Liestal, July, 7th, 2013
An Open Letter concerning the future development of this website
Dear Organic Chemistry domain visitors,
The Organic Chemistry Portal is a unique collection of resources intended to serve the organic synthesis community, from incipient organic chemists at the university level or younger to seasoned veterans in the field, and for many individuals in fields that overlap to some extent with organic chemistry. I feel that we have been highly successful at reaching this objective.
Many of you might think that this website is a commercial success, based on the professional appearance and efficiency of the presentation, the number of advertisements displayed, and the thousands of visitors who visit the domain. Indeed, our income increased over a number of years. However, we still have not reached the volume, which would allow to hire a co-worker and improve the website even more.
How can you help me to improve the situation?
I assume that visitors to the domain know and appreciate the value of the content provided, not only scientific and technical knowledge, but reviews of scholarly books, information about laboratory chemicals and equipment and access to vendors, job listings, listings for conferences and training sessions, and much more. If you do believe that having the resources of this site continually available and regularly updated, there are several ways in which you can contribute to making that happen.
Awareness among the industry
First, I believe that awareness of the site by decision makers in chemistry-related industries could be improved. Many people in marketing or human resources departments at major companies do not even know about www.organic-chemistry.org. Thus, they cannot judge whether the content is valuable, and whether it makes sense to buy advertisement or present open vacancies. I am thankful that many of you mention to suppliers of chemicals or lab equipment, or to your human resources department, that you use The Organic Chemistry Portal. Please continue to do so, and pass along your recommendation that placing a company advertisement at the site would make sense. For example, when you order chemicals, many companies offer the opportunity to send comments along with an order, and it would take you only a few seconds to include a recommendation of this website. Similarly, it would only take a minute to print out the page on how to advertise job opportunities, and then forward the print-out to your human resource department. All of this could help improve the situation.
Awareness among your colleagues
Please recommend the website to your colleagues! Check whether your company’s website, group page or library already mentions The Organic Chemistry Portal; if not, please contact your webmaster to request they place a link.
At local, national, or international conferences, please mention our site in your discussions with professional colleagues who might not yet be aware of us, or not aware of the range of resources available. You could mention the book reviews, or the product information for software, chemicals, or equipment, especially if they were helpful in your making a purchase decision. If the discussion runs to organic name reactions, or ways to stay current with synopses of important publications, you could suggest visiting our site as an easy way to glean the desired information.
What you can do personally
Browser sophistication is increasing, and providing services such as efficient pop-up or advertisement blockers is one example. There are certainly good reasons to use such blockers in general, since pop-ups can slow down browsing, take up memory resources, and can be quite annoying and persistent. However, blocking all advertisement on The Organic Chemistry Portal has an effect on income for the site, and we’d like to ask you to place an exception for our site in your browser or add-on configuration. You can restrict the deactivation of the blocker to a specific domain, and it would be very helpful to us for you to do this. Currently, one user who blocks advertisement results in a net loss of approximately USD 10 per year.
Soliciting personal donations is far from my first choice, because my interest is really to have a website that is well recognized by the industry, where specialists can find interesting information on the most interesting and novel products, with links to do follow-up. However, if you would like to speed up the development of this website, please feel free to send a personal donation. If you have used the site among a study group and have found our resources to be beneficial, each member of the group could contribute to a group donation. If you are a regular visitor USD 50, 20 or even 10 would be welcome (10 USD ~ 10 CHF ~ 9 EUR).
I can assure you that every single dollar generated by donations will go 100% into the development of this website.
We currently have a certain delay in work on the abstracts section. However, as soon as I cover support for a co-worker, we will backfill the gaps and/or start to publish more abstracts covering historical reactions, or covering a broader range of chemistry and scaffolds. We welcome your suggestions regarding what areas we should prioritize, the content that would be most useful to you. The plan is to continue abstracting papers and cross-referencing the most pertinent information.
As always, I want to hear from our visitors how we can improve this service.
It would be immensely helpful if you can act on any of the above suggestions:
raising awareness among the industry, raising awareness among your colleagues,
and making personal efforts to support the site, directly or indirectly. Having
put so much of myself into The Organic Chemistry Portal, I don’t want to see the
quantity or quality diminish, and so respectfully request your help and support.