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As a 'contributor' to Zeal I have the privilege of suggesting a non-commercial website for review and possible inclusion into Looksmart.
You have to pass a test with 90% correct answers according to the Zeal guidelines established by the community.
In order to actually approve websites for inclusion you must become a 'zealot' which requires obtaining a 90% score on another much more difficult test.
Unless you have a lot of time I would suggest only studying the Title and Description guidelines which prove to be useful to any SEO using the paid inclusion of Looksmart (Express Submit).
The point being that by laying the groundwork for the Looksmart editor you avoid having them change the title and description you so carefully designed in order to obtain high rankings in MSN for your keywords and phrases.
If you want to have some fun, it's a great community to visit.
Becoming a Zealot is not easy. I have tried the 2nd test 3 times. I think it's definitly worth it if you can pass. Only downside is you're limited to what you can include. It's barely possible to get commercial sites listed.
Some categories (travel, for example) are labeled "commercial," and it's my understanding that--in theory, at least--submissions can't be made through Zeal. However, there are exceptions: My travel "content site" initially got a few individual page listings in noncommercial topics such as accessible travel and living abroad, and the site as a whole is now listed under European travel guides.
There are huge differences between the two. Many are probably due to the fact that ODP had already pioneered the volunteer editor community and discovered some of its own early failings.
The biggest difference is that Zeal has a set of guidelines which must be followed.
ODP didn't have any guidelines at all for more than a year. And now that they have them, they are interpreted differently by different editors, and differently still in a mediation and/or abuse investigation.
Communication is also vastly different. ODP had no formal communication whatsoever for a long time. Nor was there any way to figure out who had done what for a long time. Zeal has had both open forums and open logs from the beginning, as far as I know. Guidelines and policy are very much out in the open at Zeal. I have not seen that it is a community with complicated politics, either, although I could be missing it.
Abuse is better controlled at Zeal too, as there are staff editors -- who appear to actually edit -- all over the place, while ODP had many staff members who mostly set policy and arbitrate ontology. Recently, those staff members were pared down, but for the most part, those left still don't edit on a steady basis.
Yes. Originally, I joined so that I could donate money to the Lupus Foundation, and I found during that time that it is a much more relaxed atmosphere than ODP. That is partially because there are set guidelines for both admitting volunteers and for adding listings.
>As for complicated politics, I have no doubt it will appear when Zeal becomes more established.
Zeal is pretty established already. The hierarchy is far different from that of ODP.
Zeal has been around for more than a year and a half and it didn't happen. LookSmart bought Zeal more than a year ago, and it still didn't happen.
Unlike ODP, Zeal has made no claim that Zeal is run solely "by the community," which doesn't put in in the same position as ODP is or ever was.
And I started getting tons of hits immediately.
Well I don't know about politics of ODP since I never got in.. (The first time I was told that I was very welcome to join with recommendations from the ODP editor of that category, but I was asked by the meta to choose a lower level category. The second time I re-submitted
I was rejected with no reason given at all.)
But from what I can see Zeal is still in a very early stage of development compared to ODP. Each category in my "area" is not even well defined.
In my area, I see people submitting the obvious well known sites that turn up on the first page of any search engine and naturally missing many gems that have excellent content but are still hidden because they are new.
My submitted sites are ignored, not rejected but just ignored. I guess I'm not fated to be a editor of Zeal as well.
I'm not ambitious even to think that I'm qualified enough to edit a top level category, I would love to just edit my "Category" which I'm very wired in and I can probably get update better than except maybe 20-50 people in the world :)
I see even some Zealots, proclaiming that they are going for the top level categories and it's clear that currently they are just submitting sites in my category for the sake of submitting just to grab the necessary zeal points.It makes me sick, when I see them submit famous but extremely outdated sites !
Or submitting inaccurate descriptions. For example descriptions of a Chess program without mentioning that the version there is only for Mac, and the fact that the site is long outdated (1990). I would estimate that such a site would be useless for all but the small percenatage of mac users, and most users espically the clueless ones would assume that the program is for Windows.(Yes there is a Windows version of the program and it's the most popular version downloaded)
Any one who knew even a bit about the field would submit the homepage of the Chess program.
I doubt the submitter even used the program probably just did a altavista search and found that old site, read some descriptions about it as a free Chess program and just submitted the whole mess.
By comparison the ODP editor of the corresponding site at least knows something about the subject. While not as wired in as me, he can take a hint and is smart enough not to submit obviously outdated sites.
Unfortunatelly you can get the Member Quiz (MQ) and the Zealot Quiz (ZQ) above 90 in less then 15 minutes, never reading the guidelines, and being completely ignorant of the general concept of zeal.com
(I will not disclose it publicly, but I sent a sticky to Laisha for proof.)
First post, I have been hanging here on webmaster world for sometime. What a great resource! Ok zeal, I love the idea of getting into looksmart via zeal free of charge. My website is my "personal chef site" with only my own recipes, cooking ideas, tips and tricks. I started off on tripod and got up to about 200 uniques a day in about 4 months. Soon after I also got into a number of large newsletters and that also helped with traffic.
Since starting with my new domain things have been a bit slow. I worked my way through the first zeal test and got a score of 95%. I have since then added my site to the:
Lifestyles>Food & Wine>Recipes Catagory
I listed my site about three days ago or so and am waiting to get my site listed. Anyone here able to toss this chef a bone and list me site? You will find it waiting in the que under:
Awesome Chef Recipes
Thanks guys. Also, I noticed some sites are listed to multiple catagories possibly I should add my site to some of the catagories that fit my site?
Have a great weekend!
You should receive an email from Zeal when it is listed and they are usually pretty quick. It may take a while to get into LS from there so just hang in there. Also, when your site is listed you can go in and edit the listing suggesting the second category.
One challenge when I look at your site is that is obviously under construction. I know that all good sites should be under constant construction, but the trick is to disguise the fact. So I would delink any empty pages of sites sections and add them in when you have content for them. This could be a stumbling block for any directory listing. Also, it seems some of the links still point to pages hosted on Tripod, I would move them all to your current domain.
There is a very good thread here [webmasterworld.com] on Yahoo which, although specific to Yahoo, should give you some pointers for any directory listing. Also, try using the search facility at the top of the page and look for any thread talking about Zeal for further information.
PS, love the recipies, I'm gunna try some.