Another Reason DMOZ is dying

After reading a some comments in a blog post about how DMOZ really needs more good editors, I thought I’d give it a try. I noticed that the Personal Organization category didn’t have an editor so I pushed the button to apply to be an editor. I filled out the form carefully and spent a good amount of time trying to find the sample sites that I would add to that category.

After spending a good amount of time filling everything out, I submitted the application. Later on in the day I received this response:

Dear Mark Shead,

Thank you for your interest in becoming an Open Directory Project editor! Although we would like you to join us as a volunteer editor, you have chosen a category that is already well represented, or is broader than we typically assign to a new editor. We would encourage you to re-apply for a category that has fewer editors or is smaller in scope, in order to increase your chances of being accepted.

Feel free to reapply by submitting an application in another area. If you wish to re-apply, you must fill out another application. Please do not reply to this email.

The Open Directory Project

Additional reviewer comments:

Now I understand if they only want you to be an editor of a small category at first. When I signed up, I tried to use a sub category, but the only subcategory was for consultants, and I wasn’t really interested in doing that.

If they really don’t want people to apply for these categories, they shouldn’t put links to sign up as an editor at the bottom. If they had of had a suggestion of a different category to try that would at least show that there was some level of thought on their side of things. Just saying “keep applying and maybe we’ll eventually let you in” seems like it has a good chance of just wasting my time.

If you want good editors, you need to make sure you aren’t wasting their time. Good editors are more likely to be busy individuals who want to contribute to the community. Bad editors are more likely to be people who will just keep applying over and over again until someone eventually lets them in as an editor.

Maybe I’ll try signing up as an editor again someday if I find a category that I’m interested in, but at this point I think DMOZ may be shooting themselves in the foot by asking for people to sign up as editors for a category and then telling them “no you can’t edit this category”.


One Reply to “Another Reason DMOZ is dying”

  1. Funny how sites come and go … DMOZ seemed to be a great idea five or six years ago, an improvement upon menu-driven hierarchal sites like the old Yahoo, but now ‘Net users turn to search or Wikipedia to find the information they need.

    Driving away potential volunteers certainly doesn’t help the DMOZ cause, either …

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