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Yahoo! Acquires an Army of 380,000 Writers

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 19 comments

Yahoo! has announced a multi-million dollar acquisition of the user generated content website, Associated Content.

Associated Content is a site where users submit original content and depending on how many times their work is viewed, are paid accordingly. Yahoo!'s acquisition of AC gives the search company access to nearly 400,000 freelance writers.

The acquisition, expected to close in this year's third quarter, is supposed to help Yahoo! in its mission to present more original content as well as create more opportunities to sell online advertising and revive its revenue growth. The acquisition is rumored to have cost Yahoo! somewhere in the region of $90 million to just over $100 million.

In August last year, Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz surprised everyone by declaring Yahoo! was never a search company. Bartz said in an interview with the New York Times that "her fortunes are tied to her pages," and that she was more than happy with the company's 20 percent of the search market. Bartz went on to say the company would be investing more in its pages so it could stop relying on third-party content and instead provide its own original content, something the company already does with sports content.

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  • 4 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , May 19, 2010 7:15 PM
    Yahoo! must die... and now they have an army to fight us... great!
  • -4 Hide
    gayan , May 19, 2010 7:30 PM
    Off topic, but I hope they make a movie about a war between the Yahoos Freelancers and the Apple Fanboys... (maybe we can throw in the Googaloids in their somewhere too)....
  • 8 Hide
    figgus , May 19, 2010 7:40 PM
    Great, now we will get 380,000 shills trying to write about how google will fail and how Yahoo!!! is so wonderful... And we STILL won't believe the lies.

    Yahoo has been dead for years, a has been company that is no longer relevant in any way.
  • 2 Hide
    bison88 , May 19, 2010 8:19 PM
    Yahoo has 20% of the search market, Bing has 10% and Google has 70%? So why does everyone run around saying Google has 90% then?
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , May 19, 2010 8:22 PM
    Classic..... corporate empire building. Perhaps all we ordinary people need is a little shake up called financial collapse. The giants wouldn't last and will go the way of the dinosaurs.
  • 2 Hide
    johnnyupgrade , May 19, 2010 8:28 PM
    This actually seems like a smart move by Yahoo, given their current situation.
  • 1 Hide
    idisarmu , May 19, 2010 8:40 PM
    bison88Yahoo has 20% of the search market, Bing has 10% and Google has 70%? WTF!? So why does everyone run around saying Google has 90% then?


    ...because Yahoo and Bing like to force themselves upon customers. I bet they just count how many people use the toolbars that are installed as bloatware.
  • 2 Hide
    ptroen , May 19, 2010 8:42 PM
    Yahoo! is kinda like the tabloids. Sensational headlines but very little substance. Maybe this move could help on the journalism.
  • 1 Hide
    itpro , May 19, 2010 10:23 PM
    What's with all of the Yahoo hate? Yahoo still dwarfs Google in the email market, and has a decent share of the search market. Do any of you really want Google to have a monopoly?

    Besides, it's not Yahoo that is out collecting MAC addresses and SSIDs, monitoring unsecured wireless trafic, and spying on every click you make and character you type.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 19, 2010 10:34 PM
    Yahoo e-mail has proved almost 100% reliable in the ten (?) years I've used it.

    They annoy me when they try to do other stuff badly and clutter the home pages with nonsensical non-news and very intrusive Flash ads that slow my system to a crawl.

    They infuriate me because they simply do not respond to complaints.

    But the e-mail service is excellent
  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 19, 2010 10:36 PM
    For those who declare Yahoo! dead:

    Realize that there's a world outside of the oh-Great-Nation-of-United-States-of-America.

    In East Asia, Yahoo! is more popular than Google, and one of the reason is NOT because they are stupid or anything. It's a legitimate force elsewhere in the world.
  • 1 Hide
    killerclick , May 19, 2010 11:28 PM
    idisarmu...because Yahoo and Bing like to force themselves upon customers. I bet they just count how many people use the toolbars that are installed as bloatware.


    Google does that too with their toolbar.
  • 1 Hide
    SAL-e , May 20, 2010 12:40 AM
    itproBesides, it's not Yahoo that is out collecting MAC addresses and SSIDs, monitoring unsecured wireless trafic,...

    The MAC and SSIDs are public anyway. And the key worlds are "UNSECURED wireless". This info can, has been and will be collected by many companies and government agencies. If you don't want to be collected please encrypt you traffic. If you don't, you have no right to complain at all. I understand and expect to hear that kind of BS on mainstream media because the people there might not know how radio works, but here at Tom's is just trolling.
  • 0 Hide
    itpro , May 20, 2010 2:26 AM
    Sal-e, whether it is encrypted or not it is still quite disturbing that Google is out collecting the data in the first place. What legitimate purpose does this serve? What does it have to do with their Street View project? And for my final question, why are more people not outraged at the total lack of respect for privacy displayed by Google?

    If you consider my making a valid point about Google's very well documented spying (now under investigation in 10 countries) trolling, then I must conclude that you work for Google and are desperately trying to preserve their now tainted image.
  • 1 Hide
    SAL-e , May 20, 2010 5:35 AM
    itpro...then I must conclude that you work for Google and are desperately trying to preserve their now tainted image.


