I did some soul-searching, advise-gathering, thinking, planning, and crystal ball gazing. And it seems that moving Global Names grant and myself to Species File Group is a right decision. Why? Because Marine Biological Laboratory is a hard core research institute, which completely depends on grants and as such is not well-suited for infrastructure projects. Global Names is definitely an infrastructure project and I know very well how bad it is to be responsible for an infrastructure project and not being able to work on it. It is just not a good way to do business.
It is my 8th year at MBL. I enjoy MBL, I love living on Cape Cod. I love an immense energy of MBL collective mind. I met really amazing people, amazing scientists here. I worked with great people at Encyclopedia of Life project. And also I was never sure if I will be there next year, or sometimes next month. I had weeks and months when I had no ability to move forward with Global Names, because it had no financial support at that time.
Species Files Group is long term financed, allowing a long term commitment. They are interested in Global Names, they do want me to continue to develop it, integrate it with Catalogue of Life. And these are my goals too. David Eades understands that Global Names will need a long-term investment in hardware, and he provides a generous annual fund for that. It means no more 7 year old computers running Global Names services. I also hope it will help to integrate Global Names Usage Bank, a crucial GN component developed by Rich Pyle and Rob Whitton.
Another big factor is ability to work closely with programmers and taxonomists of the SFG group. At MBL I am now the only one on EOL project (Jeremy is remote), and I feel I am getting stale without nomenclators/taxonomists around.
Of course we need to figure out how to move current GN computers without shutting down services for a few weeks. I imagine I would have to rent an expensive cloud setup for a month or two, and run GN from there while machines are in transit. We will have to figure out how to transfer grant, make a new hire for the project etc. But all of these are good problems to solve. I believe GN suddenly got a brighter future ahead.