I like the broad vision imagining as many useful tools as possible to throw at the problem, but this has too many parts competing for attention, at least for a product without a mature community. What do you think is the minimum subset to build and sustain a userbase?A few other thoughts:Most issues don’t actually have just 2 sides and grouping subtly different points of view into one side leads to apparently inconsistent positions which are frustrating to argue against.I don’t think reaching consensus is generally possible for the kind of arguments you’re interested in, even with the aid of new technology. We know technology can help speed up processes we already engage in, but you’re hoping for a different outcome to debates that have been going on for years or centuries. How do you make users feel that participating is worthwhile when actually convincing the world is unlikely?
I like the Open Forum. I was considering a similar idea (to be named something like “Manifesto”) years ago that I think of as Pinterest for arguments. The goal wasn’t to achieve consensus or “solve” the issue but for each participant to have a public and well organized position on any debate or sub-debate that interested them. You organize the arguments hierarchically and link-to or crib-from-and-edit other people’s points or expound a new one. The key is everyone has their own argument tree, so an expectation of consistency is reasonable, but all the effort is in improving or adding new thoughts. The value to a user then is first, having a record of their own beliefs and development, and second, the ability to diff another tree and quickly find the heart of a disagreement or new insights to incorporate. And unlike a dialogue, if someone does convince you, you can quietly acknowledge your changed mind without eating crow.