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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.
Firstly, I know WWW is the most sucessful..(etc etc etc), and I knew when I signed up that 'not every post is guarenteed and answer. I'm not an idiot.
I pointed out that perhaps thundering in announcing to everyone who reads this thread that 'there are lots of posts on WWW that never get answered' may not be the best way to present it in a flattering light.
I also know (ad nauseum) the the ODP makes no promises on time lines and listings. I'm fully aware of the facts.
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.
Like I've already pointed out, no-one reponds to email spammers and no-one thinks it is productive. I'd never invite people to 'Submit an email' and then moan about the amount of dross I'd surely recieve.
Sumitting a link however, is another area entirely.
>> 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.
Are you seriously telling me a DMOZ editor does not have to filter the spam? Come now, you're being coy there. All this talk about cess pools, and 90% of the sites submitted are trash.
DMOZ editors ARE Spam filters. And if you're telling me Bzzzzt, you aren't, then please stop boring us to death banging your gums about how much spam you recieve, and just how tough it is trawling through it. You said yourself you don't have to look at it.
But then again, how would you filter it out if you didn't?
In other areas of the directory there is so much spam that editors rather not touch the pile
The above is also perhaps not the most reassuring thing to say in when editors claim to be committed to building anything. Piles of websites lying untouched.
Well I don't know about anyone else, but I suspected so. This questions the efficency of certain areas of the directory. (Although I'm sure you'll back track by saying 'I never said it they NEVER touch it' so am saving you the bother).
But it does kind of play out why some sites are listed as you said very quickly, and some take years if at all. We can all see it in action.
Webamsters priorities will never become ODP priorities. I do agree with you that should be the case.
However, a website that has somehow gotten itself into the DMOZ to be reviewed list, (lets just say magically) and is everything DMOZ ask for in a site. A little 'gem' in fact. Has absolutely no business hanging around for a year or two before review or inclusion.
Yet another 'little gem' gets listed after a week? People see this happening all the time and it's only human to start asking questions and making noises about it. It's human nature to question seeming unfairness and inequality.
It just smacks of editors who don't have the time, are busy with other things, or who simply aren't up to the job, in their particular category.
The inequality, inconsistency, and 'randomness' from the outside is what people don't understand. That is why people get annoyed, and that is why DMOZ gets a lot of flak.
Keep spouting all you want about no promises time wise, or who DMOZ is or isn't obligated to. (I've no doubt you will).
But no site should be hanging around that length of time, whoever submitted it, or however it got in there. It's a terrible service to provide to a community. Or, if you prefer, it is PERCEIVED as a terrible service to a community.
A site is either in or out. But it's the fact that it takes so looooong to say either way that I personally think is awful, (along with the snotty attitudes), in 2005 and why DMOZ needs a good shake up.
Oh, it's human nature, no question about that. I've learned a lot about human nature since I took the responsibility on for a website with a fair amount of traffic. It's human nature to try to get other people to give you free advertising and do time-intensive free work for you, too. It's human nature to try to take advantage of potentially dimmer-witted humans. It's human nature to become angry and try to argue when someone says "no" to you, even politely.
Given this abundance of human nature, it's simply sound good sense NOT to respond to any piece of electronic communication that isn't directly the kind of correspondence a site is intended to deal with. Viagra spam? Delete. PayPal phishing scheme? Delete. Request for link exchange from irrelevant site? Delete. Demand for the site to link to some pointless made-for-adsense page because we link to some other site with actual content which they claim is their competition and we're being cruelly favoritist? Delete. Weird rant from apparently schizophrenic person who wants us to give equal time to her past-life experiences of a historical event and how aliens were involved in it? (I'm not making that up.) Delete.
Under *no* circumstances do I *ever* send an email back to anyone that says "Ma'am, our educational pages for children are not going to link to you because there are links to porn sites on your page" or "because your page is copied from an original article we already link to" or "because you are totally #^$@! nuts." I do not write back to the Nigerian mafia scammer and say "Wow, so you're Mrs. Sani Abacha? Have you ever considered donating all those illegally acquired millions to a charity that would feed poor people in your country that your late husband spent his life oppressing?" I do not open attachments from strangers labeled "Look, my beautiful girlfriend!" just to give the sender the benefit of the doubt and make sure I can respond to his message properly. I wouldn't want to trigger any more outpourings of human nature.
And as a part-time ODP editor, I'd no more send an email message to every website owner whose site I declined to list than I would do any of these other things. Oh sure, every once in a while, when there's some strange non-functionality on a submitted site or something, I'll drop a webmaster a line about it. I sometimes reply to inappropriate demands for unrelated information when the answer is one I happen to know off the top of my head, too, if I'm in a good mood. But as a general practice? You've either got to be kidding me, or you just don't get much email.
I will just take up the spam issue, that you seem to have totally confused with email spam. To DMOZ, spam submissions are the submission of sites repeatedly; submission of deeplinks; submission of sites that are cleverly disguised mirrors or redirects; submission to higher level categories; the same company having multiple sites; submission of sites that are not even close to being guideline compliant; etc etc - this is up to 90% of the submissions in some areas. No email reply is given to ANY submission because that is too much information for these spammers - ie they know exactly when and how they were found out, so they can immediately try again with a different tactic.
I am trying to show you where your thinking is just plain wrong. So I'll repeat what I said before, and just hope you read it more closely.
>> Firstly, I know WebmasterWorld is the most sucessful..(etc etc etc), and I knew when I signed up that 'not every post is guaranteed and answer. <<
Right. Even on the most successful forum on the web, stuff gets missed. The replies come from volunteers. If no-one volunteers to write a reply, then there is no reply. No-one can order that a reply be made. Posters on this forum would be rightly fed up if Brett suddenly told you how many posts you had to make each day.
