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ODP listing individual news articles
The death of objectivity and common sense

 11:47 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can barely believe what I'm seeing. A news article listed in the ODP. A news article about a local story with national significance maybe but is a directory the place for this - I don't think so.
What about the other 100 media outlets that covered this story, what about the multitude of local new sources that covered this story. What about the 1,000s of sites waiting to get into the ODP.

What is the point of putting something so transient in a directory?

I really don't get this one. Not that I have to wait 3 months to get a site in the ODP or anything.



 3:20 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

ODP has always listed some news articles, its nothing new. If there is a particular topic of interest and an editor with an interest in it, sometimes you'll find a lot of articles in a category.


 7:37 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I see my role as an editor to build a category of valuable resources for the user on the topic of the category, and not to process submissions. If that means adding a news story or a full text article from, for eg, a medical journal, what is wrong with that? Its useful for the user as it helps give a good collection of different points of view or resources related to the topic of the category.

What is better for the user? - a 10 site category with 9 sites expressing the same point of view or offering the same sort or service and a news report expressing a different point of view OR 10 sites in a category all offering the same service or point of view? Which one better serves the user?

Why do to find it hard to believe what you are seeing?


 12:36 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>A news article about a local story with national significance maybe but is a directory the place for this - I don't think so.

The ODP has a bunch of categories that are of local significance only in Regional. If a jet airplane crashes today in my hometown, the only way at first to include this fact in the ODP would be through links to news reports. Might be a while before someone puts up a dedicated site about this disaster.


 7:48 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Based on your posts in this thread [webmasterworld.com] I wonder if you have any sites that are listable. Congrats on making money as an affiliate marketer, but starting a thread to complain about other types of sites getting a listing reveals a blind spot in your understanding of how ODP works.


 8:41 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

My point is it just seems odd that somehting as transient as a news article should be written to a directory.

And kctipton FYI I happen to run a whole load of local interest sites and free sites for local charities. But, hey, I guess we can't all be as worthy and not try to make money out of something we seem to be good at.
Also as if I'd try to get an aff site listed in the ODP I do realise that if they listed this kind of site it would be the end of any integrity they have


 8:53 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Based on your posts in this thread I wonder if you have any sites that are listable.

Sheesh. Enough with the personal attacks, ok?

It's annoying how every time someone brings up a question about the odp, some editors crawl out slinging mud. Let's be civil and save the personal attacks for another forum. Thanks. :)

Please try to keep to the topic. We're here to discuss issues. It's contrary to the spirit of WebmasterWorld to attack people for asking questions or holding a contrary opinion.

Just a friendly heads-up. ;)

[edited by: martinibuster at 8:57 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2004]


 8:56 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is no reason a newspaper article need be transient. Obituaries are an excellent example. Very often newspaper obits represent the best resource on the Internet involving an accomplished or famous person whose primary fame is not recent. In-depth coverage of something like 9/11, or an election campaign are other good examples of something that would easily merit a directory listing.

At the same time, a story about yesterday's unremarkable weather would almost certainly not merit a listing.

In other words, newspapers should be treated no different than anything else.

If your gripe is the listed newspaper story is lightweight, that would be one thing, but to complain that something is wrong in listing anything from a newspaper, that just isn't very logical.


 9:28 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK I conceed the point.
Also I must remember to never post anything after I get home from the pub! Black and white tends to seem a little greyer in the morning


 9:44 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another eg could have been something like the outbreak of the SAR's epidemic. It is entirely appropriate that DMOZ create a new category for this as soon as it happens (its topical) ... but all that will exist initiall will be news reports (eg CNN, Time, etc), then all the affiliate sites come up to milk the traffic from the search term, then come the authoritive sites to go in the catgeory....


 9:46 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

surfdude, you may think there is nothing so transient as a newspaper article. That's just your ignorance. The editors are well aware how transient all online things are -- hosts, websites, newsgroups, archives, news. And offline things: businesses, charities, organizations, human lives...

And those of us who do watch the internet accumulate the sum of human knowledge are aware that 150-year-old newspapers and newsgroups can still be of significant interest, which is why there are so many projects that are archiving them and/or publishing them on the net.

Contemplate the nature of all human works. Consider the stability of even the best websites -- the ODP has changed names twice, and owners twice (not at the same times). Project Gutenberg has gone through two site reorgs that I'm aware of; CCEL has done one (along with a name change and a sponsor change, not any of them at the same time.) The Cyberhymnal has gone through at least three; Encyclopedia Britannica through two; Geocities through two. And then ... maybe the ODP's toleration of transient things won't seem so odd. After all, we don't have access to the celestial internet, so we link to what we can reach.

On the principle of never attributing to malice that which can be otherwise explained, I'll happily assume you weren't malicious. You're welcome to study our editing guidelines -- someone who creates pro bono websites may have at least one of the less common qualifications for an ODP editor (a public spirit). Have you considered offering to edit the Society and Culture category of your locality? An hour a week will probably enable you to contribute something to your community, and give you a deeper understanding of the ODP that cannot help but improve your website design and promotion skills.


 11:05 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Please try to keep to the topic.

Which is what? "ODP listing individual news articles" or, "The death of objectivity and common sense"?


 3:17 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

> kctipton quoth "Based on your posts..."

LOL - considering your consistently inflammatory posts in this forum, and in R-Z - I would say that this is an ironic statement on your part.

Despite your apparent pretensions to the contrary, no one appointed you Chief Inquisitor of the ODP.

Why don't you build the world's largest toothpick scuplture, take up macrame, or Albanian square dancing - you are obviously having problems handling the stress of editorship.


 3:36 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Which is what? "ODP listing individual news articles" or, "The death of objectivity and common sense"?

Now you're making progress identifying the talking points of a thread. :)

Someone holding an opinion different from yours doesn't automatically put a bullseye on their back. Personal attacks are not welcome. By engaging in personal attacks you not only disgrace yourself, but you bring disgrace to the fine editors of the Open Directory Project.

So chill out and learn to live with the fact that there will always be people who disagree with you. Yet despite disagreements, personal attacks have no place in a civil discussion.

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