Despite my earlier protestations, I am working on a web directory project on a different domain.  It’s not a big deal but there is work to do, like: seed the directory with a starter set of links.  I mean you go to a directory to find web pages or websites and it better have something for you to find or you will never come back.

Yeah, so I’ve got this used web crawler/indexer, that would be me, who is an old, slow and cranky, old git, but  works cheap. The slacker likes taking a nap during working hours. This could take awhile.

Plus I’ve got to edit CSS font sizes which I’ve never done, and write help pages that explain what the heck I’m trying to do.

All of which is to say, I’ve got to cut back on blogging here for awhile and just get this directory ready for launch.

Thanks.

Signed, Me.

5 thoughts on “Reduced Posting | Working on Directory Project

    • >200 links

      I know this isn’t a race, but you are ahead of me. And I’m impressed because I’ve seen the detail you put into your descriptions. That’s a lot of work. I’m right around 100 links.

      Yeah, a general directory is harder than a niche. Fortunately, because of our discussions about the web, plus all the Indieweb philosophy, plus my own hobby horses, I have some themes to guide me in this first part of link seeding.

      I am building a directory to help navigate the web. I like your Little Free Library analogy – it is like building a public library from scratch: what needs to be here, what do I want here, what will my patrons enjoy and make use of?

      Themes: Rebuilding the independent web, the web as our social network, alternatives to silos, security and privacy.

      These first 100 links have been kinda from memory: so software to help a beginner build a website, computer security, better browsers, privacy search. I tried to provide links to the resources for those things plus just other stuff I carry in my head (ie. LibreOffice). You and I take this stuff for granted, but what about the average internet user? So I try to think like I’m advising a bunch of my friends around a table, what links would I give them as a starter set? I don’t need to include links to Facebook, Microsoft, Google – they already know about them, what do they need to know about?

      On top of this, I have categories that I don’t want to leave blank, stuff I don’t have in my head anymore so I have to dig. Oh the rabbit holes! There are lots of things I need to dig up more on but it can wait till later.

      Categories: This was hard, coming up with a hierarchy. And as I worked, I’ve added subcats and scrapped many that I can’t be bothered to fill. I started off with a starter set of categories. I’m trying to let subcategories and sub-subcats grow organically as I get enough links for them. I don’t want to overdo the hierarchy, because frankly I expect most people to use the search function anyway.

      PSA: At this point I should clarify some procedures:

      1. I’m listing both websites and individual web pages (sometimes known as deep links) in the directory. Sometimes both. In essence I’m giving myself the flexibility to say, “I don’t know about the rest of the site, but this one post on blue widgets is brilliant.”
      2. A link may appear in more than one category if it is relevant.
      3. At some point I will go back and cross index categories that are relevant to each other.
      4. Link descriptions: Right now I’m just making sure the description has the keywords in it that are needed for people to find it. I’m not trying to write a review although sometimes I do editorialize.
      5. The directory will be open for submissions at launch. Frankly, I’m not optimistic I will get a lot.

      Okay back to seeding.

      Now I’m going through all my bookmarks, read laters and likes looking for stuff worth listing.

      Then I eyeball it and look for gaps and reexamine my category choices.

      I’ll probably add most blogs after I publicly launch. I’d really prefer that bloggers add their own blogs and write their own descriptions. For example how do I describe Kicks Condor’s blog or Chris Aldrich’s blog? Blogs like mine and yours and Chris’ are about a little bit of everything. Much better if I can somehow convince bloggers to add their own listings and describe their own sites. If nobody comes to the party, I’ll start doing it myself but it will be a slog. And yet, and yet, these are exactly the blogs I want in this directory AND need to be in this directory. It’s easy to DUckduck for cooking blogs and find them, but what about blogs that are about every topic under the sun? They are hard to find by keywords but they do need to be found.

