When Yahoo ruled the roost, the problem was this: it took forever to get a listing in Yahoo. Some bright spark, by the name of Rich Skrenta, addressed that problem. He created a directory run by webmasters, for webmasters, and anyone else who thought the listings might be valuable.
As the years went by, after Rich had long gone on to bigger and better things, DMOZ, like a sad demented uncle, gradually lost the plot entirely. It is now quicker to get out of the Google sandbox than it is for many webmasters to get a listing for their site in DMOZ. Worst of all, DMOZ alienated the very people who DMOZ was built to serve: webmasters seeking timely directory listings.
There are various reports surfacing on the web that DMOZ has been experiencing unspecified hardware problems for more than a week, with editors unable to log in, and no eta of a fix. Has the old dinosaur gone belly up?
These days, directories aren’t hard to run, so it made sense for webmasters to take back the initiative and start their own directories. There are now a huge collection of distributed directories doing a very similar job to the early DMOZ. Wikipedia is providing up-to-date detailed information on any topic you can think of. Google provides a rather good search function.
So where is DMOZ placed in 2006?
There’s a lesson in here somewhere, and it centers around webmasters.