I and a few others have been wrestling with the whole issue of discovery of non-commercial blogs and websites and how to keep said efforts relatively low tech and low cost to stay within the reach of the average user.  Keeping in mind that we are down to only two major search engines with their own indexes, that act as gatekeepers for the English speaking world, and we need to have a guerrilla web discovery movement.

Our answer at this time is: some sort of small curated directory.*

But it’s hard to encourage people who are alone and unsure to build a directory of any sort without a support community to learn, find resources and talk shop in.

Therefore, I’ve put together a: Tiny Web Directory Forum, for anyone interested.   Topics will be both practical about building and running directories, but also about non search engine ways of discovery and theory.  If interested, join and participate.

What we are not about: is setting up directories for link popularity or SEO.

 

*Note: For the purposes of this announcement I’m defining “directories” as directories, linkblogs, extensive link lists, webrings, things that are hybrids of directories and search engines, blogrolls etc. In short, alternate ways of navigating the web.

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The main directory page and every category in Indieweb.xyz creates a unique RSS feed.  So if you want to know when new Listings are added to Indieweb.xyz go to the directory main page and scroll to the bottom footer to find a link to the RSS feed.

Likewise, every category and sub-category in creates a RSS feed so if you only want to know when new listings are added to your favorite topic just go to that category footer to find a link to the category RSS feed.  (ie.  If you want to monitor new listings in the “Role Playing Games” category simply go to that cat and find the feed at the bottom. Repeat for other categories. Simple.)  Makes a nice discovery tool.

Blog Only: Of course the blog has it’s own RSS feed just for blog articles and should not be confused with the directory.

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I changed how the default search function works here on the Indieseek.xyz directory.  Previously, when you searched, you got a list of listings only.  I’ve changed the default to “Search All”  which gives you a tabbed search result: Listings, Categories, Comments.  The tabs are at the top of the search results page.

Listings is the default tab you see right away, but the Categories tab is the important one because if you find a category that matches your search query you are more likely to to find all the sites listed for that subject.  (Example: try searching for “directory software”, “webrings” or “indieweb” and click on the Categories tab and you will see what I mean.)

Hopefully this will give you a better experience when searching the directory.  Please let me know in the comments below.

The best way to use a directory is to find the category that matches your subject.  Using the Category tab offers a shortcut to digging deeper into the directory.

Just like before, if you don’t find what you want you always have the option of continuing your search on one of six other privacy or Indieweb search engines or directories at the bottom of the search results.

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This is a New and Improved version of an older post.

You can add the Indieseek.xyz directory search directly to Vivaldi browser.

Vivaldi has general instructions: Search your favorite websites quickly.

  1. Use the article from Vivaldi.
  2. Go to this page on Indiseek.xyz: https://indieseek.xyz/links/search.php
  3. Put your Cursor in the search box.
  4. Right click > “Add as Search Engine”
  5. Follow the prompts.

The same general thing works for Opera but does not work with Firefox.

Tips:

  • I gave Indieseek.xyz the nickname “i”.
  • So to search Indieseek with Vivaldi all I have to do is type “i scifi” into the Vivaldi address bar and I initiate a search for “scifi”.  Quick and simple.
  • Indieseek’s a directory not a search engine so broad simple, one or two word, searches work best: (ie: author, science fiction, blogging, blog, computers.)
  • Indieseek will never replace a good search engine, but our listings are not based on popularity, but are carefully chosen by humans.

 

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Summer is really over here at the directory.  My break from Indieseek.xyz, both the directory and the blog was intentional.

  • I wanted to gauge traffic and usage of the directory during a period when I wasn’t actively posting blog posts or syndicating to social networks.
  • I wanted to see if I got any submissions to the directory.  Would it grow organically, without me adding URL’s?
  • It was summer and I needed a break from the computer.  Also, I’m the lawn boy so I had chores.

