The sister site of DMOZ, Open-site.org, is an internet community project designed to accumulate and distribute trusted information with no charge. Open-site is a collection of articles on everything from dust mites to SEO with editors checking to ensure the content is of the quality required by the site as well as being free of slant or propaganda.
While this concept sounds a lot like the overwhelmingly popular Wikipedia, there are critical differences.
Open-site.org is set up on a CMS platform, not a wiki. The open-site framework is much closer to that of a true online encyclopedia, not a wiki. Open-site.org does make it clear that they are neither a dictionary nor an encyclopedia, however. The site considers itself a “informational, volunteer-based web-site”.
Of course, it may not be written by scientists and specialists in the field, but editors must be approved before they can add or change content and even then, that content must be approved by a senior editor. The public can’t modify information at all without applying and being approved as editors. The site is also organized by category, much like a print encyclopedia might be making it simple to browse from one category to another and find related information.
Open-site.org is a sister site of the Open Directory Project and is built on the same framework. That is where the similarities end however. The Open Directly Project, or DMOZ, handles only links. Open Site deals in content. The goal of Open Site is to build “the most comprehensive, informational, volunteer-powered web-site on the Internet.” The same can not be said for DMOZ as it has little or nothing to do with content at all.
Open Site has a long list of categories spanning from Arts to Sports and even has recently begun a Children’s version of the online encyclopedia that is still in production and not readily available through the Open Site website.
The design on Open Site is simple to use and has an adequate amount of information on each topic covered, there aren’t many topics actually discussed on the site in comparison to other Wikis. The popular cultural aspects of the site especially are lacking. For example, while Clint Eastwood is listed under Actors there is no mention of the teenage heartthrob Zac Efron despite his huge popularity online and off in recent years.
The content is written simply in a consistent format which makes it simple to read, although it is often not presented with the depth one would hope to find in an online source. There are also many blank articles throughout the site, a sure sign it is still very much underdevelopment.
It is clear that Open Site is working hard to provide only quality content to visitors, and the site actually goes one step beyond that. All content offered on Open Site is free for use by other websites provided credit is given properly and all terms are met. Overall, Open-Site.org is a website with a great deal of positive material to offer, but with plenty of room for more.