About.com is an English website which is aimed primarily at North Americans. This site is owned by The New York Times Company. It was founded in 1996 as The Mining Company and the site was launched on April 21, 1997 by Scott Kurnit, and a group of other entrepreneurs in New York City. Their goal was to maintain 1,800 topic areas in the site, but later on this number was eventually reduced to 700. For original and quality content, topic experts or Guides were hired. They were paid around $250 a month.
About.com provides original information and advice, and it is among the top 15 US Websites. The site attempts to keep up with new information and changing consumer interests. The site’s content is very dynamic. About.com covers subjects from home repair to pediatrics and model railroading and weather. The subject content includes information and advice. It is written by a network of about 750 topic experts, also called Guides. The guides are hired based on their experience in a particular field. They are free lancers with the flexibility of working as per their comfort. To join as a guide one needs to have vast experience in the field of journalism. Once they are hired they have to go through an online training program after which they are evaluated by the experts in the field and the best applicant is selected. Each Guide looks after one subject and is the exclusive writer for that subject. Guides are paid with a base salary plus bonuses for increased traffic.
Every Guide's site has at least one forum for registered users. The Guide’s sites consist of articles written by them. They also provide links to web sites related to their topic. About.com has strict editorial guidelines for all of the contents on its site. All the content is reviewed by a team of editors for relevance and accuracy. For example, new health content on About.com is reviewed and checked for accuracy by a group of physicians and a medical director.