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Affiliate blogger Shoemoney says a Dmoz editor yanked his site for failing to pay $5,000. Others question his story and if he was ever listed. For a short time, the Internet Archive shows only his feed was there.

(Above title and post body authored by Danny Sullivan)



== Original Post ==

*Post Controversial Lies to Your Blog and Watch the Sheep Follow...*

So. One blogger claims that someone sent him an extortion email, but no-one has thought to check archive.org, and multiple ODP mirrors, to see what actually did or did not happen, and when.

You have all been had. The post is a lie.

.

Next time, take more notice of the disclaimer on that blog:

"You should assume everything written on this blog is a lie. You should assume I have motivation for linking to everything on this page and will benefit from it somehow. .... You should question everything. You should come up with your own thoughts and opinions and not trust some stupid blogger."

Absolutely!
Comments22 Comments  

Comments

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from mvandemar 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Wow, considering he now has proof right there on the post that you are linking to, and the fact that you calling him a liar and him proving you wrong looks like a great traffic generator, I gotta ask... Did you 2 plan this...? Or are your investigative skills just that lacking? I mean, not finding evidence is one thing... being sure enough of yourself to call someone else out like that though and still being wrong is another, ya know?

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from JohnWeb 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Title should be revised to: "Post Controversial lies on Sphinn about Posting Controversial Lies to Your Blog and Watch the Sheep Follow..."

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 4

So I see him listed from here from March 6 of this year: http://web.archive.org/web/20070306115617/http:/www.dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs/ Through March 16: http://web.archive.org/web/20070316025649/http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs/ And then gone by April 23: http://web.archive.org/web/20070423003925/http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs/ It wasn’t his site that was listed by rather his RSS feed. I know Jeremy fairly well, so I’d be surprised if he just made this up. I did see that he robots.txt excludes his feed address. It could be that he was listed by a human editor, and that Dmoz is running some type of regular automatic checks on sites to maintain freshness or something, saw the exclusion and dropped him because of that. I’ll leave more to the discussion. However, I’ve now changed the title and description originally submitted from: Post Controversial Lies to Your Blog and Watch the Sheep Follow... So. One blogger claims that someone sent him an extortion email, but no-one has thought to check the last five years of archive.org, and multiple ODP mirrors, to find out that... ... the site in question has never been listed!! You have all been had. The post is a lie. Try to find any ODP mirror, of any vintage, with a listing for that site. You can’t. It has never been listed. Next time, take more notice of the disclaimer on that blog: "You should assume everything written on this blog is a lie. You should assume I have motivation for linking to everything on this page and will benefit from it somehow. .... You should question everything. You should come up with your own thoughts and opinions and not trust some stupid blogger." To something else explaining the claim is in question, yet to be proven either way.

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from mvandemar 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Danny, I know *we* can’t put html in comments, but can you? The unbroken anchor text of Linkzilla there is breaking the layout. :D

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from mvandemar 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Btw, why did you censor him at all? It’s not like leaving it be would have been endorsing his statements or anything.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Sorry, not even I can do HTML in comments. It’s on the list, promise. As for censoring, ouch. I didn’t see it as censoring him, especially as I left all his original post in my comment, so anyone can see exactly what was said. Instead, I saw it as clarifying the story -- which is something we’d said editors would do here. The original post made no mention of the accusations against Dmoz, which were to me the heart of the story. But if you go to Shoemoney’s blog, you’ll also see people asking why he doesn’t out the actual editor -- plus he talks about this just happening, while it happened back in March. I’m guessing it happened, he didn’t notice he was out (plenty of people no longer bother to monitor Dmoz), and it could either be that someone really did make it happen or noticed it happened (and understood it was likely to come out) and decided to try and trick him. Whatever the case, others within Dmoz should be able to quickly and officially confirm when he was in, how he got there and why he was removed. Maybe I’ll ping them, if I get the chance. I care relatively little about Dmoz these days -- but if people are getting these types of messages, they might worry and pay money when there is no need.

