In 1994 I began collecting links about operations research on the internet. Of course, it was pretty easy at the time. There were only about 1000 web servers at all, so there were just a handful of OR links. But there was also gopher and ftp, so I could put together a pretty good page with 30 or so entries. Over time, “Michael Trick’s Operations Research Page” grew and grew, encompassing a couple thousand pointers. It is through that page that I became involved in INFORMS, by becoming the founding editor of INFORMS Online.
In late 2000, I finished my terms as editor, but was then elected President of INFORMS (I suspect MTORP had something to do with that). At that time, I donated MTORP to INFORMS, where it became the INFORMS OR Resource page. At the time, it was the second most accessed page at INFORMS (next to the conference page). I continued to edit the page, primarily because the software made it pretty easy to do.
Over the past few years, I have been thinking that the time for the resource collection is pretty well over. The page was started long before google, and played an important role when finding information on the web was hard. With google and its competitors, that is no longer the case. A quick search can find any page on the web in an instant. If I want to find something about OR, I go to google, not the OR Resources page.
The page is actually taking more time these days. Spammers attack the page, and integrating the system in the overall INFORMS Online system is a hassle. The worst aspect is updating the page. About 1/3 of the links are no longer valid, but correcting everything needs to be done by hand. So I am thinking perhaps the time for the system is over. What do you think? I see three choices, though I am sure there are more. I (we) could:
- Shut down the page, perhaps replacing it by an edited blog on what’s new on the web in OR (similar to this blog, perhaps).
- Continue to limp along about the way we are doing things.
- Find someone else to come in, provide direction and excitement and show what a resource pointer collection can really be!
So, I’m interested: what do you think we should do?