The Haddock Directory is now closed

If you’re one of’s few regular visitors you’ve probably noticed that the Haddock Directory part of the site had its last daily update in October. After updating the Directory every day (well, kind of) since its launch in 1997 I’d finally had enough of the dull and thankless task earlier last year. A glamorous and anonymous assistant valiantly took hold of the reigns and kept it going for a further few months but eventually the regular tedium overcame them too. So we think it’s finally time to call it a day and shutter this tiny window onto the mailing list’s activity.

There are probably ways we could kind of sort of automate the process of posting links, although categorising each link requires the manual labour only a brain can provide. But it’s simpler and more relaxing for everyone concerned if we just stop. Given the number of queries I’ve had about the lack of updates (roughly zero) I don’t think we’re in danger of causing global protests.

Back in 1997 no one on the list had a weblog — well, the term barely existed — but now plenty of us have them, and plenty of people post links to their own sites or so there’s still plenty of regular material from some of those on the list, should you feel the need for an idea of what people are thinking. Roughly.

I’ll leave you with a link to the Thea’s Galleria page on the Haddock Directory, from, I think 2000 when the site was generated by the craziness of Userland Frontier. The site’s since been re-written a couple of times in PHP/MySQL and includes more than 27,000 links. Goodnight.


  • I think I'm one of the few people who uses the site, rather than RSS, and I had noticed the directory grinding to a halt, but I was somewhat aware of the "dull and thankless" nature of updating it so I didn't mention it.

    I wonder if there's any point in suggestion letting either haddock or the wider Internet apply tags/categorisation to an automated extract? Probably not; you're right that with everyone (who cares) having sites of their own, it's something that can quietly pass away. Thanks for keeping it going for so long, though.

  • What Paul said. It was fun while it lasted. Back in the Frontier (them were the) days, was my startup page in Netscape & Opera for some years, and was often responsible for pointing me towards stories I'd otherwise have missed.

  • I excercised the human trait to think someone else will give you a prod and update it.

    To be fair, I never used the category grouping, I just looked almost everyday at the syndicated and the haddock pasted links.

    Thank Phil for all the work. My site would not have been given the kick start it needed ( which is now 100% automated and all I do is pay the domain fees each year. (Makes me think if its all just a waste of money). Could be worse, could be a turkey.

    Thanks, and good night.

  • yeh I thought so, so thats the end eh? What a shame, haddock has been a major part of my online map for so long now.

    Well done phil, thanks.

  • Ditto all those thoughts. I came across Haddock when I worked with Giles and it did inform a good deal of what we did at the Press Association when no one gave a stuff about internet stories.

    And in some ways it got me a job at the BBC in 1999. When asked what was my favourite site during an interview (a question I loathe) I declared Haddock with some pride and was relieved to see the interviewer's eyes light up.

  • I think this was one of the first webpage that I regularly kept visiting.

    Shame to see it go but thanks for the fun links and other stuff you found for us all!!!

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Sunday 4 February 2007, 6:03pm

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4 Feb 2007 at Twitter

  • 8:29pm: Back from seeing 'Notes on a Scandal'. Polished, melodramatic but unsympathetic. Somehow good but I didn't care about it.
  • 3:53pm: Quiet day of downloading and tagging mp3s, fiddling with websites, eating lunch, etc.