Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Are You Ready for Thanksgiving?

Programming Director AC_TimK pulled together some pre-Turkey Day articles on Associated Content to help you save time and money this week.

Our CPs are always a fantastic source of info around the holidays, and with a couple days until Thanksgiving we've got plenty of great articles to get you through all the cooking and shopping worries popping up.

It's easy for Thanksgiving groceries to add up in a hurry--especially once you start getting everyone's favorite side dish or dessert. Suzzette Parchman, one of our newer CPs, presents her Ten Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Groceries, which is full of fantastic advice for those of us looking to keep a few extra bucks in our wallets at the grocery store.

Speaking of saving, Black Friday is up right after Thanksgiving, and it's best to be totally prepared before heading to the mall to do battle for the best bargains. Thanks to Carolyn Foster, there's a ready-made "Plan of Attack" with over 30 great tips to make sure you don't get beaten out for the best deals.

And for those who don't want to fight the crowds, Elizabeth Eng rounds up some of the best online shopping sites for this year's season to help with getting around Black Friday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sneak Peek at Associated Content's New Look

Last Friday's post announced a new look in the works for Associated Content. I'm thrilled to be able to offer AC Blog readers the first sneak peek at AC's sleek new design. Click on the image below to see a larger version of this article page in a new window.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Audio Producers You Should be Listening to

With so many talented people writing text articles for AC it is easy to get caught up in reading. But remember, there are people posting great photo slideshows and videos and, for today's feature, audio content on Associated Content. The three CPs below are posting excellent original audio work on AC, so stop by and listen to what they're talking and singing about.

On the musical front, VA resident Barth Wooster has published songs from unreleased albums by the band Benvolio. They're lovely, wistful songs that feature excellent piano work and would be a thrill to hear live.

Singer-songwriter Linda Knutson is another VA resident with great musical content on Associated Content. In addition to her poetry, she's published 6 songs where the sensitive (and sometimes funny) lyrics are accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

Dangerous Lee is the host of a humorous talk radio show based in MI. A woman of many talents, Dangerous Lee does interviews, reviews, thought pieces and on-location segments. She's also a humor advice columnist, author, actress and activist. Its a wonder she has time to sleep at night.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Associated Content's Big Announcement

There was a little tease about this posted here on the AC Blog earlier in the week, and here is the official announcement:

Everyone at Associated Content has been working hard on a major update to the look of the site. We expect the new look to do great things for usability. Highlights include a more professional appearance that will appeal to visitors, functional improvements to article pages and enhanced Content Producer profiles.

Logged-in CPs will get to preview all the major updates by December 1st, and the official re-launch will happen at the beginning of 2009.

We're very excited about the update and are certain that you will be, too!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Nominations, This Time the Crunchies

Good morning, AC Blog readers. It is award season in the online and tech industry (sort of like late winter for the film industry), which means more nominations.

GigaOm, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and Silicon Alley Insider are currently sponsoring The Crunchies, an annual competition to recognize and celebrate compelling internet and technology innovations in a given year.

Please show your enthusiasm for Associated Content and nominate us in both of the following categories (only one nomination per IP address per day, please):

Best Mobile (we have a great mobile platform, if you've ever browsed it from your BlackBerry or iPhone)

Best Time Sink Site (needs no explanation)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Associated Content on's Radio Show

Lisa, Associated Content's VP of Community, was recently a guest on the Christian Work at Home Mom (CWHAM) Blog Talk Radio show.

CWHAM is a community that provides resources to help women find great work at home careers and to help moms market their home businesses. You can check them out here:

Lisa had a great time chatting with Diana and Jill, the two friendly hostesses, about how AC is a fantastic resource for people who work from home. They were excited about Associated Content and we hope that their listeners will share their enthusiasm.
Head over to CWHAM's site and see what they've got to offer!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Best of AC Awards October Winners and a Special Announcement

Associated Content recently announced the October winners of our Best of AC Awards - a series of monthly contests that reward CPs publishing extraordinary content in a wide range of categories across the site. This post comes a little late, but these Content Producers are too good not to be highlighted by the AC Blog for their accomplishments.

The winners of October's Best of AC Awards awards:

Sylvia Cochran won for her stellar and tireless Election Coverage. Read her "election postmortem" for what we can all expect after the marathon election process.

Lee Andrew Henderson was awarded for best Sports Coverage. Basketball fans should check out his analysis of the Alan Iverson/Chauncey Billups trade.

A. Hermitt published the best Personal Finance coverage during the month of October. Read here to learn why it is always a good idea to set aside money for emergencies, even in a time where we seemingly live on credit.

Be sure to stop by the winners' CP profiles and congratulate them!

Finally, the announcement: AC's Design Team is very excited to share the news that a site redesign is coming soon! Within the next few weeks you'll see a launch in beta of a fantastic new look for Associated Content. We're all thrilled about it and we're sure that you'll be wowed, too. More on this soon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Town Hall This Wednesday on Creative Writing

Attention, Creative Writers. This week's Town Hall is for you!

On Wednesday, November 19 at8:00 pm EST, Content Manager James Kerley will be leading a discussion of creative writing for Associated Content. If you haven't taken the time to explore the ACCW section, click through to view some featured selections.

James, a recent recipient of a Master's in Fine Art for Creative Writing and a member of the editorial staff for many literary journals, will talk about some of AC's Creative Writing contests and the opportunities for feedback on your creative writing.

This Town Hall is a must for anyone who enjoys writing creatively and wants to share their work with the AC community. Click here to sign up for Wednesday's Town Hall.

Friday, November 14, 2008

November's Best of AC Awards are Open

It's that time again! Let Associated Content know who is producing excellent content on any of the topics below. You can even nominate yourself.

