Friday, January 22, 2010

Content of the Year Winners

The 4th Annual People's Media Awards are complete, and we at AC are proud to announce our five Content of the Year winners. These spectacular pieces aren't just the best of 2009; they stand among the best content we've ever had the privilege of publishing on AC.

Each of the five winners will receive $500.00 and, of course, lifelong bragging rights. Congratulations to all!

Galapagos Islands Threatened by the Wrong Kind of Tourism -- Brad Sylvester

This article takes on an unusual, compelling subject and its author goes above and beyond in his research. Brad Sylvester interviewed an expert and seamlessly incorporated the interview into his article.

Speech, speech!

Confessions of a Bone Collector -- Rochelle Connery

Talk about unique! This is a quirky personal narrative that you wouldn't find anywhere else on the web or in print media. Rochelle Connery takes readers on a funny, slightly grotesque tour of her unusual hobby.

Speech, speech!

Challenge for Metro Detroit Charities: Fewer Donors, More People in Need -- Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson's news writing is on par with that found in any major newspaper. Thompson's interviews, statistics and opinions create a striking snapshot of working America during a recession.

Speech, speech!

A Widow's View on the U.S. Health Care Debate -- B.L. Boitson

B.L. Boitson shares painful memories of her late husband's battle with cancer, and in the process illustrates that the health care debate isn't a matter of black and white or good versus evil.

Speech, speech!

Coping with a Child's Cancer Diagnosis -- Maria Roth

Maria has written several articles about her daughter's leukemia, but this selection was particularly poignant and useful to other families in the same situation. Far from being morbid or depressing, Maria's writing about her daughter's cancer treatment showcases the Roth family's strength and positivity.

Speech, speech!

But wait!

There's more!

I know I said we'd chosen five pieces as Content of the Year, but there's still a sixth award to announce.

Say Yes to Happiness -- Betty Malone

Betty Malone, a contributor who was very active and much loved in our community, sadly passed away on November 17, 2009. We're honoring her memory and her impact on our community with a special memorial award. Betty never got to write the biography she'd often talked about, but this article stands as a testimony to the challenges she overcame and her unique insight into the human condition. We'll make a donation in her honor to and we're gathering loving memories of Betty from our community to share with her family. If you'd like to share your favorite special memory of Betty, please send a private message to me (AC Jelena).

Congratulations to all the winners, and here's to a great 2010 in the AC Community. Don't forget to check out our contributors of the year, too!

2009 People's Media Awards: Contributors of the Year

We are very excited to announce the winners of Associated Content's 2009 People's Media Awards!

From hundreds of nominations submitted by our community, five winners were selected as our contributors of the year.
Each honoree exemplifies the spirit of Associated Content's publishing platform and content community - be sure to visit their profiles, check out their wonderful content and send them a note of congratulations!

The winners of the 4th Annual PMAs...

Contributor of the Year: Crystal Ray
Crystal Ray joined Associated Content just a few months after the 2005 launch, and has been producing a steady stream of engaging, evergreen articles ever since. From her very first piece of content ("How to Make a Seascape Gel Candle") to more recent articles like "Food Storage Solutions for a Small Home," Crystal's AC profile is a wealth of useful information in Home Improvement, Gardening, Lifestyle and more. All in all she has published close to 1,900 articles that have racked up a staggering 14 million page views. In 2009 alone, she created 450 pieces and created more than 6 million satisfying experiences for her readers. In addition to sharing her expertise with the outside world, Crystal has also helped scores of other contributors find their way over the years. Don't miss her indispensible guide Writing Headlines for AC. She previously won a Best of AC Award for Gardening content.

>> Read Crystal Ray's PMA acceptance speech

Community Spirit Award: Lyn Lomasi
This is the first year we're giving out a PMA for Community Spirit, and there could not be a more fitting honoree than the talented and inspiring Lyn Lomasi. Although she became an official "Community Guide" in 2009, she has been helping newbies and spreading her personal brand of practical positivity around the community ever since 2007 (when she was known as "Momie Toulottes"). Lyn is also an accomplished Contributor in her own right - this productive
momtrepreneur has published more than 800 articles on AC and entered the "page view millionaires" club in 2009. Earlier this week, Lyn celebrated her 3rd ACnniversary, marking three years of wonderful contributions to the AC library and community. Lyn previously won a Best of AC Award for Parenting content.

>> Read Lyn Lomasi's PMA acceptance speech

News Contributor of the Year: Saul Relative
Saul Relative is one of AC's most prolific and engaging news contributors. He applies a snarky and humorous bent on the headlines, tackling all topics and sparing no one. Whether he's writing on local news, political scandals or the latest entrant to the celebrity dead pool, Saul's sharp-edged style keeps his audience in the know and on their toes. He's also a prodigious record breaker. In July, Saul became the first Contributor to receive more than 1 million page views in a month and at the close of 2009, he logged the highest-ever annual performance with over 7 million views. Be sure to follow his profile for an entertaining take on the hottest news of the day!

>> Read Saul Relative's PMA acceptance speech

Rookie of the Year: Juniper Russo Tarascio
Juniper Russo Tarascio joined AC in late 2008. In the ensuing year, she followed in the footsteps of AC veterans like Crystal Ray by steadily building a library of vibrant, evergreen content. The information she shares is based on her expansive and diverse areas of interest and expertise; her profile notes that she's an "Eclectic Autodidact, Herbalist, Nutritionist, Doula, Activist, Vegetarian, Pet Guardian and Dedicated Mother" - and all of this comes across beautifully in the Health & Wellness, Lifestyle and Green Living content she creates. So far, she has published more than 400 articles and reached Clout 10 with over 400,000 views. This woman is going places - keep your eyes on her in the years to come!
Juniper previously won a Best of AC Award for Green Living content.

