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AOL Staff's DMOZ/ODP Blog.
New initiative by various AOL staff: blog.dmoz.org

 3:00 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the commitments recently made by AOL to the ODP Editing Community (along with the provision of several additional AOL staff, some hardware upgrades, and various ongoing software changes) was to provide a better way to get more information about the ODP out to the wider public.

So today, the ODP Blog has gone live. This blog is written by AOL Staff. The first few topics will give a general introduction to the ODP and its workings, mainly for those that may not have heard about the project before, or may not know much about it. Later posts will cover much wider topics, and there is some very interesting material to come over the following few months.

See: [blog.dmoz.org...] for more.



 3:20 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've known for some time that there's a healthy core of intelligent life residing within the operations of DMOZ. I've seen signs of that intelligence many times, right here in this forum.

On the PR front this is the first sign of intelligent life I've seen in a long time. Hopefully this signifies not only a new level of "corporate commitment" but also a new era of openness. A bit of public laundry cleaning - from the inside out - wouldn't be all bad in the era of the Cluetrain Manifesto.

If so, let's hope there's more to come. Let's hope that DMOZ gets the disctinction between advertising - what one says about one's self - and marketing, i.e. what the market or public dialogue is saying about "the company".

The ODP is a project worthy of revival/reinvigoration. This is a small sign of a health and fitness program IF it's a sign that AOL gets that the conversation matters. For example, there will always be ODP detractors, just like there are WikiPedia detractors. It would be nice to see more public comment about efforts are underway to deprive detractors of new material.

Beside, Wikipedia could use some competition. ;)

Moderator's Note: For those new to the Directory Forum and how ODP/DMOZ related threads are handled please take a moment to read the Directory Forum Charter. [webmasterworld.com] We take a pro-active - "best ways to get best outcome" - approach to the content of DMOZ issue threads. Complaints and grievances should be filed with DMOZ . . or posted to their new blog. ^..^ Thank you. Webwork

[edited by: Webwork at 1:06 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2007]


 10:10 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since DMOZ directory gets imported as the Google Directory, there is much watching of this AOL initiative in the Google Search forum [webmasterworld.com], too. Could it be a new era is about to arrive? I certainly hope so.


 11:08 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sounds to me like they finally read what the world was saying about them and realized they had to at least pretent to give a sh** or the project faced a certain demise. Let's hope this is the being of *REAL* change, not just some PR gesture to shut up the critics and renew some business arrangements...


 1:36 am on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you think about it rationally -- not that anyone involved does :) -- DMOZ has the potential to be an extremely valuable chess piece for AOL. And they don't even have to pay $1.7 billion to get control over it.

Sure, it's community-driven, and they can't just throw their weight around without risking a revolt, but at a time when "user generated content" is generating enormous Wall Street valuations, the "social" aspect of DMOZ obviously isn't a valid reason for AOL to continue to neglect DMOZ.

I'd love to see AOL make a sincere effort to diagnose and fix the weaknesses of DMOZ (no need to repeat that debate/list). There's a huge opportunity for changes that are win-win-win solutions for DMOZ volunteers, AOL shareholders, and quality-oriented webmasters. The only losers would be the fakers and spammers.


 9:57 am on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Given me a new lease of hope in dmoz
Just suggested a new listing… the first time in an absolute age.

Hope springs eternal



 2:03 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

What a great idea - providing it is run 100% by AOL and not a rebranded RZ in another format.

It could be a step further towards making the ODP "Open" only time will tell, but on the face of it, i think this is a very positive step being taken.


 5:33 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

why is a blog expected change anything?

I suppose it is another means of communication,,


 7:17 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

The following 5 messages were cut out to new thread by webwork. New thread at: directories/3464579.htm [webmasterworld.com]
8:48 am on Sep. 29, 2007 (utc -5)


 5:56 pm on Sep 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

The following 13 messages were cut out to new thread by webwork. New thread at: directories/3464602.htm [webmasterworld.com]
8:56 am on Sep. 29, 2007 (utc -5)


 2:06 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Moderator's Note: Folks, this thread is about the import of an "official blog" now being added to DMOZ.

It's not about submitting and resubmitting sites. (Posts removed to a separate thread. Tired old issue.)

It's not about "What if nofollow tags were added". (Posts removed to a separate thread. Interesting issue.)

It's not about the entire restructuring of DMOZ, though the creation of a blog hints at the possibility. (Posts removed to a new thread. Interesting issue that we touched on before).

This thread would do best if the discussion and analysis focused on how "corporate blogs" do or do not change things, how to engage a corporate blog, etc.

If you want to raise diverse DMOZ issues - please - start a new thread with an interesting title and some interesting inital thoughts and I'll certainly take it off pre-mod ASAP.

Thank you.


 5:08 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Moderating isn't easy. Any dmoz thread tends to devolve into myriad heated directions. Good work to put a clamp on it and direct this thread to something new... But I don't think this thread can go far if it's limited to a discussion of corporate blogs as it relates to dmoz.

ODP faces insurmountable spam, a fundamental problem with its mission and methods of submission. They also face a lack of funding and importance by its owner. They also have issues of scaling their hardware.

