Senior Club Directory Project

Discussion in 'Senior Directory Project' started by Ken Anderson, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    Just so I don't leave anyone wondering, I thought I'd introduce this section further. You may or not be aware of this, but I have been working in the web directory industry for the past fifteen years or so, so I am thinking that we might start a Senior Club Directory, and host it as a subdomain of the SENIORSonly CLUB domain, although separate from the forum itself.

    What I have in mind is this. As the core of the directory would be sites that are relevant particularly to baby boomers and seniors, organized in categories and subcategories. Additionally, any active member of the forum who wanted to participate could add whatever sites they wanted.

    These could be personal web sites, ones owned by friends or relatives, the web site for the church you attend, schools you've attended, or even the market where you do your shopping. Any sites that you added to the directory would be categorized according to topical categories and subcategories, but also tagged with your forum member name, and those sites that represent a business or organization with a physical address would have that added as well, so they could be found according to topic, by location, or by the forum member who added the site.

    In this way, you could share your favorite sites, as well as giving them a boost in their own off-page search engine optimization, and the directory might bring new people to the forum, who may elect to join us.

    Of course, no one would be required to participate, but once you got the hang of it, you might enjoy it, and I could easily teach you how it's done. This isn't something that I would be starting right away, and if it turns out that no one is interested in it, I'll just put a seniors directory together and disregard the personalization aspect of it. Feel free to ask questions, or to give it some thought in the meantime.
     
    #1
    Denise Happyfeet and Diane Lane like this.
  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,825
    Likes Received:
    6,952
    I just read everything that you wrote,(twice) and I still have NO idea what it was that I read. I understand that it lists webpages that are important to seniors (examples?), and is a place where those of us who have a personal webpage can also list that. Then what ?
    What does this list do ? Is it just for the club members to find somthing instead of using google ? Does it cost people to do this?
    And what do you mean by "learning how to do it "? I need the "Web Directory for Dummies" version of this post (please).
     
    #2
  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    That's where the learning part comes in, but it's not difficult, and you couldn't break anything that couldn't be easily fixed.

    There are seniors directories online but most of them are put out by one government or another, or are otherwise all about finding services for senior citizens. I plan on that, but also services that we, as seniors, find useful, and that goes well beyond being able to find a nursing home or retirement community.

    As an example, the Senior Directory is of the type that concentrates on things that other people, usually non-seniors, think that seniors might need help finding. Meanwhile, Aviva Directory is one of the directories that I have employed with for the past ten years, working from 30-50 hours a week. You can find things on a directory as you would in a search engine, by using the search field, but the results are generally limited to the sites that are listed in that directory. Or, more traditionally, you can browse through its categories and subcategories by clicking on them.

    Although both are used to find stuff, a web directory is not a search engine. Search engines send spiders (bots) out onto the Internet, following links, and indexing everything they come across. Using automated processes (algorithms), the search engine then tries to figure out what each of these web pages are about, and how relevant they might be to whatever it is that you're searching for.

    If you've ever used a search engine, like Google, as you probably have, you'll know that they can be quite good at that. However, you'll also notice that at least half of what they give you isn't really very relevant to what you're looking for. On any given search, Google might give you 50,000 results, but most of them aren't what you're actually looking for, and very few people look beyond the first page or two anyhow.

    A good web directory (and there are a lot of web directories that are anything but good) may give you only 5-50 results on that same topic but, if it is well organized, every one of them will be relevant to the topic you were looking for, since they are handpicked by editors, like me. Every day, I search the Internet finding sites to add to these categories, and I do that for a few web directories. When I find a site that looks like it might be useful for a particular topic, I will add it to the directory for free. I am being paid, by the owner, to add it but the owner is not being paid for listing it. The money side is that I don't add every site that I find on any given topic. So, let's say, you own a hotel in Podunk, Iowa. As I am building the Podunk, Iowa category, I might find ten hotels in Podunk. I may list six of them for free. Being listed in a good directory also boosts the site's position in the search engines, so if someone searches in Google for "Podunk, Iowa hotel," the ones that are listed in the better directories are apt to come up first.

