AbstractSearch and meta-search engines have significant effects on our virtual lives. Earlier models of document bases, and indexed directories are being used less. Directories require human classification effort, which may be costly for development. Information finding with a search engine often finds too many unwanted hits. Many of the most relevant hits from a search engine may not address user needs. Some users are unprepared to look further than the first page of results, and are not skilled at refining their search if wanted information does not appear immediately. These are problems associated with the digital divide. There is still a role for directories, which may be specialized, and target specific groups. Constructing and maintaining such directories cost effectively is an issue. There may be a role for web directory generation tools within restricted and specific contexts. Is it the raised awareness and participation of those constructing the directory which represents the "real knowledge" generated within the participative development community?