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Squidoo Goes Public Beta

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of December 2005 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

Also in my emails this morning was a number of emails from people telling me that Squidoo had come out of it’s private beta test.

I’ve not had a chance for a good look around it yet but have heard some good things from it so far.

Have you played with it yet? Have you created a lens? If so feel free to leave the URL for it in comments below. I’d love to see what you’ve been experimenting with.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I got a beta invitation a couple of weeks ago and spent a few minutes checking it out. It’s a weird Web 2.0 combination of Wikipedia, eHow, and About.com that I don’t really see the point of.

    It might grow into something interesting, but right now it’s like a less edited version of Wikipedia – half of the lenses are empty or nearly so, and the bulk of the content of the good ones is just a somewhat arbitrary list of links. There’s already some spam creeping in there, too.

    With their LensRank system maybe something useful will come of it someday, though.

  2. Darren,

    Have built a blogger hacks lens (as per my interest @ Freshblog). Have linked to a couple of other blogging lenses in there too… Occurs to me that if the idea is to build a community / network within the service, then interlinking between topically related lenses will be one crucial way to do that.

    I wonder about the spam too, esp. since the signup pitch promises SEO & pagerank boosts all around. An invitation to the spammers?

    Is still a work in progress, and the adding of links strikes me as a pretty laborious process, but check it out, & let me know what you think.


  3. I was a pretty early beta. I love the design of the site and the blog. Great feel. But I was underwhelmed overall. Now that I’ve seen some good squidoo lenses, I’m still underwhelmed but have a higher appreciation for it. It fills a tiny gap–a service that ties together several loosley coupled widgets (RSS, News, links, etc) to create a central view of a topic. A new and better About.com? (yuck) Kind of a portal for a blogger to add more stuff. I just doubt that a lot of top bloggers and people publlishing on the web will want to drop off their main sites and devote a lot of effort to squidoo. Maybe that’s the point–open up an easy to use service for more voices.

    It’s sort of a Web 2.0 topic portal with content/media management. I think it’s destined to become the Plumtree of the Web 2.0 world though (pretty irrelevent), because the blog service providers (Typepad, Blogger, etc) are going to add more content management features. I think at best it will be a nice 3rd tier player. That’s not such a bad thing, depending on your goals, if you’re Squidoo.

  4. I was one of the early Squidoo private beta testers and my lens is located here: http://www.squidoo.com/bigbottom/

  5. Follow-up: While there are similarities between Squidoo and Wikipedia, I saw more similarities between Squidoo and About.com. On both sites, there are individuals like myself posting as some sort of “expert” about a given topic without any peer review. I purposely only created a lens about a subject I know very well: playing and learning the bass.

  6. Hey, someone else has registered a Problogger Lense!

  7. […] The blogosphere is buzzing about the launch of the new Seth Godin Web 2.0 vehicle Squidoo. I’d try to describe what it is but I can’t because I’m still haven’t undertaken my course in loving Web 2.0 and understanding newspeak so its totally lost on me. Steve Rubel describes it as: “Squidoo is like a blog. It’s an online platform that makes it easy for anyone to build and share lenses on topics they are passionate about and establish thought leadership” […]

  8. Duncan – yeah someone beat me to it. Oh well. I’ve got pro-blogger.

  9. I spent a few minutes setting one of these up in November, just a simple little addition to my main site. We’ll see now if the talk becomes a reality…

    Also, in time, the possibility of a little extra cash…


  10. I got in the beta and built this life coaching and self-development lens:


    and left it alone. Would love for anyone to explain to me what Squidoo’s good for because I still have not much of an idea.

  11. just created a lense. http://www.squidoo.com/cashflow/

    like the web 2.0 feel. would like to see some more functionality.
    social networking tools specifically.

  12. Deleted Comment says: 12/08/2005 at 4:05 pm

    Comment Edited by Darren.

  13. Holy moly Darren, the BloggerKiller is proving my point even after I wrote this entry about blog-trolls. Amazing.


  14. According to http://www.deathclock.com I have 1,002,570,307 more seconds to live, how many of those do I want to spend learning new web 2.0 ways of sharing bookmarks, rss feeds, notes, factoids,grabitz and dobadobs. Ok so I made the last two up. The point is, don’t waste your time mucking around with all the new groovey stuff springing up. Let a time rich person burn in the new dibby dobby stuff. When it’s reached critical mass, go for it.

    Time spent not posting on your blog is time spent not posting on your blog. I know this cos I am a HUGE sinner.

    Don’t be a Betamax kinda person.

  15. I was an early tester. Squidoo will be used. I also started to call it a Private Wiki.

  16. forgot to mention: this will become a HUGE success. No doubt.

  17. I’m not so sure. Squidoo is cumbersome. I’m not sure it does enough to differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd. My reasoning? The Mike Stopforth attention span test. I was able to spend about 40 min on it before dying of boredom, and I hadn’t really achieved much.

