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Seems like many have received poor service from dmoz for one reason or another, so why give them further media attention? My site has never been accepted by dmoz, and I don't really give a stuff about that, and feel safe in the knowledge that there are probably many sites that could blow dmoz out of the water with good customer service, nice web design and better site management. Dmoz is probably loving all this attention right now, but what I want to know is where are the representatives with the real answers to their admin/editor problems, and I mean the proper owners here, not the the editors.
It is AOL that now owns dmoz? Why don't AOL simply step in and solve this management problem. I'd say they could sort it out once and for all, get all the sites added and thus keep the punters happy so to speak.
Anyone agree with this? Members here are just giving them great press and not getting anything substantial in return. Sites are clearly not being added for some reason, and it smells fishy somehow, and it's been going on for years - this is not a sudden problem, am I right....
You're assuming that the goal of the ODP is to impose priorities on editors based on submittals.
But that is not only not a goal, it's a catastrophic pitfall to avoid.
So the fact that there's no way for submitters to exercise that kind of control over editing priorities isn't a problem (from AOL's point of view.)
This has to be one of the most illogical things that has ever been said about the ODP, and ... that is some competition.
Sites aren't "not added" for a reason -- they are "added" for a reason! The reason is, some surfer thought the ODP was worthwhile enough to work on, the category was interesting and undeveloped, and the particular website was worth reviewing.
Any website that hasn't had those three ideas come together, firmly enough to be acted on, at the same time, in the same mind, can't possibly have been added. But does it make any sense at all to talk about something "not happening for a reason" just because there's not yet been any reason for it TO happen? No, of course not. Only things that actually happen have reasons for them to happen.
Or, to put it a different way, to better illustrate the idiocy of the statement -- there are several billion people on earth. Any of them could have reviewed the website in question. Some of them, however, never bothered to learn the language that the website was written in. Why not? Others never use a computer. Why not? Others never volunteer for anything. Why not? Others volunteer for many things, just not for the ODP. Why not? Others volunteer for the ODP, but not all day long. Why not? Others volunteer for the ODP and even work on that category, but don't find sites to review using submittals. Why not? Others pick random sites from the submittal list, but so far the random number hasn't fallen on this site. Why not?
Every hour, there are approximately thirty billion reasons why all those people on earth filled their time slots with something other than reviewing that one site. And remember that each of these people also had opportunities (WHICH THEY TOOK!) to NOT review each of about twenty million other sites. So, That's about sixty quadrillion reasons created per hour for not reviewing websites, and you are astonished WHY NOBODY HAS LISTED THEM ALL FOR YOU, let alone gone through that list and picked out the mere million or so reasons per hour that applied to your site?
Good stuff you're smoking there!
If you ever want to get back to what actually happened, you're welcome to contemplate the things that have actually happened -- thousands of people who volunteer at least some time with the ODP, tens of millions of sites that are reviewed, millions of sites that are listed -- and yes, millions of other sites that have been reviewed looking for reasons to list them (and not finding any). Now, those events have causes -- "reasons for happening." And the events that HAVEN'T happened, obviously DON'T have causes. That's the way causality works. Anything that a person hasn't done, evidently hasn't had a strong enough reason to be done yet.
That seems so clear as to be beyond doubt. But then, I tend to see a CLEAR connection between "reality" and "what actually happened."
Maybe that's where you should start. Once you get the concept of "reasons are for actions" down, you can start seeing how the world works. And you'll stop wondering about the reason for the fact that you DIDN'T win the Publishers' Clearing House lottery -- again.
Sites are clearly not being added for some reason, and it smells fishy somehow, and it's been going on for years - this is not a sudden problem, am I right....
Not sure where you get the information above, but no, you're not right. There are literally thousands of sites added daily. It has been discussed many times why some areas take forever to get listed in and other areas do not. It has also been discussed exhaustively on why some sites will NEVER be approved/listed.
There is nothing fishy about it. The largest problems in my opinion stem from those that submit their sites to multiple categories (sometimes 10's/100's) instead of to the "single" best category – not to be perceived as what's best for you or your site, but where the submission actually belongs. The directory could get along fine and grow at approximately the same pace if no-one ever submitted a site to begin with.
Look at it this way – if an editor spends 1-2 hours documenting and tracking down a single abusive submitter which had 25 mirror domains listed, think of how many sites that one editor could have listed every time they do that….
Funny, none of our customers have complained. So far as we hear, users are still finding the information they are looking for. And that's been going on for years, nothing fishy about it.
