The above language is from How to suggest a site to the Open Directory [dmoz.org].
Does it say, on its face "Do not submit to more than one category"? No, it does not. Instead, it takes the affirmative approach: "Submit a site to the single most relevant category".
In a perfect world that would be the end of it.
Here's the rub, Part I: People look at the ODP, see the same website in multiple categories, and therefore conclude that the rule doesn't quite mean what it says. That there must be an exception, unwritten or otherwise so they, too, might benefit. So, what do those people do? My guess would be that they submit to more than one category. Monkey see, monkey do? No, let's not go there.
Here's the rub, Part II: IF it takes weeks or months for a submission to be reviewed AND IF the editor of the "submitted to section" determines "No, this website doesn't belong in my category, there's a better one" then what's the chance that the approval clock gets reset when that editor forwards the website to a new editor and the time to approval gets extended by several more months? What's the chances that with this thought in mind ("Maybe it's not the right category. I'm not the ultimate judge.") that the person submitting with this scenario in mind will - as a defensive or practical strategy - submit to more than one category at a time?
Almost seems practical to me to submit to more than one category. It's what people do when they want to increase their odds of winning: They buy more than one lottery ticket.
Poor analogy? Submission is more like asking someone out on a date or to the prom? "Hey, you can't ask 2 guys/gals and you can't submit to more than 2 sections!" Yeah, but if I have to wait 3 months to know if I'm going on my next date I might start to consider the monestary. ;0/
The questions below are directed to any ODP editor that is willing to pitch in and explain, with the caveat to the members at large that there is - to my knowledge - no person who is appointed as the official ODP spokesperson.
1. What is "the official" ODP policy about submitting a website to more than one category? It looks to be "submit to only one" BUT is that rule applied with some flexibility? If it is then is that flexibility a matter of individual editor discretion?
2. Are there known cases of exceptions to this rule, where a website is found listed in more than one category? What explains this? Mere inability to track all submissions?
3. If a website is NOT to be listed in more than one category then what, if anything, can an outsider do to right this wrong - where they see that 1 website appears in multiple categories? IF there is no effective process for "an outsider" to participate in "righting this wrong" then is the legitimacy of the statement of policy (only 1 category) to be taken seriously? In other words, doesn't the appearance of exceptions to the rule with no mechanism of removing those exceptions tend to encourage the "bad practice"?
4. IF it IS EVER appropriate for a website to be listed in more than one category THEN WHAT are the criteria and guidelines for
This thread is NOT an invitation to the members at large to post up their complaints or even their observations or experience on this subject. We'll get to that in due course.
What I'd like is some help in building a "Library Thread" that addresses, in some detail, what - if anything - there is to say on the topic of submitting and getting listed in multiple ODP categories as it appears to be an issue that arises again and again.
IF YOU HAVE AN ON POINT QUESTION on the very point of the topic of this thread - not a comment, critique, experience, opposing point of view, whatever - please feel free to add it in the shortest possible format. The focus, again, is the issue of submitting to multiple categories.
THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE THE LATEST IN A LONG LINE OF WHINGING THREADS. If you have a gripe, if you are aggrieved, if you think that there has been some dishonesty by someone somewhere this IS NOT where to register it. At best I am looking for the most intelligent, well stated and well reasoned presentation of things the way they are. I somewhat doubt, since I said it myself that "there is not official ODP spokesperson", that we will manage to cobble together the definitive answer. That said, what's life for if not for trying to find the unfindable answers and resolviing the great mysteries of life? :)
[edited by: Webwork at 9:21 pm (utc) on Oct. 17, 2006]