If you log into your DMOZ editor account today, you'll see the following message:

On October 20th, the DMOZ editor server experienced a serious failure. The technical issues have been resolved and the site is back up and working.

You are now able to log in and edit just like before. However, despite the best efforts of our staff, not all of the data could be recovered. The public side is intact, but unfortunately, a significant amount of the editor-only data is lost. The programmers will continue working on the recovery process while we return to editing.

DMOZ was down for 2 months.  While it was gone, though, I noticed something.  I never actually used DMOZ to find anything — ever!  Furthermore, search engines did just fine ranking content without those prompt updates that DMOZ editors make :)  I do suspect that a large proportion of DMOZ traffic is disgruntled submitters giving the directory the evil eye.  Perhaps that's why it crashed in the first place?

So why should you — or anyone really care?  Obviously AOL didn't.  The fact that AOL did not do regular backups of DMOZ makes me wonder if anything is safe there, either.

"Humans (probably don't) do it better," but I'm even less sure about AOL humans … 

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