There has been some discussion lately about setting up a Directory Association. This would be an organization for directory owners similar to a Bar Association for attorneys – although on a much smaller scale.
Wait, wasn’t this discussed before? Yes it was – two years ago. In fact, one such association was indeed set up – the IAQD.org or International Association of Quality Directories. But they disappeared without doing much.
My thoughts on the matter: I think a Directory Association makes a lot of sense. However, I have doubts whether the industry is willing or able to devote what is necessary to make a Directory Association work.
Some of the pros are:
(1) Professionalism. Let’s face it – most people think of directory owners as one of the lowest forms of life on the internet, willing to spam and scam to make a buck. And there is good reason for this too – there are lots of directory owners that do this. A Directory Association gives the chance to show the world that there are many professionally run directories out there.
(2) Guidelines. Guidelines will be beneficial – both to directory owners and directory submitters. Directory owners will have a standard that they can measure up against. These standards can be used to educate directory submitters.
(3) Atmosphere. Let’s face it, public directory forums aren’t the most collegial of places. Private discussions between directory owners committed to advancing the industry are much more productive.
(4) Newbies. A Directory Association can provide a role model and help for people new to the web directory industry who want to create a quality web directory.
Some of the cons are:
(1) Politics. Directory owners are a very individualist bunch. While vigorous discussion about disagreements is healthy, infighting and bickering are not. It would be difficult to stop the infighting and bickering that permeates the industry from seeping into the Directory Association.
(2) Commitment. Realistically, setting up a Directory Association would take a huge time and financial commitment, even if the Directory Association starts out small. It may not be feasible for busy directory owners to commit the needed resources. Starting this is something that cannot be done halfheartedly.
What do you think? Is it worth setting up a Directory Association?