    The idea is that the owners or operators of the other four hotels probably will not have visited the directories that are listing their competitor's sites but they will, at some point, notice that their competitors are coming up higher than they are in Google searches. They hire a search engine optimization company, who finds that their competitors are listed in these directories. There is nothing to indicate that their competitor's sites were added for free, so the assumption is that their competitors submitted their site, so they will do the same, and there will be a submission fee that may range from only a few dollars, for the smaller directories, to three hundred for the more prominent ones, like the ones that I work for.

    By creating our own directory here, we will be bringing traffic to the forum, since it will be hosted on the same domain, and will link to it, but it will also (in time) boost the standing of the sites that we choose to list there. At first, our directory won't be worth much because it will be new but, because it is a niche directory, it will rise in the standings quickly, allowing the sites that we list in our directory to get a boost in the search engines, as well as visits from people who are using our directory.

    In our directory, I don't intend to charge for submissions, at least not at first, but I may, at some point, allow outside submissions of sites that relate to baby boomers and seniors, charging a small fee that can go toward hosting and upgrade costs for the forum. Of course, members of the forum will always be able to add sites to the directory for free.

    Using a directory isn't hard at all. Adding sites to the directory, as an editor, which is what you would be if you chose to participate, would require learning how it is done, and that would depend on the software chosen.
     
    #3
    Diane Lane and Yvonne Smith like this.
  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,825
    Likes Received:
    6,952
    Thank you for the explanation, Ken. this makes a lot more sense now. I still don't exactly understand it; but I am getting closer.
    How do I find one of these web directories to see what they look like ?
    I like the idea of the directory actually recommending things that are related to what I am searching for, and google does get off-track in the first couple of pages usually.

    Now, you have brought up another question. (at least you know I have been paying attention and reading) I did not miss the part about web directories making money by listing websites. Is this something a person (me?) could learn to do and make some money from doing, or not , once I learned how to find and add the relevant listings on a directory ?

    PS I looked at the examples that you linked, and I can see that they might be worthwhile. One even lists my city of Huntsville . How do people even know that these directories exist ? I had never seen one before you showed me these.
     
    #4
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    Diane Lane likes this.
  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    I included links to two of them in my last post, the Senior Directory and Aviva Directory.

    Possibly yes, and this would teach you how it's done. Most of the people I know who are doing this for a living began as a volunteer for one of the first directories on the Internet, now known as DMOZ, and t his includes those who are employed by other directories and the people who own the other directories, so volunteering as an editor is a good way to learn the business.

    If I may assume that you are talking about running a web directory, there are several niche topics that are not yet served by a directory, and a niche directory is the type of directory that one person could do alone, if necessary. Trying to break into the market with a large general directory, like Aviva Directory, is difficult because there are other directories that have a fifteen year head start, as well as the ability to employ teams of editors.

    Niche directories are strong, the key being to find a niche topic that isn't already saturated, or a way in which you can produce something that is better than what is currently available. Usually this means providing additional information about the topic, beyond the directory links themselves.

    There are several directory scripts available, most costing in the neighborhood of a hundred dollars, give or take, including some that are built on WordPress themes. My own directory of directories is based on a WP theme.
     
    #5
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    Diane Lane likes this.
  6. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    166
    I think it would be a great resource if enough people are interested in contributing to it. You would need to have strict submission guidelines and have each entry checked, but you are obviously experienced in dealing with directories and know how to prevent spam.

    This would be a great opportunity for members to promote their own blogs and recommend sites that they use regularly. These would not need to be ones that have been set up for seniors, just the sort of sites or blogs that have content which seniors would appreciate.

    If you don't get a big response right now, you could introduce the idea again later, when the forum has gained more members.
     
    #6
    Diane Lane likes this.
  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    Yes, forum members who were interested in contributing would have their own username and password. If we decided to take outside submissions, these would probably require a fee, and every submission is reviewed before added to the directory.

