This is a summary of the broadcast AJ did with Joan Adams and Kate Loving Shenk on Blogtalk Radio on September 04, 2012 – click on the link to listen to an archive recording of the show.
Following our Summer Break Giant Squid Open Mike started their new season of broadcasts with an update on what has been happening on Squidoo. We said farewell to Megan Casey, Squidoo co-founder and Editor in Chief, following her decision to move on to explore new pastures but perhaps more shocking was the sudden closure of SquidU – the forum where many of us learned our Squidoo Skills, from other more experienced Lensmasters.
In various places in which I network, there’s been concerns expressed at what is happening on Squidoo and I have to say that I too get frustrated at the lack of information that comes out of Squidoo HQ. As a Project Manager I tend to operate on the premise that I keep my team informed about everything, unless there’s a very compelling reason not to. Fear of the Team’s reaction to any proposals or decisions is, in my view, NOT a good reason not to say anything.
The speed with which the SquidU Forum was closed and replaced with a new official Squidoo Forum, located on the HQ Blog, left many surprised and upset but at the end of the day, while we are keen to remind HQ that the lensmasters provide the content that earns the income to keep Squidoo staffed and functional, we the lensmasters also need to remember that HQ provides the platform. It is the typical symbiotic relationship, neither group can exist without the other.
Working online I have come to recognise (and try to accept) that change, while it may be unsettling, is inevitable.
As with any changes, the changes on Squidoo give rise to choices. We can choose to accept the changes and see how we can make those changes work for us, or we can allow resentment to build and internalise that resentment so much that we end up living and breathing in a cloud of negativity. And of course negativity is counter-productive. It eats away at us. It skews our thinking to the extent that our professional judgement can become impaired.
Given all the changes and the fact that some Squidoo Members are clearly unsettled, I don’t think it is a coincidence that Seth Godin has posted on the HQ Blog: What’s Up Squidoo. What Seth says makes interesting reading and tantalisingly he has hinted a new Squidoo project due to be announced soon.
So, with all these changes we thought it would be helpful to look at the Networking Opportunities we have and the places where many Squidoo members are publishing content and building backlinks.
Obviously Giant Squid Open Mike focusses on Squidoo, but as we are all in the business of trying to get our content optimized and we want to get traffic, I think it is relevant to mention other sites where we can link into our Squidoo content.
However, before we look at the other sites, let’s start with the places where Squidoo members congregate to exchange ideas, get tips and look for help.
I actually think having a broad range of places to network is a good thing. You can’t please all of the people all the time and having different groups can mean that they are smaller and people can get more attention than if they were just a face in the crowd.
I dont look at these groups as competing with each other, more as complimentary.
So where are these Networking Groups?
The Official Squidoo Forum can now be found on the HQ Blog: Squidoo Forum
Currently awaiting the appointment of a new team of Moderators, this forum is officially sanctioned by HQ and will be the first stop for any new members looking for help, tips and encouragement. However, you will also recognise a lot of established members.
Another place to network is the largest Squidoo Group on Facebook.
This group is well moderated by some well known lensmasters, and once you have joined, other related Groups will be suggested to you by Facebook. Some Groups are private and invitation only, so you may not get to hear about them unless an existing member invites you.
The other big group is on Yuku.com and is full of well known lensmasters, plus newer ones: Squidn
Another smaller, but active group can be found on Squidoo Marketing – all members are approved, but all Squidoo members are welcome.
This group is a particular favorite of Joan Adams.
In addition to these Forums and Facebook Groups, for more tips and help we have a whole library of articles about every Squidoo related topic you can think of, here on Squidlog.
There’s other sites you can use, either to spread your content across a range of platforms or to establish backlinks for your Squidoo lenses. You need to be aware of the rules relating to the minimum number of words in your content and if there’s limits to the number of outgoing links, which is the case with Hubpages, but in my experience and from feedback received from others, these sites not only help with backlinks, there’s income earning opportunities as well.
One note of warning to all Squidoo Members – the Squidoo Terms of Service are very clear about how users of Squidoo should behave both on and off the site. Members are expressly forbidden to flame, harrass or point the finger at any other Lensmaster, no matter where they are publishing publicly. I take this to mean other Forums and sites should not be used to circumvent Squidoo TOS.
Moving on to other sites where there’s a large representation of Squidoo members, one of the newest sites is Netleeks
This started as a Backlinking Site, but has developed into a content site where I know people are earning affiliate income directly. So with Netleeks you have the best of both worlds. You can link to your Squidoo lenses and you can write bigger articles on there if you wish.
Heather and Dianne who help run Netwleeks will be appearing on Giant Squid Open Mike on October 02, 2012.
Another site where you can also link to Squidoo and also link to Amazon or other affiliates is Wizzley. Started by three Squidoo lensmasters plus a couple of teccies from Germany this is a site where there’s strict filters to make sure you write a specific amount of content depending on how many products you link to.
However, you can link at to your Squidoo lenses, giving them a valuable backlink and you may also get traffic as a result
Zujava is another site started by a Squidoo lensmaster, which also has strict controls to keep the site “quality”. For example the coloring pages that give rise to a lot of grief on Squidoo (because of Copyright Infringements) are banned on Zujava.
Finally, one other site I want to give a shameless plug to is the site I co-own with Bev Owens and Paula Atwell: Writing Online. A lot of what we publish on there is very relevant to Squidoo but we are also helping people to move beyond Squidoo to start up their own niche blogs and websites.
If you know of any active Squidoo groups that have strict quality controls and that have not been mentioned here, please do add them in the comments section below.