But, now I’ve accepted that Yahoo! is going to erase the 355 pieces of content — articles and photo slideshows — from the Internet that I’ve created since November 2006.
It’s OK. They’re doing it to thousands of other writers too.
What’s Going on With Yahoo!?
The Yahoo! Contributor Network (Y!CN), formerly known as Associated Content, is shutting down at midnight today. As the lights in the office dim, so will the power switches to the servers that once hosted the content fueling some websites you’ve probably read, like the health and beauty-focused Yahoo! Shine or OMG!, a place to get your fill of celebrity gossip.
According to the company’s official email to contributors, “At Yahoo, we’re focused on making daily habits more inspiring and entertaining. That means we’re constantly reviewing our products and experiences and, in some cases, we have to make tough decisions to no longer support a product. As part of our ongoing effort to sharpen our focus, on July 31, 2014, Voices.Yahoo.com will be shut down.”
My Online Writing Start
Like many other writers, Yahoo! was one of the first online publishers to give me a byline that could reach an infinite audience. It was exciting to wonder in what far corners of the world people would be reading my reviews, rants and researched pieces.
It was cool.
Last week when I started culling through my content, I got a little nostalgic. I read my debut Yahoo! article, an account of my first hair donation to Locks of Love. I skimmed some random poetry. I laughed at the memories associated with the people I had interviewed. It was almost like reading an old journal or turning the pages of a scrapbook.
I wrote for the Y!CN almost eight years. But, now it’s over. And, I’m happy. I know so many other writers are scared, upset and bewildered by the closing of the Y!CN.
But for me, it’s a breath of fresh air.
Goodbye Yahoo! Contributor Network
Do you remember the first time you tried to bake cupcakes, and they turned into chocolate rocks? Or, do you recall your first training wheels-free excursion on your bike and crying all the way home with skinned knees?
Y!CN was my testing ground for online writing.
I dabbled there while working for newspapers and portrait studios. I scribbled down my late night ideas and weekend musings. I accepted assignments and tackled them with my print-media mindset. And boy, after looking back at them, many of the posts were not fit for the online world.
I had no concept of SEO, back links, creating value for the reader (not just myself!), how to market a product without it looking like an advertisement or how to say ‘no’ to the over usage of commas.
Many of my articles for the Y!CN were pretty bad. Of course they improved over that eight year span, but some of the early ones were huge blocks of gray text that were so visually boring, I could barely stand to read through them last week.
I’m so thankful I’ve learned how to format online content not only to inform the reader quickly, but also to keep readers on the page longer with a pleasing layout and design.
So, yes, I’m happy Y!CN is killing off my babies. Yes, I took hours upon hours of time writing, researching and editing those posts. But you know what? There’s a lot of skinned knees and tooth-chipping cupcakes on that domain. Along the way there were many lessons learned and thousands of dollars earned. But, everything comes to an end eventually.
I’m glad to see my trials and errors from early on vanish into cyberspace, well, until a cached website appears.
Oh, the joys of the Internet!
Have you written for the Y!CN? Tell me your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.