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11 tips from a senior DMOZ editor

 12:47 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

One DMOZ editorís 11 tidbits:

1)No or little content = no addition.
2)The more subject specific the web site or page, the better.
3)I can tell a mile away if the page is put up to make money or because it was a labor of love. So if your primary concern is to make money, itíll show on the page. I reject such sites.
4)Geocities sites are highlighted by DMOZ for regular review, probably because they tend to disappear. If you have a Geocities site, make sure itís updated regularly.
5)Do not submit more than two times for the same domain.
6)Long descriptions get chopped, always. The shorter the description, the better chance itíll be used as is.
7)If the siteís not posted in two weeks, send the editor a nice email. If the editorís a good editor, he or she would thank you.
8)Submit to the right category, or itíll be passed around like a burning coal until itís deleted by some careless editor.
9)Sites with its own domain are less likely to be rejected.
10)If youíve been deleted from the list, kindly ask the editor why. Perhaps the site was down when the links were reviewed.
11)Donít bother to ask the editor to change the description, it might just get deleted.



 4:30 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

There are public forums for checking your listing status.

I wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about this, a quick search reveals this function is only available to editors as far as I can tell. I picked up a visit from DMOZ in my server logs a couple of months back, but haven't seen my new site listed yet. So I guess the 2 week listing period is up!

NeoSys, you didn't mention what happens if your category doesn't have an editor?

I am happy with how Google is treating me so far without any help from DMOZ. I'm starting to think DMOZ is doomed and I will stick to building content and adding features to my site rather than wait for the DMOZ seal of approval ;).


 4:35 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi NeoSys - not picking on you.

I missed your post. As a DMOZ editor (and a volunteer) I commend the job you do.

You are well within your rights within the categories you manage to enforce "your own understanding of DMOZ guidelines".

However, your subjective post reads verbatim, which DMOZ is not.

It all comes down to the merits of individual sites and individual editors.


 4:41 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)


If your cat doesn't have an editor, submit and send an email to the editor(s) in charge of a higher level cat. Kindly request him/her/them to review your site.


 4:42 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Say what you like because what's funny is you yourself are giving tips when you're not even an editor. I am

You are quite amusing yourself, Neo. I wouldn't have felt the urge to contradict several of your tips if I wasn't an editor myself. Other senior editors and/or former senior editors have also made similar comments. You're welcome to have (and share) your own opinions on how editors should operate but sharing them as if they were ODP gospel is not helping submitters at all. It's great if you're able to review all sites in your categories within 2 weeks but that right there tells me that, regardless of how long you've been an editor, you don't edit at a really high level in a high submissions area of the directory. Not knocking you, just stating a fact -- there's no way you could be, say, an editor of Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development and be able to review all the sites under you within 2 weeks.

For example, for any editor with Geocities listings, ODP will have them marked orange with a special mention.

You might like to go back and reread the notes assigned to Geocities.com listings.

[edited by: motsa at 4:52 am (utc) on Dec. 1, 2002]


 4:49 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Your points were taken...I just don't agree with them. :)


 4:50 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm starting to think DMOZ is doomed

I don't know if I would go that far. I would like to believe that the vast majority of ODP editors actually understand and adhere to the guidelines set up by DMOZ. I for one will put no weight whatsoever by the posts that Neosys have made (sorry, if it walks like a troll, smells like a troll, ect. ect.)

Having said that, I am troubled by an attitude that seems to prevail around the ODP in regards to trying to improve the directory. This thread [webmasterworld.com] is a good example. Time and time again I feel like a wall is thrown up to any idea that may have merit to try and improve what is clearly an ailing but fantastic resource.
Just once I would like to see a senior editor or meta or whatever say, "hey!, that's a great idea, lets try and get that done". Instead all I hear are excuses. The best damn directory on the web is ill. What a shame. :(


 4:52 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

A related thread

Dmoz: Rules, Responsibilities and Rankings [webmasterworld.com]


 4:57 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

There are public forums for checking your listing status.

I wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about this,

Try resource-zone.com, they can give you information about your submission.

