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Former good article nominee DMOZ was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 16, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
WikiProject Websites / Computing  (Rated B-class, High-importance)
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About the Wikipedia Editor's Comment[edit]

Above the article itself we see Wikipedia's comment:

This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. (December 2014)

Thank you editor, I could not agree more. After reading and re-reading the opening paragraph or two of the article several times, and scratching my head in bewilderment, I still feel quite clueless about what exactly DMOZ is and does.

Toddcs (talk) 19:12, 1 December 2016 (UTC)


See also:

How does a member of the general public find the editor?[edit]

I am looking for the editor of: How does a member of the general public find the editors of this category's name?

On the FAQ page, a member of the general public is supposed to report: Editors giving preferential treatment to their sites. how can a member of the general public report prefernetial treatment if they don't know the names of the editors? Travb 16:43, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

It's not really necessary to know the name of the editor. But if you want to know who is in charge of a category that has no editor you just work your way up until you find an editor. An editor can access all categories below in the structure. In your case you will have to go up as far as and you find two editors. // Liftarn
I just asked them. The computer responded:
Thank you for submitting your report. It will be investigated at the earliest possible opportunity. To check on its status you can use the widget on the main page in conjunction with this report ID: c5c9b09eaef7a93c9d406ef09e61c7b7.
Thanks for your input Liftarn. I love wikipedia.Travb 16:51, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Editor of /Regional/Europe/Ukraine/Provinces/Odesa_Oblast/Odesa/ is now odessaukr. But if, as before, you had to go up to /Regional/Europe/ to find an editor, then it is more likely a different problem - not enough editors. The Europe editors have 200 000 sites, and can not edit all of the sub categories. These editors may place sites there (in Odesa), but may not be reviewing new submissions there. --RobBrisbane 06:51, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Forums cite[edit]

If no one cites the forum complaint, I'm removing it again. Also, I fail to see how this differs from Google, Yahoo, or any other corporately run search service. -- Zanimum 16:10, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

There's now citations, but none are complaints, just policy pages. -- Zanimum 16:17, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
There are many complaints against ODP being currupt, a private club or an organization without accountability. Look at most SEO forums. Although personally I think these complaints are a bunch of hogwash, it would seem that it deserves a mention. At least the internal forums should be mentioned - so perhaps it should moved out of Controversy and criticism into Policies and procedures--Brat32 16:25, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, a move is of use. And possibly merge it into another section, without its own headline. The TOC is way long right now. -- Zanimum 16:47, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Figure update[edit]

The figure "ODP usage" seems to be pretty out of date. Can someone produce a newer version? ike9898 20:22, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

External link to Google Directory[edit]

Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Google Directory just a Googlized version of the free RDF dump of ODP data? If so, then I do not think it should be listed in the Derivatives link area. Katalaveno 16:51, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

My understand is that the Google Directory is sorted by page rank, which makes it a derivative. (Disclaimer: I'm an ODP editor when it's up, but I am not a Google employee.) — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 20:12, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
It's a derivative, but it should be listed to help differentiate the fact that Google is Google and ODP is ODP, since many assume they are the same (company). But it does bring up an interesting questsion, since I have a couple of ODP derivatives that are not just ODP clones and though I'm tempted, they should not be listed. I would think in general that it is not ok to list all ODP derivatives even if they add content. --ArmadilloFromHell 20:26, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but it's only one of hundreds of sites that use ODP data, although probably the best known. I don't think it needs to be listed as a derivative. —Wrathchild (talk) 03:59, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
There's some discusion of this at Talk:List_of_web_directories#DMOZ_clones --AGoon 12:14, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Dmoz Perception[edit]

There are more digrunteled users than people who like Dmoz.--Johnhardcastle 11:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Got a cite for that? Granted, there are a large number of disgruntled, vocal webmasters who don't like that they can't control ODP. That doesn't mean that they're the majority, though. There are lots of silent, yet satisfied, people using ODP, especially at downstream sites (like Google), and webmasters who've never submitted their site nor even heard of ODP who have their site seen by more people than otherwise would, because it is a good site and was added by an editor. In my experience, it's the ones who want to have as little real content as possible and as much AdSense clickthrough as possible who complain the loudest.
But, this is the talk page for the article on Wikipedia. How is your comment to help us all write a better article about the Open Directory Project? —Wrathchild (talk) 14:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the (probably) unverifiable statement "There are more digrunteled users than people who like Dmoz" adds little. However I have to sympathize with Johnhardcastle. I've just ended up here by doing some reasearch into DMOZ after a hard experience, and I find that there are problems that the Wikipedia article does not cover:

Closed, as opposed to Open.

