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DMOZ - Locked In the Cellar With No Food or Water
Where are the Social Abuse Agents?
martinibuster




msg:484263
 3:16 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Many people complain that DMOZ is dead or dying but to me, the ODP resembles that noble character from To Kill a Mocking Bird, Boo Radley, the pale, emaciated, possibly retarded character who lived next door.

When you look at where Yahoo originated, it was as a free directory much in the spirit of a community board, but then it took on some investors and reluctantly acquiesced to advertising.

Then you look at the big money behind Y and their vested interests in keeping the ODP a non-competitor, to groom it to be on the sidelines, you can see why it was important to keep the ODP strictly non-profit while Yahoo was allowed to bloom.

In other words, the ODP isn't dead, it's more like the pale emaciated sibling kept locked in the cellar. Occasionally it's parent will feel pity and throw it some server upgrades but the parent quickly slaps the padlocks back on and returns to blissfully neglecting the ODP.

Just as child welfare agencies swoop in and rescue abused children, there should be a Web Directory Angel that can come in and rescue the ODP. It can use a little nourishment.

[edited by: martinibuster at 3:43 am (utc) on Sep. 17, 2003]

 

Marcia




msg:484264
 3:37 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Absolutely beautifully put martinibuster, and you can't imagine how closely that parallels situations more widespread than we can imagine.

It's the Cinderella syndrome, not in the same sense as the book that was out in the Feminine Mystique tradition, but far more insidious and pervasive, though harder to define and detect. You'd almost have to be in the middle of the thick of it to recognize it and comprehend it.

Powdork




msg:484265
 6:45 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

When you look at where Yahoo originated, it was as a free directory much in the spirit of a community board, but then it took on some investors and reluctantly acquiesced to advertising.
And when you look at where the ODP originated.
First they pissed off the Free Software Foundation because they tried to capitolize on their name without espousing their principles. Then they acquired a bunch of free labor and sold them to Netscape for a million dollars.
And magically, Yahoo cleared up their unrevieweds and started answering emails when they started charging. Its time to face the fact that the free thing doesn't work.

bird




msg:484266
 10:19 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Then you look at the big money behind Y and their vested interests in keeping the ODP a non-competitor, to groom it to be on the sidelines, you can see why it was important to keep the ODP strictly non-profit while Yahoo was allowed to bloom.

Since when did Y have any influence on the development of the ODP?

In other words, the ODP isn't dead, it's more like the pale emaciated sibling kept locked in the cellar.

Sure, and each and every day for several years now, that pale emaciated sibling in the cellar somehow has managed to add more new links to its directory than its virile and muscular brother sitting on the money pot.

The wonders of nature, eh? ;)

(oh wait, the kid in the cellar decided not to add *your* site... what a brat!)

victor




msg:484267
 11:05 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just as child welfare agencies swoop in and rescue abused children,

The ones to arrest are the hordes of peasants outside who are hurling an endless stream of cans of spam through the basement windows.

heini




msg:484268
 11:13 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you have what is the by far largest and most important directory on the web you have to take certain things into account.

Yes, you will get tons of submissions. Better try to find a way of effectively dealing with that.
Yes, you will have to take care of the technical side of things. Better find a way to install a robust infrastructure and get more people to handle that correctly.

keeper




msg:484269
 1:16 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Does WebmasterWorld have a "Best Analogy Award" - you've got my vote martinibuster.

Yes, you will get tons of submissions...

And lack of action on those submissions begets more submissions, questioning emails, selfish editor applications, bad press and a general feeling of grumpiness by those who submit and are ignored.

LizardGroupie




msg:484270
 1:27 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Boo Radley? Please. This kind of rant shows a horrible misunderstanding of where ODP is and where it is going. If you’re looking for parallels, try Yahoo=Antonio Salieri to DMOZ’s Mozart. Making up a problem and claiming the need for reform just because of some personal peeve is a rant strategy we’ve seen around here much too often.

