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Communications and Posting Guidelines

About the forum

This forum is here to provide an additional, unofficial channel of communications between the general public and the editing community, where advice on site suggestions and placement, becoming an editor and other information about the directory can be dispensed.

In order to make this a success, some guidelines and a certain level of moderation is needed such that the discussion generates positive results, and that all discussions are as civil as possible. Remember that the success of this forum is dependent on the goodwill and support of the editing community. However, please note that the contents of these postings may not necessarily reflect official policy.

The forums

We have initially set up the following forums:

Announcements - Information on Guidelines revisions; new policies (e.g. the Social Contract) and other key announcements. This forum is read-only for non-moderators.
General ODP Issues - for general issues related to the ODP and any other topics not covered in any other forum. If the topic is covered in any of the other forums, please use those.
Suggesting a Site - How to suggest sites; finding the most appropriate category; absence of 'Add URL', and what this means. Please note that posting in this forum will not lead to site listing in itself. Remember that the ODP prides itself as a highly selective directory, and repeated, unjustified complaints about non-listing may lead to suspension or removal of your posting privileges. Also, remember that it takes time for editors to get to the suggested sites - so please do not complain about not being listed a few days after you have suggested your site.
Kids and Teens - A kid-safe area for questions specifically related to the Kids and Teens Open Directory. Please remember that, and hence any use of bad language and profanity is strictly disallowed. Linking to threads in the Adult forum, and the Adult forum, is not welcome in that forum.
Quality Control Feedback - Information on how to report abuse; generic questions on types of abuse; generic reports of abuse with no mention of URLs, editor names, or specific categories; basic questions about editor removal will also be entertained here. However, specific cases of abuse will not be handled in this forum. If you have specific reports of abuse, try reporting the case to DMOZ staff, a meta-editor or, in their specific areas, a category moderator. Questions about specific cases will lead to the discussion being terminated and may lead to suspension or removal of your posting privileges. Editor removal appeals should be referred to staff at staff@dmoze.ru.
Bugs and Features - Area to report and discuss technical problems in using ODP. Also new technical and structural features or solutions can be suggested and discussed here.
Using ODP Data - Explanations of the different ways ODP data can be used; description of the licence and attribution requirements; technical questions on the RDF.
Non-English Categories - Discussions related to non-Adult, non-English category (World/ and Kids_and_Teens/International) issues. Please note that threads in non-English languages are welcome, as long as the topiis marked in English with the language of the contents of the post.
Adult - Questions related to the Adult/ heirarchy. Please note that this is the only area where reference to adult material, as defined in the Adult/ guidelines, may be made in these forums. Like the Adult category in DMOZ, this forum is not visible on the main page. In order to view that area, you need to contact an administrator to obtain the password to access that area.

Posting Guidelines

Topics - Good and Bad

In order to ensure that those who really want help can get it in as expedient a way as possible, certain rules have been drawn up. In particular, the following topics may not be discussed.
  • Specific complaints about being removed as an editor.
  • Complaints about specific people working or volunteering their time at ODP.
  • Discussion of the ways in which ODP runs itself.
  • Discussion of any confidential information by current, or past, ODP editors.
  • Discussion of how to use the ODP to optimize search engine rankings and site promotion. This ODP is not a search engine, and we don't rank or optimize web sites.
  • Discussion of editing issues - these should be discussed in the editor forums, not in the public forum.
  • Discussion of ways to circumvent or violate official DMOZ policy.
  • Discussion of your "Freedom of Speech" rights. While the ODP is based on democratic principles, it does not try to imitate a democratic government. You are free to talk about anything you want... somewhere else.

Topics that you are welcome to post about include, but are not limited to:
  • General listing advice.
  • Who uses ODP data (just don't ask us when they update, we don't know).
  • How to use ODP data on your site.
  • The category structure of ODP.
  • Are sites listed differently depending on the category in which they are listed?
  • Some sites get listed multiple times, others don't. Why? (Mentioning of specific sites not permitted.)
  • How to pick the best category when suggesting a site.
  • How to write your site suggestion to get the best results.
  • How to become an ODP Editor.
Please remember that there is a certain amount of information available in the public domain related to such issues. You are well-advised to read up on some of these documents. A selection of these are listed in this category.

