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I know i know...and i do feel sorry for the editors really i do, but like all things successful, everyone wants a piece of it :)
My problem...i submitted around 14 months ago and i know i got rejected (just before the DMOZ status forum was closed). Some kind soul even told me why so i went off and spent 3 or 4 months writing up new reviews, building original content (my income stream is about 50% affiliate based, the other 50% from providing content feeds within my market) and have also, because I'm in a fairly saturated market, earned the recognition from a leading watchdog - so i'm now one of only a handful of portals they recommend.
So i resubmitted, with fingers crossed, about 4-6 weeks ago at a rough guess. (Incidentally I'm also desperately in need of inclusion on another site for reasons i won't go into, and they only use DMOZ listings).
Anyway, I'm babbling...so i've read conflicting reports on WebmasterWorld but some suggest that old sites previously rejected can be revisited in DMOZ. Unfortunately the category i apply to has had exactly the same 27 listings (including all my main competitors) for about a year so i suspect in my area, once banned always banned or maybe the editor has moved on.
The latter potentially means someone not familiar with my market may not recognise the role of the watchdog and the status that being a "recognised" portal brings with it. Is there any way of conveying that info other than through the site description (which i tried to do within my 25 words anyway) that anyone can suggest?
Any feedback gratefully received, as always.
[edited by: skibum at 7:14 pm (utc) on Oct. 2, 2005]
Sorry but I must laugh - I'm not helping you guys out or doing your job for you, you all signed up to this for passion right? I didn't. So you have to do it.
You did sign up for this didn't you.......
On another point, I think site design is VERY important, as people won't return to an ugly site, and ugly sites show little regard for professionalism on the web. Ugly sites don't promote well anyway, as people wouldn't link to them because
A) They are ugly
B) Minimal traffic because of uglyness
First thing I do when I see an ugly site is to think 'Yuck' - I click away as fast as my fingers will hit that button hehe
Ugly home made sites rarely have much or quality content anyway - what's the point in stuffing a bad site with good content, the 2 together don't look appealing. I'm not talking about 'Personal Worship' sites either guys and girlies.
I collect records for example...if i came upon a complete discography or collection posted on a crap site, i'd still read it irrespective of the design.
I'm not helping you guys out or doing your job for you
If someone is willing to bring problems with a listing to the editors' attention, that's certainly helpful.
If said someone prefers to wait until an editor has noticed the problem him-/herself, that's fine too --it will just take a bit longer until the problem has been fixed.
For some reason, however, some people "volunteer" to complain about the problems they have found in outside fora, rather than do something that will help fix them. Well, guess what --that's also OK. It is certainly your privilege to spend your time as you see fit; much like, say, the editors do.
people won't return to an ugly site
Well, it depends on what you call "ugly", of course... but have you ever been to, say, the W3 site?
Probably not the best-looking site around (what, no flash? no pictures?), but (IMHO) a content-rich and interesting site that I will visit any time I need authoritative information about web standards...
No one expects you to. But it's fairly ridiculous to spend your time posting in a public forum "Oh no I see a really bad category in DMOZ!" and then not tell anyone what it is. Either your priorities don't include the ODP, in which case why are you spending valuable time surfing through it looking for problem areas, or else problems in the ODP annoy you, in which case you should report not only that they exist but where they are.
It's as if someone in the Google thread said "OMG the SERPs in my topic are totally full of spam! It's horrible! But no, I don't want to fill out a spam report or anything. That's Google's job."
Either there's a problem or there isn't; either you care or you don't. Either way is fine, but you can't expect anyone, be they pro-ODP, anti-ODP, or neutral, to take it seriously when you just sit there saying "I just saw an ODP-listed site that sucks but y'all just going to have to take my word on that cause I don't want to tell you which one it is and which category is bad." If you have the time to waste complaining, you have the time to waste complaining specifically. That's true in all walks of life, not just online.
SimmoAka: what you are describing is very similar to what the DMOZ editors are looking for: unique, interesting information. As long as the info isn't presented in a way that makes it unusable, editors don't care about "slick looks".
Thats how it should be IMHO :) Although hopefully my sites have a bit of both - lol.
lol. You've just implied that you somehow know for a fact that I've never helped or volunteered for anything. The most important thing to know, is that you don't know bugger all about ME.
Oh yeah, like reporting a few bad sites to dmoz will fix the problem hehe. It would take millions of people to report sites, and even longer for editors to deal with. If it takes years to list sites, then hell will freeze over before the entire ODP is sorted.
