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Squidoo Is Dead - Long Live Squidoo(ers)!

Updated on August 27, 2014

Where Do You Write?

One of the questions aspiring writers face is where to concentrate their efforts.

There are so many options, both on and offline, that it is hard to know where to begin.

Should I write a full-length book or short stories?

Should I publish in digital or paper format?

Do I want to write fact or fiction?

Should I publish my own blog or website, or join in a community of online writers?

Which websites will help me learn and experiment, while allowing me to get an income?

These were the same questions I faced 2 years ago and similar to many others, the answer for me was a mix of them all.

My Lovely Mug

Used on one of my earliest articles, this photo has become my "banner" everywhere online.
Used on one of my earliest articles, this photo has become my "banner" everywhere online. | Source

Concentration

However, I realised very quickly that I could never do everything.

I would need to concentrate my efforts on one or two platforms and see how it went.

Hopefully, with time and patience, my labours would be rewarded.

I started a blog called "Timbo On Tech" on the Blogger platform and I spent some time comparing and contrasting online communities to see which would suit.

It is perhaps ironic, given recent history, that I considered HubPages, but at the time, everything seemed just a little bit too complicated for a “newbie” like me.

In the end, Squidoo won me over and I became a member in August 2012.

Writing Skills

Some of the skills I learnt from my time at Squidoo:

  • How to write attention grabbing headlines
  • How to format and crop images
  • How to credit images
  • How to write short sentences
  • How to format text for readability
  • How to use social media to improve traffic

I'm still working on all of these, but I've learnt more about them in my short time on Squidoo than I would have done on my blog.

I hope that this trend continues now, on HubPages.

What I Learnt From Squidoo

I was soon invited to become a Rocket Squid (their version of HubPages’ Boot Camp) and received a lot of encouragement and writing tips in the process.

Soon, I had 5 lenses (their term for an article, the equivalent of a Hub here) under my belt and began to earn my first few cents in October of that year, 2 months after I joined. - Another encouragement that I was doing the right thing.

On graduating from Rocket Squids, I also had my first real goal: make 25 high quality lenses and apply to become a Giant Squid.

Giant Squid

Plastified Giant Squid, Natural History Museum, Paris
Plastified Giant Squid, Natural History Museum, Paris | Source

Giant Status

Those 25 lenses took a lot of thought and taught me to think as much about the formatting and use of images as they did about the text.

These were valuable lessons and ones I was able to cross-fertilise and apply to my blog.

When I look back at some of my earliest lenses and blog posts, I still shudder to this day!

Sometime I'll get round to fixing them up properly, but for now, they serve to remind me of where I have come from and where I am headed.

But I digress.

Eventually, I applied for and received my "Giant" rank and enjoyed my new found status.

More recently, I became the Video Games Contributor and started building a niche for myself and my readers.

I felt that I was just beginning to see the fruit of my labours.

Search engine traffic was starting to pick up, I got one or two more sales from Amazon links and some of my lenses were "floating to the top" in the rankings game.

...and then the hammer blow came and Seth announced that Squidoo was being sold.

For me, it was a shock, but realistically I was still just a hobbyist, so no hard feelings there.

For others however, it was the emotional equivalent of an earthquake.

Squidoo Poll

How do you feel about the Squidoo shutdown?

See results

Online Friends

I am incredibly grateful to have found a group of extremely talented writers in the Squidoo community, who have supported and encouraged me so much in a short space of time. (Yes, that sentence really did deserve two superlatives!)

In particular, the Facebook group formerly known as Squidoo Positivity (now "The Writer's Door") is, and has been, a constant source of inspiration.

I feel really sorry for so many of them that relied on Squidoo for some or all of their income.

Most were upset, some were angry and some cried openly.

But then we agreed together to make the most of it, take advantage of the opportunity and turn defeat into victory.

This is in no small part due to the influence of the leader of the group, Nancy Hardin, who deserves a big "shout out" for being a real force for positivity amongst writers.

I've only known Nancy for a short period of time, but I know already that she is someone who commands the loyalty of her troops - and for the best of reasons.

