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Web Directory 2.0
What would this look like to you?

 2:12 am on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been reading the threads on Web 2.0 with great interest, but I admit that I just didn't "get it" until a few days ago when my 15 year old son told me to check out a friends' page on MySpace. Suddenly a light went off and I began to understand the mis-mashed hodge-podge that I had previously looked down on as if it was not worthy to be taken seriously.

I own some popular sites that utilize user-generated content, user feedback rating, dynamically changing formatting, and other things that are generally regarded as the stuff of Web 2.0, but I just didn't understand the need for anything more. Now I do.

As I've been contemplating this for a few days, I'm wondering what a Web Directory 2.0 might look like?

I've read that doubleclick is Web 1.0 as AdSense is Web 2.0, and Geocities is Web 1.0 as MySpace is Web 2.0. I don't know if I should suggest that the DMOZ might be Web 1.0, but what would make a web directory Web 2.0?



 10:55 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is a very interesting question ...

I remember a paper I read in 2000. It came from a company called Wherewithal. Their idea was to take DMOZ (that's the not-so-interesting part of the idea) and give people web-based tools to create their very own DMOZ clone. Users should have been able to reorganize category structures and to add and delete links. Thus anyone would have been able to create his own view onto the DMOZ data. (These kind of users could also be called editors, even if they have not much in common with DMOZ or Yahoo editors.)

Pure users (anyone without the ambition to reorganize the directory) could choose their favourite clone and even mix the clones from different editors. The editors would even have become some amount of income, depending on how often their "views" would have been used by users.

According to this paper, using and rearranging the directory should have been done with web-based tools which would have to rely heavily on Javascript.

The money making part aside, this sounds very much like Web 2.0 to me. Just imagine DMOZ where really anyone could become an editor instantaneously. If his modifications make sense for users then they will use his version instead of the default / official version, which would lead to the point where the modified version becomes the default version.


 10:59 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia - if the (unofficial) external-link-limit of 3 would be enforced a bit more.

Wikipedia plus DMOZ - taking the better part of each - could be the ultimate killer application for web-research.


 11:35 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thus anyone would have been able to create his own view onto the DMOZ data.

Wow. I hadn't thought of that. Amazing concept. I would think that you would need to offer a database with greater breadth than the DMOZ since people will be editing and filtering the data themselves.

Give a handful of auto-generated criteria that the 'editors' can use, and some tools to create their own criteria, and there are some wild possiblities.

Imagine someone in Houston creating a directory that is a subset of the whole which only contains listings from Houston, and a person in Algeria creating a version that only contains listings from Algeria, complete with country colors and some graphics.

Maybe some would choose to only list sites which do not contain the code for AdSense in the HTML. Some would only list sites about pinewood derby racing. Come use my directory at http://www.example.com/pinewoodderby!

With the renewed acceptance of AJAX, this is much more feasable now than it was in 2000.

I'm going to have to give this some serious thought.

[edited by: dataguy at 11:41 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2006]


 11:36 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

A browsable directory built around Ajax. now that would be different.



 12:32 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Imagine someone in Houston creating a directory that is a subset of the whole which only contains listings from Houston, and a person in Algeria creating a version that only contains listings from Algeria, complete with country colors and some graphics.

People have been doing this sort of thing for years.


 2:10 pm on Jan 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>what would make a web directory Web 2.0?

Delicious and Yahoo's Web2.0 could be considered a Web 2.0 directory.


 7:23 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I started a company in 1995 that did this! It was ahead of its time (Web 0.7). Our service (completely browser-based) had about 2000 sites putting directory nodes together.

The payoff for them was that when they viewed their directories from their sites, they had their own site design, navigation (via templates). When viewed from our top level, their content looked like our site

Many great features, like URLs validated nightly, user ratings, latest links emailed to anyone who wanted them, suggest links and suggest categories (checked instantly for validity and dupes across the whole domain), and of course, anyone could use whatever categories they wanted in whatever language they wanted. The result was very, very interesting. How many categories of drag racing links can you imagine might exist (esp. if you're the editor of DMOZ and have no idea/interest)?

"Editors" (we called them "customers") got real-time web-based reports on popularity, ratings, suggestions and so on. And it used no JavaScript at all!

