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I think there is some problem in dmoz. I have seen a number of sites belongs to the same company listed in number of cat in Dmoz. And Also dmoz editors are just submitting their own sites in categories and new submission of the same cat or same industry use to avoid. Even personally i had submitted sites to dmoz those are really having good content & PR and all and did not receive any response since 3 years or so.
I believe existing editors are not following the rules and submiting their own sites and rejecting the others.
Any idea on this.
As for the "delays", there are really several points to make -- attitudinal shifts, but they are meaningless, from the ODP point of view. Think about it for a moment.
You publish a new site. Did anything happen? (From the ODP point of view, of course.) A tree fell in the forest, and even if nobody heard, there's firewood waiting to be gathered. A wolf comes out of the forest, and even if nobody notices it, they'll be short a lamb if they don't do something. That's REALITY. That MATTERS. From that point on, there is a site-reviewing opportunity for an ODP editor.
You suggest a site. Did anything happen? The shepherd brat shouts "Wolf!" Are the lambs NOW in MORE danger than they were before?
No. Nothing of significance happened. Reality didn't change. There is not a smidgen more of opportunity for building a web directory than there was before the site was suggested. So the submittal can't possibly be a way of starting any clock that matters to anybody.
Eighteen milliseconds after submittal, eighteen months after submittal, two minutes after the clock rang they hour chimes, or fifty-eight minutes after the hour -- it doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter. It has nothing to do with reality.
So much for reality. But ... how would an editor reaction to the "so many webmasters say it takes so long..."?
Simple. It's "well, they would say that, wouldn't they?"
Try to imagine a world in which so many webmasters DON'T say it takes so long.
It is not a possible world. It is simply not possible.
Why not, you ask?
Well, the simple fact is that AT LEAST 70-90% of all submittals result in no listing at all, ever. That's right, an infinite wait. You guys know this. You complain about all the "spam" above you in the Google search results. Did you think all those spammers DON'T submit to the ODP? BZZT, WRONG! Most of them do. And if we're doing our job RIGHT, those spammers are going to be complaining about "waiting too long for a listing" until the heat death of the universe.
That's the reality. We know that most of the complaining is a compliment to our work. And we know, beyond any possible doubt, that if we reviewed all GOOD sites instantly, it would not change the chorus of impatient webmasters by a bit.
So ... most of the complaining is not a problem at all, but a feature; the small part that MIGHT be a problem ... is not something we can use in any productive way. We can't tell (before the review) which complainers are spammers, and which are genuine, honest, unique sites representing persons or businesses.
So ... there is none of the complaining (illegitimate or not) that can possibly give us any useful information at all (except, I might note, that if it ever died down, I would REALLY start worrying....for what is, I trust, the obvious reason.)
So ... if it's not useful information, what's the best thing to do with it? Ignore it, and look for a source of useful information? Try to help people learn what information is, so they can figure out what is and isn't information, so if they ever get a chance to talk to someone, they don't waste bandwidth on noise? All of the above?
I do think there is a bias towards mega sites and the mid-size sites are left out. I'll use my site as an example. There are 13 categories of information plus 3 targeted dictionaries with about 100 detailed definitions each (not just one liners). I have a listing (for which I am greatful) in just one category.
In each of the 13 topics on the site, there are currently 30 articles for each topic. In total, about 700 pages of articles and definitions. As a mid-size site I get just one listing (and it's not a high level one either). I see many sites with just one or two pages getting a listing - sometimes mutiple listings. Mega sites get mega listings.
I also think the application process is flawed. I've applied three times. Each time I think it's taken me about an hour to apply (because they want examples and I try to do a good job). Each time I've gotten the "try another category that's not so busy." One application was for electric and gas utilities (I work for one and I am considered the resident expert on companies accross the US) - How busy could that be?
You have to choose directories to submit to that suit the kind of site you're trying to market. It's just common sense. Porn sites may be wonderfully designed and developed, completely original, and greatly appreciated by their userbase, but they still won't belong in the Disney Kids Directory. Advertising sites may be an attractive-looking labor of love on your part and appreciated by your userbase, but they still won't belong in the ODP.
Ah, yes, the standard form letter, that lists half a dozen or so of the most common reasons for rejection. Of which the last (that is, the least likely) consists of two alternatives, of which the second is the less likely.
I don't understand why, but it seems like almost everyone who mentions the form letter skips every other possible reason, and even the more likely part of the last reason, to home in unerringly on the most unlikely alternative (and, for that matter, the alternative most easily eliminated by checking publicly visible information.
How large was the category? (That, anyone may see.) You can't see the unreviewed heap: but surely from knowledge of the industry you can know whether some companies offer affiliate programs, and whether there are a plague of affiliate doorways -- and I can assure you that if there is such a plague, they WILL spam the ODP. So that tells you whether the category is too "large". You can also see the number of category editors listed, but it is unusual to have too many category editors, so that is not likely the problem.
