May 29, 2004

Zurl Directory

by skrenta at 10:19 AM

The Open Directory Project, team Topix's former project, was originally known as GnuHoo. Chris Tolles jokes that that only problem with "GnuHoo" was the "Gnu" and the "Hoo". The FSF and Richard Stallman objected to the use of "Gnu", so we renamed GnuHoo to NewHoo. But then Yahoo objected to the "Hoo" (and our red letters, exclamation point, and "comical font").

We really liked the name NewHoo but the cease & desist required us to move to a new name. So NewHoo was about to be renamed to ZURL, but Netscape came in an acquired the directory before we needed to make the name change. After the Netscape acquisition, NewHoo no longer required a standalone brand, and so became Netscape's Open Directory Project, originally on -- later contracted to

We've taken a fresh crawl of the ODP data and built a mini ZURL out of it -- this directory features a new design, images, reranked relevance, and recrawled site descriptions. The ODP-based city directories are good -- e.g. Palo Alto, Boston, San Francisco, etc.