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It is nice to see more traffic flowing into the BH Stack Exchange Meta site and to see positive changes occurring. It’s the place to ask “questions about how the websites work, or about policies and community decisions,” which leads me to the following:

There has been some interesting discussion about the value of launching a 4rd Bible-related site, including "Mi Yodeya", (hey, the Bible is important, right?) and a couple of moderators have indicated that they are at least supportive of the idea in principle. There has been robust discussion over the selection of an appropriate name and the definition of the distinct vision for the sister site. Possible solution to frequent question closures, edits, migrations, and mission dilution at Bible Hermeneutics: Floating the idea of a new site

Obviously, there will always be some hesitation about embarking on any new undertaking, but I think that there is some consensus that a different site focused more on Bible applications could reduce frustration over closed questions, endless repetitions, multiple edits, etc. and generate enthusiasm and cooperation among the related sites. Ideally, “other worldly” benefits will also accrue.

Ultimately, the only way to see if a Bible Applications site will fly in Area 51 is to fire up the engines. Worst case scenario, it sputters and we abandon it or we go back to the drawing boards. The way the process works is that we need a few people to follow the proposed site. If you’ve ever been frustrated about a question being closed or have questions that don’t seem to fit the existing sites, now is the time to see if this will solve the problem. Just the other day on one of our sites, I came across a new user complaining about the experience saying he may never post there again. I believe those kinds of complaints can be reduced and certainly should be.

Polyhat is the first to volunteer to help initiate the site, and GratefulDisciple has been helping to define the scope and will contribute when he can, but we need a few more to actively help shape the community from the beginning by asking, answering, and voting on good questions. I can bring in plenty of people that haven’t participated yet on Stack, and I will do that eventually, but I would prefer to have support from this community which understands how SE works and can provide questions that will help distinguish this site from the existing ones.

This should not require a huge time commitment from the community and I certainly don’t want to draw away any users who are already making valuable contributions where they are. I believe that new users coming in will also increase traffic to the existing sites. Questions that fit better on C, BH, or MY would be adjusted and migrated over. The focus and quality of the questions especially on the more Christian-related sites should improve.

All we need to do is come up with 40 questions that embody the topic’s scope. If 40 questions garner at least 10 net positive votes, the site moves from the development stage to the commitment phase. So please vote early and vote often on questions you feel are interesting and a good match. Here is the FAQ link for further information. https://area51.stackexchange.com/faq

I would love to hear from members of the community who are curious to see if a Bible Applications site can fly. A simple, “Count me in, I’ll see what I can do,” will suffice. Supporters can only vote 5 times on questions, so even if a lot of people only do that, it would be a significant help. Even expressing that you are just curious to see it would work is useful information. But just a few committing to do what it takes to get this off the ground could help send it into orbit for an exciting ride!

Please indicate your interest in the comment box or provide a more detailed answer if you wish. Thank you!

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    Count me in, I’ll see what I can do :)
    – Tony Chan
    Nov 13, 2021 at 16:41
  • Great to hear, Tony! No pressure, but you are the kind of guy who could give a big boost to this launch! :) I also think your practical style of reasoning would be well suited to a Bible application site. Nov 13, 2021 at 18:14
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    Thanks for the vote of confidence :)
    – Tony Chan
    Nov 13, 2021 at 18:28
  • I begin to wonder what's going on with this site. I have often felt resistance here to my own participation and should not be surprised if some pretense is found for banning me as happened to XXXX. I tried logging into Area 51 for the new site, signed up for the emails of its progress, after which it would not allow me to register. I sent a message for tech support and got directed to some site that only adds to my confusion and does not help at all. So I'm essentially locked out of participation at 'Bible Applications' (username not found). Given the circumstances...a conspiracy?
    – Polyhat
    Nov 21, 2021 at 20:16
  • @Polyhat Let us believe that by faith and perseverance you will find a way to help us launch this very valuable site. Nov 21, 2021 at 20:25
  • Here is something on miracles that may encourage you! christianity.stackexchange.com/a/87083/54851 Nov 21, 2021 at 21:37
  • @Polyhat Please remember not to name the suspended individual. We're not looking for pretences to ban you, and I don't know why you'd think that we are.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 22, 2021 at 14:40

2 Answers 2

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Almost certainly not. It's not very clear from the FAQs at Area 51, but they now require new proposed sites to show where the existing community will come from. A dozen or so people on this Meta site is not enough, they really expect there to be 100+ people. There have been very few new sites in recent years because the process is extremely difficult to pass. There's also the issue that the site has to be clearly distinguished from other sites, and I don't think your idea is yet. (I still need to reply to the other discussion.) If you want to try, go ahead, but have low expectations.