Two weeks might be fine if it's a small up to date category with an active aditor and not many submissions. But what about large categories with a backlog and more submissions all the time, plus the nearest editor several levels up? I have a site sitting in a queue for just such a cat and it's been about five months since I submitted. A higher editor updates the category occasionally and it's certainly not a case of someone 'not doing their job'. There just isn't anyone who's job it is. I'm not upset, I know it'll get to the top of the queue and reviewed eventually. But if I'd been given unreasonable hopes of two weeks before review then I probably would be upset by now.


 5:04 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)


I'm sorry you feel that way, but no one has proven any of my statements as false. It's all in the interpretation, and like our laws, can create dissension. Therefore, you can say my posts are worthless to you, but I do take offense to you calling me a troll.


 5:20 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Neosys, all you have provided are your own opinions. This is fine, but it's a mistake to confuse opinions with "facts." I would also add that it is quite curious that a "senior editor" such as yourself did not recognize that "motsa" is not only an editor - she is the most "senior" of ALL the editors (i.e. an editall/catmv).


 5:29 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

but no one has proven any of my statements as false.

Will bow out of this discussion now, but before I do NeoSys, the manner in which you state your position suggests that your intend is not one of educating potential submitters.

Are your statements false? Obviously not in your categories, as you have free reign over these.

However, for your statement to be 100% truthful, you must have editorial power over all of DMOZ.

DMOZ branding maintains "humans do it better" not because of your suggested comments are correct, but because an unbiased assessment of the web sites content can be better than a mathematical equation for listing. Normally this is provided by an expert in that particular field (whether by topic or by region).

Unless you are versed in every field your status as a "senior DMOZ editor" reflects only a small group of categories within the whole of DMOZ.

Therefore, your position does not reflect all of DMOZ.

10's of thousands of other editors have their own personal (voluntary) views of their categories and DMOZ guidelines, and I personally don't believe all of these individuals are managing categories unethically.

[edited by: fathom at 5:39 am (utc) on Dec. 1, 2002]


 5:30 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)


I thought that name looked familiar...Laisha is the only one I recognized. From the replies on this thread, the time spent typing out what I thought were useful tips based on my experience as editor for ODP for three+ years were all for naught.


 5:35 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)


Editors like myself are the ones adding, deleting, editing submissions on a regular basis...and so I have some expertise on how that process works. My posts may be abrasive for some. Heck, I even got a sticky from a mod to tone it down a bit, which I intend to do.


 5:38 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Neosys, it's not a manner of what you say as much as how you say it. You have a lot to offer, but belittling a poster like motsa doesn't do much for your credibility. Secondly, whenever you go against accepted wisdom it's best to show proof and not opinions - even when you're right. If you tell people they're wrong, instead of trying to convince them why, they will never believe you. :)


 5:47 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)


Thanks. :)


 6:08 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

If anyone's curious and for what it's worth, I am editor for two major categories (it's not in web development) including several other sub categories. I may not have as many submissions as motsa claims other editors do, but I do get them by the loadful every time I log in. The trick is doing it on a regular basis so it's not so daunting, keeping them from piling up. Tools like "super editing" really help. Having second thoughts now on my contributing to ODP. :(


 6:17 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Keep the faith NeoSys. If you spent much time here, you will learn as much as you offer.

In the end... that the point! ;)


 2:44 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

If I did't list commerce sites 2 cats would be totally empty and another would have 80% less listings than now!

The best way of getting a fast listing is to read the guidlines and submit as they suggest.


 4:35 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

NeoSys >> they might get me kicked out

Sounds like a good plan to me. It's editors with bad attitudes about commercial sites that are a major reason I don't even bother submitting new sites, content laden or otherwise, to DMOZ.

NeoSys >> don't push your luck

I was an editor once myself and realize how much work it is. In fact, it was more than I could handle so I had to quit. Seems like too many of the ones that haven't quit are the power-hungry types ... gratified by having power more than caring about the community.