The term "Open" in its name is misleading, given that all its descisions are made internally AND unaccountably. If you submit your url requesting inclusion, there is no way to check on the progress of your request. Their forum policy is clear that no status reports can be had. You are told that it could take from weeks to years. So far so good. You're also told that if your url is rejected, you will not be notified. Thus, you have no way to know whether your application has been rejected or whether not enough years have passed.


Well, "contradictory" is not perhaps the right term. Let me explain: After submitting your url to them, for inclusion under category X, you get an automatic invitation to become Editor for category X. But during application for Editor, you're asked to disclose personal involvement with websites; which necessarily involves disclosing the url you've just applied for. There is no notice saying that "possible conflict of interest does not constitute an offense per se", or anything along such lines; the application makes you feel like you're a suspect already.

Organized Unaccountability

My application for Editor was turned down for no stated reason; merely a template email listing many possible reasons for why it may have been turned down. This is their official modus operandi. I suspect it was due to my posts at their forum.

Totalitarian System

As I put it to them, "this is fair enough, but not good enough". It is fair in the sense that it's their website and they can legally do whatever they want. It is not good enough in that organizations of such size and offering something a society may come to depend on, have an ethical responsibility to be accountable to Society in general. When you combine such despotic modus operandi vis a vis those who depend on them (websites rightfully trying to get exposure), with the reports about Editors who criticize the organization getting banned without explanations, it becomes clear that we're talking about a "pretty nasty entity" to put it colloquially but mildly.

(This is my first posting to Wikipedia; please forgive me if I've broken any rules of content or formatting I haven't bothered to read about yet.) --Monkhouse 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Everyone knows that DMOZ is a dead, useless directory site - surely the Wikipedia article on DMOZ should mention this? Or, rather, be deleted entirely, as DMOZ is dead. Everyone knows it. (talk) 16:51, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Failed GA[edit]

At a very quick glance, there are too few references for the article to be a GA. Hurricanehink (talk) 04:21, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Tag[edit]

Is there a wikipdia tag for a page to display a reference to the Open Directory Project entry of the same name? I think wikipedia should also be a directory, it includes a directory of itself at least. Anyway, if it's not a directory, perhaps it should link to one? I figure every page should have a link to a better site for the things wikipedia is not. Mathiastck 15:17, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

{{dmoz}}. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 17:25, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
There is no one-to-one correlation between Wikipedia articles and DMOZ categories, you have to locate the appropriate category on DMOZ and include it as a variable when applying the template. The template is usually only used in situations where the number of external links on an article has grown too large, and people keep adding more, and even that usage is sometimes debated if the available DMOZ categories are too non-specific. --Versageek 01:10, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Unofficial estimate[edit]

The third paragraph of the Project information section says:

According to an unofficial estimate, the number of URLs in the Open Directory surpassed the number of URLs in the Yahoo! Directory in April 2000 with about 1.6 million URLs. ODP achieved the milestones of indexing two million URLs on August 14, 2000, three million listings on November 18, 2001 and four million on December 3, 2003.

That "unofficial estimate" is my personal web page about ODP's size compared to the Yahoo! Directory ( The reference was added in this edit after discussion at Talk:Open Directory Project/Temp then later removed in this edit with the edit summary "Removing dead links and unsupported statements". My page was and is not a dead link. I see that edit was made at the end of a month; it's possible my site was temporarily disabled for exceeding my monthly transfer limit, which nowadays I am running well under. Is there a policy that prohibits me from replacing a pre-existing reference to my own site, or am I just being overly paranoid? --Geniac 00:06, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Adding references can never be bad. The problem is that your site may not be considered a reliable source. // Liftarn
I agree that my site may not be considered a Reliable Source. However, WP:RS states articles should be based on reliable, published sources, not that they must be based on reliable, published sources. As far as I know, there are no reliable sources for the directory's past size information except maybe the copies of the front page in, which is where I found about 20% of my data. Most of my other data came from reloading the front page every day and logging the date and size given. I was one of only a very few people who were keeping track and collecting such information at the time, I probably have the most comprehensive date-size log (unless there's some record kept on servers), and probably the only person to have ever put it all together cohesively.
I see a few options...
  1. Keep that paragraph as is, without a reference (not a great option, IMO; references are good)
  2. Add a reference to my site, although not a Reliable Source (possible, IMO; WP:RS doesn't disallow it)
  3. Remove the two sentences blockquoted above. (not a great option, IMO; historical figures about a popular web directory seems interesting, but of course I would say that, otherwise I wouldn't have made a website about it)
--Geniac 16:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I didn't comment at the time, but does the Wayback Machine go back that far? If so, we can use the then stated number of sites at ODP as a reference (the sum of the individual main category entries, not the stated "has over ... sites"), and similar data for the yahoo directory. I think we're allowed to add the numbers together to produce a result. Although, again, although your site may not be reliable in general, for a minor point such as this, it might be allowable. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 16:53, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it goes back pretty far; it was one of the sources for my data, at least for ODP. However, I found that it is missing many ODP sub-pages, which causes it to skip ahead to the next available version of a category page, making adding them up nigh impossible; I had to take the figure on the front page most of the time. I don't specifically remember using it to look up Yahoo sizes. Unfortunately, I am unable to use the Wayback Machine during the daytime. --Geniac (talk) 17:15, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Are all DMOZ/ODP-related fora notable? I mean, DMOZ Resources Webmasters Zone is primarily an SEO forum, with a DMOZ theme, run by (self-proclaimed) ex-DMOZ editors. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 15:29, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

