Web Directories

When I was just getting started with my research on Disney and didn't know what subtopics I wanted to concentrate on, I found Web Directories to be extremely helpful!

How Web Directories Work

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  • First an author writes a document
  • Then, he/she saves it electronically and posts it to the internet.
  • The author will also writes a summary of his/her page and submits it to the directory page to be reviewed
  • The summary is reviewed (and accepted) and will then it get categorized and placed in the directory at the end of a branch.
  • Then you can go find this information by searching the categories

Independently, regular search engines will probably spider the pages.

Why Use a Directory?

  • Easy to use, especially when you have a vague idea of what you are looking for
  • Higher Precision; because each document has to be reviewed before it goes up, it presumably keeps out useless information
  • Great for starting a new search; starting in a web directory category can give you an idea of what specific information you may want

Two Main Directories and My Evaluations

Yahoo Directory

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Name/Access: Yahoo Directory
Frequency: Based on how useful the results are to you, you may want to regularly track the results of this search tool. Yahoo! Makes this easy to do with RSS features for broad categories, such as "arts" or "entertainment." However, for specific searches, you cannot use RSS. In order to follow progress of a specific search you can use page monitors.
Information: The results are returned in a list form, much like most general searches. The advantage of Yahoo! Directory, however, is that it also offers "related directory categories" which allows you to further narrow down your search.
Query: "walt disney pictures" OR "walt disney" film OR movies OR "walt disney company"
Evaluation: I didn't particularly find anything useful from this tool, even though I tried several different queries. Although I some of the suggestions, such as "Disney Related Sites" would be more helpful, however it only contained travel and Micky Mouse related information. On the whole, I would rank it a 2.

DMOZ Open Directory Project

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Name/Access: DMOZ Open Directory Project
Frequency: Based on how useful the results are to you, you may want to regularly track the results of this search tool. In order to follow progress of a specific search you can use page monitors.
Information: Once you type in a query, results are returned with suggested categories and other directions that you can take your search in. This can be very helpful when you are not quite sure which direction you want to go in.
Query: "walt disney pictures" and from here I found categories such as Business: Arts and Entertainment: Media Conglomerates: Disney (43) and Animation and Society: Issues: Business: Allegedly Unethical Firms: Disney
Evaluation: I found DMOZ to be much more helpful than Yahoo! Directory. The directions that the searches took me in were resources that I would actually use and if I couldn't use them, they gave me ideas for how I could search other tools for a query. On the whole, I would rank DMOZ a 6.

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