Open Directory is Netscape's initiative to develop a comprehensive Web search directory created by Web users. Portals such as Yahoo, Excite, and Infoseek have traditionally retained staff to organize and edit search results. With Open Directory, Web users voluntarily sign up to edit links or provide guidance on specific topics of interest.
The appearance and functionality of Open Directory closely resembles that of Yahoo. The home page is organized into topic channels, and each channel is broken down into more specific paths before reaching a page full of edited links.
"The primary goal here is to create the largest directory on the Web," said a Netscape spokesman.
"By allowing people to license the directory project, we have a greater opportunity to increase traffic to the directory and make more people aware that they can participate in the creation of the directory."
Lycos and HotBot will use the directory as their own search directories, the spokesman said. The service will launch on both sites on Monday, he added.
Both Lycos and Wired Digital could not be reached for comment. Lycos is in the process of acquiring Wired Digital.