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#1 peter_d

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 05:04 PM

From a moderator, too :)

Anyways, thought I'd let you know about my sparkling new directory. I got tired of waiting for dmoz to process my link requests, so decided to do something about it.

-www.rubberstamped.org
-$25.00 review fee
-two day turn-around
-anchor text friendly
-much promotion planned for 2005

Interested to hear your thoughts, likes, and dislikes.

#2 James

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 05:06 PM

Good stuff Peter. saw the directory mentioned elsewhere. Good luck with it! What I particularly liked was the 2 minute review and approval!!

#3 cre8pc

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 07:09 PM

I love the interface. Will know more when I play with it more, but first impression is that it's clean, organized, very fast to figure out how to use and professional looking. Love the logo and colors.

Question. What is so attractive about building a directory? What do you (or the staff) get out of it? (Just curious.)

Now.

We have to deactive you for breaking the rules. :doh:

Just kidding. Volunteer moderators and admins get special priv's, in lieu of getting paid for their long hours here :) We know it's the least we can do for them.

Congratulations Peter!

#4 whitemark

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 03:23 AM

... Interested to hear your thoughts, likes, and dislikes ...


Honest opinion - Everybody is jumping into the 'directory business' bandwagon; What do you offer that others don't? What makes your directory 'special'?

For example, Bluefind is 'unique' because it has high PageRank.
Uncover the net 'stands out' since it is a member of w3c (if I remember right).
Anthony Parson's http://www.directorylist.org/ is useful because it is a niche directory. (I am sure his must be one of the rare few NEW directories that get more human traffic than spider traffic)
Bruce Stoner of WoW Directory fame has started a new Yellow Page Directory project (http://www.wowyellowpages.com ) recently; again quite a 'distinct' approach.

So you really need to ask what is special about your directory?

I do appreciate that unlike many, you've made an effort to create your own unique directory structure. Unfortunately, like all the other directories, its boringly DMOZ or Yahoo like.

So far, I've come across only ONE directory that seems to have put some thought behind creating a unique and user friendly (usable) directory, http://www.gimpsy.com ; it doesn't automatically make you feel 'claustrophobic-ly confused' when you see the directory categories.

True, Gimpsy is not a really radical idea, but one can't help but appreciate their effort to make directories more usable ...

#5 peter_d

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 03:47 AM

Fair enough, and thanks.

In response:

In terms of structure, most of these sites aren't unique. Most directories aren't unique. There is very little difference between Bluefind, Yahoo, DMOZ and Rubberstamped. There is little difference between SEW forums, cre8asite forums and High Rankings forums. They all looked roughly the same when they started.

-The content makes the difference. That will come. Already started, in fact.
-Ontology is a wonderful science. Often overlooked.
-The presence in the market is different. Some directories are able to market more effectively than others. It's not just about form, it's also about delivering real value to stakeholders, and building effective relationships. Anyone can open a shop. Not everyone can open a successful shop on the high street.

So, I agree. The format, like that of the paperback book, isn't unique. Won't stop people buying books. Creative? Not particularly. But then neither is the Yellow Pages. Building a unique, creative product or service doesn't mean it will sell. Usually the opposite. Rubberstamped is already in profit, the demand is there, and webmasters see the value going forward.

Do you think books and the Yellow Pages deliver value, even though their form is not unique?

#6 whitemark

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 09:39 AM

Even though we digressed a bit, we are talking about the same thing - marketing.

So to come back to the point - what is the 'value' that your directory offers that others don't / can't?

Perhaps you should brand your directory as a Business directory. Especially since the directory only accepts paid listings. That's one way of increasing the directory credibility and 'justifying' the cost of directory inclusion.

#7 bwelford

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 10:10 AM

Perhaps I can be a little controversial. :?

Marketing is usually defined to be a process between a supplier and a buyer. I find directories really don't work well for human beings. I think directories only work well as a feed to the search engines, who in turn deliver content from them to my 'delegated representative', in other words my COW, (Computer On Watch).

So a directory only needs to have a USP that appeals to human website owners in terms of improving that feed process to search engines. I guess that would mean timeliness, PageRank-strong links, good link text and descriptions, etc. You need some 'honest broker' to give the equivalent of the Michelin Five Star rankings to the various directories.

