nicpel: (Default)
2013-01-28 08:43 am

Recent projects and February plans

I've been tweaking the layout and content of my food blog a bit more, working off a little free advice I got on how to potentially improve its performance. So far I'd say it's working, which makes me happy. I've also been looking at what are the posts that are the big traffic drivers there, and not too surprisingly it's restaurant reviews in my local little area. Obviously this is a topic where there's not going to be a lot of blogging competition as compared to writing about Philly restaurants. That's going to push me to try to get out more in the year ahead and sample some different places, even if just for a lunch bite here and there.

I have started posting a few articles for Yahoo! again as I'm surprised how well some of my old pieces are still drawing in regular traffic - and some $'s every month. I'm not going to make it a big tome commitment but my objective is one short (350-600 word) submission there a week.

I might come to regret this, but I also signed up for Zujava's "28 Leaves in 28 Days" challenge for February. Whether I complete the challenge or not, I figured it would be a good way to push myself to get a real portfolio of Leaves started there and to see what topics may actually have potential to pay off or not. There's very little competition/other writers there yet in my main areas of writing interest, so I feel like I do have a good opportunity to get in "early" there (and grab good URLs) before the competition is so over-saturated like on Squidoo.

We shall see!
nicpel: (Default)
2012-09-14 11:04 am

Daily update: September 14

Yesterday: working on some lens drafts but nothing much. Wasn't feeling very good so spent more time reading than writing.

Today:
New lens published: Easy Stir Fry Chicken Thighs with Chili and Basil for the September Chicken Recipe Quest

Drafts in progress: worked on several. Need to get at least the scifi quest lens done by deadline on Sunday.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-09-12 10:59 am

Daily update: September 12

New lens published: Martini & Rossi Collectibles and Gifts

Heavily updated: Make Money at Christmas Craft Fairs

Latest blog entry: MasterChef US – some thoughts on this season, and next year...?

Finished reading: The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice (soon to be a book review quest lens)

Started: profile interview with [personal profile] reudaly, new Star Trek lens for SciFi theme quest.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-09-11 09:53 am

Daily update: September 11

New lens on Squidoo: Campari Gifts, Posters and Accessories

Updated lens on Squidoo: MasterChef US 2012: Season 3 (finale spoilers and recap)

Other work: added 5 more jewelry listings at Designs by Sockii
nicpel: (Default)
2012-09-10 10:08 am

Daily update for September 10

I've been terrible about keeping this blog regularly updated. Time to do something about that.

I'm going to try to use it more as a daily update page, to share my daily writing progress: new leaves on Zujava/lenses on Squidoo, updates in the food blog, etc. So with that in mind...

Published today:

* Peroni Beer Gifts and Accessories - a new gift guide on Squidoo

* An Interview with Emily Davies - a spotlight feature on Zujava

By the way, I'm still looking for artists, musicians, crafters and other creative people to spotlight in my new Zujava interview series. Interested in being showcased? Please drop me a note!
nicpel: (Default)
2012-07-21 10:12 am

Now that's a screencap moment...

...because it surely can't last for long, but, as of this morning my What is Gelato? lens on Squidoo is the Number 1 Lens on the Entire Site.

Wow.

That's...something I always kind of dreamed about hitting, but never thought I'd ever manage. Especially about a specialty Italian dessert instead of laptop bags, coloring pages, or Justin Bieber. :)

It's really kind of amazing when you consider that there are typically about 400,000 active, published pages on Squidoo daily (and over 1.5 million more in progress, unpublished status, etc.)

Seriously. 18 months of work on Squidoo, but I really feel like it's starting to pay off.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-07-18 12:33 pm

Testing new publishing waters at zujava

So, it's been about 18 months since I joined Squidoo and in that time I've managed to publish just over 150 lenses, which is no small achievement. I'm definitely a Squidoo junkie and fan, even while I am fully aware of some of the (many) ways manipulate rank, publish dubious content, get away with it and in effect "steal" profit from lensmasters who play by the rules. But, you know, I figure it happens just about everywhere and I'm not a Squidoo-naysayer like some on the forums are these days.

But I also know it's not a good idea to keep all of one's eggs in one basket. With that in mind I've finally put the time this week into starting to publish a bit at zujava, a similar platform which is going to look awfully familiar to anyone who's read or published on Squidoo before. Indeed, they almost look so similar I kind of wonder how they get away with it, but that's not for me to figure out. Zujava only launched earlier this year and is still working on developing a lot of coding features, more advanced modules, and key affiliate programs (right now while you can add eBay modules to your "leaves", you earn no affiliate commission on any sales. But you do for Amazon products.)

