First, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have listed NowNowNow in the Hyperlink Nodes Directory as a niche directory.Second, Yes! This is exactly what I’ve been yammering on about with decentralized search (or decentralized discovery, if you will.) It’s not without some issues as you have pointed out and one issue is – will it scale, but it’s a nice effort that can be built upon. Also it’s about individual people, which is what the Web is about.Third, It’s a nice fresh approach to a blog directory, presuming it’s mostly blogs that have a /now page. If you say “blog directory” everybody yawns, if you say /now page directory everybody perks up with interest. /now pages are a good hook for personal blogs.
I’m curious how we might expand this sort of concept to other types of online directories? Is there anything else useful about how this is one is set up?
Going ConventionalYou could replicate this with a good commercial Php directory script: just insist that the primary URL submitted be to the /now page and add whatever custom fields you need for bio information. This would allow submission from the website instead of the two step email process. It would also give the directory admin tools like dead link checking that help maintain the directory over time, plus a search function, the option to add hierarchical categories or leave it flat, the ability to sort listings in different orders, and an RSS feed of new listings.A specialized personnel or membership directory script could be adapted too.Custom/FutureWhat is swirling around in my head is some sort of fusion of NowNowNow, Microcast.club and webmentions like href.cool can send, plus a conventional directory script for those backend admin tools.
I like the webring aspects to Microcast.club: 1. it helps keep the directory current by requiring a bit of code on the page listed, if the code disappears you drop out. 2. Lets people optionally surf like a webring, 3. provides a link back to the directory – two way linking provides more traffic for everyone and frankly helps the directory to rank in search engine results too. Downside: it is a mandatory reciprocal link which I’m not totally comfortable with.
href.cool sends a webmention to all sites that get listed. Truly an indieweb directory by design. Trackback sending would be a nice backup to that because not everybody has webmentions.
NowNowNow provides submission which is 1. human reviewed, plus 2. URL submission that is more democratic than Microcast.club – any site with a /now page can submit. I say this even though I see email submission as problematic.
A conventional directory script would provide search, URL submission and other sorting options which would make things scale better and be maintained better long term by one admin.
Yes we need a 21st Century rethink of the conventional php directory script. The above are some elements that could be incorporated.