Summary of AC Happy Hour 7.29

In AC News on July 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Associated Content broadcast a live session with Founder Luke Beatty and CEO Patrick Keane, and over 175 contributors attended.

If you missed the broadcast, or just want a refresher on the topics covered, here’s a brief summary of the leaders’ responses:

What are the topics that pay the most?
Home Improvement, Health and Wellness and Automotive categories tend to generate the strongest traffic, says Luke Beatty, but the goal for all Contributors should be to focus on specialization and write on something that you already know, vs. entering a field that you know nothing about. Don’t create duplicate content, and make it as unique as possible.

What about the News category?
Firsthand news accounts, interviews and special perspectives have more value than summaries of existing news articles. It’s important to focus on creating fresh and unique content, even for the News category.

Does AC plan to branch out internationally?
There is potential for the company to branch out internationally and delve into mobile distribution says Patrick Keane, but these are not AC’s priorities at this time.

What are AC’s immediate priorities?
AC plans to build its contributor base and improve the user experience.

What has been the high point of your career?
Luke Beatty answered this question. Making a people-powered company successful, and every organic success that AC has experienced has been a big positive for him.

Why have upfront payments dropped?
Payments have not dropped, but have remained consistent, says Luke Beatty. Things to consider: is there duplicate content already published on the web, and is it optimized? AC IS paying more, but the real money is made on the performance of the content. Have to remember that this is a marketplace, and there is a lot of competition out there. Distinguished and unique pays better and is what AC is looking for.

How is AC differentiating itself from competitors online and offline?
Getting prime visibility for user-generated content, democratic structure, and Contributors choose the topics vs. what editors are assigning. This approach is similar to Google’s long-term strategy, says Patrick Keane. Most publishers create content that’s only valuable in the short-term. AC has more power because the content is valuable for a longer stretch of time.

Compared to online publishers, Luke Beatty points out that AC is different because: 1) Totally open environment, anyone can contribute. 2) Payments – offering upfront payments and AC will continue to be committed to do it, contests, Assignment Desk 3) Discoverability. Helping content get discovered, as long as it’s not duplicate. Increasing distribution through advertising and media partners.

Patrick Keane also points out that Contributors need to keep in mind that are you creating high quality content – the most useful and unique, well-written for the audience will be a successful piece of content. “Be mindful of your user and audience”

What is the future of the Partner Calls channel?
Patrick Keane has been working on building more opportunities and also with developing Associated Content Media Solutions which would grant permission to distribute content across media companies. He is also looking into more syndication strategies.

Does AC plan on screening applicants?
(Luke Beatty) No. There may be some sifting of certain types of content, but everyone and anyone can join.

Why is AC a right-wing publishing platform? (via Tim Sexton)
(Luke Beatty) It isn’t. Anyone is allowed  – and encouraged – to write with any political perspective/slant they choose.

Will AC Change the Clout system?
(Luke Beatty) No, but there may be a different scoring system for measuring the value of particular pieces of content. Clout is something that helps to filter contributors because it gives them a ‘quality score’. Quality isn’t only about traffic: if it’s only relevant to a few people, there may be a way of creating a compensation system for quality content that may not generate a lot of traffic.

Why has AC allowed ‘R’ rated ads?
(Luke Beatty) AC doesn’t want to have objectionable content on the site, but AC wouldn’t do anything to degrade the user. If you identify ads that are problematic or offensive, send AC an e-mail about it.

Does AC plan to give more feedback on submissions that get declined?
(Luke Beatty) Yes, the content processing process is always becoming more efficient and AC is striving to provide a reasonable amount of feedback. Content Managers work hard to find a balance between getting more feedback and slower turnarounds vs.

Why did Patrick Keane say that upfront offers range from $4 to $20?

(Patrick Keane) These figures are primarily for Assignment Desk assignments, and many contributors are getting paid upfront within this range.

Where do you see AC in the next six months, 1 year, five years?
(Patrick Keane)Becoming THE publishing platform for the web. AC is getting a very positive reception from media companies that can leverage what AC has. In three years, AC will continue to grow tremendously. (We see) More partnership strategies, a better compensation strategy for contributors, and improving abilities to drive more traffic to the site.

How can contributors become better at promoting and distributing content?
(Luke Beatty) Use social networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools so that you’re not relying only on the search engines. AC has hired someone (as of today) to help Contributors with distribution!

Three things that excite you most about AC?
(Patrick Keane) 1) the great people-driven environment (sales, technology, legal and community). 2) The Contributor community: more opportunities and options for communicating. 3) Great technology: being able to monetize on the current system

(Luke Beatty) 1) The success stories 2. Being prolific and known on the web 3.the positive people-driven environment.

Mr. Keane closed the session by saying that AC does plan on hosting more in-person events, and improving communications with the AC community at large.

Thanks to Darnell, the Founder, CEO and the AC team for putting this together!

  1. Thanks for the summary Sabah! I listened to whole thing but the review is very helpful.

  2. Thanks for the summary. I missed the Happy Hour and Found this informing. I am excited to see how AC will help us with distribution.

  3. Thanks for the summary. Missed the Happy Hour 😦 but glad I could get a recap!

  4. Thanks for the helpful summary. I missed the session, after having difficulty signing in for the live event.

  5. Missed it, darn! But I must say this — I think it’s time AC started screening people. That would weed out the bad writers that give this site a bad name and enable the payments to the writers that are accepted to rise. I had an argument just today with someone who attacked this site for permitting bad writing and just nonsense to be posted. Quite frankly, even though I defended AC, I could see his point.

  6. Great summary, Sabah! Illustrates the incredible potential of AC as a publishing platform, ideas for the future, and the strong support AC community has from Founder Luke Beatty and CEO Patrick Keane. Very cool!

  7. Thanks Sabah! I missed the conference and you’ve done a great job summarizing what I’d missed.

  8. Nice.

  9. Thanks for the summary, Sabah. I missed the conference also and I do appreciate the summary.

  10. I hated missing this event. It is wonderful to have a summary like this to refer to. Thank You.

  11. Thought this seemed like a first time live online discussion, if so I expect these discussions will improve. I learned a good bit and as a newbie that was important.

  12. Had to miss this because of work obligations. Thank you so much for publishing this recap – it was GREAT!

  13. Thanks for getting this out, Sabah. I was so disappointed I was unable to make the happy hour and was hoping someone would do a summary.

  14. Thanks for summarizing the Happy Hour. I planned on checking it out and then missed the event by a few hours.

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