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When you look at where Yahoo originated, it was as a free directory much in the spirit of a community board, but then it took on some investors and reluctantly acquiesced to advertising.
Then you look at the big money behind Y and their vested interests in keeping the ODP a non-competitor, to groom it to be on the sidelines, you can see why it was important to keep the ODP strictly non-profit while Yahoo was allowed to bloom.
In other words, the ODP isn't dead, it's more like the pale emaciated sibling kept locked in the cellar. Occasionally it's parent will feel pity and throw it some server upgrades but the parent quickly slaps the padlocks back on and returns to blissfully neglecting the ODP.
Just as child welfare agencies swoop in and rescue abused children, there should be a Web Directory Angel that can come in and rescue the ODP. It can use a little nourishment.
[edited by: martinibuster at 3:43 am (utc) on Sep. 17, 2003]
There are numerous ways DMOZ and the OPD can be improved, but it seems unlikely these will be employed.
Why? Not because the editors don't want a better solutiuon to the workflow mess. Nor because they are obstructionists, or overly protective of their perceived catgory turf.
Indeed, I am sure the Editors would quickly adopt an improved method of handling the mechanics of running and updating DMOZ, should that ever be available.
But that improvement will require at least a modest investment, and at least some ongoing additinal operating expense.
So the barrier is not the volunteers but the owners of the service. Until they are out of the way, no one can put the ODP on a healthy and robust not-for-profit footing, and until that happens, no rational company or professional will touch the thing.
Since I do not see AOL cutting the ODP loose any time soon, I agree with cornwall's bleak outlook.
I can hear a number of the ODP-baiters here saying "Good riddance." But that is a very lame point-of-view IMO - the web can use all the good directories it can get at this still-early stage in its development.
Speaking only for myself, "independent" in the context of this thread means that the ODP could address the issues facing its structure and DMOZ if it were not part of the AOL Whomever monolith.
To provide a more effective screening process is not a small undertaking, for example. It is something requiring management and funding. We - at least I - do not see DMOZ having the direction, or the wherewithal, to resolve its problems, unless it is on a different legal and structural footing.
There are certainly a number of Editors who are quite satisfied with the status quo. But I suggest there are many more, including many who would not now consider volunteering, who would be more motivated if the many issues raised in several WW threads were being addressed. Not to mention the many owners of worthy, legitimate websites who today are stuck in the submission process for one reason or another.
I hope to see positive changes, because I very much want the ODP/DMOZ to not just survive, but flourish. That is why I take an interest in the question raised by martinibuster.
Since the ODP is still an independent entity, what ever is this thread about?
Definition of Independent:
Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; (and most importantly) self-reliant
This thread is about facing the truth that the ODP has been unhealthy of late.
This thread is about the realization that AOL's stewardship has become a hindrance to the continued growth of the ODP.
This thread is about dmoz reaching a point where the baby no longer fits in the stroller, and if it is going to meet the needs of the future, it has to get onto it's wobbly legs and learn to walk on it's own.
This thread is about exploring positive solutions.
This thread is about envisioning a truly non-profit organization that is bigger yet more efficient. An organization similar to other non-profits in organizational structure, i.e. a board of directors, a development department, etc.
[edited by: martinibuster at 6:55 pm (utc) on Sep. 24, 2003]
powdork, don't confuse editor access, which is working quite well now (finally...) with ex-editor access, which is another issue altogether.The person I was referring to (not me) in the forum I linked to (not mine) is still listed in her categories. Did you follow the link or were you assuming I was referring to myself?
AOL has something do with the odp? Really - who could explain what they do?
That is the heart of what has been discussed in this thread. Although the question turns on what has AOL not done.
Let's go back to the first post of this thread, or ok, let's make this easy, let's look at the title of this thread:
DMOZ - Locked In the Cellar With No Food or Water
It is possible (but apparently rare) for a glitch to lock out individual editors. It is more common for editors to be removed: and when they are removed, their names do not immediately disappear from all their categories (that only happens when someone else edits in that category and the public page is updated.)
Now that editors have two independent servers (the ODP itself and the public forum) editors can always use either one to ask if the other one is down -- and in the public forum can ask for a "password to be reset" if that is the problem.