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I've been waiting 3 months to have a URL reviewed which underwent massive and complete content change. Nothing yet! So why the house cleaning?
One reason I've heard for canning editors is a lack of impartiality, editors that list their own sites and/or block competitors sites for example.
ODP Editors can be removed by Staff for a series of reasons, and occurrences of self-promotion (such as site cooling, and title or description manipulation), discriminating against or tampering with competitors' listings for the purpose of harming a competitor, or spamming the directory, are often quickly spotted and dealt with severity.
Even though many categories are in need of editors, ODP shrives for quality, and prides itself on being a free, unbiased, non-commercial and comprehensive open resource for the Web community. Selecting, evaluating, describing, and organizing all web sites fairly and equitably are key components of the editing process.
There are of course a few categories where sites are sitting in unrevieweds since a while. It can often be due to an ongoing reorganization of the category/subtree, or just a lack of active editors in that area. In these cases, mailing an upper level editor and politely pointing him to the submitted site/change may help.
Last but not least, everyone is welcome to apply to join the ODP, including those who own, maintain and promote websites. Should you feel/notice that a particular category is lacking editorial activity, and have an expertise in that area of interest, you might always consider applying for maintaining it.
Nobody was whining anywhere that I am referring to, but I did hear of two editors being canned with no explanation. Now, if I were to be brutally honest, one of them (whom I contacted through ODP over a year ago due to a problem I was having getting listed on Hot Bot during the whole Inktomi crisis and which nobody really understood at the time),recently recommended one of my sites to be "cooled".
If my site was the reason for his dismissal, I would be truly upset. (Not that I am biased or anything but I honestly believe the site deserves to be cooled! Its certainly one of the best sites in the industry and absolutely the best and most informative in our territory.
After I submitted it for review, he wrote me to tell me he was particularly impressed and had recommended it for a "cool" listing but offered no guarantees and deferred to the senior editor in charge. The "cooling" of my site never took place. (Heavy sigh).
Since the ODP doesn't tell the offending editor why they were dismissed ... we will never know. He did say in his correspondence that he had never recommended a site to be cooled before, but was suitably impressed to the point of recommending my site for that status.
He is not in the industry he represented but has a great deal of knowledge about it. He even compared my site to my major competitors but refused to tell me where he thought there may be room for improvement even though I asked. He never once compromised his impartiality or gave me any hints or tips to improve my ranking.
Even after he was dismissed, he refused to offer any information about the ODP ... and believe me, I tried.
The other editor whom I know was dismissed is also in the dark as to why. He was in a category which is unrelated to his own business and has been with the ODP since shortly after its inception!
I don't know. Perhaps my site was responsible for one ... but I'm darned sure I had nothing to do with the other. Seems odd to me that the ODP would just dismiss somebody summarily and without explanation after giving them valuable service and input for such a long time.
Editors are human beings and inherently prone to making mistakes. Is the ODP so callous that one error can get a person canned without explanation? I can assure you that I would NEVER aspire to become an ODP editor. My skin isn't thick enough for that sort of treatment!
Cooling a site in itself has never been grounds for removal in ODP, self-cooling and blatant self-promotion always has. I therefore suspect that your site wasn't the reason for the dismissal of the editor you are referring to. There are many other reasons for having editor privileges removed, and the ones I cited were just those fitting in the "lack of impartiality" area.
Editors are never removed in ODP "without explanation", since most of the times they heve been warned, usually multiple times, and pointed to the guidelines when making mistakes, particularly when it's understood that the mistake was made "in good faith". Sure, editors are human beings, and everybody is allowed to learn the ropes, to make mistakes, to learn how to correct them. New editors are followed by senior ones and mentored until they gain enough experience, and problems are always discussed and pointed out both in the private Forums and by e-mail communication.
I can therefore assure you that removed editor always *do know* why they have been dismissed (in the few cases where they actually don't, they probably never read the guidelines and never participated to the discussions): for one reason or another, their participation to the ODP didn't comply with the guidelines and/or they didn't accepted/listened to repeated warnings and suggestions.
I don't know why the two editors you are referring to are not anymore with ODP, and even if I knew who they are I could't anyway discuss their dismissal for privacy reasons. But I can generally say that *any* single editor is important for the community as a whole, and every effort is done not to lose a member who can give valuable input. When this happens, it's always to preserve the fairness and overall quality of the directory and/or the harmony of the community.
<added> Sorry Brett, I was writing while you posted. And yes, you are right. My answer should therefore be intended as general and informative and not related to any specific case</added>
I wasn't aware that I was "airing a grievance" for a specific editor and certainly had no intention of doing so. I was just trying to find out what may or may not be happening at ODP based on what little information I had. Ettore's gracious explanation and comment, <Editors are never removed in ODP "without explanation"> ... were very helpful and enlightening. Many Thanks eetore!
I'll go back to "reading" the discussions now.
Removed editors often profess to have no idea why they might have been removed, although, in most cases, they had received a clear warning. In this respect, nothing new is taking place.
Editors are removed, others lose interest or become involved in other things, quitting or timing out. Applications are approved, bringing new editors, with new ideas, into the project. Life goes on.
Although each of us is valuable, none of us is as indespensible as we'd like to think we are. This is perhaps true everywhere, and not just within the ODP.
As for the unreviewed, it is true that some categories receive huge numbers of submissions, delaying the amount of time that it takes for a site to be reviewed. As has been pointed out, reviewing sites is but one part of what we do. Categories have to be maintained, culled of listings for sites that have gone down, and reorganized from time to time. The removal of editors has little if any real effect on this process, at least not on a larger scale. Timeliness is a concern and most -- perhaps all of us do try to review sites as promptly as we can. Usually, polite feedback to the listed editor, or the editor of a category above the one that the site has been submitted to, will help.
I would be interested to hear your comments on this, Iíve just been checking some rankings for a client and came across a new site thatís ranking slightly higher than my clients after clicking on the link it directs to an under construction page how can this be the case?
Dunno about the rankings, as there are a lot of variables involved, some of them involving pay per click on sites using ODP data. As for an under construction site being listed in the directory itself, it could be a number of things, I suppose. Perhaps the site changed, in that there was content when the site was added. I've seen that happen. Maybe the editor who added it didn't look closely enough. I really couldn't answer your question with any certainty without more details. If you'd send me the URL (by email, not in this forum), I'll look into it.
I recently resigned from the project. That was my choice. I can see where a submitter who was waiting for me to review their site might not understand and even become frustrated at what they suspect will further delay the listing of their site. The truth is that in the two years that I was there, I never recall seeing ODP "clean house" as far as editor removals are concerned.