What’s the solution to this made-up problem? Making DMOZ like Yahoo!? That would be a horrible course, involving hiring of professional editors, probably 20-something year old English majors, unfamiliar with the DMOZ culture and with the authority and possible ignorance to override the decisions and policies of DMOZ’s meta-editors. Power, arrogance, and a lack of deference to the meta-editors by newly-hired staffers would destroy DMOZ.

I agree that DMOZ could improve. What's needed are more editors at the ground level, willing to do the work of finding good websites and putting them in appropriate categories. And these new editors must be team players willing to learn and assimilate the DMOZ culture. DMOZ doesn’t need to change; it just needs to grow. The other thing that would help everyone is a general recognition within the Internet community that DMOZ editors, especially editalls and meta-editors, are the movie stars of the Internet, the elite in our midst. And that they deserve the respect and admiration given the leaders of business, governments, the military, churches, and the like.

flicker




msg:484271
 1:39 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Heh. This is a cute thread. (-:

My own feeling is that we're more like the skinny kid who wants to be a research scientist but his dad is constantly railing that he's a failure because he's not as good at football as his brothers. The kid isn't interested in football. He's not good at football and he's never going to be good at football. And his father already HAS a son who's good at football, so Kid ODP thinks Dad should get off his case already and be impressed that he just won the National Science Fair for crying out loud. :-D

We're not here to process submissions. We honestly don't care how long your site has to sit. We don't like being harangued that we "better find a way of dealing with it" when it's not what we want to be when we grow up anyway. If you want to pay to submit, go pay Yahoo! They do a good job with that. We just want to hang out here and select the most content-rich, valuable, unique sites for our directory. And that, we DO do a good job with. (Which is why Google and other search engines like us.)

Nobody can be all things to all people. The ODP is never going to be the timeliest processor of submissions, even though I'm personally a little regretful about that. The ODP is never going to accept affiliate sites and mirrors and content-free crap, and I don't regret that one bit. If people would stop expecting a horse to fly, you might be a little more impressed with the things a horse *can* do... and you might get where you're going better.

Well, that's enough overextended metaphors for one day. :-D

Flicker

---------------
Disclaimer: This post constitutes an unofficial, personal opinion not necessarily shared by other ODP editors, the university, or my cats.

martinibuster




msg:484272
 1:50 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

oh wait, the kid in the cellar decided not to add *your* site...

Making up a problem and claiming the need for reform just because of some personal peeve is a rant strategy...

Definition of rant: To speak or write in an angry or violent manner,

Whoa! This is nothing personal to me. And this is no "personal peeve."

I've had the majority of my client sites edited, updated, and placed. Mine is an objective look from the outside. Regardless of how you perceive the ODP, from the outside, this is how I perceive the ODP.

There is nothing in my post that is angry or violent to qualify it as a rant. Nor am I complaining about my "alleged" rejected submissions (there are none). So please stop making unfounded assumptions about my motivations.

If anything it is yourselves who are taking this personal, and it is your personal attacks against me and Yahoo that qualify your posts as a rant.

Salieri was an honorable man and a gifted musician and teacher. He opened the eyes of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt to music and they went on to towering accomplishments. You meant the analogy to be a poke at Yahoo, but it is not.

What will it take to get a "robust infrastructure" into the ODP?

Here are some ideas:

  • Once a year they can have a One Week Sale. For every submission an editor adds to a cat, we pledge a $10 paypal donation to help buy some upgrades.
  • Or to incentivize the editor, for every added submission, we pledge a donation to a select non-denominational non-profit (Doctors Without Borders, etc.)

Or perhaps AOL can hire a part time Development Director who can beat the bushes for some outside donations, or maybe U2 can do a concert...

The ideas are limited only by your imaginations- but for some reason, AOL prefers to keep the ODP limited and locked in the cellar, which is the crux of my post.

john316




msg:484273
 3:03 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have to agree it was a wonderful thing in the past, unfortunately, DMOZ was corrupted by the new currency of the web (inbound links, PR).

