I think I have an answer to your linkrot concern. Not for Awesome but a hypothetical directory – “someday”.
The idea really isn’t mine, I got it thinking about the Microcast.club directory, which is really a new Indie style webring that also has a List of Sites page aka a flat directory page. When you join you get a webring code to place on your site, plus listing in the directory. Cool.
On some hypothetical future niche directory it’s that webring code that prevents the linkrot. As long as the webring/directories robot keeps finding that validation code you stay in the directory, no code and eventually you will be dropped. Not perfect but it automates the process a bit.
It wouldn’t have to be a webring code, it could just be a validation code, I suppose. I like the idea of indiestyle webring/directory combined. My worry would be scale on the ring. Old style webrings had a sweet spot of 50-200 sites. Over 200 and they become difficult to manage and it was found that bigger destination sites in the ring siphoned off too much ring traffic and gave very little back.
Still adding that directory page was a good evolutionary move for indie-style rings.
Massaging this idea a bit: one could let ring members self define subject categories when they join very much like you did on Indieweb.xyz (tags sorta) which would help when it gets larger.
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