Is This A ?DMOZ Killer? In The Making?
Is building a Human-Edited Fully "Democratic" Search Directory Possible?
The independent creators of the non-profit "BuildtheHive" (www.BuildtheHive.com) think so, and I think they're on to something. Here's why:
As a webmaster, I've long been frustrated by a certain human-edited directory (and you know who I mean) that has inexplicably refused entry of some of my clients, while accepting others without a second glance.
The problem (as I see it) is the same thing that makes these resource potentially great ? human editors.
Let's face it?for some people, the power of being an editor of their very own category in a major search directory is simply too much for their character. Many a webmaster (myself included) has complained of the abusiveness of some of the editors, both in the way they perform their duties, and (at times) how they interact with the public.
To be sure?being a volunteer editor can be a thankless job, with the number of "Spam" submissions (i.e. those outside the guidelines) far outweighing the legitimate ones.
What's worse, and far more disturbing, are the "rogue" editors of certain categories that are abusing their "power" by adding their own commercial sites, and excluding their "competition". Think that's an isolated case? Think again. This writer found instances of this type of abuse in over 2 dozen different commercial categories. In fact, some editor's were so blatant about it as to add dozens of "mirrors" of the same exact site, essentially "taking over" the category with their own content.
After essentially ignoring this abuse for years, the editors (in a nod to the fact that it DOES exist) independently setup an abuse reporting system for users. However, the fact that they need such a system (in my opinion) just exemplifies the weakness in the current system of human-edited directories. What about the abuse that goes un-reported? The fact that you even need a abuse-reporting system to me says that you've already lost the battle. To be truly fair, a volunteer directory editing system needs to be IMPOSSIBLE to abuse. Unfortunately, no such system currently exists.
But one IS being built, and it looks like it may just revolutionize the world of human-edited directories.
Using a proprietary "voting" system, BuildtheHive will be (according to it's creators) a "directory built the democratic way". No one single editor can add, delete, or change a submitted website. All submissions & changes are voted on by multiple editors with the decision as to whether a site "makes it in" based on a simple premise of "majority rules". This removes the ability of a single editor to deny ANY site, as it takes several editors to either approve or deny a site.
This democratic system has even been extended to the acceptance/denial of new editors. Anyone will be able to apply to become a BuildtheHive editor. Once submitted, an editor's application is voted on, and acceptance/rejection is once again determined by majority rule.
The BuildtheHive creators have even solved the "expired domain" problem (i.e. sites that remain in a directory after being picked-up by domain speculators after their previous owners failed to renew the domain with their registrar) . Any site that gets accepted is automatically placed in a queue to be re-reviewed (and voted on again) after a specified period of time. This cool feature not only cures the expired domain problem, but it also eliminates the need for a category editor to manually monitor all the sites in their category (a HUGE plus for editor's of very large categories).
At this point, if you're like me, you're saying to yourself "Why didn't I think of that!"
The good news is, you can still be a part of it.
In an effort to remain completely independent, the creators of BuildtheHive have avoided seeking venture capital, and have been funding this project out of their own pockets. For a limited time, they will be accepting a very small number of editor's who will not have to go through the "voting process" to be accepted, in return for a small donation of only $19.
For a chance to be part of what could conceivably become the "buzz word" in human-edited search, take it from me?it's a bargain. If the creators of BuildtheHive only accomplish half of what they set out to do, it will turn the world of human-edited search on it's ear!
About The Author
Amber Snow is an independent freelance web designer and search engine optimization expert.
To read more, go to http://www.BuildtheHive.com.
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