ODP Project

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I have been an editor in the Open Directory Project for almost a month and a half now. This is an Internet directory with sites edited by humans, all volunteers. There are 3,437,475 sites, 49,128 editors, and 48,238 categories (as of the date of this writing). It is pretty fun to be an editor. To become one, just go to the ODP site and surf around to find a category you are interested in, and then follow the “become and editor” link at the top of the page. Don’t apply for a top level category like Computers, because your application will be rejected. My first application was for Computers: Internet: Statistics and Demographics, which at the time had about 40 sites under it, and I got accepted.
Now as an editor you have access to the editor’s dashboard, which gives you access to your category (of course), and you can go to the editor’s forums. When you go to the edit version of your category, you can add/remove URLs, add a category description and/or FAQ, create sub-categories, and most importantly, edit the list of unreviewed URL submissions. They have pretty strict guidelines for what can be added to the directory, and you are expected to redirect sites to more relevant categories, if appropriate. One thing that I have learned is to be patient. Each site should be carefully examined, and if you choose to list one, you should carefully edit the site’s title, URL, and description according the ODP’s guidelines. If you want to edit more categories later, at higher levels, your editing skills are appraised in the process of reviewing your application.
Overall, it is a fun and interesting project to be a part of. The ODP listings are pretty much open to the public, and almost any site can publish any part of the ODP listings. Sites like Google, AOL, and HotBot use ODP data as part of their search services. ODP has 233 sites listed as user’s of ODP directory listings.
The moral of the story? Go become an editor, and join the fun!