Update: ODN appears to be closed as of January 2020
In a Nutshell
- Freeform forum debates
- Strict rules of decorum and behaviour with a focus on a quality argument
- A stalwart community of dedicated debaters and thinkers
Dojo Rating: Excellent (4 ninja stars)
ODN’s tagline is “The forge of reason.” They seek to provide a place for serious debaters and thinkers to come and hash out any and all topics of interest. Their focus is on creating an environment of rigorous thinking and a civil exchange of views. Online Debate Network is a privately owned site that is largely run by its long-term members.
What They Offer a Debater
Online Debate Network has a large number of forums for debating a huge range of topics. While the UI is not fancy, it gets the job done in allowing you to create a new discussion or jump into an ongoing one. The site has extensive rules for etiquette which are policed by the long-term staff and users of the site.
There are also forums for more casual discussions, news, and off-topic interests.
Debate Dojo Assessment
ODN has been around for a good long time. The atmosphere is that of a small debate club consisting of seasoned veterans. I was an avid debater on the site for a very long time and greatly enjoyed arguing on ODN. The commitment to quality and to keeping out trolls and troublemakers is admirable. Most debates are long-form discussions that can go on for dozens of pages, digging into every aspect of a given topic.
ODN is expected to undergo a significant re-design and technology upgrade in the near future. They hope to expand their user base in the process and re-kindle excitement for the site. None the less, despite its small population of regulars, you are sure to find some challenging and interesting debate on ODN.