Last Call

I'm going to do it. I'm going to shut down this evaluation sometime next week. If you listen to the latest podcast you'll know that we will soon get a new evaluation system in the review queue. I'm thrilled with that plan and I'd like to wrap up our current evaluation. We are growing (albeit slowly) and I think a big part of that is we have lots of attractive content for Google to point people to. Let's keep up the good work!


Our sister sites have undergone self-evaluations this year, but we haven't. I asked our Community Managers (basically the people that Stack Exchange has hired to make sure all the sites are working out) if we were going to get one. Officially, we are "still pretty small", so we aren't likely to get one soon. However, they did offer to supply us with the sample of questions1 for us to do our own evaluation.

Our mission as a site is to make the internet a better place to find the answers to questions about the Bible. That means that we must be discoverable by search engines2 and our answer must be of better quality than other sites.

For each question listed below:

  • Search the internet for the question as if you were the asker!
  • If our answer(s) is good (complete, well-written, answers the question, useful, found in search results, etc) then vote it up!
  • If our answer(s) is bad (incomplete, poorly-written, off-topic, incorrect, unfindable, worthless, etc) then vote it down!
  • Comment with anything you feel is worth noting, or to explain your voting choice. We have a rough guide to better/par/worse right here. If your result is par, make a choice to vote up or down.

Remember that our goal is to make the internet a better place. If you find yourself unable to decide how to vote, ask yourself: does this question and/or answer make the internet better? How you answer that question should determine your vote.

Notes:

  • Please be honest with yourself when you evaluate questions. Since we initiated the process, there's no reason worry about a lot of downvoted questions—Stack Exchange, Inc. isn't going to shut us down because of this evaluation or anything like that. In fact, we can do a lot to show we care about this enterprise by being self-critical.

  • If you find anything to fix in these questions, go ahead and edit, vote, comment, flag, etc. I'll try to keep track of what changed and list them in the answers below.

  • I will include my own commentary from my run of the review. These are in spoiler blocks. It's up to you whether you look at them post-fact just to see how your perspective compares, versus letting my views shift your opinion of the question.

  • Another thing to look at is if the question and answer(s) encourage the people who find us to come back to the site. It's a bit of a fine line we walk because our strength is a very narrow focus on an esoteric topic, but we don't want to be just speaking to ourselves. Should we be embarrassed by question, answer, and comments on the site?

  • Come to the Library to chat about the evaluation. I'll be available pretty much all next week if you have any questions, suggestions, etc.


Footnote:

  1. Usually, they give 10 questions randomly picked from the set of open, answered questions from 30-40 days ago. But since there were only 9, we get all of them. And yes, that's a sign that we are "still pretty small". That's not a bad thing as long as it lets us focus on quality. ;-)

  2. Google is obviously the X pound gorilla in the space, but it's not the only option.

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locked by Jon Ericson Nov 28 '12 at 20:52

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9 Answers 9

What is morphological analysis, as it relates to Bible study?

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: As I mentioned in the comments, I think this is a great question. We also turn up in search and the answers seem solid. Interestingly the question was first asked on C.SE.

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Are the Rabbinic rules of hand washing before eating bread related to their ruling that the scriptures were unclean?

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: I never got around to editing the question. :-( But our question has outstanding discoverability and the answer is excellent. +1

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Good answer. It's not too late to edit the question. :-) –  Gone Quiet Sep 7 '12 at 21:20
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Have the “many” in Psalm 4 received blessings or were they already blessed?

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: It's my own question, so I'm a bit biased. I think I got a great answer (more than I could have hoped for) and we get great search results on the keywords I try. +1

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I found it as result #10 on Google. The one answer is good, though it exceeds the scope of the question. –  Soldarnal Sep 14 '12 at 2:12
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Why did John write in this seemingly time-bending way?

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: I needed some oddly specific search terms to find the question. The answer is my own, so I'm going to recuse myself. ;-) My gut says par.

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It's a good question and a good answer. I couldn't find it with Google; I first tried queries along the lines of "bible why does john talk about things that haven't happened yet" and then "circular references bible john", but no luck on the first page of either. I'll upvote anyway for quality of both question and answer, but it does have the search problem. –  Gone Quiet Sep 7 '12 at 21:14
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When a new translation of the Bible is created

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: Very hard to search for since the question is a bit vague and uncertain. That might be fixable with an edit. But the answer is exceptional. It's a par because it's hard to find.

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The question is quite vague and assumes that everybody does it the same way ("what do they do?"). That question can be answered with "it depends". The top-voted answer adds new information and is a quality answer, but if we can fix the question we should. (I'm not sure how right now.) –  Gone Quiet Sep 7 '12 at 21:09
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What is “the gift of God” in Eph 2:8

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: Looks like some good answers (thanks to plenty of push-back from swasheck), but they are very difficult to find via search. There are many sites out there that address this question. Par.

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I asked this question, so I can give my take on the discussion. I'm looking, in general for two things in these discourses. One is to settle the question in my mind. This is why I avoid posting questions that I consider settled. The other goal I have, though, is the conversation itself. I felt like all of the questions met the latter goal quite nicely in adding to the discussion. On the other hand, having varied, in-depth, and well-informed perspectives can work against the first goal. I left this conversation feeling like nothing was settled, and farther from a conclusion than before I asked. –  Ray Sep 11 '12 at 22:34
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Why is δεδικαίωται translated “freed” in many English versions?

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: Another of my own questions. The question is easy to find, but I'm not excited about the answer. This is a par at best.


I've added a bounty to this question to see if I can stir up interest.

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What is the meaning of “poor in spirit” in Matthew 5:3

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: Search reveals plenty of good answers, including ours. I like the accepted answer, but I think there are better answers out there. It doesn't play to our strengths, so I say "par".

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Who is “I” in Psalm 4

Good? Bad? Both? Please vote in accordance to the guidelines explained above, and optionally leave a comment if you have something extra to say.

Jon's take: With specific search terms, the question pops to the top. But when I try more natural (for me) searches, it doesn't. Other sites seem less speculative and more informative. -1

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The question as stated is too specific (I say, even though I commented positively at the time). A more-general question about what those notations at the beginning of some psalms ("for the choirmaster" etc) mean, how they got there, and what they mean about who "I" is would be a good question. –  Gone Quiet Sep 7 '12 at 21:23
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