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RIP DMOZ: The Open Directory Project is closing

     
11:01 pm on Feb 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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[dmoz.org...]

RIP Dmoz: The Open Directory Project is closing [searchengineland.com]

DMOZ — The Open Directory Project that uses human editors to organize web sites — is closing. It marks the end of a time when humans, rather than machines, tried to organize the web.

The announcement came via a notice that’s now showing on the home page of the DMOZ site, saying it will close as of March 14, 2017
11:11 pm on Feb 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wow, not that it will change the face of the World, but it was one of the big thing of the Internet, at some point.
11:23 pm on Feb 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wasn't expecting it so soon after the recent redesign, but I suppose it's about time.
11:43 pm on Feb 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interesting- pretty short notice.
2:24 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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good riddance
3:38 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The taxonomy was a useful resource for research.

I looked around the site, including the forum, and couldn't find anything else about the closure. The notice on the home page is unceremonious.

Important Notice
As of Mar 14, 2017 dmoz.org will no longer be available.
5:35 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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When I read the announcement, I was sadder than I would have anticipated.

Not only was it a great idea and pretty well implemented, given the numbers of editors and ideas, but I also met my husband there. After he proposed to me, the first thing he did was to invite all 30,000 editors to the wedding. (Thankfully, they didn't all take us up on it.)

I met my three best friends there as well. My daughter, whose obituary is still in the Memoriam category, worked on the project with us from overseas deployments as well as when she was stateside.

I remember restructuring Computers & Internet all by myself one Thanksgiving weekend, and fighting over the stupid word "Localities" in Regional.

As many know, I had problems with "management," and listings sat in some categories for more than a year, unreviewed. Some for far more than a year. But over all, I think it's a loss.
7:48 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sad. It was so good that even Google plundered it.

Regards...jmcc
8:42 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>plundered

Was thinking about that too. At some point it was linked to from the Google home page.

Wikipedia in some ways has took its place.
9:09 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yep and Google tried to replace that with its "Knowledge Graph" Wikipedia scraper and its Knol failure. Dmoz was a collaborative effort in much the same way as Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a far greater threat to Google as it effectively took almost a generation of students away from searching Google for answers. Google used to scrape Dmoz and even had a "Google Directory" for a while along with the Page Rank of each site.

Regards...jmcc
9:26 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's been operating since 05 Jun 1998, and most people would have heard of the ODP in its early forms and later incarnation.

This is the end of an era, and may spell the demise of other, similar directories.

I wonder if there will be a reincarnation, or whether there is even a need for such.

The taxonomy was a really important part of the hierarchy and ought to be preserved for historical reasons, imho.

It's sad that it appears to be an unceremonious end.
9:41 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A directory of human curated search results? Google wouldn't like that though.

Some of Google's search results where its "AI" tries to find the best match are sometimes very bad. Dmoz is a major loss to the web and it might be best if people downloaded the RDF files just in case they could be used for a replacement. The taxonomy of Dmoz was built over years and it is till quite a good one as it could be integrated into a search engine. The big killer for Dmoz was that it grew so large that sites were not current and had often changed ownership. Apart from Google, linkrot is the big problem for directories and most of the directory scripts did not have any proper link checking and maintenance aspects.

Regards...jmcc
9:44 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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doesn't this site pass alot of page rank?
10:15 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Not so sure about it passing page rank recently but it was important to have a site in Dmoz some years ago.

Regards...jmcc
10:52 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sad news,

It does ring the bell how useless humans are becoming AI take over is near
11:11 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What i'm trying to work out is what will happen to the data. It's not clear. If it's closing, is it all just going offline?

I wonder what impact there will be from all the links going. There's bound to be some impact, but I doubt it'll be too great.

It reminds me of the closure of Yahoo's directory. Of course, that was a money-making enterprise, unlike DMOZ
11:31 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is the data page :
[rdf.dmoz.org...]

And a descriptive page is here:
[dmoz.org...]

Dmoz has always made its data available under the Dmoz/ODP licence.
[dmoz.org...]

The data will probably live on but there may be no further updates. Managing that size of a link graph and keeping current might be difficult for the average web developer so it might end up providing the basis for a pile of new fragmented directories based on the canonical RDFs. However monetising these directories may still be a problem.

Regards...jmcc
12:16 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am sure that paid directories are using the dmoz database to populate their own directory and claim they are big and popular, to encourage people to pay for being added.
3:17 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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For profits scoop free internet up , make billions on it and destroy what's left of the non-profits.

As someone mentioned earlier, Google scraped it. Everyone scraped it.

It says at the bottom "Copyright AOL Inc". Which means it's owned by AOL which is owned by Verizon.
So, Verizon is dumping the "dead weights".
4:37 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Why not sell it?
4:43 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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DMOZ was a joke. They had volunteer editors that manipulated their directory. We tried for years to get our travel site listed and could never get in. Apparently the editor was a competitor and did not want to include a site that got well over 3,000 uniques a day and had top rankings in Google for dozens of search phrases. Good riddance.
4:58 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I think that kind of attitude was a mistake. If everyone was listed it would have been fine.

I was a volunteer editor and went to great lengths to make my patch a good one. I'd look at every submission and discard it if it did not meet the minimum requirements, but i'd try and find another slot and refer it on if appropriate. Many submissions were in entirely the wrong category, wasting my time, and theirs. That was very frustrating. I did make sure all the competitors were listed as it gave it completeness, imho.
5:06 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I just hope there are big healthy severance packages for all the hard-working metas.
6:13 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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they need to find a way of saving these things when they go offline, because one day people will want to look back at the beginning of the web and find it's all gone.

we wouldn't chuck away a first edition of a milestone book. and it should be the same with sites like dmoz.
6:24 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>> one day people will want to look back at the beginning of the web <<

It's the purpose of the WaybackMachine / Internet Archive : [archive.org...]
6:50 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is weird - I haven't looked at DMOZ for a very, very long time. As an exercise, I just entered the short primary search phrase for my main site.

Result? No. 1 out of 31,059 - total results for my general genre

Memories....
8:10 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It is not quite accurate to say that sites scraped DMOZ, as part of its model from the start was the free distribution of its data. During its heday, many important web properties relied upon the DMOZ directory. Some of those properties died long before DMOZ. Google's version of the directory was prominent, but fundamentally I think that it was Google's success as a search engine that shifted people more and more away from directories, into simply searching and anticipating that their favorite seach engine would produce the best site.

DMOZ still serves the web from the era of the directory and links list -- the foundation of Google's link popularity-based indexing model. But in my opinion it didn't find a way to evolve as the rest of the web moved forward. Its struggles with abuse and editor management are a side story, as they will exist in any massive, collaborative project of that type -- it comes with success, which is why during the DMOZ heyday it was difficult not to come across complaints about unfair DMOZ editing, yet today such a complaint is likely to be dismissed with, "DMOZ is still around"? (At least until the end of the month.)
8:33 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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the web is already too big to search. even google with all of their resources don't bother crawling and listing the whole thing. nobody will bother doing that anymore because they know half the sites on the web are total trash.

so maybe edited directories are the real future of search? using a paid, trained staff instead of volunteers.
it's the perfect way to purge the SERPs of spam sites as well, because they'd never be allowed in in the first place.

but it's seems a bit daft saying that when DMOZ is disappearing.
8:37 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I had problems with "management"

Oh boy, oh boy, who didn't - since very early days a hornet's nest.
Left in disgust.

Good riddance.

.
8:40 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Re: "..most people would have heard of the ODP in its early forms and later incarnation. "

Or it's earliest form, Gnuhoo followed by the second title, NewHoo.
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