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- A handful of good Editors, doing their best, outnumbered by thousands of “capricious” editors.
- Spammers draining the (few) resources of well minded volunteers, taking time and value for their precious job.
- Millions of non-indexed sites, unattended.
- Pay per submission is a no starter.
- Very few resources available to pay editors.
Ok, here is a possible solution. A parallel, Dmoz based, hight profile public Directory, addressing those problems from a for profit perspective. In sort, a new, for profit, Dmoz distribution. Think of it like the relation between Slackware Linux and RedHat Linux.
That new distribution will be free to implement a business model that allows committing resources to complement the original Dmoz listing, just like RedHat carries the original linux Kernel and its upgrades, by paying editors to purge the spammers and add new sites to its “extended” Dmoz version.
Of couse, Dmoz will not necessarily incorporate the new distribution changes to its main RDF dump, but the public availability of the new Distribution could have similar effect to the original one.
I’m sure a few of us have resources to pull this one out.
What do you think?
>I think if thousands of editors are getting bashed for not doing
>their "job" - makes me wonder what a "few" are going to accomplish
Well, the "thousands" still be there, at DMOZ. And, at the same time, the "few" will be able to use slightly improve it, from a Webmaster/SEO point of view: more sites in, more quickly, with less, worthless spammers. Not so far fetched, I think. Just like RedHat taking in new programmer community improvements, and, at the same time, adding value to it.
Before you jump the gun .... I would read the ODP license agreement.
The only thing you can do is start your own directory. I would say try it as I believe everyone should experience what seems so cut-and-dried and simplistic.
You also may want to start a forum like this one – but change the rules so people can post links to their sites in the threads. You would “not” be able to retain the quality of this forum when you start relaxing the rules and making exceptions.
Oh, it does allow you to do so. Further more, I will say they are expecting us to do it.
>The only thing you can do is start your own directory. I would say
>try it as I believe everyone should experience what seems so cut-and-
>dried and simplistic.
Nop. You are allow to use de currently abailable ODP data: you will start with 3.8 million sites on it.
>You also may want to start a forum like this one – but change the
>rules so people can post links to their sites in the threads. You
>would “not” be able to retain the quality of this forum when you
>start relaxing the rules and making exceptions.
Wrong example. Actually, this forum is a privately held, moderated, for profit version of similar USENET groups. A evolution similar to the one I'm proposing for Dmoz.org
Actually that's not a bad idea. A free to submit to directory where you can have someone review your description but then you could pay them to write a better description if wanted... kno' wot I mean?
I suppose it's sort of already happening when a webmaster pays an SEO or SEM to do the job... but this way would keep a free entry directory but also provide a means to keep the owners happy $$
Just mixing opinion and thrashing ideas
I suggest free placement and automatic acceptance, with a few restrictions, until the submission is proved wrong or spammy by highly motivated, aggressive, professional editors.
Is a different approach. Your site is considered innocent until proved guilty of spamm, misplacement, or any other wrong doing. Just like this forum, for example, no previous censorship, you are allow to post, but if the post is somehow wrong, it will be deleted, and maybe banned.
A free to submit to directory where you can have someone review your description but then you could pay them to write a better description if wanted... kno' wot I mean?
sounds kinda like LookSmart.
Just imagine if ODP did vanish. What would happen to YAHOO! listing prices, LookSmart per click prices, AdWords, and Overture clicks?
LookSmart is out in left field, but with the others fairly closely related it wouldn't be hard to drive up the price of an eyeball to nearly the break even point for most any business on the net.
Search engines would then fit the neat little model of traditional media buying much more closely.
Evidence, argument, or are we just to be subjected to your prejudice?
What amazes me with these constant (mostly specious) arguments is that if so many people are dissatisfied with DMOZ, then why hasn't an alternative "better" directory surfaced?
Surely all those "good" editors would flock to it, users would arrive in their thousands, and Google and other ODP dump users would thankfully convert their databases. I wouldn't hold my breath however.
Of course there is an alternative to this, and that is to take away the submission button on DMOZ and let the category editors find the suitable sites on their own (which happens anyway). Now what makes me think that that idea won't be particularly popular.....?