On the most successful directory, stuff gets missed. The editors are volunteers. If no-one volunteers to actually do any particular site review then that site review does not happen. No-one inside the project can order that any site actually be reviewed. No-one on the outside of the project can order that any site actually be reviewed. That is it.
It is worth noting that useful resources that editors have previously found to be worth persuing are listed internally and marked for those that care to have a productive time editing. Likewise certain areas of the directory, and submitted stuff previously discovered to be toxic, is also marked to give the unwary a clue as to what they may encounter on the way.
>> 'there are lots of posts on WebmasterWorld that never get answered' may not be the best way to present it in a flattering light. <<
Whether or not that is true, this is still the best forum. It stands on the content that is accessible, and the threads that are successful.
It isn't measured by the amount of unanswered posts, nor by the amount of spam deleted.
This is not a helpdesk operation. No-one is guaranteed a reply.
The ODP is not a submission processing operation. No-one is guaranteed a review.
Why can you not see that they are exactly the same problem?
The success of the ODP isn't measured by what hasn't yet been reviewed, but by whether what is reviewed and listed is actually useful and meets surfer's needs (and feedback suggests that it is, very much so). That there is some other site that also supplies the same information / service / product is largely irrelevant.
>> I also know (ad nauseum) the the ODP makes no promises on time lines and listings. I'm fully aware of the facts. <<
Good. So what, exactly, is your point?
>> Like I've already pointed out, no-one reponds to email spammers and no-one thinks it is productive. I'd never invite people to 'Submit an email' and then moan about the amount of dross I'd surely recieve. <<
>> Sumitting a link however, is another area entirely. <<
Bearing in mind that you acknowledge that the ODP makes no promise to review any suggestion, or add any site (in the same way that I make no promise to read any particular incoming email or respond to it, and I make no promise to read any particular forum post or respond to it) in what way is this "another area entirely"? I see no difference at all. I do what I do. Each editor does what he or she does. The directory grows in size. It does what it says it is going to do. It adds sites. Many of them don't come from the suggestion pile. So what?
>> >> >> 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. << <<
>> Are you seriously telling me a DMOZ editor does not have to filter the spam? Come now, you're being coy there. All this talk about cess pools, and 90% of the sites submitted are trash. <<
Yes. An editor does not have to filter spam. They are not employed as submission processors. An editor does not have to even look at the suggestion pile.
Maybe you didn't know, but suggestions are not ordered in some giant list. They are grouped by category. So, you can choose to look at unreviewed in one category, and ignore unreviewed in another category. Editing in one category I may review every submitted site to see what they are. In another, I might merely check that current listings are correct, then do a Google search and look at the top 30 or 40 listings to make sure that I haven't missed an obvious authorative site. If there are hundreds of suggestions in the pile, then I might take a quick look at the submitted titles and review 2 or 3 of the most promising. If they all turn out to be unlistable, I'll probably not waste any more time in that category; I'll jump to a different one and do something more productive over there. If surfers to the category are finding the information that they want, then "how many sites are in the submission pile" is irrelevant.
An editor is asked to "improve the directory". They do that by 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.
No editor is told to sit there and go though the pile of suggestions filtering spam. So no, editors are not spam filters. Spam that is discovered in the course of editing is dumped, but the primary function of an editing session is not to find and delete spam. It is just one action that may occur in a session of finding and adding sites.
>> >> In other areas of the directory there is so much spam that editors rather not touch the pile << <<
>> The above is also perhaps not the most reassuring thing to say in when editors claim to be committed to building anything. Piles of websites lying untouched. <<
Pick some shopping category. The ODP lists 20 manufacturers of a particular type of widget. Maybe not every place that makes them is listed. So what. The ODP is not committed to cataloging all of the web. If the category already contains enough information that a searcher can find what they need then an editor is likely to be elsewhere building up a category that does not have a representative sample of sites listed, irrespective of the amount of entries in unreviewed (the number of entries in the unreviewed pile for a category gives no clue as to the number of suggestions that are actually listable -- but one rule of thumb is the bigger the pile, the bigger the percentage within that is unlistable).
Once a category is established, most of the submissions will usually be for extra vanity domains for already listed businesses, or hundreds of affiliate sites selling products made by the companies who own the already listed sites, or "built for adsense" pages wanting an ODP listing in the mistaken belief they will get a massively improved Google ranking for their content-less pages that they hope will rank above sites with "real information" on them. This scheme is purely there to divert the visitor in their quest for information, a diversion via a paid-for click that someone makes a buck out of. Those sites do not generally add to the sum of human knowledge. These sites generally take away from it, and editors would rather spend 0%, or less, of their editing time looking at those sorts of sites.
>> Well I don't know about anyone else, but I suspected so. This questions the efficency of certain areas of the directory. (Although I'm sure you'll back track by saying 'I never said it they NEVER touch it' so am saving you the bother). <<
Efficiency? The term is meaningless in any context relevant to the ODP. We are not submission processors, so you cannot mean efficiency "as a measure of how long between submission and review" or "between submission and listing".
The ODP does not list certain types of sites (but people submit them anyway) so efficiency cannot mean "proportion of submitted sites that are then listed".
WE never said we want to catalogue the entire internet, so efficiency cannot mean "number of sites listed, compared to how many sites actually exist".
Efficiency? I cannot see any context where the word could apply to what editors do, except in the action of "how many reviews of suggestions an editor might do before finding one site worth listing". And for a category where the number of suggestions is very large and the number of sites obviously missing from the list of already published sites is very small, the editor will likely try some other method (some other method than wading through the spam pile that is) to add to that category (if indeed additions seem merited), or else will be editing in some other category where the number of listed sites is low, and the potential to easily find and add more sites is very high (whether those sites come from a Google search, traditional print and media adverting, mining active forums for links, or looking in the suggestions pile is irrelevant as you must surely know by now).
