Yahoo! Voices

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Yahoo! Voices, formerly Associated Content (AC), is a division of Yahoo that focuses on online publishing. Yahoo! Voices distributes a large variety of writing through its website and content partners, including Yahoo! News. In early December, 2011, its owners Yahoo announced a major shakeup involving the introduction of a new service, Yahoo! Voices, which would replace the Associated Content site and take on the bulk of its content, while some 75,000 items would be retired under the new site's more stringent content submission rules.

Yahoo! announced on July 2, 2014 that it would shut down Yahoo! Voices and Yahoo! Contributor Network on July 31, 2014. Yahoo! Voices is no longer accepting content submissions due to its pending shutdown.[1]

History[edit]

Associated Content was started in January 2005 by Luke Beatty. They hired their CTO in March 2006, Sonu Kansal. It is based in Denver, Colorado, with business development, sales and community offices in New York City.

In April 2009, Associated Content hired a new CEO, Patrick Keane, formerly of CBS Interactive and Google[2] and closed a $6 million Series C round of funding from Softbank Capital and Canaan Partners.[3] Their funding now totals $21.5 million. Three weeks after the funding announcement, Associated Content reorganized and laid off 5 employees.[4]

On May 19, 2010, Yahoo! announced that it would purchase Associated Content for $90 million.[5]

On December 1, 2011, "Yahoo!" announced a new service, Yahoo Voices, which "replaces Associated Content as Yahoo! Contributor Network’s official digital library."[6] Announcing new, more stringent content submission guidelines, the company said "We have retired more than 75,000 pieces of inactive and outdated content from Associated Content. None of this content will appear on Yahoo! Voices, and only content that meets our revised Submission Guidelines will be accepted moving forward."[6] The new service would initially provide "more than two million pieces of original content, spanning thousands of different topics, created by more than 500,000 individual experts and enthusiasts." [6]

Publishing platform[edit]

In addition to text content (articles), AC has categories for video, audio, and slide shows. There is also an online community where users share their expertise, network and voice opinions.

In contrast to many content publishing sites, AC does pay many users for content up front.[7] Articles are usually required to be have at least 400 words and may include pictures from approved sources. The "Assignment Desk" is another source of article ideas and income for writers. AC displays predefined article titles and users can "claim" the assignment. All on-site assignments (as opposed to "Partner Assignments") pay performance-based revenue while some also pay up-front payment. Only authors who are over 18 years old and are US citizens or legal residents are eligible for up-front payments.[8] Users may also submit content for publication without an up-front payment. Slideshows and fiction submissions generally do not receive up-front payments. All articles written by users who agree to the contract are eligible to receive payments based on the number of times their content is viewed.[9]

AC exercises some editorial control over content, sending work back to users for "polishing" or rejecting work for violations of the site's terms of use and guidelines, including promotional or advertorial content and plagiarism.[10][11] Beatty claims the site is "all about content".[12]

Motifs[edit]

Associated Content originally billed itself as "The People's Media Company". The original schema was linked to its idea that its writers (originally called "Content Producers") were "Citizen Journalists."[citation needed]

In early 2009, Associated Content rebranded itself on the site as "Information from the source." Writers on the site, formerly called "Content Producers," are now called "Contributors" (after briefly being dubbed "Sources"). The "Citizen Journalist" motif was dropped.

Criticism[edit]

Associated Content has been criticized for the quality of its content. Slate technical writer Farhad Manjoo sums up this criticism thus: "Associated Content stands as a cautionary tale for anyone looking to do news by the numbers. It is a wasteland of bad writing, uninformed commentary, and the sort of comically dull recitation of the news you'd get from a second grader."[13] Scott Rosenberg criticized Associated Content and other companies for publishing content not aimed at human readers, but for the purpose of influencing search engines,[14] and for actually degrading Google search results.[15] On his own blog, GizmoPorn, Ken Choy, a blogger on Yahoo Voices, has addressed his concerns with editors and with the allowing of regurgitated content on the site.[16][17][18] Choy also wrote about page views discrepancy.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://contributor.yahoo.com/help/#A571
  2. ^ Vascellaro, Jessica E. (2009-03-30). "Start-up Hires CBS, Google Veteran". The Wall Street Journal. 
  3. ^ "Associated Content Raises $6 Million In Third Round — paidContent". Paidcontent.org. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Industry Moves Round-Up: EMI, The Atlantic, Associated Content — paidContent". Paidcontent.org. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  5. ^ "Yahoo Buys Associated Content for a reported $100 Million, though the final purchase price has not been made public.". Atlanta Post. May 19, 2010. Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Introducing Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo!, 2011-12-01
  7. ^ Holmes, Elizabeth (2009-03-03). "Selling Expertise On the Internet For Extra Cash". The Wall Street Journal. 
  8. ^ "FAQ: Why can't I submit content for up-front payment review?". Associated Content. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  9. ^ "FAQ: Performance payments". Associated Content. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  10. ^ Tish Grier (2007-03-26). "A 'middle man' for grassroots journalism?". Online Journalism Review from USC Annenberg. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  11. ^ "FAQ: What is Associated Content's editorial policy?". Associated Content. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Luke Beatty, Founder and CEO of Associated Content". Techrockies. 2006-01-01. Archived from the original on 3 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  13. ^ "AOL's dumb plan to mimic the universe's worst news site". Slate. Archived from the original on 24 December 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  14. ^ Scott Rosenberg (2009-12-14). "SEO mills: That’s not fast food, it’s bot fodder". Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  15. ^ Scott Rosenberg (2010-08-20). "Google News gets gamed by a crappy content farm". Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  16. ^ http://www.gizmoporn.com/2014/07/yahoo-voices-shutting-down.html
  17. ^ http://www.gizmoporn.com/2013/12/yahoo-voices-story-her-just-another.html?q=yahoo+voices
  18. ^ http://www.gizmoporn.com/2013/12/yahoo-voices-story-distracted-driving.html?q=yahoo+voices
  19. ^ http://www.gizmoporn.com/2013/02/yahoo-voices-reflecting-bad-data-and.html?q=yahoo+voices

External links[edit]