This bickering is pointless and it's a long shot whether dmoz will ever be a useful resource again. But you guys keep on grinding out those sites and banning them - it's noble work you're doing. Dmoz is the winner here and the editors won't get a cent if it's sold off. That's not an attack, but a simple fact of why they use 'volunteers' - maybe it's because it's FREE labour hehehe
I keep telling you dmoz and JoeAnt are smarter than anyone gives them credit for, they know what they are doing. I don't have to spell this out do I lol.
Yes they do annoy me, but there's nothing I or the next guy can do about it. Sorry, but this isn't my problem to sort out - dmoz made it's bed, and now it can lie in it. Reporting a category is not going to solve the entire problem, and I like to see the entire thing sorted than just a few categories.
Sorting 1 single category is useless when there are 590'000 other that need serious work. That 1 category won't suddenly make Dmoz great again nor will it restore the publics/webmaster's confidence in the editors ability to do their jobs - it's beyond repair.
And it's too big to even contemplate trying to repair it. Just too big a job to realistically envisage recovery....
Reporting a category is not going to solve the entire problem, and I like to see the entire thing sorted than just a few categories.
I can understand the frustration that comes with rejection and especially with being left in the dark about whether you have been rejected and why.
But, I get the strong impression there is more at work here than meets the eye, since emotions run so high.
Some people seem to think a listing in DMOZ will give them a significant SEO benefit, and that contributes to their frustration. If that's the theory (or fact) how much SEO benefit is believed to be at stake?
I just checked a couple of categories that apply to my subject area, and the Google Tool Bar PR is just 4 on all of the DMOZ pages with actual outbound links/listings. Surely a PR 4 isn't worth getting excited about. Does Google give a special boost to DMOZ links that makes them equivalent to a link from a normal page with a much higher ToolBar PR?
IMO DMOZ is soon to be a relic that is probably imploding under its own weight on how it does things(hand edited -- whoopee!) and the holier-than-thou attitude of *some* of its volunteers.
First off a quick story of an ex-editor on a topic that he was booted off of because he had a loose affiliation with a site he tagged as "cool"(this was a few years back - not sure if they still have this feature). The editor in charge of him got his panties in a twist and immediately took away his editing privileges. Well -for one this this person is one of the most knowledgable people for that specific topic in the US and the site did blow away most of the other stagnant site listed in the topic. The editor who "fired" him did not want to hear any of it, and was quite condescending in his tone.
Now I haven't read the "terms" of being an editor lately but how does one think a volunteer is not going to add biased sites to his topic? Most volunteers have a specific interest and knowledge in the topic they volunteer to edit. To me its a catch-22 and one of the fatal features of DMOZ. Who really volunteers to edit a category they have little/no interest or knowledge in? Not many I would say. And would I want to waste my time using a directory that is edited by such an unknowlegable person?
And one more thing about this original content crap. There's an awful lot of "original" content out there, the web's drowning in it. I see no recommendations for service-based sites, which the web needs *alot* more of to wade thru all the content. So what if a site doesn't have alot of this coveted original content but provides a service to present the content of others thats meaningful to a client?
Anyway don't hold your breath with DMOZ, and if you are using it to actually get information, there are better sources. Why don't you try using del.icio.us and do a site wide search. Less clutter, better results in my book.
I don't really mean to bash the people who do volunteer with DMOZ, but its an idea whose time has come and gone. Hand editing directories has got to be a labor-intensive task(I've never done it). And isn't Google all about the algo taking care of the busy work? I agree that once G drops DMOZ's importance what's the point of worrying about a link?
I agree that once G drops DMOZ's importance what's the point of worrying about a link?
Thats undoubtedly the key to the whole DMOZ debate in this day and age. But i firmly believe that G! (or any engine for that matter) cannot provide exactly what the user wants without manual intervention. And for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, DMOZ is the only "big" site outside of Y! directory which provides that.
Can't yet see Y! helping Google out- yet anyway :)
IMHO, DMOZ could possibly get round the problem you mention with a multi-editor voting system maybe. Not sure how much work that would entail mind you as i have never seen the back-end. But it would partially resolve the issue. Plus, they could afford to be a little less fussy about editors, as it would be more of a group decision so the odd rogue editor wouldn't necessarily sway the vote.
In turn, this would provide many more editors and should in theory make up for the increase in time experiencced for multiple voting.
Once again, I am sure it has been discussed.
Econman, Google has directly stated several times there's no special attention given to a link from DMOZ. Some people believe that you get credit for links from all the thousands of clones of the directory out there, but I find it highly unlikely.
Ikkyu, your ex-editor friend has misinformed you. It's perfectly acceptable for an editor to add his or her own site to the directory, for exactly the reasons you point out. It's just giving special treatment to our own sites that isn't allowed. I don't know the specifics of your friend's experience and couldn't comment on them if I did, but the general complaint that editors aren't supposed to list sites they're affiliated with isn't true.
