Friday, February 10, 2006

What is Squidoo for?

I've solved a few problems in my Squidoo web page Revolutionary Army of the Infant Blog.

You use a Squidoo site to create a "Lens", which is a librarian/information science term for a focused hub of data and media on a given topic.

The "Lens" concept is an attempt to construct and deliver a gigantic "Answer Engine" or "Pre-Selected, Annotated Web" in this sense: when you want good, reliable information, a Search Engine is, as founder Seth Godin says, a "Poke Engine". You poke around in a haystack of Search Engine results, still hunting, searching for the needle in the haystack, the choice resource.

I deleted some empty, unused modules in RAIB. I just hope I can re-install them later if I need such things as Google Maps, Amazon, Flickr, and whatever Indeed is.

I'm journaling my experiences in Squidoo to set a pattern for you. You ought to consider downloading, at a safe secure site like PC World or PC Magazine, some new tools, a new browser, an HTML editor, audio editor, iTunes, or something. Jump in. Flouder. Make dumb mistakes. Learn. Get smart. Accumulate experience.

Gain marketable skills by tinkering with software products. Experimenting with new computing tools makes you more computer savvy. You'll cuss, throw things, yell, and rip your hair out of your head. I love it.

Get cyber tough today. Be a real cyber gentleman or geek lady. (If you're a blogger, you're a geek.) Grapple with some new software.

Wasting time watching the idiot box TV, or playing dorky games, or napping your life away? Re-channel that time and energy into struggling with new software. Lots of stuff is Open Source, i.e., FREE. Call it "freeware".


Here's a list of suggestions on how to use a Squidoo Lens:

[QUOTE--from Squidoo web site]

  1. WHO SHOULD BUILD A LENS?

    You should, if you...

    1. ...have a Web site and you're not happy with your PageRank in Google, a lens will increase it. That's because a lens provides exactly what search engines are looking for: authoritative insight so people can find what they're looking for.

    2. ...have a blog, a lens is a great way to highlight your best posts, to feature a commented version of your blogroll, and to point to the products and services that you write about, read about, enjoy, or want to see succeed. A lens will allow you and your blog to have a bigger share of the commentary and influence on your topic of choice.

    3. ...are a yo-yo expert, your lens could be nothing but links to tricks. You'd rank your favorite 100 tricks and point, one by one, to the best examples of those tricks on the Web. And maybe you'd point to Infinite Illusions, the online yo-yo store.

    4. ...are a nonprofit or charity (say, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) you could invite all 45,000 of your most important donors to build sites on their favorite topics. The invitation would set the default royalty cash flow to "Donate my royalties to JDRF." If each lens generated as little as $2 a day, that'd be a whole bunch of money earned for the charity. You'd also earn a bounty on every successful lensmaster you brought in.

    5. ...are a newshound, a lens allows you to highlight important mainstream and non-mainstream stories for your readers. And if you go on vacation, RSS feeds can automatically update your lens with select news stories.

    6. ...are a podcaster, you should definitely have a lens. It would list the details of your podcasts, point to transcripts that some fan had posted, point to your six most recent podcasts, and include the RSS for subscribing to the podcast. The lens would also have a set of links for getting started with podcasting and getting a podcast reader

    7. ...are a fan, a lens lets you share your personal take on the object of your affections—without the grind of manual updates. Automatic feeds could add current sports scores and headlines, music news and iTune releases and more.

    8. ...are an author, your lens could include links to all your books on Amazon. You could include links to other authors you admire. And an RSS feed from a Technorati search, showing surfers the recent blogs that have mentioned you. And links to conferences where you're speaking, and perhaps a top-ten list of the best ways to understand your writing. You could even have a box pointing to your best (and worst?) reviews.

    9. ...are an entrepreneur, your lens on a popular topic could generate two or five or twenty dollars a day in clickthrough and affiliate income. Which doesn't sound like much, until you start thinking like an eBay PowerSeller and build twenty or even fifty lenses on a variety of topics. Did you know that 750,000 people make a full- or part-time living on eBay now? The same effect will probably happen with lenses

    10. ... are a person (and you are), you should have a lens about...you. A lens that lists your blog and recent posts and your bio and work history and your Amazon wish list and your Flickr account and whatever you want the public to know about you. Would you hire someone if she didn't have a lens?

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