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Zeal to be merged into LookSmart

     
10:52 pm on Jul 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Zeal is finally going to be merged into LookSmart. Email went out to Zealots today which is too lengthy to duplicate here but which says, near the end:

>As a result of Zeal's merger with LookSmart, your contributions to the Zeal directory can now be seen by millions of Web users, on partner sites of LookSmart such as Microsoft's MSN, Excite, AltaVista, and hundreds of Internet service providers.

11:26 pm on July 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Beat you to this one Laisha:

[marketpositiontalk.com...]

November 14, 2000 10:11 AM

Ammon

11:33 pm on July 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>Beat you to this one Laisha:

LOL! You only sorta beat me to it. :)

While we all realized that it was bound to happen -- common sense told us so -- they were officially denying it, or at best deflecting the question.

I interviewed two different VPs in December, and both said that there were no plans. One denied it outright and the other deflected it by talking about their "team of roving editors" who took care of non-commercial listings.

As far as I know, this is the first official word from LookSmart that they were going to use the data. Or did you beat me to that somewhere? :)

11:54 pm on July 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Okay Laisha sweetie - its 1 point all :)
2:54 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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What type of integration will be done with the data? Is Zeal a "backdoor" into LookSmart (or will it be?) I would guess Zeal data may be "filler" as Ink is now, for searches that exhaust the LS directory?
3:23 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Since the word specifically states that the Zeal listings will now be going through partner sites such as MSN and Altavista, they must be incorporating the zeal listings right into the database somewhere.

Sometimes engines provide their listings to partners via a XML feed, other times a monthly database 'dump' is what the partner finds more suitable ... for the Zeal listings to appear in all partners it has to be in both, and I can't envisage an easy way of separating them right now without requiring the partners to do (unpaid) extra work.

If I was running Looksmart then I'd have gone the route of the old Snap/NBCi Live Directory, with a paid directory (Looksmart) and another separate directory (Zeal) from which top performing (highly rated/clicked) sites can be promoted into the main Looksmart directory...

Instead, I think Looksmart are simply using Zeal in lieu of the phantom 'roving editors' that previously seemed to be made up of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. ;)

Ammon Johns

3:49 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I visited Zeal for the 1st time in ages today. It now looks completely different to how it used to look. I used to have a number of Zeal listings but now they are no longer there. However a search now brings up my Looksmart listings, both the .com and the .co.uk ones.

Perhaps some of the more regular visitors to Zeal could tell me when the format changed. Any idea whether my former Zeal listings are liable to return or whether they have permanently been dropped from the DB.

4:14 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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To half answer my own question, I think the change must be recent. I have just found a Google cached version of the old style listings. Reckon my old Zeal listings are gone for good :(
4:21 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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What is currently up at zeal.com is a "preview."

As a sidenote, Zeal editors are not currently able to log in (presumably until after the launch), and all editor stats appear to be zeroed out.

There was mention of new guidelines, which I imagine will reflect the fact that LS will be disseminating the information.

4:57 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I was a Zealot... I can't get in and I am not sure of the status of what is there at present at all. It looks more like L$ than Zeal.

What's more, everything I have added over the last few months (OK, not a lot, but some stuff) seems to have disappeared. Could in fact be everything I have added since L$ took control of Zeal.

I dount that 'merger' will be the right name for it!

5:12 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I can't login, but all the listings that I'd had accepted seem to be there just fine.

Ammon Johns

5:16 pm on July 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Well, it looks like sites were selectively removed from the directory. I see some listings still there, but others gone. Looks like well, Look$$$$$$$$$$$mart.
2:35 am on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Actually looks like Zeal might have been purged of sites not already in L$, but those already listed in L$ stayed in Zeal. Anyone else notice a similar pattern?
7:06 am on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>> Actually looks like Zeal might have been purged of sites not already in L$ <<

Looking more closely, skibum, this looks exactly what may have happened. It certainly holds true for me.

If this is generally true, it is a great 'thank you' to those editors who voluntarily put a great deal of effort in... it would certainly explain why there is so little comment from them!

7:33 am on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>If this is generally true, it is a great 'thank you' to those editors who voluntarily put a great deal of effort in...

Precisely.
What a shame. Like goguides - all the work appears to have gone down the toilet.

It was there very recently so the changes have just occurred.

Notice the:
COMMERCIAL CATEGORY
NONCOMMERCIAL CATEGORY
PAID LISTING
UNPAID LISTING

For another thread: It makes one seriously re-consider the value in becoming an editor to have the work, at a later date, simply removed.

11:58 am on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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The Zeal message boards [zeal.com] might hold some clues about future plans. I don't have the exact threads handy, but seem to recall something about missing listings coming online after being assimilated. Look to the threads with a lot of replies for clues.
12:22 pm on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>Perhaps some of the more regular visitors to Zeal could tell me when the format changed

Mark, it looks like this happened over the weekend, it was either Sunday night or Monday morning that I visited since Friday - I did 15 submissions early last week and had hoped to get in before the "change" occurred. If I'm not mistaken it was somewhere here at WmW about a fortnight or less back that there was a "sniff in the wind".

Needless to say the subs aren't in and login access is denied.

1:00 pm on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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They are not happy bunnies in those Zeal forums and looking from the outside I can't say I blame them.
4:21 pm on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Well, at least with ODP, the free licence ensures that no matter what happens to ODP, all the work that has been put into it will not be wasted. Real bummer for those who put lots of work into Zeal:(
4:31 pm on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I was able to login earlier, although my 'Zeal points' were at zero just like every one else. My zeal history of submitting, editing etc is also blank, and I had to retake the MQ test to get some points.

The main thing for me right now is that only the Home>United States> categories are easily available. The only way to get to the UK categories is to search for something listed in them and navigate from there.

Ammon

11:28 pm on July 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Myself and Smatsmax had to go through the MQ test 5 times yesterday before we could get back in. They must be cracking down on editorial staff. Took us an hour or so to realise we couldn't actually add our (mostly dropped) sites back in yet.

Back in December when I realised the LS/Zeal merger(?) could be a really good thing we began a campaign of site adding.

Got v excited to see this email mentioning "visible on partner sites". But again we wait and see how the cards are delt. I will still be expecting to see preference given to those who have payed.

Such is life (from the French..)