>> But it does kind of play out why some sites are listed as you said very quickly, and some take years if at all. We can all see it in action. <<
Hurrah. Yes, maybe you do begin to understand. Submissions of unwanted sites to already well represented categories will sit for years because there is no interest in processing those submissions. Submissions of interesting, and content-rich sites to under-represented and niche categories will be treated like gold by editors that can spot the informational value in such websites.
Most of the howling you hear from webmasters complaining about the ODP comes from people in the first of those two groups. Meanwhile 2000 sites a day mostly from the second of those two groups are being listed and added. You rarely hear from those webmasters.
>> Webmasters priorities will never become ODP priorities. I do agree with you that should be the case. However, a website that has somehow gotten itself into the DMOZ to be reviewed list, (lets just say magically) and is everything DMOZ ask for in a site. A little 'gem' in fact. Has absolutely no business hanging around for a year or two before review or inclusion. <<
Many of the real gems are found by editors by other means than looking in the unreviewed pile. Being in the unreviewed pile does give a site more chance of being reviewed, and for many areas of the directory the unreviewed pile is turned over within weeks to months. Again, the areas where you hear the most complaints are actually from marketers whose site is not a gem, or is most likely something the ODP does not want to list at all.
>> Yet another 'little gem' gets listed after a week? People see this happening all the time and it's only human to start asking questions and making noises about it. It's human nature to question seeming unfairness and inequality. <<
To some extent it is the luck of the draw. If I do a Google search for some topic and add 10 sites to some category, then the owner of the eleventh site, the one I didn't see, might feel peeved. They can submit the site. If an editor happens to edit that category, and the editor likes the site then it gets added. There are no guarantees as to when that might happen, if it may happen at all. If the category is already well-represented and in no need of obvious work then no editor may pass by for years. That is just how it is when there are 650 000 categories.
>> It just smacks of editors who don't have the time, are busy with other things, or who simply aren't up to the job, in their particular category. <<
Most editors do not have one category. Many editors look aften dozens or hundreds of categories. Quite a few have access to thousands of categories. A few hundred editors have access to hundreds of thousands of categories each. It will always be random as to what gets done, when, and by whom.
The progress of the directory is measured by the number of categories with useful sites in, the overall number of sites listed, the overall amount of dead and outdated stuff removed, not by focussing on what happens to one site or even what happens in one particular category.
As long as the directory grows, then editors are doing what they said they would do. It is sad that some good stuff sits unreviewed for a long time, but there is no way round that in a project of this size; not without changing the editors from volunteers to employees, and altering the entire mission of the project. And, as the ODP is already the most efficient (whatever that means) of all the projects that have tried it, then that isn't going to happen.
>> The inequality, inconsistency, and 'randomness' from the outside is what people don't understand. That is why people get annoyed, and that is why DMOZ gets a lot of flak. <<
How could it not be random? There is no giant FIFO queue. There is no one "overlord" editor. There are 10 000 people, with varying amounts of freetime, varying amounts of commitment, and they are spread randomly across 650 000 categories. The randomness is a strength. It guarantees that if something is worth doing, but that if the "something" is a topic that I am not interested in, that someone else, somewhere else, will make it their priority and get it done.
>> Keep spouting all you want about no promises time wise, or who DMOZ is or isn't obligated to. (I've no doubt you will). <<
It ain't spouting. It's the truth.
>> But no site should be hanging around that length of time, whoever submitted it, or however it got in there. It's a terrible service to provide to a community. Or, if you prefer, it is PERCEIVED as a terrible service to a community. <<
Argh. You told me that you "got it". Now I see that you didn't.
>> A site is either in or out. But it's the fact that it takes so looooong to say either way that I personally think is awful, (along with the snotty attitudes), in 2005 and why DMOZ needs a good shake up. <<
Again, what of the sites that are added without ever being submitted? What of the people who don't even know the ODP exists, but whose sites are already listed? What of the people who never complain because their suggestions were accepted within weeks? Those things happen all the time. Only a few areas of the directory take soooooo long, and they will continue to do so. Them's the facts. I can't see it changing anytime soon, since it has already been that way for eight years already.
I edit as and when I feel like it. My categories aren't huge and don't have any backlog of submissions, although they did when I took them on.
When I'm not processing submissions I spend time searching the web for valuable sites to add to my category - I am trying to make my category the definative list of decent sites for that section, as I'm sure other editors are.
Most of the time I did spend on user submissions was re-writing descriptions. In fact, I've re-written 90% of the categories descriptions (and these have been approved by previous editors) - why? Because they aren't correct.
Most people seem to submit sites with a title like:
Company Name - Best widgets in town
Company Name (Ltd/PLC/AM/etc if applicable)
Then the description tends to read:
Company Name make the best blue widgets in Anytown. Free delivery, buy online now!
Make your description 1/2 lines. Describe the site/company business only if it's not evident by the category.
Explain the features of the site and remove all sales pitch.
In a web design, this would be wrong (as the site is explained by the category):
Web design company. Contact details, company profile, client list and map to offices.
This would be better:
Specialise in Macromedia Flash development. Contact details, company profile, client list and map to offices.
If you don't need to describe your company, then don't!
In a category like 'Antique Furniture Restorers' (Just made that up - may exist/may not)
don't list anything about your business, you don't need to - your location would probably be more appropriate.
This would be a good description:
Based in Anytown. Gallery of previous work, service and price lists, contact information and discussion forum.
Make sure you spell check your description.
Don't expect any contact from editors. They won't email you - why should they?
Don't email editors - they won't reply.
Submit your site to the correct category 1st time around.
Local (Regional) submission is usually the most correct course of action.
