New Editalls and Metas

News and Announcements

By artisands and chris2001

New Staff

One of the most visible changes after the big crash of 2006 is the growth of the ODP staff group. It is difficult to say how many staff, exactly, ODP has today – there is a lot in and out and redeploying all the time at big companies like AOL. But it's for sure more staff than we had all through the last years, and more of their time is dedicated to ODP.

Here is a list of the staffers whom you may meet now and then in the editor forums:

rdkeating25 – The ODP community's silverback leader, aka editor in chief.

bbqgrant – Our resident Texan BBQ and marketing expert. Currently experimenting with a new and rather hot PR sauce that includes AOLs corporate marketing strategies, ODP´s grassroot traditions and the ideas and contributions of several thousand editors writing in 70+ languages.

kryton (technical lead) – Fearless cowboy from Down Under: Doesn't matter how many horses... i.e. developers and designers... get shot from beneath him, he's determined to drive all those kicking screaming piles of overaged code and outdated servers into the 21st century.

rpfuller (developer) – The magician: there's no code or server he can't fix... if he can get the necessary access rights.

petez (lead developer) - Member of a secret conspiracy to modernize ODP´s backend.

anevergreen (OPS) – Grooms, feeds and trains the hamsters.

For more details and updates who else is with us, please see the related thread in the forum.

End of Year 2007 Mozzies

For those of you not familiar with the “Mozzie Awards”, once or twice a year we offer peer voted awards in a variety of areas ranging from New and Best Editors, New and Best Categories, Favorite Forum Threads, Editor Meet-ups, and some fun awards such as Cutest Couple or Editing Pair, Most Confusing Editor Name, and Laziest Editor.

This year’s Mozzie Awards were coordinated by the project team headed by jtaylorj. The team included emil2004, erkin, kazhar, netjim, and robjones. Thanks to the entire team for all of your hard work and effort.

Once the “voting” software is set up (thanks again to jtaylorj and team) the nomination process begins. Although a few of the awards are "self-nomination only", the majority of nominations come from the general editing community. Campaigning in the Penguin Cafe is encouraged.

Following the actual voting, awards are provided for the Winners, Runners-Up and Nominees.

This year the designing of the awards was handled a little differently. See the following news item for more information on that.

Related forum thread: End of Year Mozzies 2007

Mozzie Award Design Contest

Winning Mozzie Design

As a kick-off for this year's Mozzie Awards we offered a design contest in the Penguin Cafe. If you visited there during November and December, you will already know that we had a terrific response and discovered many very talented people.

During the Mozzie voting process, editors had the opportunity to choose their favorite "award". The winning award for the 2007 Year End Mozzies was created by maxcoder (see his design pictured above).

In case you missed the festivities in the Penguin Cafe, please take a few minutes to see a sampling of these really great design entries:

Sample of Design Entries - (click to veiw a sample entry from each designer)

Related forum thread: Fame Awaits: Design Contest for 2007 Yr End Mozzies

Thanks to all of the Designers!

Robozilla´s Worst Day

When Robozilla finally got back from his long holiday in December 2007, he got the shock of a life time: someone else had already eaten his dinner. Half-unconscious after more than a year without food, the arms full of paint pots, he splattered anything that didn't get out of his way fast enough with red paint... including a rather big pile of working listings that were mistakenly reddified and unpublished. Kudos to ps653 for cleaning up behind the mad lizard.

You wonder who had dealt with all those reds in Robozilla´s absence? Next time you see a red pop up in a category which you can access, have a closer look: in many cases, it was not caused by Robozilla but by the tools of the technical metas. Since mid-2006, their tools have the power to reddify and unreview listings where there have been errors detected – quite a big step forward for the effectivity of automated quality control, and it proved to be even more important when, after the big crash, several months worth of junk had to be found and removed.

If you want to support coordinated quality control efforts, please have a look at the following threads:

Clearing errors – do it correctly!

Frog and its spawn

Editor Meetings

Several editor teams have held meetings during the last year, and shared photos and stories afterwards:

  • World/Italiano: Frascati, 14.-15. April 2007
  • UK: Arundel, 8.-9. September 2007
  • World/Russian: St. Petersburg, 13. January 2008
  • World/Română: Iaşi, 26. January 2008
  • World/Dansk: Copenhagen, 3. February 2008
    • Special thanks to dmclean, for checking personally if our new technical lead really exists.

      You don´t want to miss the next meeting in your part of the world? Preparations for meetings are currently running in:



      Io mitingo
      Tu mitinghi
      Egli mitinghia
      Noi mitinghiamo
      Voi mitingate
      Essi mitingano

      © World/Italiano

      Inside the Hamster Box

      The hamsters confirm that the major part of the server exchange plans described in the last edition has been successfully realized. The backend looks like this: 2 servers

      Search: 4 servers

      Web frontend (public pages and features for the public): 3 servers

      Chefmoz: 2 servers

      Forums, RDF and Robozilla: 2 servers

      Research: still living on its old machine

      The server configuration has been changed significantly, to remove as many single points of failure as possible: the directory was moved off local storage to NAS storage, which allows to serve the files directly on the webservers and remove the proxies. Some things still need to be run on a single machine, due to the design of the system, and cost of changing that.


      Plenty of exciting news on ODP, for ODP or about Search in general during the last year! Below is a selection - if you want more, check out the various news threads in the forum!

      Making News and Being News

      ODP´s new official blog got immediate attention in the search-related blogosphere. The publication process is still a bit bumpy. But which other corporate blog in the Search world is co-produced and co-reviewed by several thousand volunteers?

      Also, there are several newbies in the flock of blogs which are maintained by editors or editor groups: (Romanian), (Spanish), (Russian) and (Turkish).

      The New Indian Express, one of the main English papers of Chennai and southern India, published an article on ODP on 19. October 2007. A big thank you to sankarrukku for giving the interview, and chang for helping with preparations!

      What are ODP's Founders up to?

      Topix has transformed itself from an automated news aggregator into a news community during the last year. From their About us page:

      Previously, several Topix founders created the Open Directory Project (originally called "NewHoo"), the first open development directory for the Internet, and now the largest human-edited web directory. Topix is applying that model to the news, turning passive news into active dialogue by giving people an easy-to-use publishing system with a built-in audience.

      Who would have thought, when Rich Skrenta explained to us years ago how the algorithms would fix all the weaknesses of the human-edited model in Topix...?

      Also, in the meantime, Chris Tolles has taken over as CEO of Topix. While Rich Skrenta is on his way to new... old... challenges: Search.

      Our Most Famous Data User

      Since end of 2007, Google is updating its directory, which is based on ODP data, more regularly than during the last years, i.e. roughly in a two months interval. The users of the Google directory will for sure appreciate that the results of our continuous quality control efforts are adopted more frequently now! As usual, ODP´s Google update watchers have all the details.

Please send all comments, questions or suggestions to the newsletter editor.