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Asking around, I was pretty stunned by some of the other editors and old pro's here when they told me this was now the standard MO for alot of tight categories.
Is this what the ODP has come too?
Have you ever:
- offered cash to edit or include a listing?
- offered cash and thtey accepted to edit a listing?
- as an editor been offered cash to edit a listing?
- taken cash to edit a listing?
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 4:50 pm (utc) on June 23, 2004]
I'm sorry to say that I can confirm that submitters do make bribery offers periodically. Which is really sad, because I really don't think getting an ODP listing more quickly is worth that much anyway, and the submitter is more likely to run into an editor who brings the smite down on his or her site than one who accepts the bribe. And even if the bribery does work, once the corrupt editor is reported by an annoyed attempted extortionee, the sites he or she has added are going to be gone over with a fine-toothed comb, the one you 'paid' for may be removed, and the corrupt ex-editor is probably not going to refund your money. I'd definitely advise against it as a submission strategy. And please *do* fink on the corrupt editor, anonymously if you're concerned about your privacy.
All of this in my completely unofficial personal opinion, of course.
I personally know of no category where it is the MO for this type of thing to happen (it's really difficult for one editor to keep other editors from listing other sites). An editor accepting payment for a listing would be out the door quickly. And a submitter paying for a listing could find themselves blacklisted. Something to keep in mind.
All information, including copies of relevant correspondence was forwarded to DMOZ.
It was not a direct proposal for pay for listing, but it was so strongly implied as to be clear what was going on. Pay for the "SEO service" and get listed as a side benefit.
No visible action was taken by DMOZ staff.
Even now 90% of me still has the inclination to do that.
But with the recent saga of a senior editor-owned site and the financial implications of those dmoz-wide listings, there's a good 10% of me that is certainly more willing these days to smell the smoke and wonder about the fire...
Edit: changed to de-identify specific site as per ToS.
Yes, this and indeed the converse form of high level abuse, delisting competitors, has been there since the start of ODP.
It is inevitable that any system with the method of "promotion" that ODP uses, that is a mix of hours put in and the use of political sponsorship, will produce a higher proportion of problem senior editors.
"Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" To be fair, the vast majority of senior editors are doing a great (unpaid :0 ) job. But the removal of bad metas has never been a strong suit at ODP. Basically the system makes it difficult.
The fact that this complaint is being made by BT will mean that it is taken seriously. But removing that one meta will not solve the problem. I suspect the only solution is to have "proper" management overseeing the ODP, but without the commitment to expenditure by the ultimate owners (which I cannot see) to fund a professional management structure to run the thing, then I really do not see any alternative to the present system and its occasional problems
What an interesting book Lord of the Flies is!
>- as an editor been offered cash to edit a listing?
Yes, It was a weekly occurance 18 months ago, before I quit the rediculous system Dmoz operates.
Today, as I predicted 18 months ago, Dmoz has minimal affects on SE placements.......still too much for my liking, but minimal in historical terms.
Any support Google gives to the ODP is a complete nonsense IMHO. Google should attempt to protect its reputation by ditching all relationships with the ODP ASAP.
It only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole cart, but in the ODP's case the cart has numerous bad apples.
Meanwhile, from the editor side, the amount of money that's being offered as bribery is just pathetic compared to the number of hours it takes to get into a position to list anything in a category like that. You could literally make more money working at McDonald's than you could as a corrupt editor. It continues to surprise me that some people give in to those instincts. Man, if you're going to go to the dark side, at least do something lucrative like embezzle from a bank or rip off the California energy company.
And finally, it *really* surprises me that these rackets last more than two days--why aren't more of the involved parties ratting each other out? If I received an email extortion attempt from anyone about anything, I'm sure I'd be irritated enough to report them. If I were sleazier, I'd probably pay, keep records of the transaction, and then blackmail the corrupt editor with it. These are risks I'm surprised anyone finds worth it, particularly over a silly link.
I disbelieve that the FBI cares a whit, though. It's only an internal infraction. As far as the FBI cares, every single editor could charge for their services. It's only our own internal workings that disallow this.
Anyway, all that said, I'd encourage anybody who receives a real extortion attempt and has documentation of this to please turn the person in. Don't waste your money; don't risk your listings; don't encourage unethical editing. It's definitely not the only way to get into spammy areas, and it's almost certainly not the best way, either.
*my two cents, not an official statement or anything*
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:26 pm (utc) on June 23, 2004]
[edit reason] please leave the specifics out. [/edit]
Besides, maybe they go corrupt because they get tired of the way the whole thing operates and see it as a way to 'flame out'.