As you might imagine, most of the directories were adult sites. But so what. We wanted anyone and everyone to use it. A good chunk of the db made no sense to us because it was in Russian, Armenian, Chinese, etc. ... But it worked!

What happened? We got investors in NYC. They set milestones for releasing full funding. We met and exceeded the milestones and they told us "sorry, we're not giving you any more money. The stock market crash wiped out our cash. Great job, though." So, we broke leases, fired people, and made enemies.

Thanks for starting the topic ... a great chance to bring up some old memories.

- Paul

[edited by: tedster at 2:40 am (utc) on Jan. 16, 2006]
[edit reason] remove specifics [/edit]


 7:46 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)


Very cool indeed, thanks for describing your site. Moving my directories in this direction seems like a no-brainer... I mean, give people more control so that they feel ownership, and they will be loyal users. I think that is a big part of Web 2.0: allowing users to feel like they have control instead of being at the mercy of the web site itself.

I'm curious as to why you wouldn't want to jump back in and give this idea another try. Seems that even if you had to start from scratch, it would be much easier to pull this off today than it was 10 years ago. It would also be easier to monitize.


 12:27 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think directory 2.0 should not free, but small fee and unlimited time. For not pick trash. And it is strong subject. No all about all.

[edited by: tedster at 2:47 am (utc) on Jan. 16, 2006]
[edit reason] remove domain name [/edit]


 11:48 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think directory 2.0 should not free, but small fee and unlimited time. For not pick trash.

Do you mean that it should not allow free promotion of web sites, such as the previous post? I'm not sure what this has to do with Web 2.0 but I do agree for not pick trash...


 12:44 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

a web 2.0 directory would probably have something more than mere hyperlinks for listings ... probably something that provides a way for directory surfers to engage in directly contacting the website owner through let's say ... a VOIP interface like how google was experimenting a few days back for some of it's ads ... (click to call)... of course such a directory feature would not be useful for all the websites listed therein ... but would be nice for company websites etc .....

let's say a day spa gets a website listed in a directory... and the directory offers a click to call service ... that could prove to be useful. So, I feel a web 2.0 directory would facilitate more direct interactions between the directory surfer and the company/entity behind the website listed.


 1:37 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting thread.

Personally I see "2.0" as a user-interface thing. At the end of the day, data is data. The clever bit is how you present it to the end-user (and that can include a clever search tool).

I mentioned the Marumushi newsmap last year but no-one seemed interested. For me, this is a perfect example of a Web 2.0 user-interface. It's very clever (based on link structure) and absolutely functional:-


It's the same data, just different presentation. "2.0", for me, is more of an advancement in design/technology than anything else.



 2:44 pm on Jan 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is very cool trillianjedi. I agree with you.

Just a note that you need to allow popups for that page to work.


 8:05 pm on Jan 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was trying to find out more about Web 2.0 last week and went to the O'Reilly site. I have to say I started to get more confused. I think it is because there are (according to them) no set boundaries for the standard.
Here is their description:
You can visualize Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core.

There is a meme map of web 2.0 here:

I would like to see a better system for approval in DMOZ. There is no notification of if or why you were denied. To blend the Wikipedia posting technique would be advantageous. I think technology is limited because people will take advantage of the ability to spam it for ranking gains.


 8:56 am on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure about blending DMOZ and WIKI as one is corrupt and the other is vulnerable to self-serving spammers and the last thing we need it corrupt spammers running the defacto directory.

I won't go into a lot of details but moving toward Web 2.vaporware standards I've added an RSS feed to my niche directory and people are using it, working on some other bizarre things such as wikifying, technorati tagging, no um um GLOSSARY linking keywords in the listings, glossary, yeah that's the ticket, etc. etc.

Got some other ideas but if I told you I'd have to shoot you so that's all for now.


 9:02 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the main difference from 1.0 is RSS which si widely used now


 7:48 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

There's a directory of web 2.0 sites at [2.0websites.com...]


 9:54 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

what do you guys think about this directory, it uses AJAX, etc. for forms:
Directory: [directoryy.com...]

Actual form: [directoryy.com...]


 10:06 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Which script does it use?


 10:39 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

custom written


 11:09 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't see any AJAX... where is it used?


 11:16 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

some of the fields require communication with scripts on the server. I am not sure which ones, I didn't write the code.

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