Posting to the Forums and General Codes of Conduct

Before you post a new thread, use the Forum Search to see if your question has been answered. The subject of your post should be specific and explicit. Readers should have a good idea of what the topic is about by reading the subject, even before they read your post. The thread should relate to only one topic. When posting a reply to a thread, stick to the topic. Consider whether your reply would be useful to the many readers of the thread. It may be more useful to email the few affected editors instead. Keep your comments concise and on topic. Be considerate in your communications with other editors. Post your topic to only one forum. We reserve the right to move a thread to the correct forum and close duplicate threads in such cases.

Please remember that you are expected to be courteous and polite in all your communications. Flames, slanderous/offensive comments and advertising is strictly forbidden. Editors should in addition pay attention to the section below related to editor specific codes of conduct, which are based on the ODP editor guidelines. Likewise, it is forbidden for any user to solicit editor-only information or to elicit favouritism towards your site.

Please also note that problems with specific sites are only allowed in the Quality Control Feedback forum. Questions on individual sites will not be allowed in any other forum. Also, references to Adult content will only be tolerated in the Adult forum, for which you are required to be over 18 to enter. Any reference made to kid-unsuitable material in the Kids and Teens forum is strictly forbidden - please keep it a kid-safe zone, just like the Kids and Teens Open Directory.

Hypertext links

If you type in anything beginning with "http://", the Forum software will make everything from that until the next space into a hypertext link. Readers can click on the link to see what you are referring to. However, this also means you don't want to type http://dmoze.ru, as that comma will be converted into part of the link, and will lead nowhere. Leave a space before and after any hyperlinks before punctuation.

Editor specific guidelines

The success of this forum depends on the participation of editors. We welcome your contributions to this forum. However, please remember that in your interactions in this forum you are bound by the Editor Guidelines. In particular, attention is drawn to the section on "Communication and Codes of Conduct". You are reminded in particular not to violate editor or forum confidentiality. The ODP guidelines state:

"The content of the ODP Editor Forum, Editors' Notes, and Editor-to-Editor email or Feedback are private and intended only for internal use by ODP editors. Editors may not publish or disclose quotes from these sources to anyone other than other editors or the ODP staff. Rephrasing is allowed only if the communication as rephrased could not be attributed to a specific editor and disclosure would not violate any editor's expectation of privacy, with the understanding that a diplomatic choice of words is the rephraser's responsibility. It is never appropriate to disclose the identity or e-mail address of an ODP editor without the consent of that editor. "

You should also ensure, as far as possible within the bounds of information provided to the public, that the information is as accurate as possible. Violation of the communications guidelines, especially the requirements on confidentiality, may lead to disciplinary action, which may include removal of editing privileges.

Note: Editors do not officially represent Netscape, its parent company, or ODP Staff. However, editors are ODP ambassadors officially representing the community and the project as whole. All communication in the forum should be civil and polite, and demonstrate support for the ODP's mission and goals. Abusive or harassing behavior will not be tolerated.


In order to ensure the success of this forum, moderators will have privileges to edit/delete posts, close threads, and block users from using the forum system. This will be used in cases where violations of the guidelines above have been found. Moderators and the administration team will be drawn from the ranks of meta-editors and category moderators.

Disciplinary action

Posts that violate the above guidelines will be edited, moved or deleted as appropriate by a moderator. In addition, with a concensus of moderators, repeat or serious violations of the guidelines above may lead to the removal of your forum privileges. Editors are additionally reminded that their behaviour in these forums is governed by the ODP guidelines, and violations of such guidelines in this forum may lead to the removal of your editing privileges.


This document was produced by the DMOZ meta community with inspiration from staff and the DMOZ editing guidelines.

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