Monday, December 19, 2011

Skyword gets $6 million investment

I just heard that Skyword, a company that produces content for brand-name companies, including Pampers, Bounty (paper towels), and Gather, announced today that Cox Media Group had invested 6 million dollars to "expand the Skyword platform to address new markets, and grow Skyword’s sales, marketing and client services functions." (That's from the company's press release.)

My take is this: The content site industry has two types of sites: (1) ad-supported open-platform sites, where companies create structured spaces where anyone can write articles about anything, and (2) broker sites, where companies bring together publishers and pre-screened writers and make money by taking a percentage of the writers' fees.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Suite101 kicked out of Google News - and admits to gaming the system

Photo by BeeThalin

Many content sites have been kicked out of Google News, but usually they pretend to be shocked and/or they accuse Google of picking on them without cause.  This is the first time, that I know of, that someone at one of the sites has admitted that they didn't really care about the news they were producing.
"We began indexing articles in Google News in April 2010 as a purely SEO-driven initiative: the goals at the time were less to give reporters a platform or audiences a publication as to nab greater search traffic. With an English-language market well equipped with serious news organizations, to even think about competing you really have to mean it. As a group, we never really did."  -- Michael Kedda, Editor-in-chief, Suite 101, in a memo posted internally in Suite 101 for the site's authors 
That's quite an admission.  Full memo after the jump:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Et tu, WiseGeek?



WiseGeek -- the third content site to make a major announcement in the past two days -- announced it will stop publishing new content in January.  (Hat tip to Rena, again, and to the Demand Studios General Discussion Forum.)

Bright Hub is going to stop paying revenue share

Starting December 15, Bright Hub will no longer pay revenue share on its articles.  (Hat tip, again, to Rena for the info).

I hate to say "I told you so" (okay, I lied -- I love to say "I told you so"), but people who write for revenue share, thinking it will fund their retirement, need to think again.   Check your contracts.  Most of the content-ste companies can stop paying revenue share at any time, for any reason -- and still keep your articles.  Or the companies may continue to pay, but secretly tinker with their secret formulas so that you will get a smaller percentage of the total income -- without ever knowing what happened. Then where will all your hard work have gotten you?

Excerpts from the memo the company sent to its contributors are after the jump:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Associated Content" is now "Yahoo! Voices"

The "Associated Content" name and domain are gone, may they rest in peace.  All AC content was moved to the voices.yahoo.com domain, except for our profile pages, which are still at contributor.yahoo.com.

In case you haven't seen it, there's an official introductory memo that seems to explain everything.

Textbroker is opening a new site for UK English


Textbroker opened a new site today -- textbroker.co.uk -- for writing assignments in British, Canadian, and Australian English. Payment is in euros. (Hat tip to Rena for the info.)  You can find out more in the press release.

Editing to add: The new site is open only to writers outside the U.S. because of tax issues.
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