And, of course, there are all those other reasons.
Study the guidelines, take a quiz and score 90% or better and you are able to submit sites. You can take the test over as many times as you like.
Submissions will have to approved by a more experienced editor, but you can earn points for your additions to the directory and, in time, receive a higher editing status.
All submissions I have made have been reviewed (and added) with a month (and usually within 2-3 days).
>> If I post in a forum with a problem I'd like a quick response <<
What do you think the reaction would be if you started saying that you weren't getting a fast enough response to your postings in, say, this forum? What if you kept bumping the thread with ever louder complaints about the slowness of WebmasterWorld people responding to your post?
Do you think that people would tell you that you're not guaranteed a reply, let alone an actual answer to the question? Do you think you would be ignored, or maybe even bounced out, fairly rapidly?
People posting here, and answering questions, do so as volunteers, and will do so only if your post moves them enough to respond. I routinely don't answer 75% of the threads that I read. I routinely don't even read 90% of the threads that are posted.
Is anyone going to call me a bad forum member? Is someone going to demand that I do MORE here? If they try it, then they are going to be told where to get off, and in quite graphic language. Would that surprise you? If it doesn't, then why do you demand a response from the ODP about your suggestion of a site URL to their volunteer project?
People occasionaly send me a PM ordering me to answer their question in some forum or other. I usually delete the PM. I then go about my forum business as if the PM had never existed, and since I made no note of the user name nor the thread in question, then I might answer it in the course of browsing the forum, or I might not. If I don't get to it, then there are hundreds of other people posting here who might do so; and if nobody does get to it, then it obviously wasn't important enough to anyone who read it to actually respond to it.
Compare this to an editor who is helping build multiple categories using multiple sources for finding suitable sites, and then see the "suggestions" pile is just one source, but then also see that (if you can) in the above context.
Your site might get added anyway, even without looking at the suggestions pile if it is mentioned at some other place in the universe. Your suggestion may be looked at tomorrow by an editor keen to reduce the pile of suggestions, or it might not.
Who knows? No one at the ODP could predict what they theselves will do next, let alone try to predict what any of the other active editors may do?
And, to try to order the volunteers to take your priorities as their priorities is more than p*ssing in the wind. There's a major storm being unleashed, and it is probably going in the opposite direction.
Simply stating that as such an important part of the internet community, standards at DMOZ fall well below anything I as both a consumer AND a contributor would accept elsewhere.
As a webmaster, AND as a user.
Good quality sites I should be seeing in there as a user wait about for months/years/if at ALL before revision. Category after catergory full of dead links, sites that haven't been updated for years and who have had no editor in charge of it, again for perhaps years. As a user I miss out on good quality additions. Unacceptable.
As a webmaster who took the time to submit a site, following the guidelines, to be told I may have to wait over a year just for a review and not even the basic common courtesy of an 'I'm sorry your site was declined', or ' At this moment in time your site is still awaiting review', or even 'Please do not reapply as your site isn't what we're looking for'. Also unacceptable.
Don't you see thats why people complain about it all the time? The complaints get louder and louder yet you're not listening, and refuse to accept that things need to change. DMOZ will have to bend before it breaks.
If you don't want the webmasters to submit their sites then remove the 'Submit a Site' link. Spam problem solved.
If you don't have enough editors working on reviewing sites, then recruit more and get the job done.
Even I can work that one out.
For the record I own a non-profit, informational site with a thriving forum, no adwords, adsense, affliates, advertising or partners and I run it as a hobby after work. As I said I submitted my link once and forgot. However, I got involved in this after reading aghast at lots of posts here and elsewhere and because I don't like people with genuine grievances against any organisation being spoken to like they're 'lower downs'.
And just imagine (as the poster above suggested) if this forum was like DMOZ. It was decided that they had enough quality posts for now and that anyone wishing to submit a post to a particular forum here, would have to wait a week (perhaps a month, if at all,) to see if their post was successful and contained enough 'quality unique content'.
Sure a lot of the posts would be binned as spam or too repetitive ie 'We can bin that one there's already a post on how to get better rankings', oh and 'just delete that one asking about his forum being hacked, it's been asked before'. 'No don't bother telling him why its been binned either'. I'd also bet there would be a sudden influx of people all applying to be Moderators here (purely for unselfish reasons of course!).
Simply telling the users here that there was enough quality posts here already and we 'add more every day' isn't much consolation for the poor so and so who's spent 3 hours over writing it hoping it 'gets posted'. People would start asking why someone else's post got in and theirs didn't. And if there was no reponse from that, would get pretty miffed, and perhaps, dare I say, complain about the procedure?
And if those complaints are ignored?
