Dear Atlas Obscura Contributors,
First, a quick introduction: I’m Tyler Cole, formerly the COO of Atlas Obscura, and now the VP of Community, a new position created just this month.
I’m excited to share that the mandate of my new role is to better understand the needs of our site users, contributors, and paid members, and to work every day to improve your experience with Atlas Obscura. To that end, you’re welcome to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As unbelievable as it sounds, we’re now approaching a full year of dealing with both the business and personal challenges of COVID-19. Unfortunately, Atlas Obscura has been operating with fewer resources, and this has had an outsized impact on our contributors.
I’ve read recent comments on the forums and know that some of you are frustrated. It can be discouraging to spend hours on a place and then have it rejected, or wait weeks for a reply, or not have your questions answered. You spend valuable personal time to benefit Atlas Obscura and our community, and we need to respect that time and better show our appreciation.
So let me start by being transparent about where we stand today. In short, we’re still understaffed. While we have a full-time Places editor doing an incredible job and several team members who pitch in as they can, we currently only have the bandwidth to publish 25-30 places a week. Each week we average twice that many new place submissions, in addition to hundreds of edits and photo uploads. We’re mostly keeping up, but that’s why there are delays and sometimes questions go unanswered.
The good news, however, is that help is on the way. In addition to my new role, we’re hiring an additional full-time editor. And while adding more people will help, we also plan to review and improve our processes. (One quick idea is adding a short pitch form so that you know your place is more likely to be approved before you start writing.) Whatever we do, though, we will need your feedback and ideas.
So more to come, but in the meantime, please let me know what’s on your mind. And thank you for your hard work and patience!
VP of Community