Following discussion by, and consensus of Moderators and Administrators of this forum, we have chosen to discontinue site status checks effective May 21, 2005 ... There were a number of factors involved in making this decision, but probably the biggest was that these requests were always beyond the mission of this forum. The original mandate of this forum was to put a better light on the ODP by allowing the public to interact directly with the editors. At some point the submission status requests seem to have taken over and almost become the focus."
[Excerpts from: Resource Zone]
DMOZ - Discontinuation of Site Status
Posted 20 May 2005 - 07:05 PM
Posted 20 May 2005 - 07:13 PM
Posted 20 May 2005 - 09:49 PM
At some point the submission status requests seem to have taken over and almost become the focus.
I would say that might be a little bit of an understatement.
The Site Submission Status forum was definitely the most popular public forum at Resource Zone.
Site Submission Status Forum (numbers current at time of this post):
Rest of Forum:
I think that it bears keeping in mind that the Resource Zone wasn't an official part of DMOZ, but was rather an effort by a number of editors to do something positive and open communication to people who aren't editors. All of the folks involved should be applauded for that attempt.
I do think that forum served a useful and helpful purpose, but it's understandable why they might have wanted to stop. I do think that it's a little sad that some of that communication is ending.
I did do a little looking back at the origin of DMOZ after reading this thread. The original GnuHoo started as a response to Yahoo!, and the difficulties people had in getting listed there.
Here are a couple of articles that I hadn't seen about DMOZ before that I thought were pretty informative about the directory.
Chris Sherman's Humans Do It Better: Inside the Open Directory Project
A Salon Article - Google: Were Down with ODP
The wikipedia entry on DMOZ is also interesting, though possibly controversial to some: http://en.wikipedia....rectory_Project
Somehow, I think the Open Directory lost something important with this decision. But, if the numbers I quoted above are right, the editors who were handling all of those Site Submission Checks are going to have a lot more time to edit sites. Good luck guys.
Posted 21 May 2005 - 12:21 AM
Posted 21 May 2005 - 01:16 AM
Agreed. Google doesn't suggest that site owners check directly with Google programmers to see if or when specific sites will be cached or PR-ed or otherwise assessed. Why should DMOZ editors be any different? Webmasters should make web pages. DMOZ should do the stuff of DMOZ. Google is a search engine, not a public relations engine for web sites. I am all for being open, but there comes a time when too much leads to easy fingerpointing (eg I can't get anywhere because Google or DMOZ did/didn't do thus and so) or other crapola like strategic spammy SEO.
In my view, they never should have put it there in the first place. You can never get an answer except "The submission has been received and is awaiting review in _________. If you don't see it listed sometime in the next six months, please feel free to return for a status update on or after 24 December."
Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:55 AM
The Site Submission Status threads were not particularly useful to anybody and, quite frankly, stopped being fun for the handful of editors still prepared to volunteer there.
Posted 21 May 2005 - 01:47 PM
That also seems to be one of the reason why they discontinued the service.
... they never should have put it there in the first place. You can never get an answer except "The submission has been received and is awaiting review in _________ ..
Our feedback indicates that the information we are giving out really is not a practical help in the vast majority of cases. People want information we either simply do not have or cannot for confidentiality reasons give out ... the existence of the status check forum raises unrealistic expectations, leading to more frustration but no satisfaction, for anyone.
Posted 21 May 2005 - 09:13 PM
Posted 21 May 2005 - 10:06 PM
In striking contrast, ODP now has approximately one million unreviewed site submissions, in large part due to spam and incorrectly submitted sites, making the average processing time for a site properly submitted to ODP approximately six months. Moreover, because of concerns about abusive e-mail, ODP's volunteer editors are discouraged from communicating with site submitters, leaving many submitters to wonder whether and when their site has been considered for inclusion in ODP. ODP editors have set up a public forum where queries about site submission status can be posted.
I submitted a site to DMOZ today. It was the first one in about two years. The page probably should make it into the directory. It has unique and original content, and fits well into the category I submitted. I read over the guidelines, and tried to make sure that I followed them.
Sure, I would love to have some way to check in three months or six months or whenever that it has been received, or that it was rejected. If it makes it, it makes it. If it was rejected because of punctuation, or something similarly inane, it's the Directory's loss.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:30 AM
I had made that suggestion in the resource-zone forum. One problem is the huge amount of manual and automated spam submissions they get. A status report tool could tell a spammer when the spam was detected possibly alerting them to whether it was detected manually or by by some scripts. I suggested introducing a random time delay greater than a year to offset such a situation. Now the status scripts starts getting complicated as it has to communicate with other scripts, store information etc.
