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|Why doesn't a new and improved competitor to DMOZ arise?|
If DMOZ is so valuable but so bad why hasn't a new competitor arisen?
Do you people think that it is possible for someone with a bright idea to beat dmoz?
The trouble with your scenario is that it assumes Joe Surfer wants to use a general-purpose directory to find a hostel in Rome. In reality, Joe will be perfectly happy to use a tourist-office page about Rome hostels, a page on an independent travel site about Rome hostels, or the Rome page of a specialized hostels directory--any one of which he's likely to find quickly and easily with a Google search.
The trouble for some of us will be weaning off people off the Search engine addiction
Guys, before they came along, you where using us directories, an hey we also have flash search functions too,
Fortunately, the majority of humanity do not think like the webmaster, who has had to live with the brilliance of the "hot" SE's
Yes I know the SE's are really good, infact they're awesome
But do you never feel the urge to check up some where different?
The good new for me is that the budgeoning traffic to various directories tells me that people are using directories, though this may be hard for folk who haven't seen the stats or who are totally SE dependent to understand.
My thing here is to persuade some of you chaps to join them in using your local directory
One issue is that your directory would get pegged as being spam by the major search engines. Whereas google will not treat DMOZ as spam.
We have tried this and they do not get much credit in the SERPS. Your directory looks like a link farm if its quality or not. If you have had a different experience I would like to know but this is what I have seen.
I think a lot of the other issues with DMOZ also come from the fact that they have a "good old boys club" for the editors. Not sure how you fix this.
>>Why doesn't a new and improved competitor to DMOZ arise?
I think the biggest reason is the lack of a compelling business justification for such an effort. If human-edited directories were wildly profitable, someone would get some venture capital, hire a bunch of humans, and create one.
Why isn't such a directory profitable when you can monetize popular content relatively easily? Fundamentally, a directory is not the most useful way for users to find websites. If it was, DMOZ, the Google directory, the Yahoo directory, and many others would see lots of traffic. In fact, they are all marginal compared to the big Web search engines.
While the hiearchical structure can be useful for certain kinds of searches, it also tends to pigeonhole sites. That may be fine for some small, single-purpose sites, but doesn't work well for big sites with diverse content that operate across many geographic locations. For those sites, a directory builder must either create a bazillion listings for that site (generally not good) or list it under a few appropriate categories and skip the rest(problematic for searchers).
The volunteer aspect of DMOZ may be limiting, but only because of the highly controlled editor selection process. Wikipedia shows that massive volunteer efforts can be made to work. If the directory concept was a huge winner, we'd have a huge Directopedia by now. We don't. So I wouldn't blame DMOZ's shortcomings on being a volunteer effort.
The closest thing to a DMOZ competitor (from a user benefit standpoint) is Mahalo, the "human edited search engine." The concept is different than DMOZ, but at least in part the user benefit is the same - specific topics with the best editor-reviewed sites listed. Whether building and maintaining such a tool is a valid business concept remains to be seen.
|My thing here is to persuade some of you chaps to join them in using your local directory |
I thought we were talking about "a new and improved competitor to DMOZ," not local directories. Local directories aren't competing with DMOZ; they're competing with search engines and the phone book. (How many people go to DMOZ when they're looking up a local nightclub, restaurant, optician, or hardware store?)
|Folks, we already know "how bad DMOZ is" |
Then why have a thread about DMOZ at all as I think it's highly irrelevant.
Much like the Yahoo directory is becoming more and more irrelevant as well.
As a matter of fact, the DMOZ directory is SO IRRELEVANT to Google that you'll be hard pressed to find the copy that Google uses as their own directory. It used to be that Google had searching of the directory as an easy to find option, then it moved to "More..." and then it was pushed to the back of the bus on a more obscure page.
|why then hasn't some group taken on the job of building a better DMOZ? |
Some have tried, and one that springs to mind actually exhibits at PubCon and SES but we're not allowed to mention them by name so I won't.
However, I think the age of the generic mega-directory is over and the niche directories have taken over to provide far better and more customized and personalized services tailored to their individual markets.
If anyone were planning a new mega-directory it would have to be built taking the needs of each niche into account with more to a listing than just a domain name and one line of descriptive text as that's so 90's it's pitiful, which is what DMOZ is, an arcane dinosaur that refuses to evolve.
Will a new competitor arise?
Most likely, but I wouldn't call them a competitor because DMOZ doesn't compete with anyone IMO.
The next generation, if it ever exists, will be Web 2.x-like with community involved and be more of a combination directory, portfolio, lead generation, rating and comparison site that just a mere directory.
|Local directories aren't competing with DMOZ; they're competing with search engines and the phone book. |
Au contraire mon ami!
DMOZ contains local data, it's just that local directories have won the battle.
If you can't get listed in a timely manner in the big monolith but you CAN get listed in the local niche directory, which is being indexed well in Google, then you go with the local niche directory that works.
FWIW, I run a niche directory that branched out into local venues and I have a ton of listings you simply cannot find in DMOZ because I'm too nimble and dominate my niche as that's all I focus on is ONE NICHE.
|(How many people go to DMOZ when they're looking up a local nightclub, restaurant, optician, or hardware store?) |
People don't look there because nobody submits that information there although the categories and some scattered listings exist.
FWIW, Most people other than us nerds and early internet adopters don't even know DMOZ exists.
They go to Google because that's what they know.
The local niche directories have already got a solid lock in Google because they actually have more content in those areas than DMOZ.
So in effect, you're right, they aren't competing with DMOZ because they already won the battle.
Which brings me back to what I stated in my previous post that a new mega-directory service would have to be built as a series of niche directories that address the information needs of each market and not just a list of names and brief descriptions.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 9:46 pm (utc) on July 24, 2007]
That network of niche directories is one i've been looking at,
The other thing is developing a seriously powerfully information location system
Distributed computing , anyone familiar with that concept?
Think Sci fi films
|Which brings me back to what I stated in my previous post that a new mega-directory service would have to be built as a series of niche directories that address the information needs of each market and not just a list of names and brief descriptions. |
That's what About.com (then The Mining Co.) wanted to do back in the 1990s, when its emphasis was on directories and the goal was to out-Yahoo the Yahoo directory.
Today, the idea seems almost quaint, because--as your own experience shows--individuals or small teams with an interest in a topic or a locality will nearly always be able to do a better job than a directory that's based on a top-down hierarchy.
|That's what About.com (then The Mining Co.) wanted to do back in the 1990s |
That's one theory and maybe that was the goal, but About was a big disorganized mess and it still is. I'm talking about something where finding what you want is simple, not cluttered up with crap like About or convoluted like playing Where's Waldo on the web to get to the information.
|That's one theory and maybe that was the goal |
It isn't a theory, and it was a goal. (I was there, and I know what we we were told.)
Mind you, TMC/About.com never did succeed in out-Yahooing Yahoo, and there's no reason why it should have: Its strategies (and owners, for that matter) have changed more than once in the last 10 years.
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