As DMOZ Dies, Editor Egos Still Astound


As DMOZ, the open directory project of yesteryear dies a slow, embarrassing and painful death, the ego's of it's higher placed editors refuse to deflate. In fact, they appear to be the healthies part of the whole project right now.

It used to be that people were falling over themselves to impress us and become editors. It was so gratifying to have so many people trying to be like us. I woke up every day and logged in eager to make decisions about who was worthy to be an editor, who should be promoted, which sites should live and die. It was an incredible feeling, unlike anything I experienced in my old job.

It get's even better a little further down...

We did not get money directly from the project. Any funds just showed up, as I imagine they must for celebrities. Oprah Winfrey probably gets more money just for existing than all the DMOZ editors combined, but it’s the same idea. Money would just appear in the PayPal account, a recognition for our importance and worth in the internet community. I relied on the money, sure, but it was secondary to the tremendous psychic pay I derived from doing my job.


But it’s mostly gone now. Declining appreciation gifts, fewer applications to become editors, less frantic appeals for inclusion than ever before. But the big blow is that people use search engines to find websites, and the search engines don’t value us the way they once did. Not so long ago a website couldn’t be in America Online’s search index unless we approved them. And we still form Google’s directory. But nobody uses Google’s directory.

Wow, inflating ones former self importance beyond any measure of reality at the same time as whining like kid who's had a favorite toy confiscated - really attractive.

I remember back in 2001/2002 when the ODP was certainly a lot more important than it is now, but man, I don't ever remember it, or it's self agrandizing, pompous, lord of the flies'esque editorship being as important as this bitter old meta remembers it.

Sheesh, it went from being a relatively important pile of shit, to being an unimportant pile of shit.

Time to move on and do some other things Hutcheson?



I can't decide if its real or not. Would someone really have the gall to post that openly ?

Yes, he's the real deal.

Yes, he's the real deal.

I'm not as up on ID'ing

I'm not as up on ID'ing someone (or an impersonator) as I once was, but having read a BUNCH of hutcheson's posts over the years this one didn't strike me as fraudulent, the fingerprints seem OK. That said, it is out of character ...but no more so than the 3 or 4 other metas I've known who finally threw in the towel.

Appreciation Money

You've got to be kidding me "appreciation money" ? WTF is that ?

I don't know.. that post is too damn juicy.

A quick look on the resource zone for recent posts by hutchenson reveals nothing out of the ordinary and posts in the last 24 hours all seem unremarkable too. You'd think there would be an uproar over there by now.

// removed broken link

I get it...

I totally understand how he's feeling.

You pour your time into a site because you believe it will help others, it is difficult to see it go downhill. I don't see his 'ego refusing to deflate' at all: in fact, with this post, he is throwing in the towel.

Yet again, I am reminded of SEGuru's statement:

Don't get caught up in the politics and bs of the boards and the space we work in.

Mr. Guru, until you said that, I didn't get it. I am forever grateful for you spelling it out for me and others.

>"appreciation money" ? WTF

>"appreciation money" ? WTF is that ?

In the early days there were quite a few gift baskets, books, etc. sent as thanks. I guess it escalated from there ...and, for certain editors, moved from after- to before-the-listing.

Payoffs for inclusion at ODP

I was an editor with the ODP since very near the beginning of the project, and a meta editor for years, until my login was suddenly removed without explanation, or for any reason that I was aware of.

During my time with the ODP, I never once received anything from anyone for anything that I did there, other than some DMOZ stickers from Skrenta once. Nor did anyone ever offer anything.

That doesn't sound like the Hutcheson I remember.

Appreciation Money

Appreciation money = paid listings

the plot thickens

the thread was removed.....
I wonder if we'll see a statement soon.

Well that would explain why

Well that would explain why the highest hits from a single source for the last hour have been from the SEW mods area heh...

how would people know what

how would people know what the dmoz editor's paypal account was?

Bob's started a thread over

Bob's started a thread over at the ODP forum, might be worth keeping an eye on.

If this is a hack and down to seoblackhat, he deservers some kind of marketing award for 2005...

Interesting that it's gone,

Interesting that it's gone, but in the end the only shocker was that it was hutcheson (supposedly). I took a look back through the account, not many posts -16 or so- but the setup date wasn't new (2004, I think). Some of the posts dealing with odp seemed plenty legit, so if it wasn't hutcheson it was probably a hack of a legitimate account. Either that or someone was incredibly patient in setting up a gambit long ago (and they need to get a life).