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from g1smd 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 2

The post I posted was... So. One blogger claims that someone sent him an extortion email, but no-one has thought to check archive.org, and multiple ODP mirrors, to see what actually did or did not happen, and when. You have all been had. The post is a lie. . Next time, take more notice of the disclaimer on that blog: "You should assume everything written on this blog is a lie. You should assume I have motivation for linking to everything on this page and will benefit from it somehow. .... You should question everything. You should come up with your own thoughts and opinions and not trust some stupid blogger." Absolutely!

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from g1smd 2621 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I found no mention of the main site anywhere in archive.org ... but edited the original post minutes later when I found a feed listed for a very short while over 5 months ago. The blog says "today I got a email from him saying it was removed and I might want to rethink not paying him" ... ... bit of a disconnect in the time-space continuum there, methinks.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2620 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@g1smd, thanks for updating the description further noting it was edited and putting the original up top. That works better than as part of my comment. I should have thought to do it that way myself.

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from TheRealTerry 2620 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Hah... Shoemoney linkbait? Neeeever! But I don’t doubt it could very well be true. People trying to bill for DMOZ listings is nothing new, and while most of the scams are probably from people who aren’t editors (ever gotten a bill from the Internet Corporation?) it’s entirely possible some in fact are. I don’t recall in the past them doing any type of background check or much of anything beyond, "do you have an email address and a desire to manage a category on woodcarved water fowl?"

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2620 Days ago #
Votes: 2

http://blogoscoped.com/forum/106601.html#id106669 at Google Blogoscoped has some interesting info coming out of the Dmoz editing history. It’s still rather confused. Best I can tell, someone put Shoemoney’s site on a flagged list of things not to include because he offered a bribe via Digital Point. But reading that post (or a quote of it, since the original post now appears to have been deleted): http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=13402&page=3 "if anyone seriously does know a dmoz editor pm me ill pay there lame corruption fee to get in the dmoz... I dont like it but I want to be listed." Doesn’t leave me thinking this was a serious bribe attempt. You’ve got a bunch of people asking if they know of Dmoz editors willing to be paid in general, rather than any specific action.

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from g1smd 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 2

OK. Let’s look at details that are public knowledge. The site was created in 2004. The site was not listed in the ODP at any time during 2004. There are sites other than archive.org that can also confirm that. The site was not listed in the ODP at any time during 2005. The site was not listed in the ODP at any time during 2006. In 2005 the ODP was offered a bribe to list the site. That event has been discussed in several places, though some people have more recently tried to cover some of the tracks. == Sidenote: == What happens to sites that offer bribes, rewards, or incentives, to the ODP or to an editor? The site, and related sites, become ineligible for a listing in the directory. -- The Public View of Events -- Webmaster X offers the ODP a bribe to list his site, and sometime later the site appears in the directory. Anyone outside of the ODP would maybe begin to think "the ODP accepted the bribe". So, sites that offer bribes are not listed. Offering a bribe to editors is one of the fastest ways to guarantee to be NOT listed in the directory. -- The Editors View of Events -- Webmaster Z offers the ODP a bribe to list a site. Some time later, various editors see that Editor N added the site to the directory (all edit actions are logged). Editors might be led to assume that payment had been made to that editor. So, sites that offer bribes are not listed, and editors that deliberately list such sites (against editor concensus) may also be removed. -- So, as soon as a bribe to list that site was received in 2005, the site became ineligible to be listed. -- The ODP usually lists the root of a site in preference to any other URL (e.g. domain.com/), and the HTML version of that site has never been listed in the ODP. Editors already told the site owner that the offer of the bribe in 2005 made the site ineligible for a listing. Those conversations were way back in 2005. Since 2005, the site has not been eligible for any sort of listing. The webmaster has known that for two years. -- Since that site cannot ever be legitimitely listed, any threat of "removal" is moot, and the webmaster already knew back in 2005, that no listing was going to be allowed for the site. Two years later we are led to believe that the webmaster is being threatened with "removal". We have already established that the site has not been listable for two years, and that the webmaster has known that fact for two years. You can’t remove a site that has already been banned! -- It does appear that a "feed" URL, was briefly listed for a few weeks in March 2007, but was quickly removed. Whether that listing was added by mistake, or by a misguided editor, or some other reason, is irrelevant. The listing was gone just a few weeks later, and that is now some five months ago (see archive.org). We are told by the webmaster, on August 26th, that "today" a mail was received saying that the site had been removed for "non payment". Whether someone sent a prank email, or whether it is an invention of the webmaster, will never be known; but that is also irrelevant. Even if a mail was received, there is no story here, as the webmaster already knew that the site would never be listed in the ODP, and knew that two years ago. If he did receive such an email it was blatently rubbish. How can you threaten to remove something that isn’t listed?

