BOTW to Acquire DMOZ

Finally Happening…
Best of the Web is happy to announce they’ve reached an agreement in principle to purchase the DMOZ Directory (Aka – ODP) for an undisclosed sum.

Though a nondisclosure clause prohibits the parties from disclosing details prior to finalization, discussion of some facets of future plans for the venerable directory product are still an open topic.

The New Dmoz to take on Google?
There will be massive changes on the user side, including a highly functional state of the art search interface that offers an option to search the Dmoz database only or to combine results with a metasearch of major search engines. It is hoped this will evolve into dmoz going head to head as a competitor in the search engine field.

New Dmoz Logo Contest
In celebration of the move to compete as a major search apparatus as well as a directory, there will be a makeover of the external appearance, with a green and blue color scheme and a new logo. The logo will be selected in a contest (open to he public) after closing of the transaction. Those that want to get a headstart need to be working with ideas that incorporate a monkey, a tree, and the letters Dmoz.

Things We Cannot Yet Discuss
Though plans for managing and monetizing the new acquisition are already settled, these are subject to the aforementioned nondisclosure clause and cannot be announced until after the sale is complete.

It is known that the sale only includes the assets including the name, the database, and the interface… but does not involve the existing volunteers that work the database. Unconfirmed rumors indicate they may be sold to Yahoo, though the legality of selling humans in a post 14th amendment world may limit that transaction to those outside the continental US.

Stay tuned to this space or Twitter…
We’ll use this blog and Twitter to provide additional news as it develops. Please be sure to take into account the date of this announcement when discussing it with anyone (as in Happy “April Fools Day”) , and for those of you that just read headlines and skim… fellas, you’re on your own.

Hope you guys have a great weekend. ~ Rob


BOTW Offers Free Beer

Hey, now that I have your attention, I’ll point out it wasn’t just a line to get your attention this time. I understand our crew really *will* be providing free beer at SES New York this coming week.*

SES New York will be talking place March 21 – 25th, and as always the BOTW crew will have a booth there. This is the 12th year for Search Engine Strategies “SES Conference & Expo Series”. It will be at the Hilton New York in NYC. If you’re going you’ll be among 5000 or so internet professionals gathered to get Search Smart. Full details on the site linked HERE.

SES New York, March 21 - 25, 2011

*  Traditionally our group returns exhausted from all the hard work,  mysteriously without photos.  If you take any juicy pictures of said work, send the negatives, we’ll split the profit. :)

Anyway, to those attending… have a great time, and stop by and have one on us.

Hope you have a great week. ~ Rob



Last call eh? Now you know where I spent all my time in college. :)

Just a note to remind you you have until midnite to use the BOTW February 2011 promo code. Don’t miss out on this chance to save 20% on one or a combination of the following directory products… BOTW Directory, the BOTW UK & Ireland Directory, and the BOTW Blog Directory. For details, see 20% Off BOTW Submissions.
BOTW February Promo Code

Promo code is FEB20. Be the first kid on the block to get your shiny new discounted BOTW submission. You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood. ~ Rob


FEB BOTW Promo: A Lovely Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day
If that’s a surprise to you, you’re probably already in trouble.

Before you go hustle down to the local Target to wrestle the rest of the poor schlubs that forgot, just to win the last heart-shaped box of candy with the crease where it was hit by a forklift, maybe you should think outside the box of chocolates.

How about a gift that has less calories and more value?

No, not diamonds or something real expensive. Just never know if they’ll appreciate the sacrifice. I mean, I went big last year… and my wife hasn’t even *touched* the floor sander I got her. It was a really nice one too. Some valentines just don’t appreciate the grand romantic gesture. Go figure.

Maybe you oughta shoot in the middle and get him/her something nice for the website, like a BOTW submission or two?

