Sabah

Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

Exclusive Interview: YCN Year in Review with Sr. Community Manager Darnell Witt

In Interviews on December 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

It’s been a year of BIG changes for Associated Content Contributors and the migration to the Yahoo! Contributor Network platform is finally complete. Many writers are already finding their work on some of Yahoo!’s most popular media channels, including OMG!, Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Shine and Yahoo! News and the transition has been a smooth one.

I caught up with Senior Community Manager Darnell Witt (formerly known as AC Darnell) for a recap of some of the highlights and improvements from this past year. And there’s even more to come! A brand new Contributor training program and a revamped referral system are a few new projects on the horizon.

Take it away, DW…

SK: What changes have you been most excited about with the AC/Yahoo! transition?

DW: To my mind, the expanded beta of our Performance Payments program, extending it across the Yahoo! network, is the single most exciting aspect of our new platform. Associated Content pioneered this performance-based compensation model, and now we’re rolling it out to some of the most popular sites on the Web!

SK: The Yahoo! partnership was announced over the summer of 2010. Did you anticipate the site migration this early?

DW: Immediately following the acquisition, our game plan was “business as usual.” We wanted everyone to know that Yahoo! didn’t just buy AC for the technology, but was also committed to carrying the torch of “The People’s Media Company” and continuing to provide contributors with as many opportunities as possible. At that point, the timeline for our full integration into the Yahoo! network was still “TBD.”

Over the summer, Luke (AC Founder and current Yahoo! VP) set the ambitious goal of launching a new, integrated publishing platform by the end of the 2010.  It sounded crazy at the time, because the process would require us to rethink and rebuild our publishing and page view tracking systems, not to mention redesign each page on our site, and develop an entirely new brand. But the whole team rallied around the plan, and put in lots of extra hours to make Luke’s crazy dream into an awesome reality.

SK: What are some significant changes Contributors can look forward to in 2011?

DW: We will be introducing Performance Payments on additional Yahoo! sites. We’re also working on new badges, a new blog, a revamped referral program, contributor training materials, and various interface enhancements. Of course, we’ll also be ramping up the publishing volume to Yahoo! sites as time goes on, so that means continually increasing opportunities to be published on the sites aligned with your interests and expertise.

SK: Are there any big plans or changes in store for the original AC Community? Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Who in the World is Jolie du Pre?

In Interviews on December 2, 2010 at 8:09 pm

She holds the enviable position of full-time freelance writer and is also a published author with short stories in over 15 books. Jolie du Pre has taken the Arts & Entertainment category on Associated Content by Yahoo! by storm with the latest dish on celebrity gossip, “Dancing with the Stars” TV summaries and updates on music awards. But her writing talent isn’t limited to Hollywood’s latest and greatest. You might already have stumbled across her work on Yahoo OMG!, Asylum, Good Meals, Parent Dish, Noise Creep, Spinner, Made Man, eHow and other online publications. Jolie is also the editor of three anthologies and has a new flash fiction site called Leodegraunce .

I caught up with this Chicago-based writer, married mother of two and “The Office” fan to learn more about her AC writing career…

SK: How did you get started with writing for AC?

JP: I’d read on the Internet that AC was a place where you could make money with your writing. I was skeptical at first, and I asked a lot of questions when I joined. I was used to scams, and I thought AC was just another scam. The first amount of money I made was less than $5, but it was enough for me to see that AC was not a scam. Needless to say, today that $5 is but a distant memory.

SK: What inspired you to join?

JP: The positive testimonies about Associated Content that I had read on the Web inspired me to join. I also noticed that Associated Content articles ranked high on Google. That intrigued me.

SK: Your favorite content category to browse at work is:

JP: I work at home and when I browse, I tend to browse the types of articles I write. That would be anything Arts & Entertainment.

SK: Do you write for other online sites or publications, or do you publish exclusively on AC/Yahoo!? Read the rest of this entry »

Exclusive Interview: AC’s Founder Luke Beatty Talks About the Yahoo! Partnership

In AC News on May 21, 2010 at 10:00 am

Associated Content and Yahoo! announced their partnership this past Tuesday, and the AC Community has been left with dozens of questions. What will happen to the Forums? Will we still be able to earn residuals on our published content? Why is the AC home page now purple??