And btw, The Judaism site should be included, so there already are three 'Bible' sites.

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    Thanks for that feedback, @curiousdannii. I know the process is arduous and stringent which is why I have not tried to launch it yet. I understand that a “Chrsitian Living” site was once proposed but didn’t gain traction, so I am managing my expectations. Steve also suggested that I find a group outside of BH to sponsor, so I’m working on that. I’d also be interested in hearing your ideas about how to best differentiate the new site. I hear your point about the Jewish Bible site, but I think it is readily distinguishable from the proposed new mostly Christian oriented site. Nov 13, 2021 at 23:36
  • Curiousdannii, Just to clarify, you are referring to Mi Yodeya, right? They really don't advertise themselves as a Bible site and may not necessarily care to be characterized as such. "Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more." Nov 14, 2021 at 0:51
  • @MartinHemsley Only this site is really advertised as a "Bible" site. But like Christianity, Mi Yodeya has lots of questions about interpreting the Bible.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 14, 2021 at 0:55
  • No problem, I modified. I do appreciate the green light to give it a go, even if the probability of success is deemed to be low. Since Stack is a community based site, the community will determine how the site should best be defined and whether it can be sustained by a motivated and faithful niche. Nov 14, 2021 at 1:17
  • @MartinHemsley It is up to the site proposer to set the initial description however, and if it isn't immediately clear that it has a distinct non-overlapping scope with an existing site the staff will close it. So you'll have to think carefully how to phrase it, because "Bible Applications" sounds like it overlaps quite a lot.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 14, 2021 at 1:52
  • I'm curious if you have any issues with the differentiation suggested by @GratefulDisicple. Is Chrsitianity.SE a good site for a lot of practical application questions with no connection to a particular denomination? Nov 14, 2021 at 3:34
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    I would hope that staff will look even beyond the initial site description and observe how the community defines the site with questions and answers. I think one of the distinguishing aspects will be who the experts are. Is it possible to be an “expert” in the Bible from having read and studied it faithfully for years, and hearing it proclaimed and taught in different venues without necessarily having had formal higher level education? This really goes to the heart of the question of what or who is the source of truth and how it is reliably appropriated or transmitted. Nov 14, 2021 at 17:26
  • @MartinHemsley I'm pretty sure I've seen SE staff close proposals very quickly, based on the initial description, before the proposal gets very many example questions at all. That's why it's important to phrase it well when the site scopes are so close.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 15, 2021 at 23:17
  • Thanks for the heads up. If you, or anyone else here has a suggestion, I'd love to hear it. From what I've seen, the first stage proposal blurb is pretty succinct. For BH, it was "For professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts." For C it was "For committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more." Nov 16, 2021 at 1:33
  • There are at least FOUR math sites on the SE network--and I have trouble seeing the distinction between three of them (the fourth being for math educators). They are: mathoverflow.net math.stackexchange.com matheducators.stackexchange.com mathematica.stackexchange.com
    – Polyhat
    Nov 16, 2021 at 14:00
  • @Poly Well one is for a specific software app. So there are two actual maths sites, which have separate origins. I think it is Math Overflow which started independently, and has self determination rights, so it couldn't be forced to merge against its community's will. I believe there is also a difference in academic level, and one of them only allows questions at a post-grad level or higher. They're also all much older than the current Area 51 procedures.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 16, 2021 at 14:05
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    It appears that there is precedence for an SE site to be carved out based on a specific community, whether or not its subject matter may overlap with a sister site. In other words, unique content is not the sole determining factor here--a unique community is quite important as well.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 16, 2021 at 14:09
  • @Polyhat We'll see what happens when we submit the proposal. I agree with you that site will be most clearly distinguished by how the community members interact with each other over the content. How questions are answered on BA may be very different from how they are answered on other sites. I'm hoping we will be given an opportunity to see how that develops. The proof should not be so much be in the recipe, but in the pudding. Nov 16, 2021 at 23:31
  • @MartinHemsley What has happened to me is that I have been prevented from participating on the Area 51 site, and hence can do nothing with BA. I'm quite effectively locked out with a nonsensical error message. As a logged-in user (Polyhat) I signed up for the emails to "Follow" the new site, and copied/pasted the emailed link to verify my email. It was at this step that I was sidelined, being assigned a non-descript numerical username, and not allowed to register. When, as Polyhat, I visit Area 51, it shows me suddenly as this other username, and will not permit registration. Not fair at all.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 21, 2021 at 20:24
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    Maybe post on Meta Stack Exchange about it? Area 51 is pretty quirky, and I don't know what's going wrong, but someone else will.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 21, 2021 at 23:06
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Any new site going through Area 51 is doomed to difficulty. Some users will simply be unable to login, sign up, or register there. Here are screenshots of what they may encounter.