As for affiliate sites, there are people who spend a great deal of time assembling product information, competitive and comparative information and supplemental content for their affiliate merchants. These aren't your labor of love sites, but they're well received by surfers or I wouldn't bother putting them. They are an important part of the marketing program for many major and well-known companies. DMOZ editors who put on their blinders for well-designed affiliate sites, and I realize they run a witch hunt campaign for affiliate sites, are one more reason DMOZ doesn't even get a chance to look any of my affiliate sites anymore (Good you say! So be it ... it's your loss as well as mine.)

I've had my say ... EOM


 4:35 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

My list of tips and reminders? I almost posted something like this in NFFC's thread the other day... ODP does not operate in relative secrecy the way that Yahoo and others do. I believe that all of ODP's documentation is easily found using Google, even the category-specific guidelines mentioned below (try "gambling guidelines" or "real estate guidelines" and see what you find). [dmoz.org...] is the main document used by editors in their day-to-day volunteer duties.

1) Understand that not every submission will get listed and no listing is guaranteed to be permanent. Misunderstandings of these points create a lot of noise in forums such as this one. See [dmoz.org...]
2) If you'd write a description and title which fit within the guidelines found at [dmoz.org...] then you'd increase your chances of keeping those titles and descriptions intact when the site gets reviewed.
3) Submit to the single best category for your site (or maybe the best two). Don't submit to every category which contains some keyword you are in love with. (The "hot coal" analogy mentioned in the first post is very appropriate here.)
4) Classifiable sites are easier to review than all-purpose sites. All-purpose sites are nice, but more experienced editors are the folks who (probably) know best where to put them (See post 1)
5) Making money is fine, but affiliate links (and various kinds of ads) are tricky business. If they don't obscure/overwhelm the informational value of the site then the site is more likely (but not guaranteed) to be listed.
6) Some sites don't add a lot of value to the directory. See [dmoz.org...] hints at what is wanted and what is not.
7) Some types of sites have more specific guidelines. See [dmoz.org...] for some additional info. MLM, gambling, shopping, real estate and adult sites all have extra rules (and I think there are others). It never hurts to look at the category charter/description/FAQ before submitting your site to any particular category tree.
8) Contrary to popular mythology, it is very rare that your site is not listed because your "competitor" is editing in the category you want to be found in. I've been accused more than once of being a competitor in various areas of ODP all because I felt that a site should not be there. If I was such an active entrepreneur, would I have time to visit these forums?
9) Editors (and staff@dmoz.org) are not required to reply to any emails from you, but a lot of them will read and act on your writings. Try to be nice.
10) Keyword-stuffed domain names are red flags (to me). More scrutiny is appropriate (to me) for most sites which do this.
11) Please don't submit mirror URLs and URLs framing other sites. Just submit the "real" URL and make sure the content is worth listing.


 5:49 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

>LOL That is such a dead giveaway that you are not a senior editor at DMoz, if you're an editor at all.

ROFL. Yeah, I'd think a senior editor should know that there are some cats with SERIOUS backlogs.


 6:12 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

DMOZ is a joke...

As soon as Google drops it, it will be gone for good...


 6:19 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

DMOZ is far from being a joke. It's the most important directory on the web. It's a voluntary organisation. It's immensly influential.
WebmasterWorld is a place to discuss, analyze, share.
We're not a place to vent.
Editors of DMOZ have shared quite a few tips and tried to help in this thread. Please respect that, even if you have different views.
Thanks all.


 6:23 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Contrary to popular mythology, it is very rare that your site is not listed because your "competitor" is editing in the category you want to be found in.

Ooh, I totally disagree with this one!
My site sells widgets. The editor for the most appropriate cat is called "mywidgets". There's a "mywidgets.com" listed within the category.

My site is appropriate, full of content, not a link farm or anything spammy like that, but I'm not getting in in this lifetime.


 6:36 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

I would say that the fervor displayed in this thread would be more than enough to indicate that DMOZ is not definitely not dead and far from even being in a deep coma :)


 6:48 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think the key part of the previous post was:

"...it is very rare..."

3 points:

1. backlogged categories does not reflect your "competitor" is editing in the category.

2. everyone knows that their site is... "appropriate, full of content, not a link farm or anything spammy like that" but at the same time we tend not to be overly critical of our own works.