None are. Forums should normally be avoided as external links, WP:EL. Resource zone, Dmoz Resources, and the mention of the trivial Dummies guide forum should all be removed. 2005 23:09, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
The "dummies guide" isn't a forum, as well you should know. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 00:16, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
The link to it says "forum", as you should know. 2005 00:59, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Quite. That's an error in the link. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 01:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I would say that is notable, and should be included as an external link. (I see it's recently been removed.) It may not be officially part of the project or run by AOL, but it does appear to be officially endorsed as "our Public Forums" at . — Rjw62 11:53, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I concur. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 09:09, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Coolbunny, please read the above. You could argue the "dummies guide", although it's linked from the FAQ of the forum, but, as links to, it's an appropriate link. DMOZ Webmasters zone, and other SEO fora, are notable only if there is some other externality making it/them appropriate, such as being run by editors or by ex-editors. {{linkfarm}}. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 15:22, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

October 2006 outage[edit]

I just noticed that the start and end dates don't make sense. ("On October 20, 2006, the ODP's main server suffered a catastrophic system failure[4] that prevented editors from working on the directory until December 18, 2006.[5]") I didn't find the correct info in the links so thought I would mention it here. Chaveso (talk) 19:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

It is almost 2010. This entire section seems irrelevant. (talk) 11:56, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Cleanup Needed[edit]

OMFG, could this article be filled with more jargon and less encyclopedic information? It is a huge article, on something most people have never heard about, and even after trying to figure what this "directory" is supposed to do, or why anybody would use it, I see a readme.txt file from a bad shareware program. Stop editing English articles if you cannot speak English. Even the first paragraph does not say anything in plain English other than it is owned by Netscape. What is the international code for Nerdish? Maybe you guys can go to the Klingon or Esperanto versions... (talk) 05:41, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

While the OP is saying it in an inelegant manner (one of the authors is fairly accredited, and from the comments has a firm grasp of the English language), I'd agree this article could use some cleanup. However, after reading all the comments I don't really feel I've got the nuanced tongue to put it in better, cleaner, and more importantly, useful wording. Especially since I feel I may be bludgeoned by one side or the other for doing so. Which is why this article will probably remain fairly squirrelly in its coherence. (talk) 21:19, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Let's address some of the Who/Facts/... tags[edit]

As closed sources like the ODP internal forum are not allowed for references, some claims can not be proven, because the only documentation is in there. I don't think having this article full of maintenance tags forever is the way to go, so let's discuss some of those occurences and decide how to proceed.

Even after ODP set up its internal editor forums, many editors[who?] remained blissfully unaware that these forums existed until they were directed to the forums by one of their fellow editors.[citation needed]

While - to my knowledge of ODP history - this has a good chance of being true, a lack of information inside a closed community isn't provable by definition. However, I don't think the fact that an internet project in its early stages did not inform it's members that a forum was available is of any relevance in this article. So I vote to remove this sentence without replacement.

Moreover, given that ODP had no official guidelines at first, ODP editors simply hashed out some sort of consensus among themselves and published unofficial FAQs.[citation needed]

That is more important than the previous sentence, but as diffifult to verify. finds guidelines first in 2002 , but an article at slashdot mentions changes being made to the guidelines in 2000. Older copies do not include links to the guidelines. So most likely they haven't been public in the beginning. Any ideas how to verify the claim?

However, ODP is now set up in such a way that when someone attempts to login at ODP using a deactivated editor login, a generic web page is displayed that informs a removed editor that a final decision has been made regarding the deactivation of his or her login and providing a list of possible reasons as to why such a decision might have been made.[citation needed]

This is true, but only documented in the internal forums. To verify this, one would need the full credentials of an ex-editor and simply try it. Which is nothing to give as a reference. ;) I checked back within ODP and there seems to be no other way to access that page, since it isn't static. There are supposedly several ex-editors reading this. Maybe one of them has blogged about this, maybe even included a quotation? While a blog is not the most reliable source, for a simple fact like this it would IMHO be sufficient. -- Windharp (talk) 08:48, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

