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Let's publicise RISC OS in the Open Directory Project - follow our step by step guide of how you can help!

Published: 20th Apr 12:50:24 | Permalink | Printable

Andrew Harmsworth takes a look at how RISC OS is doing in the world's most actively updated internet directory. He explains how you can get your pages listed there quickly and easily, and the many benefits of doing so. With your support, the RISC OS section might even overtake Apple in sheer size!

Deep within the world‘s largest internet directory, surprisingly solely edited by humans, is a section for RISC OS. This is important for a multitude of reasons. One of the most important must be that its presence indicates to the rest of the world that RISC OS exists, as do its users, and it offers them a glimpse of what our computer systems offer.

As with any directory of web links on the internet, there is always a danger that links will become out of date, normally when a website moves because of a change of web host. Fortunately the directory is manually edited by humans, who are informed if a site disappears, and they can then search for it again, or remove the link.

The human aspect of the Directory helps it to have the very highest quality content, and it is for this reason that the majority of the world‘s search engines now use it as a source of trusted information. This is one of its major strengths: users do not have to be logged on www.dmoz.org to make use of the directory. They could be performing a search on Google or AltaVista, and the ODP will frequently provide the link that you were looking for.

Powerful Stuff!

You can spend hours submitting your site to every search engine you can find, with no real way of knowing whether or not you have been successful or not. Instead, a single submission to a sensible and appropriate category of the ODP, (once authorised) will see your site link picked up by hundreds of search engines!

Even more useful is the fact that the content of the ODP can be freely licensed to any site wanting to make use of it. Drobe has carried the RISC OS categories for quite some time now. What this means, of course, is that the links get used more, generating much wider coverage of your website (if it is included). Even more amazing is the fact that search engines will index pages that carry ODP content. What this means is that your link appears on thousands of websites carrying ODP content, and this, in turn, is picked up by search engines.

At the moment, the RISC OS section contains just over 700 links to RISC OS-related sites. These include the following primary categories:

The largest of these, Software, contains over 400 links. There is no reason why a RISC OS software author should not make separate submissions (to the appropriate category, of course!) of his or her titles. It is preferred, however, for links to be to separate pages, otherwise a web page will appear to be duplicated in the directory. Alternatively, make sure your page has anchors for the appropriate sections. For example, if you have a page containing a game, a graphics utility, and a document about programming, place three anchors on the page, and submit the same page three times. e.g. http://your.web.site/software.html#game; http://your.web.site/software.html#draw2sprite; http://your.web.site/software.html#docs.

Finding your way around

The main RISC OS section is located here at http://dmoz.org/Computers/Systems/ - Notice that it sits alongside the likes of Apple and Palm.

There were two reasons for this article. One, to publicise the RISC OS ODP listing as a very useful place to go for information and downloads. Secondly it would be my greatest aspiration for the RISC OS sub-category to catch up with Apple. When I became an editor for the RISC OS section, I was rapidly able to move us ahead of Palm.

At the time of writing, we need to grow by about 50%, or 300 links, to overtake Apple. This is not impossible, especially if we all do our bit. It only takes a few minutes to add your pages to the directory. Whilst matching Apple‘s total would not necessarily automatically lead us to matching their share of the global computer market, it would at least make us look all the more impressive!

Adding to the Directory

Have a look through the categories and if you have something that you think should be listed (not necessarily on your own website. Perhaps a favourite piece of software?), then click on ADD LINK. Follow the instructions, and click SUBMIT. If you include your email address, editors will be able to contact you about the submission, useful if there is a problem, for example.

Become an Editor!

If you have a particular interest in one area of RISC OS, perhaps you are involved in a project at the moment, then why not apply to edit that section of the directory? It really is very simple, and you will be helping to expand what must be one of the most important on-line aspects of the platform.

Not Convinced?

You have spent hours building your website. You have spent days writing a program. Now it is time for it to be used. Get it listed on the ODP. It will be the single, simplest, and most valuable, thing you do to promote your site. Free advertising? What's the catch? You have to spend a couple of minutes finding somewhere that your link belongs.

Please help! It is in the best interests of all concerned, and will help RISC OS further penetrate the outside world.

The Open Directory
Drobe's Open Directory
Andrew Harmsworth

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What a fantastic article! ;)

-- Andrew Harmsworth, Cambridge

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 24/7/01 11:52AM
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Methinks you might be biased ;-)

-- Andrew Flegg, Winchester

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 25/7/01 11:47AM
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I agree with Andrew H. Keep up the excellent work. To Andrew F. might I say all the world has a biase one way or another. Minr and others like me is to ensure that when B.Gates opens his mouth to say Bah. I do not become sheep like and walk through his open gate. I remain and always will be capable of making up my own mind about what computer system I will use and what I will not use. Claude Buchanan

 is a RISC OS User on 4/8/01 9:02PM
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Good point, Claude

 is a RISC OS User on 12/4/02 2:50PM
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hmm. --

Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 22/5/03 8:00PM
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