Updated February 2, 2008
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Canadian Social Research Links Posting Guidelines
I welcome suggestions for sites and site content that fit within the broad scope of this website [<=== this is a link to the About this Site page].
But I want to avoid recreating collections
available elsewhere, and I don't want to divert my time/energy and the focus of
this site away from social program information.
So I've set some arbitrary boundaries - guidelines to keep in mind if you're thinking of suggesting a link for inclusion in Canadian Social Research Links.
Several of the guidelines below are simply to 'protect' my discretionary time. If I set a precedent by posting a university job offer, an invitation to send a fax to the Prime Minister or someone's editorial on my site and in my newsletter, my sense of fairness demands that I treat all subsequent similar requests equally. The current trickle of requests for me to post this type of content on my site would quickly become a torrent, and this alone could become a full-time job...
human, of course, I have contravened some of these guidelines myself in the past,
and I'll likely do so again. I reserve the right to make
mistakes, to be inconsistent from time to time and to add to or change these rules
as and when I see fit. If you don't like it, get your own website, eh...
guidelines below deal with the type of content that I'll consider, or not, for
inclusion on my site and in my weekly newsletter.
As for the subject matter, please check my Wish List page - the themes/topics that you won't find on this site, because there's only one of me and only 24 hours in a day...
Easy on the Local Links...
There are thousands of municipalities in Canada, each with its social agencies serving a variety of excellent causes across Canada - and many of those agencies hold awareness and fund-raising events, and they produce relevant and credible reports and studies. Because of my resource limitations, however, I've chosen to stay clear of the local scene and stick to provincial, federal and international resources, and to include links to sites with a municipal focus only on an occasional, subjective basis...
Although I support a variety of social and environmental causes, I prefer to stick to offering research resources and letting other sites focus on campaigns for their respective causes.
By "campaign", I mean any activity that involves mobilizing public awareness and pressure through letter-writing, faxing, e-mail and petitions (both paper and electronic).
[Sometimes even well-intentioned efforts can have unintended consequences --- remember Amina Lawal, the Nigerian woman who was sentenced under Sharia Law to be stoned to death in 2003 for committing adultery?]
Please don't ask me to link to your commercial website, whether it's totally irrelevant (see #4) or, in the case of social researchers, it's to your latest, greatest report that's available from Oxford Press for $29.95 (or whatever). My site is about democratizing and empowering, and $29.95 is very disempowering for many. There are online bookstores that offer that service, much better than I ever could. [...and yes, I have made a few exceptions on my site - I have friends too, eh...]
Forget the offers of "link exchange" (e.g., Viagra, travel services, tech sites, casinos [duh.], etc.) --- I don't link to sites that try to sell visitors a product or service unless a particular site also offers some free content that I consider relevant.
"When I link to another site, it is because I believe that site has value for my visitors. Whether or not the other site links back to me is of no consideration in my decision."
This statement concerning link exchange is from James S. Huggins' website - I felt it was worth copying here because it represents exactly the way I feel.
Follow the first of the two links in the previous sentence for the entire article and links to info about the impact of Google's algorithm on linking practices.
5. No Job Postings/Opportunities
I occasionally receive requests from university research centres and non-governmental organizations to post a job opportunity or a Request for Proposals (requesting bids for a contract) or some such thing. I can only imagine how quickly my site would transform into a glorified bulletin board if I had to accommodate every request to post a job offer from universities and NGOs.
6. No Surveys
I know that your survey is very important to you, either as an individual or a group.
But it's another one of those "floodgate" issues --- if I posted one survey on my site, the precedent would be set, and I would find it difficult to turn down subsequent requests.
Everyone seems to be doing surveys these days, so if I have to choose between posting all surveys and none, I'll reluctantly go with none, just to preserve the focus of my site and my own sanity.
Since I retired from the federal civil service in the fall of 2003, I've received a few e-mails from folks who have been regular visitors to my site, suggesting that I either start writing editorials or allow space on my site and in my weekly newsletter for people to present their views on social policy and social programs in Canada.
Sorry, I'm not there yet - and I don't know if I'll ever be.
8. No Attachments
If you send me an e-mail message to announce that you've just posted your group's latest report or newsletter on your website, please don't include the Word document or the PDF file as an e-mail attachment - I can read it online, and the attachment adds to my Inbox clutter.
9. No Attachments -
On occasion, I've received an e-mail request to convert a Word file or PDF file (which is always attached, of course) of someone's report or commentary and to upload it to my own site or "to the Internet".
The small portion of the Internet that my site occupies costs me money every month; if I start converting your document(s) and uploading them to my site, I'll feel compelled to do the same for anyone who asks - well, almost anyone - and that would eat up not only my time to convert files, but it would also fill up the web server space that I rent, and it would soon cost me more for web hosting services...
This is a no-brainer, the usual common-sense disclaimer : I refuse to link to porn sites, or to sites that promote hatred or intolerance of any kind.
(And the Fraser Institute's intolerance of medicare doesn't count.)
Wish List - what you won't find on this site, because there's only one of me and only 24 hours in a day...
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