There are some things I definitely like about the set-up and ethics of zujava as compared to Squidoo. For one, they are EXTREMELY concerned about having quality contents. New members who sign up cannot publish live to the web until they've submitted three Leaves for review by the site admins. That way spammers, con artists and people just looking for cheap and quick backlists don't get past the front door. Certain topics which are woefully abused and full of copyright abuse at Squidoo, namely coloring pages and Wallpapers, are completely banned at zujava.

Also, right now ALL leaves earn a slice of the tier rank profits every month. Of course the top 10% get the highest cut, the next 20% a lower amount, but even "the other 70%" are still added in the revenue pile.

There are a lot of things I can do on Squidoo lenses that I can't do (yet) on zujava leaves, so it's not like I'm going to pack up and move completely - or even primarily - there anytime soon. But I think it's worth exploring and building upon, especially right now when someone can still get in the game very early on, and not have to fight so hard to get a top-ranking position on site. Here are the first three leaves I've experimented with creating (I'm sure I'll be tweaking and adding to them more in the future) - and if you're interested in trying out zujava for yourself, just click on the banner below and get started exploring for yourself!

* Being a Convention Dealer
* 5 Secrets to Authentic Italian Cuisine
* Infertility During Halloween: It's No Treat

Sign up for Zujava.com: Simple online publishing.
nicpel: (silly)
2012-07-13 10:19 am

But what exactly IS Squidoo?

I realized last night that while I talk a lot (ok, primarily) about Squidoo here, some of my friends don't actually really know what Squidoo IS. What's a lens? Who is a lensmaster? What's all this about, anyway?

Let me see if I can summarize quickly and simply :)

Squidoo is a platform for publishing on-line, individual webpages - which in Squidoo-language are called "lenses". Anyone who publishes a page on Squidoo is a "lensmaster" - just like "webmaster" elsewhere.

Squidoo lenses can be about virtually any topic you want (although some topics are prohibited for legal reasons, and due to past spam abuse.) You can make a fan page for one of your favorite musicians, blog about personal experiences, share a favorite recipe or even publish a travelog. There is a large assortment of modules you can add to a lens: simple text modules (write anything you want!), photo gallery modules (share your pics!), quizzes and polls, formatted recipes, rss feeds, Twitter streams, Google news search results, link lists, voting lists, you name it! With the variety of modules available, you can really come up with a unique-looking and varied spotlight on a particular subject - part of why Squidoo pages are called lenses.

A successful lens in many ways combines not just your own original content but serves as a gateway for the reader to then go out and explore the topic from your lens. Indeed, my top-performing lens at the moment, about MasterChef US, combines both my own episode recaps and polls with lengthy link lists of where you can find all of the contestants on-line (their blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter streams, etc), YouTube preview videos, and yes a few products and cookbooks by the Master Chef judges themselves.

Because that's the other type of module you can add to your lenses: sales modules. Ebay, Amazon, CafePress, Zazzle, Etsy...these all have preformatted modules you can add to your lenses to promote related products (even your own, if you have say an Etsy shop!) If something sells from most of these modules, you earn a commission (split with Squidoo) on the sale. There are other ways you can earn sales commissions as well on Squidoo, by joining affiliate marketing programs like those offered by AllPosters.com or Commission Junction. Doing so is perfectly fine with the Squidoo TOS, as long as the affiliate program is on the up and up and not selling products against Squidoo's TOS.

But it's not just via sales that you can earn money with a Squidoo lens. Every lens earns a "Tier rank" on the site, and at the end of the month you can earn a payout based on Squidoo's overall ad pool revenue for the month (any clicks on Google and Infolinks ads on Squidoo lenses go into the general ad pool, not directly to the person who created the specific lens.) Lenses in Tier 1, the top 2,000 or so lenses on the site, earn the highest payout - these days around $50. Lenses in Tier 2, which have ranks between 2,000 to 10,000 approximately, earn around $10. Lenses between 10,000 and about 80,000 are in Tier 3 and still will earn perhaps $0.50.

If you rank worse than 80,000, you won't earn a tier payout - put you still get any sales commissions you might have earned. So it's different from other content sites which pay directly by the "hit", or by ads clicked on your pages alone. When Squidoo overall does well, the top lensmasters do well.

