki and every argument title is visible from one page. Instead of browsing through a bunch of pages to find that one argument you heard a team read, you can just look through a concise list of arguments on one page. All of the files we put up were formatted so they would be easily transformed to any template.

      1. milansavani

        What do you think about full text in the context of having downloadable word documents? Is that still a good idea or do you think that there are some disadvantages? We decided not to put full text the first time we tried this just to test it out, but I'm still undecided about whether that's a good idea or not.

  2. dherm

    Shouldn't the award be given out based on the wiki "as is"? Otherwise it doesn't give an accurate picture of which teams were committed to disclosure on a year long basis.

    1. dustml

      Agreed – although I think that edit history can give away who was disclosing all year and who put up all their cites this week.

  3. dustml

    also if nominations are starting now, http://wiki.debatecoaches.org/2010-2011+%E2%80%94… – we just have straight-up cites there, but it's organized by page and cites to every card that has been read in a round are up except politics (but who goes for that?). headings are clear and stuff and formatting is simple, and I've been updating it from the beginning of the year throughout. [edit to add moar stuff] We did the "different pages" approach because a) the wiki was like impossible to edit prior to transitioning to that approach, and b) I think it makes things a lot easier – if someone wants to see cites to our BMDs counterplan they don't have to navigate through a long TOC but can go directly to the counterplans section. I haven't gotten very many cite requests, and I like to think that that's because of how much we've put up – but I have responded quickly to full text requests.

    Also, we have full text answers to dada.

  4. dherm

    Here's my pitch: We also have straight up cites on our wiki with nothing too fancy, however, pretty much every card that has been read this year is up and they are all formatted in the same way with an extensive index so it is pretty easy to navigate. In addition, our "testimonials" section provides fairly essential comic relief to the hard-working debater spending hours scrolling through a bunch of boring wikis (also means we're endorsed by a large part of the competition, hehe). Oh yeah, and where else can you find such an extensive compilation of wipeout cites or a 1AC entitled "iconogasm"? Finally, our wiki has a surprise party on it – 'nuff said. As far as the full text vs. parameters debate goes, I have received numerous requests for full text cites and have always been relatively prompt in sending either the card or the entire article (if I have the pdf). In my opinion, full text on the actual wiki just clutters things and makes it more difficult to navigate.
    *We have also been updating it throughout the year, usually within 2-3 days of the most recent tournament as well as at tournaments themselves.
    **One more edit – my rationale for not dividing my wiki into separate pages is that, when you are prepping before a round, it is annoying to have to search through multiple sub-wikis to find the argument you are looking for. Especially at tournaments with limited internet access where you might have to use an iphone to check a wiki, having everything on a single page makes life substantially easier.

    LINK: http://wiki.debatecoaches.org/2010-2011+%E2%80%94

  5. Sigalos


    Reasons to prefer:
    Throughout the year we have included the 1NC/2NR strategies we think this is important so teams do not have to spend time answers the question "What was your last 2NR/1NC?"
    I also think it is important to note that updating it throughout the year is something worth note rather than posting everything up at the last minute for the award.
    We don't put of full text cites for everything, but we have always been prompt to respond to cite requests with the full text.
    Plus taoism… nuff said. Teams are obviously dying for those cites… jk.

  6. Antonucci23

    Disclosure has, on average, been declining markedly across the board – at both the college and high school level.

    I can't tell if it's lazy or reactionary, though.

    1. dustml

      I'll admit I don't have the best vantage point for this, as I don't know what the status of disclosure was before like the alternative energy topic (although I know college disclosure goes back a couple years), but I feel like this isn't accurate – judging by the publicity of the wiki, the number of teams who are doing things like full text, and even things like David and Zach's wiki war disclosure has been increasing a lot.

      1. Antonucci23

        "disclosure has been increasing a lot"

        Over five years, yes. Over two years, no. Yes, a couple of full text – but the average declined a little (thus the original qualifier "on average.")

        Nothing tragic. Just took me aback because it reversed the dominant trend you describe.

        1. dherm

          @ DML – whichever two bros started that wiki war thing this year sure are awesome…

          @ nooch – while I can only compare this year to last year, I think that the top teams are disclosing more not less. The lack of full text specifically has made it seem like commitment is declining, but I think the overall availability of cites and the willingness to be open about what you have run is only going up. I could be completely wrong about this however as I haven't done any rigorous research – I'd be really interested to see statistics of the average number of cites on a given high school/college wiki over time if anyone has those.

          1. Antonucci23

            I very much disagree, but don't care much and presume that I'll make people sadface if I press the point.

  7. Zach_R

    http://wiki.debatecoaches.org/2010-2011 —…..

    We always post cites within a few days of the tournament (for the TOC, we posted them in-between rounds). I think splitting up the pages as St. Marks did helped make our wiki more organized, although sometimes there are areas for overlap (for example, we had a section called "case negs," where do we put the CP specific to Greenhill's aff? In this instance, what we ended up doing was just putting it in the CPs section and linking to it from the case negs section…the overlap is probably inevitable, too). It's all in times new roman (during the first half of the year, everything was in GARAMOND, which is still the world's best font). Our testimonials section is similar to David Herman's except it provides even better comic relief. We always respond to cite requests within a day or two at maximum — fastest turnaround time was 4 minutes — if teams can't access the full text to an article, we will send them the full text. We decided not to put full text on our wiki for organizational issues and because of potential problems our coach has outlined. We have all of our arguments we have ever read/gone for listed under the 'strategies' section, and we even had a section dedicated to providing statistics on our 2NR choices (this was updated as of Berkeley for the TOC).

    Lastly, on the main page I was fiddling around with some possible ways to organize full-text wikis, and it appears as if you can use HTML code to make text hide/reappear. However, probably because I'm not very good at coding, this approach is currently NOT feasible because for each time you want to do that for a card you have to go to the "widgets" button and insert the HTML text in/put the card in there, which takes up quite a bit of time. If there's anyone out there that knows HTML, feel free to go to our wiki to see the code to hide/show text – maybe someone will find some use to this/make it easier to use?

    1. milansavani

      The HTML thing isn't a problem with coding. Wikispaces just doesn't have an easy way to put in HTML. There might be some sort of module to help with this that could be installed, but otherwise your method seems the easiest way to accomplish this.

  8. ericmarcus


    Our wiki has extensive cites from every tournament that we have attended this year. We feel that having everything on one page makes looking through the wiki much more efficient before a round, because a lot of this is often done on phones, which are mostly pretty slow. With the table of contents at the top, it is easy to quickly find what you are looking for. Also, our wiki is organized in an extremely simple way, with our aff stuff being at the top, then our negs to specific affs, then generic neg arguments, and finally just things that we read on both sides of the debate. Also, all of our past 1ncs and 2nrs are posted, which means that teams can see what we have went for against their affs before. We do not provide full text on our wiki for organizational purposes, but when e-mailed for cites, we reply with full text citations.

Comments are closed.