Over a decade ago, I started my website, Bobbie’s Genealogy Classroom. Using simple web page creation software included with one of the browsers I used the website to provide links for my genealogy students so they didn’t have to scribble urls in class.
Over time it grew. I reorganized it. It grew more. I switched from simple software to Dreamweaver. It grew and I reorganized it again. But I have never kept up with keeping the pages current and complete
In addition to the usual impediments of time, energy and diverted attention spans, it takes me longer and longer to locate and identify free, useful content on the web.
When I began, there was limited genealogy content on the web and a huge amount of it was not only free, the pages were without ads. I usually did not link to sites that were cluttered with ads. (Kimberly Powell’s posts in About.com were an exception because they were so well written.) Over the years, the number of pages exploded, most carrying advertising and many of the older pages languished. Large websites, especially those maintained by institution, are often complicated and it can be difficult to ferret out the pages that contain pertinent information. Our information highway is clogged with out of date information, dead links and ubiquitous advertising. Excepting the advertising, I contribute to this. I apologize.
I am selective about what I link to and it takes a great deal of time to assess the quality of a page in a non subscription site. I have three basic criteria:
- How well the page is maintained: is new information added? Are bad links corrected? Is it, in other words current and complete — a criteria I fail at on my own pages.
- Is the quality of the information good?
- Is the page so cluttered with advertising that it is difficult to use? Worse, is it just generic information thrown up to provide a billboard for advertising?
So I will continue with an advertising free website. I will continue to include only information that I think is especially helpful. Unfortunately, I see no way I will be able to maintain the currency of the pages as well as I should. But I promise to do the best I can.