Exactly five years ago today, our first piece of content worked its way through our publishing process – Managing Diabetes by a freelancer named Steve, followed by an article about Riedel wine glasses written by a terrific professional food and wine reporter from the now defunct Rocky Mountain News. Some of the Contributors (or “Content Producers,” as they were known back then) who joined us in our first months are still publishing on Associated Content, including Jeff Gedgaud, Emma S., A. Hermitt, Timothy Sexton (our first-ever “CP of the Year”) and Crystal Ray (2009’s “Contributor of the Year”). Each of these individuals has created more than a thousand pieces of original content and reached millions of readers.
It's funny to look back on our early goals, because what seemed wildly ambitious at the time now seems quaint. We wanted to publish a library with half a million pieces of content and boast more traffic than similar start-ups like Squidoo and Gather. Needless to say, we passed those milestones long ago, fueled by the passion of our amazing community of Contributors and staff members. In these five years, our ragtag group of online innovators has grown into a team of more than 60 talented individuals, supporting a scalable platform that publishes the fine work of 350,000 Contributors, who have submitted 2 million articles, videos, slideshows and audio clips.
So where does that put us now, at the dawn of our sixth year in online publishing? As anyone can see, the internet economy has evolved and our innovative business model now relies on ceaseless execution – assembling the largest, most talented, most diverse group of content creators on the planet; building game-changing technology; and supporting our incredible community of Contributors. We are proud of what we've achieved, and we know how much further we have to go.
Big changes are already in the works, including a bold upgrade to the look of our site (see preview below). We just rolled out a new look for our Movies category, and more Associated Content categories will be re-launching in the coming year, complete with tailored designs and new functionality. Our Contributors can also look forward to new opportunities to participate in our platform at a deeper level. Stay tuned to our blog for details on all of these initiatives.
The new article page - launching soon! Click to enlarge.
At this time, I'd like to offer heartfelt thanks, to:
- the endlessly creative and perfectly diverse contributors who have helped us build a library of two million pieces of unique, engaging content;
- the dedicated team that ensures that Associated Content continues to climb;
- the visitors who have thrust this library into the top 50 sites on the Web; and
- the multitude of media and technology companies, large and small, who have partnered with us.
Five years ago, we saw the need for something called "The People's Media Company" because we knew that traditional media models would have to face more innovative and inclusive models. They have. And now our next set of wildly ambitious goals seems similarly daunting: millions of Contributors, billions of page views and a continually innovating platform that applies efficiency and scale to the industry. When we look back in five years, I hope (and predict) that the Associated Content of 2015 will make these ambitions look quaint.
-Luke Beatty, Associated Content Founder & President