It's time once again to shine a spotlight on the previous month's most successful contributors and content! As always, there were plenty of excellent nominees, but, after some deliberation, we were able to select five pieces of content and one contributor embodying all the qualities needed to succeed with Yahoo! Contributor Network.
This month's Contributor Spotlight award goes to someone who has not only submitted consistently useful, high-quality content for years, but who stepped up in June to help us create a whole new publishing opportunity for Yahoo! contributors.
And the winner is...
Tonya's great work on pieces like "Why hire a landscaper instead of choosing plants yourself?" was key to Yahoo! Contributor Network's success in establishing our fledgling publishing relationship with Yahoo! Homes. Knowledgeable, relatable, and useful are among the many adjectives we've heard used to describe Tonya's work. Her expertise in a variety of areas is paired perfectly with the friendly, expert voice she wields in a library that spans seven sites and includes more than a thousand pieces of content. Editors love reading Tonya's work, as do the readers responsible for her more than 1.5 million page views. Many staff members have even learned something new from her library!
Great job, Tonya! You have done more than enough to deserve the Spotlight badge and your $500 prize.
Next, we have Content Spotlight awards for five special pieces of content that stood out in June.
And the winners are...
by Lee Warren
This touching interview showcased a father and son on a mission related to the College World Series (CWS) of baseball: They're seeking former Arizona State University Sun Devils infielder Andrew Beinbrink, who hit a homer in 1998 straight to the seats occupied by Jeremy Rasmussen and his father, Ray. The duo would like to return the memento to Beinbrink as a reminder of his college athletic achievement. Lee's charming story helped Ray and Jeremy spread the word about their quest, and it's an inspiring read for anyone who finds genuine, selfless kindness moving.
Our next winner is also about giving back, but in a different way. Shauna calls out the charity drives that rely on guilt to get shoppers to make a small financial donation along with their purchases, and points out that a little more effort, and a few more bucks, can actively change a life. Shauna is on a yearlong quest to do a favor for a stranger each day, and in this piece she shares one success story. We're sure that not every recipient is as grateful as the individual profiled here (you'll have to read Shauna's article to find out what favor he received and how he paid it forward!) but this piece is well-written, unique, and genuine.
A teacher's controversial speech to new graduates drew both praise and criticism. Melissa's even-handed article reports both sides, before giving a measured and well-reasoned opinion of her own. This article stands as a strong example of numerous traits we look for in commentary relating to hot news: It's well-written; it incorporates Matters' personal experiences (as a teacher with a Master's degree in Education); it's easy and fun to follow; and it makes a clear point that's supported by both external facts and personal opinion. Melissa's article takes a particular stance, but it would be pleasant to read even for those on the opposing "side."
by Aida Eckberg
Sometimes, you just need a little innocent snark in your day. Aida's lighthearted reporting on celebrity news hits the spot, poking fun without a trace of meanness. One of the celebrity world's oddest couples has had an interesting week, even by celeb standards, and one can easily imagine "Kimye" laughing with Aida as they read her take on the news. Writing for omg! takes a unique skill: The ability to put one's own, personal spin on a distinct and longstanding sitewide voice. Aida does a great job of that here, proving that celebrity news can be as fun to write as it is to read.
by Genevra Reid
Our final winner for this month provoked an incredible outpouring of supportive comments on Yahoo! Shine. Genevra penned a bittersweet ode to the woman of her dreams, Meredith, a loving partner with whom Genevra is coparenting a young daughter. The reader could easily fall a little bit in love with Meredith as Genevra describes waking up in the "quiet gray of early morning" next to her beloved. Meredith, however, finds it a little more difficult to appreciate her feminine charms--because she's self-conscious about having been born in a male body, one which retains numerous male features as Meredith works through a medical transition to the female gender. We were deeply touched by this heartfelt expression of love and empathy, and so was the Shine audience, with commenters stepping up left and right to wish Meredith and Genevra well on their journey.
Congratulations to the Content Spotlight winners! Each contributor who wrote a Spotlight-winning piece will receive a Spotlight badge and a $100.00 publishing prize. Thanks for your excellent work!
Don't forget to stop by the Forum to nominate your favorite July contributors and content for an August award.
(A word on Yahoo! Homes: We're still in the very early stages of publishing with this emerging site, so you may not see opportunities to publish there just yet; however, now is a great time to make sure your profile and library of content showcase any special expertise you have in areas related to real estate and home improvement!)