DMOZ; Hall of Shame-2
Aquarium Forums Hall of Shame; Part Two- DMOZ and SEO Chat forums
This hall of shame post actually diverts from Aquarium/pond forums to an SEO forum as it relates to DMOZ (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization).
DMOZ is a human edited directory, staffed by volunteers usually from similar fields to which they edit (which may or may not be a conflict of interest, but I will not question the integrity of those in fields I do not know).
However in the field* I have spent a life’s work, I know that many of the articles that are listed in DMOZ are of poor quality or worse (*aquarium/pond keeping and of which I have been prodded to publish this work for more than a decade before I finally did with my many articles).
To set the stage, let me point out that a quick search of the DMOZ directory under Home, then Pets, then Fish/Aquaria will yield several at best spammy sites “The Baily fish” as one example.
Many of these sites give not necessarily incorrect information, however it is often anecdotal or "cut & paste" which can not give a newbie to advanced aquarist the full picture.
I know from the many emails, aquarium forums posts, and my old maintenance business questions posed that even simply incomplete information can lead to confusion as to correct procedures of fish care, often with disastrous results.
Another site listed is Fish Lore, this site dates to 2007 (I requested a listing in 2005), and again while this site is not necessarily bad, it is often VERY anecdotal such as an article about the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle where they have resurrected the long ago discredited by aquarium professionals method of using Raw Shrimp to cycle an aquarium. While this method can work, it also increases the risk of inducing a Saprolegnia infection in a new fish keepers tank; frankly this is IRRESPONSIBLE and for DMOZ to accept this previously noted web site and reject in depth, researched articles such as The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle is simply disgusting (especially when one considers the number of researchers outside the often anecdotal aquarium hobby that have written with their praise of this article and others from this website).
Fish Lore also has misinformation in other subjects such as UV Sterilizer and Melafix Dangers.
Another problem is that Google can give a lot of weight to its searches to sites that are listed in the DMOZ directory, so often searches can be skewed as well here, allowing these anecdotal or downright dangerous web sites come to the top of searches (such as the before mentioned web sites)!
An example of a recent email question as of initial writing of this article led me to this Google Search: “freshwater aquarium calcium” which yielded some reasonable sites as to Marine Aquarium Calcium, of which the need is better understood, yet for the less understood but still important subject of freshwater aquarium calcium, the search came up dry.
This is unfortunately an important subject as correct fish osmoregulation depends on calcium and other electrolytes as well.
Now, back to Seo Chat Forums; I posted on a thread about “shutting down DMOZ” with this comment:
“I do not claim to be an expert in DMOZ or its editors, and maybe 90% are ethical and do the right thing.
However what I can say after 30 plus years in the aquarium industry in research, maintenance and sales is this hobby/industry is extremely anecdotal, passing around the same tired information over and over, never using research from much better funded industries (such as Horticulture, marine research, human drug studies, etc, etc.) to back up what is stated.
For instance I see this in aquarium lighting, where the newer technology T2 and SHO lights are nowhere to be found except in use by aquarium professionals that have to use and stand by their choices on a daily basis.
Another point is a person that worked at an Aquarium Supply distributor as a manager near the end of his career told me a few years back: “I have worked in management for the past 30 years of my life and never have I seen a more back stabbing, dishonest and corrupt industry until I took this job.
My point is unfortunately Google gives weight to DMOZ, and even though many editors may well be good, honest persons, I know from my past three years of submissions that this is not true based on what I do know to be true.”
I am not sure how this previously noted statement got twisted that I am stating that all the editors are corrupt, or how ended up with me being accused of being a liar (& worse) multiple times, however I will state from my own submissions to a very low volume category (fish/aquaria) that my aquatic information site is still sitting there.
At the least the fact that so many so-so sites exist while mine and other more current research sites are not added makes the point that this is a poor source for viable aquatic information.
At worst it is possible that other sites are being “sat on” based on an editor who is trying to keep his/her agenda in there and block other information that has mores facts that would make their favorites look bad. Read whatever you want into this or my statement on the forum, but this is not a lie, nor is this a charge that all editors at DMOZ are corrupt.
Fathom who is one of the more vicious posters (as per his attacks on me and often others as well) in this forum stated that he is “passionate about this subject”, well he has that right to be, but I too have a right to be passionate about the subject of aquatic misinformation that often makes new aquarists quit and often even frustrates advanced aquarists when information they are seeking is either anecdotal, corrupt, or simply cannot be found and DMOZ along with Google often do not make this easy.
As well, this same person suggested that I get a job on the board at Google which is a ludicrous statement, when all I was stating is that either DMOZ changes some procedures or (better) Google gives less weight to DMOZ directory sites (or other so called “authority sites”) and more to content (which includes links within this content to other research, often of university level to back up the content).
This is a simple matter of “doing what’s right” rather than ridiculous statements such as were directed at me.
I will admit that I finally stood up for myself with an example of a different attack after his comments about getting a job on the board of directors at Google or an editor at DMOZ with this statement:
“But what is really troubling to me now, is this is almost the exact answer I got from children's services (DHS, DCS) when asking them to do the right thing after several reports to them about my kids after my daughter’s molester was trying to turn the tables by redirecting this corrupt organization against me.
