January 22, 2005

The politics of search

As pretty much expected when politics come into play, DMOZ pulled the listing of RubberStamped. Apparently, not enough listings, although when we asked how many listings were required, we didn't get a reply. Que Sera Sera.

When I posted the "No Sleep 'Til Dmoz" thread, the objective wasn't really to get listed. It was to illustrate the slow turn-around time. Suffice to say, if Rich hadn't stepped in, my submission would have rotted along with the hundreds of others that no doubt sit in the queue. DMOZ should be turning around all submissions in far less than eight days. If the submissions are too numerous to deal with, then surely policy and procedures need to change to address that problem? If policies cannot be applied consistently, then what use are they?

The judgement of "quality" or "completedness" of this directory is a red herring. The real issue is that there are many directories on the web that do qualify to be listed but aren't because the queue has been neglected. And because the category isn't fresh, it isn't particularly useful. Will we see the category carefully maintained and kept up to date from now on? I doubt it. It will likely be left dormant like so many others. DMOZ has long since lost sight of it's original vision.

I don't begrudge DMOZ as a whole. They're overwhelmed with submissions and subject to the political problems that come with "free" and volunteerism on that scale. What I don't see is any will or effective strategy to solve those problems.

Those are the real issues that need addressing :)