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And imagine the chaos if they add a nofollow tag.
Barring that, the best it can hope for is to do something similar to about.com, except instead of creating the content, have the managers just list the sites and become a very good directory.
Here are the major problems with ODP imo:
1. If managed very tightly, the "open" part as it relates to submissions and public participation can be a good thing. Because it can help humans make a web directory. But the very bad side of open is that the world does not need a huge database of content for spammers to litter the internet with. So to remove the spam from ODP would require stopping to release the data to the public. Which is a big part of why it exists.
2. The model doesn't scale. What is a "good" directory of, say online stores?
Listing only the ones you already know about? eBay, Amazon etc? We don't need ODP for that.
Listing the mom and pops? That would take thousands of pages for just that category.
Can it work eclectic content? I doubt it. Spammers will take over quickly.
3. The reason people loved ODP was the pagerank and the traffic it sent. There are too many people optimizing for traffic and generating too many sites. This model is a set up to pit a small force against an enormous army, many of whom are robots auto-generating content w/ the best of techniques and auto-submission tools. How is ODP going to get around it?
Therefore, to fix ODP means to redefine it and turn it into something else.
I don't share that interest, but that's OK. I have my own interests, and I can find sites pandering to them.
And there's nothing wrong with someone who thinks what the world needs most is yet another Digg-type site--creating one. I don't agree, but then, I never have needed the first Digg-type site. But that's OK too. I know how to start a site, if it comes to that.
I just don't understand the compulsion to make every site into the same type of site. I say, let Digg do whatever its community wants to do, whether or not I care to participate, and regardless of all the various vicious influences it's susceptible to. If I ever change my mind, Digg will be there. In the meantime, I'll be active on sites unlike Digg, doing things OTHER than what Digg does.
But if the ODP stopped doing what it does (in order to duplicate what Digg is already doing well enough), where else could the community go to do what we want to do?
If you don't have an idea, you have to spend your life chasing the last fad. And so some sites (Hi, MSN!) have to keep re-inventing themselves with yet more elaborate copies of what everyone else is already doing. But if you have an idea worth pursuing (Hi, Google!) you can just keep doing it as best you can, forever (or at least, until someone else can do it better.)
Secondly: The flaw with most directories which has been made on the internet are exactly that they go beyond what they have the resources to accomplish. They add as much as they can, without editorial review of what is listed on a regular basis, updating and removing and finding other notable works - and they can be paid, and bribed and persuaded to list even the most unoriginal and worst resources on everything and anything on the internet - because they are serving commercial interests - thus it makes it biased, very, very biased.
Dmoz has survived until now, as a trusted resource because it has not made that mistake - it's not about scalability, or about revenue models, or anything than trying to provide good resources on the topics they cover - in the way they think is the best way to do it.. They don't have unlimited resources, people aren't being paid to do it, so they actually can't go for scalability, or in a flicker of a moment sell out of the quality of it because the investors wanted a little more bang for their bucks.. They can only, and I mean only, count on remaining a quality resource with the help of those people who do like to contribute, and do the really, really, annoying and not-for-profit job nobody else wants to do - but from which everybody else benefits - if you look beyond your own interests.
The only thing an editor there can do with his work is to write it on his CV. "Editor of [category] at Dmoz.org from 2005-2007" - again, it's not a business resource, or a search engine resource - it's there to use for anybody and take data from - because it tries to be a good and fair resource on different aspects of the internet, and structure it to the best of their intentions.. not that's it's always successfull, but it has until now done a good job at it. Just when I think back at the original netscape directory .. dmoz has come a very long way since then - and I can only imagine what it will be in ten years.
The Digg style simply ... wouldn't work with Dmoz. It's not alot of people on digg who actually controls it .. it's very few, and they're doing the work of voting things up and down - hell, for all we know the guy who owns it might just add 1245 votes to a digg and sell the traffic to the highest bidder (just an example, again, with commercial itnerests...) and because of that small community ... it's in their interests of what is to be seen and what is to be buried. Dmoz as a Dmoz This! - wouldn't work as an authority resource - just a very, very biased resources serving a few hundred peoples interests on what should be seen and what shouldn't. Besides from that ... digg might give a few sites a 8000 visitors today - but most would simply get buried under a rock and never see the light of day again. With dmoz they might get 8001 visitors over the span of 10 years. That's one more, and perhaps it's worth betting on more than one horse, or just build the racetrack if you really want to own the game..