Because I wasn’t contributing posts to Yahoo! Contributor Network this time last year, I missed the shutdown announcement and the opportunity to copy and paste some of my favorite posts. The network became inaccessible as of July 31, 2014.
Gone, but not forgotten
It was a year ago and I’m not over it yet. But, retracing the steps leading up to what happened helps ease my pain and disappointment. I published nearly 400 articles and garnered 2.7 million views. I’m still very proud of that accomplishment. I took a lot of flak from sports fans who thought I didn’t deserve my spot, posting articles on Yahoo! Sports about MMA during my time as a beat reporter.
The time that I speat as a beat reporter for Yahoo! Sports was fun and exciting. My fascination with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) deepened as I watched fights and learned how to report on the world’s fastest growing sport.
What the End of Yahoo’s Contributor Network Means for Freelancers
The changes might be necessary for Yahoo’s long-term health, but for creatives trying to get by on a pitch and a paycheck, this announcement is delivering a significant blow. When the Contributor Network goes offline for good, all pieces published by Contributors—even on Yahoo sites like News and Finance—will disappear. Not only is one of the largest freelance platforms shutting down, but there won’t be any official evidence left proving most freelancers ever worked for Yahoo at all.
Yahoo will give final performance payments in August, but Contributors should act quickly to make sure they have evidence of their writing online. Freedom With Writing suggests a number of alternative websites to self-publish articles, including HubPages, which similarly offers traffic-based payments to writers. source
And more info from another source.
Panda Strikes Again: Yahoo Voices & The Yahoo Contributor Network Closing Down
Yahoo has announced another round of product cuts and changes, all part of what it calls a continued effort on “furthering our focus.”
The most notable cut announced today is the upcoming closure of both Yahoo Voices (voices.yahoo.com) and the Yahoo Contributor Network (contributor.yahoo.com).
The former is Yahoo’s home for user-generated articles; the latter is the network of authors that generates the content. Yahoo says that Voices will shut down on July 31st — a help document pegs the exact (and odd) time at 11:38 pm on July 30th. The Yahoo Contributor Network will follow “by the end of August.” No exact date is given.
Content that Yahoo published via the Voices site and other Yahoo properties like Yahoo News or Yahoo Sports will be removed from the web. Yahoo says some of the “work for hire” content that’s part of these services may remain on the web.
Yahoo Voices was born in 2011 out of the dust of Associated Content, a publishing site that Yahoo bought in 2010 — and a site that was creating about 10,000 new articles per week.
This all happened around the time of Google’s Panda algorithm, which specifically targeted so-called “content farms” like Associated Content — sites that produced vast amounts of content, at least some of which Google considered low quality. At our SMX West conference in 2011, Associated Content revealed that two-thirds of its content had suffered in the immediate aftermath of the Panda update.
When Yahoo shut down Associated Content in late 2011, it deleted 75,000 articles and moved the rest to Yahoo Voices, using a new domain in the hopes of starting fresh.
Yahoo’s announcement today makes no specific reference to the Panda update and its impact on Yahoo Voices, but the decision to shut it and the Yahoo Contributor Network down is another sign that the glory days of mass-produced user-generated content are over.
See Yahoo’s announcement for a list of other services and products that are being shut down or combined into other Yahoo products.
And one more person’s observations:
“Some writers were even given opportunities to publish on Yahoo News, Sports, and a variety of other Yahoo sites. As a matter of fact, some of my first non-self-published pieces were on Yahoo News and Yahoo Sports through the Contributor platform.
An unceremonious ending
However, not even these initiatives could save the site. Certain features, like beat assignments and special designations for top authors, began to disappear in 2013. Contributors reported a dearth of upfront payment opportunities, something that was a distinguishing factor for Yahoo Voices and attracted better talent. Authors also reported slower response times from editors, who were still gatekeepers of published content.
In other words, Yahoo Voices and the Yahoo Contributor Network began bearing all the signs of an entity desperately attempting to cut costs. Authors were compensated less, opportunities to publish were fewer, and editors seemed stretched to their limits.”
Yahoo Voices was obviously home to far better content than its predecessor, Associated Content. There was a clear subjective effect of the new editorial policies and rebranding. The problem, it seems, is that improved content isn’t enough. Google’s algorithms don’t give out “most improved” awards. Too few of the articles on Voices were competitive in search, making the editorial process too costly for too little payoff.
The market for freelance writers on the web is obviously tightening, as Yahoo Voices is only one of several popular platforms to fold since Panda. Some of the once-popular sites that have either folded or completely refocused are Suite101, FindArticles, and Business.com.
Yahoo Voices will become inaccessible after July 31, 2014. Writers will receive their final payments on August 15, 2014. All Contributor articles, including those posted on Yahoo’s other sites (like News and Sports) will be removed with only a few, older exceptions. source
From Yahoo! Sports to DramaGuru Revelation
Because of my time spent producing mixed martial arts (MMA) reports for Yahoo! Sports, my ability to recognize game plans, mind sets and fight strategy improved immensely. That experience contributed greatly to my creation of the game I call, “DramaGuru Revelation”.
For that, I say thank you for the opportunity to serve.
My biggest regret? I missed out on gathering my best posts to preserve on my blog. And really, they would only be safe and visible here while I’m willing to pay for my hosting fees. Lol!
Onward and upward.