Tuesday, December 20, 2005

To Squidoo or not to Squidoo, that is the Question ...

I've been testing two new ideas in search: Yahoo Answers and Squidoo.com.

Yahoo Answers shows a lot of promise - it allows users to post questions, answer questions, and score points and eventually perhaps payment for participation. However I've been disappointed in the low quality of many of the answers to my test questions and other questions I've reviewed. Projects like this need people to take the project very seriously or it won't have quality.

SQUIDOO is a very interesting idea - basically a variation on the ABOUT.com concept where experts offer high quality articles about all sorts of topics and are ranked and paid as users interact with the information.

I've been testing it a bit and developed a "lens", or Squidoo web page, for Las Vegas. The system is easy to use, but I kept getting the feeling I was just setting up Squidoo to make most of the money from work better put to use on my own websites. Their total claimed revenue share payout is a pitiful few hundred dollars to what must be hundreds and hundreds of "lensmasters".

Unless Squidoo has some great way to optimize for search engines (and I doubt they do), the articles there are probably no more likely to get good ranks than, for example, a blog at Google's blogger.com on which the publisher can run adsense.

Since Squidoo has financing by a major VC firm with a bunch of heavy hitters like Marc Andreesen, a large percentage of the value will flow to them and not publishers.

Verdict so far: Squidoo doo is a no do.

JoeDuck's Blog

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