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>Associated Content Discriminates Lawfully

>Saturday, January 10, 2009

Associated Content Discriminates Lawfully By Playing Favorites

If You’re a Writer, Associated Content Can Help

Is discrimination always a nasty, illegal act designed to hurt someone? What might appear to an outsider as discrimination sometimes is done by a person or a company for perfectly honest, reasonable, and understandable reasons.

Take Associated Content, for example, established in November 2004 by Luke Beatty. It is based in Denver, Colorado , with business development offices in New York City .

There was some controversy over the presence of Tim Armstrong, head of advertising for Google in North America, when he was on AC’s board. According to Elinor Mills, some marketing professionals have suggested the tactics used by AC in attempting to gain revenue, such as ensuring keyword placement in articles, are gaming the system and that Armstrong’s presence was a gray area. However, others contend that these are legitimate tactics used by many content providers.

Publishing platform
In addition to text content (articles), AC has categories for video, audio, and slide shows. There is also an online community where users share their expertise, network and voice opinions.

In contrast to many user-generated content sites, AC does pay many users for content up front. Articles are usually required to have at least 400 words, and may include pictures from approved sources. “Calls for Content” are another source of article ideas and income for writers. AC displays predefined article titles and users can “claim” the article, possibly for pay. Other content producers can also suggest article ideas to a user.

Only authors who are over 18 years old and are US citizens or legal residents are eligible for up-front payments. But in my view, that is not discrimination. I have a law degree and tons of experience, so I should know. The inordinate expense of keeping track of multi-country taxes is the reason foreigners can’t get upfront payments. That’s a business decision, not discrimination. Neither is the way AC pays its writers, because users get to choose to convey exclusivity and receive up-front payments plus merit payments or to just receive CPM (cost per thousand), retaining the right to re-publish, or just display rights..

AC writers may submit content for publication without an up-front payment. Slide shows and fiction submissions generally do not receive up-front payments. All articles written by users who agree to the contract are eligible to receive payments based on the number of times their content is viewed.

AC claims not to exercise any editorial control over content, sending work back to users only for “polishing” and rejecting work only for violations of the site’s terms of use and guidelines. Beatty correctly claims their content is “all about content”.

This is an American company that organized as an open content network and their dollar-and-cents reason for only allowing American citizens to receive upfront payments is not a violation of any laws. I would operate exactly the same way if I were Luke Beatty. AC’s platform enables anyone in the world to participate in the new content economy by publishing content on any topic, in any format (text, video, audio and images), and connects that content to consumers, partners and advertisers.

If you’ve ever tried to get a magazine or newspaper to publish and pay for your articles, you must agree, AC is a godsend.

But to keep taxes simple, AC offers U.S. citizens one advantage foreigners do not enjoy, upfront payment for content. Some say upfront payments are almost always $7 to $15, but it must be content they want to publish. I accepted $2.24 as my first upfront payment on a very good article, but at that time I didn’t understand what others were getting and it lacked photos. I won’t complain, unless that happens again. And the way I will complain is to submit the content to Idea Marketers or Hub Pages or someone else.

Again, that is not discrimination. It’s a business decision and I’ll leave it at that, though in my case I believed the story was worth a whole lot more as you would for your material. If I were a foreigner and couldn’t survive without upfront payments, I would take my business elsewhere. That’s the essence of our free enterprise system, isn’t it? No one owes us a living. If content is viewed by others as great, it will be properly rewarded. That’s my view, though some may say that is naive.

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AC’s platform enables anyone to participate in the new content economy by publishing content on any topic, in any format (text, video, audio and images), and connects that content to consumers, partners and advertisers.

Content Producers benefit in three major ways beyond the opportunity to publish: fair payment compensation, online discoverability and distribution through AC’s partner sites. Anyone can become a Content Producer. If you like to write articles, take pictures, or use content of others in magazines, ezines, advertising, or other purposes give AC a try. Click here to learn more and sign up with AC.

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>Mother Nature Discriminates Against The Globe

>Global Warming Spawns Icy, Winter Storms, Vexing Travelers In Northern States

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CHICAGO – Hundreds of holiday travelers spent the night in the nation’s second busiest airport celebrating Global Warming. Forget Christmas.

Others faced delayed or canceled flights and highways choked by snow and ice as promises of Global Warming abounded, despite obvious storms. But the Al Gores of the world were out proclaiming it’s always darkest before sunrise. Bear with us a little longer, they say, our scientists have proclaimed Global Warming is real, so in just a few more days Global Warming will manefest itself with Florida-like temps.

More snow fell Wednesday in the Midwest, where the National Weather Service said up to 4 inches was possible in Chicago. The Northwest faced more snow and sleet early Wednesday, with up to 20 inches possible in the Cascade range. And more snow and ice spread over the Northeast and the skiers are loving it.

“We’re seeing quite a bit of messiness out there,” said weather service meteorologist Ed Shimon, who’s been at work at the agency’s Lincoln, Ill., office for six straight days, a period when the state has seen snow, ice and subzero temperatures. “It’s something different every day — never a dull moment.” He, too, has been fooled by the machinations of Global Warming nuts. If you look closely, you can see these Gore-ites standing out in freezing weather with icicles forming on their long red noses, trying to figure out what went wrong.

Thanks to their miscalculations, about 500 travelers had to spend the night at Chicago’s O’Hare International, the nation’s second busiest airport, after stormy weather canceled more than 500 flights Tuesday, said Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride.

To make the disciples of Al Gore and Global Warming look even worse, more than 100 flights were canceled at O’Hare on Wednesday. On Tuesday, cancellations totaled more than 500.

South of Portland, Ore., where our architect friend, Brandon Francom, stood out in the cold for several hours for his bus that didn’t come, crews shut down a section of Interstate 205 at Oregon City because a buildup of ice and snowbanks, said Dave Thompson, public affairs manager of Oregon Department of Transportation. The department also was requiring tire chains on all highways. Leave the car in the garage, Brandon. Stay home, don’t go out. Those Beaver State people don’t know how to drive on ice anyway. . .Global Warming is not true–bad weather the past three years has proven that.