If the corporate blog just tells people the above, obviously ODP is doomed. If they plan to fix it, then the blog is a communication tool, which is nice. But with a fixed system, they won't need it. WW will be all over it as well as a million personal blogs.

Therefore, if you limit this thread to corporate blogs and not what dmoz is doing/can do/will do to fix their problems, how much more is there to say?


 6:54 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Clark, all you need to do is to initiate a new thread on whatever new or ancillary topic you wish to engage. That's what we would prefer, in part because DMOZ threads - left to expand and wander - eventually all degrade.

Our approach to DMOZ threads is well laid out in the Directory Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com]. We've managed to host some fairly detailed and helpful DMOZ threads in the past year due to the restrictions we've placed, in order to suppress noise and amplify the signal.

I'd rather host 1 intelligent "What's the best way to approach this DMOZ on this issue?" thread a month than 100 "Why can't I get my site listed by the fraud editors who take so long and favor their own sites and allow other spammy sites and won't accept my application to edit even after I proved how interested I am by submitting my website for the 4th time this month and . . . blah . . blah . . blah . .?" type threads.

It sucks to moderate threads, but unmoderated DMOZ threads suck even worse. If anyone needs a DMOZ Whingefest fix "the other variety" of DMOZ/ODP threads - the classic long, meandering, ODP threads, full of sound and fury, signifying and accomplishing nothing - can be found in at least a dozen other forums. ;-P

[edited by: Webwork at 7:30 pm (utc) on Sep. 29, 2007]


 11:33 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess the fundamental question is – Is the creation of a blog by the Managing Editor like the Chief of Police running to a car wreck with a band-aid

so he can shout “We tried; We tried” next time he’s called on to justify his position?


Is it a small outward sign of a more fundamental change from of a historically inward looking organisation finally realising that a handful of self serving people have mismanaged, possibly irrevocably stifled an extremely worthwhile open source project.

Other than suggesting changes which are met with a constructive two way dialogue by people who can actually make change happen, all we can do is sit here as armchair critics with no real idea of what is being, is likely to be, or has to be done.

As Georg Lichtenberg might have said if he were alive today

“I cannot say whether Dmoz will get better if they change.
What I can say is they must change if they are to get better”


 2:55 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

gpmgroup - the problem with your approach is that you want DMOZ to do things better to help SEO's manipulate DMOZ into something that its not going to do. Then attack DMOZ for not doing what you want .... don't figure?


 3:45 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think we can safely dismiss this blog entirely. It's a week old and we've had only one post (not counting the "hi we've made a blog" entry).

That single post is nothing but a note on Google search to disclose the shocking revelation that search engine indexes are not static and engraved in stone.


 6:12 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> It's a week old and we've had only one post (not counting the "hi we've made a blog" en <<

As I said above, the first few posts will mainly be stuff that introduces the ODP and what it does.

Additionally, the schedule on postings is initially going to be "about weekly". They do have a lot of other things to do, other than post to blogs.

>> nothing but a note on Google search to disclose the shocking revelation that search engine indexes are not static and engraved in stone. <<

You could call it a post to counter all the malicious mis-information posted elsewhere that the site had been banned by Google.

Plenty of evidence was there to show that was not the case, even before Matt Cutts confirmed it.


 12:41 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

gpmgroup - the problem with your approach is that you want DMOZ to do things better to help SEO's manipulate DMOZ into something that its not going to do. Then attack DMOZ for not doing what you want .... don't figure?

I have no interest in trying to persuade DMOZ into allowing SEO’s to manipulate DMOZ whether they are outsiders or existing editors.

I have a very good understanding of the spam problem and realise how massively detrimental it can be to productivity.(We have developed a system which has handled up to 9500 an hour knocking on the front door; and of the thousands, currently around 1 every 2 weeks or so manages to invade our user’s workspaces.:))

However such a system is not successful if there are false positives which are indeterminately delayed or lost in the toxic sludge. As a commercial organization we unlike DMOZ can not afford to allow this to happen even in the short term.

Daily verification that there are no false positives is critical but also unproductive and therefore must be kept to a minimum. (Our system learns/evolves and we have not seen any false positives in weeks. And as a direct result a single person spends only a couple of minutes each day performing this single critical non automated check.)

My interest is whether the new blog is the first public indication that DMOZ is finally managing to get to grips with this problem and there is any point in suggesting further sites.

I have several personal non commercial interests that I am always interested in learning more about and always happy to spend my time helping somebody else with the same passion. To the categories for each of those subjects I could easily submit 10 or 20 sites to improve those categories.

The question I have to ask myself is there any point? Submit and forget for months/years just doesn’t cut it especially if all I am doing is supporting a project which is allowing some members in more commercial areas to use spam as an excuse not to list “competing” non members submissions.

The blog is important because it is an opportunity to give the reassurance submitters and would be editors are looking for.


 7:02 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

They do have a lot of other things to do, other than post to blogs.

Come on, Matt Cutts manages it, and so do many "high profile" corporate executives across industries of all sorts.

Much blog posting is done in people's spare time, especially when they have a real commitment to get their message out.

Perhaps what is coming across here is that AOL execs do not have that commitment.

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