This system naturally makes Squidoo a bit of a competitive environment - everyone is out for one of those coveted Tier 1 positions, and at first it can seem impossible to achieve (at least if you want to play by the rules and avoid BlackHat techniques, which can get your account closed if caught immediately.) But there are many great lensmasters at Squidoo who work to encourage new lensmasters to do well, and to encourage good lenses to improve in their rankings by "Liking" lenses or even "Blessing" them (SquidAngels are lensmasters given "extra powerz" to Bless lenses they consider exceptionally good.) Yes, there are people who don't understand copyright and intellectual property, and Squidoo HQ hasn't always been the best at following up on content abuse unless directly served with DMCA notices. But they're getting better about it, particularly as Google continues to try to push down "junk" and promote Unique, Updated and Useful information (which are in fact the "three U's" of Squidoo lensmaking :) ).

You aren't going to make thousands of dollars overnight joining Squidoo. In fact, you have to have a lot of patience because payouts are 2 months delayed, and it can take quite a few months to learn the tricks of good keyword research, promotion, and lens structure to start building your rank. I can say that after about 18 months on Squidoo, I'm earning a steady 3-digit amount from them monthly - enough to pay at least a few household bills regularly, which is nice. My to-date best performing lens on Squidoo has earned over $400 alone since I published it last year. Squidoo is also a great tool for promoting my other businesses and activities, like my artwork and jewelry. I would recommend that some of my friends who are fiction authors might want to investigate setting up a Squidoo account, as you can easily create pages to promote your writing blogs, published books, or just continue to create a web presence for yourself in a different environment.

Some would say "Why not just monetize a blog, why use a platform like Squidoo?" Because getting high enough traffic to a personal blog, unless you devote an EXTREME amount of time to it, can be difficult. And generally a blog needs to have a tight focus to do well from ad revenue, so if one wanted to write, say, about 10 different topics (art, music, food, travel, etc etc) you'd need 10 different blogs to maintain. That gets to be a lot of work. In over a year of having a personal food blog, I haven't even earned enough to get a threshold payment from Google Ads. Compare that to how the money comes in from Squidoo, and...yeah. There's good reason I like the platform.

Does Squidoo sound like something you might want to try for yourself? If so, just click thru to Squidoo here and see how easy it is to set up an account. And be sure to let me know your lensmaster name once you get started!
nicpel: (Default)
2012-07-10 12:40 pm
Entry tags:

NEWSFLASH! Life isn't always fair. Film at 11.

First off, I would like to say how absolutely THRILLED I am that I placed 2nd in the very first "SquidWoot" challenge. As soon as I got struck by an idea, I was obsessed with working on the lens all day - including being barely able to contain myself when I had to spend a few hours in Philly before I could rush to the farm stand and buy some fresh fruit, whatever was on hand, and hope I could make a great-looking batch of gelato, photograph it, and write it all up by the deadline. I got my submission in around 4pm EST yesterday, got word I'd come in second at about 9:30pm - a half-hour after the deadline. It was thrilling - and also sweet to come right in the middle of my favorite TV show, MasterChef!

What WASN'T so thrilling to me was seeing all the negative comments and complaints about the challenge all over the SquidooHQ blog, like here. I get it that it sucks when a particular challenge, contest or other activity doesn't exactly fit your schedule. And I do think it might be nice if HQ could change the day of the week for some of the future challenges.

BUT.

Let us remember a few things, here.

1. It's VERY VERY EASY to look up time zones around the world on-line. Hi, WorldClock!

2. Yes, I know some of you have "real jobs" so can't put time into Squidoo on a weekday. Remember that for some of us Squidoo IS a real job. I have spent enough years of my life while slaving in a retail store, and still working craft shows, to appreciate my time off on the weekends. I get the bulk of my Squidoo writing done during weekDAYS because that is when I try to concentrate on my WORK. A challenge that only ran on a Saturday or Sunday would likely be impossible for me to complete as those are my "days off" to work on other things.

3. Sure, it's nice to win a prize. I would have loved that 1st place iPad. But longterm-success on Squidoo does not come down to contest/Quest entries. It's about building a solid portfolio of lenses that will pay out over years. Hey, sure, it's sweet my Gelato lens shot right to Tier 1 overnight-but guess what? It sort of means *nothing* unless it has staying power, because I won't see any ranking payout from the lens until NEXT MONTH. Unless my keyword research is good, unless I build links, unless my *content is solid and unique*, it could just as easily drop like a stone into T3 or worse by the beginning of August, and then it's worth nothing more than the (admittedly cool) hoodie I'm getting for being in 2nd place.

