I logged into DMOZ.org yesterday and was sad to see that Mozilla's "Open Directory Project" had finally failed.
DMOZ was a really big thing back in 2000.
DMOZ was a human edited directory maintained by volunteers. The directory was arranged in a hierarchical fashion which is a common structure for organizing data.
The DMOZ directory was a primary source for some of the early search engines. For awhile a listing on DMOZ resulted in a big boost in one's position on Google and Yahoo.
Apparently, DMOZ inspired the creation of Wikipedia.
DMOZ was owned by AOL (America Online). AOL was a huge thing back in the 1990s. AOL provided online access before the general public was allowed to connect to the Internet and instantly became the biggest internet service providers when the public was allowed access. AOL was acquired by Verizon in 2015.
My desire to build community portals coincided with the creation of DMOZ. I never found a funding source. I never developed a network of volunteers because I believe strongly that people should be paid for their work.
My idea is to mix affiliate ads with the free listings on the directory. This income stream fails because people don't use directories for shopping. They use directories for browsing.
Anyway, I am staring at the blank page for DMOZ and am left wondering if I should see the fall of the largest Internet directory as an opportunity or if I should see it as yet another sign that the days of my project are numbered.