This year my freelancing shifted away from writing gigs (again), but I did begin to consider returning to active Squidoo-ing because that publisher/platform seemed to be settling down after suffering through a series of periodic spasms reacting to Google algorithm tweaks. After joining and opening a lens, turned away until Squidoo Plus caught my attention and I saw content organizing possibilities -- oblivious to admin's power. Back then, it was fun.
I shifted from writing, unenthusiastic about both anonymous content producing (for easy pennies) and creating under my byline (for harder-earned pennies). None of that (well, very little) so far has been written inside out -- from my insides outward -- and that matters, I have realized.
Squidoo was fun when I found it more than four years ago, and I there I began writing from my soul. But soon I got tangled up in the complicating confusions. Digital Journal and other services I have enthused over for periods are no worse or better, I have found (about the same, with quirky differences).
Now, I might as well continue reviewing my latest Squidoo experiences...
Last month, new (but not improved) auto-crackdown checkers began flagging frantically while nearly daily "reading quests" appeared giving points to lensmasters for reading official explanatory blog posts about the latest cleanup.
So I sighed (again) and put aside notions of renewing my lensing efforts -- finally accepting that Squidoo will likely always flail and fail in desperate efforts to out-tweak Google.
Seventeen of my lenses were flagged as substandard -- almost all of them still showing triumphal-smiley "100% Way to go pal!" badges "awarded" by the site's older lens-progress auto-checker. After deleting several I wasn't fond of anyway, I discovered I could republish without changing anything; I inadvertently pushed "publish" when I couldn't decide and meant to return to fix or delete later, and it happened.
Then, I read that the ability to republish flagged lenses meant the fixes brought them up to acceptable standards, according to Squidoo admin. Afterwards the flags disappeared from my dashboard lens-list.
In the process I updated and corrected here and there, but made no significant changes. Maybe new flags will appear tomorrow...
New Update: I began this post late March, and this early April morning, more (presumably false-positive) flags appeared on my lens list several other "100% Way to go pal!" complete lenses (all with NO affiliate links and NO spun content and at least five complete modules, not counting the Intro and Guestbook). But republishing (after quick-reviewing confirming completeness) "fixed" all this go-round too. I might as well consider this a service, letting me know which lenses to check and republish first. The system offers a "heads-up" warning week before an un-publishing date.
I have re-reminded myself (for it seems I must, again and again) that there are no dependable, hassle-free content sites where I could find a comfortable freelance writing home ever. And I have cancelled all previously mentioned 2013 Squidoo plans, except keeping the account open with minimal maintenance, just-for-fun.
My attention is shifting back (yet again) to organizing ebook content in the Cloud (with Evernote, Catch, Google Drive, Dropbox and Box) for future self-publication, a few longer-term projects.
The (too many) blogs I opened over the years to organize and publish contemporaneously on diverse topics (each blog for its separate subject or purpose) will remain in holding patterns for now. Blogger and LJ haven't tripped me up, so far, so I see no reason to break more URLs.
My freelancing lately...
It's mostly expenses-covered traveling, mostly around Wisconsin and the Midwest, but further occasionally, doing diverse errands and tasks...gigs I can't write about yet..that I'm finding more fun than writing anyway.
My colleague Tortoise Cat watches over our territory with her humans-allowed clowder that includes a growing number of "Uncle and Aunty Big Ones," nearby neighbors who visit daily or oftener just to keep her happy (I imagine she imagines).