So yeah. I think perhaps a bit of perspective is a good thing. Quests and challenges are great things on Squidoo. But they won't make or break your overall success.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-05-04 08:22 am

It's quite exciting...

...to start the month of May with four lenses in Tier 1 instead of my usual two. However, I'm not sure they'll be able to all stay in T1 for the entire month, but I'll be happy if two of those stay where they are and I at least get a T2 payment out of the others.

I'm feeling a bit burned out on lenswork at the moment, as in April I really went a bit overboard and finished 14 new lenses and did a lot of work on some older ones. But that's okay as I have a lot of other things I should be focusing on this month, including getting back to my jewelry work in time for this summer's conventions, the first of which (Media*West) is only a few weeks away. I also need to get outside more as soon as the weather is less unpredictable, and work on my vegetable garden. The seedlings I started inside are getting crazy big, but we still had frost last week, and then this week was too rainy to get outside much. It is exciting though to see some of the foxglove I started as seeds last summer just getting ready to bloom. I've missed having foxglove in my garden the way my mom does, and they aren't the easiest plants to get started from seeds. It encourages me to pick up some more seeds this week and see what other varieties I can get started for next year.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-04-26 12:00 pm
Entry tags:

It's been a pretty exciting Squidoo week for me!

Well, let's see. I published my entry for the Squidcademy Awards, a lens about Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, on Saturday. By Sunday it was featured on the Squidoo homepage for the week and it's already ranked at #2,683 - nearly in Tier 1. Of course the question will be if it can keep performing like that after May 1 when I can begin earning Tier payments from it...

Then, on Tuesday, a lens I'd just done a little touch-up work on to try to improve its rank received a Purple Star and got a write up on SquidooHQ for Purple Spotlight. The lens, on a pretty obscure niche topic in painting (Verdaccio), jumped from about 11,000 in rank to #742. Of course, not soon enough to average out in T1 for April but I should at least get a T2 payment for it now, and perhaps it can keep building momentum for a while.

So yep, a good week for Squidoo and a good way to end up the month, looking at 2 lenses easily averaging in T1 and probably my most ever in T2 at one time. Things just keep getting better and better...no wonderful Squidoo is so addictive!
nicpel: (silly)
2012-04-22 11:15 pm

Wow, that's a first!

So, yesterday I published my lens about Philadelphia's Magic Gardens - my entry for the Squidcademy Awards contest. And in one day, the lens has already not just scored 100% (meaning getting 20+ likes among other criteria) but is featured on the Squidoo homepage.

Dang! Whether or not it wins the contest, I'm pretty chuffed at how this one seemed to hit a target just right.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-04-14 12:39 pm
Entry tags:

Yay, payday!

Despite saying we wouldn't get our Squidoo payday this month until after the 16th, it actually showed up on my dashboard today. Yay! My second month earning over $200 on Squidoo. I'm happy. I have a goal to get to $500 a month, but I know that will take a while.

Meanwhile, I've been cranking out more "quick" lenses which I may eventually put up for sale, once I build a few niches and establish if they're salable or not. To date, these are my potentially "for sale" lenses:

* Moss Agate Jewelry
* Rainbow Fluorite Jewelry
* Labradorite Jewelry
* MercyMe Fan Page
* I Blame Coco

I of course reserve the right to not sell any of these if they suddenly shoot up into T1 in the meantime :)
nicpel: (Default)
2012-04-12 09:34 am

Trying something new with Squidoo...

So I've been following the Buying and Selling Squidoo Lenses Facebook group for a while, even though I've never bought a lens before - and I'm not especially interested in doing so, either. I like working on my lenses from the ground up, using my own words, etc.

But I'm thinking about working on some new lenses with the sole purpose of selling them. Not lenses that would take an awful lot of time to set up, but good basic starter lenses for people that are more interested in doing things like constantly monitoring Amazon links for expiring/sold out products and stuff like that. Which happens a lot on jewelry lenses, and I find them tedious to maintain.

So I basically want to try to create a starter set of about 20-30 lenses, ones that shouldn't take me more than 1-2 hours each to build and basically promote, and then see if I can sell them after a month's "test marketing". Because while I hate to give away lenses that might eventually become big successes, it would be nice to get some quick cash for lenses that don't take me a lot of time to build and create.

I'm going to be starting with jewelry sales lenses featuring different, more unusual stone. This is the first one I've created for this project/idea:

Moss Agate Jewelry.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-04-09 11:40 am

I've just got to LOL...