For example, if your site is an Antique Furniture Restorer's site and they are based in Anytown then submit to Regional/AnyContinent/AnyCountry/Anystate/Anytown/Business_and_Economy/Services/Furniture _Restoration
If an editor comes across your site in the wrong category, they have to move it to the correct one - that's an editor *touching* your DMOZ entry - if it had been in the correct place 1st time then they may well have just added it in.
That point above is particularly relevant for webmasters who choose a partially relevant category due to it's higher PageRank than the truly relevant category.
Re-check that spelling!
And submit (and forget about it)... with any luck you'll appear at some point! It's not guaranteed; just see it as a nice surprise.
And, if you still feel things at DMOZ are slow then why not apply to be an editor. You can help speed things up a bit.
Hope that all makes sense...
It's typed in a hurry! :-)
[edited by: skibum at 12:05 am (utc) on June 18, 2005]
Sumitting a link however, is another area entirely.
No. It. Isn't. It is exactly the same in all relevant material respects. The spammer sees a form in a windowing program (we don't know or care whether he's using a browser, or an e-mail client, or an e-mail client in a browser, or homegrown specialty spammer software.)
He types the stuff he wants to send (and the recipient doesn't want to receive.)
The stuff goes over the internet, and arrives in the recipient's "stuff to look at" list.
The recipients may use an e-mail client, or a browser, or an e-mail client in a browser, or a specialty program. (You don't know which.) They (that is, we) see that list of things to do, including some items that we're 99% sure are spam just from the title, some things we can only flip a coin on, and some things that have a good chance of being informative.
We have techniques that we use to increase our efficiency at blocking your spam. Funny, though, how editors seem strangely reluctant to tell you about them. One would almost think you're baiting editors, trying to let something slip that you can use to craft your future spam better.
There are some epidemological differences between e-mail spam and submittal spam.
(1) You can filter e-mail spam by eliminating unknown correspondents and commercial solicitations. Obviously, most of our correspondents are unknown, and all of the solicitations are of the same general form ("please consider this site for a listing.") So the usual anti-spam techniques don't work.
(2) Most e-mail spam is many-to-millions -- that is, a few thousand spammers, hitting each of millions of visitors. Submittal spam is many-to-one: So we can't save a million AOL customers (and hundreds of hours) by trapping one message repeated many times. That really isn't our problem. In a way, we're more like an "open" mail proxy, where the spammers send to us and hope we'll distribute to all AOL users. We have all the trouble of handling the spam message; millions of surfers (whom we don't know) get all the benefits. You users who think "spam can be handled" because you don't know how to do it, but "someone else does it for you". We're the someone else.
(3) We get, at a minimum, 7000 or 8000 unsolicited and obviously unwanted commercial messages per day. (But, let there be no mistake, we also get several hundred USEFUL messages. That's why those contemptible incessant demands that we throw that baby out NOW! so their bilgewater can get in more quickly through some other mechanism -- get so little sympathy. Those several hundred listings are valuable. Not, perhaps, so much in themselves--they are very limited and biassed selection of sites. But they provide another window on the web, so that we don't limit ourselves to what we know about or can easily find using other techniques -- a check on the inherent biasses of our other techniques and priorities. (And, as everywhere in life, the way to avoid biasses is to aggregate them).
You've either got to be kidding me, or you just don't get much email.
No-one's complaining about what I do with them.
andysmith617 - you are still extremly confused about what DMOZ is and is not
I do know what it is about. I am unfortunatley getting to know rather well what it is not.
On the most successful directory, stuff gets missed.
If no-one volunteers to actually do any particular site review then that site review does not happen.
The ODP is not a submission processing operation.
Each editor does what he or she does.
Many of them don't come from the suggestion pile. So what?
They are not employed as submission processors. An editor does not have to even look at the suggestion pile.
I might take a quick look at the submitted titles and review 2 or 3 of the most promising. If they all turn out to be unlistable, I'll probably not waste any more time in that category
It may be clearing obvious spam out of the unreviewed pile. It may be reviewing submitted sites. Or it may not.
Efficiency? The term is meaningless in any context relevant to the ODP.
Efficiency? I cannot see any context where the word could apply to what editors do,
To some extent it is the luck of the draw.
It will always be random as to what gets done, when, and by whom.
It is sad that some good stuff sits unreviewed for a long time, but there is no way round that
I can't see it changing anytime soon, since it has already been that way for eight years already.
Unorganised is the first word that springs to mind.
A terribly big, terribly dis-organised organisation.
Which back to my very first post is the reason for the complaints.
It needs a re-think.
Its been a thoroughly wonderful 2 days debating with you guys. Thank you for the time, effort and passion you put into your replies. It's a shame none of you have really said anything I haven't read before in 100 other threads. But I guess from the start you've never really gotten what I've been trying to say.
Also a real pity you don't see that I'm far from alone in saying it.
I hope I've been entertaining, but it's just going round in circles chaps. So this girl (yes girl) is doffing her cap and exiting stage left. Off back to my little corner of cyber space and getting some work done.
ps I may just apply for being an editor. I'm not exactly going to be short of great quotes!
The ODP has a heirarchical structure of categories.
It has a heirarchical structure of edit permissions.
It has a comprehensive set of editing tools.
It has a massive internal set of forums.
The structure is very highly organised, but subject to change as better ideas come along.
What is not organised, planned, and subjected to "dictat" and "edict" from above is exactly what each individual editor actually does while editing, today, tomorrow, or next week.
Each one chooses a job that they want to do and then gets on with it. With 10 000 editors a lot of work gets done. It happens in a random manner, and given that you now know what our priorities and methodologies are, I think you have to agree that there really is no other way that it could be done. For larger projects, editors do form teams and keep in close contact while tackling something that no one editor could achieve alone, but in the main the work is the output of 10 000 random walks.