If that’s something you’d like – Discount code is FEB20
Works on any of the following directories… BOTW Directory, the BOTW UK & Ireland Directory, and the BOTW Blog Directory. For details, see 20% Off BOTW Submissions.
BOTW February Promo Code

Whether you do it for your valentine or yourself…
Thought I’d mention we’re at mid February, and the 20% off promotion expires at the end of the month.

Of course if you think it’s a silly gift suggestion… don’t blame me, I’m not the guy looking for gift ideas in the middle of the holiday. ;P

Y’all have a great valentines day. ~ Rob


Directories: The Mark Twain Syndrome

Rumors of My Death…
Mark Twain once ran into a situation that paralleled an experience of his fictitious Tom Sawyer character… ie – he was reported as dead,  and was in the unique position of being alive to hear it. His response was to send a note, something along the lines of  “Rumors of my death have been greatly exagerrated”.

Strangely it happened again, when a ship on which he was traveling experienced a delay and there was speculation that he’d been lost at sea. Hearing the tale after he reached port, he penned a news article announcing a personal investigation into the matter…

“You can assure my Virginia friends that I will make an exhaustive investigation of this report that I have been lost at sea. If there is any foundation for the report, I will at once apprise the anxious public.

I sincerely hope that there is no foundation for the report, and I also hope that judgment will be suspended until I ascertain the true state of affairs.”

On a Related Note… I hear “Directories are Dead”
That one gets repeated occasionally in webmaster forums. Funny thing is if you pay attention it’s almost always stated as grave fact by somebody that just happens to want to sell his own personal site promotion program… *guaranteed* to make your website run faster, jump higher, and attract supermodels.

[Be the first on your block to buy, kids, supply is limited!!!]

In one recent case it was stated as fact by a guy that was touting massive numbers of forum sigs as the new road to marketing a website. My thought there is that I DO notice forum sigs, and agree 100% having a site in the sig of your personal ID is ONE excellent marketing tool, *provided* it is… (A) the real thing and (B) your posts are frequent and knowledgeable, and (C) in the right forums. Nothing wrong with that. I personally generate direct traffic to sigs I think look interesting.

BUT Spam is still, as always… edible
All the above considered, the guys selling the idea of creating thousands of fake profiles (especially by bot) are ignoring the fact that any forum worth reading will regularly delete those as spam. Just as Askimet and other plugins of that genre are rapidly reducing comment spam in blogs, improved moderation software (and moderators familiar with the tactic) are rapidly making spam profiles a waste of time.

Even if such links remain after the ban, there’s the dubious honor having your site promoted by a character that has “BANNED” beside his name. Doesn’t do wonders for reputation or credibility.

Spam and The Law of Unintended Consequences
As an added bonus, in forums I’ve moderated, once a site has been promoted by spammy methods, the mere mention of that URL tends to raise a red flag about any member that later mentions it as a valuable resource… a direct result of the previous spam attempt.

Somehow I’m thinking that *can’t* have been the intended outcome when somebody paid a guy to promote the site in forums, but that’s the reality of letting your site be associated with spamtastic promo methods.

Consider the Source (and observe poultry product safety)
Basically the “directory is dead” stuff is often tossed out by guys that wish it were so in order to get folks to put their eggs in a different basket. By a no doubt fortunate coincidence, the guys saying so are almost always in the business of selling such baskets, and will gladly provide you alternative basketry as soon as your credit card clears.

When it comes to getting a website in front of people, I don’t think ANY one basket is a safe place for those future hatchlings. If somebody says their special method is a great replacement for all others, just put your hand on your wallet and back away.

Meanwhile over at a different analogy…
Even directory submissions, though a valuable tool for getting a website in front of folks, should be just ONE of many clubs in your bag. Face it, no professional (or even a talented amateur) goes golfing carrying just “their golf club”. There’s a reason.

Oh well, returning to the original theme…
If you hear reports of my own death, please tell my wife to quit fantasizing. :)

Y’all have a great day. ~ Rob

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