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I believe in the old great resources like Galaxy (before the web got greedy) and find there are actually few good authority sites out there. Okay, we have good ones such as WebmasterWorld, Search Engine Watch and Gimpsy but little else. You can soon judge whether a site is designed for the user or not.
I visited vlib.org recently, and was impressed at the less cluttered style and clear usefulness of it. The Googles and Yahoos just want money and I reckon the user and advertiser really suffers. Dmoz is getting a bad rep, and Ask has user base of such mixed feelings, who knows where it's going.
Just seems to me that the web has become 90% garbage over the years, when it was once something great - full of information, and not ads! Will anyone be able to sort this mess out?
When will someone create something great again.
We are building a directory of information sites. We currently link to useful information sites through our encyclopaedia articles and are also building a directory of same.
With regard to advertising, we are a commercial concern. We have two choices; charge for access or carry adverts. The reality is that people will rarely pay for access, so we carry adverts.
I guess what Iím tying to say is that directories are good as long as there is a market for them in the field your in.
Yes, I believe you can build niche directories that are useful (if you know quite a bit about the subject/material).
A large scale directory is something that is very tough to get started, maintain, and grow. It takes a "lot" of manpower/time. A pretty basic large scale general directory may have several thousand categories without being regional in nature. If you humanly seeded that directory with five listings per category you would have 10's of thousands of listings. Consider that it takes 10-15 minutes to manually go through a site, review it, check for mirror sites etc. you would be working for some years on it at 2,080 hours a year. Add regionalization into it and it grows even more.
Look at dmoz for instance. They add 1000's of sites a day "for free" and they get more complaints from submitters than any directory I know of.
So many say it's easy to set one up, but I disagree - it's damn hard graft lol! (when you don't use a feed)
But I prefer to have my own creation/results, as they wouldn't be MY clients if I used a feed. There are many directories, but few decent pure resources and this is a big problem. Generals are just too deep, and takes ages to find that diamond bit of info you need so badly. I don't think Yahoo and Google are all that anymore - it's very frustrating indeed.
Even Dmoz gets complaints, and that's free so.......
Unless you have major cash, I'd forget trying to build something to compete with the majors, it's just too much work (without a feed) and without a true gimmick, you're stuffed anyway. The only directory that has done well is Gimpsy, but that's because it does the thinking for the user (sort of).
Dmoz too has major problems, as big as it is, should have charged for listings a long time ago, and I think it's set itself up as way too choosy. If you can't get into a 'free' major player - then it's cut it's own throat. Plus they can never now charge for listings as they've been free for too long. I don't reckon people would stand for the charges somehow - even as good as it is. If google cancels their partnership, what then? Is a directory's reputation/usefulness boil down to the size of it's partnerships? Or should it be able to carry itself without backing? Now there's a question..
But getting back to the original point, with all this garbage about, how does one ensure quality, without the costs associated with large players. I don't think it can be done, as advertising costs are tremendous alone. I haven't even begun to comment on manpower or time involved. Maybe I shouldn't have started a directory at all. It's such a risk to do it properly.
There are maybe 10 good major directories and perhaps 70 decent portals out there (major players here). Everything else is trash and gives no value. We must have that value as users.
The web is about information or I thought it was?
I believe that something that is free can never last because in the end money needs to come from somewhere to maintain it. The internet was free but people wanted more out of the internet and that took man power and research. That's where the money problem started happening and services that were once free are not anymore.
If you think about, the web has never had so much to offer. Right now we are living in the best times for the internet because of what can be found in it.
The good old days never existed because back then we had something else to complain about.
I reckon by the end of 2005, every directory will charge and most of the 3rds tiers will be gone in some way. The smaller guys can't compete unless they have quality listings that are different in some way, and that sort of development costs. Without something special, they won't be able to draw enough returning visitors and so can't ask advertisers to pay, without the traffic.
No point in just 'hanging' in there hoping to be bought up either, because if nobody visits anyway, they have nothing to sell to investors. Game over I'd say. This is the web these days - if you don't charge then you die, but some are destined to do that anyway. It's about power and cashflow.