While I’m traveling, I don’t have much time to write. But I’m still doing a lot of reading.
I have a selection of the “best of” from my readings, chosen specifically for readers of this blog. You can find it in the right rail.
It’s also available as a feed.
About Rakesh Agrawal
Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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I’ve been reading… your question related to the DMOZ on LinkedIn*. I unfortunately deleted my answer and cannot post any other answer again. so here it is.
Paris, Seoul, NYC, Uqbar
I’ve been contributing to the French ODP and I do hope Sun / AOL won’t let DMOZ down. Just like I hope Wikipedia, to which I also contribute, won’t die because of its success (maintenance costs).
The ODP is much more demanding than Wikipedia. Decisions are more structural and demanding – structure is actually the key, with a clear vertical major (rather horizontal for Wikipedia). The beauty of the ODP ? It requires more intelligence and good sense than knowledge for those who do it, and yet it looks dumb and ease of use to any visitor.
The ODP is about adding value. Its main added value is in the editing part, sorting individually URLs and collaboratively giving sense to an ever evolving mass.
When I use the ODP, I know the trash has been sorted and doublechecked. Before knowing that and being part of it, I already used it when I wanted to find suggestions, to widen my frame of mind on a specific topic. I’m generaly not looking for a specific site but for points of views on a topic related to it. I generaly discover an interesting family tree and suggestions to explore collateral topics. I generaly end up with a richer opinion because of this simple ping pong exchange. Either I have learnt something or I have found a way of improving the category (I may then suggest a site as a visitor, or another angle as an editor, in the related forum).
To me, this is more important than exhaustivity (there’s Google for that).
My opinion on the future of the DMOZ : Sun / AOL is to be respected for its patronage, but nothing guarantees the survival of the initiative in the long term. A non-for-profit fundation system could help raise more fund and “Structure the Structurer”.
Do some benchmarking with Wikipedia, SourceForge, GNU, Linux, and other open source / open content initiatives. This very morning, I was mentioning a mobile Linux initiative by Vodafone, DoCoMo, Motorola, Samsung and Co (see link below**). Why not ask some competitors (and “customers” of the ODP, such as Yahoo! Directory) to join ? There is a need for a true directory and no one can do better than the ODP (remember Yahoo! started as a web directory as much as a web search engine).
* How is the Open Directory Project (dmoz.org) being used today?