Communication and Codes of Conduct
- Emailing Editors
- Using the Forums
- Posting to the Forums
- Hypertext Links in Forum Posts
- Email and Forum Privacy
- Contacting Submitters
- Communication Abuse
The Open Directory Project respects the privacy of our editors, and we ask that the editors treat each other with the same respect. We encourage editors to work with each other as a team, and to keep in good communication. If editors wish to contact one another, they should use the editor feedback feature located on each editor's profile.
Using the Forums
You also can use the forum for the top-level category you edit (example: Arts) to communicate with other editors in your category. One way to gather feedback from other editors is by creating a forum thread and then emailing your co-editors with the thread's URL, requesting that they to reply in the thread. This way everyone can participate in the discussion. You may also get some very useful suggestions from editors who don't edit in your specific category, but just happen to be browsing the forums. You are strongly encouraged to email others about a forum topic if you want to solicit a lot of responses or if the topic being discussed is a large-scale change that would affect a number of different editors (some editors don't read the forums regularly).
In addition to the top-level category forums, there are non-English forums for the World categories, with World/General for those languages without their own forum, along with the following six general purpose forums. Although these forums are useful for exchanging ideas, their content does not necessarily represent official ODP editorial policy.
- New Editors - help, tips and advice for new editors.
- General - covers general discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.
- Ontology - deals with the organization of content across the directory.
- External Communications and PR - tips for editors or rules of engagement.
- Bugs & Features - reports of bugs or requests for an editing feature.
- Meta-editors - a forum for issues specific to editall/meta/catmv editors.
- Editor Produced Tools - a forum for discussing editing tools created by editors for editors.
- Penguin Cafe - a social discussion for non-editing topics.
Posting to the Forums
Before you post a new thread, use forum search to see if your question has been answered. If you can not find a thread were your question has been addressed, you may start a new forum thread. Start your thread in the single most relevant forum only. Do not create multiple threads covering the same topic. Your thread's subject should be specific and explicit. The thread should relate to only one topic.
When posting a reply to a thread, stick to the topic. Consider whether your reply would be useful to the many readers of the thread. It may be more useful to email the few affected editors instead. Keep your comments concise. Be considerate in your communications with other editors.
Hypertext Links in Forum Posts
If you are referring to a specific category or site, include the URL. If you type in anything beginning with "http://", the Forum software will make everything from that until the next space into a hypertext link. Readers can click on the link to see what you are referring to. However, this also means you don't want to type http://dmoz.org, as that comma will be converted into part of the link, and will lead nowhere. Leave a space before and after any hyperlinks before punctuation.
Email and Forum Privacy
The content of the ODP Editor Forum, Editors' Notes, and Editor-to-Editor email or Feedback are private and intended only for internal use by ODP editors. Editors may not publish or disclose quotes from these sources to anyone other than other editors or the ODP staff. Rephrasing is allowed only if the communication as rephrased could not be attributed to a specific editor and disclosure would not violate any editor's expectation of privacy, with the understanding that a diplomatic choice of words is the re-phraser's responsibility. It is never appropriate to disclose the identity or e-mail address of an ODP editor without the consent of that editor.
Violation of ODP email or forum privacy will not be tolerated and is grounds for removal and possible legal action.
Netscape Communications Corporation may disclose the relevant contents of forum threads, e-mail, editor's notes, and other ODP communications in legal matters involving the ODP. This means that the contents of the forum threads, including the private meta forum, as well as email sent to staff, may be forwarded to legal representatives.
Occasionally, it may be necessary to communicate with a submitter about a Directory listing. Under no circumstances should you represent in any communication to a submitter that you are speaking for or on behalf of ODP staff or Netscape. If there is a problem with a submitter, you should contact ODP staff.
All communications related to the ODP -- with other editors, submitters, or ODP staff -- should be civil and polite. Abusive or harassing behavior will not be tolerated.
From time to time, users and editors may contact other editors through avenues outside of the editor feedback function. This is a function of the Directory's public nature. By using the Open Directory Project, editors are acknowledging the possibility and waiving any claims against the Open Directory Project. The Open Directory Project does not support such contacts, nor do we require any personal information about our editors. However, please note that the contents of editor profiles are viewable by other editors and the public. If you believe that your privacy or personal rights have been violated as a result of your association with the Open Directory Project, please notify the ODP staff and provide a detailed account of the incident(s). While the ODP has no control over such contacts, in some situations we may be able to discourage them.