For the month of November, we'll be giving out Best of AC Awards to CPs producing extraordinary content in each of these categories:

Shopping Guides
College Preparation
Winter Holidays

Full details on the Best of AC Awards can be found here. If you would like to nominate yourself or another worthy CP for consideration in any of these categories, please visit the nominations thread in the forum.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nominate Associated Content in Mashable's Open Web Awards

Like Associated Content? Think that others would be interested in learning about AC, too?
Then please take a minute and head over to Mashable to nominate us for their Open Web Awards. The whole url is here:
Please nominate us for "Social News" or "How To" categories.

In their own words, the contest is "the only multilingual international online voting competition that covers major innovations in web technology." Associated Content's proprietary technology that determines the value of your content, pays you accordingly and enables you to earn from publishing it with us is certainly innovative enough to warrant a quick nomination trip to Mashable.

Nominations will be held from November 5th till November 16th 2008 and the voting rounds will be held from November 19th till December 15th. I'll ask for your votes once nominations have ended.

Vote for AC!

More Love for the Associated Content Portal on Facebook

After Monday's announcement of the AC Portal, people have been adding it to their Facebook profiles like crazy. As of Wednesday night, 700 of AC's Friends had added the app.

We're starting to hear people talk about it outside of Facebook and official AC forums, too. Yesterday the Top Ten Tech Web Tips blog posted about the AC Portal. They said that we are, "A good example of a company that gets it, AC continues to grow, and might just one day eclipse some old world media companies if they can keep riding this wave…"

Darn right. The blog post about the Facebook app is just below or you can click here to read it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Announcing the new AC Portal on Facebook

As promised, the new Associated Content Facebook application launched last week. The Associated Content Portal is an excellent way for Content Producers who are on Facebook to promote their content within the world's most popular social network.

Below is a walk through of all of the functions of the AC Portal on Facebook. Pay attention, because this is far more useful than throwing a sheep.

If you're already on Facebook, you can add the AC Portal by following this link.

If you aren't a member of Facebook, consider joining as a way to connect with friends, family and colleagues. Your teenager might not want to "friend" you but don't let that put you off from this fun and useful tool.

Once you've installed the application, go to this article by AC_Darnell for instructions on getting started. Make sure that you complete all of the steps.

What does the Associated Content Portal on Facebook do? I'm so glad that you asked.
  • It enables you to share content with your Facebook friends. Think of how this will help your page views!
  • It allows you to generate a content widget. The widget will appear in your Facebook profile. You control what content you share with the world. This widget shows your Associated Content byline and links to your profile page back on AC.
  • The AC Portal displays a feed featuring up to 200 pieces of your published content including the publish date, links to the articles and the estimated page views for each piece.
  • Privately, the Portal displays relevant information (only visible to you) about your Associated Content account. You can see how many messages you have in your inbox, your Clout Level, estimated performance payments, the full list of new Calls for Content™ and what's happening in the forum.
  • Finally, you can invite your Facebook friends to join Associated Content and increase your number of referrals.

The AC Portal is very easy to install and will be a great promotional tool for Content Producers. If you're not already a member of the AC Facebook group click here to join. Looking forward to seeing you on there.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thank you for the Super Political Coverage

If you visited Associated Content on Election Day, you probably noticed that the home was page lit up with original political coverage from our Content Producers.

We had up-to-the minute coverage from many talented CPs who were filing updates throughout the day and evening of the election. It was an excellent showcase for Associated Content's depth, timeliness and commitment to providing a platform of unique perspective. And of course for the talents of our contributors!

Tim Skillern, AC's intrepid News Director, was responsible for much of the programming. Yesterday he published an article called "AC's 2008 Homepage Election Coverage: 36 Hours of Analysis, Reports, Predictions and Fun" to showcase the 9 Content Producers who made up Associated Content's homepage election coverage team. These folks wrote in 10 shifts starting early on Tuesday and wrapped up late on Wednesday. They covered all types of news, both national and local, and did a stellar job with the breadth and quality of their reporting.

Thank you CPs who contributed to AC's election coverage and thank you Tim for your tireless efforts! Get ready for the inauguration in January.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Town Hall Tonight and October's Best New Content Producers

Welcome to a post-election world, Associated Content blog followers. Now that most of the results are in, there will be more time to focus on other things, like getting page view numbers up and earning extra $$ before the holidays! There are a few news items on tap tonight.

First is a Town Hall. Tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 5th at 8:00 pm ET, Content Manager Gina Foianini is leading a session on Tips for New Content Producers. Gina will cover tips and tricks on Associated Content that all new Content Producers should be aware of. She will also discuss topics like citing sources, what qualifies for Upfront Payment and how to find good topics as a beginner with Associated Content.

If you're a new CP this is a must-attend event and if you're a more experienced CP this is a great refresher course. Click here to sign up.

Next order of business are October's Best New Content Producers! Please join me in congratulating the following people on their exemplary start at Associated Content.

T. S. Aschenge
is a freelance writer in Atlanta, GA who writes fascinating articles on food, cooking and the life of a chef. Check out the intriguingly titled "Secret Life of Vinaigrettes."

Next is Texan Heather Belle, who is a font of wedding planning advice. She also publishes informative restaurant and product reviews. Read "Surviving a Difficult Economy as Newlyweds" for some indispensable wisdom.

Last but not least is Jennifer Wagner. A resident of Jacksonville, NC, Jennifer is already a Clout 4 after a month of writing articles on parenting, pets and even a few recipes. Get inspired to bake a seasonal treat when you read her pumpkin roll recipe.

Well done, Best New CPs! Welcome to Associated Content and keep up the good work.