Is This A DMOZ Killer In The Making?

Written By: Amber Snow

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 theyre on to something. Heres why:

As a webmaster, Ive 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.

Lets face itfor 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 surebeing 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.

Whats 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 thats an isolated case? Think again. This writer found instances of this type of abuse in over 2 dozen different commercial categories. In fact, some editors 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 youve 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 (www.BuildtheHive.com) will be (according to its 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 editors 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 editors of very large categories).

At this point, if youre like me, youre saying to yourself Why didnt 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 editors 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 meits 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 its ear!

To read more, go to http://www.BuildtheHive.com

Amber Snow is an independent freelance web designer and search engine optimization expert.

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