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Thread: About.com?

  1. #3526
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    MrAlexsMommy, so glad you saw your topic in that list! Good luck on getting into prep, making it through, and becoming the new Guide : )

    Sandy, not sure how they determine the list but you're right, it doesn't seem to repeat. I'm guessing they're topics that they'd like to get into prep. Still might not happen quickly if not enough people apply, but they're definitely topics that About is actively recruiting for.

  2. #3527
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    Inkkognito,
    I hope you are right, that they pulled the topics because they would like to get them into prep. Of course, I will post if I hear anything on my end. They might not run the prep if not enough people apply? I've read back on this thread that it could just be one person in prep, usually not the case, but could be. Maybe that has all changed. As all applicants here, I would definately like the shot at prep. I am like a kid outside a candy store just waiting to get in, lol! Also, my primary job is going to start getting busy and I am wrapping things up with a certifcation, so secretly hoping to get things done and out the way as soon as I can. I also homeschool, my daughter is very advanced for her age, so she's finishing a grade months early so that helps, so it's more musuem trips, creative endeavors and such and much less lessons in case I were accepted into prep. Thanks again for all the support!

  3. #3528
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    If you've got a lot going, I'm firmly convinced that it's karma that you're more likely to get into prep, LOL. I remember reading about that happening for so many people in the early days of this thread, and it happened to me, too. I can't remember what was going on, but I had some sort of project.

    I've always heard that they won't just run one person through prep but have never seen confirmation. Maybe they would if they really, really, really like the qualifications?

  4. #3529
    Just the Basic Facts Uncarved's Avatar
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    The one I applied to in September after waiting from May when it opened is still there on the application list. Same message as before. Garrrrh.

  5. #3530
    Dust Bunnies are NSA Agents! robjvargas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncarved View Post
    The one I applied to in September after waiting from May when it opened is still there on the application list. Same message as before. Garrrrh.
    Have you used the provided blank to check your status?
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
    -Robert A. Heinlein-

  6. #3531
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    Inkkognito~ you are right, it just may be a "when it rains, it pours" situation. Exactly, I've read that, where several applicants have had so much going on when they got that prep email! You're juggling 5 things really well in your personal and professional life, let's throw ya the prep ball and see how you do. My day job(and night job to be exact ) is taking care of newborns and meeting with their families, I homeschool a 7 yro, studying 2 different subjects, among other things going on with me and fam, bring it on! How much can you handle, how deep can you go, how much do you want it?
    Uncarved~ I keep checking your topic and thinking about you, and nothing yet? I see it's still up there, rooting for you!

  7. #3532
    Just the Basic Facts Uncarved's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robjvargas View Post
    Have you used the provided blank to check your status?

    yes, I'm not new to about.com.

    Prep hasn't been picked yet for this topic, its just taking a very long time to get to that stage.

    Edited to add: Rooting for you too Sandy! lol

  8. #3533
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Whew.

    Whew! Talk about a whirlwind. I got the job! I'm the new guide for aviation.about.com. I have some work to do before the site goes live but thought that I'd give you all a report now that I've come up for air.

    Sandyc27, I think you had asked about doing prep with the kids at home. Among other things, it was difficult! Here's my story:

    I was accepted into prep right before a two-week long visit from my in-laws, so I was immediately stressed about how much time I could spend with them, etc. I managed to escape for a couple of hours here and there, but i definitely felt bad. I did most of my work at night still, after the kids went to bed and the family was playing games or watching movies.

    So I got mostly good feedback from my editor, who was very nice and professional. She was thorough, and made mostly formatting changes.

    Phase two was immediately overwhelming for a few reasons: First, my computer died. Just died. Wouldn't turn on! I'm still without a computer now- using my husband's until I get my first paycheck or two and can afford to get a new one! Second, the amount of reading is crazy. It's all helpful information, and good to know, but it is information overload. Once I got past that, and dove into the website-creating, I was fine.

    It took about 5 or 6 days to hear back that I got the job, and from there, it's more information overload! My site should go live in a week or two!

    Back to the kids- I've struggled the entire time with this aspect. Obviously, a mere job application doesn't warrant full-time child are, so I used a babysitter a few times. But it's hard to get in the groove for an hour or two at a time. I'm sure you all know what I mean. My 18-month old starts daycare on Monday, so I am looking forward to getting some things done next week. It's definitely been the biggest challenge, though. I won't get paid for a while still, so we're paying a month, maybe two, of childcare out of pocket- $900/month for two kids. And one only goes half-days! But it's a sacrifice I'm willing to take to be successful at this, and still have time for my other business.

    It's been busy! If anyone has prep questions, I'm happy to help. I didn't find either phase difficult at all- just challenging for me with the family, broken laptops and kids. (I didn't mention that we were all sick for a week, too!) So those of you talking about karma and Murphy's Law- you can count on getting into prep when you're the most busy. For sure!
    Last edited by aether; 03-10-2012 at 08:15 AM.

  9. #3534
    little by little moth's Avatar
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    Hi aether! Congratulations!

    Thanks for sharing your story too. I found it really heartening that you could handle all that and nab the job too.

