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Squidoo's new policies... Oh my...

So Squidoo has come up with new policies. Well, I won't say that making straight rules wasn't necessary : I've and some other Giant Squids have been asking for them for many years.

Some of us, complaining about TOS violations in SquidU forums (which have been closed) have even been banned because we would have touched to some untouchable lensmasters.

So what's new with Squidoo?

1. Spun content is no longer allowed - oh my... I've never thought that they'd allow spun content on the site! I've even never seen any lens including spun content! And believe me: I'm a Squid angel... which means that I visited a bunch of lenses!

Well, naturally, HQ doesn't seem to know what "spun content" is... Well, I know and I was ROFLMAO reading that "spun content had become a Squidon't.

Here's some "spun content" : 

{Squidoo's {new|last|latest} {policies|rules|guidelines}|Squidoo {makes new {decisions|guidelines}|takes new measures}|Squidoo dictates new {rules|TOS}}

Have you ever found a lens built like this? Me... never!

2. Over keyworded lenses aren't allowed any more. OK. So how do you call "macaroni casserole", then? How do you call "water"? How do you call "Christmas mass"? Many lenses will always be overkeyworded because when you speak about something, you can't name it something else! Even Google knows that...

3. Thin lenses aren't allowed starting right now. OK. So, why did the community organizers teach lensmasters how to make thin lenses and why did they rewarded those lenses with purple stars? 

Indeed, I joined the group at the time I wasn't a Giant yet - we used to have a group that would teach us how to make "outstanding" lenses and we were even given a specific type of lens to make once a week in order to reach the minimum of lenses required to get the status. In this time, we were obliged to present 50 superb lenses - 60 was even better just in case the deciding team wasn't happy with all our 50 lenses!

To be honest, I wasn't happy with the type of lenses community organizers were teaching to make... and I even refused to join the Rocket Moms group for that very same reason: low quality lenses were produced in masses. As a honest person, I'd say that I've also seen some outstanding lenses made by Rocket Moms, like AJ's lenses, for example but I'm not sure she learned how to make these in the group.

However, it is those shopping lenses that work the best - especially in the end of year holiday season, Halloween, and other specific holidays - and those that bring the most money to Squidoo.

Shortly after I made Giant, they made it so easy that anyone having 25 lenses, whether good or crappy would become Giant. 

And now they change their mind, they pretend that they've never taught anyone doing wrong, that they never allowed anyone doing that? Is it a joke? Just take an eye to HQ team's accounts to get a real overview of what thin lenses are!

4. New policy regarding coloring pages. Wow! It's been ages that we asked for lots of these lenses to be removed from Squidoo, we reported each time we saw them, because they weren't original, they were TOS violation, copyright violation, duplicate content lenses,  and so on! One lensmaster was even master in such business!

What happened for Squidoo, three years later, take measures? Now, some lensmasters wonder why the lenses they were allowed to keep in the higher rankings are deindexed, flagged, locked... 

Not that I'd take defense of the offenders, but it's a bit too late for making such decision.

5. The Amazon module prompt... At the very same time shopping lenses aren't the standard they used to be a few days ago, Squidoo comes up with a new prompt system for... Amazon modules! Yeah... So, now when you build a lens, the 5th module is recommended to be an Amazon Spotlight module - a prompt even tells you where to add it.

I think I'm getting mad : one day they tell me "no shopping lenses" the other day they say "don't forget to add a selling module".

You can argue that the first 4 modules can be filled with hundreds of words of pure content, however, they could also just be :
  • Introduction
  • Link list
  • Duel or Poll module
  • Pictures
  • Bam!!! Amazon Spotlight!
After all, lensmasters don't always write a 5,000 word lens and can be very happy with a few interactive modules that don't require content or a very short amound of words.

One lensmaster is champion number one for making such lenses: you think you're going to find some great recipes on the lens, however, you'll only find a bunch of links that will redirect you to existing recipes on other sites. I think that, before teaching people how to build a lens and telling them that they're not allowed to make lenses the way they want, some should clean up their own account and show example.

6. Today's reading quest relates to flagged lenses. I've read the post, well, it's interesting, however, I made a decision on deleting any flagged lens that's "empty" (my shopping lenses, especially Christmas ones) and perhaps - not sure though - rework those that are "content" lenses.

Why won't I rework the Christmas ones? Simply because they showcase Christmas ornaments and that when I buy a Christmas ornament, I do NOT want the seller to tell me her life. I'm not interested in the way the seller decorates their home, I just want to buy my ornament, period!

Why on Earth would I want my potential buyer to leave my page because it's boring with useless text and anecdotes? 

Why on Earth would I share my personal and PRIVATE life with people I've never met and will never meet? 

That is beyond my understanding.

While content is indispensable when trying to sell a coffee maker or an android phone, I don't think that a chocolate shaped Christmas ornament needs much info.

All in all and since I joined Squidoo back in February 2007, I've never seen a personal lens of mine making money, I've never seen a 1,000 or 2,000 words lens of mine making me money or simply rewarding me for the hard work. 

My best performing lenses are the Halloween ones - most of them include a bunch of written content because they teach how to make this and how to plan that - the Christmas ones - many include content, but many also only showcase ornaments, trees, etc. and do NOT need a bunch of written content - and the Valentine's Day lenses out of which most include content but, once again, they teach something fun...

Making money on Squidoo works 2 ways :
  1. Create a content lens on a topic that will be of interest for someone (how to plan a tea party, how to create a Japanese garden, share a book review, etc.)
  2. Create a shopping lens on products that are in demand right now.
The rest: personal stories and the like won't make you money and you'll never be rewarded for the hard work. You'd rather keep such texts for your personal sites... where you can share your PRIVATE life with faithful readers and not shop browsers or buyers.

Therefore, I don't understand why "thin" or "shopping" lenses aren't standards any more: they are those that bring money to Squidoo ; unless Squidoo doesn't want to make money any more.

There's answer : they make more money with some additonal ads that one can find on our lenses than with Amazon and eBay modules. And to be properly oriented, these ads need more content.