I'd also guess there would come a time where people gave up submitting their posts, concentrated on other things and the forum would die a long, lonely death.
In reality, wording and grammar aside, is there anything all that new and groundbreaking that requires a human response?
(2)[DMOZ / DMOZ reviewers]
(4)[they denied my site a listing / I'm not happy with _only_ 2 listings for my site that's more important than anything else anybody is doing in the world / the meta is a competitor and he keeps bouncing my site to inappropriate categories so it will never be reviewed / they hate ecommerce]
(3)[the directory is doomed to die / the directory owes it to me that this be rectified ASAP / I'm crazy flustered]
(3)[I'm going to fume / I'm going to boycott DMOZ and I invite you all to do the same / I'm going to send a letter to my senator]
(2)[DMOZ immediately corrects this injustice / my anti-DMOZ site's AS ads bring in enough money to sate me].
I count roughly 144 different unique gripes.
And then the bot could go around posting canned responses and log their IP addresses, and then autoban all submissions from it in the future.
Oh no, AOL webmasters with their shared IP addresses will be at risk of being autobanned when they try to submit their family vacation picture site to the Professional Digital Photography section of DMOZ. How unfair!
Additionally, if you follow the "Google News [webmasterworld.com]" forum closely enough, then you will see that people do have to wait several days for posts to make it to the public side, and quite a lot of those posts are deleted by the moderators too. Another theory about forum life shown to be incorrect. You would maybe not notice that that happens, because there is still a lot of content there to read; and so it is with the ODP - most topics are already well represented, the ommission of your site will go unnoticed by 99.9999% of visitors.
Dozens of spam posts are posted every day in this WebmasterWorld forum, and those are silently removed by the moderators, as are the complaints from those spammers. The hope is that they do go away and bother someone else somewhere else. Again, you would not notice that, it happens silently in the background, very efficiently.
Again, I see it that your percerption is to try to measure the success of the ODP by looking at the relatively small number (small that is in the context of 650 000 categories) of Good quality sites I should be seeing in there as a user wait about for months/years/if at ALL before revision. when the fact is that 2000 sites get added daily (just not in the micro-category that you are looking at), the directory grows by way more than half a million entries per year, even after the cull of previously listed dead, hijacked, and now unlistable stuff.
>> Category after catrgory full of dead links <<
Really? Where? Report those in the proper thread over in the forum run by editors. Quality control of existing listings is higher priority than adding more listings.
>> sites that haven't been updated for years <<
If nothing has changed, and the entry is still correct, then no-one is going to change it. If you see stuff that is out of place, then report it, and it will get prompt attention.
>> and who have had no editor in charge of it <<
Every category has hundreds of un-named editors who can, and do, edit there. However, with 10 000 active editors, 650 000 categories, and 2000 adds per day -- you do the math as to how often a category is visited "on average".
>> ....not even the basic common courtesy of an 'I'm sorry your site was declined', or ' At this moment in time your site is still awaiting review', or even 'Please do not reapply as your site isn't what we're looking for'. <<
So, while I am responding to submitters and spammers, I am doing even less editing... say again? ... What was it you wanted? More editing, or more feedback? They are mutually exclusive.
>> Don't you see thats why people complain about it all the time? The complaints get louder and louder yet you're not listening, and refuse to accept that things need to change.
I see the directory growing at a huge rate. I hear spammers crying that their sites aren't being included. Things do not need to change at the ODP end. They do need to change at the submitters end. They need to realise that "no one is guaranteed a listing" and that "90% of all submissions are spam and will never be listed" and that "editors will work on the bits of the project that are the most productive to them".
Six million entries and still growing. No other project even comes close in quality, coverage, or size.
Um, do you REALLY respond like this to everyone who sends you email about your non-profit informational site? Because I work on an educational site and we get at least twenty requests a day to please link to some site or participate in some link exchange scheme. Unless they actually have some relevance to the educational topic, I just delete them unanswered.
If you're really responding to every canned link-exchange request you get in the mail with a "No thank you" letter explaining why you're not linking to them, you're either wasting a tremendous amount of time or you just don't get much email.
Actually, that's not such a bad suggestion. :)
However, I suspect many in the anti-odp crowd would quickly begin floating from forum to forum kicking and screaming on how odp USED to allow submissions, but then some group of rotton to the core editors slammed the submission door closed for no reason, no reason at all, leaving all webmasters out in the cold and having an 'Alexander' day.
In many informational categories, people really do submit interesting sites that they have found, sites that they do not own, have no connection with, just sites that they have read and enjoyed and feel that others would also benefit from seeing.
The ODP loves those sorts of submissions, and editors often spend more time on mining those than they do wading through the toxic waste cess-pool of sites inappropriately submitted by self-interested "professional" webmasters and by SERP perps to many of the overloaded and already over-represented business categories.