My favorite conspiracy theory so far regarding Squidoo and the new duplicate content filter? Is that it's all part of an evil liberal government conspiracy to shut down conservative and (Christian) religious content on the internet. Because if a Bible scripture lens got locked for duplicate content, it's OBVIOUSLY all part of some greater left-wing conspiracy to censor the 'net and stifle right-wing thoughts.

Clearly. Of course. Because Glen Beck, Jesse Ventura and their fellow ditto-heads said it, it must be true.



(Note I'm not even a liberal. I'm a Libertarian. Which makes me more subject to mocking than just about anyone ELSE these days.)

Meanwhile, I'll just keep writing original content about things that I love and know so well, I don't need to copy and paste from elsewhere. Like my recent Stewart Copeland Soundtrack Discography. Obscure topic? Maybe. But it's what I know, and what I like.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-04-06 09:21 pm
Entry tags:

For what it's worth...

I haven't had a single lens locked or flagged yet since the new Squidoo filter for duplicate content was launched. Of course it could still happen, I suppose, but I do write all of my content myself, and have very, very rarely copied any product descriptions or reviews from Amazon or elsewhere. My method/motto is, if I don't know a product well enough to talk about it from personal experience? I shouldn't be trying to sell it. I link out heavily to all of my references, I only write about topics I'm personally passionate about. I think that goes a long way toward creating quality lenses.

I'm not saying there aren't "false positives" resulting from the new filters. But. But. I feel like some of the extreme resistance to the new filter is coming from folks unwilling to admit that just copying & pasting content from Amazon and elsewhere, based on trying to jump on the newest "hot topic" bandwagons, isn't going to keep up with those who are writing about things they know, love, and want to share for reasons beyond commercial success. I can only write about things I love, and I only want to try to sell products related to the things I'd love.
nicpel: (Default)
2012-04-05 05:17 pm

Need to take a deep breath...

...and perhaps a break from SquidU for a while.

I'm really not happy with the atmosphere there these days. There's so much sniping, griping, whining and (IMHO) over-moderation of posts that it isn't funny any more - nor is it particularly helpful to me as a lensmaster.

I know it's not really different from a lot of other internet forums, but still. It's not being productive to my efforts to do well on Squidoo and while I appreciate some of the useful info in Tricks of the Trade, I don't like the way we're both muzzled and yet also over-obsessed with criticizing HQ there at the moment. I think there's a definite hint in Tom Maybrier's blog post about how the vocal minority doesn't always represent the best intentions and needs of the silent majority, and that's what's going on way too much right now at SquidU IMHO. Note that yes, I was EXTREMELY vocal on SquidU and the HQ blog about recent confusing actions and contradictory statements regarding image copyright. Am I'm annoyed that I've posed specific questions to HQ members regarding issues on image copyright that have gone unanswered. But the current whining in the forums about the new plagiarism checker, and how it's flagging some lenses for copying & pasting Amazon descriptions, is really getting under my skin. I've yet to have any lens flagged - not saying it couldn't happen, but I just don't create those kinds of lenses myself that are just blindly promoting items I have no personal familiarity with nor ability to Write My Own Damn Recommendations for.
nicpel: (stewart writing)
2012-04-03 08:00 am

Some overdue updates

March continued to be an insanely busy month right up until the end due to a lot of personal stuff best not discussed publicly here :) (Nothing bad, just things under contract which hopefully will all go well.) So I'm glad I did the bulk of my Squidoo writing work at the beginning of the month. I just updated my 10 Most Recent Lenses page and am pretty satisfied with getting 7 new lenses created for the month, along with doing a lot of maintenance and updating on some older ones.

I have several lenses in my WIP queue I really hope to complete in April, but I also plan on doing a lot of work and promotion of my lenses related to Infertility Awareness as National Infertility Awareness Week is quickly approaching. (Of course nothing would make me happier than seeing my NIAW lens get a Lens of the Day spotlight during the week, but I know that's a pretty far-fetched possibility. Still, it would be nice, as I remember how upsetting it was to me that last year NIAW coincided with the week Squidoo decided to spotlight "RocketMoms" every day for LOTD. Oh, the irony...)
nicpel: (Default)
2012-03-18 10:48 am

Updates for mid-March

It's been a very busy few weeks, so I'll have to talk about some things more in-depth later when I have the chance. But I had a couple quick things to mention this Sunday morning...

1. I am now a Mammoth Squid! I waited cautiously until I had 120 lenses before apply to the Giant Squid 100 Level club, and apparently sailed through the application easily. The next stage is Giant Squid 250...oy. If I average even 10 lenses a month - fairly highly productive for me - I'm at least a year away from that "upgrade" yet. So I guess I won't stress about it.

