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This morning I started on some long overdue updates to John Glover's official website. I started out planning on just getting the latest up about his current appearance in a major revival of Death of a Salesman in New York. But as I started working on that, I realized just how out-of-date the whole design of the site is, and how I want to work on fixing that in the future. And a lot of that realization is thanks to my work on creating Squidoo lenses in the past year.

I admit, Squidoo has seriously spoiled me in some ways. It's so easy to add modules to a page that update daily with things like RSS feeds, Google news, ebay listings, Amazon products, etc. And that's what people want from the web today, and truly expect: frequent updates, the latest news, the shopping links they're looking for, at their fingertips. I was truly frustrated I couldn't easily add some of the features I have on my Squidoo lens for John to his very own official website!

Well, I'm dedicated to working on it now. I have a lot of plans for changes to the website which I'm slowly going to begin implementing, even though my web knowledge is seriously stuck back in the html days and css generally makes me go cross-eyed. But I know now thanks to Squidoo a lot of features I CAN add, and I've already majorly revised the site's main page today. What did I do? Pushed more info "above the fold"--lots of empty space and long scrolling is SO 90's web design! I double-columned the news so I could add the Facebook FanPage widget (as the FB page has been great for promoting John's work), at least one active news feed from a celebrity-related site, and a navigation bar at the bottom as well as the top of the page. Although I'm not looking to add advertising to the site, I will be adding Amazon product links or perhaps build a "shopping gallery" page for those searching for John's movies on DVD, audiobooks and other memorabilia.

Anyway, it was an interesting realization for me today. While a lot of people talk about Squidoo like it's a place for "dummies" to build webpages without having to know much of any html or css, it can teach you a lot about what makes for GOOD webdesign in today's environment. And it's time I start taking some of those lessons to heart in how I put together my non-Squidoo sites.
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This started out as a forum response, but I decided I was getting too long-winded and would rather blog about it :)

I keep hearing about how hard it is to find legal images you can use on your Squidoo lenses and that's why there's so much trademark and copyright abuse. I disagree. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort (which is why the scammers won't do it), but there are plenty of great ways to find attractive images for your pages without doing so in a questionable or downright violating fashion.

This is basically my 10-step "Elimination Process" when I'm personally looking for images to use on one of my lenses:

1. Take my own damn photos. Nothing is more personal and unique than photos you take yourself! When I cook something I might want to write about, I photograph it step by step. Go to a concert? Take photos. Travel somewhere? I take photos. Eat at a great restaurant? Photograph the food. I have a library of easily about 10,000 photos now on just about any topic I want to write about. Sure I'm not a professional photographer, but quite often a simple iphone snapshot can do the job just fine. That's all I used on my How to Make Pizza lens.

2. AllPosters. As an AllPosters affiliate, I can use poster images of all kinds on my lenses - provided they link back to the product for sale. Plus I can earn money if someone buys the poster! AllPosters have everything from celebrity pics to movie posters to classical art and much more. When I can, I like to mix together AllPosters images with my own photos, like I did for my Duran Duran survey. It's hard NOT to be able to find something appropriate at AllPosters, so why not become an affiliate yourself?

Webmasters Make $$$
Webmasters Make $$$

3. Amazon. Selling Amazon products is a great way to make money with Squidoo, whether you have your own affiliate account or use the Squidoo Amazon affiliate program. And if you're selling an Amazon product on your lens, you can use their photos of it (like I did when I was trying to find a legal MasterChef image to use...)

4. Morguefile. Don't let the name turn you off. Morguefile is absolutely my FAVORITE place to search for general-type images of people, food, places, ideas...just about anything that's not celebrity-related. Morguefile photos are free to use commercially (as long as you're not just repackaging them without modification) so they're absolutely perfect for a lot of lenses. If you look at my Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012 lens, all of those photos are from morguefile and showcase some of the variety that's available.

5. Ask a friend. I have a few friends who are awesome photographers. And if I explained exactly how I was going to use their photos (yes, commercially), with full credit, I've been lucky to be given permission to do so. So if you see photos on Flickr or elsewhere by someone that would be perfect for your lens, but you're not sure about the usage rights? Why not ask them? Yes, they might say no. But they could say yes as well and everyone goes home happy. My Foo Fighters Survey lens wouldn't be the same without the awesome photos used by permission from [personal profile] cat_wolf.

6. Check for digital press kits/allowed for commercial use images. Some artists, bands, celebrities and events will have digital press kits on their websites where its clearly stated the images can be used for promotion, reviews, news reports, etc. Just be very careful to read the fine print. For my Dragon*Con Guide I downloaded the logo direct from their media center/press kit.

7. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia can be a good source for things like classical art images, nature photography, animals and more. However, I still try to be careful about using Wikimedia images because since they are user-uploaded, there sometimes can be questions about their legality and usage rights. But it can be impressive what you can find here.

8. Other commercial websites if you're reviewing their products/selling them. This I try to be careful with, but it is generally considered acceptable to use product images if you are reviewing them. I always try to find the product first via Amazon (so I can get a sales commission!) but in a few cases I'll go this route with no other option available. Certainly if you're promoting items for sale in your own CafePress store, you can use images of them - and you should!

9. Flickr public domain and Creative Commons (with commercial use) images. In a near last resort, I'll search Flickr for photos that allow for commercial use elsewhere. However, just like with Wikimedia Commons, you have to be careful that the person who uploaded the image really had the rights to do so. I've seen album covers, posters, publicity photos and similar clearly copyright protected images labeled incorrectly as "public domain" on Flickr before. So user beware.

10. ClipArt collections on-line. This is sort of a last-resort for me but one I'll sometimes use, like on my Garlic Intolerance lens. Finding GOOD clip art can be difficult - and being sure the clip art is truly public domain even harder. So I only use one or two clip art sites and collections that I believe I can trust.

Now, if I get past #10 on the above list and STILL can't find the type of images I think I need for a lens? Then I start to question whether it's really a good subject to build a lens ABOUT - at least not until I can find, create or photograph the right kind of images to use for it.
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Good news this weekend: sales of my jewelry at Escapade were quite good last month, and I've already got a nice sales deposit in my PayPal account. Now, I just have to get off my butt and finish packing up stuff to get to Revelcon in time today.

I also need to complete my artshow application for Dragon*Con, and get in my dealer's table $'s for MediaWest. And decide about MidSouthCon as I got a "please please come back" email from the art show director.

Now, to only find the time...

Yesterday I threw together two "quick" lenses just to try to get a jump on some search topics. I actually saw people coming to my lens about my sweetie searching for information on "podiatry wall art and decor" - so what lens did I create? Podiatry Wall Art. Shameless commercialism? You betcha. Yet it's already been getting good traffic for a brand new lens. Perhaps I should do a whole niche on wall art for different professional offices...

I also started a lens in anticipation of the third season of MasterChef US. Yes, I got addicted to this series like crack last year. I seriously did contemplate applying for this time around - but then they had tryouts in DC and New York, and not in Philly or Baltimore which I both voted for when casting was asking for cities to host try outs. Oh well, maybe season 4? I need to work on my baking skills first anyway. But I figured now was a good time to get a season-specific lens started (and established) if the season will start airing this summer.
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Seriously one of the most useful things about Squidoo's Dashboard controls to me are the detailed (and updated all day) traffic and search stats for individual lenses. Not only is it very helpful to see what is leading people to one of my lenses (so I can add content, adjust module titles and content accordingly), but sometimes it's just terribly amusing.

For instance, I was wondering why traffic spiked a bit to my little Stewart Copeland fan page last night - but then my SO texted me that his appearance on Storage Wars had just re-aired on A&E. People immediately seem to run to Google to look up how Barry Weiss knows Stewart every time it pops up again on tv. Of course, I also saw that I'm starting to get traffic for people looking for information on Stewart's upcoming summer tour with Stanley Clarke. I'll have to keep on top of that news topic then until and up through the summer.

Another one that's been amusing me is the search traffic to my Taylor Hawkins fan page. While it got a good boost from home page placement last week, it still has been getting ok google hits, but very little related to Taylor's actual drumming. No, as of right now these are the top search terms for the last week leading to the lens:

taylor hawkins overdose
taylor hawkins wife
can taylor hawkins wife song
who else did the foo fighters drummer play for
taylor hawkins google
how did foo fighters meet their wives
taylor hawkins daughter
taylor hawkins health problems
alison hawkins foo fighters is from allentown
taylor hawkins t shirt grammys
alison hawkins taylor hawkins wife

So basically, people are nosy about his wife and children (which I don't have much content about except the wife's name and that he has two kids - I don't DO nosy celebrity gossip) and his overdose from many years back (still).

If I go back and search for the month, there are a ton of search phrases asking what t-shirt Taylor wore at the Grammys. Darn it, I should have been following that more closely and maybe found out and thrown a product link up!

Well, it's all just very amusing and interesting to me, sometimes.
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So I've already got a jump on a new lens about National Infertility Awareness Week. I've done several on infertility awareness before, but wanted to make one focused specifically on this important annual campaign.