But you know what struck me as the real surprise? Only a few of us gave a damn. In the old days about a half-dozen forums would have been lit up about a post like that.

Well if you were looking for

Well if you were looking for an editors paypal account you could Search DMOZ editors profiles to find out more about them and work out from there ...

Anybody got a copy of the

Anybody got a copy of the post, I can tell if its hutch or not.

Money would just appear in

Money would just appear in the PayPal account

I guess that's life: Every time you think that you're starting to become too cynical you discover that you're not at all cynical enough.

(There's a link to a copy in your mailbox, NFFC)


I haven't looked in awhile, but it is usually pretty easy to get an editor's e-mail. Either they have a record of using that username elsewhere or they have it listed on the site.

Either way, you just Paypal a few bucks over to the editor under an e-mail address that has your domain. It has been going on for years, not sure why people act surprised now.

Nah thats not him.

Nah thats not him. Regardless, the REAL hutch would never ever admit he might be wrong, ever :)

imho of course

imho of course

Please remember that no META is ever wrong.
They are God like ...

HHH, this is getting to be

HHH, this is getting to be like one of those mystery dinners where you try to solve the murder case.

So, if it isn't hutch, why would does the link to resource zone posted above now go dead? It sure worked when posted.

Hutcheson Posts:

Hmmm, you know I have been

Hmmm, you know I have been wrong before, long time ago but still. Maybe we should look at the post as what hutch would like to say if he had the balls?

Hutcheson denies

Hutcheson denies posting

Search Engine Watch is a fairly reputable forum, as SERP perp forums go. But I don't recall ever actually posting there -- it's certainly not in my normal beat, and I'm absolutely sure I haven't posted there in the last five years.

ODP thread

oh sorry

sorry about the link it looks like its only good for the session. see where it only has a searchid for the query ?

>>he REAL hutch would never

>>he REAL hutch would never ever admit he might be wrong, ever

It sounds just like him to me, but that's a bloody good point.

>hutch denies

Now that doesn't sound like him. I don't beleive for a minute he thinks he hasn't posted there in the last 5yrs, that's just total bollocks.

The plot thickens...

Not him.

It's not him, and it's rather convincingly not him. You guys get suckered in too easily.

Nick, let's assume it wasn't

Nick, let's assume it wasn't hutcheson of dmoz. But let me get this straight.... someone has been posting under the well-known hutcheson in the odp forums at sew, even following up kctipton, and no one has flagged it for the real hutcheson? Bizarrer by the moment.

There was some weirdness at

There was some weirdness at the SEW forums yesterday. It's a stretch, but the coincidence can't be ignored...

While the message is

While the message is different the "feel" of this thread from june seems pretty consistant with the now deleted post.

Who is the SEW "hutcheson"?

I don't think in any of his posts at SEW, that "hutcheson" claimed to be the meta. However if he was not, he must have known that it would create confusion

His profile at SEW leads you to one Don Hutcheson of

Who is tells you that is owned by
Domain Name..........
Creation Date........ 2000-12-11
Registration Date.... 2000-12-11
Expiry Date.......... 2005-12-11
Organisation Name.... Hutcheson Consulting
Organisation Address. 11 Turnburry Rd
Organisation Address. Washington
Organisation Address. 07882
Organisation Address. NJ
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

If that is the Meta then its either an hoax or the real man.

If it is not the meta, which I would suspect, then you can take you own punt on why he used the better known guy's nick at SEW - ignorance (no, as he claims to be a DMOZ editor), maybe vanity (a chance to use his own name at SEW)

And one ironic post by the SEW "hutchenson" is

Randfish, I hope you resign from the project ASAP.

I'm sorry you feel the way you do, but please do not use the words "fail" and "corrupt" when talking about ODP. Neither comes close to describing the directory or the organization.

He had made so few posts, and they were so "uncontroversial" at SEW that I doubt anyone noticed he was posting there,. Certainly not to draw it to the meta's attention.


If it was a troll I salute him for his patience and planning. Very clever.

DMOZ Profile

From Stephen Hutcheson's DMOZ profile, "I do not have a web site." And I do remember that statement in at least one of his posts I read somewhere.

