Goodbye Squidoo. Hello Again, HubPages

In my view...

When Squidoo Came Tumbling Down

You know how you can be so surprised by an event that you shake your head, blink your eyes and wonder if there's a mistake?

Something can be so outside your expectations, you have to shuffle your mental departments around to make room. Then, there's the dishonesty and betrayal that has to be accepted if what you're seeing happens to be true.

Could the Seth Godin who writes books about personal integrity and passion do something so slimy? Could he all but grab a sack of cash and run, leaving his supporters and followers on Squidoo like the self-absorbed captain of discount cruise liner about to sink?

Yes, and yes.

The Bombshell Message from Seth Godin

Godin, who along with his original partner, Megan Casey, had ineptly maneuvered Squidoo into an iceberg known as a Google Panda update, popped in a cheery letter, artfully timed for a lazy late August afternoon when he could be sure the fewest people were around to object, announcing that he'd sold out to HubPages without actually saying he'd done so.

Being a longtime Hubber, reading that all my 350 lenses would soon become Hubs didn't bother me much. Although I haven't had the time to be very active, I've respected the tough choices HubPages made to stabilize its authority on the internet. These were choices Seth and his team were loathe to make and let the site sour instead.

Godin, essentially, for cash, turned the content created and curated by writers he served badly and failed to support competently over to a team that will inherit great content, some of which they will have to deal with painfully.

For several years, Seth Godin neglected Squidoo, but when he saw dollar signs, he woke up and went for them. The funny thing was, he sort of bragged about it, like he was doing the community of Squidoo writers a favor.

He was, I believe, because HupPages will make a great home, but that wasn't his real motivation.

I have this cartoon image of cash falling out of Seth Godin's back pocket as he flees the shipwreck he dozed us into.

Squidoo Crumbling Update

Just a few days after Seth Godin's brusque, deceptive announcement, in the face of outrage across the internet, he's backed off some of the worst elements he forced on his writers. At the same time, HubPages has stepped in to mitigate much of the anger.

  • Maybe running for cover, Godin has left follow up messages to "The Squidoo Team" or one of its members. His mug, then, was absent from the announcement that they were rolling the minimum payout to $1.00, from a recently installed $25, thus guaranteeing that money earned by writers would not be confiscated, as originally announced, and turned over to the Acumen Fund, a charity with which Godin is involved.
  • In a series of blog posts and answers to forum questions, HubPages has aggressively opened its arms to the Squidoo newcomers, offering a generous (tentative) four months for lenses transferred to be required to meet the new TOS. With an openness unknown to Squidoo, HubPages has taken pains to explain what they expect to function well after the transfer and what might cause problems. Squidoo writers have been more accustomed to unexpected malfunctions and invisible, possible nonexistent tech support.

On Facebook groups previous developed around Squidoo, a clear optimism is rising. Many have positive expectations about what's to come.

Squidoo, a Brief History of Catastrophe

There are a few wonderful things to love about Squidoo...

  • From inception, Squidoo by design shared half their profits with charities. As lensmasters, funky term though it was, we even got to participate in choosing which charities. Hooray for Seth, Megan, Corey and Gil!
  • No other site was ever as visually sumptuous as Squidoo. It was designed to be nice to look at and to be a great place for photos.
  • Squidoo, with its open platform and easy access to Amazon and eBay sales and Google Adsense revenue, was a great place to make money for creating content. A lot of people prospered until Google stepped in in early 2013.
  • It's unlikely any writers' platform had so much rah-rah spirit and encouragement or as many innovative ideas for inspiring and providing space for great content. As a creator, you always felt like you had cheerleaders behind you, happy to see you succeed. Hooray for Bonnie, Robin, Tom and Susan!

But as we all know, the internet is a kind of free-for-all that makes easy pickings for cheaters, spammers, con artists and frauds. Expert after expert told eager listeners that Squidoo's easy access and lack of rules made it easy to use the free platform to make money without actually creating any value.

Seth Godin and Megan Casey were at fault. By the time I joined, nearly four years ago, Seth was off somewhere, too busy counting his cash or something to be involved in the site, leaving it to Megan. Megan, in one of the first posts I read was explicit: if you wanted to make money on Squidoo, you'd make it on Amazon and other affiliate sales, not on content.

So, what do you think happened? For one thing, Megan abruptly left shortly before the roof caved in, leaving the survivors at HQ to figure their way out of the disaster.

We were rolling along, some of us making decent money. In spite of Megan's sage advice, I was doing nicely with Adsense sharing on lenses that weren't designed for product sales. I'm a writer and didn't show up to pitch products. Those who did, did great too because Google sent scads of search traffic their way.

Of course, the bad guys pushed it too far in their greed, spinning out thousands of lenses that were little more than catalogs of Amazon links. Seth Godin and company cheerfully raked in the dough until, one day, somebody over at Google said something interesting?

