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DMOZ Payola?
August 28, 2007 7:23 AM   Subscribe

DMOZ Editor(s) seeking extortion for continued inclusion is putting further smudge on the "volunteer" directory. Seems lots of folks have had their hands out over inclusion in the DMOZ, so why hasn't a business been built out of it? Is Best of the Web positioning itself as Google Bait?
posted by FlamingBore (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Nobody uses it. Google should just bin the whole thing. Failing that, at least use the whole nofollow thing that google promoted to weed out this kind of behaviour / problem.
posted by maxpower at 7:42 AM on August 28, 2007


DMOZ, ah, DMOZ. Here's my story. I noticed the categories for the science field I'm in were neglected. So I decided to apply to be an editor, since I'm in that field, have 20 years of credentials, have a national magazine column, and even run a well-respected online discussion board related to the field. DMOZ sent me a boilerplate rejection email declining my application. The categories continue to be without any editors. Who exactly is at the helm of this POS?
posted by rolypolyman at 7:42 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Link whoring is nothing new and happens at the 'best of places'. Anyone remember when the big wordpress.org head honcho put some nasty link farms backstage? But I hope that wordpress.com is making him and his open source friends enough money? Especially since there is a commerical outlet anyway! Yeah, link whoring for money is such a bad thing. Especially self linking!
posted by homodigitalis at 7:59 AM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wait, DMOZ still exists?
posted by verb at 8:19 AM on August 28, 2007


Rolypolyman, similar DMoz experience to yours in the categories of collaborative filtering and AI. Plenty of experience and a track record publishing on-line and off. Boilerplate rejection in 2000/2001. Turned me off so much I didn't look back, became a Wikipedia editor in 2002 - the two experiences were night and day.
posted by zippy at 8:23 AM on August 28, 2007


verb beat me to it. I didn't know anybody still used DMOZ. Their link adding/removing/editing process is less transparent than say, a company that runs a search engine on a proprietary algorithm.
posted by chlorus at 8:27 AM on August 28, 2007


I used to edit Dmoz. But I ran out of time to do it except for in small spurts, and they kicked me off of the directory because of inactivity. Whenever I got motivated to do more editing, I'd have to reapply, and by the time I was re-accepted, I'd be out of time again.
posted by bugmuncher at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2007


I'm pretty certain Google treat each Dmoz page like a little website which is assigned it's own pagerank.

So if one Dmoz page is full of spammy paid placements courtesy of a rogue editor - that Dmoz page will get a low pagerank, and the websites will, if anything get a negative hit on their pagerank. There is also a significant delay (like 2-3 months) between getting a dmoz listing and that listing being picked up by Google - I would bet that this is to identify and clean up all the junk.

Dmoz may also be struggling to recover from their major system outage last year. The editors server crashed and the AOL server team responsible had 'forgotten' to back it up.

I get the impression AOL are too busy losing money to know what to do with Dmoz - they should just hand it over to Google before the thing implodes completely.
posted by Lanark at 12:17 PM on August 28, 2007


I had the same issue as rolypolyman.

It's a failed project that really needs to disappear or be solved. Unfortunately, I think solution would require a complete reworking.
posted by Kickstart70 at 1:20 PM on August 28, 2007


Wow, zippy & kickstart 70 -- I had no idea I was part of a club. My pet theory has been that they submit approvals to editors in a closely related field, and professional jealousies and turf come into play. I'm just guessing though. Still I was kind of astonished they sent me packing.
posted by rolypolyman at 6:29 PM on August 28, 2007


I was rejected years ago, too. No real reason given as to why. I thought it was insane that they would turn away help when they had so many unmaintained sections.

The only thing they do that I pay attention to, anymore, is write up one-sentence reviews of Wikipedia articles, which Google then uses instead of a text snippet. So you might search for George W. Bush and you get Open-source encyclopedia article provides personal, business and political information about the President, his policies, and public perceptions and ... (and gosh, somebody had fun with alliteration that day). [source] I actually wish there were more of those.
posted by dhartung at 11:27 PM on August 28, 2007


Somehow it just seems too good to be true that people will give away their time, expertise and effort for nothing more than the glory. Maybe that's because it's not true? Even not-for-profits pay salaries!
posted by stevem2 at 10:39 AM on August 29, 2007


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