Oh, WEBMASTERS? They don't receive poor service either. They receive NO service, by design. So that's not a problem either.
First off, my previous post was about other webmaster's fears and problems in not getting into dmoz, I wasn't even talking about MY site.
We could spend the next 20 yrs debating the rights or wrongs of dmoz's site submission system or rules. True there is a massive waiting list for sites, and the use of volunteers is obviously free (which is good for dmoz) but it also leaves dmoz with a motivational and time problem which I think is the key issue here.
Editors because they aren't getting paid just won't give it their all or best work, and that's just a fact of life. Also, there just aren't enough editors available to handle the workloads involved here. And the webmaster, (customer) suffers as a result, and I dare say dmoz's reputation suffers in turn. It's a chain of events, they are supplying one thing, and at the same time not supplying the other.
I'll explain. Dmoz submits quality sites only, and we know because lot's of sites don't get in, that says there is no automated system in place that could speed this up, and also draws attention to the lack of 'staff' to actually do a good job. Editors must spend more time dealing with 'naff' sites than what they should be doing - reviewing the quality ones.
Much time is wasted here, and thus sites are not being included, which in turn generates 'complaints' from webmasters. Strange that a site as big and popular as dmoz, cannot cope with this - again this highlights the volunteer aspect, and perhaps the attitudes and motives of the editors. I can tell you that if you didn't pay me to do a job, I would hardly pay it any mind, and probably just do enough to justify what I was getting out of it in return for being that editor.
That's called 'Value of rewards' and 'Degree of probability' by the way.
Quality of effort is connected to the amount of incentive offered. Not so illogical after all....
Secondly, everything IS done for a reason, and those decisions are decided by the editors, who may or may not be the best judges of what is or isn't quality. I'd say, most become editors because they can list their own sites. I don't know how far this incentive extends, but being asked to 'manage' a category in exchange for a website link for a site, doesn't seem like a very good deal to me, and if I honoured such a deal, chances are that dmoz won't get much work out of me in exchange for a measly free link. Not when I can get just as good a link if I paid elsewhere, plus I would save myself on the workload too.
Again, highly logical.
The workload issue does seem to be quite a clear reason here doesn't it. It also highlights a problem of possible neglect. Lack of monitoring the monitors springs to mind. Who actually knows what they are really up to - I doubt editors are even checked up on to see what their level of work rate is like.
That's an editor recruitment issue, but quite an important one!
I'm not astonished at all (WHY NOBODY HAS LISTED THEM ALL FOR YOU) - those sites don't belong to me, but your many reasons as why work wasn't being carried out, just highlights a problem, and consequently raises yet more questions about your ability to handle the submission situation and dmoz's attitude to running a quality service. That's called Bad press, and by the very people who are 'working' for dmoz.
If Dmoz were to pay editors even part-time, and took more on, perhaps that would improve the situation - but they can't do that or maybe won't.
I've no sympathy for dmoz's problems beause they were self-created and brought on themselves. I'm just trying to see this from a webmaster's point of view, and I see their point of view and agree with some of it, but not all of it, as nobody knows the full facts here.
You mentioned causality to us, well, you just answered the question why some dmoz editors are so poor. It's a laid back attitude to submissions and poor planning on dmoz's part.
I wanted to hear from someone important from Dmoz, and not an editor. But I'll answer you all the same as I'm such a nice person.
When hutcheson speaks about DMOZ, I listen.
I wanted to hear from someone important from Dmoz, and not an editor.
Hehe...editors sure seem important when they list your site... If you are expecting Jonathan Miller or Richard D. Parsons to pop in and discuss dmoz I believe you will have a long wait.
True there is a massive waiting list for sites, and the use of volunteers is obviously free (which is good for dmoz) but it also leaves dmoz with a motivational and time problem which I think is the key issue here.
I have seen sites getting listed faster in dmoz than coming up for their own name in Google.
And the webmaster, (customer) suffers as a result, and I dare say dmoz's reputation suffers in turn.
I think that is where you are missing the point. Webmasters are not customers - visitors of the directory are customers. I really do not think they are now or have ever been worried about their reputation with webmasters. BTW I think volunteers perform a lot better than most paid workers - of course that is only my opinion.
In my view, it works very well. I, as a web surfer, don't see DMOZ as "broken" or "poorly run" or anything of that nature.
In fact, I have a great deal of respect for the organization and it's purpose.
I especially respect that DMOZ has remained more or less "pure" in spite of the calculated attacks by spammers and others.
