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No reply. Not even a cursory 'Thanks, but no thanks' so I sent it again in case it got lost in cyberspace, but still no reply.
Is this normal for an About.com editor? Can't they be bothered to update their pages? Is About.com on its way out?
John is a hardworking guy, but it's possible that he's been traveling or has been busy with the tasks required to implement About.com's new e-commerce focus. Give him time--unless your e-mail got lost, he should respond in due course.
>>Is this normal for an About.com editor? Can't they be bothered to update their pages?<<
That depends on the guide (as editors at About.com are called). I know John, and I can say that he's one of the more dedicated guides.
>>Is About.com on its way out?<<
Well, About.com already shifted away from its former role as a Web directory a la Yahoo or LookSmart. Lately it's been evolving toward a product-review, price-comparison, and advertising site. So whether About.com is "on the way out" isn't really the issue here--and in any case, that's a discussion that belongs in a venue such as the Yahoo PRM board or f*****company.com.
That one and it's sub-categories happen to be still active with active guides, probably not the usual. Not all are. This appeared to be, but I still wouldn't hold my breath.
>a venue such as
Yes, and the TOS at * is priceless! ;)
"Subject" pages (i.e., a site's directory of links) are owned by About.com, while articles are owned by the guide. With guide pay having been cut drastically in many cases (e.g., by several thousand dollars a month), and with roughly 400 guides having been let go in 2001, some guides are understandably reluctant to invest time on creating and maintaining "subject" pages that they may not get paid for if they're fired or the company goes under.
In other words, guides have a *disincentive* to review URL submissions in the current economic climate, and they're better off working on pages that they can take with them (or at least expect to be paid for) if they cease being guides. This may not be good news for Webmasters who want to submit links, but it makes good sense from a guide's perspective.
I wrote to him over a month ago and followed up 2 weeks later in case the first email went astray. As I said, several of the accommodation links on that page are defunct, which does give the impression of neglect.
Sounds like priorities are changing at About.com
Yes, they are (and already have). There's no secret about this; the new CEO has already discussed the e-commerce goals of "About 3.0" in the press. About.com's emphasis is no longer on the Web directory; that territory has been surrendered to Yahoo, the ODP, LookSmart, and PPC networks like Overture and About.com's own Sprinks subsidiary.
I saw the referrer, so I know the site was checked out. It gets about a visit a day from there, very targeted, but it's better than some search engines, and I suppose the link could count, since it's right on topic.
There are still active resources, live chats, and updates by email, but it's probably an exceptional category.
For a position that doesn't pay a whole lot and requires regular development of new content it could be quite a tall order to respond to every message (or even a fraction of them) that comes in.