    Yes, that's the idea, and something that would make it different from other senior directories. Plus, I think it would be fun for those who chose to be involved, sort of like public bookmarking, only with a common protocol.

    I had intended to buy the software and set it up already, adding some of the senior-specific content, then waiting until we had more interested people. My recent bout with the flu, and whatever it is that's going on with me now, has delayed things, but there will be no rush. It wouldn't be announced to the public until it had enough content to be useful.
     
    #7
    Diane Lane likes this.
  8. Jim Veradyne

    Jim Veradyne Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    30
    I'm interested, and I know directories.
     
    #8
    Diane Lane likes this.
  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    I know you do, and I'm glad you have you on board with this. Any preferences in a software, keeping in mind that it's not intended to be a moneymaker?
     
    #9
    Diane Lane likes this.
  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    On the subject of a script or theme, I am leaning toward a WordPress-based theme, not because I am enamored with WP directory themes, because I'm not, but because the tagging features would be ideal for tagging sites added by forum members, allowing them (and others) to easily bring up a list of sites that they have added to the directory. Also, we might be able to find a purpose for an associated blog.

    I have been kicking around ideas for a home for this directory. As I see it, the three choices are:
    1. Subfolder -- seniorsonly.club/directory/
    2. Subdomain -- dir.seniorsonly.club/
    3. Domain -- seniorsonlyclub.directory/
    The pros and cons to these are:
    1. Subfolder -- For the purposes of SEO, the search engines will treat a subfolder as a portion of the same site as the main domain. Because of this, a subfolder passes link juice in both directions, which means that authority earned by the directory will be passed upwards to the forum, and authority earned by the forum will be passed downward to the directory. Also, it is, of course, easy for visitors to see the relationships between the forum and directory, so visitors to the directory are likely to visit the forum as well. Those are the pros. However, many directories will not list a subfolder, particularly when the main domain is also listed in the directory. That's a con, as is my opinion that subfolders look ugly, as compared to subdomains. While I could still market the forum and the directory separately, there would be a symbiosis between the two that would be to the advantage of both.
    2. Subdomain -- For SEO purposes, search engines will view a subdomain as a separate site from the main domain, so link juice will not pass from one to the other, although one may have some effect upon the other when it comes to domain authority. Some directories will insist on listing only main domains, but many that would refuse to list a subfolder will accept a subdomain. As compared to subfolders, subdomains look prettier and more professional, in my opinion, but they have to be marketed separately. As with a subfolder, visitors to the directory would be likely to check out the forum, as well.
    3. Domain -- I don't know about the specific domain that I used as an example above, but there are several available domains that could be used. Top-level domains are readily accepted in web directories, and have a more professional look than subfolders, and even subdomains. However, in all respects a directory set up in its own domain would be a separate site, the only relationship being whatever links might be added from one to the other. In its own domain, the directory would have to be marketed separately and would be the least likely to successfully refer visitors to the directory to the forum. As a separate domain, the directory would probably be set up in an separate hosting account which, along with the negligible expense of a domain name, would increase the costs to me.
    Comments -- If my chief interest were to create a new directory, I would choose a separate domain without hesitation. However, if I wanted to create a new directory, there are several other topics that I could choose. In fact, I could put some more effort in a few of the other directory projects that I currently have on hold. No, the reason that I'd like to create a directory in conjunction with the forum is because I think it would be interesting to those forum members who chose to participate, and it would serve as a good promotion for the forum. So, I don't think I would opt for a separate domain. Although I strongly believe that subdomains look prettier and more professional than subfolders, the reality is that a subfolder would more efficiently promote the forum, as the search engines would view whatever content we have in the directory as being a part of the whole rather than the part. While I am still open to suggestions, I am leaning toward a subfolder.
     
    #10
  11. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    3,178
    Likes Received:
    1,749
    I was curious. It is interesting but I have know idea how or what I could contribute. Something for me to think about.....
     