Its all kind of irrelevant now anyway, as someone said elsewhere, its easier to PayPal a teenager 20 bucks for a link on a tripod page than it is to worry about the DMOZ thing.

Liane




msg:484274
 3:20 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sure, and each and every day for several years now, that pale emaciated sibling in the cellar somehow has managed to add more new links to its directory than its virile and muscular brother sitting on the money pot.

Well now if that were actually true, wouldn't we be reading many,many more rants from people saying, "&^%$# Ink, Alltheweb, Google, MSN etc. I haven't been able to get my site listed for over 6 months! ... what's up with that?"

The truth is that DMOZ has been faltering for a very long time. The editors are too few and the work is too much for volunteers to deal with. There really isn't any question about this ... its a fact!

This ongoing debate is just silly. We all know the problems inherent with DMOZ. It is what it is. Accept it and use it for what its worth for as long as you can and as long as it provides any kind of an advantage.

I think the following is an appropriate bit of wisdom when it comes to DMOZ ...

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Powdork




msg:484275
 6:48 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

The other thing that would help everyone is a general recognition within the Internet community that DMOZ editors, especially editalls and meta-editors, are the movie stars of the Internet, the elite in our midst. And that they deserve the respect and admiration given the leaders of business, governments, the military, churches, and the like.
ROTFLMAO. Its this attitude from some that keeps many others from getting the respect they deserve. And look at the public scrutiny that all of the other people you mentioned must undergo.

We're not here to process submissions.
Then removing the 'submit a site' link from the 850,000 or so backlinks might be a good idea. The form is broke anyway.

martinibuster




msg:484276
 7:07 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...

With great respect for your input, I think you may be missing my point.

This is a situation that can be changed. All the ODP has to do is hire a Development Director. Every non-profit organization has one, whether it's the local Meals-on-Wheels or the Symphony.

For some reason AOL prefers to keep them on a duct tape and rubber bands budget. It's a sin.

rfgdxm1




msg:484277
 7:27 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>The other thing that would help everyone is a general recognition within the Internet community that DMOZ editors, especially editalls and meta-editors, are the movie stars of the Internet, the elite in our midst. And that they deserve the respect and admiration given the leaders of business, governments, the military, churches, and the like.

May I ask what you were smoking when you wrote that? Whatever it is it causes a fundemental alteration in ability to accurately perceive reality as much as anything I've ever taken before. Sounds like it has the potential for a really mind blowing trip. :) If I were to walk down the street and ask random people who have Internet access if they knew what the Open Directory Project was, or what could be found at dmoz.org, I'd be shocked if more than a couple percent of people asked could correctly answer. Let's put it this way. You ain't gonna ever find an ODP meta on the cover of the Rolling Stone because of the fact that they are an ODP editor.

[edited by: rfgdxm1 at 7:33 pm (utc) on Sep. 17, 2003]

flicker




msg:484278
 7:28 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Then removing the 'submit a site' link from the 850,000 or so backlinks might be a good idea.

Careful what you ask for, Powdork. I haven't been able to help but notice that we've been getting more sites added every day since that thing's been broken and we haven't had new spam to sort. (-:

hutcheson




msg:484279
 8:08 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Well now if that were actually true, wouldn't we be reading many,many more rants from people saying, "&^%$# Ink, Alltheweb, Google, MSN etc. I haven't been able to get my site listed for over 6 months! ... what's up with that?"

No, your understanding of the facts is mis-, and your logic is completely invalid.

The first fact is, over half of the submittals to the ODP are spam. That means about 3-5 THOUSAND spam submittals a day. Those jerks are NEVER going to get their sites listed, and for the next millenium, they're going to be ranting in the forums (and gin mills, no doubt) all over the world saying, "I've submitted my site 500 times a day for the last 999 years, and I'm STILL not in." That will remain true even if we got the average time to review a submitted site down to under 5 minutes!

