We already have Biostars. This will just fragment the community. What purpose would this site serve that Biostars or Seqanswers doesn't?
This will just fragment the community.
Very correct, and this is an important consideration.
That said, people have many, many issues with BioStars. I’ve personally put my view into words on Reddit:
… the [BioStars] software really sucks compared to Stack Exchange. I really dislike using it. Busy layout, chaotic comments, all leading to incredibly hard to find information.
— An opinion widely shared by others. Others have added their own arguments.
And let’s not forget that from the very beginning there was a very strong minority (actually, it was probably a majority!) within the BioStars community that felt that the platform should have moved to Stack Exchange.
And this was before Stack Exchange had established itself as the uncontested champion of Q&A websites. In particular in terms of software development, Stack Exchange has made giant leaps since then. BioStars simply cannot compete, and gets left behind in terms of usability. The importance of this cannot be overstated: BioStars’ lack of usability prevents me from effectively finding solutions to my problems, and from contributing my own knowledge. And I know that this is also true for others.
To answer your specific question:
What purpose would this site serve that Biostars or Seqanswers doesn't?
I hear this "fragment the community" argument a lot and I'm not convinced that it is true. I see the Web as one resource. I type a question into Google, it returns results. If the best results seem to come from Biostars, I go there. If they come from Seqanswers, I go there. If I choose to ask a question, there are sufficient users at both sites that I'm likely to get an answer. If any one site is insufficiently active or useful, people will migrate elsewhere anyway. I guess my conclusion is that competition is good.
I got a lot of useful answers from stats.stackexchange, I like the way it is organized. It is well-controlled by the admins, questions that are not clear or off-topic usually become closed in less than half of an hour (and the authors of such questions have to re-formulate them or make appropriate tags). Biostars is quite messy.
I like Seqanswers, it is more useful than Biostars. But it suffers from the same problems (less than biostars, but still).
It is a very nice option to migrate questions from one stackexchange site to another.
I hope that there will be a way to organise things better using this platform. If we will make a proper set of tags and control the match between tags and actual questions, if we will be able to create a proper wiki from FAQs, if admins will work hard on this - this Q&A web site will be as useful as stats.stackexchange or stack overflow.
Firstly, I believe BioStar is just bad and rubbish. Whoever wrote the site should lose the job. Bioinformaticians deserve something better, and this is why we need one here.
I've been actively participating Bioinformatics questions on biology.exchange, but it's not a perfect solution. I'm happy to commit for a bioinformatics-only site.
There is no such thing as "fragment the community" because all the bioinformaticians will just come here. The two sites (BioStar and seqanswers) will fade away like Yahoo Ask!.
Currently there is NO stackexchange community called biostars.
Though when I typed "biostar.stackexchanged.com" ; it soon autocorrected it as "www.biostars.org" (with following appearance); it seems it is a different website (i.e. not a part of stackexchange network), and I do not know yet, whether that is a genuine website or a typosquatted website such as those nowadays doing link-manipulation-phishing.
So in this situation; it doesn't seem creating a bioinformatics portal under stackexchange would cause any interference with past biostar bioinformatics portal.
As per user DevonRyan told; the website biostars.org is genuine; and it is that one born inside stack network; but now it is a separate website, no more a part of SE network.