Of course, if a directory can become an 'authority' website for a certain topic, then that would be an additional reason for website owners dealing with that topic.

It's all rather fascinating as you think around these issues.

#8 Paul_H

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 10:37 AM

Having looked at about 500 directories over the last month, there are few that are radically different, but i donít think they need to be. Admittedly i was just looking for directories of use in SEO, but to be honest the only directory i ever use is Googleís (know itís ODP data, but ODPís own search is terrible).

Bluefind have done a very good job of promoting their site, but i have a few sites listed in the top categories and the very small number of referrals are probably other webmasters. I see many more referrals from directories like splut and lifestyle. Some smaller directories iíve used mange to send more traffic than all the large directories combined, yahoo, businees.com, joant, gimpsy, dmoz etc. How many people submit to dmoz for the traffic? Not many i bet. Have yet to see any from yahoo and that costs a small fortune.:)

Anthony Parson's site is an excellent resource and good example of how marketing matters more. There are many other much older directory lists(not talking about my own), that are rarely mentioned, and probably rarely used.

Iíve seen Rubberstamped mentioned in a few places and its only a few days old, looks good and is competitively priced, which already makes it stand out from the majority.

#9 James

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 10:40 AM

Maybe we're all a little biased in that many SEO-aware people view directories simply as a means of improving our search engine ranking. We might avoid directories that don't provide a direct link back to our (or our client's sites), or where we have to pay, or where we have to provide a reciprical link in return. Maybe directories have lost their way as a means of providing a benefit to human visitors in favour of focusing on SEO benefits. Let's face it, more and more directories are clearly advertising the fact that they offer a potential SEO benefit, and many are developed and promoted by SEO/SEMs.

As a web-user, when looking for information, is my first point of call DMOZ? Nah, can't say I've ever used it for searching for something that I need. Howabout BlueFind, JoeAnt, Skaffe, Jayde, etc, etc, etc? Nah, simply don't use them. However, I submit sites to these (and many more like them every day). Why? Not because I expect many visitors will find a real benefit from them, but more the fact that I know that they will help (in their own small way) to help get a site ranked. That's their benefit.

Where do we first hear about new directories? Is it in some user-centric press release extolling the benefits to ordinary Joe cruising the internet for information about a solution or service provider. Nah, it's normally in as SEO related community site, forum or blog.

In the UK, we have several very well known business directories, including Thomson and Yellow Pages. These are paper-based tombs that are full of advertising for the people that have the money to advertise in them. I have these reams of paper within metres of where I am sat, and can honestly say that I've not opened either for 9 months or more so maybe I simply have an issue with the use of directories for giving me information!

Having a SEO/SEM oriented USP is not a bad thing, from my point of view. However, having USPs that will also assist the 'average Joe' are a plus.

#10 peter_d

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 03:15 PM

All good stuff. Thanks.

what is the 'value' that your directory offers that others don't / can't?


Some directories make you wait months to see a listing. Somethimes your site will not be listed at all. There is a time cost involved in submitting. If you don't get the listing you spent time trying to get, then that is a cost. To you.

I won't make webmasters wait. So long as they follow the guidelines, they're accepted.

The pricing is competitive.

I will be marketing this directory heavily. I want to be bigger than DMOZ. That is my goal. I feel I have a business model that will support that goal.

At the end of the day, the webmaster decides. Do they perceive value? If so, then they list. Many savvy webmasters already have. I did my research. I talked to lots of people about their frustrations with directories in general, and DMOZ in particular.

Rubberstamped is only two days old and there's already a submission queue. People see value

#11 peter_d

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 03:22 PM

perhaps you should brand your directory as a Business directory. Especially since the directory only accepts paid listings.


We feature many unpaid listings. Look at the top cats. Those listings are handpicked. They have been identified as topic centers. Authorities on their subject. We will be adding a lot more as time goes on.

Many non-profits pay to list in directories. There really is no such thing as "free". The time a webmaster spends submitting to a directory is a time cost, unless they don't value their time at all.

#12 peter_d

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 03:57 PM

Iíve seen Rubberstamped mentioned in a few places and its only a few days old, looks good and is competitively priced, which already makes it stand out from the majority.


Thanks Paul. Do you think the price level is about right? I wanted to keep the price low enough to ensure that most webmasters wouldn't be excluded, while still allowing us to have a business model that will scale.