I would agree with your thoughts on the first two quoted passages. I think the third passage is there as a reply to the paragraph immediately before it, which is presumably making the point that the original error screen for account removals wasn't at all helpful. Unless anyone can come up with a source for the original error screen, we should probably just combine the two paragraphs, and say something to the effect that there's a list of possible reasons coinciding with those listed in the guidelines (for which we can cite And they say "Despite this, there are claims that removed editors are unaware..." There must be plenty of "Why was I removed?" forum threads / rant around to cite...
-- Rjw62 (talk) 12:59, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
As a very long-time ODP editor, I do not consider either of the statements that "many editors remained blissfully unaware that these forums existed" or that "ODP editors simply hashed out some sort of consensus among themselves and published unofficial FAQs" to be true. Regarding the first statement, I know that somewhere on the web, former editor laisha has written that she was surprised to discover the online forum, but she's just one person. As I recall, the forum was not well-advertised when it was first introduced (in January 1999; it started out as just one forum), but any editor who paid attention to the hyperlinks on their editing pages could easily find a link to the forum. Regarding guidelines, it is definitely true that they evolved over time, but the statement about "hashed out ... consensus" and "unofficial FAQs" is best described as "original research." --Orlady (talk) 14:00, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay, a few days without further comments, so I tried to implement the proposals from above. Feel free to correct any mistakes and choose a better wording if there is. :-) -- Windharp (talk) 07:09, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Let's address some of the Who/Facts/... tags [2][edit]

That worked like a charm. Let's continue with some more

ODP inspired the formation of two other major web directories edited by volunteers and sponsored by public companies and Zeal, both now defunct. These directories did not license their content for open content distribution, which may have contributed to their demise; open content licensing contributed to ODP's success in a fiercely competitive market[citation needed]

So there are three statements in there:

  • inspiration of go and zeal. I can not find a cite for that, even though I consider it likely that this is true. [Zeal (web)] does not mention it as well. I suggest rephrasing to something like: "As ODP became well known, two other ... emerged". Maybe by someone who is more fluent in english than I am can do that. :o)
  • different license: Can be taken from For example Zeal [1] Go [2]
  • impact of license to success: Not provable, and personally I doubt this is 100% accurate, due to the fact that the ODP was always paid for by big commercal companies. Phrasing sounds like a commercial ad anyway, remove "open content licensing contributed ... market."

There are restrictions imposed on who can become an ODP editor. The primary gatekeeping mechanism is an editor application process wherein editor candidates demonstrate their editing abilities, disclose affiliations that might pose a conflict of interest, and otherwise give a sense of how the applicant would likely mesh with the ODP culture and mission. A majority of applications are rejected, but reapplying is allowed and sometimes encouraged. The same standards apply to editors of all categories and subcategories, which can result in certain areas going without editors for long periods of time.[citation needed]

I am not sure what needs citation here. That we do have an application process can easily be cited [3]. That we do reject a majority... I think I may be able to dig out a cite for that in RZ or in another public place. The "which can result in ...": Yes, it can, if no suitable candidates apply. But that's not so much a fact, but speculation. One could argue: "Which can result in certain areas having lots of editors at the same time for years.". So I would remove that statement.

Another consequence of the free submission policy is that the ODP has enormous numbers of submissions. The ODP now has approximately two million unreviewed submissions, in large part due to spam and incorrectly submitted sites.[citation needed] So the average processing time for a site submission has grown longer with each passing year. However the time taken cannot be predicted, since the variation is so great: a submission might be processed within hours or take several years.

The number of unreviewed sites can not be cited, without violation of our confidentiality guidelines. Additionally, the number went to zero in the last crash, so that more than 2 million is no longer correct. For the "spam and incorretly submitted sites" I can find cites on RZ, and maybe even in the dmoz blog, not sure bout that atm. I suggest the following:

Another consequence of the free submission policy is that the ODP has enormous numbers of submissions still waiting for review. In large parts those consist of spam and incorrectly submitted sites.[cites I still need to search will go here] So the average processing time for a site submission has grown longer with each passing year. However the time taken cannot be predicted, since the variation is so great: a submission might be processed within hours or take several years.[4]

