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Comment from a heavy user of ODP

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  • Jimmy Wales
    Hello, I am Jimmy Wales, CEO of Bomis, Inc. We produce the popular search engine and web directory http://www.bomis.com/ . We aren t Yahoo in terms of
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 8, 2000
      Hello,

      I am Jimmy Wales, CEO of Bomis, Inc. We produce the popular search
      engine and web directory http://www.bomis.com/ . We aren't Yahoo
      in terms of popularity, I'm afraid, but we do have around 60 million
      monthly pageviews.

      I was a very early adopter of the ODP data as soon as the open content
      license was adopted. My name appeared an early San Jose Mercury
      newspaper article about the project, and I was interviewed as to
      what's so great about the ODP project.

      I have no specific complaints about ODP, and I have never been an editor.

      However, I do very much like the idea of an alternative project to
      provide competition. I am concerned about the possible threat to my
      business of having a primary source of supposedly "community" data
      available only via a service run by AOL/Time Warner, my largest
      competitor. I would feel much more comfortable with a more grass
      roots organization.

      I very much think that sites like
      http://www.angelfire.com/journal/wizardofdmoz/

      Are *extremely bad* for your cause. I would advise the author to take
      the site down immediately, before the xodp movement gets branded in a
      negative light. (If not take it down, at least get rid of the foul
      language and rewrite it in a more "positive" way.)

      What is needed is a sincere dedicated and truely *community* project
      to supplement and stand ready to reply the ODP. I would stand ready
      to support such a project by adopting the data immediately.

      I would hate for the xODP group to be seen as primarily a negative
      reaction against something. It should be a postive movement *for*
      something.

      --
      *************************************************
      * Win My Ferrari! http://www.bomis.com/ferrari/ *
      *************************************************
    • Patrice Ossona de Mendez
      ... There are some projects on the air . However, avoiding ODP like traps is not so simple and needs a lot of preliminary work. ... Extreme points of view are
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 9, 2000
        > However, I do very much like the idea of an alternative project to
        > provide competition.

        There are some projects "on the air". However, avoiding ODP like
        traps is not so simple and needs a lot of preliminary work.

        > I would hate for the xODP group to be seen as primarily a negative
        > reaction against something. It should be a postive movement *for*
        > something.

        Extreme points of view are presents in the questions and answers.
        This is somehow the price of the "free speech" that US like so much.
        The sites are under the reponsability of their owners, and it would be
        a shame that an e-group could force one participant to close its site
        or leave (wouldn't it ?), or even impose some redacrional change in
        the site. The choice to reference this or this site is under the
        repsondability of the group creator and it seems to me that
        "absolutely against ODP" and "absolutely for ODP" and even
        "abstolutely against against-ODP" are all represented, what is the
        spirit of the "free speech".

        Thus, each of us has to go there and there and to make its own point
        of view, trying to sort the "informations" between objective facts and
        propaganga.

        The group has less than 6 months of existence! The important problems
        unveiled by the ODP structure (and similar other ones which arise
        there and there) are not so easy to handle. To make this clear, I
        would like to make some (distant ?) comparaison: Assume you have
        understood to live in a dictatorial state, you say it and you have to
        leave. Then, to prepare democracy is not a six months jobs, specialy
        if you have no real model for it (try to find some democratic
        structure on internet...). Before constructiong something "new", you
        have to make sure you have understood all the traps in which you don't
        want to fall.
      • David Prenatt
        ... Your reputation precedes you, Jimmy. Welcome.--DFP,Jr. [Jimmy Wales continued:] ... I echo the above-quoted sentiments, more or less. And while I do have
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 9, 2000
          Jimmy Wales wrote:

          >
          > I am Jimmy Wales, CEO of Bomis, Inc. We produce the popular search
          > engine and web directory http://www.bomis.com/ . We aren't Yahoo
          > in terms of popularity, I'm afraid, but we do have around 60 million
          > monthly pageviews.

          Your reputation precedes you, Jimmy. Welcome.--DFP,Jr.

          [Jimmy Wales continued:]
          >
          > I have no specific complaints about ODP, and I have never been an
          > editor.
          >
          > However, I do very much like the idea of an alternative project to
          > provide competition. I am concerned about the possible threat to my
          > business of having a primary source of supposedly "community" data
          > available only via a service run by AOL/Time Warner, my largest
          > competitor. I would feel much more comfortable with a more grass
          > roots organization.

          I echo the above-quoted sentiments, more or less. And while I do have specific complaints about ODP that arose because of my tenure as an ODP editor, my concerns are personal ones. My sole reason for going public with my story was to rehabilitate my professional reputation and move on to new projects, both of which I have done.

          As far as ODP being a possible threat to the competitors of AOL/Time Warner, I was once concerned about this as well. However, ODP is no longer a serious threat to anyone. Like its late, great parent company Netscape, ODP had a shot at greatness, . . . and it missed.

          As a data resource, ODP is swiftly becoming less and less relevant to the future of the Internet community that it purports to serve. But similar to Netscape, the product of the ODP revolution -- i.e., ODP data (rather than Mozilla code) -- has been jettisoned for those who wish to pick up the open content ball and run with it.

          Humbly Yours,

          XODP Moderator netesq
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