In the midst of the recent buzz, I caught up with AC’s Founder and President Luke Beatty to answer these, and other pressing questions about the status of Contributors and AC content during the oncoming transition.

Put your minds at ease, folks — good things are on the horizon 🙂

Here’s what’s in store for AC Contributors and Yahoo!’s content expansion plan:

SK: What were the top three reasons to close the deal with Yahoo! What were your primary goals for creating this partnership?

LB: This acquisition didn’t come out of nowhere — it’s something we’ve been driving toward since day one. It’s always been about expanding our network and allowing more and more individuals to take part in the emerging content economy. The growth we’ve achieved on our own has been astounding, but this partnership means that we’ll soon be operating on a much higher level.

The top three reasons for the partnership were:

#1: Consistent vision. The most important thing was the Yahoo! team’s solid grasp of AC’s mission, and firm commitment to carrying that torch. They didn’t buy us simply for our technology, our library or our community – they understand that it’s the relationship between those things that matters.
#2: New opportunities & scale. We already had a content partnership with Yahoo! on a few of their new initiatives. Needless to say, our Contributors nailed it. Now we have the opportunity to blow this out on a much larger scale, helping to power the web’s largest media company. To say this is like a dream come true is a huge understatement.
#3: An awesome team. Yahoo! management is the best in the industry, and I couldn’t be happier about having the entire AC staff be a part of this team.

SK: You mentioned an increased distribution of our content with the Yahoo! partnership. Does this mean more page view earnings, or just more exposure for Contributors?

LB: Both. 100%.  As the relationship grows, Contributors will have the opportunity to produce content for lots of different Yahoo! channels, like Yahoo! Autos, Yahoo! Finance, OMG, Shine, etc.  Your presence will be felt throughout the Yahoo! network.

SK: Will Yahoo/AC introduce new quality standards for content? If so, what will Contributors need to do in order to meet those standards?

LB: I hope so.  We always want better quality content.  I know that Yahoo wants it too.  And, frankly, neighboring contributors don’t want their quality content associated with poor quality content.  Our quality expectations have been evolving gradually (we’ve been at it for 5 years), and that’s going to continue. Yahoo! or not, our content ought to be of a higher quality today than it was yesterday.

SK: Will Contributors still be able to earn Performance Payments through the same or similar PV bonus program, or will the opportunity to earn residual income with AC cease to exist? Does Yahoo!  have plans to introduce other bonus/residual programs?

LB: We have no intention of pulling back any payment programs that are currently in place. Bottom line: there will be far more earning opportunities, not fewer.

SK: What will make publishing with Yahoo!/AC different than publishing elsewhere? (e.g. Seed.com, Demand Studios, BrightHub)

LB: We’re already distinguished by the sheer size of our community and by the fact that we allow Contributors to claim exclusive assignments and publish on any topic they choose. Moving forward, the biggest differentiator may well be the venues: through our platform, you’ll soon be able to contribute to some of the best content destinations on the web.

SK: Is the Associated Content site really going to be shut down by the end of the third quarter? If not, what can we expect the site look like in a few months? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Sherry Wight

In Interviews on March 4, 2010 at 2:15 am

She’s the lucky Contributor who published the two-millionth piece of content on AC this week, and also hit the Hot 100 list this month with her lineup of engaging and informative content about the 2010 Winter Olympics and entertainment. Sherry Wight is one of AC’s Featured Arts and Entertainment Contributors and has been publishing here for almost three years.

