Missing old friends on the Squidoo SquidU Forum and a new AJ

The return of a “regular” at the Squidoo Forum after quite an absence, has AJ thinking about other old friends who have disappeared from SquidU and some changes are afoot

Networking on Squidoo is like networking all over the net. The internet reminds me of the sea. It covers the planet but it depends which way the tide is flowing as to where you end up.

To me the tide is the trends, the latest “in” platforms, the places that shoals of  Squidoo Lensmasters and networkers flock to as word gets out that this is “the” place to mix, establish backlinks and, if you are lucky, get some traffic as well.

I have been a regular on the SquidU Forum since I first started on Squidoo in the summer of 2008. I have seen celebrations, I have seen arguments. I have seen thought provoking discussions and I have seen comments that have made me wince. I have seen people reaching out to others to support them when life is getting them down.

I have seen people sharing Squidoo Tips as they help others solve problems on their lenses (thanks Flynn the Cat for pointing me in the right direction over some AllPosters code this week icon smile Missing old friends on the Squidoo SquidU Forum and a new AJ ). I have felt sad and I have laughed out loud.

There’s been times when I get so cross that I think I will never, ever, ever, (ever!) set foot in the Forum again. I have seen people come and I have seen people go…

But in the last couple of weeks, with the return of Rock The Ice after a long absence plus fleeting appearances from Poddys and Chef Keem, I have been reminded about a lot of great people who used to regularly visit SquidU, who I know are still publishing on Squidoo and are active on other networks, but who no longer visit the SquidU Forum.

Where are you? Poddys, Joan, MiMi, Bev, Drifter, Lakeerieartists, Spirituality, to mention just a few…… Come back! We miss your input and we miss YOU!

If your absence is due to a bug stopping you from logging in, then Kimberly has announced it has been fixed in this SquidU Forum thread.

And it was something that happened on the Forum recently that made me stop and think and do something I have been planning for some time.

AJ is changing!

On SquidU and here on Squidlog, we have often talked about being open and honest in our online activities, particularly if you are relying on people to trust you and believe what you are saying, whether it be to recommend a product or do some teaching.

Having a cartoon character for an Avatar, probably makes it harder to build credibility. I have always known that, but I had some very genuine (and honest) reasons for wanting to remain anonymous, which my online friends have always accepted and respected.

However, I always knew that one day, I would have to lose my anonymity online and on Squidoo, if I was to be able to further develop my online presence and also realise my ambition, which is to make a reasonable income through my writing, whether it be publishing on Squidoo, blogging or having my own websites.

So over the last few days, I have been editing my very personal lenses and now I have to keep my fingers crossed that these changes don’t ruin the Top Tier ranking that my school bullying lens has enjoyed for so long.

Then I made a new Avatar!

I followed MiMi’s example when she changed her avatar, what seems like a long time ago. I added my “AJ” handle to it and a mini version of the old Avatar, so that people will know it is me. Eventually the old Avatar will disappear.

My feelings about changing my avatar are in a bit of a jumble. I have reservations about mixing up my personal and private identity with my online one, which is why I don’t use Facebook for keeping in touch with family or personal contacts.

I guess I could describe how I feel as dipping my toe in and getting ready to take the plunge. The water feels a bit cold but I know I will enjoy the swim once I get in there!

AJ Missing old friends on the Squidoo SquidU Forum and a new AJ

Hello from the real AJ


About AJ

I am a wannabe writer, who for five and a half years was very active on Squidoo. I left the site in November 2013 for many reasons. I am now focussing developing my own sites and I will share my journey on my own blog.


  1. AJ, first off, its nice to see a picture of the real person behind the name. Regardless of using a real avatar or a cartoon, I never twice thought of you being credible. I fully understand why you used a cartoon in the first place.

    I think the reason some are not coming around squidu is because many are busy these days. I myself used to spend a lot of time on Squidu, but these days I have not been around as much as I used to.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..AJ wrote a new blog post: Missing old friends on the Squidoo SquidU Forum and a new AJ =-.

  2. Definitely LOVE the “new” AJ! Keeping the old avatar visible in a corner is a great idea to transition your online buddies to the new look. Will have to try that myself sometime.

    Like Melissa pointed out, a lot of us have gotten increasingly busy with other activities which is also the main reason why I’m not around SquidU much these days. I still pop in from time to time but admit to lurking more than participating. It’s a good reminder to keep in touch though.

  3. Love your “mug”, AJ! You are so much prettier than that Simpson gal (including the famous sister Jessica).

    All of us old Squidoo friends have “good” reasons for our degree of involvement on Squidoo and SquidU. I agree with Melissa’s assessment. It’s somehow built-in on Squidoo that we learn and grow and discover all kinds of new possibilities for creative and commercial expression. And it all takes up a lot of time.

    The beauty of it is that we never stop thinking about one another. And we miss our dear friends. And when the time is right and an occasion offers itself, we connect again. (The birthday greetings from SquidU moved me to tears. What a sweet way to reconnect!)

    We just have to take it as it comes, one day at a time. I’ll be busy again soon, with the next restaurant and all. But this time I won’t have such a murderous schedule of 70-80 hours per week. I hope I’ll be able to hang around SquidU more often again.

    Meanwhile, it’s so good to see you in good spirits and a mighty purty avatar pic. Hugs all, your Keem. :)

    • Squidoo is really a stepping stone for many of us. Before Squidoo, I had a Star Trek Simming addiction. Since October I have returned to that world, but I have not forgotten about squidoo as I still am writing lenses. Just not as much as I used to.

      I think a lot of what I have learned on Squidoo, I have been able to take in my simming world when it comes to bringing people into writing for my own simm that I run.

      Between that, school, and webhosting, I have been pretty busy.

      Good luck Chef :)

    • Let’s keep re-connecting Achim :)
      .-= AJ´s last blog ..AJ wrote a new blog post: Environmentally friendly Samsung 3D LED TV =-.

  4. AJ – I know just what you are talking about – Both with stopping by SquidU more frequently, and changing avatars. After being a pair of eyes since 2007, it made me wonder if people would not recognize me if I were anything else. Your portrait is beautiful and incorporating your AJ tag with it is an excellent idea. My upgrades are slow but sure, and long past due. I miss a lot of my old SquidU friends, too. But it seems no matter how far we are all spread out, we all end up washing up to shore whenever time permits. I’m glad to have bumped into this thread – if for no other reason than to say hello & it is good to see you here, at SquidU, and FaceBook, too.
    .-= charlino´s last blog ..Hollywood Dolls: Late Night and Twilight =-.

  5. Indeed, for me, you built credibility with what you have given us as a fellow Squid, and through your writing. It’s never been what you look like.

    But, now. I know you are glad to be free! :)

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