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.
Dec 14th 2007 3:19PM
As a follow up to our last post and as a chance to continue allowing our editors the chance to share their experiences with the world at large, here is a post that came to us from a fairly new member of the editorial community.
Unlike the previous post about why folks join, this speaks to a perception of DMOZ/ODP as a group of elitist few or a tribe of warring editors. A popular mis-conception that seems to pop up when whenever DMOZ pops up.
In fact, what the DMOZ community is...is a team. A collaborative group that partners to produce the data and results that so many people around the planet rely on.
Read away and let us know what you think.
Team that is ODP
I am now three months into my ODP "career" and enjoying it even more than when I started.
My eyes are still being opened daily about the enormity and complexity of the directory but one thing that has struck me most of all is the fellowship and the "team" nature of it all. The team spirit is obvious in many things that we do and very apparent from all people involved from those in staff to editors.
I have chosen my words in my last sentence very carefully and for a reason. You will notice that I did not say something like "...very apparent from all people involved from those in staff down to editors" or "very apparent from all people involved from those in all levels".
The overriding feelings that I get is that we are all in this because we care about the directory. Yes there are different people doing slightly different jobs but the overwhelming care is about the directory and I have met no one that seems only out for their own agenda. Of course there are disagreements about how things should be done, that will happen in any organization which is made up of people from the whole planet, but things are discussed, usually at length, and resolutions are come to.
Over the last few months I have been seeing things from a slightly different perspective than before I was an editor. I can see that many of the accusations made against the ODP are unfounded and sometimes downright wrong.
I do feel that some of the accusations come from people who think that the ODP is a "mutually exclusive club for the few" that no ordinary person can join and that the directory is a place that you would not be allowed access to unless you are part of that exclusive club. I must start off by saying that I am just an ordinary person who liked the look of the directory and applied to become an editor. I did not know any editors and I did not have any sites in the directory.
Anybody can apply to become an editor and as long as you have the skills to do the job then you will be welcomed. I have seen posts from people that have been rejected and are quite upset by this. We are very proud of this directory that we are all helping to build so it is without reservation that I say, the integrity of the directory has to be protected or it would just end up in chaos and would not be an entity worth doing. Some people are better at some things than others. Some people have the right skills for editing, some do not. That is no reflection on them as a person, which is how it is seems to be taken.
I would be willing to wager a lot of money that they will be capable of doing things that I am not. For instance, I am totally inept and drawing and artwork. Where would we be today without all the wonderful artists in the world. If I applied for a job as an artist, no matter how much I wanted it, I would be rejected. There are also many places within the directory that I could not edit in. The many parts of the directory that are not in the English language are out of bounds for me personally as I cannot speak any languages fluently enough to edit in them. If I applied to edit in these parts of the directory I would be rejected quite obviously.
There are some people out in Internet land that are vehement ODP haters and no matter what anybody says that will be their attitude. That is their business. I have also seen many folk slagging off the ODP and using unsubstantiated claims to forward their point of view. The ODP team has an official way of dealing with any claims of wrong doing and if substantiated these instances are dealt with both severely and unequivocally.
I would like to say that if you see anything that does not look right, DO NOT HESITATE to report it and the matter will be investigated. No one person is above ODP.
I have really enjoyed being part of this team and I would cordially invite all those who would like to be part of it as well to become editors. It is a really rewarding hobby and I would recommend it to anyone. I would also say to those that do not want to become editors but want to participate that your help is also most welcome. Please feel free to submit sites that you find on the Internet and are not listed and as discussed above please do not hesitate to let us know of problems that you find. Together we can make a great directory and the Internet a better place.
While this editor has remained nameless, feel free to ping me directly from this site :)
Oct 26th 2007 4:22PM
Back in our initial post, we mentioned that this site would serve as a forum for editors to share their stories. Why they joined. What they get out of the experience and why it matters to them.
Below is the first of many posts from our editors talking about why they joined the community.
Everyone say "hi" to ODP Editor Laigh : )
As a person who has recently been accepted as an editor in the ODP community I would like to share my perspective.
The background to me applying was simple. I have written a few websites over the last two or three years and of course during this time I had come across the ODP. The actual idea of many people from around the world coming together in a huge community really intrigued me and over time I decided that I wanted to become part of that community and try to be involved in making the Internet a better place.