It's been a real privilege to get to know her and the gang, and I am pleased that we will now be continuing to write together, along with many other ex-Squidoo writers, here on "the Hub".

I've become fond of many of them.

Moving On

It's perhaps for that reason that I feel the need to talk about something that may seem at odds with the rest of this article.

I want to talk about forgiveness.

You see, many people moved on from Squidoo when all the changes began to happen, a few months ago.

There were posts on the forums, some saying how hurt they were, or expressing their (quite natural) anger at what was going on.

I can honestly say that I stuck around because I didn't know any better, but now that Squidoo is finally going away, some of those same sentiments are being expressed again, in forums and blogs around the web.

Some of that sentiment has become personal, levelled in particular at Seth Godin, who is perceived in some quarters to be the culprit behind it all.

Now I don't know much about Seth, other than a few blog posts I have read here and there, and I haven't been around the online writing circuit long enough to form any real opinion.

What I do know, having been made redundant from a previous job, as well as from general life experience, is that holding grudges or bitterness in my heart hurts only one person: me.

Bitterness doesn't hurt the other person, no matter how much we may want it to.

Grudges only serve to create bias in ourselves against that person, or against others we may think are like them.

Letting Go

Source

Tough Love

If we have been hurt by someone, then the only way we can truly move on and be free, is to forgive that person.

That's not to say that it's easy, of course; it can be one of the toughest things to do in the world (trust me, I know).

But I should point out a popular misconception:

  • Forgiveness is NOT about ignoring what happened and brushing our emotions under the carpet.
  • Forgiveness IS about acknowledging what happened - including any sense of injustice, going through the grieving process and coming to a place of acceptance.

Then choosing to forgive (and it is a choice), we can finally move on.

Words have power, so it can help at this stage to speak it out loud - just don't do it on the bus! ;)

Squidoo Lives!

What can I say in conclusion?

Personally, I have a new set of objectives now:

  1. To update my lenses once they transfer and see how they do in the new order.
  2. To see if I can build up my niche in a different place from the one that schooled me.

Meanwhile, the goal is still the same:

  1. To improve as a writer and to write the best I can.
  2. To create quality content people want to read, something I can be proud of.

What about you?

What are your plans?

Yes, Squidoo (as in the website) is dying, and in a few weeks will be gone.

As we bid a sad farewell to it and perhaps shed a tear, remember that Squidoo still lives on in the hearts, lives and writing of those who formed its community.

I feel privileged to have been a part of that community and look forward to continuing to be part of that community, in our next endeavours.

© 2014 Tim Bader

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    • Tim Bader profile image
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      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thanks.

      Wow, you've been through a few changes in the writing landscape!

      It's good to know that you've been able to keep in touch with people through it all - gives me hope too.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 3 years ago from So Cal

      First of all, love the photo of the bird. This is my 3rd trip down the rabbit hole. eHow took us out and recently Helium. Now, Squidoo. While I already had a Hub account, I hadn't used it in 5 years. I would like to branch out a little more and get away from organized content sites but today, I will accept their offer to host my lenses. Many of the people on eHow and Helium became part of Squidoo and we have managed to keep the conversation going all that time. The same will happen with the Squidoo group. These are writers we respect and follow. While the writing sites may change, the camaraderie remains the same. Great post!

    • Tim Bader profile image
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      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      I hope so too.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Sorry to hear what happened on Yahoo. :(

      I agree, I feel fairly happy that my lenses are going to be transferred here: not many companies would do that when they shut down.

      Thanks for reading.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 3 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I will miss the community there and hopefully stay in touch with the former Squidooers here.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Although I had a Squidoo account, I never posted anything there. So, I have no personal angst about Squidoo being shut down. However, I've just gone through the shutdown of Yahoo Contributor Network where I had a lot of articles, some performing very well. When that shutdown was announced, we were not offered any new home for our articles, no help in transferring them elsewhere, no redirects to maintain search engine momentum. I know how it feels to lose a site you've invested a lot in. But considering that Squidoo/HubPages worked out a plan to keep writers' losses to a minimum, whereas YCN just pulled the plug, I think there is a bright side Squidoo folks shouldn't lose sight of.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thanks Susan - the feeling is mutual. :)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Tim, I remember when you joined RocketSquids. I appreciated you then and I appreciate you now. Thanks for your very wise words.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      I think you may be right. :)

      Thanks for reading.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 3 years ago from Cape Cod

      The loss of Squidoo is our gain. Nice job.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thank you.

