Associated Content Rebrands As ‘Yahoo Contributor Network’

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has completed the integration of freelance aggregator Associated Content and is rebranding it the Yahoo Contributor Network. The move follows Yahoo’s acquisition of the company last May, as well as it’s local content partnership that was signed between the two a year ago. As Associated Content co-founder Luke Beatty told paidContent, beyond the rebranding, the integration will offer the service’s freelance contributors the kind of prominence that the professional journalists across Yahoo’s news, sports, finance and other content verticals.

Personal touch: Yahoo had mostly been using Associated Content to provide local feature items. But now, those freelancers will get an expanded playing field on which to roam as part of a wider use of “crowdsourced content” by Yahoo editors.

While the Yahoo Contributor Network will still rely heavily on the search algorithms to drive requests for freelance stories, Yahoo’s professional editors will also be expected to make queries. Beatty was adamant that the freelancers are not intended as replacements for the professional staff of journalists that Yahoo employs. Instead, he sees their posts as complements to the regular news reporting. “If there’s a sports story, we can get someone to write about how it looks from their community,” Beatty said. “Or if there’s a news story about the mortgage crisis, one of the contributors can discuss how they’ve avoided those pitfalls. It will augment the content we already have on the site with a more personal touch.”

Minor league content system: Over the weekend, AdAge ran a story about an contributor who made a credible boast of earning about $100,000 from supplying content to the site network, whose executives have often made a point of trying to be seen as separate from Associated Content and Demand Media.

Beatty didn’t discuss what rivals may be paying out, but he did say that Yahoo contributors should be able realize higher earnings under the integrated system. “Our content creators get paid according to traffic, and since Yahoo has more traffic than Associated Content, that should boost their earnings,” Beatty said. “But we also think of it as a minor league journalism system. They’ll have a chance to make it to the top of Yahoo’s channel pages. There will be more exposure for people who write great sports stories and it will move their careers, if that’s what they want.” Release