Preserves A Piece Of AOL DMOZ History

AOL has shuttered the director, but another company vows to keep the data alive.

"The reason we are keeping the DMOZ Internet Directory alive at is that we believe the Internet community can still derive value from its content," according to Midnight Design Productions Founder Douglas Olsen via email. "It is also a piece of Internet history worth preserving."

AOL owned and operated, and acquired the company directly with the acquisition of Netscape in 1998. On February 28, 2017, AOL posted an announcement about the upcoming closing of the site -- shuttering it on March 14 without providing a reason for the closure.

Olsen explains that the official DMOZ site made its data files, which represented the entire directory, available via a Creative Commons Attribution license.

"They encouraged third parties to use the data in any way they wished, including re-publishing the directory on different sites and forms."



The data resurfaced Friday under a new name and look — Midnight Design Productions will use the data files provided by DMOZ/AOL to make the Internet directory available on

Olsen said the site is not affiliated with DMOZ or AOL in any way. Midnight Design Productions created a Web front to make the directory searchable and the back-end system for managing the data and providing full-text search of the content. The site is a MVC cloud service hosted in Microsoft Azure.

The site has actually been online since the middle of 2016; his company built it as an alternative to the official DMOZ site, Olsen said.

At the time the site had a somewhat dated Web Interface, and some international features did not work properly. Olsen said the site features a modern, responsive, and mobile-friendly Web design and an exclusive advanced search feature.

"Interestingly, AOL modernized the official site to "DMOZ 3.0" in late 2016, less than 6 months before the closing," Olsen wrote.

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