enter image description here

Notice the "Join this community" button at the top of the above image indicating that this portion of the site does not recognize the registered Stack Exchange user who is visiting.

Upon "joining" and attempting to complete registration the user gets this page:

enter image description here

. . . followed by this one:

enter image description here

From this point, clicking again on the "register" link at the top will lead to the redirect page, where it stalls and the redirect never completes.

Because the user is not considered to be "registered" in Area 51, he or she will be unable so much as to ask for help there. The user is effectively locked out from participation.

Upon seeking technical support, an email gets issued with a link to the issue that has been opened on the user's behalf. That link takes one to a deadend zone of no activity.

enter image description here

As can be seen in the image, two days have passed. There has not been a single response to this issue. It maintains the status of "In Progress" as shown in the image, with only the initial report on the record.

Area 51 has pariah-zoned me, leaving me utterly incapable of participating there.

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  • Nice documentation! When I mentioned the problem in the Area 51 Discussion Zone, @Tyberius asked for screenshots. I'm confident we will find the solution to this, Polyhat. Nov 23, 2021 at 1:56
  • @MartinHemsley As I have indicated before, I am unable to engage with anyone on the Area 51 site. I am not counted as registered, signed up, or logged in,and one must have a minimum of 15 rep to vote and 50 rep to comment--as a logged in, registered user. The site counts me as a random stranger or bot, and leaves me unable to engage at all. This is why I posted here.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 2:16
  • Yeah, that's the weird thing because supposedly you already have 51 rep when you sign up. We'll see how it gets resolved. Nov 23, 2021 at 4:40
  • I found this that maybe you can try. area51.meta.stackexchange.com/q/31113/216376 Nov 23, 2021 at 6:04
  • Clear the cookies and use incognito. Nov 23, 2021 at 6:21
  • @MartinHemsley It appears that that is the post that everyone must read before attempting to join A51. I've already mucked it up, and am in the "unregistered" category. I see nothing on that page that offers any help for me, only instructions as to how I should have signed up. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm out of the game now. If I were to sign up a second account, it would break the rules here and I'd be completely gone, like you-know-who (the "unperson" that cannot be named here).
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 6:21
  • I don't know what incognito is. I couldn't understand that part. I know, of course, what the word means, but not how it applies in this context.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 6:24
  • If you type incognito in your browser it should give you the option to open a private window that won't get blocked. You could delete the unregistered useless account and create one that you can use. Hopefully, it will let you use your sitewide name. Nov 23, 2021 at 6:28
  • Sigh...you'd given me an ounce of hope. I managed to enter the incognito mode, and got to the A51 sign up step. It hung up on the redirect. Now maybe I'm more stuck than before.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 6:40
  • Think of it this way, Polyhat. You are being tested in the fiery furnace and your character is being developed. :) Nov 23, 2021 at 6:46
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    Hey! I tried reloading that stuck page--and it let me in! I now have 101 rep as Polyhat in Area 51. Not sure why I don't have more rep than that, but at least it's enough to vote and comment.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 6:46
  • No idea what to do with my other useless user account. And do I dare click "Follow" again? I want to follow as Polyhat, but that seems to have messed things up the first time.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 6:48
  • @MartinHemsley As for my character--well, there's a few words I have held back on so far--but I still wished to say them. :( Perhaps you're right, but I don't feel very successful.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 6:49
  • That's what counts. We can worry about the rep later. Now lets get this ball rolling! Are you able to vote and add questions? Nov 23, 2021 at 6:50
  • I was able to give something like 6 votes. Which I did to the questions that are there. I guess I'm out of votes. Not sure why they're rationed. I haven't tried asking anything yet, but I assume I should now be able. I may have to come back to this a bit later, though, as other things are pressing for the next few hours.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 23, 2021 at 6:52

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