The second fact is, the "starving sister" is putting on more weight (content-rich sites) than Yahoo and that other stepsister (what was her name anyway?) put together! We average over 2000 sites a day (including weekings); Yahoo averages less than a thousand, and takes the weekend off. Not starving at all, thank you very much, and being fed well enough not to be tempted at all by poisoned candy from strange witches. And you can put that in your oven and bake it!

heini




msg:484280
 8:23 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Uhmm, so all is fine in the state of ODP then? You editors have no complaints, apart from your natural enemy, the people who produce the sites you are supposed to list?

You think it's a super thing to add sites after they exist for years, instead when they are fresh? This is how the web is supposed to work?

You think it's fantastic when the server architecture staggers from one near crash to the next thing not working?

Yikes, this is not the enemy talking, guys (and girls). This is your fellow webworkers, many of them very much interested in a healthy and prospering ODP.

This is not meant to say the ODP should be ditched, and personally I don't at all think the volunteer, non commercial principle can not work.

But stating that all is fine, thank you and shut up - does not convince me, sorry.

victor




msg:484281
 8:42 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is your fellow webworkers, many of them very much interested in a healthy and prospering ODP

True enough. But I think a few OPD editors can be allowed a touch of of jaundiced view given the level of spam they get plastered with.

Just imagine you got 3000-5000 spams a day. Would your happy response be: "Wow! So many emails from fellow webworkers! They must really want ecommerce to prosper just like I do!"?

And wasn't Cinderella headhunted into the princess role, while her stepsisters were left in the dust?

johnnydequino




msg:484282
 8:45 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

The basic fact is when you envolve humans, it's bound to get messed up. DMOZ is a good idea gone bad in my opinion. My experience thus far:

Submitted over two months ago. Last month went to **** to get a status. Editor moved my site to a better category. (Which was basically the same category)

Last week, went to check the status of my listing, and I was accused be a DMOZ editor of threating violence. Basically, I did not know which editor moved it and where it when, but some how it was threating.

I think DMOZ should just shut down at this point. With the way it's run you would think the only way to get in is a handshake and a wink - friends only to this club.

Let's get some fresh content in there please.

jd

heini




msg:484283
 8:49 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Just imagine you got 3000-5000 spams a day

Sorry, but that doesn't impress me much. As an ODP editor just said here: the web is a large place.
I was just checking the DENIC: they have over 1000 new domain names registered daily. And that's only german domains.

As said previously: If you run the numero uno directory on the web, you'd better find a way to deal with that.

john316




msg:484284
 8:57 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't expect AOL to leave the servers running much longer anyway.

martinibuster




msg:484285
 9:04 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Since when did Y have any influence on the development of the ODP?

Yahoo was the reason the ODP came into existence in the first place.

The ODP was formerly known as gnuhoo. It was supposed to be a free open source directory but the founders wanted to make a profit off it. With a name like gnuhoo it's plain to see who was their target and what gnuhoo aspired to be.

Unfortunately the founders found themselves in controversy with the open source movement as well as facing criticism for representing themselves as a non-profit when in fact they intended to be a for-profit the whole time.

Yahoo was a partner of Netscape, but in 1997 Netscape founded Netcenter in order to become a portal itself (and a competitor to it's partner Yahoo). The founders of gnuhoo, now known as newhoo, sold newhoo to netscape for a million dollars (Filthy lucre! Nee-ya-ha-ha!) under a strict license. Netscape then took this content and added it to it's own portal offerings.

Yahoo was placated because the license pretty much cut the legs off of newhoo's ambitions of becoming a portal mightier (in terms of money) than Yahoo.

The license hasn't stopped AOL from "allegedly" exploiting the ODP by granting favorable treatment to it's own properties by AOL employees with high editing privileges. The ODP remains a prisoner of AOL and it's probably to it's advantage: Where's the percentage in throwing money at something that may compete with you, if not on its own, then from the likes of Google?