      It sounds like you've already worked through a lot of this.

      All the best for your new blog.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thanks for reading!

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thank you.

      I didn't make much either, but felt I was just at the point of a "breakthrough".

      Once those lenses come across, I'll soon see.

      It's great that we have such a good peer group to encourage and help each other.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      You're welcome, Nancy.

      You and the group deserve it!

      And thank you for your encouraging words. :)

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Hi Rhonda, thank you for reading and for your thoughts on the subject.

      I understand the sentiments you are expressing.

      However, I don't believe that forgiveness simply allows evil to run rampant, which is what I tried to make clear in the article.

      I agree that people, organisations and governments absolutely need to be held to account for their actions too.

      It's entirely possible to do both, although it is of course, not easy.

      Thanks again.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for a beautiful hub. Everyone has said most things about how we all feel about Squidoo closing down. All I want now is to move on and enjoy our new home.

      Happy days writing.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 3 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I love your attitude on all this. I had already begun branching out long before Squidoo sole out. I suspected, as did many others, that it was on its way out. I'm upset with the timeline we had to retrieve our content, but I'm not unhappy about HubPages being the new home for about half my lenses that should adapt well to this format.

      I learned enough from Squidoo and HubPages to take another look at blogging and I've started a new content website with a connected blog to hold some of the material that would not transfer well to HubPages. This will be a new adventure for me, and I'm kind of excited about it. I will keep busy.

      I don't have any bitterness toward Squidoo because I had pretty much detached emotionally since the RocketMoms were disbanded. That's where my emotional ties to Squidoo were.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      I enjoyed reading about your experience. It's so good to take the positive and make the best of it, and move on.

    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 3 years ago

      Tim, congrats on your successful transition. I appreciate hearing your take on things, I was not one to the ones that lost big, I never made grand money with Squidoo it was an exercise in writing for me. It's been good seeing such different takes on what has happened and has taught me maybe just a bit of how to proceed forward. Regardless I am most grateful for the connections I have made and especially 'the writer's door'. Cheers.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Tim Bader, thank you for the kind words about the group (and me!) We intend to keep moving forward in a positive way for the sake of our members. Somewhere, a long time ago, I read something about, "Anger corrodes the vessel in which it is kept." I believe that to be true, and from personal experience I know forgiving someone for a wrong they've done you is no easy task. You make a good point that forgiving someone is not excusing their actions. Sometimes we need to forgive others for our own sake, because directing anger at the person does nothing to hurt them, only ourselves. Thank you again, beautiful work here.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I think this is very well written and from a great heart.

      I can't agree with a boatload of it because more and more in our modern world we hear forgive what is wrong. Forgive intentional acts of deception that hurt millions of people and move on. Sure it sounds great. It does help the individual heart.

      It also is why some people just keep right on hurting others. It becomes an enabling device comprised of the masses utilized by the elite, an engine run on beautiful fuel that helps evil run right over everyone in front of it.

      I hope you and those writers who believed in Squidoo do very, very well here but I also hope people start to see there has to be a point where folks are held to the light for the decisions they make to hurt others through deliberate deception.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Ooh, I hope it wasn't painful?

      I promise to leave your brain alone in future, lol!

      Yes, those LotD were good to get, I think I managed to get a couple too.

      Do they have something similar here at HubPages?

    • DreyaB profile image

      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      Well Tim I think you've been peeking into my brain! I'm so very similar to you in my experiences with Squidoo, not quite as long as you there, but welcomed by the community and learning every step of the way. Privileged to have received LotD twice and not really as aware of the history as some of our more long-term friends and colleagues. I agree things weren't done right in any kind of way, but I also agree that working through the pain and being kind to ourselves is the way forward, along with the support and great attitudes of the people we've met along the way, including those wonderful people at The Writer's Door. I hope the transfer to HP for those of us who have opted for it goes well and look forward to encouraging everyone on in our learning and writing, while trying to stay in touch with all the others who have chosen to go elsewhere. Good luck to all! :0)

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      You're welcome, Margaret.