2. I dashed together a quick new webpage this morning, Sockii on the Web, which is exactly what the name applies. I figured it was well past time to try to have a central listing/link page for all my different websites, blogs, content sites, etc. Of course it's not complete yet, but so far so good.

3. I had a great time last night at a concert in Vineland NJ seeing the Beatles tribute band American English. It's the first time I've seen a Beatles tribute act that tried to do it all "in costume", not just recreating the music. Rather interesting, I'll have to write a review in more detail later. I do have a new Beatles Survey up on Squidoo if you're a fan and would like to add your thoughts and opinions to the mix. And next weekend I am hopefully going to be checking out my first Beatles convention, The Fest for Beatles Fans. I have been dying to check out this show for several years but it's looking like scheduling will be on my side at last. I'm sure that will make some great fodder for a new lens as well!

4. Its curious to me to watch right now as one of my "sleeper" lenses has just broken in to Tier 2 after slowly creeping up the ranks the past few months, with very little tweaking and work on my part except building a few backlinks. It's my lens on Garlic Intolerance and Allergy. I can't figure it out except I hit on some good keywords and it's getting decent clickouts to the information sites and articles I linked to...yet it definitely has taken time to build. Right now it's ranking in the 8,800s, and here's how long it took to get there:

Date - #Rank - Visits
Jul 2011 - 543,982 - 8
Aug 2011 - 128,302 - 41
Sep 2011 - 120,793 - 21
Oct 2011 - 95,521 - 31
Nov 2011 - 123,342 - 22
Dec 2011 - 85,448 - 41
Jan 2012 - 72,274 - 82
Feb 2012 - 31,556 - 202
Mar 2012 - 14,528 - 243

Just goes to show - never get discouraged if a lens isn't a blockbuster right out of the gates. Sometimes it just can take a while to build and for Google to start picking up on your lens. Either that or a lot more people are suddenly suspecting they have a garlic allergy or intolerance and are desperately looking for info!
nicpel: (Default)
2012-03-15 01:54 pm

Six reasons why you should credit your images on Squidoo - even if you don't have to.

Okay, so the debate, whining and arguments about proper image usage on Squidoo rages on (and probably will forever until HQ cleans up and clarifies its policies). Today's latest entry into the kerfluffle: If an image is free and clear for use (public domain, your own work, or from a free image source like morguefile), why "waste valuable space" on a lens including image credits if you don't have to?

Let me tell you why.

1. HQ is at least starting to ask for image credits to be included on Quests for front page placement. Certainly this is the result of several recent Lenses of the Day coming in to question because of their dubious image sourcing (one was flat out taken down last week before the day was out). I'm not thrilled that they're only requiring credits, not checking that the images are free and legal to use, but it's a start. So if you want to see your lens get extra traffic from being on the Squidoo entry page? Credit your photos.

2. Credits are a way to easily get click-outs. Click-outs are good. Click-outs boost your lens rank. If you're using a photo from morguefile, wikimedia commons, or any other site, why not include a small image credit with a link out to the source file? Some people might want to see the image in original/full resolution, or check out more of the photographer's other work.

3. Credits prove you are working with the system. Many Squid Angels (like myself) are diligent about only blessing lenses if we can see clear, hard evidence that any/all images on the lens are legally allowed. And sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a great personal photo, a great photo from morguefile, or a completely copyrighted photo that isn't supposed to be used on a commercial site like Squidoo. So why not make it easier for us, if you want the lens rank boost of a blessing? Even non-Angels may only "Like" lenses or share them around if they are sure the lens is following legal image usage.

4. If a photo is your own work, why not brag about it! If you're using your own photography on a lens, tell the world! Who knows, someone might like your work well enough to commission you or pay you to use your photography on another website or for other purposes.

5. Ease of future editing. Say you've uploaded an image to a module after grabbing it (legally I hope) somewhere on line. A few months later you want to reformat the image/crop it/enhance it/answer a question about its origin and original photographer. Or maybe there's a system bug/crash that loses your original image upload. By including a credit/link when originally adding it to a lens, you save yourself the trouble of having to hunt down the source of that image again in the future.

6. It's just good etiquette and polite. Whenever I see or hear someone whining about having to provide image credits on a lens, I wonder if they aren't protesting too much. Yes, it takes a few seconds extra work. But even if you don't HAVE to credit someone for using their photography, isn't it a nice thing to do? Good karma, people.