RESOLVE recently announced that the theme for this year will be "Don't Ignore Infertility", and I think that should be a very interesting one to see play out. I'm going to try to participate in the Bloggers Unite campaign this time around, so I'm already starting to contemplate drafting out an entry (or two...)
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It's been a busy month despite the near radio silence around here. What have I been up to?

Well, a few new lenses (which I'll talk about when I update my 10 Most Recent at the beginning of March). But mostly it's been about tweaking, promoting and link building elsewhere. I'm trying to get back to updating my food blog more regularly. I've been doing a lot of lens check-ups in preparation for applying for Giant Squid 100 Level next month.

I've also been aggravatingly busy working on replacing all of my Featured Lens modules with direct links after reading this forum thread. It's aggravating to realize that none of those modules were doing a darn thing for link building and I've got to revise them on every. single. one. of my lenses. However, I know it will be worth the effort. Plus, it meant I finally have created a handy spreadsheet of all my lenses, urls, title images and introductory blurbs for easy link building on the fly. So it's a time investment that that should make life a lot easier in the future.

I also opened a CafePress shop for my artwork and related merchandise. I'm still adding artwork and designs, but it's a start. So yeah, busy February. And I'm sure I've forgotten something...!
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There's been a lot of snarky and somewhat passive-aggressive discussion over at SquidU about Squid Angel blessings lately. At least I see it as snarky and passive-aggressive, ever since one of Squidoo's most active angels unlocked a new trophy for number of blessings given.

I'm of mixed minds about the whole thing. I get that some people feel blessings are these days devalued because some angels seem to give them away "too freely". And if you don't think there's a lot of unwritten "bless-me-and-I'll-bless-you" going around, then you're damn naive. The day I announced happily that I'd been accepted into the Squid Angel program, I was bombarded with Likes and Blessings from all different people on Squidoo, many I'd never heard of or interacted with before. And I often see that near immediate bless-back when I do give a blessing on a lens - a lens I think is deserving, because that's the only time I'll give a blessing.

However, I think some people are taking a very holier-than-thou attitude about how exclusive they are about their blessings, and of course how their superior standards should be the ones set by all Squid Angels (implied in their comments if not outright states as such.) Squidoo gives us very, very vague instructions on how to be an Angel; there are no set guidelines on what should and shouldn't qualify for a blessing. Therefore? Each Angel is going to have a different set of standards, and I don't think the community should set about "policing" what other Angels do or don't bless.

My standards for blessing are pretty much:

1. All images should be properly credited AND legal to use.
2. The text should appear to be original - I will check if I have any suspicions otherwise but I'm not going to run each and every paragraph through a plagiarism checker.
3. It should have some interesting content beyond being a pure sales-pitch lens.
4. Basic Squidoo do's followed of having an original bio and author's photo, no default module titles.
5. Basic grammar/spelling rules followed. A few typos, no problem, but not every other sentence.

That's basically it. It doesn't have to be Purple Star worthy or LotD material. And if it's a newer lensmaster? I'm likely to be a little more generous with the blessings if I feel the person is deserving of encouragement to get better - but if I see major issues I'm likely to not even "Like" a lens, let alone bless it. No matter if that person has given me blessings or likes before.

Some days I might only give 1 or 2 blessings. Other days none. Other days maybe 5 or 10 if I feel motivated, find a lot of quality lenses, etc. But I just don't like the air of comparison and "I'm a better Squid Angel than you" going around on the forum right now. Being an Angel IS something that can reward you with more likes and blessings, absolutely. And if you want to be a successful lensmaster, you take advantage of the opportunities that are there to improve your chances of success. The nice thing with the Squid Angel program is that comes through helping boost the chances of success for others at the same time.
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Just updated by 10 Most Recent Lenses Page for January - and it's actually a misnomer this month as somehow I got *11* new lenses published! Talk about being busy! I managed to get 3 in under the wire yesterday before exhaustion sunk in.

Now it's time to go back to some older lenses for updating work this month, although I'd like to get at least a few new ones published this month as well. Goodness knows I can rarely stop myself...
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It's the last day of the month, which means time to panic and see how many of my WIP lenses on Squidoo I can finally get published today (so that they can start ranking and earning next month). I've already got a new music survey finished up - The Ultimate Duran Duran Survey - but I've got at least 2 if not 3 more I'd like to get done if I can.

