Back in 1996 some of the committee of the University of Limerick Debating Union shared a house over the summer. One of the housemates rented a book from the Library on HTML and the DebU website was born out of many nights of 4 or 5 management, business and Law students trying to understand a book written for IT students.
After that first experience with web design I was left with a number of pages that I had written but which had not made it into the final version of the DebU site. I modified these and on sometime in early February 1997 I posted them on FortuneCity. At more or less the same time I added a counter from the tools provided and the record on the counter said it first started on 9th February 2007. Therefore today is the 10th birthday of the site.
Over the years it has gone through a number of changes. The first version was very basic. More details can be found at http://flynn.debating.net/5year.htm.
The biggest change came with the move to http://www.debating.net/. That happened in October 1999 after meeting Lion Van Koppenhagen at the European Championships where he was Tab Director. Lion offered me space on a new server he was setting up to provide free webspace to debate related websites. Lion and his team at debating.net are the unsung heroes of this site. They have provided the space free of charge for 8 years. Any time there has been a break down in the server they have always been quick to fix it. I am extremely grateful to them for all their work over the years.
Over the next 6 years the site continued to evolve and go through a number of designs. However updating required editing in frontpage and was time consuming. In 2005 I moved the site to a blogger format and used blogger.com to update the news section of the site. At that stage the site evolved from just being primarily an archive of results and tutorials to being a site where news from around the debating world could be posted.
The functions within blogger allowed me come to the latest evolution. After 10 years of solo maintenance I have opened the site up to posting by other people. I asked people to apply if they wished to be given access to update the site and I am delighted to announce that the following people have agreed to join the team.
Ian Lising – USA: Chair of Worlds council. The most experienced judge and best coach in the history of the world championships.
Logan – Malaysia: Current Asian Champion. CA of Worlds in 2005 and also of Australasians and DCA of Asians.
Derek Lande – Ireland & IONA. DCA at worlds in UBC, CA for Worlds in 2009 in Cork. Winner of pretty much everything. He finished 3rd best speaker at Worlds in 2006.
Chris Bishop – New Zealand & Australasia: President of AIDA and also of Victoria Debating Society. Three time participant at Worlds breaking in 2005.
Manos Moschopoulos – Will cover Europe but in particular Balkans & East Mediterranean, Manos is President of Deree College and has attended EUDC in 2004, 2005 and 2006 along with WUDC in 2006 and many many European Tournaments
Kenneth Flemming – South Korea & All Asians. Kenneth is a former GUU debater and was a member of the top breaking team at EUDC in Cork and also an International Mace Finalist.
Justice Motlhabani – Botswana & Southern Africa. Chair of University of Botswana Debating Society and Public Relations officer of Botswana Debating Council. Participant at Worlds in 2007 and the driving force behind the Botswana bid for Worlds.
Vinay Kumar Mysore – Canada. Member of the McGill team that broke 6th at Worlds this year and a finalist at Yale.
Rashedul Hasan Stalin – Bangladesh & South Asia. Chair of BDC, Founding member of AUDC. Participant at WUCD in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Maintains the website http://debatebangladesh.tripod.com
Mark Dowling – Canada/Ireland: He wasn’t one of the original housemates in 1996 but he was certainly involved in the development of the Deb Union site and helped me many times with this one. A debater and judge of great experience even though he hasn’t been around the debating circuit for some years I offered him a spot on the team in recognition of the help he gave over the years and to represent the many people who have helped behind the scenes over the years.
I am of course open to other people joining the team so if you are interested send me an e-mail giving a little bit of your debating background and what area you can cover. In particular I would like more input from the US & Australia.
With the establishment of this team the site ceases to be “Colm Flynn’s Debating Website” and truly becomes the “World Debating Website”. I welcome all the new members of this team and look forward to reading their posts and updates from around the world.
Thanks for visiting this site over the last 10 years. I’ve enjoyed running the site and making many friends through it. Hopefully the next 10 years will be just as good.