Volunteer Edited Directories

I was just looking through the Google Directory and noticed there are less than 10 DMOZ listed volunteer edited general directories, and even some of those are no good.

With all the rubbish spend $19.99 and get your link here general directories that have sprung up I find it a bit perplexing that there are so few profitable general directories. Are they being replaced by folksonomies & the wisdom of crowds? Is it just far more profitable to blog on your favorite subjects?

A while ago I said I thought directories would become more Wiki like, but other than Wikipedia I can't think of any general wikis that have really taken off, and there hasn't been a decent general directory launched in what, about a year.

I think a large reason for the demise is most people willing to work for free to organize information probably want to be able to say more than a sentence or two about the topic.

Published: October 10, 2005 by Aaron Wall in directories


October 10, 2005 - 3:53pm

Hey Aaron, good point. What about Open-Site.org?? It is a Wiki style encyclopedia with a PR-8 last time I checked. Would loved to hear your thoughts on this one, and if one should take their time to become an editor here to help promote (not spam) your website resource.

October 10, 2005 - 8:30pm

There are a lot of barriers to starting a volunteer edited directory, starting with the directory software - few support having editors.

Getting people to volunteer in the age of really good spidering search engines is hard too, because people don't see the need or figure somebody else will do it.

I'm just not sure about the whole wiki-izing of directories. It's too subject to spam and it looks to people like it is even more work because it requires one to write an "article".

I spent Sunday afternoon going through about 100 general directories and search engines and only a couple were really intended for human use or meant to attract somebody back for repeat visits. Not a lot there to inspire volunteerism.

October 10, 2005 - 11:02pm

>being replaced by folksonomies

I've spent much of this past year scrapping my old directories and moving the entries to a new, tag-based system. Mostly, after 9 years of experience, I'd found that directories are too rigid in structure to keep up with a publisher's needs. For instance, some items need a full page all their own rather than beign packed with 9 other listings. Other items need an in-line photo gallery. Other items need half a page with 2 or 3 accompanying photos but don't really need to be separate from the other listings in the category.

I realize that this isn't addressing the other issue of volunteers, but I don't work well with others anyway --so that's not a problem for me, hhh! Besides, didn't I just read a quote in Jarvis that was attributed to the founder of DMOZ ...yeah, here it is:

"The Open Directory Project tried to open that up but it was still too complicated because, as its founders have said, people are either lazy or liars.."

That pretty much sums up the workforce.

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