Exactly, and you don't buy enough viagra by e-mail, so it is all your fault the spammers are sending more and more e-mail to us all. And you refuse to accept that it is all your fault.
Why, I bet if everytime YOU got e-mail from a spammer, you sat down and wrote him a gentle note explaining how you detected that his e-mail was of no interest to you, then he would be covered with shame and stop spamming.
So -- accept the fact that you need to change, and go fulfil your responsibility. When you have done that, and can show that it works for e-mail spam, we'll IMMEDIATELY implement it at the ODP. I promise.
The complaints get louder and louder yet you're not listening, and refuse to accept that things need to change
Please explain, why, if DMOZ is achieiving such awesome figures and growth etc, that it needs to change? No other "business" model for a directory is achieving such incredible growth! (...not even ZEAL)
Maybe the reason that DMOZ does not appear to be listening to all the complaints is that they are coming from webmasters who want their site listed, when that is a service that DMOZ does not provide. You are complaining about something that does not exist.
I assume your all intelligent men and women?. So lets dispense with the notion that DMOZ are somehow 'higher up' and above critque from those who 'know not what they do'.
"Oh, and if you look in the "unanswered thread list" here at WebmasterWorld, there are loads of posts that no-one ever responded to, so there goes your theory about that. "
That's just awful, I'd never put up with that on mine! Thanks for pointing it out. I bet those that posted their problems up are so pleased with the response? And not the best advertisement for WWW for the sake of making a point.
"You would maybe not notice that that happens".
Of course I do, You'd need to be blind, deaf and dumb not to, I'm not new to WebmasterWorld, so don't preach to the converted thank you.
First of all you're making the mistake in thinking I'm some sort of spammer. I have said several times I submitted my site once and left it.
Second of all, you also make the mistake of thinking I'm some sort of disgruntled webmaster who is losing ££££'s by not being included in the directory. I'm not. I don't make any money from my site and it was never the intention. It's just a hobby. So please stop throwing that old chestnut at me. I also need go no further up the search rankings for my specialised niche, it's no1 - no4 in all of them. I'm very pleased with it. I submitted my site 6 weeks ago. THEN I started reading.....
So, now thats out the way.
"So -- accept the fact that you need to change, and go fulfil your responsibility. When you have done that, and can show that it works for e-mail spam, we'll IMMEDIATELY implement it at the ODP. I promise.""
I have to say I was a bit lost by this quote (as well as the one with the tree falling in a forest, blimey!?)...But, No it's you and the process who needs to change. Either drop the submit a site option or get more editors in to deal with them.
Spam filter/Trash can sorted. Isn't it?
If the volunteers who honorably donate their free time can't cope with it. Then just admit it. You're snowed under, can't cope, 90% of sites submitted are spam, too busy not looking at submissions but actively 'out there' seeking for quality sites which bear no relevance to the sites sitting in your 'inbox'...I KNOW, you keep telling us how tough it is!
Consequently it takes editors sometimes a year or so, if at all, to get round to reviewing. Get real, that sort of time-frame is a joke in todays day and age. If you're telling me thats the very best DMOZ can do then it's time to admit defeat guys. Time, perhaps for a review of DMOZ?
You cannot go on treating intelligent webmasters who work hard, put their heart/soul in and spend long hours building up sites and content,..like they are ALL 'pontential spammer's. It's frankly insulting.
The Resource-zone is also frankly insulting and belongs on par with such sites as 'Hot or Not' or Mingers.com in terms of the way they deal with those who contribute to it.
I have no problem whatsoever with DMOZ's ethos and the whole idea behind it. What I DO have a problem with however, is the response times, the service rendered and the attitude by those involved.
I wouldn't accept anywhere. And if you're honest, neither would you, if it was any other website.
I've been reading these posts for months here and elsewhere, and I alsolutely can guarantee you that there are lots reading this thread too intimidated by you guys to get involved. You scare people. The way you've jumped on me like I'm some sort of DMOZ terrorist. I'm only glad I have nothing to lose by sharing my opinions. You're not that important, to me anyway, I just wanted my lowly opinion heard. Sorry if it rankled a bit. I certainly didn't expect to 'touch a nerve' and have all these posts afterwards pointing out how wrong my opinion is. I thought you'd be too busy reviewing sites.
"People occasionaly send me a PM ordering me to answer their question in some forum or other. I usually delete the PM. I then go about my forum business as if the PM had never existed, and since I made no note of the user name nor the thread in question"
Boy, how great does THAT sound as someone who has the opportunity to review YOUR website people? I think rather the poster is substituting the word 'ordering' for 'asking for help'.
"Compare this to an editor who is helping build multiple categories using multiple sources for finding suitable sites".
Yes I have been, and so have lots of others. Hence my complaints. Seems strangely familiar?