If you meant "unorganised" as in "incompetent" then you are wrong.
The ODP is "unorganised" as far as there is no "overlord" editor directing the minions keystroke by keystroke.
It is "unorganised" as far as being able to tell you that Editor X will edit in Category Y next Thursday at 3pm.
It is "unorganised" in that no-one can say which sites will be reviewed next.
Out of all this dis-organisation another 2000 edits will pop out today, and tomorrow; roughly the same as yesterday, or any day last week or last month.
And... that's all the editors actually care about.
I'll tell you what. I'll send you a list of things to do on your computer. If I catch you watching TV or reading the wrong files, or even doing things out of order, I'll send a monitor and a couple of enforcers over to your house.
And that would not be all right for me to do, because ... you're not helping with anything publicly useful anyway, and it's all right for you to do the same thing to me because I AM helping build something that has value?
The overweening arrogance of total irrelevance....
Yeah, it's weird, isn't it? It's like e-mail spammers and phishers instinctively KNOW they're doing something wrong, so they don't scream and moan and point fingers and threaten to sue when somebody doesn't write them back.
Website spammers seem to have no such shame.
I'll tell you what. I'll send you a list of things to do on your computer.
Dont bother, I personally haven't volunteered yet. You did though.
I catch you watching TV or reading the wrong files, or even doing things out of order, I'll send a monitor and a couple of enforcers over
Thats a bit strong even for DMOZ isn't it? (Although I could quite believe it on the Resource Zone if you 'dare' to ask the higher ups an inapproptiate question!).
you're not helping with anything publicly useful anyway, and it's all right for you to do the same thing to me because I AM helping build something that has value?
Thats a terrible thing to say. I'm a qualified midwife who also runs a useful, thriving, non-profitable informative/forum-based site concerning premature babies.
THIS is the exactly the kind of assumptions DMOZ editors make. Completely uncalled for and a COMPLETE vindication of all the posts I have made in this thread. How dare you assume?
The overweening arrogance of total irrelevance
Looks like I am to DMOZ in as far as my critsisms go? But I do not consider myself irrelevant sir. I simply complain that you do.
It's like e-mail spammers and phishers instinctively KNOW they're doing something wrong, so they don't scream and moan and point fingers and threaten to sue when somebody doesn't write them back
Yes, but I'm not moaning over my site, I have no need for inclusion. I've stated several times I have submitted my site once and left it. I have more than enough visitors and forum members to keep me happy. I take a healthy interest in SEO (I'd simply like to do the best by my site and the whole thing has been an enjoyable new world of learning for me). If my site is included or not is not really that big a deal for me. I have stated this several times.
I'm simply questioning the procedures and why so many are so disillusioned by it. There has to be a reason for it.
You are far too 'higher-up' in your ivory towers to see it. And I'm am neither needful enough or commercial enough to be too intimidated by the percieved importance of inclusion, to speak my mind and question what's happening in DMOZ in 2005.
DMOZ IS disorganised, it IS subjective, it IS open to corruption, it IS random, lots of editors are NOT pulling their weight, do not have enough time, or are overwhelmed. There are NOT enough of them to run it smoothly or fairly, and most of those who do apply to help ARE rejected for seemingly trivial reasons and not informed why after putting a huge amount of effort and hope into their application.
Outwardly, genuine complaints are NOT percieved as being dealt with in a timely manner, there is a perception that the vast majority of editors DO list their own sites as a primary objective, and then do NOT list competitors, honest and hard working contributors to the site are NOT treated fairly, equally or shown basic human manners or courtesy, and the outward attitude of editors is percieved as arrogant in the extreme.
NONE of the above is acceptable in the reality of, OR the perceptions of any organisation that delcares itself to be serving any community, in any country, in any genure, in any capacity.
And, sorry, but people are starting to notice? Perhaps you should too. But sadly, from the replies here I think I'm falling on deaf ears.
Gentlemen, I really am off now, I have more important things to do.
Thank you for your time.
DMOZ staff have said time and again that a few decent sites is all a category needs and that the goal of DMOZ is not to be comprehensive.
If the Google/DMOZ mismatch is ended, folks on both sides of this never ending discussion would be much happier. Google can use its massive resources to create a truly comprehensive directory and the DMOZ editors can go back to doing their own thing.
And because you don't accept my self-evident criticism, you are self-evidently solely and personally responsible for both the world's overpopulation and its unconscionable infant mortality.
And, of course, you assumed all this responsibility the first time you proposed to give any kind of assistance to anyone.
All this by your logic, of course. You are welcome to it.
Is there a place where constructive criticism or discussion of the ODP can occur without it turning into a linguistic pissing match?
Most "discussions" about the workings or philosophy or basic mechanics of the ODP between webmasters, editors, or any mixing of the two camps almost always degrades to a flame war in which both sides engage in a toxic amount of group think and unsympathetic ignorance.
Almost any thread with the cryptic letters of the ODP in its title is sure to get the blood pressure rising. Wasn't the resource zone built for the kind of constructive interaction that these threads miserably fail to masquerade as?
Nothing of value has been said in the past several pages. Just a bunch of banging heads against walls and squealing.
I think this is one of those threads that should dun gone missin'.
In Business/Chemicals/Basic_Chemicals/Petrochemicals/Lubricants which was Business/Industries/Manufacturing/Materials/Lubricants while the "Industries" branch existed under that name,
12 submissions are still waiting for review which are dating back to 2000. Those have been there all the time, patiently waiting for review.
But, because there is an underlying common ideal, we usually come up with a way of organizing things so that everyone can contribute to the common goal without violating their own consciences.
Now: unsympathy between editors and internet marketers....that's a kind way of putting it. I'll accept that.
