Well, not really – but it might as well be. Squidoo is Seth Godin’s web 2.0 redheaded stepchild. It’s a user-generated experiment gone bad. The basic premise is that anyone can create a “lens” and become a “lensmaster” of a page about anything they want or are passionate about.
But lately the only time I hear Squidoo mentioned is when somebody talks about parasite SEO or ways to get easy trusted one-way links. About five months back Techcrunch blasted Squidoo. There are just so many problems with the Squidoo concept once reality sets in. Here’s a few notable ones:
- Most non-seo’s probably build a page and never come back to it. There is just nothing to come back for. The site is 0% sticky.
- Once someone claims a lens it’s theirs. This means there’s a crapload of really empty pages that will just stay that way because of point #1 and nobody will fix them. It’s like wikipedia without the wiki or the pedia.
- The whole payment/revenue-share concept is ridiculousy complicated and confusing – how the money splits before and after expenses, what those expenses are, how much of it goes to charity and under what circumstances, etc. They even have trouble explaining it themselves.
- The children in a Bangladeshi sweatshop earn more than the top Squidoo lensmasters. The highest payouts (if you work really hard and promote it) go all the way up into the low 2 figures range. Cha ching!
- Even their best content (Top 100) is utterly useless and complete crap. I sure hope the Magic of Harry Wong makes it into the top 10 to overtake Chocolate Obsessions. (Did John Mark Karr shadowrite the “Wong” lens?) I’ve seen content on scraper sites that puts Squidoo content to shame.
- Visually the whole site looks like a bunch of IRS agents decided to create their own Friendster, but with instead of writing, they scraped a bunch of articles from a network of grandma blogs. The visuals on the site are really bland and the users have no control over layout or style.
So I went ahead and created a new lens called Spamdoo. Do me a favor and go give it 5 stars. I want to see just how easy it is to move up the “most popular” rank. This is assuming the editors don’t get offended and remove it before you read this.