Well Ladies and Gents, pour the champagne, light the fireworks, and pull out the party hats because here we are. This is the 500th blog post published on the Ethos website. Thank you. Thank you to those who believed in Ethos since the beginning. Thanks to everyone who’s written a brief, taught at a camp, published a blog post or coached a student with Ethos. We couldn’t be here without those who have joined with us since the beginning.

Truly, thank you.

This momentous occasion requires a momentous post! So below, for the first time, is the history of Ethos as well as some statistics on our impact, reach, and most-loved resources.

The information in this post cannot be found anywhere else.

Dive into the 500th post on the Ethos blog!

Where has Ethos been?

The history of Ethos:

2005:

  • Lisa Alexander, Isaiah McPeak, and Tim Edelbut published our first sourcebook ever!! 500+ pages under the name Purple Killer Bunnies (PKB).

2006:

  • We took on more staff and created a bigger sourcebook
  • Rated best sourcebook this year in 4 of 5 categories.

2007: 

  • Added our first sourcebook with updates throughout the year.
  • Switched from mailing CDs to emailing the sourcebook. Yeah, you heard me right. Sourcebooks used to be SNAIL MAILED IN CD FORMAT. Go technology.

2008: 

  • Ran our first debate camp at Patrick Henry College, rated by campers as better than any other camps that summer.
  • Rebranded from Purple Killer Bunnies to Ethos
  • Launched the blog

2009:

  • Went nationwide. Did 5 camps across the country

2010:

  • Published our first Stoa sourcebook
  • Ran 16 camps plus our first international camp in Singapore.
  • Our blog readership EXPLODED (360% increase)
  • We were incorporated as an LLC.
  • Ethos authors win NCFCA nationals for the first time

2011:

  • Ranked the best sourcebook by homeschool debaters in a nationwide poll.
  • Ethos staff faced off in finals at the very first Christian Homeschool Parliamentary debate national championship. (Josiah McPeak and Peter Voell won a 7-0 against Ty Harding and Amos Chapman)
  • First ever radio interview
  • Ethos authors win NCFCA nationals for the second time in a row

2012:

  • Isaiah starts Apex debate club
  • Ethos hires future CEO Thaddeus Tague
  • Ethos authors win NCFCA nationals for the third time in a row

2013:

  • Ethos starts DebateSmart, our short-lived first podcast.
  • Ethos authors win NCFCA nationals for the fourth time in a row

2014:

  • Ethos partners with Training Minds for the Nationals Intensive Training Camp
  • Ran our biggest camp ever at Patrick Henry and uploaded all of our lectures to YouTube

2015: 

  • Ethos XL launched
  • We stopped publishing a sourcebook because of educational trends and began to shift gears towards private coaching
  • Hired our first interns
  • Ethos camp curriculum put to paper

2016:

  • Ethos XL 2.0 launched
  • Upside-Down Debate published
  • Downloads page with free resources published
  • Content Rings established to organize our content for different audiences
  • Ethos hires its second group of interns

2017: 

  • After 12 years of unparalleled service, Isaiah McPeak retires from Ethos
  • Emily Rose and Thaddeus Tague buy Ethos for $1
  • Who knows? 🙂

 

That timeline may be our history but it doesn’t show our impact. Here’s some quick statistics of our reach.

Impact:

  • Over 75 camps in dozens of states and three separate countries.
  • Over 2000 students coached in camps.
  • Coached dozens of national champions in over 13 leagues.
  • Over 360,000 total blog views.
  • Over 34,000 YouTube views.
  • Thousands of pages of research sold.

Here are our most popular resources:

Top 10 most viewed blogs:

  1. 1AC Writing Tutorial: Which Stock Issues Where
  2. How to Improve: SWOT Your Ballots
  3. How to Start or Run a Debate Club: Four Models I Tried
  4. Example 1AC: Improve Your Casewriting
  5. Impact Calculus
  6. ABC’s of Debate Attire
  7. 10 Commandments of Debate Etiquette
  8. Qualitative vs. Quantitative Significance
  9. Name That Fallacy: GOP Edition
  10. I Am Disappointed

Top 10 most viewed YouTube videos:

  1. Unified Theory of Debate Part 1
  2. Isaiah v Devin – LD Debate (NCFCA Rehabilitation vs. Retribution)
  3. NCFCA 2nd Place TP Interview – Stefanie Klaves, Cora Alles
  4. How to Build a Case: Part 1
  5. 1AC Semifinals at Vector Icebreaker Tournament
  6. Ethos Camps
  7. Four Point Refutation: Part 1
  8. Basics of Parli: Part 1
  9. Nathan Lee 1st Place LD Champ – Interview
  10. This House Believes that WWIII is Imminent — PMC — Zack Voell

But that stuff up there? That’s not where we find our joy. Our joy is in taking the disgruntled student whose parents forced them to go to debate camp and helping spark a thirst for knowledge in their brain. Our joy is in taking the student who has worked so hard but failed to break and teaching them to harness their strengths and accomplish their goals. Our joy is in teaching the next generation the age-old values of Truth and Rhetoric.

And we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Where is Ethos Going?

We get our joy from the light in a student’s eye. That’s why Ethos has published 500 blog posts over the last 12 years. That’s why we’ll publish 500,000 more. To bring that light into the eyes of thousands more students.

Here’s how we’re going to be making that happen:

Ethos XL 3.0:

Ethos XL is back baby! We’ll publish some news this summer about what’s going to be different. We’ve got new coaches and new ideas on staff! Until then, check out how we can serve you currently on our coaching page.

The Sourcebook:

The highest-rated sourcebook in homeschool debate history is making a comeback! Expect the biggest, deepest, most professional sourcebook on the market. We discontinued our sourcebooks last year because of the trend of debaters just grabbing sourcebooks and mindlessly running the arguments in them like lil debatebots. Research is one of the skills you should learn through debate. Sourcebooks are supposed to give you a jumpstart, not a crutch. We plan on offering some unique aspects to counteract this trend including but not limited to:

  • A figures of speech section for specific briefs and cases
  • Succinct strategy notes
  • Additional links for deeper research
  • A higher emphasis on generics
  • A lessened emphasis on pre-written cases
  • A higher emphasis on general resolutional background and philosophies

Stay tuned for the highest-quality research in the market.

Workshops:

We plan to offer more programs and workshops all of next year. We might be doing them monthly or on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, prepare for more guest coaches and highly specialized lectures from our coaches and champions.

Camps:

Registration for nearly all of our 2017 camps is live!  We’re going to continue to run world-class camps for every league, format, and experience level nationwide. Check out the info here.

Communications Consulting:

This isn’t happening this year or maybe even the next, but soon, Ethos is going to be your one-stop-shop for all communications needs. We’ll be working with businesses, public speakers, politicians, and the world’s communicators. This is on a slow burn, but it’s coming.

 

The Same Mission:

We’re blazing new frontiers and we’re excited for you to join us. However, as we move forward, we’re staying rooted and grounded in our foundation. That foundation is never to teach rhetoric simply to “do well” but rather to learn, to move, to discover, to grow.

The core philosophy of Ethos has always been that success is not a Regional Championship or a shiny metal trophy. Success is knowing the truth and being set free. Jesus didn’t come to this earth so that you would spend your life chasing shiny trophies. Housecats chase shiny things. Christ’s children chase the Truth.

Keep chasing.