And it is always great to share the perspective of our members from around the planet. Below is a translated version of a post from the French DMOZ blog ( linked below ). The POV it provides is that of someone passionate about a specific subject and a mini documentary on the sign up process to capture your Moz. Best practices, key resources and thing to keep in mind when applying to become and editor.
Along with another key point...Humans Can Do It Better Than Machines.
Enjoy and just a warning that desire to contribute could be contagious.
Like virtually all web surfers in those web 2.0 days, I decided one day to make the most beautiful site in the world, so busy it would get its host computer quaking... And yes, I did succeed! But once I had achieved this prowess, I devoted myself, like any good amateur webmaster, to SEO my site for the various search engines and the often phony directories of the World Wide Web. I chanced, yes chanced, on Dmoz through a link in a forum. My first step was to suggest my site, no kidding eh... That's what I came for, isn'it? Stumbling on the motto 'Humans do it better', I found the notion interesting after one week of hard thinking. I surfed a few pages, including posts in various blogs about becoming an editor and I thought that it might be fun and that it would intelligently occupy my "available brain time". Yes, but where should I apply? Advice found on Resource-Zone:
- Choose a category I'm interested in... Why not petanque? I love it and I belong to a club.
- A quick look in the directory... There is a category called Petanque, that sounds good! There's even one just for the UK ! Moreover, I know sites that are not listed. Frankly, the category is not well developed, one might wonder what these Dmoz editors are doing all day long: unable to find more than a dozen petanque clubs in the ! Were I an editor, I would have completed this category in a dash...
- Here I go, clicking on 'Apply' at the bottom of the page.
Voila, I'm there... After reading the last piece of advice, I complete the form:
Username... 'Kingofpetanque' , yahoo, what a lovely nickname!
"What is my Internet experience?" Uh, there's no need to pretend I'm Bill Gates, isn't it? 'Normal user' should do.
Ouch, it gets serious: "Why am I interested in volunteering to be an editor for the
"My interest in the subject of the category for which I'm applying to edit?" - The person who asked the question never saw my famous 'unroll and jerk with on the spot carreau option' move which sways the frenzied crowd!
"Sites with which I am associated?" - As I carefully read the Tips and Advice for Applying, I know the fact that I write a blog on petanque and that I manage the site of my club is not incompatible with being editor in the 'Petanque' category... It is even an asset, it means that I am very familiar with the topic. So I don't skip disclosing my ties to these sites: It will prevent me being rejected because I have 'forgotten' to do so or to be 'fired' in the future for this same reason. And it's best to be frank at the start of a relationship, isn't it?
No problem for the three URLs: I know my field, I could provide a truckload of these. But again, I keep in mind recommendations I have read: Exact title; caring about capitalization and punctuation; clear, unbiased descriptions... In short, my first real job as an editor!
"Apply Now"... Alea jacta est!
I waited a couple of weeks before receiving a reply to my application. It seems that the waiting time varies according to the time available to senior editors who handle them. Amazing, isn't it? For volunteers?
By the way, who are those editors who check applications? Rumours are all over discussion forums: they're thought to be scarred and bloodthirsty dinosaurs who have been raging there since the time of punched cards, long before videotex services even existed... Reading some of their posts in the internal Dmoz forums, I got the impression they are humane, sensible, open, and are not eagerly waiting to reject applications with a few curt words. I intend to go deeper into this question...
But it's done anyway, I'm an editor for the largest human-directory of the web. I get a warm welcome in the forum, am offered all kind of help, I even get a case of champagne and a box of chocolates... Erm no, that last was only in my dreams.
After reading the editing guidelines again (more thoroughly this time) I set myself to work. The Petanque category needs a bit of housekeeping! I remove obsolete sites for which I have been unable to find a new URL, I add a bunch of sites about the game in Britain I had kept warm in my bookmarks, I diligently search the web for new sites with interesting content, and I ask seasoned editors for a category check my and for correcting my beginner mistakes...
In short, I edit, I edit, and I edit... It does wonders for my general knowledge
However, after some time I found myself at close quarters in the UK: I found a whole host of sites devoted to the game in the USA and in New Zealand... It would be a shame not to share them with Dmoz users. Listening fearlessly to encouraging oldtimers, I apply for the parent category, namely Petanque . My application will again be reviewed by a senior editor who will check the quality of my edits. I trust to be accepted.
And who knows, one day I may find myself, one promotion following another, editing the German or even the French petanque category or direct myself to other topics of interest to me. To be continued.
December 2nd, 2007 bester
Original version in French