The ODP is being kept in the cellar, but it would be in the public's benefit if dmoz would be allowed to divorce itself from AOL and stand on it's own two feet as a bona fide non-profit. As a non-profit it could stage fund raisers, employ a development department, and enjoy a far healthier future.

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:06 pm (utc) on Sep. 17, 2003]

bcolflesh




msg:484286
 9:04 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Webmasters to DMOZ:

"it puts the site in its' cat, or else it gets the hose again"

Liane




msg:484287
 9:19 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

And I thank you for your input ... however, I think you may have misunderstood my meaning. The quote says ...

"the things I cannot change" ...

I meant that in the strictest sense. I did not say the ODP can't be changed ... just that I can't change it, so I choose to accept it for what it is and move on.

To the lady or gentleman who suggested, "you can put that in your oven and bake it!" might benifit from the knowledge that while we enjoy free speach, it needn't be abusive. I was stating an opinion which I still hold to be valid ... whether you agree or not. We are also allowed to do that where I come from! :)

rfgdxm1




msg:484288
 9:35 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Uhmm, so all is fine in the state of ODP then? You editors have no complaints, apart from your natural enemy, the people who produce the sites you are supposed to list?

Not in the least. Editors appreciate the sites made by others that they list. You are aware that editors can add sites on their own without them being submitted, right? The amount of spam, along with crud sites, that is submitted to the ODP is truly staggering.

Liane




msg:484289
 9:40 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

The amount of spam, along with crud sites, that is submitted to the ODP is truly staggering.

And there ... in a nutshell lies the problem with the ODP! To reiterate:

The editors are too few and the work is too much for volunteers to deal with.

cornwall




msg:484290
 10:01 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>The editors are too few and the work is too much for volunteers to deal with.

That, as you say, is the root of the problem. And has been for years.

There are not enough, nor have there ever been enough, honest, hard working (for nothing) volunteer editors to come close to classifying the web.

Look at the "other" volunteer directories, same hard core group editing there and at DMOZ (as a generality). Only a few hundred "enthusiasts" exist

2000 sites a day is not small beer, but that is "only" 800,000 a year, and the dream of indexing the web falls further behind each day.

Grieves me to say it, but DMOZ is just falling into being an online social club for the few editors really involved (as, I am sure they would admit, are JoeAnt and GoGuides who seem not to have the delusion of doing the whole web).

Whatever way you work the figures you cannot get the number of editors required to make the thing "work" as was originally envisaged.

So DMOZ either

1. Staggers on, falling further behind the growth of the web

2. Gives up and folds

3. Does someting to try to rectify the position in the long term

Got to agree with Martinibuster's general drift, the patient will die unless a new diet is introduced.

rfgdxm1




msg:484291
 10:12 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>2000 sites a day is not small beer, but that is "only" 800,000 a year, and the dream of indexing the web falls further behind each day.

Who is dreaming about indexing the whole web? Probably 95%+ of all websites are crud, and hardly anybody is gonna volunteer to edit for the purpose of adding submediocrity. However, consider the notion of just adding the most worthwhile sites, making sure to add the quality ones on all sides of the issue.

[edited by: rfgdxm1 at 11:52 pm (utc) on Sep. 17, 2003]

hutcheson




msg:484292
 11:05 pm on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

No apologies at all about the oven allusion, Gran. The simple fact is, me and Gretel (not to mention Cinderella and Snow White) don't LIKE your gingerbread, and we really don't think we'd like anything else you'd cook in that oven. I don't like the looks of your candied apples, and I'm not at all sure _my_ granny has such big canines.

It's a nasty world out there, all right. Wolves may have their own place in the ecology (and this forum is definitely a vulpine reserve), but us farmers still are going to protect our sheep by any means possible, even if it means interfering with the natural predator-prey relationships.

[Just keeping to the fairy tale theme, which seems appropriate for such a thread.]

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