UberSpat Brings Supporting Evidence to Online Debate (The Startup Review)

By Paul Glazowski
|  Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 5:31 PM CDT
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UberSpat Brings Supporting Evidence to Online Debate (The Startup Review)

Company Name
UberSpat
20-Word Description
UberSpat is a new online debate community where evidence presented and rated by users allows the best debates to float to the top.
CEO’s Pitch
UberSpat is an online debating site that allows users to input a debate of their choosing. What separates UberSpat from its competitors is that users can add evidence to support or oppose a debate. The evidence can then be rated by other users. All of this information then becomes extremely beneficial to people who want to know more about both sides of the debate. They simply read all of the best articles from either side. This focus on evidence makes UberSpat a research tool as well as a debating site. That’s what makes this an amazing site. It is something of a cross between Digg, Wiki, and Google.

Mashable’s Take
Nearly two months young and launched out of Richardson, Texas, near the cities of Dallas-Fort Worth, UberSpat is a startup intended to provide a forum for debaters of all stripes to challenge one another on a myriad of issues, from politics to science to sex to sports to comedy to conspiracies.

We recently offered up a group of several online debate services and resources, all of which prove valuable in their own way. There is also the name-brand Debate.com domain, whose owners too promise to deliver a platform on which users may spar against one another. It is somewhat incomplete in its design, but it’s there all the same. What UberSpat manages to offer to its users, however, is both an efficient and well-detailed design. This means that while it presents a Digg-like ease of use and an intuitive framework, as its creators suggest above, it is very accommodating of discussion - and lots of it.

Granted, at the moment, submissions for topics listed aren’t flowing in fast. Given the site’s age, the place is moving at a decent clip, but still has long to go before it really hits its stride. Yet it still makes for an interesting visit. Some of the traffic it receives is banal and does little but flatline. Other items catch the eye. And those which do manage to grab a good bit of attention are enhanced by UberSpat’s hybridization of commentary so-called supporting evidence. The user’s ability to attribute articles to a discussion on one side or the other exceeds the usual he-says-she-says structure common in online debate.

Furthermore, the ability for users to not only comment and vote on subjects posited by members, but also to rate comments as well allows the community the option to act as a collective moderator to the space. This gives UberSpat the ability to maintain a sort of civility. As much as such a service with user management features can allow, anyway. (Naturally, the political stage is home to the most vehement chatter at present.)

Of course its name, admittedly, isn’t the choicest one to emerge from the niche it inhabits. UberSpat. It might suit you, it might not. And there are a few strange quirks in the sign-up process that will puzzle some registrants. It is required that you submit a birthday and marital status, for example. But my sense is that these points aren’t particularly important. Deal breakers they are not. The substantive impression the site itself can make on the visitor is key, and the way in which UberSpat operates is engaging and provoking, and ensures that the service stands among the top of its class.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series at Mashable - The Startup Review, Sponsored by Sun Microsystems Startup Essentials. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Sponsored By: Sun Startup Essentials

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