Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is "Squidoo" A Dirty Word?

I've noticed a somewhat disturbing trend lately. Well, to be honest I'm sure it goes all the way back to the notorious "Squidoo Slap" of 2007, but it seems to be reaching a critical mass in the past few weeks.

IF you know what Squidoo is you fall in to one of 3 categories:

1) The conscientious, honest, and hardworking lensmasters. Mainly, folks who hang out at SquidU, put lots of effort in to making great lenses, who care about what they're doing and why they're doing it.

2) The hard-core SEO/marketers/make money online NOW types. These are the bajillion bloggers and gurus preaching that everyone should make lenses to promote their blogs/websites/pyramid schemes/ponzi schemes/get rich quick schemes/e-books/affiliate programs/ways to make money online scams. Just a quick browse of Google will bring up DOZENS of "guru" sites that promote some pretty low-brow and even downright silly ways to use Squidoo. Everything from spamming guestbooks (and yes, I have to delete at least 10 or more comments from my own lenses every.single.day from these types) to (I'm not making this up) one self-proclaimed expert who preaches that everyone should ONLY make one lens per lensmaster account to make the most money. Seriously?

3) Everyone else on the planet who honestly still (rightly or not) believes that essentially Squidoo is a spam-machine. And that's it. Only recently have I seen Squidoo compared to less-than-kosher places like Yuwie and ASD (the old Ad Cash Daily scam). Now Mixx has banned lenses from being submitted and even my old standby of forum siggies with lens URL's has become suspect. The reigning opinion is not a nice reflection on Squidoo.

Seriously, what the heck? Even an innocent post about the Twitter Charity Drive has been frowned upon on a forum in which I am VERY established on (and rarely do I even mention Squidoo at all there, and not even anything since August). The problem? Not the charity part. Not the Twitter part. It was the fact that the URL for the contest was from Squidoo and they don't appreciate "those types of spam links". Um, what?

I asked questions. I poked around. My findings? Regardless of what your lens is about, the prevailing opinions are that 1) Squidoo "clicks" pay us cash (???) so if we put links in our siggies we're "tricking" folks in to giving us money, 2) Since lenses are "primarily" used for revenue generation, any promotion we do is considered advertising for personal financial gains, 3) that "promoting" for a charity has less-than-savory connotations - that is, the charity makes a few pennies, but we (as lensmasters) make more and therefore only use the charities as a "front" to trick more people in to our evil plans to take over the universe apparently (insert the eyeroll here).

So, my question is this - how in the world do we change the tides of opinion? I actually read a blog post (from a highly respected blog) regarding social bookmarking in general today during my reasearch that stated "if you see a Squidoo link, just skip it - don't give them any votes". I also read a blurb stating "unfortunately, Digg still allows submissions from Squidoo, but we hope that will change in the future".

I have explained Squidoo over and over and over to people. I've been blue in the face, but I must admit, today my spirit has been crushed. Mentioning the word Squidoo in conversation is apparently akin to mentioning Amway. I want to scream.


  1. I hope that our name and link here aren't considered spam. I am an honest, hard working human being that uses Squidoo as a means of promoting business. It's a great tool for promoting your business or yourself but you do have the rotten apples that spoil the bunch. There will always be people taking advantage of others and these "short-cut" seekers will continue to give us a bad name.

    This is a great post and I'll do what I can to get the word out about it.

    P.S. Amway can be a great business, if you work it. The system is there and it doesn't fail, the people working the system do. It has it's flaws but what is out there that can't be improved?

  2. This is indeed bad news for those of us who fall into Category 1.

    Personally, I think the reason why Lensmasters who fall into the other two categories proliferate on Squidoo is because we are too tolerant of them on the SquidU forum and on Squidtop.

    I am fed up with checking out lenses posted in the "Please critique me thread" that are yet another affiliate marketing lens, where the Lensmaster has just cut and pasted a load of Tosh from a "Do this and you'll make money" Clickbank site, or it's another "Forex" lens or even a "How to Squidoo" lens written by someone as a first or second lens. The majoroty of Lensmasters click on the thread, have a look and then quietly move off the thread. There's only a few of us who actually give the feedback the lens deserves and we do it ever so gently and ever so politely....

    I get even madder when I check their Bio and here they are asking for people to spend time helping them and they dont go and visit other lenses - GRRRRRRR!

    In fact I am probably going to stop looking at this thread completely as I just get totally hacked off and am thinking about starting a Group or Blog where lensmasters I know who are "givers" as well as asking for help, can post links to lenses for critique and we can all get on with the business of helping each other in a more equally balanced "give and take" community.

    It will have to be set up carefully though as there is a fine line between helping/supporting and getting into traffic exchanges.

    Oh boy, I have just let rip haven't I!

  3. I had never heard this. I don't like hearing it, what a bummer. Perhaps that is just a certain group of people thinking like that, I hope.