I'll say again, by today's standards..DMOZ, great idea, but simply not keeping up with demand, cannot cope and won't admit it. Under any circumstances.
Wait and see the flaming I get over this and see!
Consequently it takes editors sometimes a year or so, if at all, to get round to reviewing.
Your whole premise and argument seems to be based on the time it takes for a DMOZ editor to review sites that webmasters suggest. You seem to be under the impression that this is important. You need to change your perspective. DMOZ editors, generally, do not think its all that important, so the whole premise of your whinging is flawed.
And YOUR whole premise is to keep belittling me as a whinger, a spammer or a disgruntled webmaster. Again, the same attitude. and AGAIN a familiar one.
And I'd guess the time it takes to review ANY website suggested (not just those from webmasters), is pretty yawn inducing as well.
I simply state things as I see it. You obviously cannot. And wont. My premise isn't time, its basic manners and what I'd expect from anyone or anything I expect any sort of service from.
For the life of me can't see why those of you at DMOZ just don't get it. Perhaps you are too close?
You need to learn respect for others, for those who have websites such as yourselves (I guess the fact you post on WWW kind of gives the game away that you may have a website or two? Listed? I'll bet),..
Respect for those who want to do the best for that site as you would, for newbies who keep getting told HERE on this site that to get anywhere 'first get listed on DMOZ', for those who want to contribute honest and quality websites to the directory, for those who take the time to do it, and for those who want to help out like you do in editing.
As far as I can see there is precious little respect for anything listed above. NOT as we keep getting shoved down our throats the facts and figures and lets 'do the math' shall we. "We list (blah blah blah)"
But on an INDIVIDUAL basis DMOZ and its procedures hack an awful lot of people off. Most of whom, like all good editors, do not want to polute the web with spam and affliate sites. But at the same time, after submission, want manners, common courtesy and an indication of what has happened to their submission.
Basic human qualities from a human edited directory.
You don't 'owe' it by any means, but the complete lack of it means complaints. You seem unable to grasp that fact.
As an individual person, I am not happy with DMOZ and the way it does things. It's inconsistent, open to corruption, subjective, 'hit or miss' often depending on which letter of the alphabet your site begins with (?) and cannot cope with the amount of submissions it receives, and above all seems to lack any basic understanding of what good service to all who contribute involves.
There are LOTS of individual person's like me who are not happy with the way DMOZ does things (the weekly DMOZ bash is turning into a daily one). Soon there will be 1000's if not 10,000's, millions even, not happy with the way DMOZ does things. It IS just a matter of time. This level of unhappiness over a particular organisation cannot go on unchecked.
Isn't it time you guys stopped whinging at me now?
What about deposed Nigerian dictators asking you to launder money for them? Do you answer those?
I'm not being entirely facetious. There's a substantial slippery slope involved with insisting that politeness requires every email be answered and every request/demand be fulfilled. There's too much junk communication on the Internet for that to be an even vaguely feasible possibility. The educational website I work on is relatively small, yet we still get tons of off-topic link requests, spam, and people instructing me to complete homework assignments for them or give them free assistance with unrelated topics I know nothing about. If I answered each of those emails I'd never get anything useful done at all.
You're not REALLY suggesting that all webmasters and forum moderators have this obligation, are you? Or is your email address not published on your website, that you don't get this kind of mail?
Or is this all a straw man and you just want DMOZ to list your site? Because if that's really all this is about, I'll be happy to just tune back out again while you whine; it's a free country.
You are correct that we can't provide the services you want. So we won't offer them any more.
That means no more guaranteed orders-in-five-months-or-your-money-back. No more guaranteed responses. No more guaranteed listings.
We'll ... what WOULD we ever do? ... ah, yes, we'll go back to indexing the sum of human knowledge in the most efficient way possible. And we'll use day-to-day editor experience to tune our procedures and priorities to work as efficiently as we can.
It'll be ... just like old times. Just like yesterday, in fact.
Seems the project would be well served to allow naysayers the chance to be small category editors and "prove" that they'd be fair.
I don't have numbers - would love to hear from those who do - but I'd be surprised if there are less than 1000 editor applications per day at DMOZ, and that 90% are rejected due to?. There's got to be a better way to use the time of those applying and those evaluating the applications.
DMOZ has a lot of influence, like it or not, when it comes to SERPs and "legitimacy" in the eyes of many. I know for a fact that when I'm trying to figure out how established a site is, I look at its PR and whether or not it is listed in the directory.
Neither of these are perfect measurements; but, for instance, when you're considering donating money to a charitable organization over the web, are you more likely to break out the credit card on a site with a listing, or one without? Surely a worthwhile, legitimate charity would have a listing, right? Right?
