About

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About Reviews

Updated November 26, 2014
Updated November 26, 2014
39 Reviews
2.4
39 Reviews
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Neil Vogel
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great start to a career, great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at About full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The people were amazing in their accessibility and willingness to help. Great growth opportunities for those wanting to stay in this space, at least at the time of my departure. Most of the senior management team had been at the company since its inception or close to it, so they were invaluable as a resource for a junior person starting out in the industry.

    Cons

    Management has changed since I have left the company, thus I cannot speak to its current state personally however what I hear from former colleagues and friends is that the culture is suffering.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider the culture that made About.com such a wonderful place to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Your next day at work could be your last.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at About full-time

    Pros

    Free coffee and nuts. 20 word minimum on here so I'm writing this. Fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty.

    Cons

    Company values small talk and drinking over hard work and capability, you are seen as 'not a team player' if you want to spend your evenings with your family rather than going out and getting drunk.
    Some heads of departments are out of their depth and throw their team under the bus to cover up their own failures.
    High turnover with people being fired for little or no reason, very toxic atmosphere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is more to team building than supplying drinks, value people as individuals.
    Ask why certain departments have a high turnover.
    Have an interest in all areas of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    So Much Potential!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at About full-time

    Pros

    Flexible life & work balance, stocked kitchens with drinks and snacks, unlimited vacation policy (take what you need, when you need), a lot of really smart people, friendly executive team, and a product you can definitely stand behind.

    Cons

    Unfortunately the culture has suffered greatly. There are no career growth plans or opportunity. The executive team and managerial staff appear as though they have your best interest at heart, but ultimately little to anything happens or changes. Employees should not be fearful of their jobs or working in a state of perpetual & confusing change. Everyday cannot be context switching, strategy changes, and brand new priorities. The opinions & experience of the sales staff, developers, designers, product, etc are not taken into account while the executive team plows along towards an unknown (to the employees) moving target. There is little to zero transparency in the organization. About.com has tremendous potential, but that will only go so far if the culture remains as it is.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring your employees into the conversation. You hired (or kept on after the acquisition) these people because you believed that they were smart, competent. and experienced; add them to the conversation! ASK them their opinions, have an open dialogue, etc. We all want About to be successful, let's work together for that. Additionally, every employee at About doesn't have a job, they have a career. Build out that career path. What's the next step look like? How does that employee get there? Make opportunities available and career growth plans known. Employees shouldn't have to beg for promotions or raises. They shouldn't have to "prove" their worth or accept "just wait until next year" "wait 6 months." An employee should be able to say, "I've done X, Y, Z, etc and according to the goals and the path of this career at About.com, I am firmly at the next level" and then have a conversation from there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Company in Transition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at About part-time

    Pros

    Relaxed friendly atmosphere, accessible upper management. Real effort made to create a hip, fun, start up feel within an older company.

    Cons

    In the push to innovate and change there is sometimes open disrespect for "the old About" which is challenging for long time staff and freelancers who have been deeply invested for years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to drive innovation and change, but respect the legacy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Needs more organization, but a good place to start.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Guide
    Current Employee - Guide

    I have been working at About as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Creative freedom, telecommuting, non-structured deadlines

    Cons

    too few editors to provide individualized communication and feedback
    review process is painfully slow

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    What a shame, it used to be a great place to work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at About

    Pros

    Nice office, stocked kitchen and some amazing employees. Used to be a great place to work until IAC took over and slowly made changes in every department.

    Cons

    Terrible upper management, CEO is too concerned about his sneaker collection and attempting to stay young and relevant in the eyes of his female employees. He preaches transparency but that's the farthest thing from the truth. CRO is in over his head, brings zero value and is an HR nightmare as his approach to dealing with his team is truly unprofessional.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    About.com could be great...learn what has worked well and build upon it. On the flip side, know when you've made a mistake and cut lose the folks that hinder moral. Create an environment in which employees don't walk on eggshells. The CEO should not have to advise others in management to "be nice" before they head into meetings.

  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not the Best

    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at About full-time

    Pros

    Snacks

    Ability to work from home

    People are nice

    Cons

    Communication between teams is terrible and no one in the position to change this is inclined to do so.

    Some of the older senior management have gotten too comfortable in their spots and no longer really try to find new ways of solving problems but instead opt for 'this is just how it is'.

    There seems to be no accountability for other teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    A decent place to contract for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Guide in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Guide in New York, NY

    I have been working at About as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great opportunity. A chance to make more if you work more.

    Cons

    Lots of changes, editors changed often. Drastic contract and pay changes when I was there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wish they would consider more how the changes effect guides.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Disgraceful Demise of a Once Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Expert in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Expert in New York, NY

    I have been working at About as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    None that I can think of.

    Cons

    When this company was owned by the New York Times, the situation was not good. Writers were not respected. But after being sold to the soulless media conglomerate IAC, the scenario went from bad to worse. Much worse. The company is now being run by a bunch of incompetent kids who do not know what the heck they are doing. They have arbitrarily terminated a number of longtime employees and writers who made this brand a success to begin with, without thinking this through. In fact, they let writers go with no warning, whereby they locked them out of their company e-mails and websites with no prior notice, which was outrageously unprofessional and cowardly. Meanwhile, there are now many unmanned sites within the network, or sites that are being "managed" by complete idiots. I suspect that the CEO, Neil Vogel, is just passing through on his way to an early retirement. This used to be an elite, highly respected platform. Sadly, those days are long gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have succeeded in destroying everything there was to love about this company. There is no hope for the future.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great History but run poorly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at About full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good office in Times Square. Great legacy that has led the company to be a powerhouse in terms of info on the internet. Tons of free food and unlimited vacation. Some really smart people working there and it had a nice energy

    Cons

    Out with the old and in with the new = the management has been and probably still is forcing out people who worked there for years and whose work made About.com good enough for IAC to want to buy it. (I was only there for a year and this was after the purchase)

    New management since the 2011 purchase are OK though some definitely think they create roses when in the bathroom. One person on my team was fired because "the CEO thought he was weird". This person was a good employee!

    My manager was in over her head and disliked throughout the company. The VP above her is basically checked out and waiting to retire to Florida so allowed her to take over in everything but name. Very difficult expectations set forth and a lack of experience managing people created very poor morale and frankly made going in there day after day a very unpleasant experience. Anyone complain? She takes their side over you which is frankly a poor managerial practice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care more about what is happening to employees, especially those who have been there for a long time. Please pay attention to the support teams and clean house - especially HR

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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