Open Directory Toasted Without Backups

    December 18, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The Open Directory Project has operated under various names, but its latest incarnation managed at AOL has earned a new name: FUBAR.

Open Directory Toasted Without Backups
How Much Did The DMOZ Crash Damage? CEO and co-founder Rich Skrenta has discussed the travails of DMOZ over the years. Those discussions could be post-mortems now.

A post by Skrenta about the nine lives of DMOZ highlighted some problems being experienced by the directory he started several years ago. Hardware issues and non-existent backup appear to be the culprits:

Apparently the machine holding dmoz in AOL ops crashed. Standard backups had been discontinued for some reason; during unsuccessful attempts to restore some of the lost data, ops blew away the rest of the existing data on the system.

So for the past 6 weeks, a few folks have been trying to patch the system back together again (reverse engineering from the latest RDF dump, I suppose). But 6 weeks is a very long outage….

dmoz doesn’t exactly operate on a model of transparency, to say the least, so they have been keeping the details of what happened private.

The closest anyone seems to be getting to lamenting a possible DMOZ demise is the Irish wake of cheers being expressed earlier in December by people like Sean Bolton at SEO Speedwagon:

DMOZ is a very old entity that needed to die years ago and hopefully will perish soon. DMOZ used to be an incredibly valuable inbound link especially at Google, providing you even got reviewed and indexed in their crappy directory.

I can’t count how many clients I’ve submitted to DMOZ that were never even reviewed. Granted, I only manage a handful of accounts each year, but I’m not the only one fed up with DMOZ’s lack of editorial attentiveness.

Those who do wish to add a URL to the directory have been getting stonewalled since late October, as a number of people have posted from then through today. Moderators have been repeating a “we do not have an ETA” message intermittently. Attempts to suggest a URL in a category hit a “Service Temporarily Unavailable” page, just as they have since October.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.