Okay, I need to get back to RL work, so I stop here for this time. Any suggestions / objections / comments? -- Windharp (talk) 08:24, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't think the confidentiality guidelines prohibit (or prohibited) releasing the total unreviewed count, but there's no "official" record of the count, so all we could say is that the "2 million" had been reported by editors. (Would an unofficial report of the results of an unofficial internal editor tool be a WP:RS? I think not.) And, IIRC, the unreviewed didn't quite go to zero at the crash; IIRC, some listings suggested or moved in a short time prior to the crash were recovered.
The "average processing time", is difficult to define. Even if statistics were kept, the median processing time for suggestions was conjectured (on resource zone) to be infinite, meaning that a majority of the suggestions weren't processed. (OR-sub-paragraph: This doesn't mean the suggestions weren't looked at. Statistics, even if kept, and not lost in the crash, would only cover whether the "unreviewed listings" were changed, not whether an editor looked at the suggestion, and decided to leave it in place.) If I were to tag that sentence, I'd add {{weasel-inline}} to "average", rather than {{fact}}.
Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:33, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Not only are there no WP:RS sources for the unreviewed count (which is confidential), but it is not accurate to characterize the "unreviewed" as "unreviewed submissions." They are URLs awaiting review for one reason or another, but not all are unreviewed submissions. In addition to submissions, they include a huge number of URLs that were removed from the directory because they were dead links. Additionally, some are URLs that were discovered by editors and added to "unreviewed" to be processed later. It would be valid to say that "Another consequence of the free submission policy is that, at any given time, the ODP has a huge inventory of URLs waiting for review." (That is so obviously a consequence of the free submission policy that I dare to suggest that it might not even need a source.) It seems to me that additional statements about trends in size of the unreviewed count can only be based on unpublished internal information, while statements about trends in average processing time are original research.

I finally implemented some of the changes above. Feel free to correct my mistakes ;) If I haven't missed anything the article now only has fact tags in the controversy section (and a similiar one shortly after that section). Nothing I personally worry about much, someone else might want to find refs before that content is removed ;) -- Windharp (talk) 09:50, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Intrusive DMoz comments[edit]

   |                                                                         | 
   |               Excessive or inappropriate links WILL BE DELETED.         |
   |  See Wikipedia:External links and Wikipedia:Spam for details.   |
   |                                                                         | 
   | If there are already plentiful links, please propose additions or       |
   | replacements on this article's discussion page.  Or submit your link    |
   | to the appropriate category at the Open Directory Project (|
   | and link back to that category using the {{dmoz}} template.             |

I have found this previous HTML comment in a page at the external link section. To me, this is advertising. Since when AOL's DMoz is a part of Wiki projects? This is only a pretext to invite to fill their own database with a fake involving in Wikipedia. Lacrymocéphale 16:39, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

This comment is not about this article. If you object to Wikipedia policy on external links, I suggest that you discuss your concerns at Wikipedia talk:External links. --Orlady (talk) 18:13, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation hatnote[edit]

I see that "Dmoz" has been added to DMZ (disambiguation), which I think is probably appropriate. However, I don't see any value in the hatnote that was added to the article pointing to DMZ, particularly since it lists no "other uses" of "DMOZ." Are people really coming to DMOZ looking for DMZ? --Orlady (talk) 16:42, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

The anon's changes to this article and the DMZ dab were politically incorrect. I have reverted him/her, and explained why in my edit summaries. Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 06:37, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Who/Facts/... tags part 3[edit]

Most of the tags in the topical sections are gone now. Let's try to address a few of the tags in the controversial section. Currently it looks like someone has marked all the criticism as uncited, which was not the case. Actually nearly everything had a tag, and up to now I only worked on finding cites for the topical parts. Simply because - as a senior ODP editor - I have more interest in those parts. :)

and other proponents of free software[citation needed], many of whom also criticise the ODP content license

I know that the GNU guys (correctly) criticised the ODP license system. I personally do not know of any other free software group who did so, at least none that did not just said "Hey, the GNU guys are right on this". If noone objects and/or finds a cite for this, I am going to remove the other free software groups from this statement.

There have long been allegations[who?] that volunteer ODP editors give favorable treatment to their own websites while concomitantly thwarting the good faith efforts of their competition.[citation needed]

Of course those allegations have been there. That's why the ODP inplemented a Public Abuse Report System. Most of these allegations have not been true, but some have been. I can offer a forum posting which tries to give some kind of summary [5] from 2000. If anyone knows better sources, please provide. We could either replace the "who" tag with "from webmasters" or simply remove it, I don't think it's necessary to go into detail who complains here.

Other alleged abuses[who?] have occurred at the executive level, with company management leveraging the link value from ODP to accelerate new privately funded projects.[citation needed]

First of all, as a foreigner, I don't really understand the use of "at the executive level" here. There is no such level in DMOZ, and I can't imagine the outside is meant. About the content: Talking about the Topix links here, I imagine. At least I can't remember any other "privately funded project" where this has happened. While that has caused quite a lot of talk internally, I am unable to find one good cite on the outside. The only mentions of this are in comments to blog posts, which I consider a really unreliable source.

Anyone got a nice source for me?

Early in the history of the ODP, its staff gave representatives of selected websites, such as Rolling Stone magazine, editing access at ODP in order to list many individual pages from those websites.[citation needed]

That can only be proven by internal forum posts, which don't count. Personally, I would not consider this statement being really in need of a citation, because it is no disputet. I vote for just removing this tag and keeping the statement.

