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|DMOZ...has it gone to sleep|
DMOZ was never quick at listing websites but it always got around to it.
But over the last year it has just got worse. I submitted a site back in October and haven't seen or heard a thing.
If they don't want to list me site that is one think. A quick no thank you would be fine.
I am a true believer in DMOZ, I believe it is the backbone of the web, but it is not doing itself any justification. There also appear to me more and more sites that are listed that have bitten the dust which is a shame.
Common DMOZ get it together. DMOZ is the true spirit of the web but now it appears to be dying. Are there fewer editors than there used to be?
I listed more than a dozen sites in the last week that were submitted less than 12 hrs previosuly - also listed some that were not even submitted. How is that DMOZ going to sleep?
You seem to be under that common mistaken impresion that DMOZ is some sort of listing service for webmasters.
In April DMOZ grew by 34 792 sites - is that being alseep or is that an awesome achievement? What other directory came remotely close to that? How is that being asleep? Are you going to accuse all the other directories of being asleep as they do not achieve that level of growth?
From the DOMZ site
Someone isn't pulling their weight;)
That is the total number of editors that have ever contributed to the project. Editors come and go. At any given time there are generally about 8,000-10,000 active editors, IIRC.
|Someone isn't pulling their weight;) |
How do you reason that? This is a volunteer project.
If I volunteer at a soup kitchen one day a month, am I not pulling my weight if I don't volunteer two days a month?
If a volunteer editor adds one site every month are they not pulling their weight if they do not add two? That one site they added, increased the value of DMOZ.
Lloyd, you need to say what your site is, otherwise we have no idea if it is listable in DMOZ or not.
But asking if your site is listable is against WMW TOS (as is whining -- see the forum chater).
So, basicall, you are asking the wrong 50,000 people .... [webmasterworld.com...]
Unless your hidden point is that most of those 50,000 people, yourself included, are not pulling their weight by contributing directly to the ODP as editors.
If so, I'd tend to agree. There must be 500,000 sites that could be added in the next three months given enough hands. One a week from each of WMW's users would do that.
(There are of course maybe 30 times that number of sites that could never be listed. But, again, some initatives from WMW users to create alternative authoritative directories with a wider brief that DMOZ would solve that too).
I fully support your wake-up call to WMW's 50,000 "Independent Web Professionals." It's time they stopped complaining that a few volunteers are failing to run the ODP roperly, and took some direct action once and for all.
What's your next step, Lloyd?
I don't usually do the <aol> bit here, but I think Victor's numbers are probably within a close order of magnitude of being correct. I would have said maybe 1 million listable sites, of which maybe a quarter have been submitted (which nicely bounds his estimate).
At this point in the life cycle, an increasing percentage of the edits that occur are quality control/maintenance, not "adding" sites. That is, although the number of sites went up by 30,000, probably ten to twenty thousand sites were deleted in that same time; and so actually, "about 50,000" sites were probably added.
More detailed statistics aren't available, but any editor who's done several hundred edits over the last month or two, will be able to estimate what proportion of them are maintenance versus new building.
I don't know, I never understood how they can be so slow to process submissions. I submitted my site to a category that has about 10 or 12 existing listings. Mine is just as valuable, if not more so, than all of them. I know there are at least 2 editors for this category. It's been 4 months now and no one has reviewed my submission yet. Obviously DMOZ is a free service, it's not a webmaster listing service, blah blah blah but if whoever is in charge of DMOZ cared much this type of thing should not happen. This is not an isolated incident. Sure DMOZ might be a nice directory, but the whole model is flawed if you asked me. If anyone can figure out how to make decent money from a directory, it would be easy enough to hire 20 or 30 people and build one out that is just as big as DMOZ in a few months.
...because thats not a service that DMOZ offers
|I never understood how they can be so slow to process submissions. |
|it would be easy enough to hire 20 or 30 people and build one out that is just as big as DMOZ in a few months. |
100 people working full time for a year would not be enough to build a directory as big as DMOZ.
There is great difference between the number of editors shown over there and those who work regularly.As dmoz editor are volunteers so they have ni bindings to work according to some schedule.
Some of the editors are working else due to various reasons .....and there concerned category work is getting pending with each day.
Fact is that there is no sort of thing like editors can say that i wont be working for this many days and please ask some other editor to do my category work for by the time i come back from holidays....
i too submitted my website way back around 8 months back...lase time i checked there website....i was asked to come after 6 months to ask for status of my request
I do not think the ODP is asleep, I think they made a poor decision on how to handle things.
I understand both sides of the argument... I have a friend who edits, and am a webmaster who has submitted.
I know the editors receive a large number of submissions and that most of those do not meet the requirements to be listed. Further, going through and making sure everything checks out, to ensure a category is kept to standard, takes time, and since it is on a volunteer basis there are no guarantees.
The other side of the coin. The category I submitted to sat for over nine moths without an editor. No one looked at it. No one updated it. It sat. As a webmaster the most frustrating thing is to sit and wait. (I know it is not for webmasters, but 'if you build it they will come'.)