What a sad world we live in when this is the answer to doing what is right.”
I am sorry, but I was told similar (to get a job, run for county commissioner) if I did not like what was being done and this hit a raw nerve, especially in light of recent problems with this persons and my daughter’ nightmares.
My admittedly harsh response brought out the real evil venom from two individuals and a childish response to remove ALL credibility I had gained over two years of being on this forum (which is a silly system IMO besides that allows this).
This forum still publishes some good articles and has some good people with good information posting there (such as Egol), however the moderation there is poor or non existent (IMO) and this guy along with others often will attack others that due not agree with their world view.
In fact I have since gone back and looked the over the forum category that this thread was under and this guy in his so-called passion (which I have no right to have my own passion according to this horrible monster of a human being) still uses the same tired line of "why don't you become an editor if you do not like it.
This is the most lame argument IMO when all others ask for is more honesty in DMOZ, however the system is set up with the Fox guarding the Hen House in possibly many categories with areas of conflict of interest that would be thrown out in a court of law is all good and proper at DMOZ.
I will however point out that even with the down right evil statements this person directed at me (and was backed up by other mean spirited persons), I am in NO way saying he does not look at all admissions in his category through an unbiased eye, in fact I know for a fact that my Brothers Toffee Company Web site got added very quickly by DMOZ.
However my original point that the way the system is set up at DMOZ, which includes way to much authority given by Google, but with some in this forum,it appears Google IS GOD so no argument can be made on this subject either.
This attitude can allow either anecdotal or worse; dishonest editors to run a muck, and this is a FACT at the very least for the Aquarium Pets: Fish and Aquaria Category.
The bottom line is just because the Candy Category (Shopping: Food: Confectionery: Taffy and Toffee) may all happy and honest, does not mean others are.
Finally, despite comments made in defense of this guy in SEO Chat that he is passionate about this subject so he often gets hostile due to this, I too am passionate about aquarium keeping, as I have sacrificed MUCH (better pay and more) to spend time in research and more on this subject as I know how much MANY care about their finned friends and that so much of the bad information that permeates the internet passes through Google and DMOZ and I feel this is simply WRONG.
This is simply my passion for which many who honestly know me will attest to the fact that I will often go an extra mile to help other here!
Why should I give even more of my free time (of which I have NONE) editing DMOZ simply because this guy says I have no credibility unless I do when I already give much of my free time objectively helping other with their aquariums navigate around the myriad of bad information that Google and DMOZ seem to happily provide?
The Answer of coarse, is NO
I will close that I again am not condemning all editors at DMOZ nor SeoChat (I still read and occasionally post questions as there are some very knowledgeable persons there), but there clearly are issues at DMOZ in the aquaria category and clearly are issues at SeoChat when it comes to moderation and the lack of banning of certain individuals.
Some persons simply cannot help themselves at SEOCHAT!
I went there for SEO help with this website and while no one would deny the website is far from great (it is a community project too I might add), these guys went on a flaming attack insulting me and my employees who also registered there to defend my. Both employees were banned for life, despite saying nothing wrong other than telling persons to simply behave and answer the question (in particular one moderator).
I ended up having to defend what it was about, despite part of the idea 6 years ago came from helpful persons at SEOCHAT (as per making niche sites for link juice). What seemed difficult to get across is that this site has done very well for keywords such as "Melafix Dangers", and all I was looking to do is gain back these search terms in Google (not a problem in Bing).
Even one person who was somewhat helpful did not get that persons have saved their fish due corrections of cut and paste information such as "Melafix Dangers" and "Aquarium Planaria".
In the end I too was temporarily banned for calling the moderator childish for banning my co-workers, yet his abusive tone and that of one of his clone friends stands. An example such as calling me "Beyond help" is somehow not considered abusive there, or even his first remarks such as unreadable without giving any examples of SEO issues. As for unreadable, my feedback would disagree and in fact we have gotten recent compliments for the new banner (which was professionally done, in other words I did not make this).
Anyway, I will say no more other than a few friends and business partners I have shared this link with had a good laugh and agreed their behavior was in indeed childish and unprofessional.
Here is the link (you will need to copy and paste it into your browser)
|Here is a thread to read for more evidence of the attitude and downright hate espoused at SEOChat Forums:|
Please paste in your browser
Readers can form their own opinion based on how a person asks a simple question and then gets attacked and told "I'd kick you off the internet if I could...."
Here are just a few of the sites where many 1000s of hours worth of research, hands on experience, and yes even corrections to my own mistakes have gone into (I have MANY more):
POND CARE; Information,Clear Water - Proper Pond Filtration, Cleaning, care, chemistry & Basics for maintaining a beautiful garden pond
|Recommended Aquatic Sites
Premier Articles include Aquarium Lighting,
Aquarium Chemistry; Calcium & more, etc.
AQUARIUM AND POND ANSWERS with articles such as RO, Soft Water for Aquarium, PUR vs PAR in Aquarium Lighting or Aquarium Silicone Applications