Denver’s alternative newspaper, Westword, is running a feature on Associated Content founder (and newly minted Yahoo! vice president) Luke Beatty.
The following video isn’t part of their report, just some background on Beatty and his firm.
Responding to critics who say Associated Content produces unprofessional content that pollutes the world’s search engines, Beatty told Westword:
“Journalism is about news, and only about 10 percent of what we create is news,” he says. “Do I think there should be a White House correspondent with a journalism degree who really knows what they’re doing? Yeah, I do. But for a lot of the content that we’re talking about, what matters most is experience, authenticity and hyper-relevancy. Say I’m interested in knowing about child-care programs in Poughkeepsie, New York. Are there a lot of professionally trained media personalities out there who want to craft an article about that — one that’s going to be seen by twenty people a day for the next five years? I don’t think so.”
“When we first started Associated Content, I would go around and try to talk to traditional media companies about partnering with us, and we’d get laughed out of the gym,” Beatty concedes. “They’d say, ‘You should never let the inmates run the institution.’ But now, CNN has iReport, which generates a huge amount of their traffic. And that’s because consumers actually like it — and it makes sense for companies, too. If you want to find out how the economy is doing in Des Moines, Iowa, you can pay a freelancer to pull up in a rental car and try to find out — or you can get the perspectives of a local orthopedic surgeon for sports medicine, a local factory worker, a local whatever. And people may appreciate that more.”
Beatty says that Yahoo!–which recently acquired his company for $100 mil–will be opening a new office in the Cherry Creek area to serve as Associated Content’s new home and Yahoo’s Denver beachhead.