Assignment3: Associated Content

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A brief primer examining the machinations of Associated Content, their benefits and catches.

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Assignment3: Associated Content

  1. 1. Assignment 3<br />A Primer on the Terms of use (TOU)/Privacy Agreement for the ‘Associated Content’ (AC) website.<br />Things to enjoy, things to fear.<br />
  2. 2. Are there fees to join Associated Content?<br />‘There are no fees to join AC. In fact, we will pay you when you create valuable content’. The sign-up process is easy, and you can start submitting content immediately. To learn about earning money through AC check <br />http://www.associatedcontent.com/faq.html#B.<br /> So you can submit content without paying membership fees.<br />
  3. 3. AC encourages you to: <br />Create original content (articles, videos, images or audio) on any topic you choose<br />Connect with an audience of 30 million monthly visitors (more links, better searches)<br />Earn money when your content is viewed (more views, better searches) (Rosenberg, 2010)<br />Claim exclusive freelance writing opportunities<br />(AC, 2009).<br />AC also licences content to other online publishers, so your material is spread and linked (Mills, 2007).<br />
  4. 4. A lot of reading... <br />Using AC requires a ‘Terms of use’, a <br />‘Privacy policy’ and a ‘Master Agreement’ <br />document to be agreed to before signing <br />as a contributor (AC, 2009). This primer will concentrate on the TOU.<br />
  5. 5. Overview of TOU<br />‘Terms of Use’ as last revised on March 9 2009 incorporates by reference AC’s : <br /> - Payment Policies<br /> - Privacy Policy<br /><ul><li>Submission Guidelines
  6. 6. Master Licence Agreement</li></ul>(AC, 2009)<br /><ul><li>So its easier to analyse the TOU instead of all the others, it refers to them where appropriate .</li></li></ul><li>Responsibility<br />The TOU (section 2D) makes the contributor ‘solely responsible for all User Content [UC] that is submitted’ in any form (AC, 2009).<br />Though the same section tells us that the user <br />' acknowledges that AC does not pre-screen <br /> UC’, (AC, 2009). Experiments in submitting my own text that has been posted elsewhere found that it can take several days for the text to be accepted, and there is a lot of work rejected as being already written and posted elsewhere. <br />...no pre -screening?<br />
  7. 7. Advertisers on your pages<br />Section 2E terms third party sites and advertisements as ‘opportunities to use certain sites...or content...’ (AC, 2009).<br />You agree it is wholly your responsibility for your use or interaction with Third Parties [but links can be placed on your page automatically].<br />Its all about the links. More links for you, over time gives more cash!<br />
  8. 8. Some Privacy for the contributors<br />AC prohibit the use of automated data mining tools in Section 3E (1) (AC, 2009). Maybe their efforts at optimizing for the Googlebot interferes with their data mining?!<br />AC in the Section 3E(3) also prohibit most of the techniques of getting information about the source of content by ‘reverse look-up, trace or seek to trace any information on any user...’<br />On a platform that thrives on making connections , this degree of privacy does give encouragement.<br />
  9. 9. Other Legal Stuff - Disclaimer<br />Section 6 Part A is the ‘Disclaimer of Warranties’ <br />This section is important in the TOU as it emphasises 5 paragraphs all written in capital and bold characters. <br />AC and associated parties ‘expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind’.<br />
  10. 10. A curious paragraph...<br />The third paragraph is curious and is of very deep concern , here it is whole:<br />‘A SMALL NUMBER OF USERS MAY EXPERIENCE EPILEPTIC SEIZURES WHEN EXPOSED TO CERTAIN LIGHT PATTERNS OR BACKGROUNDS ON A COMPUTER SCREEN OR WHILE USING THE AC NETWORK. CERTAIN CONDITIONS MAY INDUCE PREVIOUSLY UNDETECTED EPILEPTIC SYMPTOMS EVEN IN USERS WITH NO HISTORY OF SUCH SYMPTOMS... DISCONTINUE USE OF THE AC NETWORK IMMEDIATELY IF YOU EXPERIENCE DIZINESS, ALTERED VISION...’ (AC, 2009)<br />Glad they warned me!<br />
  11. 11. Just as worrisome...<br />Section 6 (C) ‘Limitation of liability’<br />‘YOU AGREE THAT THE AC PARTIES WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES...’ (AC, 2009). <br />If AC Parties are not liable to you, how do you receive compensation? According to the next slide, you don’t!<br />
  12. 12. Indemnification<br />Section 4D covers indemnification and is key in protecting AC because:<br />‘You agree to protect and fully compensate the AC Parties from any and all third party claims, liability, damages, expenses and costs (including...attorney’s fees) arising from your use of the AC Network or violation of the TOU’<br />It seems the user must protect the rights of AC!<br />
  13. 13. Where Does that Leave Us?<br />AC will allow users to contribute various forms of content at their discretion. Users make a profit from their input, but the return is very low. Big profits come from posting much, over a long period, so it accumulates. There’s no quick bucks here!<br />AC encourage you to sign up to a system they take no responsibility for, use third party networks they recommend but don’t support, and put the responsibility for any damages squarely on your shoulders.<br />Hmmmmm? But if you want the cash, what choice is there?<br />
  14. 14. References<br />Associated Content, (2009). ‘Terms of Use’ Retrieved 18 September, 2009, from http://www.associatedcontent.com/terms_of_use.html.<br />Associated Content, (2009) ‘FAQ #9’ Retrieved 1 October, 2009, from<br /> http://www.associatedcontent.com/faq.html#B.<br />Mills, E. (2007). Pay-for-blogging site raises questions. USA Today. Retrieved August <br /> 23, 2010 from<br />http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/cnet/2007-07-11-associated- content-debate_N.htm. <br />Rosenberg, S. (2009). SEO mills: That’s not fast foot, its bot fodder.Wordyard. Retrieved September 10, 2010 from http://www.wordyard.com/2009/12/14/seo-mills-thats-not-fast-food-its-bot- fodder/. <br />

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