If I can make a suggestion: why not have some automated feature? Type in your URL, and recieve a status report.
But there are other problems too. Basically the site status can only say - 'pending', 'accepted' or 'rejected'. And it can take several months to years where a site may be 'pending' before an editor reviews it. It really doesn't help much right?
One also tends to forget that owners of DMOZ are a corporation. But the DMOZ editors are volunteers, and some might lack an understanding of professional etiquette. And if such editors write anything in an 'emotional outburst', the parent company could get dragged into a potential lawsuit. Hence the idea of discouraging editors in not contacting submitters directly.
Anyway, I am not a DMOZ editor, so take all this with a pinch of salt.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:58 AM
Here's one thing you can try to learn when it is listed in the directory. Create the following Google alert:
Sure, I would love to have some way to check in three months or six months or whenever that it has been received ...
1. site:www.google.com/Top site url 2. site:dmoz.org site title and/or words from descriptions
For example, if you wanted to find out if your submitted site cre8asiteforums.com is listed you would create the search alert as:
1. site:www.google.com/Top cre8asiteforums.com
2. site:dmoz.org cre8asite
The Google directory doesn't update itself immediately with the DMOZ data. So you may want to search DMOZ too.
Unfortunately, DMOZ doesn't publish the site url so you have to guess the keywords that DMOZ editors will associate to your submitted site in the site title and site description. If you follow the guidelines, than most often than not your site title as keyword should work fine.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 05:55 PM
See, again, there has to bea better way. I know we have had this discussion numerous times, but surely there are better ways to manage submissions, sort queues and make editors lives easier!!!
One problem is the huge amount of manual and automated spam submissions they get
IMHO, if you get 10,000 questions asking the same thing, that is pointing out a flaw in the way you do things, and you need to look ata fix. Thousands of "site status" questions? Solve it automatically. Lots of automated spam etc? Look at ways to reduce it (like the images some sites have, or changing the location of the submission form weekely etc).
It would be excellent if the world was a better, nicer, friendlier, more professional place, but unfortunately it isn't, and some problems need solving even if we don't want to solve them!!!
Posted 22 May 2005 - 07:30 PM
Like the guy I caught that had 15 different sites for his products, and had actually managed to get one extra listing. Something like that can waste a couple of hours. And it takes a human editor to actually have the gut feel that something is wrong and decide to spend that time.
No automated system can catch all of this. There are tools in place to deal with some issues, but they are not for public discussion.
Sure occassionly someone submits 100 copies of the same site, but that's not the main problem.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:30 PM
Definitely. DMOZ can do a lot to become more transparent and user-friendly.
See, again, there has to bea better way ...
The thing is, we just don't have enough information to make a sound judgement on what would be a perfect solution.
If you look at the root of the problem - Why does DMOZ have such a long waiting period? - Resource-zone mentions that some categories have 10s of 1000's of listings that just don't have enough (or any) editors to review it. This, in my opinion, is the problem that needs to be solved first.
After all, what use is a status submission tool if a user keeps receiving the message 'pending' even after 12 months? He/she would still feel as frustrated. (This brings a completely different subject into the purview - perhaps the real problem are the people obsessing over a DMOZ listing. :)
Posted 23 May 2005 - 01:49 AM
So DMOZ choose to catch none?
No automated system can catch all of this
As an aside: when was the last time DMOZ made a change to the submission procedure? Find cat, click submit URL, add URL, write title, write description, add email address hit submit. Submission added to list of category submissions.
The Internet has moved and grown a lot in recent times, but DMOZ seems stuck in 1996, with a submission system that isn't up to the task. Sure, we could try to convince the thousands of website owners who believe DMOZ is vital, but that won't happen anytime soon.
I also believe that one should look after what one can control first, and then worry about the rest. It is usually quite shocking how much control one has when one thinks hard. DMOZ can create a "better" submission setup, better category management and better tools for submitters to automate a lot of the process. To do that, starting with all the types of automated spam that can be stopped, and working up can only lead to better results. Not perfect, but undoubtedly better.
The original submission setup surely isn't the best submission system imaginable. With 10 years of feedback and experience, DMOZ would have some insights on how to doing things better.