      It sounds like you're on the right track!

      As for Squidoo Positivity, how could I not mention you guys?? :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Tim, thank you for sharing your gratitude for the value you gained from your experience with Squidoo, for your wise insights into the nature and value of forgiveness (i.e., it's much more about releasing toxic emotions from ourselves than it is about exonerating someone else), and for your kind words about Squidoo Positivity/The Writer's Door and Nancy's inspiring leadership. For me, losing Squidoo after 8 years felt like losing a family member, but I choose to remember the experience and those who made it possible with gratitude and appreciation for the gifts they gave me, which far outweighed the shock, disappointment, frustration and sorrow about Squidoo's ending.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Hi Barbara.

      Thanks for sharing.

      "Kick-in-the-stomach" - yes, that about says it!

      Good points too about moving into a new neighbourhood and the 'adventure' aspect of it.

      I think we're all waiting for our lenses to transfer over and find out what the real fallout is.

      Most people here seem to be fairly welcoming so far.

      What do you think?

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 3 years ago

      The fun of writing on Squidoo had a lot to do with the community feel of it. That Friday "kick-in-the-stomach" felt like we were losing more than a place to put our content. It was the end of our writing neighborhood. For Seth and HubPages, it was just a business decision. The rest of us are moving to new neighborhoods and don't yet know how well we'll fit in. It would feel like an adventure if we'd had more time and choice in the matter. Hurry up... and wait... and see.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply, @David.

      I can certainly understand where you're coming from and why people may feel bitterness towards Seth.

      I imagine you are spot on about him not being interested in being forgiven too.

      Squidoo's downfall, being internet based, is somewhat strange in that we probably all felt as though we worked for an employer, even though we knew there was no employer, in the traditional sense.

      I think the problem with forgiveness is that we tend to think it is about the other person - the one who has hurt us, when in fact, it's actually about us and how our emotions affect us in the long term.

      I learned the hard way that keeping unforgiveness in my heart ended up affecting me far more than the person who hurt me.

      Several things in my life totally messed with my head until I was able to let go of them, and the key to that was forgiveness.

      And I don't think forgiving someone automatically absolves them of guilt or penance either - that can only happen when it's a two way thing, which it clearly isn't at the moment.

      Yes, it is a concession of sorts and that's what makes it so hard to do.

      It's such a big and difficult subject though, for which we don't have enough space here.

      I did think twice before writing some of this article, it can be like opening a can of worms.

      I think I just want to look after my fellow ex-squids and make sure they're all ok! ;)

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on the subject.

    • David Stone profile image

      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      I suspect, Tim, that there would be less bitterness toward Seth Godin if he hadn't been so deceptive. Squidoo is a cooperative, as the TOS emphasizes repeatedly, with all revenue shared. What soured people on Squidoo was not so much that it closed. It was sad, even sadder for some of us who'd been committed to trying to help management save it. What condemned Seth Godin was that, when push came to shove, he and his partner, Cory Brown, abandoned the coop pretense and took everything they could grab for themselves.

      Not only did they not discuss or ask for input before they crashed it, they cashed in by capitalizing on something they didn't own - the site content. All content on Squidoo belongs to the writers. It's in the TOS. What Seth and Cory sold was access to it, reaping the rewards without sharing.

      There is no reason to forgive Seth Godin. All his actions convince me he believes he had every right to do what he did, deceit and all. He's not at all interested in being forgiven, and for many of us, he won't be until he squares up with the writers on Squidoo, an event I expect never to occur, although miracles happen.

      Tim, you're right that forgiveness is a virtue. It also be a concession. Forgiveness is a blessing when it absolves another of guilt or penance for a mistake. Seth has no guilt and he isn't paying any penance.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thank you @Brite-Ideas.

      Yes, lots to do very soon!

      Thanks for reading.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Tim, a wonderful piece and shout out to Nancy as well. I agree with you, and am where you are on this matter. There's going to be so much to do in the not so distant future that many of our energies will be spent there I'm sure.