      Finally, there are topics I’m just not interested in or want to avoid: Politics, sex, religion – better served by a search engine. Sports? I can’t be bothered. But this too is cool, because there is room for sports, political and other niche directories. Just as there is room for thousands of small general directories.

      • Interesting—the ‘make use of’ part really doesn’t apply to what I’m doing
        because I’m not evaluating links on ‘usefulness’—I want links that are more of
        an experience or perspective. But I like that you’re doing that in yours. I
        think it will allow us to compare what draws people in—if that’s even
        possible.

        Themes: Rebuilding the independent web, the web as our social network,
        alternatives to silos, security and privacy.

        With mine, I’m specifically avoiding software and business links—because these
        dominate Google and already have a lot of directories. I’m not linking to
        technical posts of any kind, though I do have a section on free sites to use to
        participate on the Web and Indieweb.
        My themes are more: unique sites, colorful sites, bizarre sites (to some extent)
        and thoughtful sites. I love those pages that I read and they were so profound
        or beautiful that my life changed just being there.

        These first 100 links have been kinda from memory: so software to help a
        beginner build a website, computer security, better browsers, privacy
        search.

        That’s sweet. I’ve been loving the links you’ve been finding (like
        millionshort and findx—to
        which I would add wiby perhaps) and so I will definitely
        use the directory. Vivaldi has been great—I’m following along, Brad.

        On top of this, I have categories that I don’t want to leave blank, stuff I
        don’t have in my head anymore so I have to dig. Oh the rabbit holes! There
        are lots of things I need to dig up more on but it can wait till later.

        Yeah, so, this is a good topic. I started a few categories that I’ve decided to
        hold off on. I have an ‘Animal’ category, for instance, but I don’t think I’ve
        got enough quality material to make it happen yet. I’m close, but I might hold
        off.
        Like you, I found it useful to build my categories first, though. I’m only going two tiers
        deep. So I have a main category and then the actual category. I don’t put any
        links right under the top-level yet.
        Incidentally, here are the classification systems that I springboard from:

        BISAC Headings List.

        SeekOn—I feel like the categories here are
        similar to the old Yahoo!’s—not that that’s what I want at all, but it
        helped to think in terms of why I think this organization doesn’t work.
        Cutter.
        To some extent,
        Colon—though I could
        never seem to find a detailed category list here.

        I don’t want to overdo the hierarchy, because frankly I expect most
        people to use the search function anyway.

        Huh—I am skipping the search. I guess I’ll have to rethink this. I also have
        so few links that a lot of searches will draw blanks.

        I’m listing both websites and individual web pages (sometimes known as
        deep links) in the directory. Sometimes both. In essence I’m giving myself
        the flexibility to say, “I don’t know about the rest of the site, but this
        one post on blue widgets is brilliant.”

        Same. In fact, sometimes I link to just an image or a video and those are
        marked as such.

        A link may appear in more than one category if it is relevant.

        I don’t do this—I tend to link to the second category in the entry’s description
        instead. I do have some meta categories like ‘Blogs’ and ‘Wikis’ that will list
        all websites of those types from all categories.
        I do have some ‘secret’ categories that aren’t reachable from the hierarchy. For
        instance, I have a ‘Charlie McAlister’ secret section that goes into depth on
        his life—and which is only reachable from his link in the ‘Visuals/Zines’
        category.

        At some point I will go back and cross index categories that are relevant
        to each other.

        Cool—not sure I have enough categories to do that. (Probably 30-40
        categories.)

        Link descriptions: Right now I’m just making sure the description has the
        keywords in it that are needed for people to find it. I’m not trying to
        write a review although sometimes I do editorialize.

        This is where I go to town. I sometimes include five more links in the
        description. I am spending a lot of time making these juicy, giving history,
        including images. I may need to expand some of these into full-page articles.

        The directory will be open for submissions at launch. Frankly, I’m not
        optimistic I will get a lot.

