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Dmoz question
What would you answer?
fashezee




msg:484409
 3:02 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

What is the best response for:

Why are you interested in volunteering to be an editor for the ODP?

 

Bluesplinter




msg:484410
 3:13 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Try using the truth. Why *do* you want to be an editor? Ask yourself that, then write it down.

Worked great for me.

fashezee




msg:484411
 3:18 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

It didn't work!

What was your reason?

skibum




msg:484412
 3:58 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

hint:

It's not:

"I want to get my site(s) listed and if I can do that I'll be happy to add some more sites to the directory"

"I've submitted my site numerous times over the last year and it hasn't been listed so I want to be an editor of this category to move things along."

Maybe something like:

I want to be a ski bum when I grow up. Until then I plan to ski everywhere and every time I can. There are lots of cool sites about the some of the places I've been that aren't in the directory. I'd like to build up the [region] skiing section of ODP so that people looking for real quality information about about the local ski spots can actually find it instead of having to weed through all the affiliate spam that rules the roost in lots of the engines. The three site in the application are just a sampling of what's out there that's not yet in ODP.

rfgdxm1




msg:484413
 8:11 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Exactly what did you put down fashezee?

cornwall




msg:484414
 9:10 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

hint:
It's not:
"I want to get my site(s) listed and if I can do that I'll be happy to add some more sites to the directory"

The thread poses a very interesting question. The real answer, I suspect (and Skibum inplies with this quote), is the above.

One then asks why on earth DMOZ pose the question in the application form. In reality they can only expect a circumlocation of the truth, as the supplicant editor tries to avoid saying what all sides know to be the reality.

steveb




msg:484415
 9:36 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's always a shock to people who are selfish and dishonest to know that other people can act from altruistic and generous and even fun motivations.

Dynamoo




msg:484416
 11:17 am on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Because you've got a backlog of hundreds of sites and frankly could use some help"?

tlpretender




msg:484417
 12:34 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

My wife used: "Because my husband is one and he enjoys it." Her app was accepted.

On the Dmoz app that was accepted for me I said something like: "Someone told me that there were 280+ sites in the topic that need reviewed. I enjoy this area as a hobby and would like to see these sites reviewed. Also, to be frank, I have a site I would like to see listed with these, but will objectively review all of these if allowed."

I know when reviewing apps at GoGuides.Org, I appreciate honesty. If you say you want to list your site, or want to be able to put your own banner on the topic, or whatever...I'm more apt to trust that person over the one that feeds me bull. Then again, that could be why we have five guides vote on each app. ;)

fashezee




msg:484418
 1:08 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

On my last app. As Dynamoo stated:

I mentioned the size of the internet and the time is would take to index all; they would
probably need help and that I was confident I could do my part to assist them.

My 1st app; I mentioned I was an expert in the field.

My 2nd app; I mentioned that I needed something else to do besides work during the day;

Will see this time!

cornwall




msg:484419
 1:20 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm more apt to trust that person over the one that feeds me bull

Tony,

The nub of the question is how do you know that they are feeding you bull.

As Fashezee says

My 1st app; I mentioned I was an expert in the field.

My 2nd app; I mentioned that I needed something else to do besides work during the day;

All other things being equal ( and I appreciate that they are not) DMOZ rejected the first, and the jury is still out on the second.

It seems impossible to determine what is "bull" and what is not.

So why ask the question?

tlpretender




msg:484420
 2:03 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

A lot of the time the bull is the easy part. For instance, when they submit:

1.) abc.com
and
2.) abc.com/doorway

Their email is name@abc.com.

Tell they aren't trying to list their own site.
They should at least find another related site to submit with theirs.
When you and other volunteers are trying to build a directory that you take pride in, you want to have fellow editors that you believe will also work and take some pride in their work.
It really is similar to applying for a job. How are you going to present yourself?

OntheEdge




msg:484421
 2:30 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

IMHO...
I beleive that DMOZ question is redundant, as others have pointed out, you can make up whatever you want. All you marketing pros out there should recognize its purpose.
That type of question is two fold...one is to make you stop and think "why ARE you applying?" (Hint; if you can't think of a way to answer it, you may need to contemplate that for a while before re-applying)

The second is that DMOZ has a very high expectation of writing skills including grammar, spelling and punctuation. I couple of paragraphs about just about anything in your head gives them a good idea as to how well you can write a description.