The purpose of DMOZ, in my view, has nothing to do with webmasters. It has to do with getting surfers to information that may be of value. It certainly has nothing to do with commerical interests.
as nobody knows the full facts here
The full facts are obvious and self-evident. DMOZ doesn't exist for you, the webmaster. It exists for me, the surfer.
I'm also surprised at some of the efforts to defend DMOZ against complaints that need no defense. Actually, sometimes, I'm disappointed in those defenses, because they often get emotionally-charged and veer off into ad-hominem arguments.
The above are my generalized observations as an outsider, and some of the ones with words like "usually" can certainly be argued as to degree.
But ultimately, DMOZ is like Google and Yahoo, and the other major search providers. If you produce quality sites according to *their* criteria, and you get listed and listed well, then great. If not, then life goes on; Either conform your site to their criteria, or blow them off. Most of these providers tell you that well-written, authoritative, relevant content will help you to get listed and do well. Personally, I've found that to be true, and writing such content is --in my opinion-- a much better use of time than grousing about DMOZ's editors or Google's latest algorithm. While others complain, I prefer to take control of my sites' destinies and *do* something.
So, to the "good" DMOZ editors (the vast majority), and to Google, Yahoo, and MSN search, and even to our dear departed AltaVista -- Thanks for your work, and thanks for all the traffic! And to those who feel they suffer because of a lack of a DMOZ listing or an algorithm tweak, don't just sit there (or complain), do something -- I suggest well-researched, unique, and useful content and links to and from other relevant sites as a start.
I suspect that if a better directory were possible, either for profit or not, someone would have built it.
Google has made directories less relevant, though they do still have value.
DMOZ creaks along as an important part of the information infrastructure. If you don't like the way it's run you could begin your own.
This is not as easy as it seems, I have done this and only rarely add listings from submissions because it is one of the most tedious and inefficient tasks of directory operation, it's worse than removing dead links.
Maybe dmoz was created so that one day it can be sold off for millions. Why would someone waste time providing a resource the size of dmoz (which must be a full time occupation to maintain) for free. It's a crazy proposition and a waste of life when there is no gain. This may be a service 'only' for surfers, but as a potential investor I'd have some questions about the clear problems before even considering purchasing it.
So I suppose the thousands of webmasters must have naff quality sites then, plus the fact that they are all wrong. That many people cannot be wrong, and why would they waste their time making up such lies. It just doesn't make sense to do that for no reason, unless they are trying to bring down dmoz? There's just too many people all saying the same thing. Where there is a pattern, there is truth.
I think the problems are very real and that dmoz basically decides who gets into Google. Well, I'm thinking that Google could be losing out on the listings that don't get into dmoz and the revenue that could be generated from the basic entries.
I wonder how many millions that comes to every year in lost revenue.
Very interesting. Oh well.
Why would someone waste time providing a resource the size of dmoz (which must be a full time occupation to maintain) for free. It's a crazy proposition and a waste of life when there is no gain.
So is it crazy to volunteer to do anything for free?
Sometimes the motivation to do something or build something is so the rest of the world or some portion of it is better off than it was before. Is it crazy to contribute to open source software projects? Why would someone want to waste time building industrial strength software for free? There's probably a lot more people "wasting" their lives working on open source software projects than working on ODP. You can bet MSFT and many other corps lose billions because of Open Source. Is that a big waste as well?
Some people volunteer at Dmoz to help categorize information and make it easier for people to find info and do research, some people join the peace corps, some volunteer at soup kitchens, some donate to the red cross, some volunteer at a library.
Some people moderate forums at WebmasterWorld and other forums. That is usually not compensated; are those people wasting their time too? When it comes to having to sort through these types of threads over and over and over....maybe:) For the most part, moderators just add a little bit of their own unique content and categorize information, similar in some ways to what one would do at ODP. Is everything that doesn't involve financial gain a waste of life?
And speaking of a waste of life, it seems like there have got to be much more productive things to do than rehash the same ODP threads continuously. These threads have been going on for years and it doesn't seem to have made any difference at all. We've hit an never ending fillibuster.
I'm also surprised at some of the efforts to defend DMOZ against complaints that need no defense.
Right on the money. If the ODP defenders would stop defending it, eventually it would get old really fast complaining about it. It's tough to have an arguement when only one side is arguing.
and if ODP is so bad and horrible and a terrbile directory and doesn't matter, why do the same threads keep being reborn over and over and over?