"Wait a minute? Why are we sending them traffic for posting content anyone can find with a couple of clicks on Amazon?"

The next Google update acted like a fine strainer, filtering a lot of the junk out. Traffic tanked, and the Squidoo management team was shocked - shocked! - to find that every spammer on the planet had been creating junk content on Squidoo.

Next, Squidoo scrambled to adjust. Godin even dusted himself off for an appearance or two. Chastened by Google, they began purging content, which was a good idea but mismanaged in two important ways.

  1. They did it with a meat ax, blocking and locking content and forcing out creators willy-nilly to try recovery by content cleansing. Life isn't black and white, and while they caught and ejected a lot of garbage along with the clowns who created it, they hammered a lot of people who had followed the very rules and values Seth and company had pushed. Bad blood and resentment was everywhere.
  2. It's more subtle, but equally important that, at no time, then or now, did Seth Godin or anyone else on the Squidoo team admit to a single mistake. No apologies were offered. Numerous people lost years of well-intended investment in Squidoo and even those of us who were never punished for bad content suffered the revenue drop anyway. Godin and company didn't seem to think they had anything to do with it. Which is why his dumping Squidoo and leaving everyone still there hanging did not come as a big surprise. Integrity is not the man's finest quality.

Give the HQ Team credit, especially Bonnie, for keeping the faith, never letting down and continuing to innovate, even while catching all the flack that should have gone to Seth and Megan. New formats and ideas showed up. They found new ways to encourage and help writers create the their niches.

We are lead to believe it wasn't enough, that Squidoo didn't have the resources to continue, but maybe that's not quite all of it.

Maybe, as he has done with other businesses, Seth got bored and decided it was time to cash in.

HubPages, Here We Come

The import of Squidoo content will have a major impact on HubPages, a good one, I'm sure.

I realize that Squidoo's notoriety for creating catalog lenses has made some Hubbers leery. I can understand that. I would be too.

But I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Although Seth Godin has taken a knee, many great creators of content who feel betrayed by him will be a strong, ongoing addition to the HubPages community.

Squidoo sends a strong legacy of product reviews that are carefully crafted and well-liked by search engines; how-to lenses that are better than any I've ever seen elsewhere on the internet; tons of recipes to inspire your cooking skills and an abundance of damn well written narrative content on topics from women in the military to worldwide travel.

I hope you will welcome us into your community as we would you, if things had gone the other way. A lot of Squidooers are leery too, the transfer being tainted by betrayal, but once they get to see the strengths of HubPages, they will be happy to be here with you.

Writers Platforms

Which ones have you written for?

  • HubPages
  • Squidoo
  • Wizzley
  • Zujava
  • Triond
  • Blogger
  • Another site I'll mention in comments
See results without voting

© 2014 David Stone

More by this Author


What do you think? 99 comments

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Welcome to HubPages, David. This is a very interesting hub and very well-written. Voted Up and Interesting. Also shared with H+


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 2 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Hi there, I too write for Squidoo and was actually shocked when I got the email. I am actually excited because I didn't get much traffic on Squidoo and on hubpages I actually do well. So thank you for the insight as to what happened, it's a shame but maybe a blessing in disguise. Cheers! and welcome!!!!!


Brite-Ideas profile image

Brite-Ideas 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

David, as usual, well said and well written - your summation of events paints an accurate timeline. This transition will not be easy for many of us, but one thing about Squidoo'ers..we're professional adapters. Looking forward to reading a lot of your work here.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I am only familiar with hubpages although I have heard of Squidoo. I am curious what impact this will have.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 2 years ago from Templeton, CA

Since the poll limited us to one vote, I'm replying here, since I've written on all those sites except Triond. I also write at Bubblews and Persona Paper and on my own Wordpress sites. I do feel betrayed by Squidoo, but was considering leaving anyway because I really liked HubPages better except for not being able to promote my Zazzle stores. I'm afraid I'll have to self publish my lenses about Zazzle that showcase my products. Guess it's time to get rid of Hubs comparing HubPages to Squidoo, too. It will be a relief not to have to keep up with both sites. Too bad the accounts didn't merge and I'll have to keep logging in and out.


Donna Cook 2 years ago

Well, here we are on the other side. I guess that I had better try my first HP post. I will sorely miss Squidoo. MountainMist


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you all for your comments, especially the welcoming comments from Hubbers. We are going to have a great site together.


Jerzimom profile image

Jerzimom 2 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

Well said! Lots of mixed feelings about everything. I'm hoping the transition goes smoothly. I'm looking forward to new endeavors. I will miss Squidoo but feel betrayed as well. Glad that so many of us are here together on Hubpages.


John Dyhouse profile image

John Dyhouse 2 years ago from UK

Good Summary Dave


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

David, Thanks for speaking the truth, I'm going to miss the teram at Squidoo, but look forward to working on HP, and following your work along with many others.


