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Why would you (or would you not) volunteer as a directory editor?

Discussion in 'Directories' started by Nima, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. #1
    Why would you (or would you not) volunteer as a directory editor?
    Are there still people out there considering becoming a volunteer editor for a directory?
    Nima, Apr 2, 2013 IP
  2. NicheDiver

    NicheDiver Greenhorn

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    #2
    Reason I would: To try and build an organized view of what's available on the Internet. A snapshot, if you will, minus all the junk that gets into the SERPs.

    Reason I would not: Dealing with the owners (or promoters) of the aforementioned junk seems like it would be too big of a time sink.
    NicheDiver, Apr 2, 2013 IP
  3. swedal

    swedal Notable Member

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    #3
    I think many that volunteer think of it as a learning situation. They might want to learn the in's and outs of editing with an eye towards possibly starting up a directory later.

    Others might volunteer for the chance to hang out or get to know other editors there.
    swedal, Apr 2, 2013 IP
  4. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #4
    I would want to know who all the players are...people in charge/owners on down to other volunteers. I would want to know how any proceeds are being spent/invested. There would need to be a well-defined TOS that everyone must follow. I don't see anything wrong with editors adding their own site if and only if the contained unique, original and useful content. However, they should be fired if they get caught deleting the queues or adding crap.

    In other words, I would want everyone working towards building a top-notch site in keeping with my own ideas of what a high-quality directory actually means. Problem is there's very few folks doing that. They may start out that way but often get lazier as they go along.
    YMC, Apr 3, 2013 IP
    Nima likes this.
  5. Web Directory Reviews Org

    Web Directory Reviews Org Greenhorn

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    #5
    Many of us got our start as volunteers. For me, it was Gnu-Hoo, which briefly became New-Hoo, and then the Open Directory Project, as well as Go and Zeal.

    I made a large number of valuable contacts during this time in my life and, while I am currently paid for doing what I once did for free, my times a volunteer editor had much to do with the fact that I have been able to work from my home for more than a decade now.

    I will admit that, while I am listed as a volunteer for one directory today, I don't have the time to do a lot as a volunteer anymore. I don't know whether this is a mark of the times or of my age. Overall, perhaps it is harder for people to earn a living now and people who are having trouble paying their bills may not be good candidates for volunteer recruitment.

    I very much enjoyed my time with the Open Directory Project, and Zeal was a great learning experience, since the requirements there were vastly different than the ODP. My time as a GoGuide (before GoGuides) was more tedious than enjoyable, but still valuable on some ways.
    Nima likes this.
  6. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    #6

    What were the things you enjoyed the most at Open Directory Project? What were the things you found tedious at GoGuide?
    Nima, Apr 7, 2013 IP
  7. Web Directory Reviews Org

    Web Directory Reviews Org Greenhorn

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    #7
    Since I was there from nearly the beginning, at the ODP, we were very much involved in the taxonomy of the directory. For example, the ODP's Regional category alone was the result of a discussion that went on in the private forums for nearly two years, and I think the results were pretty good, or at least good enough that everyone else, including Yahoo, copied it.

    When so many people are involved in making a decision, the downside is that it takes a long time to arrive at a decision, but the upside is that you really get a good feel for all of the different perspectives that are involved.

    Also, as a meta, we were involved with pretty much everything having to do with running the directory so the ODP was a great training ground for anyone who might later want to run his own directory; or forum, for that matter, because there was a lot of politics involved in it, as well.

    For me, the ODP began going downhill, as far as being an enjoyable experience, sometime after Keating took over, as he seemed to turn to only a few people, and many of the decisions appeared to have been made even before something was brought up for discussion. I stuck with it for years afterward, but the amount of time and effort I devoted to it diminished until, finally, I lost my login. As is the case with the ODP, I never knew whether I had timed out or been removed.

    I turned to Go as my interest in the ODP began to wane but the alliances had already been developed there, and it didn't seem to be overly welcoming of new blood. I felt like the kid who moved to a new school in his senior year. When things didn't seem to make sense, there was no discussion. It was, either do it this way or leave. I was still there though, when the project was shut down.

    I was sad to see Zeal shut down, as it really had a lot going for it. The tests that had to be taken in order to progress to another level were ingenuous, and not at all easy to pass. The quality demanded was very high, and I appreciated that. I didn't feel the sense of community among Zealots that we had in the ODP, and which some people seemed to have as Go Guides, but then neither was I spending the amount of time with either of those as I did with the ODP. I literally spent far more time working at the ODP than I did at the job that I was being paid for and, except for the last couple of years, I loved it.
    Nima likes this.
  8. stoner3221

    stoner3221 Notable Member

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    #8
    We have a very similar background in editing. It's nice to see some of us old farts are still kicking!
    stoner3221, Apr 13, 2013 IP
  9. Web Directory Reviews Org

    Web Directory Reviews Org Greenhorn

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    #9
    Yes, it is. I don't talk to very many people who came along in the past decade who could even understand, let alone consider, volunteering that many hours for something like the ODP. But it was fun and it was educational so, in that, I think I got as much as I gave.
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  10. stoner3221

    stoner3221 Notable Member

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    #10
    I think the volunteer editor directory is a thing of the past. I closed the volunteer editor program at Skaffe over a year ago due to a general lack of interest and the extensive policing that is required. I still however have a few good volunteer editors working that have been at it for years.
    stoner3221, Apr 13, 2013 IP
  11. silencer

    silencer Well-Known Member

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    #11
    I agree that it is probably a thing of the past. It was a learning experience for most coming through, or it was a chance for others to get a lot of good human-touched content on their directory. The good editors don't volunteer these days and the volunteers generally aren't good editors.

    I still believe, that for those who don't know what they are doing it is the best way to learn before they create their own, but people would rather be in control of their own beast, even if it is an ugly mongrel :p
    silencer, May 10, 2013 IP