    First disclosure. I am not connected with Google at all and I have questioned Google's data collection policies before, but in this case most of the attacks are coming from people with questionable background and expertise. Now let me try to answer your questions and please don't make me regret it later.

    itproAnd for my final question, why are more people not outraged at the total lack of respect for privacy displayed by Google?


    Let me start with your final question with example. If you are in your home and having loud conversation with your girlfriend (you can replace it with whoever you want) and I pass by you and overhear you conversation, did I violated your privacy? Absolutely NOT. I am on the public place and you are speaking loud. Google did exactly that. They drove their car on public street an listen for Wi-Fi transmissions.

    itproWhat does it have to do with their Street View project?


    You probably know how GPS works, right! You know that GPS does not work very well in side city with big buildings and does not work at all in urban canyons like NYC and most European cities. In order to find you location you need to use other references. One way to do this is to listen for signals from radio transmitters. By driving down on the street Google and all other companies are recording position of the radio sources (Wi-Fi routers). That way when you go there with your iPhone and have trouble getting good GPS fix the phone will listen for Wi-Fi signals and try to calculate your position. This is done by recording the MACs and SSIDs. As I said before this is public data and there is no privacy claims here.

    itproSal-e, whether it is encrypted or not it is still quite disturbing that Google is out collecting the data in the first place. What legitimate purpose does this serve?


    So, collecting MACs and SSIDs is done not only by Google, but by any company that provide Wi-Fi location services and their users. But not only them. That is how Wi-Fi actually works. First you listen for broadcast in order to discover APs around you. There is second phase. Once you located the APs you need to establish connection session. If you AP is not encrypted anyone can establish session. This is defined by the standard and licensed by FCC and any other country that allow Wi-Fi devices. If you connection is not encrypted you don't have expectation for privacy. It is like taking a megaphone and start speaking in the park and claim that no one should listen or record your speech.

    itproIf you consider my making a valid point about Google's very well documented spying (now under investigation in 10 countries) trolling,...
    Now, why Google is under investigation in 10 countries. Because Google never intended to record the payload data during their scanning activities. Unfortunately for them they used product called Kismet [1] that records some of that data into the log file. It records small chunks of data not the entire session. But never the less in this chunks of data could be found information that could be sensitive. So when Google discover this they did:
    [3]
    1. ... grounded all Google Street View Cars. Until the issues are resolved.

    2. ... identified all the data and quickly moved it in to secure storage of their network.

    3. ... took that data off-line. So nobody has access to it.

    4. ... Reported the incident to all affected countries. (What a stupid spy Google is, to surrender them self!)

    5. ... Invaded external auditors to assist in handling and destroying the data based on requirements from each country.

    Now how many other people or companies have taken those steps? NONE. So you see, none of your points are valid at all.



    So let me ask you a question. What did you do when the USA Congress renewed the Patriot Act and gave immunity to AT&T and Verizon for assisting in the past and continuing assistance the government in warrantless spying of all USA citizens? And I mean all, not only one suspected in terrorist activities. Practically all international phone calls are routed to NSA. [2]

    [1] http://www.kismetwireless.net/
    [2] http://www.eff.org/issues/nsa-spying
    [3] http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/wifi-data-collection-update.html
  • 0 Hide
    andyman30 , May 20, 2010 2:41 PM
    ^ the longest comment i've ever seen on this forum :) 
  • 0 Hide
    itpro , May 20, 2010 4:41 PM
    Sal-e, your example is inaccurate. If you are having that loud conversation with your girl friend and someone is on the street outside with a microphone aimed at your house recording the conversation you would be outraged. That is more in tune with what Google was doing. Your explanation about why Google was recording the data perhaps holds some water, but I still don't buy it. Google has a long history of data mining, (spying) on their users, but are given a free pass by those who seem to worship the company. Mind you, I am aware that many companies collect data through a variety of means today, but few if any go to the extremes used by Google.

    Regarding your final comments about the Patriot Act, what has that to do with this conversation? We are talking about Google, and you veer off onto an entirely unrelated tangent. While you claim that you do not work for Google, you are certainly making considerable effort to defend their unsavory practices, including attempting to deflect the conversation away from Google. This is a tech site, not a political site, so let's keep our discussion on topic.
  • 0 Hide
    klarkmdb , May 20, 2010 4:49 PM
    My first email (which is till now it's still active) is yahoo. My second one was hotmail (which i don't use it anymore because obviously is not so much appealing) and my third email is Gmail. Yahoo is still here and will be here. If Google monopolizes then that's not a good thing. Let alone competition be healthy. If you don't have to anything to say informative then keep your hands to your legs, sit upright and just read. ^_^
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 21, 2010 7:11 AM
    All you Google worshippers, Yahoo! still has 600MM users visiting every month. It is the world leader in Email, Messenger, Sports, Movies, Entertainment, News and many others. Thankfully, consumers aren't brainless geeks like some of you here.

    For the billions that Google invests down the drain in so many products, 99.5% of their revenue still comes from search. It is not long before Facebook will overtake Google (and it has already overtaken in many countries) and put an end to some of Google's arrogance