I'm sorry you've (apparently) never had the experience of loving to do something for its own sake, and not for gain. Not that you have to do it full-time to understand, just some of the time. Moderating here and raising a child come to mind as examples. If you've ever done something like this, then perhaps you can understand that not everything has to have ROI. DMOZ is a labor of love for hundreds of editors -- maybe thousands. And the sites that these editors prefer are likely to be labors of love to the people who built them, too.
> That many people cannot be wrong.
Of course they can. Most sites have lousy design, bad coding, messed-up server response codes*, little or no optimization, and horrible usability. Let's face it, anybody can put up a site these days, and the vast majority of Webmasters are not professionals. But I'll bet that the ODP and Google would rather have a site with all those faults listed --and listed first-- if it contains unique and valuable informative content that surpasses all else.
I meant the last paragraph of my previous post sincerely, and not sarcastically or cynically. Spend your time improving your sites [webmasterworld.com] (or maybe some of the informative sites that link to them - hint) rather than concentrating on the fact that life's not always fair, because it most assuredly is not. When you come to a wall in your path, you can either sit down and wait despondently for something to happen, or you can go get a sledgehammer and fix the problem in fairly short order. Me, I'll don the safety goggles and get to work, thanks very much.
* Thanks for the reminder, Stefan
More to the point, he is assuming that AOL has as a priority for the ODP to impose priorities on editors based on submittals. I am an ODP editor, and have yet to get an e-mail from the AOL bosses ordering me to review submitted sites. Heck, I've yet to get an e-mail from an ODP meta ordering me to do so. If I did get such an e-mail from a meta, I'd just reply encouraging them to review any site in the unreviewed queue that I could. I was unaware I was required to add any site to the ODP. In fact, recently I added a relevant site that was never submitted to the ODP. The ODP guidelines say that I can add relevant sites I become aware of. Since there was a possible conflict of interest issue with this site, I just added it even though it wasn't submitted. I can't find anything in the ODP guidelines that absent conflict of issues requires me to review any site. WHERE in the ODP guidelines am I a slave to any submitter?
In fact, recently I added a relevant site that was never submitted to the ODP.
That quote sums up the heart and soul of the Open Directory Project. Most editors have done just that, and would love to find more sites worth listing in their categories, whether they've been submitted or not.
Maybe it's a McWorld approach to things that prevents people from understanding the goal of the ODP, where everything has a price and exists just for the filthy lucre, but a lot of the editors know exactly why they spend all that time at it, and they know that it's not about making money.
Those threads go nowhere and do not address the real issues. Complaining that volunteers do not understand your issues is just a waste of time.
The problem for most DMOZ critics is not that they are not in DMOZ, but that they are not in the Google Directory.
So let's get real. Time for webmasters and GOggle to change their ways.
Attention all webmasters with a site in Google SERPS but not in the Google Directory:
Please TODAY email Google to tell them they have one month to add your site in the Google Directory. Otherwise, you will use their Remove Tool to remove your site from the main Google SERPS.
Only by putting pressure on Google where it hurts can you expect a result.
If your site is of value to Google, they will respond.
[edited by: victor at 7:21 am (utc) on July 8, 2005]
From the beginning, the ODP has had the "Update URL" link. That's not for webmasters who feel the listing is insufficiently adulatory or keyword-stuffed -- it's for outsiders to point out where the editor has made a mistake -- whether in the URL or the description or the category.
But that wasn't enough ... for us editors.
At first, those suggestions went into the "suggest-a-site pool" and, as you well know, those pools aren't filtered every day (and as we well know, the toxic cyanobacteria build up something fierce.)
So we asked, over and over again, for a long time, to have the update requests given a separate total on the dashboard, so we could give them the priority that quality-control feedback deserved.
Since "peer review" is the essence of ODP organization, this is tantamount to the editors wanting, no demanding, the ability to give outsiders' voices as high a priority as there is in the ODP.
But that wasn't enough for editors.
The editors themselves begged for our internal "abuse reporting" system to be made available to outsiders. And it has been. And again, those abuse reports typically receive a very high priority -- they are first reviewed within days, not weeks. (Sometimes, particularly on complicated reports, they still take weeks to resolve.
But that wasn't enough for editors.
The Forums Which Must Not Be Named has a whole forum dedicated to "quality feedback" -- for outsiders only. You can see how quickly (on average) those constructive criticisms are addressed -- often within hours.
But that isn't enough for editors.
