About DMOZ | Open Directory Project Blog
Since 1998, the Open Directory Project has been the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web.
It is constructed and maintained by a passionate, global community of volunteer editors.
Posts with tag DMOZ
Jun 27th 2013 5:47PM Why List An Ugly Site?
We have all seen those ugly sites......... the ones with snow falling down across the screen. The sites with dark backgrounds, fluorescent orange writing in different size fonts that make it hard to read and that annoying music that always seems out of place.
Some webmasters complain and ask us why we list these sites. They are annoyed that their site isn't listed, even though it has great "sliding" photos and all the tricks that modern software such as Wordpress, can provide.
The answer is simple. DMOZ Volunteer Editors review each site according to the Editing Guidelines, specifically which sites can or cannot be included.
• The site must have unique content. Many features of the site itself may be similar to other sites. The theme, the layout, the colours.... but the site is not listable unless it has unique content. Unique content is content that is not readily found elsewhere, or content that puts forward the site owners point of view, or perspective. Most sites that pertain to a specific business, or in the case of personal sites, a specific person, include by their very nature, unique content. They meet the listing guidelines as long as there is also sufficient content (e.g., not a business card site).
• The site must not be an affiliate site that simply redirects through referral links to another website. Why would we list one of hundreds of sites with the same content, when we can simply list the main Affiliate site?
Editors do not review the site on how well it is designed, how appealing it is to the eye or how technically advanced it is. A simple html site on a free host may well have good, valid content and examples of this are found on the Angelfire platform. That is why some of these sites are listed and the fact that they are hosted on a free server makes no difference to the listability.
Editors are looking for sites that offer information to the Net Surfer. If you hope to have your site included in DMOZ, the answer is to simply build it with the focus being on the provision of informative and unique content. If your visitors find it interesting and they keep returning, then you most probably have a site that is listable in DMOZ.
[Written by editor snooks]
Jun 5th 2008 12:25PM DMOZ Turns 10
For the last several months, I've been reflecting on what the 10th anniversary of DMOZ actually means. DMOZ is fundamentally the same site it was in 1998. In the social media landscape we're the old timer's with wisdom and tons of life lessons learned. But is that to say its day has come and gone?
Absolutely not, and I don't just say that because I've spent the last nine of the past ten years keeping house. In part, I came to this conclusion because DMOZ growth has been unabated. The directory still gets an insane amount of submissions, editor applications and data usage. Its overall reach is unparalleled.
The relevancy of DMOZ 10 years later can be traced to its fiercely loyal and dedicated community of editors that has stayed true to the directory's roots and esprit de corps. This loosely organized global community of unpaid enthusiasts managed to collectively take DMOZ from a scrappy startup to a search industry institution. They have almost independently kept it relevant while its commercial counterparts drifted into obscurity or closed up altogether.
It is nothing short of historic that a collective group of volunteers could do this for 10 minutes much less 10 whole years. While the editors routinely get beat up by some industry illuminati for not being market focused, I hope that those folks can take a minute to collectively reflect on the tremendous amount of goodwill this group has shown to simply improve access to information over the web.
Over the years, DMOZ has been often duplicated but never replicated. Many initiatives have co-opted its model, while others have learned the lessons of DMOZ and built community based projects that ushered in the much ballyhooed social media revolution. Projects such as Wikipedia have traced their origins and influence to DMOZ.
Ten years ago, many people were skeptical that a community managed project could survive and become relevant. Ten years later, the DMOZ editors have proved that community managed projects weren't just a pipe dream, but the future of the Web.
But DMOZ hasn't been just about editing. It's been about connecting people from all walks of life. There's a DMOZ editor on every continent. The community represents many ethnic groups, nationalities speaking over 80 languages. Gatherings worldwide of DMOZ editors have taken place, some resulting in marriages and life-long friendships.
The past of DMOZ is full of myths, legends, drama, trauma, successes and failures, all of which help shape its future as social media's Grand Dame.
The tenth anniversary of DMOZ ushers in a new era that will bring in new and exciting changes later this summer.
In keeping with the successes of the past 10 years, the future of DMOZ is as an information provider rather than a destination site. We will be enhancing to service to become more of a 21st century web service and simplify the integration of DMOZ data in other resources and applications, by creating "mashups". For example if you maintain an informational site about gardening, you can use DMOZ to get you a list of hand-picked gardening sites to point your readers too, or if you are a hockey fan you can make a little widget on your blog to show hockey clubs in your local region. Stay tuned and please share your feedback here on the blog. We'll be sharing more information here in the next month or so and appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you to all DMOZ editors past and present for making this project a success. You've touched and made a difference in countless lives, and I'm certain more to come in the future.