The influence of DMOZ is much greater for white hat folks who are starting new sites than it is for spammers who probably have many inbounds from their home-grown link farms. A listing in DMOZ certainly won't "make or break" a site. But it sure means a lot to those who have deserving sites, and who are 100% white hat, spam free, decent folks just struggling to get a foothold. It's a pity that their submissions get lost in the mess of spam.
Much of this influence may be derived from a misconception on the part of the lay user. Maybe the charity in question is low in the SERPs (which, according to DMOZ, is not even a consideration when it comes to whether or not to list a site) so it doesn't get picked up on the radar of DMOZ until it is submitted. Then it sits in the queue for months, which, in the eyes of somebody trying to quickly determine whether or not to trust the site with their credit card, is as much as a thumbs down by DMOZ.
JMHO. Feel free to rip it apart, but when a site touts itself as the "largest human edited directory" it opens its practices up for debate. Unless we are to assume that every one of those humans are unerring (including those who watch). I can't think of a dozen people in the world that I would trust to make selfless decisions. Even if 99% of the editors are so altruistic, that still means that a few bad apples have certainly acted inappropriately. And with something as subjective as reviewing a site -- which I've heard many editors claim cannot be boiled down to a science -- there are undoubtedly many sites which were turned down or ignored when they should not have been.
As for me, I was in a similar boat as Andy a while back. But then I got proof that something wasn't kosher in the section I submitted to, and mine ended up getting the nod from a higher up. So I guess the criticisms and scrutiny of outsiders can help improve the directory after all. After a long period of thinking the "report abuse" button didn't work, I was proven wrong. I don't know how the reporting system works, but it seems that the higher ups get to see the abuse reports instead of the category editors.
I agree with that. I think *every* website model is open for debate. I also think that if people have ideas for better models, they ought to go for it. I really like directories (I'm one of the evidently rare surfers who use them to do web searches with frequency) and I think the more good ones there are, the better the average gets.
What I don't get is why people spend so much time and energy feeling betrayed about the fact that somebody else's website didn't want to link to them, which is really all that happened. (Or worse yet, that somebody else's website TOOK A LONG TIME to link to theirs.) I mean, come on, being listed in Forbes Best of the Web would be good for business too, right? A link from Stanford University's homepage would have to be better than a link from the ODP, wouldn't it? Yet no one blows a gasket that Stanford University never responded to their repeated emails demanding a link (and I know for a FACT that Stanford gets those emails, so SOMEBODY's sending 'em!)
Unless you're a user of the directory, then the ODP is really just another site at the end of the day. If a site isn't listed there, it can still be an economic success, and if it is listed there, it's no magic bullet (I have to clean sites that went out of business out of the directory all the time, unfortunately.) Being listed there really isn't the be-all and end-all, and particularly for people who have the type of websites the ODP rarely if ever lists, I don't know why they waste time and energy on it, really. I also don't know why they keep emailing my children's educational organization asking for links to their Viagra sites. People have very strange marketing priorities. *shrug*
An interesting question. Are you suggesting ODP editors should be ultra-cautions, and not list any new charities until editors had checked out their bona-fides in their books and their activities both?
But ... we can't do that. Or at least, we haven't so far accepted that is our charter -- and if we did, we would do it only at the expense of letting thousands of other sites going unreviewed.
There's always a problem here. My solution (and I regard myself as a cautious, educated web user) is that I'd flat not consider donating money to a charitable organization over the web. Period.
Before I'd donate money, I'd want to see what they actually do. If I hadn't actually verified their work, I'd want to see at least a human chain of trust reaching from people I trusted all the way to the charity's actual workers. So the website can only be a mere starting point.
Which comes back to the usual ODP approach: the website as information. "Who are you, what do you want MY money for, and how can I start checking you out?" Any money-gathering capability it might have, is strictly an irrelevant side effect -- the editor should always ignore it.
An interesting question. Are you suggesting ODP editors should be ultra-cautions, and not list any new charities until editors had checked out their bona-fides in their books and their activities both?
All I meant to say was that it's comforting to know that a site in question stood up to the scrutiny of an expert in the field.
I know there were MANY fake charities that set up shop on the 'net to steal money from unsuspecting people in the wake of the tsunami last year. However, there were also probably dozens of legitimte relief charities that were soliciting funds over the web as well during the crisis.
If I had been looking for a charity (even just to research it and then post the money) to help out the victims, I would have given more credibility to one with high PR and a DMOZ listing than to one without.
Why? Not necessarily because I think either Google or DMOZ has verified the actual accounting books, but rather because I figure a site that's established enough to get these credits to its name is likely to be legitimate. At least moreso than a PR 0 without a listing.
And subconsciously, or lazily, I would probably also assume that they were likely to be the most efficacious charities as opposed to those not listed. So yes, in a roundabout way, I probably would assume that a "cooled" or even merely listed charity would be one I can feel comfortable donating money to.
