It’s really tough to compose a well thought out rational argument without choosing reliable sources and organizing them somehow. With that in mind, how do you organize your sources and opinions? While thinking about this after TheRationalDebate launched earlier this year, I realized that a great addition to the site would be something that lets you organize your sources and opinions. I’m happy to announce that you can now use TheRationalDebate to do exactly this by using the new Opinion Board feature!
How Opinion Boards Work
You can post any URL to your boards on TheRationalDebate. It can be a blog article, a YouTube video or anything else on the web. If it has a URL, it can be posted. For example, let’s say you want to organize your opinion on global warming. So you’re browsing the web, and you come across a great article from NOAA on some recently published research. Simply post the URL of the article to your global warming board. You can do this by copying and pasting the URL, or by using the rational button. As you do this for other pages on the web, your board will help you cultivate your sources and learn more about the subject.
The homepage on TheRationalDebate has changed to show a site-wide feed of Opinion Board posts. (Editors note – as of November 2013, the homepage has been simplified. You can still search for Opinion Boards using the search feature at the top). As you’re reading what other people have posted, you may find something that you want to post too. You can do this really easily by reposting the URL to your board. Just click the repost link on any post:
Using Opinion Boards to Organize and Share Your Opinions
Use your boards to bolster your opinions before creating a rational argument, or use the board to help form your opinion if you’re not yet sure. Either way, now that you’ve organized your sources, the next time you’re discussing global warming with a friend, all of the sources that help form your opinion will be organized in one spot. You can even share your board with your friend on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. The basic building block of a rational, well thought out argument is credible sources based on facts. The next time you’re arguing an issue with someone, ask to see your friend’s opinion board when they cite facts they heard “somewhere”. And be ready with sources on your boards.
Opinion Boards are not limited to global warming or politics. You can create as many boards as you want for whatever you want. Are you a teacher? Create education boards that track sources for how you think your school can be improved. Do you love sports? Create a board on why you think the Cubs will be a contender in the next few years. It’s really up to you – create Opinion Boards for anything.
What’s Next for Opinion Boards
There are many updates planned for Opinion Boards, including Facebook integration, the ability to ‘follow’ another person’s boards, and a browser plugin that will let you post to your boards right from you browser toolbar. As you’re using your new Opinion Boards, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what we should add. Get started creating your Opinion Boards and then let us know what you’d suggest to make it better. Let us know in the comments, or contact us.