If you make an improvement managing and accepting submissions, that would make other problems, if not dissapear, then certainly less troublesome. So throw in better category management tools with better "bad submission" tools and, voila, better DMOZ, less waiting time in queues etc etc.
I guess I find the question "What can DMOZ change to make submission queues shorter and make editor's jobs easier" the best question to ask.
Posted 23 May 2005 - 03:21 AM
That will be in mid 2008 .
With 10 years of feedback and experience, DMOZ would have some insights on how to doing things better.
From the point of view of website owners hoping for their websites to be listed, it's a good question. However, it presupposes that ODP's mission is to reduce the number of listing suggestions awaiting processing (not in queues by the way but pools). That's not it at all; it's building a directory. I could go on ad nauseum about the difference but it's all been said often enough before so I won't.
I guess I find the question "What can DMOZ change to make submission queues shorter and make editor's jobs easier" the best question to ask.
Oh, and a good few of the volunteers are talented programmers; editorside tools and facilities are improving all the time.
Posted 23 May 2005 - 11:00 AM
Really? So the lage pools aren't a problem for editors? Funny, I was always informed they were. Have I been misinformed?
From the point of view of website owners hoping for their websites to be listed, it's a good question. However...
(aside: I agree, pool is a much better word. Queue implies some specific order (I am in the queue for Pearl Jam Tickets), where as "pool" doesn't. As the DMOZ submissions lists can be, and are, sorted in numerous ways, and there is no obligation on an editor to list sites in any order, pool is a much better description. Now to get everyone to change their langauage )
Isn't managing the pools part of "building a directory"? Surely there is something that can be done to improve this with, OK not 10 years, but 7 years worth of experience.
That's not it at all; it's building a directory.
Hmmm. I really am confused. What is the issue with large DMOZ pools and delays? If they aren't part of the problem, what are the problems? Can you perhaps tell me, what yo believe are the biggest issues confronting DMOZ?
While new tools have been added, and some are excellent, the core focus of DMOZ, as you point out, is "building a directory". Submissions and pool management are the central to this core focus; it is number one above all else.
Everything else, even good things like forums and other tools, are secondary to getting quality submissions made, and then approved lickety spit. And not for webmasters, but to fulfill the goals DMOZ has.
On this front, IMHO, there has been very little movement in terms of the UI, the available tools or the pre-screening of submissions before they get to editors.
Hehe. I, too, could go on about how to improve DMOZ, but it has all already been said (and, of course, you already read that thread, and, I might add, provided some very useful comments).
I could go on ad nauseum about the difference but it's all been said often enough before so I won't.
I guess we will just have to let this topic die, as discussing DMOZ, even in the grown up, productive, professional manner this forum prides itself on, so often seems to cause heartache and actually cause more problems than it solves.
<edit>Changed queue to pool where appropriate</edit>
Posted 23 May 2005 - 11:35 AM
I see DMOZ as a big society with its own natural way of working. It's a bit like Orkut. I see both are there "doing their thing", but it rarely impacts on my life. In both cases, there appears to be no management and the operative goals that really drive both organizations are somewhat unclear. Both will evolve naturally and perhaps I will get involved in a small corner of each at some point in time ... or not. The fact that DMOZ has decided to Discontinue Site Status information would seem to give a negative signal about the long term survival of the organization in its present format. It's sad but it was all probably an impossible dream.
Posted 23 May 2005 - 12:08 PM
Posted 23 May 2005 - 11:27 PM
The fact that DMOZ has decided to Discontinue Site Status information would seem to give a negative signal about the long term survival of the organization in its present format.
I very much disagree that it's a negative signal about ODP.
Note that resource-zone is a volunteer effort of people who are ODP editors, but it's not run by ODP or set up by ODP. One editor has donated the bandwidth, another bought the domain, and others have paid $ for the license for the forum software (me being one of the buyers).
The RZ volunteers thought that their efforts would provide a straightforward way to state ODP's version of what is done and why while simultaneously letting people check on simple facts about their submissions. Instead it became a flash point when people didn't get their way or didn't understand or care about ODP's way or wanted to argue about decisions made regarding their site(s). I applaud the RZ administrators for killing off that part of the forum. Its usefulness was dwarfed by the endless mounds of requests and the occasional highly acrimonious thread that violated the RZ TOS and should have been nuked after Post 1.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users