martinibuster - 7:38 am on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
Well, Yahoo was around before the ODP. In fact, the ODP tried to trade on the goodwill associated with the Yahoo brand by calling themselves, NewHoo.
In any case, what was notable about the ODP was the volunteer editor style of building the directory. Zeal was another volunteer based directory, it came out around the same time as the ODP.
While they were both more or less volunteer based, Zeal had more of a community feel to it, while ODP, in my opinion felt more closed. The innovation by Zeal was to make you feel as if you joined a wide open community. Joining the ODP felt like being accepted to a religious order.
I think between the two, ZEAL succeeded over others in creating a community. In my opinion that was an important innovation. There was something sunny about Zeal.