I’m at the Telegraph’s Victoria offices, at the launch of [Debate2010](http://debate2010.telegraph.co.uk/), their new community initiative around the oncoming general election.
It’s a platform for having what looks like a debate around particular policy areas in quite a structured format. You select a policy area and then a specific debate, and join in the discussion. Debates are time-limited (3 days – but this can be changed at will by the organisers), and you can vote for and against them and submit comments. [The site’s own description of its functionality](http://debate2010.telegraph.co.uk/about).
The site requires a separate login from the rest of the site, as it’s conceived as time-limited project. It will eventually be closed down and, by the side of it purged. Or go into “the next phase, whatever that may be”. The intention is to create a “briefing” for the new government, a printed one by the sound of it.
- It’s built on the [Salesforce.com](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salesforce.com "Salesforce.com") cloud computing platform - It’s being post-moderated by the Telegraph’s moderation team via user reports - The debates will be integrated into the rest of the election coverage - Journalists will be encouraged to “dip in and out” - You start a debate with an idea – and the hope is that they’d be more idea-y than comment-y - It’s not aggregating activity elsewhere, but a thing unto itself. You can push debates out to Twitter in a fairly basic way. - Will follow Telegraph’s general moderation policy: nothing illegal, nothing which is a direct attack on another person
It’s certainly an interesting idea. The submit idea/vote/comment model allows some shaping of the direction of interaction, to keep it more policy rather than comment-focused – but the comment threads themselves could go any way. But the voting is a low barrier to participation, and that might encourage more use that a comment-only site.
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