Who in the World is Patrick Keane?

In AC News, Interviews on May 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Patrick_KeaneIf you’ve been keeping up with AC’s transitions lately, you already know there’s a new leader in town. Patrick Keane was named Chief Executive Officer of Associated Content in March 2009, and we’re already seeing big changes from AC offices in New York City and Denver.

Before making it over to AC territory, our new CEO worked with the team at CBS Interactive and Google, Inc. He was also the founder and programmer of Google’s Zeitgeist.

What can Associated Content’s Sources expect in the near future? I caught up with Patrick Keane to find out what his vision for AC is, how contributors can be successful with AC, and most importantly, what types of articles he’s reading when he’s not in a board meeting, traveling, and keeping AC in order:

SK: What inspired or prompted you to join the team at AC?
PK: I was initially impressed by Luke Beatty’s founding vision for Associated Content: enabling anyone to publish and be compensated for creating useful content on the Web. The final decision was motivated by the potential I recognized in AC’s talented team, excellent board of directors, impassioned community of contributors and unprecedented market opportunity.

SK: Where are you from?
PK: Wynnewood, PA – a small town a few miles west of Philadelphia.

SK: Your favorite form of caffeine?
PK: ITO EN Earl Grey Tea

SK: Your favorite motivational/inspirational quote?
PK: “Innovation can come from anywhere.”

SK: Your top three favorite categories to browse on AC are:
-Food & Wine
-Local (New York City and all the places I travel)

SK: What do you feel are AC’s core values? (via Pam Gaulin)
PK: At AC, we believe that…
– Everyone is an expert.
– Anyone should be able to publish and share their insights and expertise.
– People should be compensated for their intellectual property.
– Content should be credible, engaging, useful and discoverable.
– Our core mission is to provide our visitors and contributors with unmatched earning, learning and exposure opportunities.

SK: What are some of the best reasons for Sources to continue under your new leadership?  Will we see any major changes in the near future?
(via Carol Bengle Gilbert)
PK: I’ll be working hard to raise the profile of Associated Content. This is the biggest media company too few people have heard of. Look for more consumer and business coverage on the company, our consumers and our community. This exposure will yield more visibility and compensation for everyone.

SK: Do you have any plans to take AC public? (via Pam Gaulin)
PK: We are fully committed providing our visitors, Sources, advertisers, employees and investors with the best possible return on the time, passion and resources they invest in AC. I cannot comment on future financial plans.

SK: What changes to upfront payments or PPV rates does AC plan to roll out in the next three years? (via Pam Gaulin)
PK: It’s too early to discuss any specifics, but we will certainly continue to expand and diversify the earning opportunities for everyone who publishes on AC in the coming months and years.

SK: What is your vision for communications or relations with Sources, given the recent changes in the Community area? (via Carol Bengle Gilbert)
PK: We are committed to open and transparent dialog – between our community and our company, or visitors and our Sources, our partners and our consumers, and every possible combination thereof.

At AC, we all have a stake in creating the best content library and publishing platform on the Web.

Everyone’s interests are aligned: What’s good for our visitors and advertisers is good for our company; what’s good for our company is good for our community. We want to open up new channels of dialog to make sure we’re all moving toward our shared goal.

SK: What are your top three goals for AC in the next 3-5 years?

(1) Delighting our visitors by providing a relevant, engaging content experience one visit or search query at a time.

(2) Creating lots of new distribution and compensation opportunities for our contributors.

(3) Further refining our design and user interface, both as a publishing platform and content destination. We’ve already established ourselves as a leader in the new content economy and we intend to continue innovating in this space.

SK: How can writers best use their SEO and writing skills to fit the emerging model for AC?
(via jcorn)
PK: Quality is key. The more time and effort you put into making your content engaging and professional, the more of a following you’ll cultivate and the more exclusive opportunities we’ll be able to provide you with.

Searchability is (and always has been) one of cornerstones of our publishing platform. As such, a strong understanding of SEO can go a long way in helping you reach the widest possible audience. As time goes on, we’ll continue to refresh and upgrade our publishing tutorials to help our Sources maximize their earning and exposure potential.

SK: Should Sources be submitting more videos, since they are now featured in the ‘related material’ section? (via jcorn)
PK: On AC, we provide the publishing tools – you supply the expertise and creativity. We want you to create useful content in any format that inspires you.

SK: Are AC Partner Content projects indicative of the site taking a new direction that will replace the site’s original focus of user-generated content, or is it more of a sideline project? (via Carol Bengle Gilbert)
PK: AC will always be a place for people to publish content on any subjects that interest them. At the same time, we plan to steadily increase the amount of targeted assignments we release, both to provide more opportunities to our contributors and to better serve our partners. We consider these aims to be mutually beneficial.

SK: Three tips for any new Source who wants to make AC a part of their freelance writing career?


1. Produce Unique & Useful Content. A simple edict, but one that will continue to drive user consumption and search discoverability. Focus on what you know, and get specific. This is a powerful combination that will create more exposure and revenue for everyone.

2. Consider the User Experience. Spend time thinking about how your audience might engage with your content. We want to surprise and delight our visitors with the most useful and entertaining content experience possible, and keep them coming back for more.

3. Become a Zeigeist Observer. Immerse yourself in everything contemporary and cutting edge. Familiarize yourself with the most popular cultural trends and Web content mainstays. Think of yourself as a reporter, a teacher, a columnist, a trendsetter, a programmer and an emcee as much as a content creator.

*A big ‘thank you’ to Pam Gaulin, Carol Bengle Gilbert and jcorn for contributing questions for this interview.

  1. Awesome interview, Sabah! Thanks for putting this together.

  2. Thanks for another excellent and informative interview, Sabah. It’s great to hear from you Mr Keane. This definitely will help give both new Sources and long-time Sources an idea of what AC is all about and what to expect. Thanks again.

  3. Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions and gain more details about AC’s vision and plans for the future. Thanks also to you, Sabah, for doing such a superb job writing this interview!

  4. Sounds good…..I’ll be around to see what happens.

  5. I’m in.

  6. Fantastic job on this, Sabah. The information you gleaned from our new CEO is important for the community to hear. Thanks for honoring me with the opportunity to participate in formulating some questions for this interview.

  7. Great interview – and very nice to see what Mr. Keane has to say.

  8. Fantastic Interview and it is great to meet Mr. Keane and learn about him.

  9. So this is the new captain of the Exxon Valdez? For so many words, he didn’t say much and what he did say, we’ve heard before. So far, his actions at AC speak differently than his words here.

  10. I’m in agreement with theBarefoot on this one. I will wait and watch.

  11. Fantastic interview, insightful on future of AC. Thanks!

  12. Great job on this, Sabah. Hope PK will take AC to new heights, my best wishes to him and his tem members. As a international writer, i have many hopes on PK’s leadership. Some day upfront payments may be given to non-Americans….hope so?
    I like PK’s clear vision in what he wants to do and how he is going to proceed and take AC to the world best Website!!

    I am sure PK with his background from google will bring newer way for writers to earn more.
    I wish more of SEO Tutorials are published for new writer to inmprove their PPM earnings.Hope this point may be taken in considerations.

    Good Luck!!

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