The use of such professional content providers lapsed and the experiment has not been repeated.[citation needed]

And that's fun. While the first part is a personal meaning of the writer (and should be removed), the second part is a "has not happened again" statement which can not be cited by definition. Remove the part "... lapsed" and keep the rest, remove the tag.

That's another paragraph, and I think that's enough for now. This article is the result of many disuccsions and a mediation, so I won't change anything until everyone who wants to has had the chance to comment here. --Windharp (talk) 08:57, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I had a look for a reference describing the use of "professional content providers" some time ago, but all I could find was (post #:470557 is the most relevant). Not great as a source, but possibly better than nothing. Your other suggestions look good to me. -- Rjw62 (talk) 18:56, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, I figured that the time between my posting and now should be sufficient for everyone to comment. Implemented the changes above. -- Windharp (talk) 09:15, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Tagged claims part 4[edit]

And another section. Even though barely anyone seems to be interedted I will post my changes here before execution

Many of the original GnuHoo volunteers felt that they had been deceived into joining a commercial enterprise.[citation needed]

I would replace "Many" by "Some", because for "many" we would need more than one citation. Citation is already in the list: "The GnuHoo BooBoo". Slashdot. Retrieved on April 27.

Most of that controversy died down when the project was renamed NewHoo.[citation needed] Moreover, when Netscape (whose parent company is AOL) acquired the project, renamed it ODP, and released ODP's content under an open content license, criticism of the ODP all but disappeared.[citation needed] However, as ODP's content became widely used by most major search engines and web directories, the issue of ODP's ownership and management resurfaced.[citation needed]

Actually I think that section does need a rewrite. From my memory there was not really such a thing as a large coming and going of criticism by the general public. Criticism has always been by some individuals, whihc of course came and went, but in small numbers that's natural. I would change the preceeding sentence to something like "Already in the early days of the directory, some of he original GnuHoo ...". If someone more fluent in english than me can offer a one-sentence version of the above paragraph stating that these complaints went on until today (and leaving out the first/then/then part), I might be able to find a cite for that.

As time went on, the ODP Editor Forums became the de facto ODP parliament,[citation needed] and when one of ODP's staff members would post an opinion in the forums, it would be considered an official ruling.[citation needed]

See the ODP guidelines, especially ODP Communication Guidelines

(In other words, "Staff has spoken.")

Remove, not suitable for an encyclopedia. (True though)

There was also a short-lived attempt at moderation of the ODP Editor Forums, but it was abandoned as being the antithesis of the egalitarian principles on which the ODP community was supposed to be based.[citation needed]

No source available but the forum itself, remove sentence.

Even so, ODP staff began to give trusted senior editors additional editing privileges,[citation needed] including the ability to approve new editor applications, which eventually led to a stratified hierarchy of duties and privileges among ODP editors, with ODP's paid staff having the final say regarding ODP's policies and procedures.[citation needed]

Meta guidelines and Admin Guidelines. if anybody insists we could try to shown that they have not been there on copies, but I don't think that's necessary.

As always, any input welcome. Unless objections occur I will implement the changes at some point in the future. -- Windharp (talk) 09:58, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Noone objected, so done that. THe only thing that is still open:

Most of that controversy died down when the project was renamed NewHoo.[citation needed] Moreover, when Netscape (whose parent company is AOL) acquired the project, renamed it ODP, and released ODP's content under an open content license, criticism of the ODP all but disappeared.[citation needed] However, as ODP's content became widely used by most major search engines and web directories, the issue of ODP's ownership and management resurfaced.[citation needed] Actually I think that section does need a rewrite. From my memory there was not really such a thing as a large coming and going of criticism by the general public. Criticism has always been by some individuals, whihc of course came and went, but in small numbers that's natural. I would change the preceeding sentence to something like "Already in the early days of the directory, some of he original GnuHoo ...". If someone more fluent in english than me can offer a one-sentence version of the above paragraph stating that these complaints went on until today (and leaving out the first/then/then part), I might be able to find a cite for that.

I would be gratefull if someone finds the time for this -- Windharp (talk) 11:22, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Addition by[edit]

Editors (metas) have made public comments that there is a new mindset among ODP editors that although the ODP Website says that an editor will review sites submitted via the suggestion page that editors are under no obligation to ever look at the pool of submitted suggestions and actually encourage editors to add their own suggestions rather than those submitted by the public. [1] Essentially creating a directory for the editors interests and not in the interest of the users.