There are so many sites and so little time, which is the main reason I can think of a directory being of use -- to save time and bring notice to the sites most worth users' time. It seems to me that the smartest thing to do when you're short on time and in need of information, is to trust that a site which has managed to get into DMOZ is more likely to be good than bad.
However, though charities are not my forte, I would say that whomever is in charge of editing those respective portions of DMOZ should be extremely cautious. Being seen as an authority of sorts requires a higher level of responsibility for just the reasons I listed above.
Could the DMOZ editors address the issue of why it's so difficult to become a DMOZ editor when you all seem to think DMOZ could use more help?
I regularly evaluate new editor applications and the process is very similar to evaluating CVs (resumes) in real life. Provided that the category is suitable for a trainee (and many are too big or too difficult for a beginner) I'm looking for the following.
The last two charactersistics don't have to be perfect IMHO, because we can teach those. We can't teach the first three though. Please note that they are also what a RL recruiter would be seeking.
In my own email box? I have whats commonly known as a Spam Filter. I recieve emails in my little corner of cyber-space, check them 3 or 4 times a day AND go through my spam box to check just in case I missed something imortant that slipped in there by mistake.
DMOZ has editors as Spam Filters. That's your job as an editor there. I'm simply questioning the efficency.
You're not REALLY suggesting that all webmasters and forum moderators have this obligation, are you? Or is your email address not published on your website, that you don't get this kind of mail?
On your own sites and forums? Who else's responsibilty is it?
And no, I don't recieve much email like this. I choose who I'd like to link to if I feel it is useful and relevant to my site. I also don't have a 'submit a link' area on it either.
If I did though, I'd make sure I had the time to look through all suggested. Otherwise there would be no point having it would there. If I found that it was taking up too much of my time, I'd simply delete the option off.
You're confusing simple spam and chancer emails for links with actually inviting people to submit them. There IS a difference.
Or is this all a straw man and you just want DMOZ to list your site?
No, DMOZ will list my site if it feels it's relevant and offers something to the directory. Nothing I say here will influence that, negatively or positively. My site being listed is irrelevant to this thread, and very assumptive of you.
...we'll go back to indexing the sum of human knowledge in the most efficient way possible
It'll be ... just like old times. Just like yesterday, in fact.
The 'efficiency' of DMOZ is exactly what is in question. I'm sure do you think that it is the most efficient way possible. I disagree. So do many others.
Drop the 'Submit a Link' option or recruit more editors to deal with the submissions you invite.
On a DMOZ listing...But it sure means a lot to those who have deserving sites, and who are 100% white hat, spam free, decent folks just struggling to get a foothold. It's a pity that their submissions get lost in the mess of spam.
Yes, thats what I mean. As well submitters being treated like 'potential spammers' rather than 'potential valuable human contibutors'.
If someone has a good informative website to suggest (their own or otherwise) which is useful to all, why on earth is it still sitting around waiting a year later for inclusion? Why is there no 'visible' editor for that category? And why DO so many potential editors get turned away when the whole system is cracking under the strain? And why am I a whiner?
Efficient? I think not. Standards far far below what anyone expects in today's world in any organization which serves a community in any genure. People expect more nowadays, and DMOZ is falling behind because they cannot keep up and won't entertain any notion that perhaps things need to change.
And as for the 5 qualities needed I have no idea how a complete stranger's 'Integrity' is measured. But, hey ho.
WebmasterWorld is the most successful webmaster forum on the net. Of that fact, there is little doubt. Did you see a message when you signed up that said "every post is guaranteed an answer"? No. You didn't.
In the same way the ODP actively says that "not all sites are guaranteed a listing, and no promise is made on the time it may take for someone to review". Thems the facts.
>> First of all you're making the mistake in thinking I'm some sort of spammer. <<
I never made any such assumption at all. I have no idea who you are. I have no idea what your site is about. In that way this discussion has zero impact on what may happen should it be me that eventually reviews your site. I would have no idea it was your site -- nor should I -- and it will make zero impact on the outcome of the review of that site - nor should it. See, that's the "impartial" bit.
>> I have to say I was a bit lost by this quote <<
Seemed clear enough to me. When you can prove that responding to e-mail spammers is productive, then we'll start responding to those same people about their fruitless efforts to spam the ODP.
>> Either drop the submit a site option or get more editors in to deal with them. <<
Editors are building a directory. They use whatever source they want to in order to find sites to include. In some areas of the directory absolute gems are submitted every day, and listed within days or weeks. In other areas of the directory there is so much spam that editors would rather not touch the pile (however some brave souls do participate in "catbust" projects from time to time). The toxic pile of spam does contain many lovely clues to identify spammers and help neutralise their efforts.
