Wednesday, August 23, 2017

In which no one talks to anyone else

There is, curiously enough, no real go-to communications outlet for debate, or, I guess, forensics in general. This is surprising for an activity that is about communications. Why? Is a puzzlement.

The national organization is relatively closed to paying members only, but even they don't have an easy-going, casual, what’s happening space. Nor a space to argue (as if debate coaches would want to argue about things). Just stuff from on high to the lowly (paying) peasants. Frankly, I don’t get the whole NSDA thing. Make people pay to be members for the whole point thing, but give away all the content. That would make it a real educational service. Now? Make a little content free and make everyone who wants to dig deep pay. Whatever.

There are occasional other venues for discussion, but they’re not reliable. If you post something in Facebook, for instance, it’s a crapshoot if anyone will see it at all. Yes, there are some specific pages and groups, but they’re limited (but at least not at any cost) to their followers/members. And a lot of folks, talking about controversial issues, have gotten lost in the (rather surprising, given the nature of the particular universe) negativity. Various other boards and whatnot have sprouted over the years, but again, they’ve been limited and often hijacked. Nothing has risen from their ashes.

The thing is, I’m not even thinking about the most serious issues, although they do need to be discussed. Even just the general inside-baseball stuff that folks might be interested in never gets aired in public. For instance, judge obligations. I certainly have strong opinions, and I’ve expressed them through my own venues, but I have no idea about other people’s opinions except from what I’ve gleaned in private conversations. Nevertheless, how a specific tournament director thinks about the subject, and then acts, is of importance to the community as a whole.

I’m not suggesting that I’m going to start yet another attempt at communication for the community. Been there, done that. I’m mostly just surprised that no one, ex officio or shooting from the hip, has ever successfully done it.

As I said, is a puzzlement.


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