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?
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.
- 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.