Sunday, August 19, 2007

More on the future of sites like the New Testament Gateway

On Philo of Alexandria blog, Torrey Seland talks about RPBS - Resource Pages - going into sleep?, looking at the difficulty of continuing to maintain what I have always regarded as the pioneering Biblical Studies megasite on the net. I still remember the happy day when I discovered the site in 1996, two or three days after my first experience of the internet, and at about the same time that I was delighted to discover Stephen Carlson's Synoptic Problem homepage. In those early days, one was so grateful for any decent academic materials on the internet. Now Torrey is feeling the strain a little, rather as I have been doing with the New Testament Gateway. While I am trying to reinvent the New Testament Gateway a bit, Torrey is more inclined to retire his Resource Pages. I have some sympathy. I am planning to retire one of my own sites, the All-in-One Biblical Resources Search, because technology has overtaken the forms-based work I did with that, and I ran out of time to work on that site a good couple of years ago. It is with some regret that I do retire it, because I spent huge amounts of time developing it and updating it. But I take comfort in the thought that it provided a good service for lots of people for a long time (and once even got a mention in People magazine!). I could have written several more articles, or half a book, in the time I spent on it, but I don't regret it, I don't think.

But it's not goodbye to Torrey's pages. He is keeping them going at least for now, and will continue to update the Philo pages for the foreseeable future, which is great news.


Ben said...

You helped way more people with these efforts than you ever would have with the half a book or articles you didn't write. I for one wish to offer you my heartfelt thanks.

Ben said...

No sooner had I written the previous comment, when euangelion points me to this post on (16 Aug 10:44 am)
If I publish a book it may take 5 years for 10,000 people to read it. But if I publish an essay on my website it may take a week for the same number of people to read it. And these people live in India, Ukraine, Brazil, all over the world in fact. Get the picture? And all of this for only 10 measly bucks a month. The Internet is such an incredibly effective tool for publishing that I am shocked at how few are using it effectively.

AKMA said...

I recognize with appreciative sympathy the challenges that you and Torrey face in maintaining your gateway sites. The strain of keeping such a page up, and the time it requires, make too great a demand on your time for those of us who use your pages to expect you to continue those efforts indefinitely.

Thanks for all that you have done, and for your vision for continuing that work in a different mode, using different infrastructure.

Danny Zacharias said...

There's still the Deinde Web Search! It indexes all the sites on NT Gateway - I think anyway!