It's funny how the ODP talks repeatedly about not caring what webmasters think ..
.. except when they want help policing their directory.
- as an editor been offered cash to edit a listing?
- taken cash to edit a listing?
No, but ironically I listed them anyway as they had a good site.
I have heard a lot about this happening though, albeit in very limited circumstances. It's possible the situation has got worse now that everyone knows the main SE algo is currently based (in a narrow sense) on anchor-text and a listing in DMOZ frequently results in 40-50 backlinks with that anchor.
I'm interested in hearing the answer to BakedJakes question:-
Was it a good deal?
Well, why should THAT surprise anyone? Some things are much more important than others. We don't really care if you don't like our color scheme. We don't really care if you think you should have more keywords in your site's description. But we care a lot if one of our editors is trying to extort money out of you. :-D
Difficult to judge unless we know the exact circumstances. Was there a bait by Brett, "Hey pal, if only I could get this site in DMOZ tomorrow, I am willing to pay **** dollars." or was the meta just joking after getting drunk in some post-conference pub?
I want to know the whole story.
Was this the actual sequence of events? I don't recall Brett stating this in this thread.
At some point, people become editors just so they can mess with the ODP. By treating webmasters so poorly, they are motiviated to get onto the directory, get their website in, and then go crazy because they really don't plan on continuing and see nothing better to do and didn't like the directory in the first place.
A lot of webmasters don't bother help policing the ODP, because they have been antagonized so much by boorish editors and a boorish submittal process.
All this anger is simply boiling up and causing a lot of grief for everyone concerned.
AOL needs to recognize this and revamp their process so everyone gets treated in a more respectable way so that the process doesn't foster all of this frustration.
>At some point, people become editors just so they can mess with the ODP. By treating
>webmasters so poorly, they are motiviated to get onto the directory, get their website
>in, and then go crazy because they really don't plan on continuing and see nothing
>better to do and didn't like the directory in the first place.
Do you know of *anybody* who has ever done this? I certainly don't. No one who wants to get their website listed with us that badly would jeopardize it by pointlessly 'going crazy.' Those people log on, add their site, and then never come back. Different problem entirely. And besides, we log everything, so it would be extremely easy to restore any damage such a person did anyway.
>A lot of webmasters don't bother help policing the ODP, because they have
>been antagonized so much by boorish editors and a boorish submittal process.
No one is asking webmasters to 'help police' the ODP, we were suggesting that if a corrupt editor tries to strongarm them into giving him some money, they should turn him in. This is more akin to recommending that people call the police when muggers try to rob them than asking them to police anybody else. We're not asking for a favor, we're telling everyone that we'll investigate, vigorously and well, any misdeed which is reported.
>All this anger is simply boiling up and causing a lot of grief for everyone concerned.
Your anger seems to be causing you to hijack threads on different topics periodically to continue to complain about our submission process, but I don't know that I'd call that 'grief,' exactly.
Seriously, what has any of this got to do with the topic, which was 'how widespread are ODP bribery attempts/offers' and the corollary 'what should be done about this'? You don't mean to tell me you really believe that the person who tried to extort Brett was in fact some poor webmaster who had been so unhinged by lack of a prioritized review system that he decided to spent many hundreds of hours toiling over the directory to gain enough ODP access to make bribery offers to SEO's, just to get back at the directory? Because, you know, Ockham's Razor would really suggest the cash as a far more sensible motivation for that one. (-:
I have seen people comlain in WW of it taking a year to get into the ODP, you think they would want more help from people who want to provide it.
To answer the original question, I have never been asked to pay for a listing, nor have any I have submitted in the last 6 months been put in.
As to my own site, the ODP has a PR of 3 for that specific page, shoot, I got 2 PR5 and 1 PR4 backlinks today alone, what do I care about a silly PR3 from a bunch of snobs?
...how many complain? What about the 1000 or so that get added every day - never seen them come and say thank you. In the category I edit, no site has waited more than 12hrs (I check 2x a day)
Also, I have NEVER EVER, seen one single complaint about DMOZ from its users about a site that is not listed(webmasters are not users).
>Seems like a bunch of snobs to me............
Just because your application was not good enough...hmmmm
> what do I care about a silly PR3 from a bunch of snobs?
So if its that unimportant, why are so upset about not getting in? ... people would not come to these threads to bag DMOZ if it wasn't important.