Thursday, February 25, 2010

Confirming Your PayPal Account

We recently updated our connection with PayPal in order to process Associated Content payments more efficiently. As a result, you will need to re-confirm the email address associated with your PayPal account in order to continue receiving payments.

The process takes less than a minute. Just click “Confirm Your PayPal Account” on your Account Dashboard to get started:

Once your PayPal email address is confirmed, your payments will resume immediately.

Log on, and confirm now!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

January 2010 Award Winners

We'd like to congratulate the winner's of Associated Content's January 2010 awards!

Best of AC: Fitness, Technology & Travel

Our monthly Best of AC awards recognize the achievements of Contributors publishing extraordinary content in a wide range of topics. January's winners are:

Best of AC: Fitness & Exercise -- Josephine McCulley
Josephine McCulley is new to Associated Content, but this personal trainer and Featured Health & Wellness Contributor has already distinguished herself with a series of beautifully written and formatted Fitness & Exercise guides. If you've been slacking on your 2010 New Year's resolutions, her roundup of Four Surprising Benefits of Exercise might give you a few more reasons to get back on track.

Best of AC: Technology Reviews -- Phil Dotree
Audiophile and gadget enthusiast Phil Dotree has published more than 700 engaging, insightful and often funny Technology articles on Associated Content since 2006. Wanna know how to get your entertainment fix without footing a hefty cable bill each month? Check out his review of Netflix Instant View.

Best of AC: Winter Travel -- Cassandra James
In 2007, Cassandra James published her first piece on Associated Content: an account of her decision to make Thailand her new home. Since then, she has contributed more than 700 travel articles to the AC library, most of them based on personal experience as an British-American ex-pat living in Bangkok. Her profile is a wealth of information for anyone who's planning to travel to Thailand, Malaysia, the U.K. or any of the other places Cassandra has lived and traveled.

Rising Stars

Our Rising Star awards shine a spotlight on some of our most promising new Contributors. January's winners are...

Cynthia Ann started publishing in November, and she has already risen to a Clout 7 with 115 pieces of content. Her infectious enthusiasm has earned the affection of the community, who came out in droves to nominate her for this award. Make sure to read her Summer Camps for Children with Special Needs.

Prolific tech reviewer and Featured Contributor Timothy Knuth has already published 40 incredibly informative pieces since joining at the end of October. Thinking about upgrading to Windows 7? Be sure to read Migrating Windows XP or Vista Profile to Windows 7.

Cindy Tuttle could win this award for sheer volume of contributions (over 400 since December), but it's her positive contributions to the AC community that really sets her apart. What is a Spiritual Retreat? is a great example of her spiritually-inclined and community-minded style.

Disability rights activist and advocate Anita Cameron brings a unique perspective to the AC library and community. Don't miss her excellent contribution to our Haitian Relief Content Drive: Whirlwind Wheelchair International: Bringing Wheelchairs to Haitian Disabled.

Last, but certainly not least: Kay Balbi's diverse areas of interest, solid grasp of SEO and strong personal voice have all contributed to her early success. Bathroom Floor Tiling - Do It Yourself in 10 Steps is a great example of her propensity to create strong, evergreen content.

Congratulations to all of these talented winners!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Update: Haitian Relief Content Drive

Over 300 contributors heeded the our call and created content for our Haitian Relief Content Drive. All together, 500 donated editorials, news pieces, local stories, creative fundraising ideas and other powerful firsthard accounts raised a combined $2,500 for the International Relief Committee (IRC). Additional money was raised based on the performance of this content, generating a total donation of $2,784.

Reports on local fundraising events and awareness campaigns dominated the contributions. This map is a visual representation of just a sampling of our nationwide content:

CommunityWalk Map - Associated Content's Haitian Relief Content Drive

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this campaign – Associated Content’s first content drive for charity – and helped make it a success. Together, we've provided substantial support to an organization that's making a profound impact on many lives.

If you're intereted in learning more about the International Rescue Committee's ongoing efforts to help earthquake vicitms in Haiti, be sure to follow IRC's President, George Rupp, on Associated Content.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Big Changes at Associated Content

It's a big week for Associated Content! We just celebrated our 5th anniversary in online publishing, and we're ushering in our sixth year with a bold set of changes to the look and feel of our site. We hope you'll be as excited about the new Associated Content as we are.

Big Change #1: We have a new logo!

Gone are the days of the big, blocky AC. This company is powered by your content and your voice - and with this new logo, we're shouting about it from the top of every page!

Big Change #2: We're launching a new article template!

Our design team is always looking for ways to make the visitor experience richer and more engaging. With 2009's Halloween and Thanksgiving themes, as well as the brand new Movies theme, we began testing a new article page layout that we're ready to bring to the rest of the site. The new pages feature more prominent images, better ad placement, bigger share links and opportunities to bring complementary content onto each page (like movie details next to your review of Avatar). We'll be rolling out more custom themes for individual Associated Content categories - from Automotive to Travel - throughout the coming year. Stay tuned!

Big Change #3: Our first AC Labs experiment was a success... Say Hello to your new Account page!

For over a month, our community had the opportunity to test out a variety of new features, including a stats-rich dashboard, an enhanced payment queue, better content controls and a shared image library. With your input, we were able to improve the interface in a number of different ways, and now we're ready to flip the switch on all of these upgrades. Thanks for all of your help!

We hope you like the new face of Associated Content. As always, if you have any feedback or ideas, don't hesitate to leave a comment here or email

Monday, February 1, 2010

Five years in, where our ambitions lie

The end of 2009 marked the 5th anniversary of Associated Content – a media company that came into existence when I quit my job in the online search and taxonomy world, believing that if we built the Web’s first content marketplace, we could organically grow the largest collection of quality content and contributors on the web. One month later, I convinced Leonardo, the origin of most everything, to leave his newspaper job and come aboard. We started building code, analyzing text and tracking the value of every new submission.

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