Lady Lorelei profile image

Lady Lorelei 2 years ago from Canada

It really was a huge shock David. Sometimes the work load just seems so overwhelming. Best wishes on the transfer in. Hopefully this will be a good thing in the overall.


Merrci profile image

Merrci 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

Well said Dave. It will be an adjustment, but we are up to the challenge. You've set a great example for us here. Onward and upward.


lisavollrath profile image

lisavollrath 2 years ago from Euless, Texas

Since the poll doesn't allow multiple choices: I've written on Squidoo, About.com, Bella Online, Web Seed, Blogger, LiveJournal---and, of course, my own web sites.


Doug48 2 years ago

I have some on Goody Guides.


Janet21 profile image

Janet21 2 years ago from New York

Can't answer your poll since I write for more than one of them! Hubpages, Squidoo, Zujava and Wizzley.


Tjhousel 2 years ago

Very well said, David


TreasuresBrenda profile image

TreasuresBrenda 2 years ago from Canada

I've written on four of the sites you listed -- an option for more than one would be great -- but I started with Squidoo and it became my home base online. I'm glad to see many of my old friends here and look forward to rebuilding on Hubpages with them as well as to making many new friends here.


MelanieKaren profile image

MelanieKaren 2 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

Hi David, This is sooooo incredibly well-written. You're awesome, as usual. :)


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 2 years ago from Minnesota

Hey, an excellent run down on Squidoo, Dave. I expect nothing less from you as a writer. Good to see you back to HubPages, and I do wish you all the best here. It was only a matter of time when karma would catch up with Squidoo. As for me, I spend most of my time on Bubblews where I earn a decent extra income, and passively when I cannot be active.


Scarlettohairy profile image

Scarlettohairy 2 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

Nice summation of our Squidoo journey. I do think Seth got bored, it became "work," and yep, he took the money and ran.


stereomike83 profile image

stereomike83 2 years ago from UK

Well written piece. I came to Squidoo right when the problems were apparently starting so never knew any differently and to be honest I never saw any of my lenses locked. However I did find it frustrating when I'd come across a tier one or two lens that in my opinion was more about the amazon links than content while something I'd put time into struggled to earn the pennies for being in tier 3. I guess also being later to the party I feel less annoyance about the decision to sell out as Seth was this non present being and it's just business to him now, but I do think it is awful how little notice has been given.

I look forward to seeing how my work fares here and whilst I'll miss the thrill of a Squidlike or the great feeling I got when I got LotD, if the rewards are there for good writing I'll be happy!


ecogranny profile image

ecogranny 2 years ago from San Francisco

David, thank you for writing this. You outlined my experience at Squidoo fairly well. In fact, when HQ seemed to be promoting the spammy lenses over the higher content pages, I dropped out and did very little there for two or three years, returning only after Google forced them to get rid of the junk. Lately, though, I've been investing more and more time and energy there, loving the positive online community we were growing.

What you say makes sense. Obviously, you have some information about Seth, Megan and Squidoo to which many of us are not privy. Not having those facts, I cannot judge the players likewise, but of course, the buck stops with the man, or woman, at the top.

I will say, as I said elsewhere on Facebook, that I am grateful to Seth and the HQ team for striking a deal with HubPages that made it easy to transition our work here, especially with the 301 redirects and the grace period to learn the ropes. Not every company honcho who sells out does so with such care for the community. Without that forethought and planning, this would have been a much more painful blow.

I am grateful, too, to the management team at HubPages for agreeing to this transition. It engenders confidence in the platform and in the company. I'm looking forward to many good things here, in part, David, due to your recommendation. Thanks again for sticking your neck out and writing this piece.


Ilona1 profile image

Ilona1 2 years ago from Ohio

I love Bonnie! Not sure that you should have been quite so hard on Godin. I hope more info comes out on just what lead to the sinking of the ship.

I learned so much Squidoo that I can't complain, and some of that lead me to try out Hubpages and start building here already. I'm looking forward to the new chapter of conforming my Squid work into worthy Hubpages. And for me, it consolidates my work of this type into one place which will help me be more efficient.


junecampbell profile image

junecampbell 2 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Thanks for this overview of the situation, Dave. This is a great article. I too was shocked when the message arrived yesterday. To be honest, it was couched in so much spin that i had to read it two or three times to figure out what they were really saying. I will miss Squidoo, though. I enjoyed the whimsey that the team was so brilliant at creating. On the other hand, if I actually make money at HubPages, I will be able to deal with the lack of whimsey.


stargazer00 2 years ago

It was fun and inspiring. I learned a lot and made some good friends. In the end, it was all handled very badly. They broke my heart.


Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

Nicely done Thanks Dave. It sure was a shock, now we must move on, will be seeing you around, also read more of your hubs.