    My daddy was an aviator (although I use the word 'was' loosely -- even though he hasn't flown in a while he's never not an aviator, I'm sure you know what I mean ), so I'll definitely be checking out your site and pointing my dad to it as well. Be sure to let us know when it's wheels-up (hope I used that term correctly)!
    .
    There's more to l
    iving than only surviving
    Maybe I'm not there, but I'm still trying

    .................................................. ..........-- Dexter Holland


  10. #3535
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    Aether,
    Congrats! That is wonderful you got in! With a broken computer, in-laws visiting and children needing you at seemingly every moment? Awesome! They were just tests to see if you could handle it all, and you did, sounds like you kept your cool too! Not easy to do!
    Thanks for sharing with all of us your experience as it gives us hope and nice hearing of a recent positive prep experience, esp with all the latest internal changes and such we are all learning about. I am definately on that learning curve, so this definately is helpful.
    I am a work-at-home mom and so can relate with childcare costs. Right now the work is very inconsistent, so going back and finishing up a certification, amongst other things, as opportunities eventually come to surface. I also homeschool, and need a baby sitter to fulfill my certification requirements and to study, so I can understand. Where I am, $900/month for 2 children is fantastic, so can you imagine what I am going to pay for a sitter. Like you, just rolling with it, because it has to be done!
    But at least you know you have the job, that worry is over. The next part is going live, wish you the best! There's quite a few wonderful guides on here offering advice. And your children as they grow older can be proud and maybe even share in your topic in some way, even though writing is a solitary journey.
    For me there's definately a lot going on this month, both wanted and unwanted but being handled, and sure recipe for Murphy's Law! (I couldn't think of it when Inkkognito mentioned it, thanks! )

  11. #3536
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Aether! So glad you made it through, even with all the added challenges. It looks like you're taking over an existing site, so that's a bit of a challenge, too, compared with starting from scratch (which I did...brand new topic). I'm sure you'll really enjoy being a Guide : )

  12. #3537
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    So tomorrow marks 26 weeks since I applied for my topic, and thought I would send an email to customer care about my application, maybe they had some new plans for the topic. I've used this form before and have not received an answer, this time not even an automated response. Just waiting...
    *A few hours ago, got an automated response, happy that it was received, maybe an answer soon... Happy writing!
    Last edited by sandyc27; 03-12-2012 at 03:46 AM.

  13. #3538
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    moth- that's cool that your dad flies (flew). Haha. I do understand, and the old adage is true- once an aviator, always an aviator. All pilots go through phases like that, especially ones who have other careers. I'm lucky that I've been able to keep a career in aviation, and I'm even luckier to now have one in writing, as well! Unfortunately, flying is just so expensive that lots of people focus on other jobs and hobbies and forget about it. I see it as my job to invigorate students enough that they keep at it!

    Sandy, it sounds like we're in the same boat almost! I was getting a sitter from time to time to work on an additional flight certificate, and was getting frustrated at my lack of focus and energy to put toward it, so am relieved that I found an acceptable place for the kids to go full time. We are in a rather small town and I was not impressed with any of the childcare facilities here at first. I finally found one, though, and am mostly satisfied. Of course, nobody is as good as I am at caring for my kids, so it's always hard to let anyone else. It's also refreshing for me to be able to concentrate on me for the first time in a loooong time, too. So all is well....er...will be well. The first few months will be difficult financially so that is the big stressor now. But we'll manage somehow!

    Barb- thanks for the kind words! I'm excited to be at About, and am looking forward to getting settled. Still a little overwhelmed at the moment for the reasons already listed, but I think it will calm down soon. I am full of ideas and such. The old guide didn't have much content up so he must've left in a hurry. The challenge I find myself scrutinizing over is how to please all audiences and since I'm a pilot, not making it too pilot-heavy. I know I can do it, but for every topic I want to write about, I complicate it by asking myself if most people will find it interesting, or if it's too small of an audience. What I need to do is just write, write write and get it ALL published, right? Did you have trouble with making content decisions? Just wondering how/what to focus on in the initial days. Trying to please the majoirity of the site audience is harder than I first thought.

    Thanks for the support everyone! Looking forward to more advice from you all!

  14. #3539
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    So I got a response today...so glad now I know what's going on, but very disappointed it took so long...thanks everyone for your support! I can't say if I will try again, maybe so if the right topic for me comes along. Hmmm, is Kids Fashion in prep yet?

    Hi Sandra. The status of the application only changes if you are either accepted into evaluation or rejected; it doesn’t update just to show that it was read. We have recently contracted a new Guide for this topic who will be going live within the next few weeks, which is why the topic is no longer showing as available.
    Last edited by sandyc27; 03-13-2012 at 04:49 AM. Reason: Can you tell I'm upset by the news, not catching my simple grammar errors! LOL!

  15. #3540
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    Aether,
    I can relate about other people taking care of your children while you work. Still glad for you making it this far! Best wishes!