Apart from the not very encyclopedic style, there are a few things that are wrong:

that there is a new mindset

Not a new mindset, that's how it has been all the time. It's even in the RZ FAQ and to some degree mentioned in a Blog posting made by staff. There are lots of much older mentions of this fact in RZ, like [6] or [7]. Of course site suggestions are one possible source of new listings, but just one among lots. And thats's just what the editors quoted in that thread say.

although the ODP Website says that an editor will review sites submitted via the suggestion page

Yes, and the statement is intentionally not containing a maximum timeframe. A suggestion will eventually be reviewed, but due to several constraints, including editors listing sites from many other sources, we can't predict when this will be. Which fits perfectly with the above and is no "although".

Essentially creating a directory for the editors interests and not in the interest of the users.

Personal Opinion of the author. Actually it is a misunderstanding of the group "users od DMOZ", which I see happen rather often among webmasters. To the ODP, the "user" is the person using the directory to find sites. Same situation as a newspaper, where the "users" are the readers and not news agencies.

I am now going to rephrase that passage accordingly. -- Windharp (talk) 10:51, 17 March 2009 (UTC)


Tagged Claims part 5[edit]

And another one. AFAICT the big tag can be removed after these changes, since only very few points remain. Even though I am talking to myself, I post my plans here for interested people to discuss.

Allegations that editors are removed for criticizing policies

ODP's paid staff has imposed controversial policies from time to time[citation needed], and volunteer editors who dissent in ways staff considers uncivil may find their editing privileges removed.[citation needed] One alleged example of this was chronicled at the XODP Yahoo! eGroup in May 2000.[40] The earliest known exposé was Life After the Open Directory Project, later appearing as a June 1, 2000, guest column written for,[41] by David F. Prenatt, Jr. (former ODP editor "netesq") after losing his ODP editing privileges. Another example was the volunteer editor known by the alias The Cunctator, who was banned from the ODP soon after submitting an article to Slashdot on October 24, 2000, which criticized changes in ODP's copyright policies.[42]

I started to do this sentence by sentence, but the whole paragraph should be rewritten. It is actually about two very specific removals (netesq and the cunctator) and not about "volunteer editors who dissent in ways staff considers uncivil". And as netesq says in his articles, all he can do is speculate. So I propose to move the block after "Editor removal procedures" and change it to:

Allegations that editors are removed for criticizing policies

David F. Prenatt, Jr. (former ODP editor netesq) and the former editor known by the alias The Cunctator claim to have been removed for disagreeing with staff about policy changes. According to their claims, staff used the excuse that their behaviour was uncivil, to remove bothersome editors.[40][41][42]

While I know that those claims are unfounded (for example those decisions have been among the first to be made by meta consensus, not just by staff decision) I can't source that apropriately and will refrain from doing so.

Uninhibited discussion of ODP's purported shortcomings has become more common on mainstream Webmaster discussion forums.[citation needed]

One could use a generic link to a webmaster discussion forum for this, but I personally don't think this needs to be sourced. But it's misplaced. So: Implement into the main controversy section and remove tag.

Some people[who?] find this arrangement distasteful, wanting instead a discussion modeled more like a trial held in the U.S. judicial system.[citation needed]

The only source I can find is the XODP Yahoo group where an author posted a few collected comments that point this way. The comments don't have signatures, so the "who" can't be said. Remove the "who" tag and source with the XODP group which is already in references. --Windharp (talk) 09:50, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Above changes now implemented.--Windharp (talk) 08:36, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Concerning ODP Entries by Date[edit]

According to that link, on 2/2/2008, there were "CNN Archives removed", which is also visibly apparent on the 'ODP size by date graph'. There's no mention of this in the article but it seems pertinent. Does anyone have information about this event? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 02:51, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for looking at my data collection :-) . I will add something in the section about professional editors. CNN data was only newly listed until 2004 as can be seen on [8]. It was removed between 26 Dec 2007 and 19 Jan 2008 according to [9]. As always, there is no public source to cite the reason, so I will just state the obvious reasons: outdated, lots of broken links and not considered worth the effort to keep updated any more. One main reason - which can't be sourced I am afraid - is that a large tendency of the editors goes towards "DMOZ should not be a replacement for other sites navigation systems". --Windharp (talk) 18:30, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Ahh interesting. I always thought it was the data that really mattered, not so much the ease of navigation. Anyways Thanks for that. -- œ 14:14, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The CNN archives that were removed were simply archives of the CNN website, not information organized by topic. --Orlady (talk) 15:16, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Concerning Arthur Rubin's removal of my entry on DMOZ's discrimination[edit]

This was my reply to his claim that he knew for a fact that the reviewer I was talking about was still alive, and that he had demonstrable evidence that I was wrong:

You said what I said was demonstrably false: Arthur, prove it then, don't just use pretense, and what what is your evidence that the editors I mentioned are still alive being that I didn't reference any specific editors? Do you know what the word evidence means? Hint: It doesn't mean whatever you say is demonstrably false, if it is, demonstrate it, don't just claim it. On top of that Arthur, why didn't you just remove the reference to the blogger, and ask for me to cite my source, rather than assuming? You've demonstrated then a non-neutral point of view. You may want to cut that out before it becomes apparent that you are biased against Christians and creationists or in favor of DMOZ.Whiplashes (talk) 08:55, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Without checking whether your so-called "submissions" were actually made or whether your sites are listed in an appropriate place in the directory:
  1. Noting that your alleged submission was before the crash.
  2. Your alleged reasons for disapproval of the editor application would be covered by editor confidentiality, so that I could not comment on it even if I knew something about it.
Any editor now alive could have added the sites to the appropriate category. We don't use much information from the submission, anyway.
And the addition here I removed was unsourced, and the only claimed source is an unnamed blogger. A redacted version of the comment possibly could be included here if the blogger and his blog were notable, as crticism doesn't require verification that the critics have any supporting information, only that the criticism is, itself, notable. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:14, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Heads-up regarding Laisha's history of the ODP[edit]

The link to Laisha's ODP history was removed from the EL list because it is returning an error. That's no great loss, since her content is old.

However, the page is also (very appropriately) a cited reference, so it needs to be conserved. The content is still on in many dated versions, the latest being this 2007 version. I have not yet investigated all of the archive versions to see if they are all the same, or if a particular dated version is the best one to cite in the article. --Orlady (talk) 14:57, 29 May 2010 (UTC)


blah, blah, blah. What is ODP? Da5id403 (talk) 19:07, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

The first two sentences at the top of the article answer that question. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 19:15, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Suggested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. I'll leave any necessary rewriting of the article to editors more familiar with the subject, so I don't inadvertently introduce any errors. --BDD (talk) 18:45, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Open Directory ProjectDMOZ – A combination of WP:COMMONNAME and this thread (login required) which states that editors in general and AOL prefer the name "DMOZ" for the site and the presentation of this material and "Open Directory Project" for the community-lead attempt to structure this data. As a shorthand, the site is referred to as "DMOZ". Note that it is frequently typeset as "dmoz". Relisted. BDD (talk) 21:05, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Justin (koavf)TCM 03:26, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

This would be in accordance to the official site which states:
DMOZ is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a passionate, global community of volunteers editors. It was historically known as the Open Directory Project (ODP).[10]
Anyway I consider both correct, so this is a weak rename--Windharp (talk) 13:56, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
  • So is this about the website or the project? It seems to be more about the latter. --BDD (talk) 22:02, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
    • @BDD: In colloquial language, there is no distinction. E.g. refer to the categories, some of which only refer to a web site and its specific presentation of this data rather than a community-driven project as such. If you really wanted, you could make Open Directory Project a redirect to DMOZ and reserve appropriate categories for the redirect and the article. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:21, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
"DMOZ" sounds so colloquial, though. What do reliable sources call it? --BDD (talk) 21:00, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I am wrong, but in my eyes a name is something you choose yourself, not something you need externally sourced? Now there is an official statement at [11] where a new logo and a new branding is announced. The website itself already reflects the changes. So the official name is now DMOZ. So: rename please. --Windharp (talk) 06:05, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support in light of the recent rebranding announcement. - Eureka Lott 19:01, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support rename. --Orlady (talk) 20:35, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support rename. - Photofox (talk) 02:13, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Category:X-language websites[edit]

Even if the categories should exist, should "DMOZ" be listed in them? (If not, I will propose immediate deletion of the categories created only to hold DMOZ.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:42, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

The sheer number of language-based categories added to this article make it look outlandish. I think Category:Multilingual websites should cover it, and the rest can be safely removed. - Eureka Lott 22:55, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Why not? If it's published in a certain language, it fits the criteria for that category. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:56, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Categories, as you well know, are supposed to be a navigational aid. When an article has (literally) 99 categories, they become more of a hindrance than an asset. It's the very definition of category clutter. - Eureka Lott 03:06, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
@EurekaLott: Obviously, most articles won't have this many but some (e.g. Winston Churchill) do. It's a problem if this is common but it's not always strictly forbidden. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:20, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Personally I don't see a benefit from the amount of categories. Do you plan to add all fitting language categories to Wikipedia as well? And to Google, Google+? If so, I won't object. Even though we clearly would need a different form of displaying them, currently it's a useless heap of links at the bottom. --Windharp (talk) 08:34, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
The huge heap of categories there now is worse than useless. Jonathunder (talk) 03:17, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Why did it shut down?[edit]

Not a clue to be found in the article. - Jmabel | Talk 00:19, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

@Jmabel: AOL didn't say. ―Justin (koavf)TCM 09:53, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Looks like the community is trying to get it up running again. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:12, 29 March 2017 (UTC)