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Squidoo, your Tier ranking will never cease to baffle and amuse me.

My highest ranking lens on Weight Watchers PointsPlus and the Problem of 29" has slowly, so slowly, been creeping its way into Tier 1. Right now of course there's a lot of buzz for WW, with the annual plan tweaks and changes due to be announced by the end of the week. As such, it finally broke through and stayed in Tier 1 for all of November (yay!) and was actually hovering around 500 in the ranks for the past week or so.

Yesterday it gets its best single-day traffic ever, jumping from around 150-200 hits a day to almost 600! I was excited to see how that might affect lens rank this morning. Well, it managed to DROP in rank down to #1,016. :-/

Just goes to show, there's no one foolproof way to get high rank. This is a lens that gets a decent number of clickouts but doesn't move many products. And I suspect with sales/holiday lenses being the "thing" for December, it'll be a struggle to keep this lens in Tier 1 this month, unless I add a lot of new info once the plan changes are revealed.

We'll see.

My writing goals for December - well, I'd love it if some quick upfront assignments showed up at DemandStudios, but I doubt that's going to happen. Even though I'm in their First Look program, yesterday was the first time I got a notice about any assignments available in my favorite topics in a good month or two. And of course they were long gone and claimed by the time I woke up at 6:30am and got the email. That site has just completely dried up for most users, which is a shame - and just makes me glad I didn't over-commit myself to counting on them earlier this year. It was nice for a month or two when I could pull in a hundred dollars a week or more, but a lot of tedious work writing to their format as well. I've even started watching the assignment desk at Y!CN again, but for some reason I just keep getting targeted with NYC-Metro area stuff, and, um....hello, I'm outside of Philly? I don't get it. I still have my issues with them since earlier this year, so I'm not going to write anything there again unless it's for good upfront pay.

So I guess I'll stick with updating and promoting my Squidoo holiday pages and hope for some decent sales, even if I can't crack the mystery of Tier ranking!
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My 10 Most Recent Lenses page has been updated for November, spotlighting all of my newest lenses for the month. I've also used the page to talk about my other Squidoo updates and milestones for the month, and what's been going on in my life otherwise.

Now it's time to start getting ready for Christmas - ack! Too much to do in too little time...
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I haven't been very good about updating here lately. Time to start doing better on that.

Since August I have been at work on a special Squidoo challenge to complete 31 new lenses, in a new niche, by October 31. I'm not sure I'll make it all the way there by the deadline, but I have been working hard at tackling my chosen new niche: Winter Holidays. Here's a quick link list of those new pages, which I'm sure I'll be updating and talking more about in the future as the Christmas season grows closer:


  1. 2011 Christmas Gifts for Classic Rock Fans
  2. About the Feast of the Seven Fishes
  3. Buy Nothing Day vs. Black Friday
  4. Cooking for a Holiday Party
  5. Gourmet Holiday Gifts for Italian Food Lovers
  6. Great Christmas Travel Destinations
  7. Holiday Events in Gloucester County, New Jersey
  8. Infertility and the Holidays: A Survival Guide
  9. Jewelry with a Twist for the Holidays
  10. Make Money at Christmas Craft Fairs
  11. Music Box Sets for Christmas 2011
  12. Our Fontanini Nativity
  13. Running a Fan-Fiction Secret Santa Exchange
  14. Sockii's Christmas Wishlist
  15. sockii's Winter Holiday Lensography
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Where to enjoy this traditional Italian-American Holiday Feast in and around Philly. From traditional menus to open buffet parties, the city has many options available for diners this Christmas season.

Full article: "Feast of the Seven Fishes Menus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for 2010"
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Boxed sets, books and "Wines That Rock" make for great Christmas presents in 2010. Here are five gift ideas ranging from just over $20 to under $200 for the classic rock fan in your life.

Full article: "5 Great Holiday Gifts for Classic Rock Fans" by Nicole Pellegrini
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A simple and tasty appetizer that's great for your holiday or party table. Vegetables and spices are added to the mixed cheese for a richer flavor.

Full article: Holiday Cheeseball Recipe by Nicole Pellegrini
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Why the commercialization of the holiday season bothers me on a personal level. How my early childhood and later adult experiences made me re-evaluate the truly important aspects of the holiday season.

Full article: "Further Reflections on Buy Nothing Day, and Why I'm Opposed to Black Friday" by Nicole Pellegrini at Associated Content
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Ideas for a multi-course seafood menu celebrating this Italian-American tradition. Plan a mixture of make-ahead and quick-cook dishes so you can enjoy this feast with your family and friends this holiday season.

read more...
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Remembering one of the more amusing - if frustrating - aspects of our family's holiday traditions.

read more...
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Halloween is one of many times of the year it can be difficult to deal with infertility. If the sight of all those cute little kids in their costumes is making you wince, here are some ways to try to deal with the stress of the spooky season.

read more...
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How to stay safe and stay sane during the busiest travel days of the year.

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How to minimize the stress and maximize the fun - for yourself and your guests.

read more...

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Nicole ("sockii") Pellegrini

January 2013

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