I can honestly state that I have no idea what you are proposing or what effort it would save. If you listed all of the sites that were submitted and "then" had to go back and review them - what effort is saved.
<<Wrong example. Actually, this forum is a privately held, moderated, for profit version of similar USENET groups. A evolution similar to the one I'm proposing for Dmoz.org>>
So you “are” proposing a business model - where would you generate the revenue?
I was simply stating that the quality of this forum would be ruined within a week and become completely useless if the users were able to make the rules to suit their own wants/needs. Same would happen to ODP or any directory.
>If you listed all of the sites that were submitted and "then" had to >go back and review them - what effort is saved.
We may not be saving much effort, actually, but be will be adding our own. Besides Webmasters/SEO will love it. Instant, free submission. You see, both Directories, ODP and ODP2 will be somehow defective: ODP is considered incomplete by many domain/business owner. ODP2 will be consider slightly more Sammy, but much more larger and complete. How much "slightly" Sammy it is, will be the key to its success.
>So you “are” proposing a business model - where would you generate >the revenue?
Well, I can see a business model there. Others may see it too, or may see a different one, or not one at all. But that is a different problem. What I would like to discuss is how much value we as Webmaster/SEOs, will see in something like that.
>I was simply stating that the quality of this forum would be ruined
>within a week and become completely useless if the users were able
>to make the rules to suit their own wants/needs. Same would happen
>to ODP or any directory.
No necessarily, Think of Google. A good inclusion algo plus some coercive anti-spammers supervision can do the trick. Something like this:
- Original ODP entry always prevail, and is placed on top of the listing.
- Just 1 entry per site. We could allow automatic submission of www.new-site.com, but no of www.new-site.com/user/Jdoe, or www2.new-site.com. We can't help on that, if the sub-domain or the personal page has real value, they must go through the original ODP manual process, not our new automatic one.
- A robot must check and follow your page. If it's a outside redirected, the site will be banned.
- If you try to place your site at the wrong place, you will get busted, soon or later, and your domain will be added to the worthless/banned/spammers/ cat, rendering your domain name (7$-35$) worthless with us. A peer-review scheme similar to that of slashdot.org or craigslist.org may help empower immensely the Editors in In order to accomplish this task.
- We will need to be sure the person submitting the application is the real Administrator of the domain name. To authenticate it, we may ask them to add a simple metatag at the home page. Something in the line of
<meta odp-distro=”ODP7.25” cat=”Business_Consumer Goods and Services_Electronics”>
<meta odp-decryption=”A bunch of some times worthless keywords, or just a good site owner description, most of the time”>
How does it sound?
What Marcos is suggesting is, as I understand the ODP license, perfectly legal. ANYONE may host all or any part of the ODP content, modified or unmodified, subject only to the requirement to include attribution and links to "be an editor" and "free add URL".
I suspect that the ODP founders expected several people to do this. At about that time, Looksmart was doing a fairly technically competant job of incorporating free listings (many spidered by hand from the ODP:) with "paid listings" like individual retail product deeplinks. Overture (and others) are doing something similar now with search results.
The big problem I see with this approach is that you need to start with enough eyeballs to justify the "charge for inclusion" -- and so far, the portals with the eyeballs have taken other approaches. Another issue is that the ODP listings get more distribution (i.e. are worth more) than the "paid" add-on listings. As for quality control, you can do whatever you feel you need to do. You will need to make sure that you have a good way of picking up the ODP updates -- this will be, I suspect, your biggest TECHNICAL problem. (From your point of view, quality control will be your biggest problem, just as listing delays will remain your customers' biggest problem.) But all those are just that--problems. What business model doesn't have problems? You just have to solve them "well enough," which sometimes means "just a little bit less badly than everyone else."
A handful of good Editors, doing their best, outnumbered by thousands of “capricious” editors.
The nemesis of directories always has been, and always will be that they cannot acquire enough editors. Either because they cannot afford enough paid editors (Yahoo) or cannot attract enough volunteer editors (DMOZ)to keep up with submissions (or web growth is perhaps more exact).