I caught up with this busy mom and self-confessed Dancing with the Stars junkie to find out what her writing goals are for 2010, who she’s reading, and how she’s making most of her experience writing with Associated Content:

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

SW: Good question!  Though I shy away from calling myself an addict per se, I started spending more and more time on AC after daily pageview stat updates were implemented.  I thrive on seeing how my content does on a day-to-day basis, so those updates are like chocolate: Addictive and delicious.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

SW: I’m a busy, often harried mom to three children, ages 5, 3 and 1, so time is of the essence.  When I first stumbled across AC back in July of 2007, I was skeptical.  I submitted a single article to dip my toes in the water and see how it would go, and then slowly added a few more pieces until I got a good feel for how it worked.  (Of course, I was happy to see that I’d actually get paid as advertised as well.)  I’m still here because it does work, it’s easy, I’ve seen my readership and pageview numbers increase, and I really enjoy writing.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

SW: I’m a Dancing with the Stars junkie, so my recaps and reviews are a given.  I write them as I watch the shows, and then publish almost immediately.  I keep an eye on Google Trends to see what’s hot, and will occasionally crank out an article based on a hot GT keyword, but my priority is writing about things that are genuinely of interest to me.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Matthew Lubin

In Interviews on February 20, 2010 at 3:18 am

As one of AC’s Featured Travel Contributors, Matthew Lubin has been busy writing about destinations in the Far East, medicine, film, movies and topics about English as a foreign language.

This talented writer, editor and academic writing professor has lived in Southern China and has published work in The Aroostock Review, Ink Collective and other publications.

I caught up with this AC Rockstar to find out how he found AC, and why he enjoys publishing here:

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

ML: I wouldn’t consider myself an AC addict as I don’t use it that frequently. When I first started using AC, I was working in China and figured it was a good way to make a few extra bucks for when I returned to the states. As I found other venues for my work, I used AC with less frequency, but always went back every now and again to see what was going on.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

ML: AC has been a consistent purchaser of my work. While I’d prefer to sell my work for more money, at least I know I have this site to fall back on. It also helped build my confidence as a travel writer, which got me my first freelance gig with a tour book publisher.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

ML: Most of my articles are about my travels because it’s what I enjoy writing about. I have never used AC’s suggested topics or calls for content. If I find a topic that interests me I’ll write about it.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Tamara Waters

In Interviews on January 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm

If you’re a regular AC Forumite, you’ve probably already caught this AC Rockstar patrolling the boards with almost-daily updates. Tamara Waters is a Featured Home Improvment Contributor and Featured Arts and Entertainment Contribtor, and has published over 370 pieces of content to date.

She’s been with AC since 2006 and has become one of AC’s most prolific Contributors. I caught up with Ms. Waters to find out what she’s busy writing about these days, and why she’s stuck with AC for so long…

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

TW: I actually signed up and started publishing in January, 2006. I published a few articles then life interrupted and I stopped writing for awhile. In late 2007 I decided to start writing again and then started writing more regularly in April/May 2008. It was during the late spring/early summer of 2008 that I started getting serious about what writing on AC. By the time I received a Top 1000 badge in January 2009 I was hopelessly addicted.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

TW: I like the fact that AC is quite versatile. I can write whatever I want and earn limitless money. I like having the opportunity to earn upfront payments on my articles. I’ve found some great friends thanks to AC and even though there are things that I get frustrated with about AC, it is still my favorite publishing platform.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

TW: I really have no rhyme or reason – I do a combination of targeted calls, partner calls and general assignments (when there are any that strike my fancy) as well as DO articles that I simply enjoy writing. I always write home improvement articles in a given month – probably because I’m a Category Editor for the Home Improvement section.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?

TW: I would learn more about writing for the web at the beginning. I had no clue when I first started. I would probably also get into the Forum and learn the ropes – my time spent there has been invaluable for helping me grow as a writer.

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Mary Kirkland

In Interviews on December 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm

When she’s not writing about pets, parenting and scrapbooking, you might catch Mary Kirkland watching a horror movie or working on a craft project. This AC Rockstar has been publishing with Associated Content since December 2006.

I managed to catch up with her to find out what she’s tweeting about, why she enjoys publishing on AC, and a few pointers for being successful on AC in the long-term.