Dmoz is trying to be a quality service - it claims that and it's editors keep saying it, but it's flawed -in that it's too big an operation to handle this task.
It's really a general directory and webmasters see this, before the 'quality effort bit' so therefore expect it to work like any other big directory, also expecting to get listed just like other Generals provide. You can't blame people for thinking this way and you can't stop them - dmoz looks like any other directory, and I believe it's the 'General, all purpose feel to it, that's where all the webmaster and spam problems lie.
The other problem is it's massive 590'000 category structure - difficult to maintain as a normal resource, never mind monitoring all the listings for quality. Not enough editors to do the job doesn't help either. Did dmoz not anticipate an editor shortage or something, as that is a very big and costly error to make. Too late now ofcourse hehe.
Jesus, no wonder it's difficult to keep spam at bay, because you have every webmaster and spammer under the sun begging for a listing. Wow - I didn't see that coming lol.
But the poster could also have meant that the editor wrote that the site was cool in the description of it. That's also not acceptable behavior (even if the site really is cool.)
Either way, we can't really win for losing on this issue. If we get rid of favoritist editors, we're draconian; if we don't, we're corrupt. The line needs to be drawn somewhere, and no one on the outside's going to like it no matter where it is, so we might as well put it in a place we think is useful for the management of our own site.
It's like moderation rules on forums. No matter what the rules are, people complain that they're too strict or too permissive or both. But in the end, those who *really* disagree with a board's moderation will go start an alternate board with a different standard, and everyone will have a place, or two.
I really wish more people would see the ODP as *a* directory, not *the only* directory. There is plenty of room for more directory attempts, and plenty of users to cater to who might prefer a different style of directory. Why should anyone spend much time complaining about one site? Just go build another one. It's the Internet, right?
Which part of "no" didn't he understand?
Let me clarify the point - what something like DMOZ needs are editors who are knowledgable in the respective category that they edit. It was the way in which he was terminated, in a condescending way without so much as a second chance. And I used the term "loose" to mean that there was no monetary affiliation with the site. What DMOZ can't afford if they still want to remain relevant is drop the "holier-than-thou" attitude. But you get that sometimes with the volunteer mentality - the "I'm spending my free time doing this, if you don't recognize my virtuous ways then f you" attitude. Whatever.
And let me clarify my ultimate point on the whole "got to get that all important DMOZ link" - submit and forget about it. Don't waste your time, there are much more important things going on on the web that you should focus on. DMOZ is just another link. Lets stop stroking egos with these 6 page long threads, maybe we can get they're more talented volunteers to work on more relevant projects.
Yes, It's because they want to get into Google in another way than just the SE results. It's that simple.
Google doesn't have it's own directory, therefore if you want the benefit of the extra Google listing - you have to get into dmoz. I would think there's a lot of traffic to be gained from a 2nd Google listing, although I can't confirm that.
There are so many others that cannot have this 2nd listing and it drives em nuts! That's why there is all this resentment towards dmoz. People don't want into dmoz - they want that Google listing.
Many people do seem to hold to an expectation that they can, by force of will, prayer, whatever, change dmoz into (a) something it is not, and (b) something that it never has been, and (c) something it doesn't intend to become.
As a result, some folks are probably destined to remain unhappy, even to the point of extreme bitterness. It's often not very pretty, but it does seem quite predictable.
Like the new SE prospects I hear about from time to time, More power, and best of luck, to anyone who wants to build a bigger and better mousetrap. I seriously doubt I stand alone in that regard given the number of similar sentiments I've seen in other threads.
And let me clarify my ultimate point on the whole "got to get that all important DMOZ link" - submit and forget about it.
I believe that to be untrue.
The biggest mistake made by the webmastering industry years ago was to assume that directories are either unimportant for Google ranking, or could be bought into for a few hundred dollars.
The collective shock when Google adopted an ODP feed seems to have turned into unending anger at the ODP. It should instead be seen as a lesson to correct that huge industry-wide error. Best correct that one, before the industry makes an even bigger one.
It is obvious, from a business perspective, that Google wants a quality, independent directory. Why hasn't the industry put some money and effort up to create it -- a directory that would be irresistible to Google?
I know several people on WMW have claimed that they could do such a thing. But no one has. It's time for show rather than tell.
That is a failure of action by an entire industry. A failure that no amount of shouting at volunteers (who are doing domething, and whose efforts are recogonised by Google) will hide.
Sit back and do nothing, and the ODP will remain Google's choice of directory feed. Stop shouting or boasting and do something, and that will change.