>> Read Juniper Russo's PMA acceptance speech

Audio / Video Contributor of the Year: Tiffany Pridgen
Tiffany Pridgen joined Associated Content in 2006 and created lots of fun and helpful how-to videos in 2009, including a variety of pieces that added an extra dimension to our Halloween and Thanksgiving hub pages. Whether she's helping you
hem a pair of pants without a sewing machine or showing you how to roast pumpkin seeds, her resourcefulness and calm, informative approach make her a natural teacher and guide. Her thorough and informative tutorials cover the basic essentials (How to Fold a Shirt) to the niche and specialized (How to Divide a Hosta Plant). Martha, move over!

>> Watch Tiffany Pridgen's PMA acceptance speech

Congratulations to all of this year's talented winners, and special thanks to our entire community of Contributors for the amazing work you published on Associated Content in 2009!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update: Haitian Relief Content Drive

More than 130 contributors have already contributed to our Haitian Relief Content Drive, and another 100 have claimed the assignment.

George Rupp, President of the International Rescue Committee, explains his organization’s mission in Haiti Donations Urgently Needed.

Nina Rotz provides a moving account of her own experience as a refugee in Why I feel Compassion for the Children of Haiti.

Janet Hunt helps us keep the tragedy in perspective with Why I was Too Busy to Help Haiti.

Carol Bengle Gilbert provides a snapshot of community aid efforts; while many contributors, including Lucinda Gunnin, Babblin’ Brook, Julia Bodeeb, Stacy Fisher and Marilia Kinney Sachteleben, suggest creative and inspiring ways for individuals to lend a helping hand. Read more inspiring and informative pieces here.

It’s not too late to participate! If you haven’t done so already, claim your “Help AC Raise $ for Haitian Relief Efforts” assignment today, or encourage a friend to join us and write for the cause. Submissions are due by this Friday at midnight. Together we’ve raised a projected $1,075… Let’s shoot for another 200 articles and another $1,000 for the IRC.

And remember, we’ll also going to match performance payments based on the traffic this content generates, so be sure to share your pieces far and wide!

Thanks to all who’ve already contributed to the cause – AC Contributors truly are writers without borders.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haitian Relief Content Drive

We've all heard stories and seen images of the devastation suffered by the people of Haiti in the aftermath of Tuesday's massive earthquake.

In addition to tens of thousands of deaths, aid groups have estimated that as many as 3 million Haitians are currently injured or homeless. Thankfully, an outpouring of support is coming from nations, organizations and individuals overseas - and the momentum is continuing to build.

From today until next Friday, January 22nd, Associated Content will be sponsoring a submission drive in support of the Haitian relief effort. We want you to help spread awareness of the situation in Haiti and encourage the people you reach to lend a helping hand.

Check your Assignment Desk – we just released an assignment calling on our amazing community of contributors to create a unique piece of content about the situation in Haiti and your own community's response to the tragedy.

For every submission we receive toward these assignments, Associated Content will donate $5 plus matched performance payments to the International Rescue Committee – up to a total of 500 submissions. The IRC needs funds for their Haitian campaign now, so please be sure to submit your pieces before Monday’s deadline. Click here to read more about this incredible organization’s response to the crisis.

The modest contributions we make together can have a profound impact. Thank you for being part of our team!

Check the AC Blog, Facebook page and Twitter profile for updates on our Haitian Relief Content Drive in the coming week.

Star-Studded Content

Some of AC's Arts & Entertainment content is about to get a lot flashier, thanks to a brand new design for movie articles we're rolling out later today.

The AC Movies theme features...
*A star-studded, new look and feel
*More prominent image placement
*A wealth of related content links and related data, including local show times, movie posters and cast/crew listings

Here's a sneak preview:

You'll see it on select movie articles starting later today, and we'll gradually roll it to more than 20,000 pieces of movie content in the AC library.

More Associated Content categories will be getting a total makeover in 2010 - and you can expect each new design to have a unique personality, and a custom set of bells and whistles to enhance the visitor experience. As always, we'll be looking closely at the way users interact and carefully refining each page to make sure the amazing content you create is as engaging as it can be.

We'd love to hear your first impressions! Post your comments and ideas here, or send your thoughts to

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Awards Season at AC

It's awards season at Associated Content! Here's the latest on the 4th Annual People's Media Awards, our latest set of Rising Stars and the upcoming topics for the 2010 Best of AC Awards:

First, we'd like to congratulate the winners of December's Rising Star Awards: Lorraine Blanco, Todd Jacobs, Patrick Howe, Anne Hart and Tal Boldo. (Read more about each of them here.)

Each of these talented newbies is off to a great start - be sure to stop by their profile and welcome them into the AC Community! While you're at it, take a moment to nominate your favorite new publishers for next month's awards here.

We're also pleased to announce the next set of Best of AC Award categories:

For the month of January, we'll be giving out awards for Fitness & Exercise, Technology Reviews and Winter Travel.

For February, we're giving out awards for Crafts & Hobbies, Dating & Relationships and Movies.

If you know any Contributors (yourself included) who regularly publish high quality content in any of these categories, be sure to log a nomination in the AC Forum: January Nominations | February Nominations.

Keep in mind: There is only one winner per category, and nominees must publish in the specific category during the month of the contest to qualify. As always, winners will receive a $100 bonus. From now on, they'll also receive package of 3 $15 assignments in the winning category!

In other news: We'll be announcing the winners of the 4th Annual People's Media Awards later this month! Our panel of judges is currently reviewing thousands of nominations submitted by AC's staff and community during the month of December, and preparing to make a very exciting and difficult decision - who and what will be named the top AC Contributors and Content of 2009! Stay tuned...