CrossCreations profile image

CrossCreations 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO

A detailed and eloquent summary of the turn of events leading to the demise of Squidoo. I published there for many many years, quit as the ship began to sink over a year ago. For now, I feel hopeful about this transfer.


Scott A McCray 2 years ago

Thanks, David - Squidoo was never a real "money maker" for me, but I truly enjoyed the community there. Lady Lorelei can probably relate - since we're mobile now, we'll just have to bring the trailer homes over here! ;-)


GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

GeorgeneMBramlage 2 years ago from southwestern Virginia

Well written, Dave. A lot of what you've recounted happened with Suite101...so this is 2x around for me. And so the world turns :-)


Ann Hinds profile image

Ann Hinds 2 years ago from So Cal

Dave, thanks for your post. I voted for other sites because this is my third trip down the drain. eHow failed me, Helium was next and now Squidoo. I am encouraged by your statement about well written narrative content because I am not into sales lenses and was never comfortable with them. As Wordstock, I think I have some very well done lenses on things that matter to me so it gives me hope they will be an asset on Hubpages.


Seasons Greetings profile image

Seasons Greetings 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I wrote for HerPlanet, long , long ago. We had an amazing community and each woman ran her own niche site with a lot of freedom and guidance from the network owner herself. It lasted until the network was sold to someone who made a lot of promises and then abandoned all of us. Really a huge disappointment for me. This Squidoo/ HubPages thing is nothing compared to the sinking of the HerPlanet site, even though it died silently, just a whimper as the lights went out and never came back on.


nancycarol 2 years ago

David, I've been privileged to worked with you for some time now, and I know your writing ability. This hub is a zinger, for sure, and I'm looking forward to more from you. You called the situation with Squidoo exactly like it was, both the journey and the terrible ending. Thank you for such a candid article on a topic many ex-Squids are sure to find interesting.


ZenandChic profile image

ZenandChic 2 years ago

Interesting. I have been with Squidoo for I think 5 or 6 years...


betsyanne profile image

betsyanne 2 years ago from The Garden Spot, Kentucky

I also write for more than one place - I was on Squidoo, and have exactly ONE Hub on HubPages, also I write on my own websites. Great article, by the way! I don't know all the rhymes and reasons of WHY things went South on Squidoo (and have been going that direction awhile) but I do want to understand it as much as possible. For me, things started to go bad when the Fan Pages and Groups went away. It took some of the fun away for me. Later!


Allain Christmas profile image

Allain Christmas 2 years ago from Central Florida

I'm an eHow survivor and now will add Squidoo to my list of content sites that crashed and burned around me.


Rosetta Slone profile image

Rosetta Slone 2 years ago from Under a coconut tree

Love, love, love your honest writing and concise story of what happened. I was shocked for a moment, but I've decided to make the best of the situation anyway. At least I've left Squidoo with my dignity and convictions intact.


darkside profile image

darkside 2 years ago from Australia

I often wondered what it would be like if Seth Godin the Squidoo founder had followed the advice of Seth Godin the author? The advice he gave was certainly different than the way he behaved.


miacarter profile image

miacarter 2 years ago from SW Florida

I was never really too active on Squidoo, but as a former Senior Editor from the now-defunct Suite101, I paid a LOT of attention to both Squidoo and Hubpages. I was very curious about what led up to the abrupt sell-out on Squidoo's part. I've been on the inside. I can assure you that content sites don't just disappear. They get murdered by bad management. I'm sorry to see that the same happened to Squidoo. It was a site with a fun personality; I'd always wished I had more time to contribute. After Suite101 crashed and burned, I walked away from content sites for a bit. But I just started a few hubs, so we'll see where it goes.


Cesky profile image

Cesky 2 years ago from Nairobi

Well written post. Change is like rest; We'll be fine at the end of the day.


incomeguru profile image

incomeguru 2 years ago from Lagos

I was wondering what could have led to this sudden shut down of the site? A site that was ranking well and competing with Hubpages. Well, we need to be thankful that hubpages is willing to absorb most of the lens.


Denmarkguy profile image

Denmarkguy 2 years ago from Port Townsend

It was very much a surprise when that announcement came... but not totally unexpected. It seems revenue sharing sites are falling like flies these days. From the greater view, there's something paradoxical-ironic about the fact that Google ultimately seems to favor "free information" on the web (if you have a commercial/promotional bent you're subject to massive scrutiny) yet Google LIVES on "selling us stuff." That's a one-way street, from where I am sitting. I'm not letting Squidoo/Seth off the hook... but when "something" happens due to external factors and the result is "an 80% pay cut" it does make you wonder...

