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I've been surprised this hasn't been attempted more often: obviously there are aspects of the traffic in links that I don't understand.
Is it worth doing? You can only answer for yourself; someone else can know your answer simply by watching what you do.
You make your choice to use what works for you. I'll make my choice. DMOZ editors will make their choices. Google'll make its choice.
Where these sorts of discussions get tricky is when someone wants other people to make a different choice.
Hutcheson is absolutely right though - if Google (say) chose to add paid inclusion on top of ODP data then it would be perfectly OK for it to do so as long as it continued to use the ODP attribution.
There are lots of clever things downstream users of the data *could* do in the way of chopping and changing the data. You can do much more interesting things than just republishing it verbatim.
Do it right, and you could earn a decent amount of money. Just plucking some figures together - but 100,000 sites at $299 per year is pretty attractive. 1 million sites at $100 per year is too. Doesn't matter how you slice and dice the figures, it should always be possible for someone like Google to make a profit from a paid inclusion directory based on the ODP.
I do not think that Dmoz would have the same success.
The quality of Dmoz is good.
If you have a look at some local Yahoo directories for example, there are several URLs that do not work or listings are not updated. Have a look here:
And it certainly doesn't need more critics to get "fixed".
Volunteer critics have been criticising volunteer editors since close the the beginning of DMOZ. And, so far, with no results -- the ODP continues to adhere to its initial vision, and the critics who want that changed or "fixed" just don't seem to realise the ineffectiveness of their tack.
Time to try something different, I think.
There are other things that can be done. Detailed RDF analyses for example could show all sorts of useful stats about actual DMOZ updating speeds and hotspots. A critic without at least a year's worth of RDFs to back up claims is typing blind.
Or my totally serious proposoal from a year and more back:
The thing with DMOZ is that it's deemed an authority site. Thus, webmasters want to get listed in it for link pop/PR purposes, and other sites use the listings as backfill in their own directories/SEs so there is a chance that a listed site can possibly get some traffic from it.
Unless the new proposed directory became a true authority in the eyes of G, Y, etc. it just couldn't work. Isn't that a lot harder than it may sound? Or is the whole idea strictly based around DMOZ?
Also, is it really true that DMOZ editors actively search out "quality" sites to add on their own? That would be key too, and I guess as a DMOZ editor you would know - it's just never a thought that crossed my mind. I assume they just process submissions.
On the other hand, if one's only goal was to make money off of the "scummy" affiliates and spammers ...
I guess I can think of worse ways to make a living.
Funny how many people think that way. No, it's not funny, it's downright depressing. Of course, I was there back when there WEREN'T any submittals to speak of....
<crotchety mode>I had to walk three miles (uphill both ways, of course) in the snow to get to the nearest telegraph repeater station to add sites. I had to hand-code an FTP client in Univac-III assembly language, and found sites by hand-spidering military and university sites, hacking passwords all the way.</crotchety>
Well, not really.
But the ODP editing interface has always had that search box (with links to Altavista, Hotbot, Excite, and several other search engines on every page) to help editors find sites. And within a year the ODP set up an editors' forum, where editors often discuss new ways to find good sites. The submittal queue is just one of many different techniques, and it's not the most important technique supported by the ODP editor dashboard.
Most of the exciting and rewarding directory development (and, of course, the most productive in terms of added value for surfers) has always been done in new categories, where by definition there CAN'T have been any submittals.
That's the mindset of experience.
Remember though that the "Open" in ODP refers to the data itself - it's possible to re-use that data and do all sorts of clever stuff with it. Once you have those 4 million sites you can add to them, take sites away and do a number of other things in terms of presentation and usability.
Merging ODP data with your own database of includes and excludes ain't rocket science.. it's just odd that nobody seems to have done this yet.