But ignorance? I don't think so. We know marketers, and they know us. Any active editor can review tens of thousands of spammy websites a year -- you learn a lot that way.
And some marketers have submitted dozens or hundreds (and not a few, thousands) of times. They know what the ODP guidelines are. They know when they're spamming.
I think the "lack of sympathy" (on both ways) is based on knowledge, not ignorance. What editors do is well documented (not least by the presence of the 4.5 million listings in the ODP itself.) Of course that doesn't mean everyone likes it. How we do it, is a question that each editor will answer differently -- about as far from group-think as you can get, in fact, and still be working toward the same goal. And that also is not a secret, and not everywhere popular.
It's a big web. There are things the ODP can't do: that's hardly a secret either. Editors know that, and are often the most enthusiastic early-adopters of new internet technologies and search/catalog schemes.
Anyone who wants more than merely sympathy, who wants enthusiastic praise (and even a strong likelihood of active volunteer support) from ODP editors, has merely to devise and implement a better way of doing anything relating to organizing the net.
Constructive criticism is always appreciated. But there's an eternity of difference between "you have to do something" and "here is a specific problem that your customers will see, and here is a simple trick I used to find many instances of it."
The former is worse than worthless -- unless, of course, you're Joe McCarthy or Joe Stalin, in which case they are politically valuable; the latter is more precious than gold.
In fact, I attribute at least one of the major changes I mentioned above, to a single persistent critic who kept sending feedback saying "here's the weekly list of problems of this kind that slipped through, and here's how I found them, and here's the pattern that I see." He never gets credit, because he never was an editor; and yet, he was instrumental in making editors aware of a major problem that we simply didn't see.
Most critics aren't that thorough. But that's OK. Small specific problems are generally addressed within hours of being reported -- as anyone can see by comparing the CURRENT ODP with the reports made in the "quality control feedback" forum.
That's what makes criticism constructive: demonstrating a comprehension of the goal, and showing specific ways in which past actions have impeded it.
For example, "apparent random order of site reviews" is (I argue, based on mathematical theory) a feature. It is probably an intrinsic rather than a design feature of the ODP process -- that is, we couldn't change it if we wanted to, which we very much don't. So I deliberately review sites within a category in random order; and I often deliberately choose a category to work in, at random. (Tell me you noticed, please; I worked hard for that!) So -- who knows when submittals will be reviewed? If anyone knows, then WE AREN'T BEING RANDOM ENOUGH, we need to work on our nondeterminism! We know about it, and it is not a problem. It is an intrinsic and essential feature.
"Focus on informational sites" is also a feature. Technically, business and commerce sites don't fall under the original mission of the ODP at all! We're indexing the sum of human KNOWLEDGE. Only by a technicality (sites may contain INFORMATION about businesses) do those sites get in at all. So it's no surprise that those categories tend not to be high priorities for the editing community, while sites about all the other dimensions of human existance (artistic, political, social, political, medical, etc., etc., are often reviewed much more quickly. It's a feature. If we don't review a commercial site quickly enough, the webmaster can always use commercial promotion, there are no lack of options.
"Lack of feedback to submitters" is another feature, for which experienced editors will give many reasons, each sufficient in themselves. Don't tell us we never write, never call: that's on purpose. Don't tell us we could: we know that, we just know it's a good idea that we don't.
There are another class of potential characteristics that are NOT features: editor corruption. inconsistent site review criteria. software glitches.
The problem here is: how do you find out about such cases? Many eyes looking at the directory. Here's where specific reports can be constructive. We can investigate an editor's work; we can work for better consensus on what makes a kind of site listable; we can repeat edit activities and instigate bug fixes. Once we know WHERE a problem is.
It's easy enough to wave your hands and say "the ODP isn't perfect." But it's a brain-numbingly STUPID thing to say. Of course it's true: who knows better than editors how true it is? But it says nothing about how to FIND the imperfections. And therefore, how will an editor genuinely concerned about abuse react to blanket charges? Obviously, either ignore them, or point out that specificity is a virtue. So the way to get such an editor's attention is with greater specificity, not greater shrillness.
Anyone with a notochord ought to be able to figure that out. So ... what does that say about the ethics and intelligence of someone who makes such blanket charges, and then whines about editors not listening?
Of course we don't listen. But give us a fact, something that you know and we can verify, and that we can use to improve the directory, and we'll be grateful (sometimes effusively so.)
Or...if you don't LIKE these characteristics of the ODP, start another website. We won't mind. We won't personally attack you in public forums, or harass and stalk you at home, or try to deny your users service by filling your feedback forms with trach. We might even use the site.
Don't take my word for it. Test anything that matters.
Yeah, this is the part I really don't get. People don't like the ODP directory model? Great! Start another one! I love directories. Always looking for another good one to help me find things I'm looking for. And if there's one thing I've learned it's that NO directory can or should index EVERYTHING--they're all niche directories in a way (ODP and Zeal just happen to have larger niches than most). So fill another niche! Go on! I'll cheer you on.
If DMOZ wants to be the sole conduit for inclusion in the Google directory, you've got to expect to get tons of submissions, including what some editors might call inapproprate content and even spam.
If you feel that this relationship is beneficial to DMOZ, then you'll have to take the bad with the good. A realization of this simple concept should make it easier for you to let negative comments roll off your back and you can spend more time editing rather than fighting in forums.
That would help ease everyone's frustrations.
Personally i like Joeant, good human reviewed directory, shame it does not feed google......
I think this is somewhat backwards. Google chose to use ODP data, ODP just wants to build a useful directory. ODP allows anyone to use the data, so long as they use the proper attribution. Google wanted the ODP data for their directory, not the other way around.
If you feel that this relationship is beneficial to DMOZ, then you'll have to take the bad with the good.
