TechCrunch has a post
about the slow progress (or lack of progress) being made at Squidoo
. Squidoo lets people set up lenses on different topics. Here is how Squidoo defines a lense.
A lens is one person's view on a topic that matters to her. It's an easy-to-build, single web page that can point to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, CafePress designs, Amazon books or music, and thousands of products from hundreds of other trusted merchants. You can pick whatever content you want to put in your lens to bring context to your topic. Then, when someone is looking for recommended information, fast, your lens gets his started and sends him off in the right direction. It's a place to start, not finish.
People can set up as many lenses as they want but each lense is focused on a single topic. Some of the top lensmasters on Squidoo can be found here
. One lensmaster even set up a lense for new squidoobees
. Newbie lensmasters can also learn lensmaster skills at SquidU
. The entry
on TechCrunch has an email sent out by the SquidTeam, including founder Seth Godin
(the Original Squid), that says the most people have made from Squidoo so far is about $30.
We're just out of beta, and we're betting no one is going to retire on their lens earnings. But already some of you have earned as much as $30 (dinner for two!). Others have earned about $1. And still others have pooled their money to send thousands of dollars to places like Room to Read, which helps build schools for children in developing countries.
on the Squidoo blog, which is similar to the email, says some lensmasters have made as much as $40. That still isn't very much money and Michael Arrington says that an expert could easily make more money blogging.
The best lenses are generating $30 or so a month for the lensmaster. A true expert on a topic could generate many, many times that number by creating a blog, along with some static content, and putting up simple Google adsense ads. So top content producers are not going to be heading to Squidoo for the money, ever (Squidoo’s model is set up in such a way that they could never make as much money from a lens as they could on their own). And besides, the blog format just works better for experts - fresh content generates lots of links, which equals traffic and search engine juice.
The only unanswered question is whether or not experts will go to Squidoo even without the financial incentive. Maybe, but Squidoo's tools are not particularly advanced - self publishing is easy these days.
Squidoo may generate some content creation growth, but I don't see it generating serious page view growth under their current model.
One advantage Squidoo may have is that if Squidoo does start building traffic people may start a lense there even if they already have a blog or a website on the same subject or a closely related subject. They won't care that it doesn't make them money directly if it can help them drive traffic to the blog or website that does make them money. In the long term this might help Squidoo continue to build pageviews. Another possible factor in favor of Squidoo is that Squidoo lenses are only a single page. This makes it a great place for extremely specific topics that people might not want to devote an entire individual blog to.