Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Let a Zillion Users Blab: Yahoo Debuts "Contributor Network"

Yahoo is debuting a new offering for its hundreds of million of users, which takes the Demand Media model and notches up the volume by presumably allowing a thousand flowers to bloom.

Or, more to the point, blab.

The Internet giant is “inviting people to contribute to many of its most popular sites with the launch of the Yahoo Contributor Network, a new platform for people to publish their creative content on Yahoo!.”

This all comes out of its recent acquisition of Associated Content.

It’s an interesting gambit, since everyone is already yammering away like mad on Facebook.

But Yahoo is trying to put a spin on it by using its copious content assets as inspiration for consumers, and which the Silicon Valley social networking giant does not have.

Yet!

(By the way, Mao Tse-Tung’s whole phrase in his famous speech was: “Let a thousand flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend.” After that happened all over the place, a brutal crackdown was then initiated.)

Let’s hope Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz does not do that, but here is the company’s official press release:

Yahoo! Adds the Voice of the People With the Launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network

Yahoo! Invites You to Reach Millions of People by Contributing to Its Popular Content Sites, Including the Yahoo! Homepage

SUNNYVALE, Calif., November 15, 2010– Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) today is inviting people to contribute to many of its most popular sites with the launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, a new platform for people to publish their creative content on Yahoo!. The Yahoo! Contributor Network is an evolution of the Associated Content platform and will bring contributions from more than 400,000 writers, photographers, and videographers to the Internet’s largest media destinations, including Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, and even the Yahoo! homepage, among many others.

“The launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network is a great example of how Yahoo! is executing against its content strategy. In less than six months since the acquisition of Associated Content, we’ve completely retooled the platform in order to bring the people’s voice to Yahoo!,” said Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo!. “Bringing this authentic perspective to Yahoo!’s most popular sites will deepen our engagement with the millions of people who visit us every day and provide new opportunities for creative contributors who participate in the Yahoo! experience.”

The Yahoo! Contributor Network extends Yahoo!’s position as the leading provider of high-quality, personally relevant content by bringing the diverse perspectives of more than 400,000 contributors to Yahoo!’s existing media portfolio. The new platform invites all Yahoo! users to become a part of the Yahoo! experience by sharing their perspectives and expertise, and also lets Yahoo! editors quickly and efficiently assign and select crowdsourced contributions for all of Yahoo!’s media properties. These contributions–which span topics from niche to mainstream–complement the programming already provided by Yahoo!’s award-winning editorial team and content partners.

“With the launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, our contributors now have an unprecedented opportunity for exposure and distribution across Yahoo!’s portfolio,” said Luke Beatty, vice president and general manager, Yahoo!. “Associated Content has been known for maintaining the industry’s largest contributor base, and with the launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, we’ve added scale and reach that sets us apart from any other crowdsourced media platform.”

The Yahoo! Contributor Network is the culmination of a months-long effort to merge the strengths of Associated Content and Yahoo!, following the announcement of Yahoo!’s acquisition of Associated Content in May 2010. The Associated Content From Yahoo! library will continue to serve as the official digital library for all content generated by the Yahoo! Contributor Network. It remains one of the world’s largest sources of community-created content, with over two million contributions spanning text, images, video, and audio.

The Yahoo! Contributor Network also sets performance payment guidelines for content featured on Yahoo! sites, and has a dashboard that provides full transparency into how each contributor’s content performs. For more information, visit: http://contributor.yahoo.com.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work