Sunday, December 12, 2004

WebAtlas Web Directory. This is a newer Web directory. There is not a lot here yet but I think it has the potential to be a good resource someday. I asked the site owner (Nandini Maheshwari) to let me know what is unique about the WebAtlas directory that sets it off from the rest. Why would a librarian visit it?

She replied:

I guess there are a few things that help set Web Atlas apart from most other directories...

1.) We hand coded it from scratch. This means that the code should be quick running.
2.) We worked hard to create a clean layout without much random distracting stuff.
3.) We give each listed site its own page and allow them to link to 4 interior pages on their personal page to help point out various useful parts of larger websites.
4.) While our business model is as a paid directory we have paid editors who also try to add many new sites free each day.

I think the last part there is key. Lots of people are creating directories now with the idea of getting rich by charging site owners for inclusion. These sites don't work well as a general Web resource though as most of the really good information sites are not commerical in nature and they will not pay to be included. Good Web directories are balanced between commercial and non-commercial content. Those directories that forget this will not be used by anyone. If WebAtlas can keep adding good non-commercial content, it can become a good reference tool. I wish Nandini luck.

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