Posting on Associated Content

Associated Content has a wonderful concept. It provides a place where people who enjoy writing and sharing their writings to post content, information, inspiration, or poetry in a forum that takes it a step beyond blogging, and allows for syndication, reprints, and publication beyond Associated Content. They even pay for quality content. Can’t beat that.

I have read some very informative and well written information here on Associated Content, as well as some pretty decent poetry and some great personal short stories. I’ve also read some horrible writing, articles that make me think, “Uhm, what exactly did that have to do with anything?” and some really bad poetry too. All in all, I’ve enjoyed my time here, and plan to continue to write and post on Associated Content.

I have, however, one complaint about the system and some of its users. Associated Content offers a rating system. This system seems fair, as it combines a lot of different things: page views, referrals, and user ratings. This is great, but the problem with the user ratings system is this: I have watched an article of mine that had a legitimate 4.9 rating, with only 19 votes, drop to a 2.8 rating and jump up to 68 votes in less than 10 minute’s time.

I assure you that there were not 50 some odd people who all randomly came to my articles in one 10 minute block and they all disliked my article enough to give it a bad rating and drop my score that quickly. Logic dictates that there is only one reasonable explanation for this: One user, or perhaps a couple of people who are friendly with one another, came to my article and decided to purposely lower my score. This has happened more than once, and it tends to happen on any article I post that receives a high rating.

Associated Content is not a competition. I do not post here to compete with other writers. I post here to provide information, to sell my articles, to share some of my writings, and hopefully to touch someone with something that I have written. I do not go around to other Content Providers and purposely lower their score if they scored higher then I have, because they deserve that score if they received it legitimately too.

I take a lot of pride in my writing, as I’m sure many of the Content Producers here do too, and I would like to see legitimate scores and ratings on my content. If I have written something that does not deserve a high rating, then by all means, rate my content accordingly. Your vote is appreciated, even if you do not give me a high rating, if your vote is truly based off the content I have provided.

If, however, you intend to come to my content and purposely attempt to lower my score by placing repeated low votes on content you may not have even read, simply to knock my content out of the highly rated content so yours can receive a higher placement, or if you are doing this simply because you don’t personally like me or what I have to say, I would recommend that you take your vote and your pettiness to some other venue.

I have spoken with a few other content producers here, and it seems that this is an issue many on this site have suffered from at one time or another. Competitiveness is good; pettiness is not.

My philosophy on voting is a personal one. Do I read other content producer’s articles? You bet I do. In fact, I’ve added a couple of people as buddies because they consistently write good information that I like to read. When they post something I really like, I will vote. If they post something that touches me on a personal level, I leave a comment. If I do not like the writing, or if I find that the information provided is not beneficial to me in any way, I simply leave that page and do not vote. Perhaps that information will touch someone else, but I see no reason to lower a person’s score simply because I disagree, because they scored higher than I did, or because I did not think their writing was professional.

That is my choice, and it is one that I can live with and know that morally I have done the right thing.

A real writer, someone who truly loves the craft and art of writing, will not be intimidated by someone else scoring highly on a particular article. Top rated content doesn’t stay on the top list indefinitely, and newer content with higher page views will soon take its place. There is no need to hurt someone’s rating to make your content score higher.

If you want higher scores, here’s my advice:

  • Post quality content with little or no grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Post information that is relevant to what your readers might want to read.
  • Market your articles.
  • Give others links to your content producer page.
  • Put links to your Associated Content page on your website.
  • Include links to your Associated Content page on your signature of your outgoing email.
  • Ask your friends, family, business associates, etc. to sign up to receive email updates and become your buddy.
  • Use the RSS feed feature on your bogs, like Yahoo! 360 so that your content auto updates on those feeds.
  • Post links to your content on your Myspace or Blogger accounts.
  • Make your writing concise. Make a point and make sure the reader knows what that point is.
  • Properly format your articles so they are easy to read. (I’ve made this mistake while learning AS’s submission procedures)
  • Make sure your article is long enough to provide quality information but not so long that the reader is intimidated. (600-1500 words is a pretty good average for most things, except poetry.)
  • Re-read your article before posting it. Does it flow well? Are there mistakes, omitted words, errors? Read it out loud to yourself or someone else, or let someone else read it before you post it.
  • Make sure your information is relevant to today and that it is accurate and current.
  • Avoid the use of slang and jargon, and don’t make your article sound like an advertisement or political endorsement or agenda. Op/Ed pieces are great for that, and Associated Content has an Op/Ed category; use it.
  • Comment and read other content producer’s pages. I have found that when I comment on others, they are more likely to come and check out my page too. It’s only fair and reciprocal, and it’s always nice to get a positive comment from someone, so do the same for others too!
  • If you feel you must leave a critical comment, please don’t bash the writer. Instead, give a thoughtful and informative reason about why you disagree or the reason you do not like the content. Be a critiquer not a critic. That writer might learn something from you, and if you too are a writer on AS, they might just come to your page and increase your page views and your ratings if you treat them professionally and with respect, even when you are disagreeing.

Associated Content is a great site that provides a valuable resource to writers, publishers, and readers alike. Using it for personal vendettas is unprofessional and not part of the intended purpose.

To all who have commented on my writings, both positive and negative, and who have used the rating and the voting system available here properly, I thank you for your time and look forward to writing more things that you may feel compelled to read or comment or vote on, as I too hope to continue reading yours.

Have a great day!

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