My Squidoo Experience: A Bad Case of The Bends
If you're thinking about writing for Squidoo, you might want to read this first.
I had stayed down too long in those Squid-infested waters
Surfing the web for (yet) another site to post some original content, I came across Squidoo.
Squidoo believes in that …”original, handcrafted, written-and-loved-and-tended-by-you content is not only the most enjoyable to write, but also the most useful for readers to discover, and the most likely to get shared with other people.” (Taken from Squidoo “Meet the Team” page.)
They claim that their mission is to run an open, “free platform” where people can organize their interest online.
Squidoo makes it simple, they say, for writers …”of all stripes to create portfolios of beautiful WebPages” each one about a single thing or story or opinion that the writers know and love; They call these stories, opinions, things─lenses.
Sounds good, I thought. I’ll give it a try. I signed up and within minutes was writing my first lens. I rewrote an article on the Soft Coated Irish Wheaten, complete with an adorable photo.
The article was posted, congratulated on, and I was given a couple of ‘Squidoo trophies’---which was a picture of a little squid.
The following day, I got an e-mail that said my lens was locked. Unpublished, due to “high quantities of content that exactly match content and writing posted elsewhere on the web.”
Whoops! My story must have been too close to the story on the wheaten that I wrote for Winkinut and Bukisa.
I immediately deleted the content; a redundant gesture since it was ‘locked’ and not going anywhere soon, and set about writing my second lens.
This time I'd make certain that there would not be one paragraph that could be traced to another site.
My new lens was about jewelry. I wrote about the advantage of buying jewelry made out of drusy quartz. Even though there was an article about the drusy quartz on another site, my drusy article was an orginal one: all brand-spankin’ new.
I posted it---again got another little squid trophy and some ‘points for posting a new lens.'
Cut to: a couple of days later, another e-mail arrives saying that I published a new lens which is great! (The exact wording of the first letter) but we see that it contains a high degree of duplicate content.
What? Their logo squid must not see very well because there was no duplicate content other than another article on the web about drusy quartz.
I was frustrated. In the e-mail there was a bit about ─if you’re positive your lens was locked in error─Here are the steps you can follow; It might take as long as a month to respond, and it was only in rare cases that they’d ‘unlock’ a lens.
I send an e-mail saying that the content was original, although the photo had been used on another content site; would that make a difference?
Maybe they’d respond quicker than a month; I'd write another article while I was waiting.
My third article was a personal experience article about our marriage. This time around, the picture for the illustration had not been published anywhere.
I finished the article, posted it, and immediately got another baby squidoo trophy and more points for publishing a lens.
Two days later another email: “Dear Squidoo Lens master, “you published a new lens yesterday (which is great!) but we see that it contains a high degree of….blah, blah, blah.”
I saw red. I mean literally. Unlike the squid that lives in the ocean who is capable of withstanding immense pressure, I was about to get a bad case of the bends! Not from surfacing too fast, but from staying down in those squid invested waters to begin with!
I deleted my Squidoo account, accompanied by what I could swear was the Halleljah Chorus coming from my computer.
Post Script: Incidentally, I finally received a reply from my e-mail question regarding duplicate content.
It was to Dear Squidoo Lensmaster, and was just a link to page where you could go if “you’re positive your lens was locked in error.” (Italics mine)
Perhaps there's someone out there out who has had a positive experience with Squidoo, if that’s the case, I’m glad for you. But for the others who might be considering joining Squidoo, I want to give an account of some of the things that (might) be in store for you.