Warning: Yahoo Contributor Network Arbitrarily Rejects Articles
Associated Content was once a good website for writing articles and getting upfront payment. It was not uncommon to write an article, get paid $2 to $3 (sometimes more or less) and share in extra profits on the page views on your articles. Then one day, a little company called Yahoo bought Associated Content and slowly started to rip it apart, leaving a mere shell of what was once a great website.
At first, only minor changes took place. Associated Content became the Yahoo Contributor Network, but the articles still appeared on the Associated Content website. Slowly but surely, the reviewers who are hired to accept or reject articles for upfront payment started to use odd interpretations of the rules to reject upfront payments. For example, I was told that several articles on MBA programs were not different enough from what is online to be accepted for upfront payment. I included solid information that anyone looking to join an MBA program would be searching for and using as a basis for an application or enrollment decision, such as the program's national ranking, average GMAT score, etc. All of these things are exactly what a prospective student would be looking for in an article, and I had already also been paid by YCN for the exact same type of article. Suddenly, I was getting rejections for quality articles. I wrote a scathing forum post that was deleted but sent to the support people. After a few days, I got a response that the reviewer who rejected my articles was correct. These people had the gall to say I should contact the admissions officer and do an interview or something like that. First, that would be a biased article. Of course, the admissions officer is going to give a slanted view of things for his own MBA school. This is obvious bunk to deny upfront payment. Based upon this rigid interpretation, virtually any article could be rejected. Of course, you are going to put the most valuable information that the reader would be looking for in an article. He doesn't need to read an interview from a biased admissions officer from an MBA school. He needs objective facts with which to make a decision.
The other thing YCN, which now publishes all articles on Yahoo Voices, started to do was create another impossible Catch 22 to be able to reject any article at will for upfront payment. You see, when there aren't too many people searching for a particular topic, SEO experts tell you that is actually a good topic as long as there is low competition. But Yahoo started saying that certain people would not look for a particular topic in a search engine and using that to deny upfront payment. I ALWAYS used the AdWords keyword suggestion tool to make sure there was reasonable demand for a topic, so I know Yahoo was wrong. But here is the Catch 22: if you write on something that gets a lot of searches, Yahoo says that the information is too common. There are virtually no keywords left with little to no competition if the keywords get a lot of searches. Millions of marketers know how to use SEO and will compete for the bigger keywords. Thus, if you write on a popular topic, Yahoo can virtually always say the information is too common. You see the problem here? How much is too common and how few of searches are too little? It's an impossible middle ground with no defined target, and Yahoo can use either one of these excuses not to pay upfront payments on every article. Mind you, they will NOT tell you their guidelines for determining what information is too common and when a topic is not popular enough in the search engines to be accepted for upfront payment.
Now, this was all fine and dandy until Yahoo decided to switch over all articles from AssociatedContent.com to Voices.Yahoo.com. At that time, they suddenly denied the ability to publish articles immediately as Display Only. In layman's terms, what this means is you cannot find a news story and instantly publish it to take advantage of the trending topic. Instead, you have to wait around for some editor/reviewer in Colorado to review your article even though you are NOT asking for upfront payment. What this means for people like me is that I cannot even use YCN to publish articles on American Idol and other entertainment shows. This is because the searches are based on trends. I could sometimes get over 5,000 page views overnight for an article due to a surge in searches for that particular topic. Not anymore. Yahoo apparently hates money cause you can't do that anymore unless you are a Featured Contributor. Few people have that status.
But the straw that broke the camel's back is that Yahoo is now wholesale rejecting articles for publication for completely bogus reasons. Among them are "too low of quality" and "too promotional." Yahoo is arbitrarily applying these otherwise valid reasons. I am including an entire article here to show you what I mean. Yahoo refused to publish the below article because they said it was too low in quality. This is either an outright lie or an extremely undertrained reviewer. Look at this article below and tell me with a straight face that it is a poor-quality article.
Article Starts Here
Music lovers can convert various formats of audio files with dBpoweramp. There are several competing audio codecs, or file formats, on the market. You need to have an idea of which codecs to use. The dBpoweramp software then converts them for you.
The first consideration in deciding which codec to use in dBpoweramp is the media player that you are using. People use dBpoweramp when they need to convert audio from one format to another. Clearly, you need to make sure the codec you convert to is actually compatible with whatever player you are using.
Because MP3 is the most compatible codec with media players, dBpoweramp includes this by default. If this is all you want to use, then you can start using dBpoweramp right away. If, however, you want to convert different formats, then you need to install that codec into dBpoweramp. For example, iTunes uses M4A files. By installing that codec into dBpoweramp, you can convert your iTunes downloads.
Other Default Formats
DBpoweramp provides a few other formats by default. They include CDA, FLAC and Wave files. You can still install other formats. However, use only the ones you need. According to dBpoweramp, you will make the software run slow if you load all of them (see Sources).
Distinguishing Other Codecs
DBpoweramp basically categorizes codecs into lossy and lossless formats. As a general rule, lossless formats are of higher quality because they do not lose any of the original audio quality when being compressed. Lossy codecs lose some amount of quality. Thus, if you have a choice, you would typically go with a lossless codec.
Lossless codec formats provided by dBpoweramp include the following: AIF, AIFF, M4A (iTunes), APE, OFT, OFS, RA, RM, RAM, RMVB, SHN, TTA, WV, WVC, WMA, ASF and WMV.
There are about 20 lossy codecs listed in the dBpoweramp's "Codec Central" page. You would use these formats if you have a special reason to use them instead of a lossless codec. For example, you may have some obscure media player that uses one of these codecs. This does not necessarily mean that you will not have quality audio. It just means you are using either an older player or one that uses different technology than the typical lossless codecs employed nowadays.
The dBpoweramp utility codes are not codecs. Rather, they are tools designed for use with dBpoweramp Music Converter when converting audio files. For example, the Multi Encoder tool allows you to simultaneously convert to more than one format at a time. At the time of publication, there are 10 such utility codes on dBpoweramp's "Codec Central" page.
DBpoweramp: Codec Central
Article Ends Here
This is just one example of the grossly arbitrary rationalizations being used by Yahoo to reject articles. In other cases, they said that my article read like a press release and was too promotional. Hogwash. I wrote an article explaining the difference between ringtones and call tones. I did not recommend buying anything, and I have never written a press release in my life. By the way, a press release details a particular product. It does not give general information on a topic like ringtones or call tones. What exactly am I promoting? The word "LOL" has never been more appropriate.
Mind you, these articles are being rejected not just for upfront payment. They are even being rejected for publication for page-view profit sharing. Yahoo is either intentionally alienating its writers or giving extremely poor training to reviewers that do not understand the common-sense meaning of basic English terms.
I did not write any press releases or promote products. I did not recommend that any reader buy a product. In addition, if anyone thinks the article above is too poor for publication, then please apply to be an article reviewer for Yahoo. You will fit right in with their inability to fairly judge writing and apply common sense to English-language guidelines. I am in Demand Studios' First Look program. Ask anyone how hard it is to get in that program. I know I am a good writer. I don't need arbitrary and random critiques from a Yahoo stooge to tell me otherwise. For now, I will be putting articles on Hubpages, where they are paying me more per page view on a BAD day than YCN is paying on a good day (sometimes more than double YCN's horrible rates).