Here’s the scoop…

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

MK: As soon as my first and then second article was published, I knew I was addicted. I knew from the time I was little that I wanted to write. I wasn’t sure what type of writing I really wanted to do until my first article was accepted. The rush you get when you realize you are actually getting paid to write and people are reading what you write and leaving good comments because they like what they are reading, becomes very addictive.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

MK: I’ve heard about other sites where I can write and get paid for my articles but this is the site that I like and feel comfortable publishing my articles with. I can work at my own pace and I really like the interaction with the other Authors on the site. Most people are very receptive to questions, and are willing to help other authors with problems they might have.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

MK: I tend to write about things that I know about. I write about small exotic animals ie…hamsters, rats, gerbils, mice ect. I always keep a notebook with me and when I get an idea I write it down. If I see something while watching a television show that I think would be a good article, I write a note to myself. So whatever I happen to want to write about at any given moment is what gets written

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?

MK: I would definitely have taken more time to learn about writing for the web and how it differs from other styles of writing. After getting that first article published I figured I knew everything I needed to know. I thought, “Hey, I got published. I must be doing something right.” After a while though, it became apparent there was alot more to learn.

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Think Big

In Interviews on November 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

He’s a passionate entrepreneur that enjoys writing and designing websites, and has been publishing on AC since June 2007.

Think Big, otherwise known as Billy Belcher, has been writing on a wide range of topics in the Business, Finance and Web Design categories, and shares some information on why he’s stuck with AC for so long, and what his goals are for 2010.

Read on to learn more about this AC Rockstar…

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

BB: About a week after I earned my first upfront payment from AC.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

BB: The potential of AC in helping people earn money and express their thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc…

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

BB: Sometimes personally, I just brainstorm past experiences, events, places I’ve been to write about as well as Google trends to find some hot topics on Internet.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?

BB: Write more articles. When I first started on AC I wrote around 30 articles and then didn’t write for about a year and then I came back to write more consistent for AC.

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar plntpolice

In Interviews on November 16, 2009 at 7:00 am

photo-1

You probably know her as plntpolice on Associated Content, but Rose Field is an online publishing maven with a background in journalism and horticulture, sharing tips and advice about gardening, jewelry making and lifestyle topics.

Rose has been publishing on Associated Content since February 2007, and has been using social media tools including Facebook and Twitter to share her work with the world.

Here’s what she has to say about her experience with AC, her 2010 publishing goals, and some insights about writing online:

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

RF: A few months, because I dabbled around on some other writing sites and compared the results before deciding that AC worked for me.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

RF: It offers freedom. I’ve never been a prolific producer. Sometimes I don’t publish for weeks at a time. Plus, my topics vary widely, and with AC, I feel that when inspiration strikes I can submit what I want, when I want; no pressure. I love that.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

RF: My main interest and area of expertise has always been horticulture, so I continue to do plant related articles, and they perform for me. For quite a while I made jewelry and wrote a few articles on that topic, but they’ve gotten so-so views, and I stopped.

My most personally rewarding article discussed my cat’s leg amputation. Many people contacted me with questions and stories or left comments when their cat underwent an amputation. For once, I felt like my writing made a meaningful contribution to others and the comments were gratifying. Not to mention, the article has almost 15,000 PVs and adds about 1,000/month. I’m planning a follow up article on Zipper’s progress. Other than that, I let my writing go where ever my interests lead at any given time; sorry to confess I’m not cleverly intentional about any of it.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Agnes Farside

In Interviews on November 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm

annaShe’s one of AC’s Top 1000 Contributors and juggles a full-time job and writing articles on a wide range of topics. Agnes Farside has been on AC since September 2007 and published over 400 articles on crafts, hobbies, movies, gardening, travel, fitness an quilting. Here’s what this AC rockstar has to share with her fans and AC Contributors:

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?
AF: I was hooked right from the start.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?
AF: AC allows me to write on just about any subject.  The site is easy to maneuver and I love getting paid for my articles.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?
AF: What I write about depends on a lot of things.  The seasons inspire me to write timely articles pertaining to each one.  Holidays or any upcoming event can also get me thinking of writing an article.  I do crafting, gardening and love to quilt, which provide great topics to write about.  I might write my thoughts on a hot political topic or a personal issue that affected me in some way.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?
AF: I would research more on how to write my articles to be more searchable on the internet.  I would not rush and would profread for errors more.

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones?
AF: I use FaceBook to promote my articles.  I work full time and do not have time for much more than that.  I have printed cards with my AC url on it and pass them out to people at various venues. Read the rest of this entry »