    #11
  12. Jim Veradyne

    Jim Veradyne Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    30
    Once again, Google controls the way that sites are set up. Before Google inserted itself into everything that anyone does with their website, the general rule was that, when the content to be added was a site in and of itself, a subdomain would be the best choice, whereas if it is simply an extension of the main domain, then a subfolder would be called for. In this case, a directory would be a project of the forum, but not a part of the forum, so I would think a subdomain would be called for.

    In the example of: domain.com/about/ -- with such a page, since it's about the domain topic, and usually only one page, a subfolder would be best. But I would think that directory.domain.com would be better than domain.com/directory/ since it is a separate, albeit related, site. Still, I can understand the point you're making about link juice. I just wish we could build our sites in ways that make sense, without worrying about link juice.
     
    #12
  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    Anyone who can write can contribute, and way more information will be available once I've decided on a platform, and we're closer to putting it together. I'm trying to gauge the interest because, although I am certainly willing to do a lot of the work, it's not worth it if I don't have some forum members interested.

    I haven't ruled out a subdomain.
     
    #13
  14. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    I still haven't decided. Maybe a separate domain isn't such a bad idea.
     
    #14
  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    Okay, I am pretty sure that we'll be going with phpWebDirectory and probably my original choice of a subfolder. Apart from the facts that phpWebDirectory looks like it would be a good choice, and because I would like the opportunity to familiarize myself with it, it also includes a plugin that will allow members of the forum to login to the directory directly through their forum login. That, they say, will work best if both are on the same domain, so I think that'll be the best choice.
     
    #15
  16. Jim Veradyne

    Jim Veradyne Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    30
    Whichever you choose, it's fine with me.
     
    #16
  17. Priscilla King

    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    11
    Interesting idea...I don't see my web site as age-specific (I write with middle school students like the younger Nephews in mind) but since I'm a late-baby-boomer, one of the mostly silent partners is a Vietnam veteran, some of what Google misleadingly calls our "members" are grandmothers, one of our contributors is a great-grandmother, and another mostly silent partner just turned 80, I suppose it is senior-friendly. It's about books, and writing, and being a writer, and the rights of writers, and the things other than writing that interest writers. Feel free to include it if you think it's relevant.
     
    #17
  18. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    The directory would include age-specific sites, but it would include anything that participating members of this forum would like to add, within the levels of decency, that is.
     
    #18
  19. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    4,590
    Likes Received:
    4,020
    I have a stalker, so, unfortunately, I tend to keep things separated online, but even if I wasn't able to list my shops, I'd still be interested in using the directory, and seeing what is on there.
     
    #19
  20. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    As an update, I am hoping to get this started within the next month. I got behind on some things, including money, with being sick so much this past winter, but I hope to be able to get moving with this soon.
     
    #20
    Magalina Lilis likes this.
  21. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    257
    Your last update of this thread says, April 16. How has your Directory plan been going? Will we know when it's up and running? I wish you success in this endeavor.
     
    #21
  22. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    I am waiting for a week when I have a block of time available to get things set up, so that, by the time it is linkable from the forum, everything is in working order. I'll be using phpMyDirectory, which is an excellent software, but not one in which I've had a large amount of experience. I want to use that because it produce responsive pages, but also because there is a module that will connect it to the forum so that those of you who will be assisting in this will not have to register separately with the directory, or log-in separately.
     
    #22
    Avigail David likes this.
  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    I haven't forgotten this, by the way. It has been put on hold, but it won't be long now.
     
    #23
  24. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    306
    I was about to ask what was going on backstage with this project precisely a few weeks back, so your update to this thread is truly much appreciate because I think the Senior Club Directory is a really good idea but I know you and your wife have been facing hard times.

    Hope you both are doing better after your daughter sensitive loss, and may this directory serve as therapy activity.
     
    #24
  25. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,451
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    Things were put on hold for a time. Not only was my mind in another place, but it cost a bit of money for the traveling. Although the Army is reimbursing us for it, it had to come out of pocket to begin with. I have not suspended the idea and hope to get moving with it before too terribly long.
     
    #25

Share This Page