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|DMOZ publishes plagerizer|
What can be done?
This is my second attempt to get help here, my first posting got blocked.
Hopefully this posting will get through the censorship on these forums and reach the right people.
I need to get a plaigerizing site delisted from DMOZ. It would be great if my sites could then be listed in their rightful place.
DMOZ has a listing for a site that has plagerized my content, word for word. The originality of my site's content is verifiable at archive dot org. The fact that I cannot get my sites in DMOZ tells me that my sites (the originals) are being treated as duplicate content while the thief's site is listed.
After a cease and desist and some nasty phone calls, they have changed their content. They simply stole content from yet another site (who I have already notified), and mixed in some text from their existing clients. These clients are no doubt unaware of the negative consequences of this.
I am trying to take a stand against a type of person everyone hates, and the inability to list the urls is helping them and hurting me.
I have already done the obvious. There are no editors for the category in question, nor for the next one up, nor for the one above that. I have written into the closest level I could find, but still no results.
DMOZ, I know you are out there, please advise.
[edited by: skibum at 4:35 am (utc) on April 7, 2005]
>The one thing I don't understand is the argument against giving comments as to why a listing was rejected.
I think that there's a paranoid collective delusion out there somewhere that the ODP has a checklist of umpteen hoops a site must jump through, and "which hoop got knocked down" is a valuable datum which, if the webmaster only knew, he could fix and try again.
But that is doubly wrong.
There ISN'T a reason for rejection! Sites don't get rejected for reasons, they get accepted for reasons. Well, a reason: "unique, relevant content". If a site doesn't have that, it can't get accepted. And the webmaster knows, better than anyone else, how, um, derivative the content is. He doesn't need anyone else to tell him that.
And ... the vast majority of the vast majority of the vast majority of the vast majority of the vast majority of the vast majority of the vast majority of sites simply can't be modified to be eligible for listing. Again, the webmaster knows what the purpose of the site is, he doesn't need anyone to tell him that -- and he wouldn't be amenable to changes anyway, it serves his purpose. (Just like the ODP editors aren't amenable to changing the purpose of their work.)
This seems so obvious to me, but then it's been burned into my bones with experience. If it's not obvious to you, try this experiment: tell me just WHAT you envision the ODP editor would give you as a reason for rejection, that you would do something about?
Go ahead. Try to imagine a conversation. Put yourself in that position -- I think you'll find there's no there there.
Please, note for my question, UNIQUE should be defined as not priorly presented, topic relevant content, and excludes rewording, recompiling, and design changes.
So, what I am reading is that a sensible webmaster should be able go look at the category they are submitting to, review the category, compare each site in the category individually to their site, then compare the sum of the sites in the category as a whole to their site, and if their site is unique and relevant in that setting, they should realize they will be included.
Conversely, if during the comparison, the sensible webmaster notes, their site contributes little or nothing unique, either as measured against individual sites, or as measured against the category as a whole they should realize their site will not be included, becuase the purpose of the DMOZ is not to list all sites, but rather to compile a directory of sites that represents the sum of the information available on a topic, at a given time, to the best of it's ability.
Does this read correctly?
It's just somewhat disheartening to create a site full of fresh, valuable content, submit it to DMOZ, and then be turned down for no apparent reason.
My web host's hard drive failed at one point, leaving my site down for almost four days a couple weeks after I sumitted it to the directory. Was this the reason why I was turned down? Who knows.
I just find it hard to believe that my site wasn't dmoz material -- especially when you compare it to those currently listed in the category I submitted it to.
More than once I have submitted a report for dead links and/or redirects and/or sites which have nothing to do with the category they are in. But I've yet to see anything happen with the vast majority of my reports so I quit trying.
I honestly have great respect for the job done by editors, and goal of DMOZ. It's just that in some cases I feel there is not enough peer and/or superior review. Everybody is too busy, I understand that. But if people were given a reason for denial it would probably eliminate a lot of resubmits, irate people on the message boards, etc. I think it would improve the quality of submissions.
And if somebody told me my site was turned down because it was miscategorized or didn't have enough good content, I'd feel justified in taking it up with that editor's superior. Because I know neither of those two reasons are valid.
As it stands, I have come to accept that the site in question won't be listed in the directory -- and I feel that makes the directory less relevant than it could be.
[edited by: skibum at 7:27 pm (utc) on June 18, 2005]
I'm not suggesting that it is the editors' responsibility to instruct webmasters "what they did wrong."
The big picture is important - this takes advertisements, content, load times, site usability, etc. into account.
If the editor would have just told me that my site sucked, I could have taken it to mean that my site was not up to his standards for insertion into the directory. But if he told me my site was "down" then I could have explained the problem with my web host's hard drive.
Or if he couldn't read my site because I do all my work on a 486 with Netscape 4, then that's obviously a bit different than being a scraper site packed with affiliate links.
Personally, I think it would be good if there were some way to inform people whose sites were rejected for technical reasons (i.e. the site was down, or appeared to be non-functional for some other reason). The logistics of doing that seem improbable, though--it seems likely to me that 99% of all sites that are nonfunctional are also going to have webmasters that it's impossible to reach to inform of this fact, so spending the time trying to do so seems like it would be a real time-waster.
Meanwhile, I've learned from experience with my own website that writing back to somebody telling them that you're not going to link to their site tends to make most of them upset, not thankful. So what if it's an affiliate site promoting the online drugs du jour and ours is an educational children's site? They still worked hard on that page, think the layout is spiffy, and are going to feel offended or annoyed if I tell them it's not the kind of site we link to. And how could they possibly "improve" their site so that it would be an appropriate link from ours? Short of throwing it away and writing a new site about the French and Indian War...? I simply delete inappropriate link requests anymore. There's just nothing to be gained in replying, for anyone.
Would the ODP really be any different? I sincerely doubt it. I certainly wouldn't want to be the editor informing people their websites weren't up to standards, let's put it that way. You might take it on the chin and move on, but thousands of others would not--they would become angry and upset, and at the very best they would continue to pester for useless details. There's no way that interaction could go that would not be a waste of everyone's time and energy.
I -think- it's still possible to go to the ODP public forum and inquire about the status of your site; if you do this and the site was declined for a technical problem or submission error or never was received or something like that, someone there will let you know. But really, if the answer is "It's not the kind of site we want to link to," there isn't any additional information that could do anything other than incite arguments or hurt feelings, is there?
Disclaimer: This post constitutes an unofficial, personal opinion not necessarily shared by other ODP editors, the university, or my cats.
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