The solution I would propose is simple... just let webmasters submit and if the site is in the que, delete the submission. Since multiple submissions, resubmissions, etc. are tracked, let people submit once a month and if the site is already in the 'process of being reviewed' have the newest one auto delete. Then the status check could be removed, people would not have to wait six months before feeling like they could take action and everybody gets a little happier.
Look at how Y does it: For a free listing you should submit every 2 to 3 weeks... It does not have to change the que, the order sites are reviewed in, or anything else, but people can still feel like they are doing something. (I received a listing in the ODP and Y the same week, and I must say the Y listing was much easier to wait for, because I felt like I was doing something even though my initial submission very likely sat in the same place for exactly the same amount of time as the ODP submission.)
Just a thought.
|I am a true believer in DMOZ, I believe it is the backbone of the web, but it is not doing itself any justification. |
Are you an editor? If not, why not?
If I remember right, DMOZ was created by Netscape back when most of us said, "what in the world is Internet Explorer"? Back in the days when most folks used a browser that didn't even show background images. It was a wonderful idea that AOL has kept alive because it doesn't cost them too much money. I believe the minute it does start costing a bunch of money is the day that it will go away. Just like Infoseek did when Disney bought it.
|...because thats not a service that DMOZ offers |
What are you talking about? If they don't process submissions then why do they encourage submissions, and have entire pages devoted to submission policies and instructions, etc. That's just silly ...
|100 people working full time for a year would not be enough to build a directory as big as DMOZ. |
You're joking right? No point in even discussing this really, but it could easily be done if someone with the resources cared to do it.
>> It was a wonderful idea that AOL has kept alive because it doesn't cost them too much money. I believe the minute it does start costing a bunch of money is the day that it will go away.
This is absolutely true, and I hope it does not ever cost them a dime more than it does today, because it would be a shame to lose it... Any other directory I know of, you can buy your way in, with DMOZ you have to be unique and good... I really appreciate those aspects.
Added: Yes, the communication and the wait are frustrating, but overall the project is worth it.
Are you joking?
|You're joking right? No point in even discussing this really, but it could easily be done if someone with the resources cared to do it. |
There are large numbers of web sites being submitted that should never be listed and add no quality to the directory. Just the other day I went through 50 new sites to be listed and only about 7 of them were listed and the rest had no quality. It's not the job of ODP to tell you whether your web site is accepted or not.
AOL isn't going to hire anyone else, AOL doesn't want ODP as it is now.
|What are you talking about? If they don't process submissions then why do they encourage submissions, and have entire pages devoted to submission policies and instructions, etc. That's just silly ... |
Submissions are just one of the many sources that editors may use to find sites to list. Its the worst and most inefficient sources of sites.
Sit down and do the maths - it will take 100 people working full time for a year.
|No point in even discussing this really |
A while back I spent 3 or so hours going through ~80 submitted sites to list only 3 (and had to rewrite the descriptions). After that I spent 10 minutes on Google to find 3 really good sites to list that were not even submitted. Guess where I am better spending my time to build a category of resources. Other directories provide a submission processing services.
|There are large numbers of web sites being submitted that should never be listed and add no quality to the directory. Just the other day I went through 50 new sites to be listed and only about 7 of them were listed and the rest had no quality |
>it could easily be done if someone with the resources cared to do it.
Ah, but that's just the thing. How do you get the resources?
As you all know, the vast majority of surfers use search engines primarily, and a majority never directly use directories.
For a commercial enterprise, there has to be a business model -- and in fact there are several of them currently in use (Yahoo, Looksmart, etc.) But we have seen their limits -- and they are far short of the ODP's in most respects.
Noncommercial, then, is the only option. But there are only so many resources available there also: the ODP sucks up a lot of what is available.
And the ODP has its own limits (for instance, people have to work effectively within the editing community: they have to simultaneously take pride in their work, but not claim ownership of it -- not an easy line to walk. Lots of responsibility, very little power.)
A new noncommercial project would be competing with the ODP for both audience and editors -- unless it could figure out a way to harness the willing public-spirited editors who didn't fit into the ODP community: a challenge in itself. It would be very difficult to move into the big leagues.
My own guess is that rather than a pale imitation of Yahoo, or a pale imitation of the ODP, or even a sterile hybrid of the two, we'll see some completely different model (or models) of indexing the web: which would complement the existing directory (ODP), search engine (Google), and aggregate catalog (Froogle) models. And, of course, for serious searchers there will be the niche engines.
|You're joking right? No point in even discussing this really, but it could easily be done if someone with the resources cared to do it. |
Do the numbers, limitup, before suggesting other people haven't.
100 people working full time finding and adding sites would be adding over 20 sites an hour each (I'm assuming long hours, few holidays, and no one taking time to do quality checking or answer submitters' queries, or internal discussions about structure) to get 5,000,000 sites in a year.
So try an experiment -- pick a category you now nothing about (most of your 100 workers would no nothing about most of the categories they work on) and (without using DMOZ) find and describe 20 sites in the next 60 minutes that best belong in that category.