This is really starting to smell like a very well thought out and very long term vendetta. Google Hutcheson to find a site to give your SEW profile a bit of credibility and off you go. Play it low key for a while and then drop the bomb. Makes me think hard about what can happen when you piss people off on the net

Maybe that was the account

Maybe that was the account that was ebayed . . .

Ok lets review a few things

Ok lets review a few things the join date on SEW for Hutcheson is June 9th 2004, if it's a troll that's a troll with awful lot of patience to set something up for that long before dropping a bomb.

If we look at the DMOZ Page we gain this info:

I'm a programmer by profession, with training and experience in computer languages and systems. I'm particularly interested in proof techniques


I do not have a web site, but have done scanning, proofing,

Now if we review the Hutch Color website we see this info:

I develop and install ICC-based systems for agencies, photographers, separators, printers, publishers - in fact anyone who needs to control color. Over thirty eight years of color scanning


To see how they are used, download my paper Soft Proofing Tips.

That nagging little voice in the back of my head says there are few too many coincidences


One is called Stephen, one Don

And the DMOZ one says "I do not have a web site", while the SEW one says in his "I take bribes" post that he has no web site, if you read his posts at SEW clearly say that he does have web sites and he "owns" the hutchcolor site too if you believe his profile

I'm not one for defending ODP Metas, but my view is "hutcheson" has been stitched up.

One is called Stephen, one

One is called Stephen, one Don

I'm a male in my late 30's I've "pretended" to be females in their early 20's with names like Jessica, Danielle, Jennifer, and Amber if I thought it was going to help me secure a link. Having a nom-de-plume is a centuries old technique.

The old join date is the one that causes my brow to wrinkle. You'll also see at least 1, 2, 3, 4 posts that talk about DMOZ favorably. I don't know the man at all so can't reasonably say with any degree of certainty, but there are an awful lot things that make me scratch my head.

There is a MALE member here

There is a MALE member here that has "pretended" to be 13 different women at the same time and made $ at it.


>>>>"pretended" to be 13 different women at the same time and made $ at it.

and were you were very good at it? :)

It wasn't Mike (nor me), but

It wasn't Mike (nor me), but -yes- he was extremely good at it --or so the story goes.

Playing Dress Up?

Did he dress up as a woman while he was pretending? (Just to keep in character of course.)

Now what are we talking

Now what are we talking about here, exactly? You can tell me, I won't tell anyone, promise ;-)

>It was of course a

>It was of course a hoax

Thats not true.

It wasn't the person that people thought it was, does that make the comments any less valid?

And it's all still rather

And it's all still rather odd, the past postings, as Greywolf pointed out. Long term vendetta or maybe a simple case of over-medication /late night whiskey? Hey we've all made those posts we regretted in the morning ;)

>>Hey we've all made those

>>Hey we've all made those posts we regretted in the morning

I could populate a medium sized forum with mine alone...


"It wasn't the person that people thought it was, does that make the comments any less valid?


I'd say so yes. Wouldn't you question both the motives and the content if someone posted in your name ?

"I could populate a medium sized forum"..

"with posts we regretted in the morning.."

I understood that you had already done that at TW, Nick.

Assuming this was a long

Assuming this was a long term fraud, that ups the ante for the goal the fraudster wanted acomplish. While the post quite possibly was not who we think it was, the allegations contained within it have been coraborated in whole or part by many members here.

Is the real issue that a fradster made allegations against DMOZ, or that DMOZ is corrupt?

"Is the real issue..."

Dunno what the main issue is with this thread any more..

..but, it was an amusing and high profile way of getting publicity for a point of view.

From where I sit this is a

From where I sit this is a classic case of a whistleblower. Someone who knows or is actively participating in actions that go against the best interests of the group, for any multitude of reasons decides to go public with the information. The person may have been an active participant, or simply turned a blind eye to them. Does that make the information less valid?

Focusing on if the post was a fraud or not isn't the point. If threads like this one, the auction of an editors account on EBAY, and examples of favorable/unfavorable descrption listings haven't conviced everyone, especially the editors at DMOZ that the fox is in the hen house, I don't know what will.


From where I sit there do seem to be many people who don't differntiate between the two.

agreed but prudent

agreed but prudent management should have it's ear to the ground and take steps to make sure that where's there's smoke there aren't any fires.

prudent management


Whole point with DMOZ is that their isn't any "management"

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