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Are you saying the bribe was his post in the forum saying he’d be willing to pay an editor? Or something more direct. Direct is more serious, but I haven’t read anything about that yet. But if Dmoz is banning sites because they might express frustration with a bad listing system to the degree of saying they’d pay someone on an open forum, it would be far more productive if they just listed sites. I mean seriously -- why isn’t his blog listed in Dmoz. Forget the who might have bribed or suggested to bribe whom thing. It’s a prominent blog. It has tons of traffic. These are easily confirmed facts. It ought to be in Dmoz, frankly. Yahoo takes bribes -- they are simply called submission fees. And they solved the Yahoo problem years ago, the frustration people had with it. Ironically, that frustration was the reason Dmoz was founded -- to better list sites when site owners complained they couldn’t get in.

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from Sem-Advance 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Danny did you read the full blogscoped conversation??? Shoe admits to paying DMOZ editors in the past.....what did he think that a crooked DMOZ editor was not going to tell another crooked editor he had a pigeon? Shoe perpetuates the problem then whines about it when he is bit in the ass by it. See his comments below: Jeremy Schoemaker [PersonRank 0] 1 day ago # [put at-character here]Marcin: I did post that... before shoemoney.com was ever even up. I did get replies from your corrupt ass editors and I did pay them to get some sites in. I still pay to get sites in. The sites I paid to have in are still in. I never paid to have shoemoney.com in. You guys evidently assumed that that was the domain. The REALLY funny thing is the DMOZ editor that posted that red note is Banned from digitalpoint forums for making douplicate accounts to defend DMOZ (making it look like multiple people were supporting dmoz editors) I have never hid the fact I have paid to get sites in. In the end the facts still remain I got a letter that I had to pay or my site would be removed then it was removed. http://blogoscoped.com/forum/106601.html#id106669 ============================================================ The fact is he set himself up for the extortion..... Its why we DO NOT pay kidnappers...

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@sem-advance, thanks for that. No, I missed it in all the reading I’ve been doing in three different places. Maybe I’ll fire up my own article recapping stuff :) However, I don’t see this at the link you’re pointing at. I guess I still feel like I don’t care if he paid or not. That some editor was taking money to list some of his domains is a Dmoz problem, not a submitter problem. If Dmoz dealt with sites faster, there would be no market there. Some people might pay to bribe for sites to be accepted that were rejected on quality issues, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. I’m going to guess the sites he paid to get in meet some Dmoz quality guidelines, so the "bribe" remains more a speed up the processing/just process it type of thing. I agree -- complaining that he won’t pay a bribe if he’s paid one in the past doesn’t help his particular case. But the situation hurts Dmoz even more. And his main point remains valid -- his Shoemoney site itself deserves to be listed.