Bob Keating, Managing Editor ODP
Apr 3rd 2008 2:24PM Spring 2008 ODP Newsletter
Our official newsletter
was originally posted over on Digital Point
, but wanted be certain that everyone gets the chance to take a look.
Many, many thanks to those who contributed to the development of the newsletter
. And for those curious about what the future holds for DMOZ
to learn more. Great insight from our technical team about what is coming down the road.
Mar 24th 2008 4:49PM It All Started With Animal Behavior
Interested in becoming a DMOZ volunteer?
Here is another great testimonial from one of our editors in the UK about how they joined and what they've accomplished since. If you have domain expertise, passion for a particular subject and happy to volunteer your time to help create the best directory for that subject...apply!
We have more than 590,000 categories in 80 languages and still more than enough room to grow.
Here is hiraeth's contribution to the DMOZ Blog. Another example to show the passion our volunteers have and how easy it is to join.
------------------------------------ A year ago I had never even heard of the Open Directory Project. My introduction came about by chance because I happened to pick up a couple of books on computers from a box of free books at my local Oxfam shop. Broadband had just come to our area and I had decided to upgrade my computer and join the modern age. I had hardly used the internet previously, having just mucked around with digital photographs, emails and games.
One of these books was the year 2000 edition of the Rough Guide to the Internet, and it helped me to get started. The other was even older and called HTML Publishing on the Internet. I had no idea what this meant but on inspection found there were some quite simple concepts involved with the objective being the creation of a website. I liked the idea and thought I would have a go. The Rough Guide pointed me to an on-line source to assist me and it did not prove too difficult to create a rudimentary site, and use the free webspace my internet service provider supplied.
Proud of my achievement I invited all my family to have a look at the new site, but how was anyone else ever to know it was there? Back to the Rough Guide. An entry in a directory was what was required. Most of these charged for their services but I could try the Open Directory which was free. I had a look at this, tried to find a suitable category and submitted my site for inclusion.
Meanwhile my notice had been caught by the statement at the bottom of most pages, "This category needs an editor". With my site finished I needed something to do, so I thought I would investigate becoming an editor. I read some instructions, found a category that interested me and three sites to submit and put in my application. I was promptly turned down, being politely told that the category was too big for a beginner, and two of my suggested sites were already in the directory.
I had got quite keen by now, so when I had got over my initial disappointment I went back and had another look at the guidelines. This time I chose Animal Behavior (45) in the Science section. I searched for a few sutable sites not already listed, and dusted off my long forgotten qualifications which I had not even bothered to mention the first time round. And this time, success!
My first sight of my dashboard was a bit intimidating, and the actual rudiments of editing took a little time to acquire. My first task was to add the sites I had submitted with my application to the category, and with some trepidation I did so. Now my dashboard showed Animal Behavior (48). Then I got out a book from the library on the subject and started putting suitable words and phrases into my search engine to find new sites. I found the only computer skills I needed were the ability to copy and paste. Meanwhile I had introduced myself on the science forum and been welcomed by other editors.
One day I was surprised to find someone had submitted a new site to my category. There it was on my dashboard in green (1 new). I had a look at the site and decided it was not really about animal behavior at all, but about pets and their whimsical habits. What was I to do? Fortunately help was at hand in the forum, and a kind mentor explained the seemingly complex steps needed to first find a suitable category in the directory for it and then how to send it there. After a couple of days I plucked up courage and followed these instructions and off it went. Whether it got there I don't know but it was a relief to have said goodbye.
By now I had got more used to the procedures involved in listing sites and found quite a few to add to my category. It was time to submit it for a quality check. The same mentor went through it with a toothcomb. I must use American spelling, must not use personal pronouns, and where was the charter? 'What is a charter ?' was my response to this and I learned it was a description of the kind of sites that would be found in the category. Creating a charter was another thing I could do from my dashboard, and after consultation, I did so.
So that was how I started with the ODP. Soon I was applying to edit more categories and widen my experience, and ten months later I am quite addicted to editing and spend much of my spare time at the computer. Not much time to potter with my website any more, and my new grandson may wait indefinitely for his photograph to appear there. And, in case you are wondering, my site never did get listed in the ODP.
Dec 14th 2007 3:19PM Team DMOZ
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 I ( heart ) DMOZ...Why I Joined And Why I Love It
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 What Topic Do You Care About?
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.
Oct 8th 2007 4:39PM Why Hasn't My Site Been Accepted Into DMOZ?
