There is a big DMOZ (Open Directory) kerfuffle going on at Jeremy Schoemaker’s ShoeMoney blog over an alleged extortion attempt by a DMOZ editor.
A while back I got a email from a guy claiming to be a DMOZ editor saying that I had to pay him $5,000.00 or he would have my site: shoemoney.com removed from the dmoz.
I thought nothing of it. then today I got a email from him saying it was removed and I might want to rethink not paying him. I thought I would check just for grins.
It was removed. WOW
This was followed by nearly 200 comments expressing outrage at DMOZ, as well as doubt about Jeremy’s story.
For my part, I can confirm a couple things about the whole situation. When I went into DMOZ as an editor of the affiliate marketing section to submit Jeremy’s site, I saw a notification saying not to list him:
This warning referred to a post Jeremy made on Digital Point.
Since I figured the post to be tongue in cheek, I added the site to the affiliate blog section of DMOZ (under the editor name of ‘clubmom’ – my DMOZ editor account was created in 2000 when I was working at ClubMom.com).
This was on March 1, 2007. Jeremy’s site was then removed from DMOZ on April 6, 2007. Yesterday, DMOZ editor Marcin Sochacki posted the notes regarding ShoeMoney.com in DMOZ on the Google Blogoscoped Forum:
clubmom 2007/03/01 14:30:05 CET I think he was being snarky about the bribe thing and his blog is important in the affiliate marketing arena. [Added in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/ Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs]
motsa 2007/04/06 01:34:48 CEST Snarkiness is irrelevant. Offering a bribe results in banning. Do not relist. [Deleted in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/ Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs]
As far as anybody that doesn’t believe that the site was ever listed in DMOZ, you can see it in the Wayback Machine archives.
I can’t speak to the rest of this scandalicious story, but the site was definitely in DMOZ earlier this year.
What is to be learned from all of this? For one thing, “Snarkiness is irrelevant.” The rest is TBD.