What happened on Associated Content in 2010? Contributors wrote content from tear-jerkers to scholarly analyses, breaking news and how-tos. For many contributors, there were also a few pieces that in retrospect they wished they’d never written. In the forum, questions surfaced with sincerity and sometimes with annoying repetitiveness: thousands of forum posts addressed topics as diverse as accomplishments, insights, innovations, site glitches, content thieves, industry news, and personal trials and triumphs. Each month, there were contests and each contest brought new winners. New contributors signed up to write for AC and community guides mentored them. Among all that activity, some events cry out to be recounted in this year in review.
January 2010 brought an earthquake to Haiti and an outpouring of aid from citizens around the world. Here at Associated Content, contributors did their part by becoming writers without borders, a joint AC-International Rescue Committee fundraising effort. Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben challenged fellow writers to contribute the earnings of four articles each, while IRC’s President George Rupp signed on as a guest contributor to keep AC’s readers posted on relief efforts on the ground. AC’s generous contributor community earned $2,784 for the Haiti relief effort.
The 2009 People’s Media Awards were announced: Crystal Ray was named contributor of the year; Lyn Lomasi received recognition for community spirit; Saul Relative earned the news contributor of the year title; Tiffany Pridgen saw her audio-video expertise recognized; and Juniper Russo Tarascio achieved rookie of the year status. Brad Sylvester, Rochelle Connery, Michael Thompson, B.L. Boitson, and Maria Roth won awards from producing 2009’s best content while an in-memoriam award honored a piece written by Betty Malone a beloved content producer who died in November.
In February, AC celebrated its 5th birthday. The AC blog reminisced about AC’s first piece of content and some inaugural contributors still publishing five years later, including Jeff Gedgaud, Emma S., A. Hermitt, Timothy Sexton and Crystal Ray. AC also rolled out a new look and a fresh logo.
March saw the launch of the Guest Contributors’ Program and the much-loved Hot 100 and Hot 500 profile badges to highlight monthly top performers. On March 2, 2010, AC broke 2 million in its content count.
Health care reform was big news in the spring, and contributors wrote about how the changes would affect them personally in April. A grass-roots effort also sprung up to show appreciation to AC’s unofficial cheerleader Lyn Lomasi by tweeting and sharing her articles.
The biggest news of the year excited the AC community in May. That’s when Yahoo! bought the company and set in motion the changes that would soon change our identity to the Yahoo! Contributors’ Network. AC’s founder Luke Beatty announced the acquisition on May 18 and Yahoo!’s editors were soon stopping by to welcome us to the team.
By June, contributors were starting to see their work published on the Yahoo! platforms. Michael Thompson and Patrick Michael were among the first to publish, while Maggie Miller found her Michael Jackson memorial featured on the sidebar at TMZ, one of AC’s partner sites, that month.
Contributor stories were popping up all over Yahoo! in July as contributors familiarized themselves with the Yahoo! style guide.
Eagerly anticipated new profile pages showed up in August giving contributors the opportunity to display featured content. Another feature long requested by contributors arrived in that makeover, the profile page content filter. The enlarged contributor photos caught some by surprise, but as with most site changes, contributors adjusted quickly.
In September, AC contributors provided content for Yahoo!’s Ask America project and for a retrospective on 9/11.
October brought the Halloween contest and the very sad news that two longtime contributors Regina Sass and Ron Amos passed away. Regina was one of 2009’s top 10 contributors. Both were well-respected writers on the site.
In November, AC officially became a little more purple as we embraced our new name, the Yahoo! Contributor Network. We also got word on the new payment structure for content published on several of the Yahoo! sites.
December has us pushing yellow buttons to nominate the most worthy contributors for Contributor of the Year and the most inspiring articles for content of the year awards in the Yahoo! Contributor Awards, the continuation of what was formerly known as the PMAs. We also weathered our own small part of the Wikileaks saga when payments were delayed due to paypal interruptions. The staff is preparing for a well-deserved holiday break from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3, 2011.
We reported the news, sometimes we were the news, writing on the Yahoo! family of platforms where every day each of “[our] voice[s] joins the world’s conversation.”