Putting it in a simple form, if you can describe your own thoughts, how can you describe a web site?

Are you sure though, that your answer was the reason? There are a lot of other factors DMOZ uses for approving new editors.
Bottomline.....just keep trying! Try different categories. Less than 100 listings, and Regional cats are being promoted as a great start for new editors. If you live in a small town, your hometown may need a local expert!
Good Luck

OntheEdge




msg:484422
 2:46 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

As for how I answered that question, I wish I could tell you what I wrote...memory lapse.
But I can tell you that I was rejected the first time too. Now I have two categories and am working my way up.

An extra tip that may help, submit the same sites than you did the first time, but double check to make sure they suit the cat and that the decriptions are bias (stay away from making any claims, just the facts) You may even want to write the descriptions into a good word processor and check for spelling and grammar. Do the same with your answer to the question. (Just cut & paste when you re-apply)

Sometimes wonder if rejection isn't just part of the process, to make people realize that DMOZ may be shorthanded, but that doesn't mean they're desperate.

Laisha




msg:484423
 4:01 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why are you interested in volunteering to be an editor for the ODP?

There is no set-in-stone answer. Each meta decides individually whether or not to accept, so it varies according to who gets your application.

There are some basic "guidelines" for acceptance, although I doubt that they are even now used concretely. I do know this one, though: It's not "Miss America" answer.

"I want to make the internet a better place to search," will almost surely get you rejected.

One then asks why on earth DMOZ pose the question in the application form.

The application is very flawed, and metas have complained about that fact from the very beginning.

At most, what it is good for is seeing what communication skills a person may possess.

kfander




msg:484424
 4:17 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why are you interested in volunteering to be an editor for the ODP?

That's not a trick question, although I don't know that it's a necessary one. The answer would obviously have to be an individual one, and there is no one answer that would be considered correct.

Why is this applicant interested in volunteering to be an editor for the ODP is a question that I try to answer while reviewing an application, certainly, but if the motivations are wrong, your answer to the question would probably be inaccurate.

This question is but one part of the application process, and there is no one answer that we're looking for. Honesty would be nice, especially when the motivations are right.

I know that it's difficult for some of this group of assembled SEOs and webmasters to believe this, but everyone doesn't apply to be an editor in order to gain a competitive advantage. I don't think that it is naive of me to believe that many ODP editors have applied to participate in the project because they enjoy it or for other reasons unrelated to abuse.

kctipton




msg:484425
 4:28 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with kfander that the question isn't necessary, but I assure you that you should write an honest answer.

If you do a search on Google for "meta guidelines" you'll see a public document which gives details about how meta-editors (like me) should evaluate applications.

Laisha




msg:484426
 4:35 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is rather akin to the old airport question, "Do you have any explosives in your suitcase?"

antizwerg




msg:484427
 4:49 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Did they specifically state that they rejected you because of your answer to that question?

There may be have been other reasons for the rejection (like i.e. too many unreviewed submissions in your requested category).

cornwall




msg:484428
 5:48 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

There may be have been other reasons for the rejection (like i.e. too many unreviewed submissions in your requested category).

In all honesty, a large number of unreviewed would appear to be a good reason reason for wanting editors in that category!

Is this official ODP policy?

John_Caius




msg:484429
 6:11 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

New editors are usually not admitted to categories with large numbers of either listed sites or unreviewed sites as it takes some experience of the system to know how to deal appropriately with a large workload. If an application is for an unsuitable category, on occasion the reviewing editor will suggest a more suitable category if the application is a good one. Sometimes if the application is lacking e.g. in spelling quality then it may be rejected directly.

The best route for becoming an editor is to apply to a small, simple category, learn the basic ropes there and then progress up the editing ladder using your previous editing experience in your favour.

John_Caius




msg:484430
 6:14 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

or in other words:

"In all honesty, a large number of unreviewed would appear to be a good reason for wanting editors in that category!"

is true but:

"In all honesty, a large number of unreviewed would appear to be a good reason for wanting new, inexperienced editors in that category!"

is not.

Of course, all categories can and do get edited by higher editors in the category tree, even if a category doesn't have its own dedicated editor.

rfgdxm1




msg:484431
 9:37 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

John_Caius, odds are if there are a large number of unrevieweds the higher editors have little interest in that cat. If it were otherwise, there wouldn't be many unrevieweds.

cornwall




msg:484432
 10:16 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

And, correct me if I am wrong, but someone applying for a category as a new editor to DMOZ, has no idea how many unreviewed there are in the category.

