Volunteers – The Other White Meat

Volunteers – The Dmoz Days
Having spent the better part of a decade working at what some of us exes refer to as “TOD” (The Other Directory)… I still have fond memories of the time there. Entered as a rookie webmaster that ran across it back in its early days (1999), and over the years there learned a ton about the internet, SEO, and of course the nature of volunteer work.

If ya can’t laugh at yourself…
As the directory there grew it managed to become a target of a lot of folks. Some of the criticism was valid, some not, but inside it was common practice of some of us to sorta make fun of ourselves based on the stereotypes. Sure, some of the stereotypes were spot on… but as is the case in many instances, a lot were just imagined. Either way, you can argue or you can laugh, and laughing is much better for the blood pressure.

BOTW Volunteers
We have a volunteer program at BOTW too, in our Blog Directory. Obviously not of the same scope as theirs, but then we have a core group of OCD types on staff here that edit like a few thousand volunteers each, which negates the need to rely heavily on our volunteers.

We keep the program available because it offers folks that’d like to add sites at their leisure in an area of their interest. Since we rely on the paid staff for the bulk of our input, the volunteers arent under pressure to produce. They are like guys collecting butterflies… they add the ones they like to the collection when they run across them.

Maintaining the Integrity of the Program
Having heard for a decade that the Dmoz volunteers only join to add their own sites (ok, that’s occasionally true, but more often not)… the policy we’ve adopted with our volunteers is pretty simple. If someone gets a volunteer login and vanishes after a couple of adds… those are removed. Our program will not be subject to criticism for that particular reason… better to have a few that enjoy it than many that abuse it.

How Does the BOTW Blog Vol Program Work?
Basically adding blog sites is pretty simple… you pick an area of interest, you add sites that fit the criteria. If you have a site in that field, start with the other related blogs in your own blog roll. Look at related sites on THEIR blog roll. Piece of cake.

Can we add our own?
Sure. Long as you aren’t here just for that purpose, no problem. Consider it a bonus for helping. Just be aware that if we do Quality Control checks and find someone added the same site 4 times in the same category, we execute the adds, their login, and if they’re nearby… the editor. [Dang, talk about "tough love".]

Honestly, there isn’t generally a problem when we get volunteers, and as we did in my early days at Dmoz… we have a pretty good time in here. Much to be said just for the social interaction with some of the folks here, and if you enjoy what you’re doing it really isn’t “work”. [Don't tell Greg or Rob I enjoy this, they still think I'm laboring away at this job.]

Bottom line, if assisting as a BOTW Blog Volunteer appeals to you, we’re always happy to look at new folks. Just fill out the app correctly and you’ve got a fair shot at getting in. Let me know if you have any questions.

Regards ~

Rob Jones
Proud Member of The Nerd Herd
Best of the Web


4 Responses to “Volunteers – The Other White Meat”

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  3. David says:

    “If ya can’t laugh at yourself…”

    I’m not laughing guys. I can’t list my site in your directory, get and answer to e-mails from you. If I fill in the web form I get an error, then if I fill in the bit to fill in to tell you about the error, guess what? I get an error. I’ve been trying to renew my membership with you since 6th of July.

    Maybe you are all out looking for volunteers? Meanwhile I’m a very dissatisified existing customer…

  4. robjones says:

    Not my normal side of the operation David, but glad you got your note thru regardless of venue. Will pass it on to the guys that *can* do something about it. That ought to take care of it.

    Regards ~ Rob Jones