In the beginning the Internet has been like a bad boy. It did not take care of its room – it let garbage pile around, threw clothes on the floor, cut paper everywhere – in short, a vision of total disarray. Then the gentle mother stepped in and put everything to order. She put the clothes in the cupboard and the books in the rack. Directory works just like that. It puts references to content where they properly belong. So that if I came looking for information on car I might not have to look among bikes.
A Web Directory is any online index that group individual content files according to logical and human readable classification. It provides a structure to knowledge which can thereby be properly harnessed. The earliest Directories aimed at comprehensiveness, trying to capture knowledge in all its dimensions. These general all-purpose directories had subjects and sections dealing with all areas of knowledge and practice, categorized in hierarchical and taxonomical structure.
By its very nature, a directory is a human indexed non-automated system – here human editors have to tirelessly index and classify content, categorizing them properly and checking on their propriety. Many of the well-known directories like Yahoo! Directory and the most comprehensive Open Directory Project capture much of the web and provide sanity in the midst of informational chaos.