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Site Profile: Kialo

In a Nutshell

  • Amazing web technology for structuring debate
  • A strong focus on discrete reasoned arguments on a range of topics
  • Almost no trolls or yahoos found on other sites

Dojo Rating:  Fantastic (5 ninja stars)

Their Mission

Kialo is an easy to use yet powerful tool to engage in thoughtful discussion, understand different points of view and help with collaborative decision-making.

With Kialo, you can take on issues big or small, build consensus on a topic, and explore every aspect of a discussion. Kialo allows you to be more thorough and thoughtful about the issues that matter most to you, and the world around you.

Our Mission: Making the world more thoughtful.

This is what a debate looks like on Kialo. The tree shows where you are in the overall discussion.

What They Offer a Debater

Kialo specializes in creating a structured representation of arguments for and against a given debate topic. Every discrete argument for a topic is organized into a cohesive discussion tree. Individual arguments are short and to the point. The focus is not so much on persuasion, but on analysis and a complete rational deconstruction of an issue into atomic viewpoints.

Once a topic is created, supporting arguments, each no more than 500 words are created to support and oppose the proposition. Then each of those can have their own supporting or opposing arguments. This process can go on, near indefinitely. Each individual argument can be rated for relevance and importance to the topic by viewers and participants. Comments can be added as well to try and improve the individual arguments.

While any participant can contribute arguments, some users are granted “writer” permissions that essentially allow them to curate and re-organize the entire tree of argumentation to avoid duplication and create a more cohesive and meaningful set of knowledge on the topic. It is not unusual to see debaters here creating arguments both for and against a proposition to try and fully represent the scope of argumentation on a given topic.

This image is a Discussion Topology Map. You can click on any section to see what argument it represents.

Debate Dojo Assessment

Kialo really is a wonder and is wholly unique in the online debate world. It is not so much a site for those looking to be the most persuasive debaters, but for those looking to take the deepest dive into the meaning of a subject and the rational and logical structure of how it is debated. This focus seems to chase away all the trolls and jokers you often see on other debate sites.

Frankly, the technology running their website is amazing. It is one of the most sophisticated websites of any kind I’ve visited. If you are at all serious about online debate, you have to sign up for and explore Kialo. It will blow your mind. Describing how it all works is almost impossible in any succinct way.

The only downside to this monument to rational argument is that it doesn’t really allow you to stretch your rhetorical wings and deliver a good long rant on a subject you are passionate about. If your goal is to wax rhapsodic about just how wonderful or terrible the US president is, Kialo won’t be much help to you. However, if you would like to analyze and map every possible argument for or against the legalization of prostitution, Kialo will serve like no other.

Check it out

Kialo Home Page

This should give you an idea on just how robust their UI features are on Kailo.