#13 Paul_H

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 06:05 PM

25$ is about the average price from the few out of 100's i decided were worth while. With the current exchange rate itís great if youíre submitting and live in the UK not so great if youíre in the UK and own a directory :)

#14 pageoneresults

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 08:19 PM

Congratulations Peter, good luck with the launch and may the 2005 year bring success for your business model.

You know what really stood out between your directory and the others? No AdSense, No Contextual Advertising and no fluff. Very clean layout and well structured. We'll be watching your progress closely and will surely assist in populating the directory. :P

Please, whatever you do, stay away from any advertising that discusses PageRank, please! Make that words "links" and "PageRank" swear words in all of your filters. As soon as people start discussing these as the benefits, things get out of hand and too much negative attention follows.

#15 peter_d

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 08:28 PM

Hey Edward - thanks for your kind support. Endorsement from you means a lot!

Please, whatever you do, stay away from any advertising that discusses PageRank, please! Make that words "links" and "PageRank" swear words in all of your filters. As soon as people start discussing these as the benefits, things get out of hand and too much negative attention follows.


Agree completely.

#16 cre8pc

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 08:49 PM

I can see the value of directories to webmasters,and I'm especially pleased that Peter's is competitively priced and quick to respond.

I expect, too, that being that it's a project from Peter, it will contain creative ideas, now and later, that will set it apart.

And this is the part that interests me more than how an SEO/SEM can use it. Directories aren't as popular for searches as engines, so for me, there has to be something ultra spectacular to make me use a Directory.

For any Directory, not just Peter's, what will I, the visitor, get out of using it, and what will make me love it, recommend it, and return to it?

One thing you don't hear much about, in discussions on conversions, usability, user centered design, emotional design, etc etc is how it relates to the development of Directories. Peter has an opportunity to break new ground here instead of reinventing the wheel :P

#17 James

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 02:53 AM

Hi Peter,

I think the pricing is excellent. $25 is about half what several other well known directories charge.

I have only just discovered the blog on the site (not that it was difficult to find, more that I was too focussed on giving you $25!) and it's a nice feature that you explain the background for the directory.

Do you mind if I pick up a couple of issues with the site? Under each listing, there's a | . I'm not sure if it's meant to be there. Also, when there are no sub-cats, the box on the right hand side of the listing looks rather empty. For example, this can be seen on http://www.rubbersta...rnet_Marketing/

On some pages, the terms and conditions link in the footer isn't displayed. For example, this can be seen at http://www.rubbersta...g/dir/Internet/ .

One question, at the moment, you allow 2 sponsored listings at the top of the top level categories. Are sponsored links also available at lower levels?

One the 'About' page (http://www.rubbersta....org/about.html), the headings and paragraph spacing is a little large.

Final issue is that I had trouble finding a contact us page or email address. Luckily I have it anyway, but some people may miss the email link at the bottom of the http://www.rubbersta.../about.html#FAQ page.

I've started to spread the word, and a couple of my clients have started listing themselves! They have said that they liked the clean design and the ease in which their listings were added.

Keep up the good work Peter.

#18 bwelford

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 06:29 AM

I note that you're "helping build the semantic web".

In addition, we list Topic Centers.

Topic Centers are defined as the sites deemed as authorities on a given topic. Topic Center sites' are chosen based on a mix of independent usage data and human analysis, not submission or paid placement. Topic Center listings can change over time.

So you are creating a human parallel to what Google is trying to do 'algorithmicly'. It sounds as though there could be some useful synergy there. :P

How will a Topic Center be indicated?

#19 peter_d

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 06:51 PM

It sounds as though there could be some useful synergy there.


Yes, I agree.

Topic Centers will have the term Topic Center noted in the description. These sites aren't the result of submission, rather a (largely human) process of identifying hubs and authorities within communities.

James, thanks. I'm adding those bugs to the "things to do" list.

Sponsored listings on top categories only. Those categories are locked i.e. you can't submit to them. They'll mostly be made up of Topic Center sites.

clean design and the ease in which their listings were added.


Excellent. I'm trying to make the user experience as easy as possible.

#20 peter_d

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 12:33 AM

A bit more on authorities, and directory strategy.



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