As the numerous responses to my first post show, this is one of the most common and controversial questions asked about DMOZ.
To answer this question, it is important to consider what DMOZ isn't.
DMOZ is not set up as a listing service for site owners. Site submissions are only one source for finding quality sites to add to the directory. Some editors choose to review submissions while other editors might prefer to (at first) find sites on their own through search engines, as links from related sites, in newspapers, on television, on highway billboards, etc. So...there are no guarantees that once you submit your site it will be reviewed within a specific amount of time.
There are also a number of practical reasons it can take a while for a site to get listed in DMOZ:
The site is submitted to an incorrect category. Many sites are submitted to categories that are either too broad, too narrow, or unrelated to the content of the site being submitted. Most of the time, incorrectly submitted sites are sent to the appropriate category for review, but that will usually increase the amount of time that a site will ultimately wait for review. Submitting your site to the single most specific category relative to your site's content will significantly improve your chances of getting your site reviewed.
The site is submitted to the wrong language section of the directory. For example, non-English sites are frequently submitted to the English-language section of the directory. As with sites submitted to the wrong category, editors have to redirect these sites to the correct language, which can increase the amount of time that they will await review.
The submitted site does not meet submission or editorial guidelines for inclusion. Quite often people submit sites that are incomplete, don't contain enough content, or consist primarily of syndicated or mirrored content. Uniqueness of content is one of the most important factors editors consider when reviewing a site for inclusion.
The category has a backlog of submissions. This can result when the popularity of the topic, which may attract large numbers of both listable and unlistable sites, doesn't match the interests of active or prospective editors. Submitting to one of these categories may mean a longer wait. (That doesn't mean you should submit your site to the wrong category just because you think it doesn't have a backlog – deliberately submitting your site to the wrong category is never a good choice.)
URBAN LEGENDS ( i.e. popular & fictional reasons ) as to why a site does not gain acceptance into ODP:
The category editor is corrupt and/or a competitor is keeping the site from being listed. DMOZ regularly receives allegations of corruption and abuse through its public abuse reporting system. Each report is thoroughly investigated and crosschecked. Most of these claims turn out to be baseless. In the rare case where there may be some truth to the allegation, the matter is dealt with immediately.
No one is monitoring the category. While a few categories in DMOZ may not have a listed editor that doesn't mean there's no one minding the store. All editors listed higher in a category's hierarchy can and do edit subcategories. In addition, many editors have permissions to edit anywhere in the directory.
I'm certain there will be no shortage of comments to this post, but please consider the topics listed above and re-check your submission application again.
And if/when you do submit, please...please....please avoid any claims/jokes/sarcasm of offering money to get accepted into DMOZ. Editors apply zero sense of humor to these types of statements and it is a sure fire way to ensure your site does not gain entry. Ever.
One of my future posts will include best practice recommendations for suggesting sites to editors.
Managing Editor, DMOZ Staff
Sep 26th 2007 9:01PM The Search For DMOZ
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 : )
Sep 24th 2007 3:00PM Welcome To The DMOZ Blog
Hello and welcome to the new DMOZ blog, the official source for information, insight, and updates about DMOZ
, the Open Directory Project ( ODP ).
DMOZ is made up of thousands of passionate, volunteer category enthusiasts and experts from all over the world who donate their time to arrange their respective portion of the web. Thanks to their work, DMOZ is a starting place for browsing and searching the web. DMOZ data is also used by thousands of search engines and web portals to help people quickly and easily find information on the web.
To paraphrase Mark Twain,
the rumors of DMOZ's death have been greatly exaggerated.
The editor community is very much alive and thriving. Thousands of new sites are added and updated every week, and we continue to receive hundreds of editor applications and suggested sites every day.
We thought now was the right time to open the door and start a conversation with the Web community about what's happening with the largest human-edited directory.
We intend to use this blog to:
- Provide authentic messages about DMOZ and the efforts of our volunteer community.
- Highlight enhancements, both current and future.
- Allow editors to showcase their categories and describe, in their own words, why DMOZ is so important.
- Recruit new editors. If you have access to the Web and are passionate about a category, find out how to apply
Additionally we want to hear from you.
What do you think about DMOZ? Why do you use the directory or data? Is there something you would like to see fixed? When you've been around as long as we have, some people are bound to have great things to say, while others might have a few choice words based on their personal experience. Either way, we want to hear it :)
We plan on posting every week so grab the RSS feed or sign up for an e-mail alert to receive notification of new entries as they are posted.
Managing Editor, DMOZ Staff
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