I would like to point out at this time that NONE of my websites are listed in DMOZ and I declared ALL of them on my applications and I have declared ALL of them on the internal system, so believe me my motives weren't and aren't to do with my own sites, they are genuinely and honestly to do with being part of the project. I would also like to say that as a person new to the community I am not being influenced by any other editors in any way and I am writing this as a reflection of my own true feelings and experiences. I do not wish to make any political points or otherwise but just to pass on my experiences as somebody who has just started to edit.
I first applied to join the ODP as an editor about a year ago and at that time I was rejected. The rejection notice did not have any specific comments on it and I assumed this was because the reason was contained within the list that the e-mail already provided. I decided to leave my application for a while and as usual, life took over and I didn't re-apply until mid August 2007.
I received a rejection e-mail within about two days but this time I had a comment on it. It basically said that I had not filled in a certain part of the form correctly. I had a look and could have kicked myself. The form said in black and white what I needed to do but I hadn't done it right.
I had read the form religiously several times but this showed me that I had been looking at the form but not really reading it. I applied again with the parts fixed and within two days I received my joining e-mail to my complete surprise.
I immediately signed in and it was then that light began to dawn on me about the enormity of the actual community and the work that they do. It also dawned on me very quickly the reasons that you can only apply for a small category. There is so much to learn on how the system works and how to get started. I actually read for two days before I started to actually edit anything.
I quickly became enthralled with the community and now after two months or so have completed about 3000 edits. I really enjoy being part of this community and hope to be part of it for a long while.
To those reading this that are thinking of or have applied, there is a HUGE amount of help to be had. I have had nothing but encouragement from many folk in the ODP. Everybody from Metas to newbies like me have been eager and willing to help. The rules and regulations within the ODP are to make it run smoothly and in my honest opinion they are not hard to follow. They are just there to make it work. As I have been told before in the community, "The only daft question is the one you didn't ask"
All that is left for me to say is that if you are thinking of applying to be an editor, please do. It is a great experience, definitely worthwhile and brings a great deal of personal satisfaction.
Oct 24th 2007 5:30PM
Over the history of the project, DMOZ has had more than 70,000 volunteer editors worldwide. On average, there are approximately 6,000 active editor accounts at any given time.
What's impressive (at least to me) is that we do this out of a pure sense of giving back to the Internet Community. Editors take the time to organize and create useful resources in categories and topics that are of interest to us, not for money (side bar: looking forward to typically useless comments on that item) but for the sheer enjoyment of gathering quality information to help people find what they need-faster.
On average, DMOZ accepts 78 new editors per week, which is great. At the same time, we're interested in adding more. Specifically, we are interested in hearing from people who can continue to improve the data we provide for all of our users around the world.
So, while you're here, is there a topic that you're passionate about? Do you know of, or can you find, three sites that are perfect for that topic that aren't already listed? Would you like to be seen as a category expert and contribute to a global volunteer community that is relied upon by millions of searchers and many of the leading search engines on the planet? Then, we invite you to volunteer. : )
While you're here, type a query into the search box at the top of the page (make sure you click on the DMOZ.org tab before you click Search) and see if we have a category that interests you. If so, follow the steps mentioned at the bottom of that page and apply.
More information about becoming an editor is available at:
We look forward to hearing from you.
Sep 26th 2007 9:01PM
Yesterday the internet was all a flutter with reports and wide ranging theories as to why searches for "DMOZ" in Google were not returning the usual results. If you happened to miss those, I've included a couple of examples that can be found here
While these made for great headlines and no shortage of comments and link backs...they were 100% off the mark.
Truth is, this is just one of those things that happens from time to time in the world of search.
We made some significant upgrades to our back-end systems to improve the stability of DMOZ. One of those changes required changing the root domain from dmoz.org to www.dmoz.org. What we all witnessed yesterday and what was reported by the great sites above was part of an index recognizing, adjusting and updating in real time. This was confirmed in discussions we had with Google and everything should be running smoothly now.
So go ahead and try a query for DMOZ. And if you don't see our site, clear your browser cache and try again.
Here is a screen grab taken 5 minutes ago.
You can also give it a shot in the search box above ( click the web link & enter query ).
DMOZ is not dying folks. We're growing every day. Globally.
Feel free to use that sound bite from now on in your future posts : )
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