Yahoo has tried to break the Gordian knot of submissions by trying to curtail them with paid submissions - they loose in the end because the data base gets slewed towards sites that can/will pay - larger organisations and browsers are not getting the detailed information they require
DMOZ has stared at growing (nay, out of control) unreviewed lists for at least two years. Without more editors and/or greater productivity from existing editors, then unreviewed is doomed to continue to spiral. In a world where there are (arguably) only around 500 active editors available to volunteer directories, then it can never catch up. Good sites do not get added, bad editors are difficult to remove (better a bad editor in Ogooboogoland, than no editor at all, appears to be the motto).
You will find the same (broadly) people on the other volunteer directory sites. Basically I do not believe that there are more than that sort of number prepared to edit in any volume (more than say 100 sites per year each)
My money and my work, is on mini portals. Eventually specialist mini portals will, I believe, be the preferred directory mechanism. Mind you, then they get bought up and agglomerated into maxi portals, and before long a couple of mega moguls will own them all, which is where we came in. Makes you think !
This goes right to the point of how to manage a web directory. Particularly if the web directory shall be fair to all while still being comprehensive and able to handle large volumes.
The solution lies in realizing that a few select editors will not be able to manage the ever growing web. Instead all of us have to become editors. Editors of our own web pages. In order to accomplish that we need a framework and a taxonomy which enables us to do become the editors of the web in a secure and robust way. And there is in fact already today a directory which facilitates this concept and which provides such a framework and taxonomy.
Please, don't let spam obscure your eyes. The majority of all spam is easily dealt with using technology and efficient administration tools. I'm a technocrat meaning that I believe that if a problem can't be solved with technology, it can always be solved with more technology. Any spam that get through the door we simply have to live with. Never optimize a system for the minority, always look to the majority.
The paradigm of a web page owner also being the web page editor has a great potential and it may open up many exciting avenues for future business on the Internet.
>to justify the "charge for inclusion"
No "charge for inclusion" at all, that will not work. Free, automatic, algo controlled inclusion.
>picking up the ODP updates -- this will be, I suspect, your biggest TECHNICAL problem.
Oh, not at all. ODP gives you FTP access to a compressed, xml stile, ODP Directory dump.
>quality control will be your biggest problem, just as listing delays will remain your customers biggest problem
Not quite. If you are automatically filtering submissions, you can get instant listing. There is plenty software around to do that in real time, no problem.
>the problem with your model is that you assume that Google or some other big player will use it.
No, I don’t think they will use it, no necessarily, it will have to relay on its own brand attraction, plus, of course, the referrals of a few happy webmasters, the so call word of mouth.
But there is something others may want to use: The spammers list. If ODP projects attracts that many spammers, we will no doubt be able to maintain a nice spammers database. There is a lot of value on a good, categorised spammers database. Think Internet filters, email spamm filters (just look for the URL), or even list of no-to-index sites for the crawlers.
Of course, if you are known to be collecting an aggressive, commercial grade, spammers list, many of them will probably think twice before submitting a site, what will be, no doubt, good news for our editors. That's coercive marketing.
Right, cornwall. I’m mostly thinking on pay editors.
PageRank = Links, Links=Good content, Good Content = no spam
In a perfect world, that is :)
>I think this is something that is easily acomplished by Google in
Yea, google does a lot of things. Google is THE ONE, no doubt. But nobody thinks it should be the ONLY one.
>PageRank = Links, Links=Good content, Good Content = no spam
Not quite. Link Farms = spam , spam = Good page rank
>In a perfect world, that is
[edited by: Marcos at 8:44 pm (utc) on Oct. 3, 2002]
PageRank = Links, Links=Good content, Good Content = no spam
I have no doubt that "PageRank = Links" and that "Good Content = no spam "
The flaw in that logic is "Links=Good Content" . No doubt the original intent of Google was that other sites would link to your site if it offered good content, and that links did equal content.
Today, I would argue, that no longer applies. My guess would be that everyone reading this board uses links in an entirely different way from that originally intended by the Google algorithm. In other words everyone involved in getting prominence "trades" links in one way or another. Links do not just "happen" they are manufactured and links, IMHO, no longer equal content