Jul 26, 2010

Interview with Associated Content’s AC Jelena, Jelena Woehr

I recently had an opportunity to chat with Jelena Woehr, Associated Content’s very own AC Jelena.  Jelena’s presence in the AC forum of late has been a big help to all Contributors and I thought it would be nice to get to know the person behind the online presence.

Jelena, thanks for agreeing to be in the Associated Content hot seat for this interview.  Since you’ve been a great help troubleshooting problems and have more of a presence in the forums lately, I’m sure more than one contributor wants to know - who is AC Jelena?

Are you comfortable?  (Sound check) … Let’s get started.

MA:  How long have you been working for Associated Content!?
ACJ: I started here on July 29th of last year—three days after my birthday! I’m excited about my upcoming AC-nniversary. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already.

MA:  What is your official position or title?
ACJ: I’m Community Coordinator for Associated Content from Yahoo! That’s not very descriptive, so a quick summary—I work with the forums, our official social media profiles, and individually with writers who want to learn more about promoting their content and succeeding in social media.

MA:  What do you like most about your job?
ACJ: Broadly, my favorite thing is that I get to help writers succeed not just as successful writers but as personal brand managers and online marketers. AC from Yahoo! can serve as a launching pad for a talented person to learn not just to write but to manage a freelance writing business, use social media to establish a presence, build their own brand, and gain the freedom to set their own hours and control their own income. I think that’s fantastic. Many of our superstars are people who 10 years ago would have been told they were “too late” to start a writing career, just because they didn’t get a journalism degree or because they had kids before chasing that dream.

More specifically, I love giving stuff away in our trivia, scavenger hunts, and other various contests!

MA:  What do you not like?
ACJ: There’s not much I don’t like, but if I have to pick one thing, I guess it would be managing spreadsheets. Unfortunately that’s related to the thing I like most, since I have to track who wins contests.

MA:  What can contributors do to make your job easier?
ACJ: Keep flagging any spam you see, especially in the forums, and keep reporting site issues in the Help Desk forum! The sooner I find out about a bug or a flood of spam, the sooner I can fix it. Aside from that, anything the community does to help newbies get connected with the right resources is a big help to me.

MA:  If granted a single wave of a magic wand, what’s the one thing you would change about the current Associated Content from Yahoo! setup?
ACJ: Well, I’d like to give the easy cop-out answer and say I’d give us the ability to pay everyone a million bucks, but I know one of our resident financial experts would comment and use a bunch of fifty cent words to explain how that would ruin the world economy. So, instead I’ll use my magic wand to make it possible for Contributors to embed inline images in their articles. I know why that isn’t possible now, and it makes sense, but I still wish I could change it. People like pictures!

MA:  I know you can’t spill the beans on any changes that may potentially take place as a result of the Yahoo! acquisition, but can you share what won’t get you in trouble with the boss, anything you’re excited about?
ACJ: Well, I’m thrilled about Yahoo!’s corporate color. Everyone around the office knows I’m a sucker for anything purple.

On a more practical note, I can’t emphasize enough how many opportunities this acquisition offers for people who are ready and willing to reach for them. The Contributors who’ve been featured on Yahoo! sites prove that web content writers can create compelling content for some of the biggest audiences on the Internet. Yahoo! is a huge company, it’s a household name, and I think writers whose content appears on Yahoo! sites will be gaining a lot of marketing power as individual freelancers. Plus, adding the Yahoo! audience means a broader market for more types of content. Honestly, and I’m not just saying this because my boss will read it, I’ve seen only positive changes for Contributors, both currently and in our future.

MA:  When not keeping the forum and Contributors Jelena-fied, what do you like to do in your off-time?
ACJ: I keep busy! I have a dog, two cats, three rats, and a horse, who occupies most of my weekday evenings. I’m also finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and I do some writing of my own, both fiction and non-fiction. Being a web writer myself helps me keep in touch with the community’s needs.

When I’m not with the animals, writing, or studying, I fill any remaining spare time with politics. Volunteering with local candidates is really rewarding and educational. I’d recommend it to anyone who has a little spare time and wants to make a big impact. The world needs more active, involved people of every party.

MA:  Your love of critters is evident, which leads to my next question - Who’s the gorgeous fella you have your arms wrapped around on your avatar?
ACJ: That’s Embrace Reality (according to the Jockey Club) or “Ember,” as he’s called around the barn. He’s a retired racehorse who I rescued sight-unseen because he was scheduled to go to auction in 24 hours, where he would be sold for meat because he’d already failed to find a buyer at an auction for riding horses. He came to me underweight with a bone chip in his knee, ringworm on his back, mites in his ears, and a really bad attitude. He didn’t trust humans at all.

After surgery and a lot of long, slow rehabilitation, he’s now my riding horse and a future hunter/jumper show horse. He’s really blossomed mentally, too. He loves to play in mud puddles and he knows more tricks than most dogs. He’s so handsome now that nobody believes me at first when I say he came within a couple days of being a horseburger. He makes a great ambassador to encourage people to consider rescuing a horse.

MA:  If there’s anything else you’d like to share with our readers, now’s your chance.
ACJ: This may be cliché, but as long as I’ve got the virtual microphone, I’d like to thank the community for all the opportunities I’ve had in the past year. I’ve gotten to take on so many things that are new and exciting to me, and that’s all thanks to the fact that you all have been such an accepting and friendly bunch.

MA:  Jelena, it was a pleasure getting to know more about you and to share it with the community.  Thanks again for taking the time to talk with me, and for all you do at Associated Content.


Happy Birthday, Jelena!

18 comments:

  1. Awesome interview! Thanks for this, Marie Anne. Also (of course), thanks Jelena for sharing more about yourself.

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  2. I see where Jelena indicated she wants to help writers promote their work. How can a writer get her help or contact her for help? And Oh, I love the handsome fella also! His coat looks like he is a gorgeous hunk ot thoroughbred!

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  3. Malina, there is an AC forum titled 'How to Promote Your Content' that Jelena monitors.

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  4. Wonderful interview, Marie!

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  5. Terrific interview! Thanks to you both for sharing.

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  6. Great interview, Marie and Happy birthday, Jelena!

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  7. Excellent interview! I didn't know the horse was a rescue horse. It is gorgeous!

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  8. Thanks Marie and Jelena!

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  9. Nice interview! Great to get to know Jelena more ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  10. Very nice job with this interview!

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  11. Excellent interview! Re-reading it for the 4th time :) Thank U Marie and Jelena!

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  12. Excellent interview, Marie Anne. Happy Birthday, Jelena.

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  13. Great interview of a wonderful person. Ember is beautiful and I am so thankful that you were able to save him from slaughter. The world needs more Jelena's in it that is for sure. Thanks for all your help on AC and Marie - Great interview.

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  14. Excellent Interview and very impressive site Marie Anne! Great job on both!

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  15. Fabulous interview! Happy birthday Jelena. You've worked hard to increase our knowledge and we appreciate it.

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  16. Great article!

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  17. Awesome, engaging interview. Who knew? Thanks, Marie Anne.

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