In 2016, how did the Christianity Stack Exchange fare? Are there any interesting trends or content worth sharing?
Overall site activity has declined somewhat since 2015. We can see this through a few different metrics: traffic, new users, new content, and vote count.
We've seen modest declines, around 12%, in visits, according to Quantcast:
US Rest of the world Total 2015 5.6M 2.8M 8.4M 2016 4.8M 2.5M 7.4M %chg –14% –11% –12%
Similarly, the number of new users by quarter (min. 2 rep) shows some decline as well, even accounting for seasonal differences:
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2015 415 350 346 320 2016 341 288 273 231 %chg –18% –18% –21% –28%
Some of the greater decline in the last couple quarters might be attributable to these new users not having the benefit of time to gain upvotes.
Questions Answers Total 2015 1351 3399 4750 2016 1181 2211 3392 %chg –13% –35% –29%
The number of upvotes and downvotes has also declined:
Upvotes Downvotes Total 2015 22831 10345 33176 2016 17479 7012 24491 %chg –23% –32% –26%
Given the decline in new content, it's perhaps unsurprising that the number of votes has fallen as well. That said, we might expect the increasing size of the repository to attract more votes from new users.
Content and users
On a happier note, we've seen many examples of generous users and highly voted content.
- Simply a Christian gave away the most reputation in bounties this year
- curiousdannii had the highest Votes to Reputation ratio among qualified users (0.78). Runners up were bruised reed (0.63) and KorvinStarmast (0.56).
- These users had at least 500 votes and 500 reputation earned in 2016. Among those just missing these minimums, the highest ratio belongs to Thunderforge, at 0.99.
- This metric indicates dedication to the community (via one of its most important mechanisms, voting) with relatively little reward in reputation.
Top New Questions and Answers
Top 10 questions of 2016 by score:
- According to those holding that Lazarus was literally raised from the dead, why did Matthew, Mark, and Luke not mention it?
- Why are psalms in the bible printed with funny spacing?
- Why does the Salvation Army not administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper?
- Why did John Newton oppose Handel's Messiah?
- What is the basis for forbidding prerecorded music in worship services?
- What is the earliest use of the phrase “God the Son”?
- Did Tertullian forbid Christians from being school teachers?
- What does the abbreviation “RNIO” mean in a painting of the Virgin and Child?
- When is the first time in church history we find a prayer ending with “in Jesus' name, amen”?
- Who first described Pentecost as a reversal of Babel?
Several of the top 10 answers of 2016 appear as answers to one of the above questions. Those that do not are listed separately here:
- Is there more than one Joseph in the Bible?
- Which tribe did Paul belong to?
- Would reading “The Street Bible” help me understand the KJV Bible?
- What is the Biblical basis for using the names “Yeshua” and “Yehoshua” (Joshua) for Jesus?
- Can any sin be forgiven? (According to the teaching of the Catholic Church)
- Has a parable originally used by Jesus been left out of Luke 14? [closed]
And finally, here are the top 6 unanswered questions of 2016, by score:
- Why did the Presbyterian Church of Korea split in 1959?
- Why Was Jesus Represented as Being Born in a Cave?
- What's the source of the “new world religion” memorandum signed in Strasbourg?
- Is there a recognised soteriology that combines selective election for some and general election for everyone else?
- Are the five propositions condemned by Cum occasione in the Augustinus?
- Why does the Roman Catholic Church not hold to the perspicuity of Scripture?
This cursory review reveals moderate declines in key metrics like traffic, content, and community involvement (via vote count). Even so, we have numerous examples of dedicated community members, including many who give (via voting) more than they receive (in reputation). We also have seen a wide variety of highly regarded content, both questions and answers.
Now let's make 2017 even better!