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If that small town has more than about a hundred listings (obvious from the outside), or a significant number of unreviewed (only visible from the inside), then it is indeed too broad for a newbie editor. Look for a subcategory that interests you and has less than 50 entries and no further subcategories, and apply there.
The fact that you were told the reason of your rejection is a good sign. It shows you that the meta processing your application thought that you generally qualify to become an editor, but they couldn't grant you the category you requested for the reasons given. If they had thought that you didn't qualify, then your rejection would have come without any further comments.
In theory, they could have accepted you just for one of the subcats (arbitrarily chosen by the meta) right away, but obviously they wanted to give you a choice instead. Now it is up to you to make that choice, and to apply for a subcategory. If your new application has the same quality as the original one, then your chances of being accepted are extremely high.
Once you are accepted to that subcategory, and have made a fair number of good edits and adds there, then you can apply for another subcat or two, and eventually for the full locality category. This procedure is organized that way not because they distrust you personally, but as a security filter to make sure that a newbie can't inadvertedly wreak havoc with too many listings. There's really a lot an editor can do wrong, but you'll see that once you're accepted and have edited for a while.
Inktomi (Hotbot, Lycos, Iwon, MSN, Overture)
and hundreds of sites that use the ODP rdf dump.
That's puts a whole different perspective on things.
Your ODP listing is the most important listing on the net - it is literally, the mother of all databases.
That's an increase of 270,370 sites in a couple weeks?!?!?!?!? That is a phenomenal growth spurt if the numbers are accurate. The reported 1,000,000 site backlog will be gone in no time at this rate, though new ones are probbaly coming in just as fast....
If the numbers are correct, ODP has been on fire the last two weeks.
The numbers are correct but they're a little fudged. All of the World languages are being ported to the UTF-8 character set, and in order to do this a copy of the World directory was made. This accounts for the astounding jump in the number of sites.
I will tell you that I did take a look at our in-house stats and over the past two weeks editors have been reviewing sites at twice the average pace. So the news isn't all that bad. ;)