This is possible to do - I mean very doable, but I see some barriers to this:
1. It would require much capital to set up
2. If capital is not available, then an incredible gimmicky idea is needed to catch the web's attention and is probably the reason why noone has stepped up and done this, as they know this is crucial for success - money aside! They just don't have THAT idea.
Investors would be necessary this time around and paid editors would be brought in to ensure honesty and bring efficiency. The service has to be lightening fast and professional PR maintained at all times.
Otherwise it pointless even thinking about doing this, no matter how much one wants to change things.
Attempting this would require massive resources to start off with or great idea and investment. I think while Dmoz is around, then there are significant problems around building a competitor - but you don't want to directly compete with Dmoz, as that's currently suicide. If dmoz were to be made obsolete, then the door would be open for someone, but not currently as dmoz still has this 'air' about it. Dmoz's reputation would need to be finished first to stand a chance of success.
Web doesn't need anymore bog standard General directories.
That's kind of a lazy sentiment. If a new directory is going to arise, it's the one that starts NOW that's going to be in position to make a leap to primacy, not some slacker who hangs around hoping for the directory that is currently largest to go out of business.
Not to mention that the ODP, which isn't even really a company of its own, doesn't have the wherewithal to quash competitors even if it did have the inclination to. So your putative replacement directory would be completely safe from retribution.
If you're talking about a paid directory, you'd presumably be thinking about something like Yahoo's directory only larger and more comprehensive, and possibly with a less exorbitant fee. Yes?
This is possible to do - I mean very doable, but I see some barriers to this:
Of course it is quite proper to disclose the risks to an enterprise in a business plan. But not to hide behind them as a reason to do nothing.
I'm not going to list all the ways to get rich from such an enterprise, but let me add just one word: pagerank.....go check how many pages in DMOZ are pagerank 8 and above. Then think how much money most people here think they can make with even a single pagerank 8 page.
8+ pagerank pages would be a spin-off from the project....the thing that get you yachts and fast cars. The costs and healthy profits are obviously covered in other ways.
If you can't get venture capital for something like tbat, please don't take your failure out on the volunteers at the ODP.
I know several people on WebmasterWorld have claimed that they could do such a thing. But no one has.
It already has - del.icio.us. I know its a social bookmarking tool, but there's money being thrown at it and a growing community writing all sorts of plugins and whatnot around it. Its fast becoming my second option to search on after G. No ads, interesting results. Isn't a directory really just another list of bookmarks that someone thought were relevant enough to list? The only real thing missing in del.icio.us is the categories but who really clicks on the category headings anymore(unless its you looking for the nth time to see if you got your DMOZ listing;))
I can't foresee why del.icio.us can't become the goto 'directory' for G to add to its algo. They would definitely need to stay on top of bookmark spamming and whatnot, but to me it looks like its a contender.
Size is important sure, but it HAS to be managable or submission time frames promised can't be achieved and will hurt reputation. But what I have in mind for a Dmoz successor would be NOTHING even remotely comparable to Yahoo, Business.com, Gimpsy or any of them - and I won't be divulging my plans for the world too see. I'm not saying I'm going to do this, but it does interest me to a certain extent. Jumping in and taking over because of suggestions of opportunity on a forum is foolish without a plan. I think it would be risky without a key gimmick/different service.
Fees for a directory like this will be low at first - to attract, then would be very high indeed, but bear in mind that the service has to return results/promises for people to be happy to payout.
Fees for 'links' are only paid to the best directories and then only to those that prove intent and potential to become
Nobody has built a successor yet, could be for many reasons. Lack of capital, no decent idea/USP, No time to give to the project.... etc.
Maybe it's all of the above reasons. But the way people talk on here, anyone would think it's a breeze. I assure you it's not or surely someone would have done it by now! This has nothing to do with lack of Guts to put one together - it's far more about restrictions and barriers.
If you have a very original idea for building the next great directory, I don't blame you in the slightest for not wanting to tell what it is till after you've done it. I'm just highly skeptical of posts that say "HA, you think THAT'S any good? I could write something that would blow it out of the water. But I'm not going to, because it'd be a big investment and the time isn't right, and as a matter of fact I'm not going to tell you what it is, either. But I still just thought I should mention it again."
You don't see people posting to every single thread about Google commenting "*I* have a plan for a search engine that could leave Google in the dust! EOF." Obviously you don't HAVE to provide any details, but if you already know you're not going to, why waste anyone's time with it? Let us know when it's ready, or when you've filed the patent so that you're free to discuss it. I'm all for another directory, but nonexistent directories really ARE a dime a dozen. ;-)