Welcome Back

Rivers of digital ink, mostly red, have been flowing in anticipation of the death of the ODP since October 20th, the day when our editors server went down. And it's understandable: most other organizations without soul would have probably accomplished the prophecies of doom and died, under similar circumstances. But… ODP is back!

This is not the result of mere chance or a stroke of fortune. It is the result of the joint spirit and efforts of many of us, volunteers and AOL/ODP staff, who firmly believe in ODP as an initiative that makes a true difference in the worldwide web environment.

The long 59 days without editing were a time full of emotions. Disappointment and anger alternating with enthusiasm, hope, and the strong will to get involved and help. It was also a time for finding ways to keep together, a time for creative thinking, for dialog, for action, and maybe the most important, a time for learning.

As a community, we emerge out of the crisis with a newly-found strength, as in the most difficult moments of the history of our Directory, we acted as true team. Many ideas, bonds and a widespread motivation to move forward were born from this experience, which opens up in front of us a big window of opportunity.

Yes, times are changing and so do our needs and the needs of our users. That's the reason why we will not feel satisfied with a mere restoration of features to a pre-outage status.

For the future, we envision an ODP evolving towards an advanced model, firmly rooted in our core values and principles, but providing, with a renewed relevance, the key services that the global web community requires. We are already working on this vision, with a wide participation of the community, as one of our key priorities for the future.

At the same time and looking at the short term, we are just warming up our engines to achieve our full capability, some features are being gradually restored, and it will still take some more time.

What we have done, what we are doing and what we plan to do gives us arguments to think of the ODP as an organization with a strong spirit and a brave heart.

That's the reason why we can proudly say in the ODP's 79 languages:

Welcome back to our editors who generously contribute to the Open Directory Project because they truly believe in it! Thanks to every one of you!

Welcome back to all searchers and data users who find the results of our work useful, be it on dmoz.org or elsewhere! You know that despite of all the difficulties, we haven't left you all this time.

Welcome back to those who are waiting for the full restoration of external functionalities to suggest their sites (abusers and spammers abstain, please!). It will only take some more time until submissions and update requests are possible again.

At last but certainly not least, Welcome back to those who are wishing to join the editor community! As soon as the application process is fully functional again, we will be happy to receive your applications.

Internet community, ODP is back! Full of goals, energy, and hope.

- irmaar


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