    But I think you’re right – it will improve, and it will have to reach critical mass before it gets buy-in. Seth Godin can’t be too far wrong :)

  18. http://www.squidoo.com/lensaku/

    this my squiddo name as Lensaku (or english call My lens). Appreciate if you can come to this squiddo or maybe you can come to my blog to give some comment on how to get more traffic on it. Thanks

  19. I was a beta tester too and now have two lenses published. Honestly, I’m not satisfied with either of them being good enough YET, but you’re free to take a peek:


    I jumped on board for one reason – Seth Godin. It seems to me that he is likely to do what it takes to make this work and he has that magical quality where projects he touches turn to gold.

    There are quite a few things in Squidoo that don’t seem functional yet, but I am confident they will be worked out. I guess we’ll see how successful it will be or not. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

  20. Squidoo is a great idea. It would be valuable to have a place to research stuff without being bombarded by advertisements and people selling that same stuff.

    Seth Godin says that people want do some research and feel comfortable with their decision to buy something before they go shopping for it. When you look at Google search results for anything, the top sites are usually selling something. You have to dig through the results to find the information you need to make that informed decision.

    The good lens will (hopefully) point to wikis, message boards, blogs, etc that provide the information that people want. Then they need to point to places to make purchases too so that there’s some profit to keep this going.

    It’s an interesting idea and I hope it catches on.

    Here’s mine:

  21. They’ve got a nice interface and good tools for integrating with services from other places on the web. I’m glad I stopped by today and saw this entry!

    Time to get to work.

  22. Squidoo is all about creating external-facing portals, with revenue sharing as an incentive for maintaining it. At the very least, go and claim your vanity lens and aggregate all your stuff together for others to find, as in About that Eric Giguere person. Doesn’t take long to get a basic lens with RSS feeds from your blogs and links to your sites up and running.

  23. I created a lens about Karrine Steffans, the author of “Confessions of a Video Vixen.” I still need to add more content, but I have it linked to my blog and Karrine’s website right now.

    She has another two books in the works and a movie deal coming out, so I’m hoping I’m getting this started on the ground floor.


  24. Peter says: 12/09/2005 at 7:56 am

    Here is one that I just started:


  25. I’ve been a beta tester too with one of my lenses ranking at number 1 so far (http://www.squidoo.com/Get_Paid). Not sure how that happened lol. I have a few more like http://www.squidoo.com/Affiliate_Goodies/ that I’d like to work on. I think for me the purpose or benefit of something like squidoo is to provide and review a highly targeted lens with good resources. Not sure I ‘get’ the full promise of squidoo though. It’s been interesting and the squidoo team did a good job ironing out the bugs.

  26. btw Peter I added your podcasting lens to my favorites – I’m expecting an ipod under the Christmas tree this year so it will come in handy I’m sure lol.

  27. I’m setting up a few lenses including:

    http://www.squidoo.com/boardgames/ and http://www.squidoo.com/webcomics/

    The RSS and Technorati integration has some promise — but it would be nice to easily aggregate multiple RSS feeds into a single feed and display it…

  28. I’ve put together three Squidoo lenses so far:

    Martin Ralya, Freelane Writer (me)
    Treasure Tables, a Weblog for GMs (my blog)
    Game Mastering (my blog’s topic, and one of my passions)

  29. “Freelane” = Freelance. Whoops. ;)

    Any chance of a comments preview function, Darren?

  30. I was invited as a pre public beta user. Although the concept of mini guides is not new, it is very interesting the way it is marketed.

    Also there are lots of web personalities behind this project and that will be the key of success.

    BTW, my lens is about: Programming a Photoshop Plugin

  31. Following Seth’s blog closely I was very happy to be invited as a beta tester. For some weeks I have a few lenses up and running:

    These are in the same knowledge area as my weblogs. I feel they do require less attention than a weblog. Not sure what it will become like. More a feeling for me like “build it and they will come…”

  32. I just learned about Squidoo yesterday and built a few lenses.

    I think the site has potential because it makes it easy for most people to pick a topic and bring several resources into a single page without having to be a webmaster or HTML expert.

    Having gone through a month of problems with Blogger and spending a week moving all of the blogs I hosted there (well, all but two, still working on it) to their own domains or archival dead-ends, I’m not much of a fan of free services right now.

    That said, I created several lenses, including:


    I’ll play around with it some to see how it goes. So far, it looks good for non-expert website builders, and that’s a huge market.

    All the best,


  33. […] Commenters at Darren Rouse’s Problogger site have been trying it out too. […]

  34. After seeing a few lenses set up by friends, I decided to do my own. What a hoot! I love the way it works, instant links, etc. It’s not clear to me, however, how this will help my business, or if it’s even intended for that. I also wonder how the SEs will treat these. I do see great potential for it as a way of networking, or branding yourself as an expert.


    Bobbi C.

  35. […] What the hell that means, I have no idea. I followed the link in Darren’s post about Squidoo coming out of private beta, and I had a spare 5 minutes so I thought I’d go see what it was all about. I kinda wish I hadn’t. […]

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