As for Seth, he's an innovator. A creative spark. I think he simply "got bored" with doing the same thing for more than 17 seconds, especially when things weren't going well. He writes inspirational books... but there are no chapters on "what to do when a 900-lb wet bear decides to sit on your face." Betrayed? A little bit. But the dude has ADHD up the wazoo...

What I DO like about HubPages is that the way we earn money here involves fewer "magic formulas and a sprinkling of pixie dust" than Squidoo. No more "your lensrank is determined by your traffic multiplied by the square root of the full moon on days when Aunt Martha sneezes" stuff. It's part of the reason why I always wrote more "here" than "there."

Good article, as always.


Spook Moor profile image

Spook Moor 2 years ago from Clonakilty

Well said and couldn't agree with you more.


Brite-Ideas profile image

Brite-Ideas 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Denmarkguy - great comment, very much agree


CuAllaidh profile image

CuAllaidh 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

I am jazzed about the move. My lenses went from earning me $50+ per month to under $10 per month in the past year. I am hoping HP better for me. I've been thinking of moving here for a while, especially since I haven't been particularly active on squidoo (being active in the squidoo forums used to help your squid score).


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Look at it this way - they can't be worse.


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 2 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

I know I am the one that got you started on Squidoo. Then it seems like a magical land. I learned from the RocketMoms group that we are supposed to sale, sale, sale. Amazon, Zazzle and CafePress. Then everything that we we taught was wrong and I have had many locked and deleted lenses. Now here I am back with HubPages where 90% of more of my lenses will not work here. Fun, fun, fun.


Sundaycoffee 2 years ago

Very well said, David.

I for one have decided to delete all my Squidoo lenses and will not join HubPages. I don't like to be pressured into something, be it even praised in lurid colors. Besides, I've read somewhere that Seth will be paid based on the number and quality of the lenses transferred to HubPages. I did not want to give him that satisfaction.


Sylvia Leong profile image

Sylvia Leong 2 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

Welcome "back" to Hubpages!


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

I suspect it will go more easily than you think, but only time will tell.

Keep in touch!


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Sundaycoffee, I don't think anyone knows the terms, but don't let being pissed at Seth lead to harming your own prospects. I chose to do the transfer because it gives me more options going forward. Deleting lenses is like suicide. It leaves you with nowhere to go and all you valuable property wasted.

My advice is, don't let Seth Godin's actions do double damage by provoking you to discard your own creations.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you, Sylvia.


Sundaycoffe 2 years ago

Hi Dave, I didn't delete them, I saved them to my computer. :)

I just didn't want them to be a source of income for Seth.

I'm still debating whether to join hubpages or to create my own blog...


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

No reason you can't do both.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi David, good to see you here, and welcome back. Yes it was a bit of a shock for all of you. I have never written for Squidoo but have read quite a few of their articles, so sad and yes a betrayal, but I am sure all of the squids will love it here soon, nell


Scotties-Rock profile image

Scotties-Rock 2 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

Thanks David, I must say that your hub was truly enlightening and put many aspects of the demise of Squidoo into perspective. I find it very sad to have to say goodbye to Squidoo. However, I am looking forward to moving on and growing with Hubpages.


shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 2 years ago from Southern California

Very interesting article David. I joined both Squidoo and Hubpages about 2 years ago, but I ended up spending much more time on Squidoo because it fit the lightheartedness of my writing more. I ended up becoming a contributor too. I joined, however, right before the site's traffic started to take a nose dive, so I never really had much to compare to. The filters and constant changes were all I knew, so I didn't fully understand all the outrage.

It's interesting to read about it all like this (it's a lovely post!); you've helped me understand what happened to Squidoo by explaining this sordid history quite clearly. It makes sense why so many people are upset, but I've always believed Hubpages was the stronger site. I'm happy about this change.

I look forward to reading your articles in the coming months.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

I agree with you wholeheartedly on that, Nell. The community and management has been wonderful beyond expectation so far.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Change really is the spice of life and a lot of doors I left ajar are now swinging wide open.

Thank you for your comment.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you. You were one of the delights of Squidoo and heavily promoted with the new formats. I bet they all look great when reincarnated as hubs.

HubPages has been stronger, but like you, I really didn't want it to be because Squidoo had such a rah-rah spirit.

Rah-rah isn't success though. It's just cheerleading and pretty useless without the other necessary components.

Thank you, Shay-Marie. See you around the hubs!


ergonomicoffice profile image

ergonomicoffice 2 years ago

This is very interesting and, as I read, I could clearly share with you all the feelings of excitement, letdown, and perhaps, even betrayal I've had by participating in Squidoo over the past four years.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

What was most surprising - and dispiriting - is how the HQ Team provided cover while Seth Godin, Cory Brown and Gil Hildebrand spent weeks setting up the transition in total secrecy.

We trusted them. How could they keep up the front while Godin negotiated sale of property that, according to Squidoo's TOS, belonged to us, not him?


ergonomicoffice profile image

ergonomicoffice 2 years ago

Honestly David.

