I got to looking back on my time at Associated Content and realized I just passed the 50 article mark. I started writing there in July 2006. I’ve made a little money, but really do it for self-improvement. Most of the people I’ve dealt with at AC are great, supportive, and kind. I’ve learned much and have tons-o-fun. Here’s a little retrospective and some lessons learned.
Chinese Missile Destroys Satellite
Just enough facts mixed in to make it slightly believable. I was trying a little something new with my style. I’ll get it right one day.
Cheap Overlooked Vacation Packages
Just a little dark. This was number 50! It is odd how stray thoughts come together sometimes. “Club Gitmo” is something that I heard while flipping past Rush Limbaugh one day. The Darfur list is based on a hysterical audio clip (caution: this site has some risque ads on it). Someone said the closing line is from Full Metal Jacket. In the interest of accuracy, the line in the movie is, “I wanted to see exotic Vietnam, the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture and kill them.” I have no idea why that’s stuck in my head. I once was teaching a class for the IT support people of the Army Recruiting Corps and suggested that as their new ad campaign. They came up with “An Army of one” just a few months later.
The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing for the Web 7 Quick Reason…
Lesson learned: proof, proof, proof. I pushed this out the door too quickly. It has 4 glaring grammatical errors, 1 mis-formatted headline, and still made editor’s pick and content of the day. I stand by the content, but am just a little embarrassed for not catching all the mistakes. I don’t know if that says more about me or AC.
Cell Phone Use in Polite Society
You know you hate these people too.
Holiday Shopping Hints or How to Serve Your Country
Please be considerate.
Associate Content FAQ for Content Producers Part 1
Just trying to give a little back to the community of course the long-term hits can’t hurt.
Relationships What Women Want
Girl you know it’s true ooh ooh ooh. My real hope with this one is that one day someone will hit this with Google and take it seriously.
New Christmas Songs
Maybe my obsession with Tom Cruise got a little out of hand. I found a blogger that had referenced this and I commented in their blog that it would have been nice if he had let me know he was using it. He went ballistic. Needless to say, I won’t be reading his blog…ever. First impressions can not be undone. Jim, if you ever stumble across this post, let me just say, “That was really uncalled for and you’re a complete and total bastard.” I won’t mention the name of the blog because that would just encourage others to go there.
Doctor Doctor Give Me the News
Similar to “Product Labeling Gone Awry.” Doing list in this style is fun. I’ve seen other people use this same style since I did this one. I can’t think I originated it though.
A Handy Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving
Confessions of an AC Content Producer 3
I could have used names, but didn’t. This was the result of someone in the forum calling me by name to continue a series started by another CP. I think I met the challenge.
Debunking Astrology Myth in the Modern Era
One of my few serious articles. The SSN story on my blog and the comments made there were the fun part of this article.
Top Ten Gift Ideas for Zombies
A satire on AC’s content special offers that turned out to be better than I thought. Susan Corbett put this on her Top 10 Gift Guides of 2006
Fun with Email
Fun at the Pharmacy
I really should do more like these two and make it a series. Insanity for sanity’s sake.
When Veterans Day is Personal
This is a highly personal account of growing up Army. If there is a veteran in your family, give this a read. I recently found out that this is being read off-line by several people. Paper copies are floating around out there.
Democrats Celebrate for One Day
I try not to do political pieces, but every once in a while…
Product Labeling Gone Awry
Just plain dumb.
My Shame Why My Wife is Brilliant
I love my wife.
AntiPsychic for Hire
More true than you know. Humor from reality. Seriously, I dispell psychic powers. Nothing spooky ever happens around me.
The Rewards of Getting Out of Your Cubicle
Really blog material, but life is funny. This was one of my first blog cross-over pieces. I was cross-posting while getting the feel of WordPress.
My Top Eight Reasons for Hating MySpace.com
Published on Oct 18, 2006, this is still getting comments in January 2007. The reactionary comments are funnier than the article itself.
