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Charter - Directories

Forum: Directories

Category: The Search Engine World

Moderators: skibum & Webwork

Founded: Dec 2, 2000

Forum Overview: There are stand-alone directories (ODP) and there are directories that are embedded within a portal (Yahoo). Whether your business or your interest is a niche directory, vertical directory or general directory the Directory Forum is the place to discuss issues such as:

  • Planning and building a directory.
  • Attributes of a quality directory.
  • Managing a directory.
  • Problems and solutions specific to directories.
  • Promoting a directory.
  • Competitive analysis and strategy.
  • Building inbound and outbound directory traffic.
  • Criteria for deciding whether to list a website in a directory.
  • Methods of funding the operation of a directory.
  • Fee setting for directory listings.
  • General legal issues.
  • "Major media" directory industry news. (Not PR releases.)
  • The role of directories in emerging search trends, such as local search, niche and vertical search.
  • Generalized link building questions belong in the Link Development Forum [webmasterworld.com]. Generalized questions about local search belong in the Local Search Forum. [webmasterworld.com] Questions or comments about the Yahoo Directory are appropriate to this forum. Other Yahoo related topics should be posted in Yahoo Search [webmasterworld.com].

Pre-Moderation of New Threads: Due to a significant history of promotional posts and unproductive "DMOZ issue" posts (see below) all new threads in this forum are automatically placed on hold, which means the new thread will not be viewable by the public until approved by a moderator or administrator. Please be patient as all moderators are volunteers and have day jobs and families. We'll get to your post soon.

Posting Directory Names With rare exception for a handful of longstanding and globally recognized brands please don't "name names" or even post hints. Why? On one side it opens the door to promotional spamming, such as "What do you think about advertising in BrandX?" On the other side criticism of specific directories opens up the possibility of flame wars, attacks, pseudo-attacks with promotional counter-posts, etc. So, please: Do not "name names". We can analyze most design, functional and operational issues and business practices without saying who is doing it.

Thread Titles Effective thread titles produce results = More Members Helping. Spend time creating your Subject and Meta Description. Effective subject lines and metas 1) Clearly define an issue by incorporating essential facts; and, 2) Include a request for specific assistance. Thread titles are subject to editing by the moderator, for reasons including improving clarity or to bring the thread's focus into conformity with this Charter and the Directory Forum's educational mission.

Software and service providers: Please don't post seeking "votes" whether a specific product or service is good or bad, as that often leads to forum spamming or even competitor flamming. Instead, discussions about software or service providers should address general decision making and selecton criteria for the product class. For example: Instead of posting "What do you think about X's directory building software?" please ask "What should I look for when choosing software to build a directory?" Posts that imbed "hints" to identify a product are as bad as a direct violation of this rule.

If you are perturbed or dissatisfied or have other issues with a company, its products or services please file your grievance with the Better Business Bureau or the government. Posts that consist of or contain complaints, whining, whinging, pejorative remarks (sucks, stupid, ridiculous, etc) or allegations of past wrongs or wrongdoing are subject to editing and/or deletion. We are an educational forum, not place for people to air their grievances, vent their frustrations, posture or get payback. To put it in simple terms, the argument/proposition that "there is educational value in public posting of consumer complaints" is rejected in this space, for a variety of reasons. If alerting the public is your mission then, in the vast majority of cases, you will do better to post your warning or grievance elsewhere.

Comments disparaging the directory business model: Posts consisting of nothing more than generalized disparaging comments about the directory model or directory business will likely be edited or removed. Don't just declare "directories suck". Tell us exactly why they suck . . so we might improve upon the directory user experience or the directory model.

Open Directory Project (ODP, DMOZ): Although some WebmasterWorld members are ODP editors their comments, as members, may not be binding on, nor authoritative for, the ODP. In most cases questions and complaints relating to ODP policy and procedures should be submitted directly to the ODP, through ODP designated channels, for an official response. Issues that are best resolved within the ODP system will either not leave pre-moderation status or may be removed from active threads.

Examples of issues, questions and complaints best addressed directly to the ODP include:

  • Why is it taking so long for my website to be listed? It's taking too long!
  • Why won't the ODP accept my website? It's a good site!
  • Why is BadSiteX listed but my site can't get listed?
  • The editor won't respond or give a reason for (whatever)!
  • EditorX is bad or is playing favorites! I have proof!
  • Bad SiteX has more than 1 listing and I want that too!
  • Why won't the ODP approve my application to be an editor?
  • Any issues relating to ODP edits or being an editor.

Please avail yourself to the ODP assistance and guidance framework, which includes the following helpful resources:

Complaints, Grievances or Comments Disparaging the ODP and Rebuttal Posts: The Directory Forum is neither the ODP Policing Forum nor the ODP Complaint Center. Complaints, reports of wrongdoing, and all other grievances should be filed with, and only with, the ODP. Posts that do not comply with this provision will either be edited or removed.

Whilst we are willing to be host to threads that offer reasoned critical analysis or commentary about the ODP the days of members injecting posts into open threads, which posts amount to little more than pejorative comments or rancor [google.com], are now over.

Likewise, if you are an ODP volunteer or supporter please refrain from "countering attacks" and allow time for a moderator to edit or remove inappropriate remarks or posts. Please help focus the WebmasterWorld-DMOZ dialogue on positive, pro-active solutions and advice, such as "best practices", "effective procedure" and the like.

Thank-you for your cooperation in improving the quality and the utility of the ODP dialogue.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO "DO BUSINESS": Posts that violate the following rules will be removed. Membership status may be reviewed for flagrant violations.

  • Do not publish your directory's name or anyone else's directory name in the Directory Forum. Such posts will be deemed promotional.
  • Do not solicit listings, free or paid.
  • Do not solicit editors or contributors to your directory.
  • Do not list directories for sale or seek input about selling a directory you own.
  • We don't allow directory website review posts.
  • Do not post a list of directory websites, directly or by linking to a list.
  • Do not drop “hints” about how to find a directory or tools.
  • Do not post about directory submission tools or services.
  • Posts discussing fees or benefits of specific directories are likely to be removed.
  • "Sticky me" posts, as a method to circumvent the rules, will also be deleted.
  • Posts referencing information to be found on other forums or discussing another forum's merits or lack thereof will be subject to editing or removal.
  • Posts listing the details of personal holdings or services may be subject to editing, even without stating "for sale" or "inquiries invited".

Exceptions to the rules: From time to time, in the interest of webmaster or public education on specific topics, the Directory Forum moderators may initiate threads that invite members to post information that would ordinarily be proscribed by the Charter. Such threads will have specific guidelines to limit blatant promotional content.

How will we be able to dialogue with all these rules and restricitions? Easy. All we need to do is to keep our focus on public education. These rules are designed to reduce the volume of self-promotion and private agenda posts. Quiet the noise and the educational conversation starts to flourish. It's already happening. You are doing a great job. Thank you.

Webwork & Skibum - Directory Forum Moderators