Again backwards. Obviously, Google felt using the ODP benefitted them otherwise they would not have chose the ODP. ODP didn't target Google, ODP just builds a directory.
It's almost like blaming Habitat For Humanity because Podunk, New Jersey should have more office buildings.
..while directories were very interesting in the mid
'90's, keyword search has eclipsed them as the main ways consumers find information on the Internet.
This is in part due to the growth of the web. When the web is small --
say 30 million documents -- a directory is a great way to find organize
and find sites. This was Yahoo's strength in the early days. But as
the web grows from 30 million sites to 5-10 billion, directories, even very large ones, can't keep up. Dmoz has 4M sites and over 600,000 categories. This is almost too large to be useful; one can't easily click around browsing through a 600,000 page directory.
At the same time, since the directory, even with as many as 4M sites contains only .1% of the Internet or less, it can't be as big as it needs to be to cover the content available on the Internet.
Source: Rich Skrenta Interview at SearchEngineBlog
If DMOZ wants to be the sole conduit for inclusion in the Google directory,
But it doesn't want to be.
It happens to be because (one possible reason) the x zillion sites that it doesn't contain and that Google would like to merge into its Directory are not listed in one convenient place.
So you can either futilely complain that volunteers should work faster to catalog those sites.
Or (to repost something of mine from a while back) you can get rich while providing it yourself:
In fact, I am a little bemused that no one has taken up this suggestion (other than to register the domain name).
....it's a no-brainer
From the beginning the ODP license has specifically permitted users (such as Google later came to be) to change the directory in any way they wished. AOL, for instance, changes its own published version (by omitting the Adult categories.)
I have often wondered why, so far, no reputable company has taken that approach. (A couple of sleazy outfits have done that -- AOL got one of them shut down, and several European law enforcement agencies went after the other, big-time. But it wasn't "adding sites to their ODP version" that got them in trouble, it was what else they did after that....nothing ODP related, just ordinary e-mail spam fraud.)
If Google WANTED to add a Yahoo-like layer of services on top of their version of the directory, they could. I'm not sure why they don't. If I were to speculate, I'd wonder if they did the math -- and figured out they'd have to charge more for the service than what it would be worth to their potential customers.
The work output of the ODP is dumped into two huge RDF-like files several times per month, and the whole lot is available for anyone to download from [rdf.dmoz.org...] and manipulate and republish as they wish (as long as the usage licence is followed).
Most of the arguements placed against Yahoo then, are without exception being applied, righty or wrongly,(whatever your viewpoint) against DMOZ now.
History repeating itself?
Google was also just a twinkle in 2 fella's eyes then, but they needed a directory to feed and add credibility to their searches. As Yahoo was commercial and prioritised included paid listings and DMOZ at the time was somewhat established, fresh, free and human edited. The new and then unheard of Google used the ODP.
The web since then has grown to dimensions never imagined at the time. Google coped, listened and made a big success out of what they do. The ODP is still riding on the back of that. Nothing else. Google's success made the ODP and Google's contintuing and unhindered success still does. Nothing else.
There are not many who would use it, and if it weren't for Google's 'patronship' (if you like), no-ne would give a rats **** about being included or not.
(If I'm wrong stop me there?)
In every other sense however DMOZ is still stuck in a bubble somewhere back in the 'glory days' of 1998. Nothing has changed, everything remains the same and all editors will tell you it WILL remain unchanged. They themselves anyway have no power to change it. So it will remain there, suspended in Google's reflected glory.
Until again the backlash, and it IS obvious there is a big huge backlash growing.
Just like against the seemingly invincible Yahoo of the time, some young unknown(s) will decide to stand for everything DMOZ is not and take action. And they will. It's already proven possible to topple an 'invincible' directory and it IS the very reason the ODP exists today.
When it happens there will be no shortage of internet users who will be only too grateful of the alternative. The ODP, just like Yahoo in 1998, has made absolutely sure there will be plenty of internet users who will only be too pleased to help all they can, contribute to it and see it take the top spot in some form. Leaving the ODP far behind just like Yahoo is now. Google without a doubt will also jump ship. Their shareholders will see to that.
Until then, the frowing numbers of internet users who are dissatisfied with DMOZ can only hope, wait, yawn and occasionally vent in threads like these.
Oh, and I also see DMOZ have demoted their OWN founder for abusing strict guidelines and adding a crap directory TO it's own directory as some sort of joke? He's now a meta?
Oh dear... What will people think?
(I'll predictably be portayed as being 'over dramatic' and 'what makes you some kind of prophet' blah blah). Feel free.
Oh and I can only apologise to those who are getting hacked off with these arguements going nowhere. In my defence it's the first thread on the ODP I've ever posted or participated in. I didn't realise just how common these threads were, and I certainly didn't expect the reaction I got after first post. Sorry!
DMOZ was started because of the backlash of bad feeling against the 'big' directory at the time Yahoo.
Sort of. There was a hugh "backlash" regarding the time it took to get listed and by those who could not get listed in Yahoo.
From: Yahoo Special Report By Danny Sullivan, Editor
September 3, 1997
By Danny Sullivan, Editor
In August 1997, a survey asking about people's experiences submitting to Yahoo was posted on Search Engine Watch. This in response to a rising number of complaints that Yahoo was slow to process submissions, or that it simply did not process them at all.....
But the founder of the ODP used this problem Yahoo had to "build a competitor [skrenta.com]" using free labor and then sell it.
See:Genesis Of The Open Directory Project by Rich Skrenta [skrenta.com]
In short, Rich Skrenta's idea was meant to make money for himself and not solve the problem that webmasters had with Yahoo.
As evidenced above the ODP has the same exact problem as Yahoo.
The big differance is that Yahoo pays it's staff and profits while AOL / Google profits big time from the free laborers of the ODP.
