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    Since 1998, DMOZ has been the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. Supported by AOL, it is constructed and maintained by a passionate, global community of volunteer editors.
    Mar 1st 2010 3:45PM
    Exploring DMOZ: World of Warcraft
    Hi Everyone,

    Today we're starting a new series called Exploring DMOZ. These posts will give individual editors the opportunity to highlight categories where they work. We hope that this will help demonstrate the depth and breadth of editor knowledge and highlight the richness of the directory itself. Editor crowbar has prepared the first one.


    - - - - - - - - -

    What is the topic of the category you edit in?
    Games: Video Games: Roleplaying: Massive Multiplayer Online: World of Warcraft

    What is it for or about?
    Well, it's an amazing on-line fantasy game that 11 million people worldwide play, and interact with each other in. It's a 3-D type of game with wonderful graphics that allows a player to explore a vast role playing world. There are so many different things a player can do in the game that it never becomes boring. The ages of the players range from children to senior citizens, and at $4 a week, it's very affordable.

    Can you explain what the subcategories are about? What do they cover?

    The game is so complicated and vast in its content and growing, that there are thousands and thousands of websites devoted to it, from Chats and Forums to actual books that have been written as guides for the class roles and profession roles.

    The subcategories sort out and gather together these topics so that the game player can go directly to the information they're interested in. Unlike a Google search, which I use in-game to find specific things that I need quickly, the subcategories in the Directory give the player a broader view of all the information that might be available, things that they may have been unaware existed. A Google search is great, but only if you know the information exists.

    Yes, in-game we know there are Guilds and how to form one, but only by visiting the Directory can you find out there may be 80,000+ guild websites, and that you can have a free site for your own Guild. Only by visiting the Directory will you find a list of databases, chats and forums you didn't know existed, podcasts, art, videos, walkthroughs and guides, and other useful information. Where do you think Google gets its information? Much of it comes from DMOZ.

    Why were you interested in editing it? What is your personal interest?

    Somebody mentioned the game to me, and I took a look at it out of curiosity, and I've been playing it for two years now. I was already an editor and it was a year before it even occurred to me to check DMOZ for the category. Once I found it existed, I applied to edit the category, and was immediately accepted and given permission to edit there. The problem I have is finding the time to both edit the category and play the game, it's a real battle between which is more interesting.

    Do you get a lot of site suggestions to it? How do you find new sites?
    Yes, the category gets many site suggestions. A lot of them, like game gold, item selling, and paid guides, or paid services have to be moved to a Shopping category, others are junk sites that get deleted, and the rest have to be sorted down to the correct subcategory, before I even think of reviewing them.

    What is fascinating about editing though, is that existing listings and newly suggested ones, often have links to other outstanding sites that are so good they just have to be listed. So, it's a very exciting prospect to find these gems, as it is for all editors.

    What do you look for to determine whether a site meets the selection criteria for your category?
    Unique content, meaning content that is original and of great value to other players like myself, or the writers personal opinion and experience in playing the game. Because of the vast content in the game, there's really no way not to have repetitious information pop up in explaining something about the game, but as a player myself, I'm a good judge of what the authors intent is, and how helpful the site would be to a player.

    As an editor, my only concern is to list sites that would be of value to the information seeker, in this case, other gamers, or future gamers, so we try to be selective in which sites we use in building a category. Though there are many sites to choose from, and more being created every day, not all sites are needed.

    Our main objective is to build a good category, not to list every site that exists.

    What are some of the more common reasons that sites do not meet these criteria, specific to your category?
    The most common thing I run into is a site that has a lot of generic information on it that can be found on most sites and a whole bunch of links to "for sale" sites selling something like guides or services. Their intent is perfectly obvious and fools no one. I might list the paid guide or services site itself, (in another area of the Directory) but not the sites that point to it. Those I would delete.

    There is a place for "paid for guides and services", but not in this particular category. All of the guides here are free, so "paid guides" would be listed in another category. If a site is turned down for this category, it doesn't get deleted, it gets sent to another category, in Shopping, which I also edit.

    Aside from reviewing suggestions, how do you contribute to the DMOZ directory and/or community (for example, sub-category creation/maintenance, category re-orgs, maintenance of existing listings, mentor relationships with other editors, tool building, etc.)?
    Besides this particular category and several other specialized topics, I also have editing permissions for all of the United States, which means I can edit hundreds of thousands of categories within the U.S. I have spent a lot of time in moving misplaced site suggestions, resolving broken urls of existing listings, doing structural work such as creating new categories and subcategories, @links, and looking at update requests from the public.

    I've mentored several new editors, some of which have gone on to become meta editors, I've led Team New York in our efforts to keep up with the thousands and thousands of new site suggestions we receive weekly, as well as investigating the thousands of existing listings that have url problems.

    I've created several new initiatives that I thought were good ideas to help solve specific problems, and brought them up for discussion in our forums, and I've joined in on many other discussions over the years led by other editors and contributed my own thoughts about them.

    I've also spent a lot of time on outside forums trying to answer questions from the public, and clearing up misconceptions about the Directory and editing.

    I don't like to keep saying "I", because it's about "we" collectively, working as a team. We are all equals, from an editor with one small category, to our Metas/Administrators, we work shoulder to shoulder, together.

    As you can see, an editor's role in the Directory is multifaceted, we do much more than sit around adding sites. There are many tasks, and they all need to be done, so our time is divided according to what interests us at the moment.

    But we all started with a passion, a special interest that we wanted to share with the world by building a category for others with a similar interest. If you have a passion, please join us as editors and see why we get so excited about the categories we edit in. Experience the pleasure we get in finding a gem to list, and the satisfaction of building something helpful to others.
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