Refusing the application therefore leaves the guy baffled, and probably would not reapply!

Bluesplinter




msg:484433
 11:10 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

odds are if there are a large number of unrevieweds the higher editors have little interest in that cat.

I wouldn't say that. Granted, there are some spam-heavy cats that only the most intrepid higher-level editor will dare venture into... :)

However, many (most) of us have cats that we truly care about, but we're so busy with various other ODP responsibilities that we can't quickly review the 100's of unrevieweds in our "favorite" cats. Just trying to stay ahead of new submissions can take quite a bit of time. If I review 10 sites a day, and 9 new ones get submitted, it'll take a very long time to get through the 800 unreviewed sites. The sad fact is that, as we get higher and higher permissions, we have less time to spend just editing.

cornwall




msg:484434
 8:15 am on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The sad fact is that, as we get higher and higher permissions, we have less time to spend just editing

You apply for those higher permissions, you do not have to ask for more!

IMO one of the weaknesses of the ODP is that there are too many (political) reasons for the good "local" editor to apply for higher and higher permissions - by then they are no longer "local"

hutcheson




msg:484435
 4:11 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>IMO one of the weaknesses of the ODP is that there are too many (political) reasons for the good "local" editor to apply for higher and higher permissions - by then they are no longer "local"

You've merely noticed the Peter Principle in action.

There are many good reasons that we encourage "good" local editors to apply for higher and higher permissions. We want to throw more work in front of them and hope they do it. We want to develop a pool of experienced, skilled, knowledgeable, trusted, respected editors that can deal with global issues (directory-wide editing standards, global spammers) or can do good local editing where there isn't a local editor ("greenbusting").

"Political" is a dirty word, understandably so. But interpersonal relationships within a community (trust, respect) are arguably "political" in nature, and are a critical aspect of any community.

Good global editors doesn't cease to be local. They are just local in more different places. Or, to look up the other end of the stick, it is the editors who show signs of being able to make themselves home in any locale whom we most want to take on higher permissions.

kevinpate




msg:484436
 5:23 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

What follows is probably too off base and reflects too much of my own lack of knowledge.

With all the discussions I read about backlogs upon backlogs of unreviewed items, it seems near on sad there isn't a method to tap into the large pools of instructors and peeps who are taking writing, editing, html, etc. courses via college, vocational-technical facilities, and private vocational schools.

If that resource pool could realistically be tapped, whether as part of normal skills instruction/practice or extra credit possibilities, it would seem possible to have a somewhat regular source of peeps motivated to tackle the backlog and inflow.

How to coordinate it would be a right fair size project, but if the pitch was developed and there was buy-in for the concept ... probably too much to hope for and probably have more wollyboogers lurking than I've dared to consider.

John_Caius




msg:484437
 5:48 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1: "odds are if there are a large number of unrevieweds the higher editors have little interest in that cat."

Unfortunately the higher level an editor you are, the less time you have to spend in each cat on average. I oversee many cats with high levels of unreviewed and am not able to deal with them alongside all the other cats I keep an eye on. Top level editors usually spread their expertise across a broad range of cats rather than concentrating on just a handful.

rfgdxm1




msg:484438
 5:51 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>However, many (most) of us have cats that we truly care about, but we're so busy with various other ODP responsibilities that we can't quickly review the 100's of unrevieweds in our "favorite" cats.

What I meant by that is the "pet cat" phenomena. By pet cat I mean the one(s) than an ODP editor will always check first for greens, and will review those greens first before going on to other greens. A pet cat may be one that the editor has a particularly strong interest in. Or, perhaps it is a cat where the editor actually has his own site listed. It could look very bad for an editor if he let greens sit around in a cat his site was listed because someone could accuse them of conveniently making those greens a low priority to keep from adding them, and thus keeping competition down. Of course, the level of greens also is determined a lot by how active the editors are in that branch.

>The sad fact is that, as we get higher and higher permissions, we have less time to spend just editing.

Wouldn't this be true mostly just for metas? I'd think the only other editors who spend a significant percentage of their time doing other than editing would be really high level ones that are involved in restructuring whole branches.

[edited by: rfgdxm1 at 5:56 pm (utc) on Feb. 14, 2003]

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