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End of INFORMS Resources page? No really!

Last year, we had a brief discussion on the value of the INFORMS Resources page.  Since then, things have simply got worse.  Spammers overwhelm the system, keeping things updated is horrendously difficult, and it is unclear if more than a handful of people are interested in it.   As I write on the page:

As announced last year, it is unclear whether this resource page will continue. On one hand I started this back in 1994, so it is sad to see it go after 15 years. On the other hand, the internet has changed a lot since then. There was no Google back then, so simply finding stuff was hard to do. Now, it seems that the age of “hand edited” links is at an end (if it wasn’t so five years ago). Keeping these pages up to date is ferociously difficult. And the spammers are unrelenting (and I don’t have the heart to change software again to combat them). So, there is every possibility that these pages will go away on April 15, 2009. The only thing that can stop this is finding someone to take over the administration of this area with energy and enthusiasm to do something new. If you are interest contact me (Michael Trick) at trick@cmu.edu. And, if you believe in the site, it would be useful to be sure your site is here and is accurate. Even if it is only in place for a few months, it would be useful to have! Further discussion of this on my blog.

If you have submitted a site recently and it is has neither appeared nor have you received an explanation, please resubmit: we had some problems with the system that have now been corrected. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Anyone interested in taking this on?  Or think they can convince me this is a great use of my time?

{ 5 } Comments

  1. Larry (IEOR Tools) | January 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I hope this is not the end of the INFORMS Resources website. That site is one of the inspirations to my blog. Please let us know if the site goes down so I can grab all the links before they are gone.

  2. Alan Erera | January 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Any thought given to turning the page into a wiki? In this way, if a user community finds it useful, that community can be in charge of keeping it up-to-date.

    Alan

  3. Michael Trick | January 29, 2009 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the thoughts: Larry, feel free to submit your blog to the site. Part of the issue is that last year, I had more than 5000 spam submissions and only a handful of “real” submissions. While things definitely fell behind, it did not seem that site owners valued having a listing there.

    I have thought about a wiki, but that is easier to do with a private site than a society site. If a user community does not grow immediately out of a site sponsored by the society, then the society has to take responsibility, lest the wiki reflects poorly on the society as a whole.

    I have spent a couple of days trying to get more things up to date (I have handled the small areas, and am gearing up to addressing the larger ones), and have received a number of encouraging emails, for which I am grateful.

  4. Larry (IEOR Tools) | January 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps a good idea would be to transfer the “valid” links to INFORMS community generated Wikipedia page.

  5. Patrick Viry | January 30, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    The resources page is definitely useful, there is no way you can get the same quality of information with Google (though the page may deserve better visibility).

    If this is a community page, handling spam should also be a community work. This doesn’t necessarily require a change of software, only a change in processes. I once contributed to a collaborative japanese-french dictionary project, where the key to success was a well-designed process for peer-reviewing the entries, not relying on a single dedicated individual.

    Collaborative projets are common for software development, and many platforms have been developed for this purpose (bootcamp, sourceforge, etc…). Could they apply to the development of a resources page ?

    Another common option is to let spam go though, but rely on a system of notation by the readers to display the most meaningful entries first (eg. youtube).

    BTW, you just reminded me that I forgot to list my company 😉

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