Goodbye Associated Content — a Personal Perspective

by on March 7th, 2015
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November 30, 2011. Today is the last day of Associated Content (AC).

But don’t worry. If everything happens as planned (it better), then tomorrow it would have resurrected as [to be announced]. Yahoo! has really been so secretive on what the new domain name will be. But chances are by the time you get to read this you will have already known what it shall be called.

Associated Content was started in 2005 and Yahoo! bought it in May of 2010.

And for better or for worse, the original AC contributing writers embraced their new masters, their new domain and the new guidelines that came with it. And they continued to write for the online platform, this time also having the opportunity to write for and get published in Yahoo! websites and partner sites. They made such a great job at it, AC continues to be tagged as “the world’s largest source of community-created contentTM.”

Although, I am pretty sure that AC’s first year with Yahoo! was full of growing aches and pains with so much twists and turns that would have made mere mortal beings sick and nauseous.

I joined AC (under the Yahoo! Contributor Network) way past all those initial kinks and conks. I actually signed up about a year later in March of 2011. And I was so excited I didn’t write anything for the next two weeks. In fact I didn’t publish my very first article until after three.

Now, the funny part is that the first article I submitted for consideration didn’t even publish in Associated Content! Instead it got published in a Yahoo! Website (in Yahoo! News no less). And I only got to find out about it three days later, yes and it was old news by then. After that I got my very first Associated Content article published a handful of days afterwards.

Now, eight months later, this is going to be my 88th AC article (not counting articles which I wrote and got published in Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports and other Yahoo! sites).

It has been a great (but bumpy) ride so far. For the most part because for a long time since I got here, I was always checking and looking at my few hundred and then a few thousand page views. And doing so, I can’t help but feel discouraged even embarrassed because to me, my numbers seem to be increasing at a very, very slow rate. And this is particularly true when I read articles from original AC contributors and get mesmerized by their millions of PVs and their 5 to 6 digit additional PVs in a single day. Amazing!

But then I find out and realize that even these highly successful, seasoned and very talented contributors were complaining with their dwindling PVs (and paychecks). And I go ask myself, “it used to be better than this for them?”

So what gives? Yes, Panda did. No actually Google Panda didn’t give them any, in fact it took away from them. Because before I joined AC, Google had made a change in the search algorithm of their very popular search engine. With this smart (read almost illegal or unfair) business move, Google singled out AC and a few other sites and labeled them with a most derogatory term, as “content farms”. And they have relegated these site’s contents almost unsearchable, hence unreachable, unread and unpaid.

And then I rejoiced and told myself all my PVs up until now are all post-Panda and post all the Panda updates! And that should be reason enough to be happy at my PV numbers. Yahoo!

But getting past the numbers, I now truly enjoy writing not for the numbers but for myself and for a few friends and fans who still continue to encourage and motivate me to write and to share what is inside my mind and my heart.

Starting December 1, 2011, we will begin a new season in AC. It will no longer be known as Associated Content but AC contributors who have seen all the changes that happened to it and continue to happen to it, will once again embark on a new online journey and turn a leaf on a new chapter. And as I now humbly join this remarkable group composed of lovely and helpful people, we will all face all the consequences of this new change–the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly. And all those, we will need to accept.

And just like the most recent AC change that happened only a couple of months ago, when AC contributors needed to log-in into their accounts using a Yahoo! account there will be new adjustments that will come with the new change (I know this new transition is totally different, a thousand times more painful and most probably the most chaotic).

For one, gone is the multiple page format of AC. And in is the single page article format, as used by Yahoo! websites and most other sites. Second, all the URLs to all past AC articles will be changed and so if you have written links to any of them, you will need to eventually edit all that, that is if you are able to. Change, for better or for worse, it is inevitable. And so we struggle past it and we even embrace it.

So goodbye Associated Content. Goodbye AC. And hello to a new open publishing platform where writers and aspiring writers are still able to share their passion with hundreds of millions of people worldwide. I just did! Thank you for reading.

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