While I wasn’t looking, it appears DMOZ, the “largest human-edited directory on the web” is now in the hands of Google. Still, it’s a fascinating place to explore and search for all kinds of information and resources in a directory catalog form rather than just searching. Like a phone book, your search begins by categorized subjects and works its way down.
As I did some digging for information on blogs, weblogs, blogging tools, and blog related subjects, I found some surprises and some interesting categories.
One of the surprises is a new feature that sorts the directory results by Google Page Rank. You do have an option to view them in alphabetical order, but the page rank order is the default.
Blogging information is stored under Computers > Internet > On the Web > Weblogs, which makes sense once you think about it, though I would have put Weblogs under Internet and skipped the whole “On the Web” thing, if I were in charge.
Under that category you find many different sub-categories and related categories for Weblogs such as Articles, Chats and Forums, Collaborative, Comment Spam, Hosts, Using Weblogs in Education, Web Rings, and Web Design and Development.
The bloggers are grouped in a variety of ways. Under the Weblogs category, I found Personal bloggers totaling 3,118 on the list the day I checked. Wow! Next largest group of categorized bloggers is Cooking blogs at 196. That’s a huge drop in numbers. Other blogger categories includes News, Photoblogs, Science, Religion and Spirituality, and Technology.
Related Weblog categories actually expand the various blogger categories, positioning bloggers by subject and category under Arts and other main categories. Blogs are added manually so the submitters designate the category into which they go. If approved, they show up in that category. This means that not all blogs listed show up under Weblogs, but under various categories such as Arts, Online Writing, Travel, and other categories. I found blogs under E-zines, Online Writing > Journals, Family Websites, Travelogues, and a resounding 11,282 sites under Society > People > Personal Homepages. Ah! Your personal “homepage” comes under the society pages. La-dee-dah!
Under the Weblogs > Tools category, I finally found where WordPress and other blogging programs are stored under the Weblog Tools > Publishers category with WordPress, Movable Type, and Blogger.com among many other blogging programs new and old. I’ve long been perplexed by the term “blogging tool”. It sounds awful. I think of tools as something I find in my father’s garage stuffed in a toolbox and covered with rust. Not very romantic but useful. Weblog Publisher is such a wonderful name. Why didn’t they go with that? ;-)
Related categories to Weblog Tools are Arts > Online Writing > Journals > Resources, Content Management, and I found News Readers stored under Reference > Libraries > Library and Information Science > Technical Services > Cataloguing > Metadata > RDF > Applications > RSS > News Readers. Odd place for that. I would have thought News Readers would be under Weblog Tools or News not Libraries. More interesting stuff.
I went backwards to check out what was in the On the Web category and there I found a wide variety of web related topics including a favorite subject of mine, Worst of the Web. Here you find folks who have been writing about and collecting the worst the web has to offer, including their award winning worst websites in the world. Some of the fun sites included are Vincent Flanders’ Web Pages That Suck, NuttySites.com, Worst of the Web, and Ambit’s Totally Useless. There are also 338 sites listed in the Useless Pages category.
If you are more of an optimist, there is also a category of Best of the Web.
While I use normal search engines all the time, there are times when cruising through web directories actually gives me the information I need when I’m having trouble coming up with the key words to use in my search. Instead of wasting time guessing at possible words to get my search results, I can drill down through categories and related categories to find what I want.
If you would like your blog or website added to the DMOZ Open Directory, you need to add it manually through their Submit a Site link. Some say it takes a long time for your submission to be approved, others say it happens quickly. My sites have always been added fairly quickly over the years. The key to submitting your site is to do so from the specific category in which you want your website or blog to appear. The “editor” of that category will handle the approval. Obviously, the more popular the category, the longer it might take to be reviewed and accepted.
To learn more about how it all works, see Open Directory Project about page, and if you would like to become a volunteer editor managing your own category and helping to build this fantastic directory resource, see how to Become an Editor.
And take a few minutes out and cruise through the various categories to see what treasures you may uncover.
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network