Internet Historians

I’m looking for information on how the now-defunct DMOZ (Open Directory Project) worked.

  1. After someone downloaded and installed their directory software, and downloaded and installed the data of the categories and links, did the installation send the new registrations/links they got back to DMOZ for inclusion in the main database?
  2. Similar to above, after installation did they receive updates to the data from DMOZ?


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From what I remember you had to submit the links on their site. It was pretty much an old school search engine where you submitted links to it, it was reviewed by human editors who would decide whether or not to include it into the directory. Humans would also maintain the index manually (aside from their spider which would flag current links that need follow up by a human).

It was a great idea in that it kept things very clean and informational, but as you probably could guess it has some major flaws…

  1. Humans are hard to scale
  2. Humans are heavily bias
  3. Humans love to debate and go on power trips

I think I even tried to submit a few links back in the day of well written and on point content that someone decided just wasn’t adequate enough. Not sure why since I was the domain expert in the topic and it was heavily researched. They also had this notion of we only need ONE source for a topic. If you submitted something specific and there was another site that had 90% of what you said on it already in their index, they would just reject it. This lead to links that were the be all to end all resource when really they could be wrong, outdated or missing a key idea that you covered in the other 10%.

But anyways, I don’t recall software downloads other than downloading the original data (like snapshots). But I could be wrong.

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