After seeing that post on Friday night I didn't sleep a wink for two days. I'm one of the ones that has the biggest potential for loss in this move as much of my material was on the "best of Squidoo" platform and was performing at an all-time high.

This included 15 lenses in the top 100 and nearly 50 in the top 2000. My heart and soul was poured out into the work that I had written on Squidoo. I understand the need for them to close down, I just don't understand the abruptness of it all.

That being said I am glad that at least it's getting moved here. I've used HubPages extensively and know the layout well. The 301 redirects will help me to cut some of the losses; however, I wish this all could have just waited until the Holiday shopping season was over.

Unfortunately, empathy, seems to be a dying attribute amongst those in power.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

I'm more than happy with HubPages as an alternative, but what bugs me is Seth Godin and company selling rights to the content without any consent or consultation. Squidoo TOS is clear that it belongs to the writes, not Squidoo. I believe the secrecy and deception, which Bonnie and Robin executed like professionals, covering for Seth and Cory, and the rush to transfer were there because he wants to get away with as much cash as possible and not share a dime of it.

Just for the record, I followed this with an article on InforBarrel that asked whether or not he should be investigated. If he'd done anything like this in a publicly traded company, he'd be indicted for insider trading. I do hope somebody looks into and, at a minimum, Godin's reputation be damaged as it should be.

Yep, I had 88 Best of lenses, ten in Tier One and another 20 in Tier Two. Although I was ranked as solidly as you were, I was above average because of my trust and investment in Squidoo.

Lessons learned, eh?


Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

Well written, David. As Janet said above, I have written on Squidoo, Wizzley, Hubpages, Zujava and several other places and still do on the Internet. I agree with Glen's statement as the dichotomy between Seth Godin the author and Squidoo owner is ridiculously far apart.

Many dedicated lensmasters who I have gotten to know over the 6 years of my Squidoo history are honest, hardworking people just trying to make a living and while this final blow is not unexpected, it is certainly typical of the way Squidoo has come to do business.

I don't paint all of Squidoo's staff which the broad brush of shame. I have had very good interactions with Gil, Bonnie and others. However, as leadership goes, the site could have done much better. I was one who had over 800 lenses that got locked, although I managed to retain about 250 of them. Even though I had many honors as a Squid leader, Giant Squid, Squid Angel, Squid Mentor etc.

The community was amazing but Squidoo stomped it out (at least on the site) a couple of years ago. It has maintained itself on Facebook, Yuku and other places which just goes to show how strong it was.

For those who have material that fits here on Hubpages, I hope that this will be a reinvigorating chapter for us and this site which has now undertaken the massive undertaking of reviewing over a million pages of new content.

Paula Atwell aka lakeerieartists


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Fortunately, they have a lot of good automation, and they are giving Squidooers a considerable grace period. Very impressed with that.

As for Gil and Bonnie, the fact that you and I and many others have had great relationships with them makes the fact that they worked hand in glove with Seth in deceiving everyone harder to take. I considered both of them friends, however digital, and in case you're not aware, along with three others, I managed Squidoo Positivity on Facebook to give Bonnie some back up and moral support. Didn't matter in the end. Bonnie reacted to my charges by saying how kind and generous Seth is. And he is, to her. She was bought and paid for in this deal.


Ibidii 2 years ago

Thank you David. You echo a lot of us and how we all feel about our experience. Thanks for the update as well.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

They whacked us all at once, didn't they, Sherry? I'm happy we got some concessions.

Thank you.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA

Welcome to HubPages. When I first started at HubPages, there was a lot o talk about another site that had vanished without a trace - no notice, and all the content had disappeared. I am glad that the management at Squidoo at least gave their articles a new home.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

You're right. We can be thankful for that.

Thank you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Welcome to Hub Pages David and all other Squidooers. I was surprised when I read that Hub Pages was taking over Squidoo a few days ago. I hadn't even heard of Squidoo before. It must have been quite a shck to you all. Thank you for explaining the background of the closure and shift.

I have noticed from the few squids (now hubs) that I have read that there seems to be a lot more promotion of Amazon products etc than is the norm on Hub Pages. Most hubs have two or three Amazon and maybe eBay capsules embedded but the products aren't so actively promoted. I guess that is just one of the slight differences of the two sites and will adjust in time. HP seems to have more emphasis on photos and images, polls etc. and there is a maximum number of Amazon ads per word count if I am correct.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Never having written at Squidoo, I can't vouch for everything you've said, but you've expressed your perspective very well. I especially like your word flow.

Other sites where I've written (not necessarily income producing): F2K, The Next Big Writer, Triond, Bubblews, Freelanced, and About.com. I'm notorious for offering gratis writing critiques with bracketed edits and suggestions.

Voted interesting.


Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

@Millionaire Tips, I agree that this solution is much better than nothing. :)

@David Stone Sorry, I didn't follow the Squidoo Positivity movement so didn't know that you were involved. I was already too angry at that point to be very positive. I can't really blame the staff since they were paid by Seth and can't really burn any bridges there. However, I totally agree with your opinions on the rest of this matter.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you, Jodah. There are differences, but they aren't major. Squidoo started with an interest in content, but over time, the shift went over to earning money through sales, rather than Adsense. It got them in trouble because the openness of the site and a willing to accept poorer content in favor of more revenue was an open invitation to abuse. The site became cluttered with low quality catalog lenses of various length that Google determined, rightly, did do much for searchers. It was a huge, catastrophic drop from a peak in early 2013 and a frantic scramble to regain its footing. The sale shows that Squidoo failed in the effort.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Any suggestions are always welcome, Marie. An objective opinion is something few of us can do for ourselves.

The only one of the sites you noted that I've tried is Triond. They had some very good ideas, but the level of aggressive advertising made reading the content really unappealing. I still have a bunch of stuff up there, if they're still in existence. I guess I should check.

Thank you.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Hi, Paula. I'm not ready to let the staff off so easily, although time may cool the fever.

The way I see it is, digitally speaking of course, like finding that your girlfriend/boyfriend has been deceiving you and thinks you should forget about it because you had such a good time while you were ignorant. It's unappealing.

Thank you, and I'll look forward to seeing you around HP.


CassandraCae profile image

CassandraCae 2 years ago from Ohio

Ya know. I said one thing about how I thought Seth was a skeez in a squidoo Facebook group I belonged to and all heck broke lose. A certain individual told me Seth could do what he wanted, basically was a God with no accountability. His community never questioned him and to do so was a sin. I soured on Squidoo shortly after that. Bonnie and Susan were always awesome. Seth warned us a year ago to jump ship but in an off color way. He told us when it cam to lenses, we should stop polishing turds. Who knew that just a year later he would sell it all. He isn't dumb, makes you wonder if he had been plotting something for some time. Like that was a small warning to jump ship while you still can. He hired interns for another venture shortly after I started Squidoo, which was also around the time traffic tanked. He just wasn't around. Sorry some of this is rant and some of this is obersevations. Ps this was on my front page when I Google the situation. :)


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

I'm happy to hear it hit #1. Rant away. In the groups I'm in, Seth is getting less of a pass. His integrity has taken a hit, but it surprises me that people still hold Bonnie in such high esteem. She was his biggest enabler for the con. In my view, it was like you were being flattered with outrageously by the boss's daughter at work, then finding out it was all phony, all an act so they could keep you working until they milked you for whatever you had. Lensmasters were dumped like scrap metal. Bonnie cheerfully announced she was going off to work with Megan Casey with whom she helped engineer the disaster of greed that put Squidoo on the skids. She should have been apologizing, left and right. Instead, she was proud.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi David - This article is a sad tale of the demise of Squidoo, and makes me sad. The greed and push to have a certain type of lens is unforgivable. Many writers left HubPages when they cut back on Amazon links, as they made excellent money. I know Google does not like overly commercial sites, and it is unfortunate that the Squidoo staff did not recognize it early enough to save the site. I hope you enjoy it here and do not become discouraged at the standards that are different. When a hub does not go through QAP or gets unpublished, writers become discouraged but learn to accept it and try to do better. Some hubbers stay here because they enjoy the friendship of others, and do not write for the money. Welcome. Blessings, Audrey


Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

@David Stone I understand your point of view, but I have worked for companies that have gone under and gotten sold before, and staff is often required to keep the secret until the public announcement or they lose their jobs or something else which they need until they find another one. Or they have to sign some type of agreement.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

All good points worth considering, Audrey. Thank you.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Doesn't make it the right thing to do, Paula. I'm sure that rationale is what Bonnie and Robin use to excuse their behavior, but it doesn't cut any ice with me. I agree with E. E. Cummings, "a salesman is an it that stinks excuse"


Pam Irie profile image

Pam Irie 2 years ago from Land of Aloha

As a double refugee....first eHow and then Squidoo, I think I'm getting the hang of this. Hoping Hubpages keeps out the spammers and get-rich-overnighters so the rest of us can stay awhile.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

In my experience, HubPages has worked hard and continues to work hard to do the right thing in creating a solid, safe foundation for those of us who love posting our own and reading others work online.

Thank you, Pam.


othellos profile image

othellos 2 years ago from Europe

Squidoo wasn't a "community" with its real meaning. It was a "clique" of "giants", "blessing angels" etc. Very thin lenses were earning Tier1 and excellent writers were ignored regularly... or on purpose. Most of those "excellent lenses" will have tough time to pass the standards of Hubpages. I know that the "refugees" already made their community... I already saw some of them with 3 articles and 200 followers! I hope they don't bring their attitude here. They will ruin and this platform soon...