And let me refer you to my earlier post where I proposed a solution that could actually work....But a year and a half later, and no one has done anything. Sleepers!
Publish your results here (without links to the URLs, natch) so we can all see the quality outcome.
Maybe the way you would go about filling the directory would take 100 people working full-time 1 year to add 5 million sites, but there are more than 1 way to skin a cat.
Also, no one ever said anything about every category having to list the 20 "best" sites. Who determines what is "best" anyway? Each category would only need enough listings, and enough quality, to satisfy the user.
Hutcheson is right though - the vast majority of people use search engines and not directories, which makes it a lot harder to profit from a directory. Unless there is big money to be made, most people who could actually get it done have no interest in building a directory.
>> There also appear to me more and more sites that are listed that have bitten the dust which is a shame. <<
That is very odd, when a team of editors has spent the last 3 months reviewing all of the status 404 entries in the directory.
>> If they don't process submissions then why do they encourage submissions <<
They allow suggestions, but they also look in many other places for sites to list. They do not process suggestions in a special order, or in a specified timeframe. Suggestions are just "there": to be looked at, or not.
>> >> 100 people working full time for a year would not be enough to build a directory as big as DMOZ. << <<
>> You're joking right? No point in even discussing this really, but it could easily be done if someone with the resources cared to do it. <<
You do the math.
>> 100 people working full time finding and adding sites would be adding over 20 sites an hour each <<
You gotta be kidding. Reviewing a site, checking if it is listable, looking around, and writing a title and description can easily take 10 minutes to more than an hour per site.
|You gotta be kidding. Reviewing a site, checking if it is listable, looking around, and writing a title and description can easily take 10 minutes to more than an hour per site. |
That's crazy. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes tops, and that's IF *everything* is being done 100% manually, which is not necessary. I can look at a site and determine if it's a "quality" resources in a matter of seconds, and writing a title and description takes another few seconds ...
Provides great information on all sorts of widgets, helpful reviews, and even shows how to get the best deal on widgets.
That took me all of, oh, about 7 seconds to write. And who said this needs to be done 100% manually? A decent system can easily determine an appropriate title and description programmatically, with manual spot-checking and/or review if certain red flag conditions are present.
>> That's crazy. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes tops, and that's IF *everything* is being done 100% manually, which is not necessary. <<
I can tell that you have never edited in a real directory. You have no idea how it really works.
>> I can look at a site and determine if it's a "quality" resources in a matter of seconds, and writing a title and description takes another few seconds ...
Oh my. You wouldn't last 5 minutes at the ODP; so many steps in the real process that you totally missed out.
[edited by: g1smd at 10:14 pm (utc) on May 6, 2005]
limitup, I understand your frustration but you have a limited understanding of what goes into evaluating a site.
It is not possible to evaluate the quality of a site in a few seconds-- in many categories, and particularly in the most popular categories, the editor must spend a considerable amount of time making sure it is not a fraternal mirror, a "cookie cutter" gateway page, and affiliate marketer, a hijacked domain driving porn traffic, etc. That may entail clicking on a lot of links, viewing the source, looking up the domain name history or IP block, and other steps that take a bit more than a few seconds.
No automated system is perfect. If Google can be spammed, the much more limited resources of the ODP could be spammed as well. That is the entire point of having human editors-- to keep up the quality of the directory.
In fact, this is exactly the case in much of the directory now. If there's already a hundred thousand real estate agents, e-tailers, and blogs in the directory, why should I expend time and effort to add them when there are only a handful of, say, sites about a rare disease or the history of a culture or a sport unknown in my country but popular in the rest of the world?
|Also, no one ever said anything about every category having to list the 20 "best" sites. Who determines what is "best" anyway? Each category would only need enough listings, and enough quality, to satisfy the user. |
|It shouldn't take more than a few minutes tops |
With so many trying to scam DMOZ with multiple listings, mirrors, etc etc - it takes a lot more than a few minutes. In a shopping category, It took less than a minute to delete a crap site - to investigate a site that looks listable for mirrors, doorways etc takes a while. In the one shopping category that I have limited editing priveliges, I started to work on the long list of sites waiting. Of the first 6 I looked at 2 were listable, 2 were really bad (deleted) and 2 were disguised mirrors or gateways to another site of the same company that was aleady listed.... that was over an hours work ---- it was a "negative" experience becasue of the lengths some go to to get multiple listings, I have not gone back to edit the big pool of site over there again --- I will stick with the "informational" categories for now.
Let's just say that if I were to start a directory, and I wasn't concerned about charging webmasters money for listings, I wouldn't accept submissions at all. That way we wouldn't waste any time or resources evaluating BS sites ...
I have long said that I think DMOZ should turn off the 'suggest/submit a site' option --- would solve a lot of problems. Editors can then get on with buildng categories of resources and webmasters can stop whining about the 'submission processing' service that was never provided in the first place.
Does anybody actually use DMOZ for anything but SEO?
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