Might be wise the have someone else look over your site with an unbiased and objective opinion before listing. Even if you need to pay $10 bucks to a stranger on the street, if they note something not quite right (from a visitors perspective vice the onwers) the investment would be worth it.

3. If indeed the rare occurrence that your "competitor" is editing in the category go up a level and email the editor above.

Bearing in mind that volunteers are just as busy as you and me, I'm quite certain if indeed a junior editor is being unethical they will be warned (if not removed).


 6:59 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Unless you report abuse, it will never be acted on.

Oh, and just to add, we almost never "warn" unethical editors, we just show them the door.


 7:38 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)


All I can do is recommend you to read the current editing guidelines [dmoz.org] very carefully (maybe several times) before you do your next edit. You say that you're a long time editor, so that probably means that you joined before those guidelines were revised several times. As a consequence, your understanding of your own duties as an editor is severely out of date.

That doesn't mean that everything you say or do is wrong. If you review submissions in a timely fashion, then you're clearly ahead of many others in that regard. But there are other points where you are obviously unaware of what is really expected of you. And your attitude towards other editors who don't have the time budget that seems available to you is at best questionable.

Are you participating in the internal forums at the ODP? I doubt it after what you said here, and I would highly urge you to change that. You have openly contradicted the statements of about half a dozen well known and respected editors/editalls/metas in this very thread here, and the only name you recognized was someone who actually left the directory quite some time ago. That is an obvious indicator that you don't have a close enough connetion to the editor community of today and their constantly evolving views and discussions. But nothing is lost yet, you can still get back to being a good team member!


 7:50 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Oh, and just to add, we almost never "warn" unethical editors, we just show them the door.

rafalk, now I totally disaqgree here!

Rarely if ever does an unethical editor get show the door.

I tend to believe this would be more like:

Disemboweled -- from the bandwidth pipe! ;) ;)


 8:09 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

wow, what a thread. NeoSys - maybe you wanted to help but my impression about dmoz is negative jsut because of editors like you - you have this "i am God" mentalitly which i despise.

i am with the guy who said that once google drops them they dmoz be forgoten within minutes.

some points: there are alsmot no companies that their primarly goal isnt making money.rejecting site becasue they want make money is not good.i know you say that "if the site is full of affiliate links" but i have a feeling that you jsut follow the links and if you see that site goes to affilaite program at one point you reject it.

and the one that says "Donít bother to ask the editor to change the description, it might just get deleted.". there is no logical explanation for this! first - the editor PUT you in - obviosuly he thought the site was good. if you feel that description is not good you can ask to change it! why would you risk getting delted? you post is implying that you havethis "dont waste my time with changing description requests or you can feel the wrath of gods" mentality. Who are you? someone we should fear when submiting our sites? i am sure that majority of people have bigger fears when submiting to dmoz than when submiting yahoo(which costs $400!)

seeing replies here - even from other dmoz editors - i can say that editors like you give dmoz negative publicity.msot of your "guidelines" were critisized.

yes, you tried to help here but unfortunaltelly good intentions are not enough if the method/result is not good.

[edited by: JonB at 9:16 pm (utc) on Dec. 1, 2002]


 8:14 pm on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Very interesting thread, with some pretty fireworks... ;)

I'm curious though; How many (around here) haven't submitted to the ODP because of this line from the Submission Agreement:

"In exchange for ODP's consideration of the site I am submitting, I agree ...[snip!]...

- To grant Netscape Communications Corporation a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, publish, copy, edit, modify, or create derivative works from my submission."

(Highlights are mine...)

Err, now I may be wrong, but doesn't that mean this "worst-case scenario" is possible:

(Speaking as if I was Netscape...)

"Thanks for your submission, we have considered it but aren't interested in listing your site. However, we do like your site enough that we are hiring a lackey to rip it it apart & brand it as our own... Thank you & have a nice day! :)"

Or more extremely: Volunteer or not, editors are in the employ of Netscape, ergo Netscape employees. Did I just grant my competitor - an ODP editor - "a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, publish, copy, edit, modify, or create derivative works from my" web site?


Paranoia has always been one of my finer points...

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