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from Sem-Advance 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Hi Danny 100% agreed his site may have deserved to be listed at one point but he broke the rules of inclusion, and is now apparently blocked from having that site in the directory. That his other sites may be included shows poor past history on DMOZ for not checking things diligently however they cannot police everything either. g1smd has nailed the case history perfectly and both parties appear to be culpable to some extent of allowing their brands to be slightly tarnished. However in this day and age, tarnishing a brand has repercussions of varying degree. Ask Michael Milken, Mike Vick, Martha Stewart if there are doubts ;-> My issue is one cannot complain about that which they willingly participate in....

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So I just skimmed the ODPs submission help pages. Says nothing that paying an editor means you’ll get banned. Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t think so. At worst, it says this: "Please recognize that making the ODP a useful resource requires us to exercise broad editorial discretion in determining the content and structure of the directory. That discretion extends (but is not limited) to what sites to include, where in the directory sites are placed, whether and when to include more than one link to a site, when deep linking is appropriate, and the content of the title and description of the site. In addition, a site’s placement in the directory is subject to change or deletion at any time at our sole discretion. You should not rely on any aspect of a site’s inclusion in the directory. Please understand that an editor’s exercise of discretion may not always treat all submissions equally. You may not always agree with our choices, but we hope you recognize that we do our best to make fair and reasonable decisions." I agree, complaining that not paying a bribe sucks when he may have paid them in the past doesn’t help the case. A better post would have been, "ODP, I ain’t paying you no more." But then again, you do you feel sympathy for when you watch The Sopranos and they’re collecting protection money from various businesses? It sounds like Shoe could have raised this issue in a better way that would have left him far open to the accusations now coming up, but none of this makes me have more faith that all is fine with the ODP.

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from Sem-Advance 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sadly I think we would all agree the bell has rung for the ODP. I am actually at the point where I feel a need to "force" myself to submit sites to them. While I think it is a waste of time, something inside me says for the client side, I am supposed to. Thinking on this for a few minutes before pushing submit....I came to the realization I do not check back to see if sites were accepted or not..... ODP - R.I.P. 200?

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from g1smd 2618 Days ago #
Votes: 2

The ODP has no concept of a "little bribe" and a "big bribe", or a "serious bribe" and a "jokey bribe". They all have one common feature: "bribe". The consequences are the same for all of them. Once the rules are broken, the site and related sites are history. This works in just the same way as for athletes found to be taking drugs. They get a ban. They have no concept like "this is the best athlete on the planet so we will overlook the pill taking this time" - and neither does the ODP. There is also no real concept of a site "deserving" to be in the ODP. The question that an editor would ask of a category is simply something like: "Are there enough sites listed, with sufficient quality, and with enough information, such that surfers with a question about this topic can find enough information to answer their questions?". Plenty of sites cover that topic, and the non-listing of one site is not seen as a problem.

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from g1smd 2616 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Some interesting extra analysis: http://www.vanhara.com/2007/01/21/is-jeremy-shoemaker-aka-shoemoney-scam/

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from flyingrose 2615 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This entire scenario illustrates two principles I believe in: Black and white thinking never leads to the optimum outcome. The Law of Attraction works. This concept has been expressed many ways over time: 1. You reap what you sow 2. There is no honor among thieves 3. What goes around comes around 4. You will be judged by the company you keep 5. You attract those whose morals and ethics match yours

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from TheRealTerry 2613 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Well, seeing as how Google utilizes it to fill their own directory content I would think the standard would be to ever expand and keep up to date with the latest and new content. DMOZ doesn’t do this, at least not at any effective speed. It doesn’t make sense for any category to ever become "full" and completed. I’d bet they have backlogs of submissions in some areas that go back close to 5 years now. There is even a market for seeking out expired and defunct domains that still have a DMOZ listing. If Shoe offered a "bribe" it was only out of frustration that DMOZ moves at the speed of continental plate tectonics. Not saying that was right or wrong of him, that is certainly up to DMOZ to decide solely, but you gotta recognize the contrast of the speed at which they bother to review submissions compared to the swiftness to which they decided to dump Shoe. Their prerogative, but the source of Google’s directory? Certainly a QC area Google should clean up.

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