The sponsored forum doesn't have a unique status as feedback -- nearly any forum that might address directory issues is monitored by editors, and we do sometimes get useful pointers to actual problems.
All of those were editor initiatives, because editors wanted it to be easy for outsiders to report problems.
Now, you say you want "outside supervision." But -- the whole directory is there in front of you. You have the same supervisory privileges any editor does -- review any category, any website.
There are some powers that simply don't exist, so we can't turn them over to you. There are no assignments, for instance. There are no priorities, and there is never, NEVER, any requirement for any editor to review any particular website.
Those are the facts. You can see what sites are listed. You can use "Update URL" to provide constructive criticism of any editing action -- and we'll watch for patterns in the criticism.
On the other hand, if you think you see a pattern, you can report that through the "abuse reporting" mechanism (which is perhaps badly named, as some problems are incompetence or misunderstandings rather than abuse.)
Between what power doesn't exist, and what you already have, there isn't much left. The only other thing I can think of is information about specific actions on specific sites. We tried giving people that information (in the FTMNBN), and basically, both editors and outsiders agreed it wasn't useful information. So we don't, any more.
My main website has hundreds of pages with MANY different subjects covered. Does DMOZ normally link into different subject pages if I submit different subjects?
I also have individual domains with different subjects but within related fields.
For example reasons let's say my domains would cover such subjects as (NOT real examples) sports on main website, baseball on second website, soccer on third website, football on fourth website, etc (all with different domains.) And all these sites also link and refer to each other within the sports categories. Can each of these have a separate DMOZ directory listing.
What is DMOZ policy on many DMOZ listings into a set of websites?
Does DMOZ normally link into different subject pages if I submit different subjects?
If you submit lots of different pages you are likely to be tagged as a directory spammer and have all your pages excluded permanently.
The guidelines say submit to the one best category. If the site is eligible for multiple listings, the editors will consider it for them. Just tell them the site exists, once.
Can each of these have a separate DMOZ directory listing.
If your site is eligible for a listing and it is about many sports, it would be listed at the "sports" level rather than in any individual sport category.
A spammer submitting 20,000 pages would have been spotted by now, so it's a pretty safe bet that a "website" with that many pages has been vetted by not only meta-editors but administrators for multiple listings.
Most of those sites were deeplinked in the early days of the ODP, to flesh out virtually empty (or empty) category trees. If this is such a case, the links will have been added in the last millenium. Some of those sites still hold their value well; others have already been removed; still others may yet be removed. And obviously, none such sites were personal sites: all were from some kind or another of large institutional authority, and as such represented the contribution of hundreds or thousands of persons (like the ODP or Wikipedia).
By 2001 (which is the last time I asked about massive deeplinking of a site), the standards were much higher. The word was, if I (as an editor) thought the deeplinks "really added exceptional content to a category..." to go ahead and propose the links. These can NOT be judged by the standards and the internet content available currently, they must be judged by the content available last millenium.
I know of precisely two "individual" sites that have been systematically deeplinked since then -- both were closely scrutinized and extensively discussed by meta-editors before being accepted as non-abusive. Both were compilations of highly authoritative material collected from sources not readily available to the public, by people who had advanced degrees in the subject. The sites were not repeat not repeat NOT deeplinked simply because they had "hundreds" (or even thousands or tens of thousands) of pages. Those are the EXCEPTIONS, NOT THE NORM, and they WILL not be taken as defining any kind of "right" of number of listings for typical sites.
And, of course, the standards for deeplinking differ in different aresa. Recipes are typically deeplinked VERY extensively, Movie reviews are deeplinked MUCH less than last year, Shopping sites are deeplinked hardly ever. So quoting the number of deeplinks from one site in one major category has less than nothing to do with the number of deeplinks the best site on earth in another major category. But in no category is there a quota for "number of links to a site" based on anything, ANYTHING, on the site itself. Extensive deeplinking is based on the material on the site, the material currently available from the ODP, and all other material on the subject on the web.
A "domain" is a web addressing convention. a "website" is a collection of content created by one entity on one general subject. So it doesn't matter how many domains your "related" content (related, that is, both by source and by general subject) is spread over.
The submittal policies are quite clear as to how many of those pages (on however many domains you have) you may submit. The total is "one". More than that is "spam."
The ONLY difference is that if you start submitting "related" content, but try to disguise the relationship by using different domain names, editors will know you're not an innocent stupid spammer, you're a malicious deceptive spammer. And chances of you avoiding the penalty described in the submittal policies will drop. Significantly.