It has been suggested many times that the suggestion link be switched off, but many interesting informational sites would not be submitted and listed if that were the case. As previously said, the suggestion link is there for people to suggest interesting sites that they have found. Only marketing people seem to think of it as a way to promote their own sites. That isn't it's major function at all.
>> If the volunteers who honorably donate their free time can't cope with it. <<
There is no concept of "can't cope". An editor logs in and decides to do something useful to help the directory. It may be using Google to search for interesting sites to add. It may be mining links mentioned in an active forum. It may be adding URLs noticed on signs in shop windows, or on bill-board advertising. It may be participating in forum discussions about category reorganisations. It may be helping new editors work things out. It may be reviewing editor applications for new categories, or new editor applications (but only Meta editors can do that). It may be looking at update requests. It may be clearing obvious spam out of the unreviewed pile. It may be reviewing submitted sites. Or it may not.
>> ...actively 'out there' seeking for quality sites which bear no relevance to the sites sitting in your 'inbox' <<
Whatever. It doesn't matter. This is the bit you really need "to get". As long as the directory grows, as long as spam is rejected, as long as out of date listings are removed, as long as sites are added "somewhere", then editors are doing exactly what they signed up to do. The community does not care how those goals are achieved, or in which order, or by who, or when, or from which source, merely that they are achieved. And they are being achieved at a rate of 2000 net adds per day. No-one is going to concentrate on one site, or one submitter. So, some stuff is added without ever even being suggested. Some is suggested and listed in days or weeks. Some suggested sites haven't been reviewed after years. That's how it is.
In all this you will see no mention of a commitment to any particular type or amount of work, nor any mention of any commitment to even look at the suggestions pile. Editors are not suggestion pile processors. That's the truth.
>> You cannot go on treating intelligent webmasters who work hard... <<
What of the hundreds of sites listed daily that weren't even submitted? Those people had a zero review time. Where does that figure in your marketing plan? Listed in the ODP before you even knew that the ODP even existed. Should we stop doing that?
I built a category of 52 sites, from 3 existing listings. I used 3 of the 4 waiting suggestions, and then added 46 sites that I found myself. Maybe I should go back and delete the 46 I added myself and go process the unreviewed pile in some other part of the directory instead?
>> I have no problem whatsoever with DMOZ's ethos and the whole idea behind it. <<
So you have to accept that webmaster priorities cannot become editor priorities, and they will not, ever.
>> What I DO have a problem with however, is the response times, the service rendered and the attitude by those involved. <<
Please read this thread again and again until you really understand that the ODP does not promise any action at all in response to suggestions. See the bit about what editors can spend their time doing, and realise that as long as the directory grows editors are doing what they signed up to do. Again, suggestions are just one source of sites. Marketers want their stuff reviewed first. Editors may be doing something else; and as long as it is one of the things that I mentioned above then the directory gains.
>> >> People occasionaly send me a PM ordering me to answer their question in some forum or other. I usually delete the PM. I then go about my forum business as if the PM had never existed, and since I made no note of the user name nor the thread in question" << <<
>> Boy, how great does THAT sound as someone who has the opportunity to review YOUR website people? <<
If I said that I reviewed a thread or a site as a result of receiving a PM, do you know what would happen? I would receive 500 PMs the next day. On the first day all the sites were of equal importance, without a PM being sent. On the second day, with every site sending me a PM, every site is still the same importance. I don't want 500 PMs so the only option is to delete the one PM and make it clear that that is not an option to try to exploit.
>> I then go about my forum business as if the PM had never existed <<
... which means that I treat the forum posts (or the sites awaiting review) exactly the same as if the PM had never been sent. It neither pushes me into making a quicker review, nor tells me to avoid reviewing the work of the pushy PM sender. It has to be that way, otherwise I would have 500 PMs tomorrow all wanting "me first".
>> DMOZ has editors as Spam Filters. That's your job as an editor there. <<
Bzzzzzt! Incorrect. Editors add sites to the directory. There is no commitment to you, to process suggestions or look at spam. At all.
Doesn't sound like anything I would have volunteered for, but even buying that as a metaphor: does your spam filter automatically respond to spam messages sent to your inbox, requesting that they stop spamming you? Would you want it to?
The issue isn't actually whether submissions are welcomed or not. On the bottom of our website, I offer my email address and welcome letters. Part of my job is actually answering those letters. Does this obligate me to answer every piece of mail that comes to that inbox? Even if it's irrelevant, rude, or about Cialis? I don't think so. The organization would be pretty frustrated with me if I clocked hours answering all that crap, actually.
Neither would the ODP encourage editors to respond by email to everyone who sends a site suggestion, much less insist that they do. Neither would Webmasterworld encourage members to read and respond to every thread on the board, much less insist that they do.
I can only assume that your website has a pretty small readership if you really think any of this is feasible.