What I Learned:

 

  1. No search engine traffic to the directory itself, some search engine traffic to the blog.  It appears (and I was warned by SEO’s) that Google does not like web directories and that appears to be true.  Although, it is ironic that Googlebot hammered the hell out of the directory here at Indieseek.xyz when I first started.  Google wants the info, but they don’t give back.  I may follow through with my threat to ban Googlebot from the directory.
  2. Some search engine traffic to the blog.  Not a lot, because it’s not a popular site.  Also the subject of “web directories” is pretty well dead in 2019.  Just not a popular topic anymore, which is okay, I’m not complaining, I knew that when I started.  Anyway, the blog is indexed and gets some small trafffic from search engines.
  3. Not many spam URL submissions to the directory. This is good news.
  4. More spam comments to the blog.
  5. Some visitors actually use the directory to find websites!  Yea!  That is what we are here for.

Most of the above might sound discouraging but it’s about what I expected.  Indieseek.xyz is a long term project and it takes time to grow traffic from scratch.  The directory will never be huge, but it hopefully will be useful in finding non-commercial sites and pages on a subject.

What I did

  • I found some sites that have deleted their content – dead wood – and deleted them.  I need to start spot checking and clearing dead wood.
  • I added some sites that were submitted. (Those are only the last 30 days.)

Forward

I’ve got a lot of good sites gathered over the summer, in my bookmarks, so I’ll be adding those.  Also I’ll try to fit in more blog posts.  The problem is, other than announcements, I’m running out of directory and search engine stuff to talk about.

I’ve also been wondering if we need a mailing list or a forum or something for parties interested in linking/directories who can’t seem to get on the Indieweb.

from Kicks Condor on: Wikipedia Discusses Curlie Links

Yeah I think that is a good idea for a forum. Even if it’s only 3 or 4 people, it’s a place to knock ideas around.

 

 

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Replied to

Reply to: Bookmarked Personal sites are awesome by Andy Bell (personalsit.es).

It is an inventive use of Github.  I definitely like directories of personal sites.  Personal site directories are best populated by webmaster URL submissions, because it’s hard for an editor to figure out the themes of a site in a timely manner, and one problem here is that there is a lot of friction to submitting a site, although the email workaround is thoughtful.

I can’t help but wonder about building a similar directory site that aggregates its data by Webmention and uses the h-cards from websites to automatically update itself.

Hrrm.  What happens if the directory admin finds a simply stunning site that has no webmention or h-card capability?  Do we abdicate our human judgement and automatically disqualify a more than worthy site because it does not have a barcode we like?  I always have a problem with using just code up front as a criteria for inclusion.  Or perhaps my bar is set too low: 1. it has a web address, preferably it’s own domain, 2. the site renders and is readable to humans, 3. the site has good content.  I do think a directory such as you describe is worth trying as a long term experiment.

The strength of a directory over a search engine is the human editing. Search engines cannot measure quality, only popularity.  Why give up, even partially, one of your few advantages?

The second thing, I don’t think a directory in 2019 can rely on webmaster submissions alone to grow the directory.  A whole new generation of webmasters have come of age without directories, webrings and the like.  They don’t understand the need to submit (silos), they don’t know they should submit their URL, they don’t know how to submit URL’s, they don’t know how a directory works or how to search one.  I think any new directory has to just offer URL submission, but in the end go out and find good sites.

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We’re Listed

Indieseek.xyz got listed in the official Indieweb wiki at Indieweb.org/directory.  We’re there along with directories made by Joe Jenett and Kicks Condor.

Rearranging Categories

Created a new top level category Books. Made Fiction and Nonfiction sub-categories of Books.

I was showing some friends of mine my new Kobo ebook reader and realized they knew very little about ereaders.  If they had questions, maybe others have them too.  So I created two new categories under Books: eBook Readers and eBook Sources.

Top Categories

I changed the lineup on the Top Categories page.  Much to my surprise, the News category has proved very popular.

Additions

Added a few new author sites

Added lots of listings to those new ebook categories, including a good mix of sources for free ebooks, because free is good and we like free.

Plus added a couple of vintage sites.

Submissions

Chris McLeod submitted his weblog Mr.Kapowski to the directory. Thanks Chris!  Chris talks about web development, miniature painting and war games.

Hyperlink Nodes Directory

Over at nodes.indieseek.xyz I managed to add a blogroll, a linkblog and a niche directory.  We add them as we find them.

Many thanks to the many people that support Indieseek.xyz.  If you would like a way to support Indieseek I would ask that you link to us.  Thanks.

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