        I think we need to look at this as long game. It might be good to give yourself
        a timeline to work with. Like I am giving Indieweb.xyz a year to see how it
        goes. I might go for two years. It requires a lot more maintenance and work
        because people interact with it—it’s not just static HTML.
        With this directory, I am committing to 20 years. I am definitely going to keep
        it up for the long run. It is designed to be a portal to the somewhat permanent
        Web and it needs to be there longterm in order to work. This means I can play a
        long game and just build it gradually. Maintaining links is the hard part—but
        if I keep it small, it’s fine.

        I’d really prefer
        that bloggers add their own blogs and write their own descriptions. For
        example how do I describe Kicks Condor’s blog or Chris Aldrich’s blog?
        Blogs like mine and yours and Chris’ are about a little bit of everything.

        Well, here’s my entry for your blog so far:
        Brad Enslen
        https://ramblinggit.com/
        Web/Meta Blog 10m
        I bounce ideas back-and-forth with this fellow. He blogs about web
        directories and web search---but in an effort to understand how else
        we could be doing this. Our conversations led me to make this directory.

        You might take umbrage with my description—it’s pretty low-key. I try not to
        pitch a site with too much fervor—if I say that every blog is ‘the best blog
        ever’ then it’s meaningless. But I also don’t want to judiciously decide that
        one is the best. I’d rather just say matter-of-factly why I visit a site. (I
        could see myself saying, “This is THE guy I go to when I want to read about
        organizing links and enhancing the Web these days.”)
        But I think if the description is written by me, it’s more likely to be
        interesting because self-promotion will always come off as marketing—this
        entry just comes across as an informal recommendation, like you’d hear in a
        conversation.
        You could also start with the description meta tag on your links.

        It’s easy
        to Duckduck for cooking blogs and find them, but what about blogs that are
        about every topic under the sun? They are hard to find by keywords but they
        do need to be found.

        Well, this is the advantage we have over Google. We can link to anything and it
        will be found because it’s never too lost in the directory—since we’re both
        only in the small hundreds of links.

        Finally, there are topics I’m just not interested in or want to avoid:
        Politics, sex, religion – better served by a search engine. Sports? I can’t
        be bothered. But this too is cool, because there is room for sports,
        political and other niche directories. Just as there is room for thousands
        of small general directories.

        Let’s hope!

        via kickscondor.com

        • >wiby.me

          Hey, thanks for that! Nice find. That’s just a different approach to what we are doing. Nicely done and good find.

          My themes are more: unique sites, colorful sites, bizarre sites (to some extent) and thoughtful sites. I love those pages that I read and they were so profound or beautiful that my life changed just being there.

          This is good. It has been evident that this is what you do well. This is a real strength for your directory, it will help you make a splash upon launch and will keep people coming back. I can see spending a winter afternoon just surfing through this directory.

          >search
          >20 years

          I don’t know how your directory is coded but the bigger it gets the more site search is needed. I suspect you want to encourage surfing, and that is cool, but my advice is plan to add search feature at some point if you can. There are ways to de-emphasize search on a directory: placement of the searchbox on page or even hiding it on a separate page, but it is handy to have when needed from a user perspective.

          In 20 years I’ll either be dead or so old I won’t care. My time horizon is a good 10 years, which is forever in Internet time and is part of why I’m doing this now rather than dithering. You are right this is a long term game.

          >description

          No umbrage. Low key works. Everyone is bombarded with marketing speak so it’s nice to have someone be dispassionate and neutral. I’m doing it a bit different: if a webmaster included a meta description I try to let it stand. If it is too market speak oriented I edit it and sometimes I add to it to make sure the searcher knows what’s all on the site.

          >categories

          I think I’m too hidebound in the past. You are going to bring a fresh approach to taxonomy which is needed and good.

          This is all good. The Indieweb folks are taking care of the social aspect, which is blogcentric sorta by definition. We can aid in discovery for the blogs and the non-blog sites. If there is to be an Independent Web X.0 somebody has to help map it.

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