ODP Forum Closes Status Check Service; Time For The ODP To Close?

Been wondering what's going on with your Open Directory submission? The Resource Zone site has long offered a way to ask ODP editors to do a site status check, a great safety valve for frustrated site owners. But now there's bad news. Via Search Engine Roundtable, news that this service has now been closed: Discontinuation of site status checks. In short, providing this service was deemed taking too much time away from the forum's main mission of discussing the ODP.

Here's a thought. Maybe it's time to dump the ODP editing idea all together, in terms of what's allowed in. Wikipedia seems to get by with letting anyone contribute to its pages. How about letting anyone add any link to any ODP category, while the editors serve as Wikipedia editors seem to do, as high-end police force to keep spam out.

I know, I know -- a flood of spam would probably make that fail. OK, maybe the ODP could be restructured where anyone could tag pages based on the ODP categories, with the editors service as ontology police. That's been one weakness of tagging. A community-upward approach leads to no consistency in tags.

OK, OK -- more spam will still probably come of that. So here's a third idea. Maybe it's just time for the ODP to close, as one of its own founders suggested earlier this year.

Back in 1998, people were frustrated by the inability to get listed in Yahoo. And if you weren't in Yahoo back then, you are largely invisible to web searchers. NewHoo -- later renamed The Open Directory -- was born to provide a solution to the invisibility problem.

It was a good idea then. Today, crawlers rather than directories dominate the web. Google dropped its version of the Open Directory from its home page long ago, and Yahoo continues to bury its own directory (Yahoo Directory Makes Changes & Further Directory Decline for more).

The entire site status service at Resource Zone was established because of -- ironically given why the ODP was born -- the inability for some people to get listed with the ODP. If anything, that problem has gotten worse, given that Resource Zone feels its being overwhelmed by submission requests. Either some radical change is needed, or perhaps the ODP's mission needs to change.

Want to comment or discuss? We have a current thread related to this topic, Editorial: The Lords of Ye 'Olde ODP.

And looking for some Open Directory alternatives? Here's a past article from Gary with some.