An open letter to mathjobs.org June 9, 2008Posted by Ben Webster in jobs.
Let me just start by saying I’m a big fan. Really, you’re a most excellent website, who filled a definite need in the mathematical community. You’ve improved the life of pretty much everybody who’s applied for academic jobs in math in the past couple of years, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do a good job of this.
But, true to my nature, I’m not writing to discuss your manifold virtues, but the one painfully obvious one which is missing. I’m referring, of course, to implementing RSS feeds. I mean, lists of job openings which are sporadically updated are precisely the sort of information RSS was designed to deal with. In your present set-up, it’s very easy for people to miss job openings if they go a little too long between checking the website, a problem which could be rectified in a…well…really simple way by RSS. I mean, Craigslist has RSS feeds working. Do you really see yourself as the sort of website who cannot keep up with Craigslist? I think you can do better.
EDIT: Well, MathJobs came through as promised.
After such prompt and thoughtful response from the MathJobs crew (see the comments below), I feel like a bit of a heel for the (fairly moderate) level of snark displayed above. I will, however, defend the choice to voice my request in blog form. It wasn’t just because our blog has been hurting for material lately; it also provides a forum for people to discuss what else they would like to see out of MathJobs. Maybe someone else has had some tiny aspect of the website that’s been nagging them. I mean, like I said, MathJobs is great, but no website is perfect. So…anybody else have bright ideas?