Gah!  I’m in a bit of a quandary about seeding this directory project:  how much is enough to start out with and how much further seeding just adds noise?

I have raided my bookmarks, read laters, memory, etc. and have come up with about 300 links which, on the face of it, seems pitiful for a general web directory if I built it circa 1998 – 2003.  But times are different now, those old directories where trying to be comprehensive: Dmoz had over 4 million listings and in the end it was a pittance compared to the ever expanding size of the web.

I’m not trying to be comprehensive, just a place where one might find useful or interesting things off the beaten path, and find them quickly.

My past experience in niche directories is of limited help here.  Back in the day of static HTML sites, those sites were not huge, I could poke around and get a good feel for the value of the site rather quickly.  Today, everything is blogs or sites built on platforms.  There could be hundreds of posts and pages.  Compounding that so many blogs are abandoned.  Yes a blog abandoned in 2014 may still have some very useful articles but that is not something I can dig out in a reasonable amount of time.

All this is to say, I feel like I am forcing it.  I am now just digging up links just to fill categories not because they are special.  And that means quality starts to slip in favor of quantity.

A web directory never should quit growing, but I think I’m near the point where I need to open it up for submissions of links by the public while I also continue to add listings at a slower and more measured pace as I find things.  Things need to grow organically.

Which means I need to get cracking on finishing up help pages and UI tweaks for a launch.

Any thoughts?

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5 thoughts on “Directory Seeding: How Much is Enough to Start?

    • Hah, Kicks, besides Googlebot, you are the first to find me. 🙂 Well I had to leave a trail for testing and I do value your observations and opinions, so I’m glad you found it.

      Stars/rating: I’m not convinced either. My experience in the past was mixed. I can always turn that feature off, but it is a way to invite participation so I figure I’ll try it and see how it goes. In the past the trick with starring was giving webmasters a remote voting code for their website: “Vote for us on Scifimatter” those voting links brought in traffic. I don’t expect that to happen anymore.

      Comments: same thing. Worth seeing if people use it. Could be interesting.

      Reports: This is kind of important. Domains change hands, sites change, articles go 404 so reporting helps police the bad wood and dead wood. Also lets you know people are browsing.

      Categories: I have to thank you for reminding me to build shallow. Once the category structure is more settled I will go back through and cross link related categories more completely.

      Descriptions: the seed listings descriptions are not all crafted as well as I like. Generally I give the webmaster a chance with their meta description if they have one. If that isn’t sufficient I try to edit it to say what is there and work the keywords in. It’s not always as good as I would like, but I’d like to get this launched.

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