As building another directory would only run into the same problems why not make ODPs unreviewed section available to the public. Make it a seachable area of the directory that temporarily houses the unreviewed sites. Change the name from unreviewed to something catchy like NewView lol
Oh, SERP perps wouldn't bother the ODP half so much if there wasn't the insane misconception that ODP is the magic bullet to sabotaging Google Search Engine results.
But, frankly, SERP perps are neither by profession nor by inclination (I do not mention ethics) the kind of customers the ODP was designed for. And in that respect 1998 was no different. There were search engines then, and there were directories. Some people preferred one, some preferred the other.
All the search engines of those days have died, except Inktomi (which was the new kid on the block, and it had a chance to be completely rewritten while being sheltered from spam by the glory days of Google.)
And all the directories of those days have died or been completely repurposed as PPC or PPV advertising farms (except for Yahoo).
Why did the search engines die? smothered by artificially promoted spam: and in those days Google seemed preturnaturally resistant to artificial manipulation. (Turns out, of course, that isn't completely true. Attack technologies keep getting more murderous; defensive technologies have to keep improving.
Well, why did the directories die?
"Smothered by spam" is a fair way of putting it. Nobody but Yahoo could afford the review and maintenance costs; and nobody but Yahoo could seem to compete in scope and quality with the free ODP. (I remember watching the big directories disappear one by one -- Looksmart's conversion to PPC being the last step in the transition to a new generation.)
So, we're in a new generation: A resurgent Inktomi and Google representing the search engines; Yahoo and the ODP represening the directories; Microsoft naturally experimenting to see just how bad a competing product could be crammed down the throats of ignorant surfers by sufficiently assiduous violations of antitrust laws.
What has changed? The spam load is greater, by orders of magnitude, than it was then -- just look at the HotelNow doorways. The ODP is five times larger than its founders thought it would ever get, and still keeping pace with the load. (One might wish we could be catching up with it: but reality is that so far, that's several times better than anyone else has figured out how to do.)
I don't see "glory" either in the past or the future of the ODP. That's not the goal; people don't build statues to librarians; and as for good deeds -- "not a one goes unpunished". It has always been: figure out where to find public-spirited people to help; figure out how to find good new sites; figure out how to defend against the spam barrages; figure out how to find quality lapses.
And leave things that other people do better to the other people. Google news is great but not perfect. Froogle has, I think, promise. eBay does its thing well enough. Local search is an idea whose time has come, but labor pains continue.
Some people are trying to figure out new ways of slicing and dicing the web -- and I wish them success (and, please, please, SOON!) Except in aggregators like eBay and Froogle, or specialized niches like used cars or books, shopping on the web is a more disgusting experience than any nightmare MY imagination has ever conjured. More sophisticated search tools, made easier to use, seems to be the perpetual challenge nobody can really solve.
But surely somewhere there's a new perspective on the web, completely different from any of the current aggregate/directory/search-engine troika.
When it comes, I make these predictions:
(1) It will not replace any of the current approaches, but will interact with all of them to result in better search engines and better directories.
(2) It will be based inextricably on data found through traditional approaches (human reviewers and bot crawlers), as well as some new data on its own.
(3) The ODP will be there for it, with a neatly packaged RDF, delivered free anywhere in the world.
(4) There will be persistent rumors and allegations that the ODP has penetrated the Illuminati and taken over utter control of the new system, for the sole purpose of freezing out the "little guy" and promoting the Bilderburgers, not to mention the Blefuscans.
(5) There will be curses and lamentations by spammers saying that the new system ought not to use the ODP data at all, and ODP editors are all vile and corrupt for permitting their worthless data to be actually used by someone who has a different opinion of its worth.
(6) Users of the system -- even the most careful observers -- won't be able to tell what effects the ODP actually has on the system, whatever their suspicions. They will notice that certain sites will be easily found in any system, and that sites easily found in one system will more often than not be easily found in other systems. This too will be blamed on the inherent depravity of ODP editors.
(7) ODP editors will look at the new system, speculate briefly about how it uses the ODP, then experiment with it to find how best it can be used to find and categorize websites.
As building another directory would only run into the same problems why not make ODPs unreviewed section available to the public. Make it a seachable area of the directory that temporarily houses the unreviewed sites. Change the name from unreviewed to something catchy like NewView
Yes, my preference would be to go even further and have something fun to start with like a Website 'Hot or Not' style lol. Whereby ALL websites submitted have the potential to be reviewed by anyone looks at it. 1 to 100 basis, randomly, by specific category, however you want to see them in fact, and % based on how many review it. Making sure of course that once someone submits a site to a particular category, they are unable to vote in it.
Lots of safeguards against irregular voting, won't go into that but, imagine they're there.
Cream off the top 2000 sites a day et voila, a difinitve list of top websites as submitted by, voted for and reviewed by Joe Public. Spammers would soon get discouraged by the amount of bad reviews they get, and they couldn't complain their site hadn't even been looked at. So eventually spam free too.
Hello search engine!
The simplest ideas are usually the best. (copyright username: andysmith617, webmasterworld post 15th June 2005, just in case!).
I may even do it myself, lol, the amount of 'review my site' sections in 1000's of forums with millions's of sites just begging to for people to, well, review their site.
Anyway, one for the back burner.
You're wrong, so you can stop there.
In referring to the fact that if Google was involved with the ODP, no-one would be that bothered about inclusion? You might want to ask around a bit about that mate. You are very niave if you think otherwise. I'm not even going to jusitfy it, it's so obvious.
the kind of customers the ODP was designed for
You don't have customers. And 99.9% of ordinary people outside of seo are completely unaware of the ODP's exisitence. Even if they were, I'm not convinced anyone much would use it for searching.
Im not sure where that would leave the ODP if Google et al stopped using it?