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Reply to: Bookmarked NowNowNow (nownownow.com)

 

First, thank you for bringing this to my attention.  I have listed NowNowNow in the Hyperlink Nodes Directory as a niche directory.

Second, Yes!  This is exactly what I’ve been yammering on about with decentralized search (or decentralized discovery, if you will.)  It’s not without some issues as you have pointed out and one issue is – will it scale, but it’s a nice effort that can be built upon.  Also it’s about individual people, which is what the Web is about.

Third, It’s a nice fresh approach to a blog directory, presuming it’s mostly blogs that have a /now page.  If you say “blog directory” everybody yawns, if you say /now page directory everybody perks up with interest.  /now pages are a good hook for personal blogs.

I’m curious how we might expand this sort of concept to other types of online directories? Is there anything else useful about how this is one is set up?

 

Going Conventional

You could replicate this with a good commercial Php directory script: just insist that the primary URL submitted be to the /now page and add whatever custom fields you need for bio information.  This would allow submission from the website instead of the two step email process.  It would also give the directory admin tools like dead link checking that help maintain the directory over time, plus a search function, the option to add hierarchical categories or leave it flat, the ability to sort listings in different orders, and an RSS feed of new listings.

A specialized personnel or membership directory script could be adapted too.

Custom/Future

What is swirling around in my head is some sort of fusion of NowNowNow, Microcast.club and webmentions like href.cool can send, plus a conventional directory script for those backend admin tools.

  • I like the webring aspects to Microcast.club: 1. it helps keep the directory current by requiring a bit of code on the page listed, if the code disappears you drop out. 2. Lets people optionally surf like a webring, 3. provides a link back to the directory – two way linking provides more traffic for everyone and frankly helps the directory to rank in search engine results too.  Downside: it is a mandatory reciprocal link which I’m not totally comfortable with.
  • href.cool sends a webmention to all sites that get listed.  Truly an indieweb directory by design. Trackback sending would be a nice backup to that because not everybody has webmentions.
  • NowNowNow provides submission which is 1. human reviewed, plus 2. URL submission that is more democratic than Microcast.club – any site with a /now page can submit. I say this even though I see email submission as problematic.
  • A conventional directory script would provide search, URL submission and other sorting options which would make things scale better and be maintained better long term by one admin.

Yes we need a 21st Century rethink of the conventional php directory script.  The above are some elements that could be incorporated.

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8 thoughts on “Reply to: Bookmarked NowNowNow (nownownow.com)

  1. Brad (and Kicks), you’ve inspired me to create a page for directories on the IndieWeb wiki.
    I’ve also added a more user-centric definition to the discovery page on the wiki. If you have the chance it would be great to see some additional documentation you may have (or even links to articles or brainstorming) you’ve got on either of these ideas. If you’re not familiar with wiki syntax, feel free to document material on your own site or even email me and I’m happy to format it and put it up. I’m hoping we can get some addition buy-in from everyone else to move some of your experiments forward.

    via boffosocko.com

  2. There was a similar train of thought in the thread we were having with Dave
    Weiner, Don Park and Greg McVerry some time ago. It kind of got lost, but I had
    a similar webring-like idea for the Ad-Free
    Blog

    website. (Which is no longer around, as of last month, it seems.)

    I’ve been wondering if they could do a similar thing with
    http://www.adfreeblog.org/ – a ‘general’ blog community could be established
    around a simple ideal like that.
    Might look like this:

    A blog links to adfreeblog.org on their home page.
    Adfreeblog.org notices visitors coming from that page and checks that page for
    the link and the image.
    If found, it adds the blog to a directory, using the meta description and
    keyword tags.

    The adfreeblog.org home page then becomes a directory of the community. So, kind
    of like a webring, but actually organized. With Twitter cards and such floating
    in the metadata, it is probably much easier to extrapolate a good directory
    entry.

    As you say, the “mandatory reciprocal link” is not something you’re comfortable
    with—but I think it has its uses. I have no care in the world whether any of
    the sites I link to at href.cool ever link back to me (in fact, I’d prefer if
    they would just keep doing what they’re doing) but I think a directory that’s
    trying to provide a more census-like approach could really use this strong,
    two-way link.
    I think it would be really cool to have an emergent directory where everyone
    self-categorizes. You get to be in one category—where do you put yourself?
    And, yeah, have a bit of moderation in there to weed out spam. It would likely
    be very difficult to sort through its problems—but it would be fun to try.
    (The Indieweb.xyz blog directory is as close as I’m going to get to that effort
    for the present.)

    • While I love the idea of a more automated directory (self categorizing) I always wonder how long it will be before it gets spammed out?

      There are two ideas that I can’t get out of my head:

      1. The Bomis Ring model – webrings (little mini directories) that the ring creator can place any site within. Navigation was by I Frame (problematic). Webmasters could join but they did not have to join. It was very different from standard webrings. Of course all Bomis rings were listed in the Bomis directory.

      2. The idea of a directory like microcast.club – a directory where one has to have the ring code in order to stay listed.

      I can’t find a way to fuse the two together. Also Google hates recip linking schemes but that could be overcome by using nofollow.

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