Image by neurmadic aesthetic via Flickr
Though I make lenses for fun still, I have been shifting into earning mode gradually over the past several months. A high percentage of my lenses were opened as multi-media reference points to collect, all on one "cheat sheet" webpage: links and Wikipedia intros; updating news and blogs; the latest Amazon, eBay and CafePress products; and pics and vids, all around each of my favorite specific study topics and some broader categories.
In contrast, visits to SquidU remind me how seriously Squidoo can be taken.
Yesterday I read Squidoo-HQ phone conferenced with a group of invited top "...lensmasters responsible for the 500 lenses getting the most traffic on the site...about 250 people..." apparently meaning to emphasize that lenses should be UUU, that is "Unique, Useful, Updated" and show human curating.
All mine fit these guidelines. I was visualizing ambitious 2011 goals.
But, according to some who listened in and posted about it, the call also hinted at sudden lens shutdowns soon to come, perhaps as soon as two weeks from now, for other reasons I can't make sense of (yet), such as selling using Amazon modules (which I thought was being encouraged since Squidoo is an affiliate and offers six different Amazon modules) or for CSS lens-tweaking, which I only do a little of, and that grudgingly, because so many highly ranked lenses have been embellished (and count the number of high-ranking, highly-liked, even purple-starred or LOTD-featured, how-to lenses about spicing up presentations using CSS style="tags" within html there are, so I'm confused).
I thought I grokked the gist of Squidoo's do's and don'ts and I was feeling confident I follow the rules.
Still, with only 159 lenses so far, I would find getting some or all shut down because of rapid rule changes a heavy blow.
Now, doubts are arising about the wisdom of spending so many hours Squidoo-ing, as much as I enjoy it (when I forget about visiting SquidU). I'm starting to wonder if continuing to use the Squidoo platform to organize increasing amounts of content is foolhardy, after all, though I like it lots and seem to be getting better at earning money there, slowly but steadily.
From visiting the forum more often I've learned how much the top Squids do to promote their lenses and what SEO they use, occasionally picking up useful, instructive links. Yet I find this helpful stuff after scanning post after post about how much one or another Squid dislikes certain types of lenses and opines this or that type of lens must be making Squidoo look bad.
After I can't stand to read more on that note, I click away, imagining one or a few new neighborhood SquidAngels might have "dinged" lenses of mine lately (the opposite of blessing). Since the new SquidAngels program launched in February, I rarely see a blessing on my activity page.
On a more pleasant note: I was ecstatic to discover two of my nominations for Squidoo Lens-of-the-Day were picked recently -- one yesterday, one last week.
Besides updating more than half of my lenses, I opened Air-Travel-Tips and Travel-Tips-FAQ this week.
I have given up all hope that any of my lenses ever will be picked for LOTD or purple star honors, and it's a relief.