  16. #3541
    figuring it all out MrAlex'sMommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyc27 View Post
    So I got a response today...so glad now I know what's going on, but very disappointed it took so long...thanks everyone for your support! I can't say if I will try again, maybe so if the right topic for me comes along. Hmmm, is Kids Fashion in prep yet?

    Hi Sandra. The status of the application only changes if you are either accepted into evaluation or rejected; it doesn’t update just to show that it was read. We have recently contracted a new Guide for this topic who will be going live within the next few weeks, which is why the topic is no longer showing as available.
    No, not yet. Apply for it, and maybe they'll push it into prep faster! I'm sorry about the email. Maybe it's just me, but it almost sounds as if they didn't have an active prep session. Either that, or the status checker truly isn't updating. I think one of the most disheartening things about applying with About.com is just spending months not knowing whether your application will even really be considered.

    aether - Belated congratulations! Good luck with your transition. I can definitely understand feeling overwhelmed by the potential for topics, but I'm sure you'll find your footing in no time. Best of luck with the new site!


  17. #3542
    little by little moth's Avatar
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    Hi Sandy. So sorry to hear they're going with someone else without reviewing your work first.
    Quote Originally Posted by sandyc27 View Post
    The status of the application only changes if you are either accepted into evaluation or rejected;
    Wish I could believe this. I have two applications where my status (via their status checker tool, I'm blanking on the proper name of it) never changed, even though obviously both times I was rejected since they went with someone else (and believe me I checked). Never even got a rejection email.

    That's okay though...as a wiser poster than I said upthread, that just means someone else needed the job more than I did.
    .
    There's more to l
    iving than only surviving
    Maybe I'm not there, but I'm still trying

    .................................................. ..........-- Dexter Holland


  18. #3543
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    Mr. Alex's Mommy~ awww, thanks, I just might put in my app. I just worry if I will be less enthusiastic about it because it's a completely different topic. What do you mean by they didn't have an active prep? Is that like where they have recruiting and interviewing for a job position in the corporate world, but already have someone in mind or hand it to someone, despite how stellar some resumes may have been? Or do you mean not active as in just a very few chosen for prep? Yeah this is where forgetting about applying does come in handy.
    Moth~ now you got me thinking, did they even look at my application even though I applied when the topic first appeared? It never even crossed my mind. I hope you get your answers if you are still waiting for them. I am sure there are many folks competing for these open slots, but getting a sure "No" is so much better than not knowing. There's this black hole my husband and I joke about, that's where we would find all our resumes and applications of anything we ever applied to in that hole.
    Last edited by sandyc27; 03-13-2012 at 11:40 PM. Reason: Moth~ thanks for the kind words!

  19. #3544
    figuring it all out MrAlex'sMommy's Avatar
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    Sandy, yeah, I meant more like they reached out to someone who was well known in the field, asked if they'd like the gig, and possibly put them through an individual prep. I hope the lack of communication when a new guide takes the position isn't the new norm, though. That would be disappointing! It is very possible that the status tool just isn't updating, though, especially as they seem to be having problems with it.


  20. #3545
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin sandyc27's Avatar
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    Mr Alex's Mommy,
    Wow, that could very well be the case, and just the status only acknowledges receipt of the application, not an actual status in the process. I hope that's not the case, offering before prep or putting one through prep pretty much set on hiring them. Blessings to the person that got the gig, as for me, it was not in the plan.
    Two years ago I did get a rejection letter about the 9th week or so, and was expecting that this time, but it didn't happen. I thought maybe no news was good news, in my case, it wasn't. But you know applying for "regular" jobs are like that too; I can count on 1 hand how many responses I have received even though I wasn't what they were looking for. Maybe there's not enough time to address everyone in the same fashion...here's hoping to hearing more great news for fellow applicants!

  21. #3546
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    More hot topics for which About.com is currently actively seeking guides:

    . Home & Garden - Home Security . Food & Drink - Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts . Industry & Trade - Lobby . Style - Swimwear . Food & Drink - Meat & Game Cooking

  22. #3547
    Reader first, writer second Melville's Avatar
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    Can't Access About.com

    Oh my gosh! I've been invited to participate in prep for a topic I absolutely LOVE! I put in my application more than six months ago... I thought I would never hear from them, but I have!

    But, oh no... I not only can't access their basic contract, I can't seem to get onto the About.com website, at all! I need to review their other sites for insight into how to set up my topic...

    I doubt the entire website is down... can anyone suggest something I do so that my computer can travel there in cyberspace? I can seem to access everything else... I only get the "can't connect" message for about.com.

    Thanks so much! (My seven-day clock is ticking!)

    Mel
    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
    --Herman Melville

  23. #3548
    Dust Bunnies are NSA Agents! robjvargas's Avatar
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    Try a backdoor. I'm a user moderator for their Cell Phones site, so I know the url for that:

    http://cellphones.about.com/forum.

    See if you can get into the forum page, then there are breadcrumb links at the top that can carry you into the general guided pages.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
    -Robert A. Heinlein-

  24. #3549
    figuring it all out MrAlex'sMommy's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Mel! Best of luck on your prep.


  25. #3550
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    How's it going, Mel? Hopefully you got in and were able to do the work. Good luck!

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