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    About DMOZ
    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.
    Aug 16th 2010 6:00AM
    Over the next three days, we will be making additional upgrades to DMOZ. As with the previous planned outage, we will be taking some parts of the directory offline so that we can complete the work. While the directory content will stay on view throughout the process, all directory submissions will be disabled from Monday, August 16 - Wednesday, August 18, 2010. The following functionality will be unavailable throughout this planned outage:
    • Site suggestions,
    • Site update requests,
    • New editor applications,
    • Editor & staff feedback, and
    • Public abuse reports.
    Neither the Resource Zone public forums nor the DMOZ editor forums will be impacted by this outage. We will provide any additional updates about this outage to the public via this blog.

    Thank you again for your patience as we work to upgrade the DMOZ directory!
    Emily
    Jul 19th 2010 1:49PM
    Over the next three days, we will be making additional upgrades to DMOZ. As with the previous planned outage, we will be taking some parts of the directory offline so that we can complete the work. While the directory content will stay on view throughout the process, all directory submissions will be disabled from Tuesday, July 20 - Thursday, July 22, 2010. The following functionality will be unavailable throughout this planned outage:
    • Site suggestions,
    • Site update requests,
    • New editor applications,
    • Editor & staff feedback, and
    • Public abuse reports.
    Neither the Resource Zone public forums nor the DMOZ editor forums will be impacted by this outage. We will provide any additional updates about this outage to the public via this blog.

    Thank you again for your patience as we work to upgrade the DMOZ directory!
    Emily
    Jul 2nd 2010 11:34AM
    Over the course of the next few days, we'll be conducting upgrades to DMOZ that will require us to take some parts of the directory offline. While the directory content will stay on view throughout the process, all directory submissions will be disabled from Sunday, July 4 - Wednesday, July 7, 2010. The following functionality will be impacted by this planned outage:
    • Site suggestions,
    • Site update requests,
    • New editor applications,
    • Editor & staff feedback, and
    • Public abuse reports.
    Neither the Resource Zone public forums nor the DMOZ editor forums will be impacted by this outage. We will provide any additional updates about this outage to the public via this blog.

    Thank you for your patience as we work to upgrade the DMOZ directory!
    Emily
    Mar 26th 2010 5:17PM
    Hi Everyone,

    For this post, editor hiraeth has prepared an overview of her experience editing in the science categories. Enjoy!

    Emily

    - - - - - - - - -

    I'm a collector. In the same way that other people may collect stamps, coins or fossils, I collect websites. As an editor with the ODP, I spend a lot of time finding sites, labelling them, listing them and rearranging them. I am constantly on the lookout for new specimens and I open my collections to the public so that they can benefit from all the good and useful sites I have found.

    My favourite collection is Flora and Fauna. I could happily spend all my editing time adding to and classifying sites about the vast range of animals, plants, fungi and bugs that exist. The category has expanded considerably under my curatorship. During the last year I have been involved in a project to replace the English language subcategory names such as Snakes with their scientific equivalent, Serpentes. Because these names are less familiar to many users of the directory, there is a an A to Z index and also links in most subcategories to guide people to the correct location. The more scientifically knowledgeable may argue that classification has moved on and that the structure used in the directory is no longer up to date. I think this is a valid criticism, but as new ideas on taxonomy are constantly being put forward and revised, there is no consensus view and the category is likely to remain as it is for the foreseeable future.

    There are not many submissions to this part of the directory but some sites are suggested and these are mostly useful additions that will enlarge the scope of the category. However, a member of the public may, for example, suggest a gallery of photographs of unidentified butterflies found somewhere in the tropical rainforests of South America. I will either send this to Wildlife or the appropriate Science & Environment category in Regional.

    Another category in which I edit is Animal Health. Here, I have enjoyed adding a large number of sites on diseases of pets, livestock and wild animals. Sometimes I get distracted. While looking for sites on parasitic diseases I find myself adding sites on mosquitoes or ticks or bacteria to Flora and Fauna. Or fungal diseases may lead me to Flora and Fauna again or to crops or livestock in Agriculture where I also have permission to edit.

    A large part of Animal Health consists of sites about veterinary medicine and alternative medicine. The latter is broken down into sites about therapies and therapists in fields ranging from animal acupuncture to chiropractic, massage therapy and aromatherapy. Although Health/Animal is a topical category, the subcategory Veterinarians is broken down regionally and includes over 2500 individual practices from all over the world. (In the USA, even when quite small, these seem to call themselves animal hospitals, but in other parts of the world, clinic or surgery is the more usual term, and animal hospital is reserved for a specialist referral centre.)

    In contrast to Flora & Fauna, this part of the directory receives plenty of suggestions. Listing veterinarians in their correct location is quite straightforward. Nearly every vet with a working website should be listable under our guidelines. Sites submitted to other parts of Animal Health are often more problematic. Some are a mass of advertisements in which a small amount of not very useful information is engulfed. These do not get accepted in accordance with our site selection criteria. Others are supplied by people whose pets have suffered from various conditions and who now consider themselves experts on the subject. These sites can be listed if they contain sufficient good quality information. Other submissions are really about the keeping of pets, with a little information on health thrown in for good measure. I usually send these across to Pets for consideration by another editor. Some sites are not in English and get sent to the appropriate language category of World, and some have no connection with animal health whatsoever. These are quite a waste of time. Rather than deleting them, I have to search for a suitable category to send them to, a job that could have been better done by the submitter who knew exactly what the site was about!

    Besides these categories I edit in many other categories which I would love to tell you about, but time presses, and I had better get back to my collections and add a few more exhibits!
    Mar 1st 2010 3:45PM
    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.

    Emily

    - - - - - - - - -

    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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