Gas Prices Drop Bush Approval Rating Rises
This one taught me that some people don’t really read. This got some strange reactions from some ultra-right-wingers who failed to get the point. I think they just looked at the picture. But the absurdity of this led to …
CBS News Loses Its Mind
CBS news was actually trying to make up a story connecting Bush to gas prices. Dear lord, how could I have been so blind. If my blog had been in place, I probably would not have put this on AC.
Time Age The Drippy Faucet
A very well-received one-pager. I was working on setting up a blog at the time and have since put things like this on here at WordPress. I now reserve AC for slightly more formal writing.
CNN FoxNews MSNBC Report
No. There is no bias in the news media. God forbid.
Gas Saving Tips Common Fallacies
Oddly this was my best paid article. It was written out of anger when another CP kept erasing my comments in their article on gas saving tips. The real funny part is that same person wrote an article about how web writers should take critisim, but she allows no one to comment on her articles.
Family Reunion on the Farm
The first and last poem that I put on AC. Note to self and others, do not bother putting poetry on AC.
Verizon to Build New Call Center in Huntsville
A little news blurb. I thought it was great that a company was putting a call center in the U.S. instead of farming it out to India.
Sick and Tired of the Black Dahlia
A rant. The impetus for the MySpace article. I was trying out Gather at the time and and you could click twice without seeing some inane ad for this movie. I let Gather idle for quite a while, but have recently started dropping by again. There’s an AC writers group there now.
Top Ten Songs by Robert Johnson
Top Ten Songs by Talking Heads
Top Ten Songs by Devo (My favorite because of all the links to youtube. You can actually hear the music.)
Top Ten Songs by the Ramones
Top Ten Songs by the B52s
These five were a Content Special Offer series. They were fun to write. This is where I became the target of the rater-haters, roving pissed off people that only feel better when pulling other people down. I had arrived! I also made $50 doing these.
I think this was my first rejection. No shelf-life; topic done to death. Oh well, real life is still funny. Probably another one that would have been blog-only.
NASA on the Web http://www.nasa.gov
“Write what you know” and you can get paid.
New NASA Space Crafts Finally Named
Who knew this got so many hits? I was surprised to see this on the People Media Awards List of top new stories.
Million Dollar Inventions
I still think the Blue-Tooth hat and jewelry has potential.
Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Natural Cures by Kevin Trudeau
Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Buy WhiteOverNite
These two were for a content special offer, but I really, really hate Trudeau.
Marketing a New Product Growing Your Business
The Real Reason for Tightened Airline Security
This Just In Generalissimo Fidel Castro is Still Alive
Three articles that I had fun writing. The “marketing” article is yet another jab at Trudeau and the other snake oil salesmen out there. I was working on my writing style and leaning a lot about web publishing at this point.
NASA Changes Vision Statement
Originally entitled “NASA Looks Up,” this went live without me knowing they had changed the title. Boy was I hot. They tried to make it look so New York Post. I had them change the title again. Lesson learned: Always check the email before you accept the offer. Don’t just blindly accept from the Content page.
Kid You’ll Move Mountains
A review of a band. I know a couple of the members personally. I was hoping they would be better. I was really trying to see if news and reviews were something I could do.
Drivers Education 201
My daughter calls this her “favorite rant in handy list form.” She’s heard me grumble about this for years. I think this made Content of the Day, too.
Maximize Your Customer Service Call
I found AC while working from home for a call center. “Write what you know.” These tips really work.
Pharmacists Opinions Now Out Weigh Doctors Orders
A doctor picked this one up on his blog and I was getting thousands of hits. I had no idea until a month later when I did some googling. Lesson learned: Google key phrases from your articles on a regular basis and see where/who picked you up.
Offshore Call Centers Corporate Profits and Jim
Proof you can get paid for personal accounts if written objectively.
My first published article on AC. I posted it for free just to get a feel for the sight while two more were queued for payment review. Back then you didn’t have to wait for 3 articles to be live before instantly publishing. This one was a library section spotlight, content of the day, and Greg Reeson put it on a list of top ten articles from 2006. I guess I was on the right track.