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Your view is unnecessarily narrow. The angels program was abolished long ago, and although abused, it was a way for us to encourage newcomers who posted promising content, an admirable idea. The Giants were qualified by a mandatory count of successful, high quality lenses. Giving recognition for quality is nothing to scorn that I can see.

I didn't have a lot of time to see who else was in Tier one, but I had 10 or so at the time of the announcement, and if you think my work is thin, you'll soon find you are mistaken. You are probably mistaken in general, although some of what will come over won't be great and will need improvement to stay featured.

From what I've observed -- and I've been writing on HubPages for four years -- HubPages on average has better writers because the platforms focus on writing as opposed to Squidoo's focus on marketing. I found the marketing focus annoying, but at the same time, Squidoo made adequate room for writers like me and the HQ staff took sincere efforts to promote and encourage it.

The whole thing will sort itself out. HubPages rules and TOS, once they come fully into play, will make the Squidoo imports conform. I wouldn't, however, tar Squidoo for being what it was. Squidoo was not dedicated to writers. Seth Godin, I discovered later on, described it as a "recommendation site," i. e., a place to pitch product. It might have done okay too, if they'd been brave enough to curb the excesses. Or maybe it was bravery they needed, but down to earth intelligence was lacking.


SandyMertens profile image

SandyMertens 2 years ago from Frozen Tundra

Funny when I think about those hubs that were transferred to Squidoo that were not doing well here. Now they are coming back here.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

They may find new life on HubPages, Sandy. Because of HP's better Page Authority in search, my work seems to get better results here. I'll have to take a longer look, of course, but I certainly don't expect to go in reverse.


Ann Hinds profile image

Ann Hinds 2 years ago from So Cal

Let me address the clique system at Squidoo. I was an Angel and a Giant Squid. I wasn't part of the in-crowd. I blessed lenses that I searched out. I went past the favorites and took the privileged seriously. I have had only one lens in tier 1 and it didn't stay there long. Yes, there was a group that did well but many of them did will on their own merits. I see HubPages with the same sort of cliques and people here are also rewarded by being active participants. As with Squidoo, HubPages will be what each of us makes it. BTW, I loved being a SquidAngel. It pushed me to find some amazing content and meet many interesting people. As for the attitude, we have seen attitude from Hubber's too. Let us get past the transition and then see how we do. There are some very good writers in both communities.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Yep, Ann. I think HP will be good for Squidoo's writers. I know there are lost of accusations about Squidoo favoritism, but I never took the time to check it out. I wasn't all that interested. But here, because there is no lens rank system to manipulate for money, it really won't make a difference. It's human nature to bond with people like yourself. On Squidoo, it was also profitable because the groups often included Bonnie and/or Robin and gave the members a chance to be reward financially at the expense of others. That can't happen here.

Thank you for visiting, Ann, and good luck as we hit the critical marks on this transition, starting this week.


Snakesmum profile image

Snakesmum 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Hi David, Glad to find you over here on HP. Have to admit to being shocked when I discovered Squidoo was selling us out, but have never been a big earner over there, even though I was once a Squid Angel and also a Giant Squid. I'm learning the ropes here now, and am looking forward to the future with HP. Really like the fact that there are no tiers to affect our earnings too. Cheers Jean, aka Snakesmum


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Good luck, Jean. There will be a lot less cheating and much less likelihood of getting penalized by Google. HubPages learned where to se the limits.

Nice to see you here too. Thank you.


Ahdilarum profile image

Ahdilarum 2 years ago

Really a sad period for lens masters.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Not so sad, it seems as I observe the great features and effectiveness of HubPages.


javr profile image

javr 23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Remember that short-lived move to add Squidoo postcards. You could build them and get no revenue at all.

I never made a lot there but I did get traffic before it dropped off.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 23 months ago from New York City Author

Geez, I forgot those stupid postcards. They were intended to get Amazon sales and nothing else. In my case, they got a lot of nothing else.

Nice to hear from you. It's been a long time.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 22 months ago from Yorktown NY

Very interesting insight on the downfall of squidoo. Just curious if you know how much did squidoo sold for? I feel bad for all the charities that lost out. The honorable thing to do would be for Seth Godin to share the profits with all the charities.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 22 months ago from New York City Author

No, the amount paid has not been disclosed as far as I know. Yes, the charities suffered a steep loss at Godin's hand, and the sale price should have been shared with the charities as well as the writers, many of whom earn little enough already. But from my perspective, Godin considered himself above it all and too important to share.


stargazer90 profile image

stargazer90 14 months ago

I miss Squidoo, it was such a great platform!


David Stone profile image

David Stone 14 months ago from New York City Author

There were some wonderful things about it. Sad that it ended as it did.

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