DMOZ Closes Site Submission Status Forum

    May 23, 2005

The nature of the DMOZ directory dictates the use of human editors to populate the index. Because of this, DMOZ has been a topic of discussion amongst many who feel they’ve been treated unfairly.

With approval into DMOZ depending entirely on human editors, and because people are normally easier to communicate with than algorithm-based search engine spiders, the DMOZ forums are normally quite busy with any number of requests and questions.

When a webmaster or site owner submits their site, they usually want a quick approval, and if not, they want an area to vent about their frustrations. One of the most popular arenas to voice these concerns, the DMOZ forum, is closing their most used forum category, the Site Submission Status forum.

This particular forum was developed so those who are awaiting approval (or denial) can check the status of their submission. As indicated, this category was the most popular forum on DMOZ, containing 24,386 threads with 123,777 posts. The second most popular category is the How To Submit section, which features 1,761 threads with 9,053 posts.

As you can see, the Site Submission Status forum dwarfs the second most active category. This raises the question: why would DMOZ close such a widely used communication tool? To address the confusion, forum administrator donaldb issued a post detailing DMOZ’s position:

The original mandate of this forum was to put a better light on the ODP by allowing the public to interact directly with the editors. At some point the submission status requests seem to have taken over and almost become the focus…

People want information we either simply do not have or cannot for confidentiality reasons give out. Therefore, despite our communications, the existence of the status check forum raises unrealistic expectations, leading to more frustration but no satisfaction, for anyone.

Because being a DMOZ editor is strictly a volunteer undertaking, apparently this forum put an unnecessary burden on the editors because of the sheer number of requests, as well as the nature of some of these forum posts.

Currently, the Site Submission Status forum is available in an archive format only. There will be no new posts allowed.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.