Thankfully I have a nice quiet day at home after a busy past week to try to devote to nothing but Squidoo. I really want to get up to about 110 lenses or so before applying for 100 level Giant Squid, just to have some "buffer room". And I want to make it to that goal by the end of February - so time to get to it!


Jan. 25th, 2012 01:14 pm
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You know, I do like heading to the Squidoo Critique Me board and trying to help out new lensmasters when I can. I got a lot of good advice there when I was starting out, not just on my own lenses but in reading the advice being given to others.

I'm just getting so, so frustrated that I feel like I just need a "script" to keep explaining to newbies that

- No, you CAN'T just copy and paste text from other websites such as wikipedia and
- No, just because you found an image on Facebook/Google search/any other website that it's free for you to use.

Yes, it makes building lenses harder because *GASP!* you might actually have to do some work! You know, like WRITE YOUR OWN TEXT. TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHS. Spend a few minutes LOOKING for images that ARE free for commercial use.

The kicker is really when someone link-drops into one of my guestbooks - with a lens that's completely full of stolen text and images. I'll give someone who posts to Critique Me! some time to learn and adjust their lenses before reporting to abuse. But if you're spamming me AND your lens is clearly violating the TOS in multiple ways? Then reporting I will do.

Because competition for Tier payment is stiff enough these days. Top tier payments should not be going to lazy thieves, I don't care how much you whine about how "other people are doing it".
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Last night I got my dealer's confirmation letter for Dragon*Con, which reminded me it was time to update my Dragon*Con page on Squidoo. I'd noticed it slowly creeping up in the rankings this month, which meant now that the holidays are past folks are starting to think and plan for this year's conventions again.

I had been disappointed the lens didn't even break into Tier 2 last year (it got close in August and September, as one might expect), so I'm hoping continued tweaks and updates, now that the lens is a bit "seasoned", will help this year. I think I still need to add some more click-outs perhaps to good convention reports from the past and the like. But I'm going to watch the search phrase traffic for a while and see what's really leading them in.

I also discovered one bone-headed mistake which was probably not helping - my primary tag had a spelling mistake! D'oh!!! This is why one can never just make a lens and forget about it - there's always SOMETHING you'll find a month (or more) down the line that needs to be fixed or improved upon...
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I really should create a lens for it, I really should.

I noticed my Stewart Copeland lens getting quite a spike in hits the past couple days, after I did a few minor tweaks updating the news section and throwing in a link to buying/downloading his appearance on Storage Wars helping Barry Weiss with a drum set. (I freakin' love Barry so him + Stewart was just epic.) Now tonight I check my search stats for the page, and what are people looking for on Google that's taking them to my lens?

does barry weiss really know stewart copland%3f
did barry weiss ever sell his drums
barry weiss knows stewart copeland
drums for sale with the police signature
what cymbal did stewart copeland buy from barry
hiw does barry weiss know stuart
how does barry weiss know stuart copeland

Not gonna lie I LOL'ed. I also want to see if I can find out the answers to some of those questions, since people really seem to want to know!
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A short while back (I think while I was away in London) there were some SquidU forum posts about an email that RocketMoms would be ending, to be replaced by RocketSquids.

This makes me happy. OK, I do feel sad for those who loved RocketMoms and felt like they got a lot of encouragement and support from that community.

But I've been vocal in the past about why the whole "RocketMoms" thing rubbed me the wrong way. It was exclusionary toward women who couldn't/didn't want to be mothers and seemed like a kind of weird thing, to me, for Squidoo to promote without offering similar alternative communities to those who could not quality.

I'm much happier with the idea of RocketSquids - Giants and editors who are willing to offer support and guidance to new lens-masters. If it opens up, I will apply to be a mentor, absolutely.

I won't be egotistic but I will say, when I have complained about the discriminatory wording/nature of the RocketMoms group, I did get response. So perhaps in some (very very) small way I've contributed to a change? I really have no way of knowing nor will take credit for it. But I am happy to see this change in Squidoo's future. I do love the site and have really had nothing but good interactions with their higher-ups in the past year. So yay.
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Well, I did it - today I published my 100th lens on Squidoo. Given that I joined the site last February, I think that's a pretty good accomplishment for 11 months' time. I'm hoping that BY February, my monthly payouts will be at and/or regularly exceeding where I was at with Yahoo! Associated Content when I bailed on the site at that time last year. That means keeping at least 2 lenses in Tier 1 regularly and/or getting a lot more sales. We'll see how that goes - then then if I can hit my goal of earning at least $200/month from Squidoo in the not too distant future.

My latest lens - and the one before that - are both on the hot topic of downloadable coloring pages. Yes, for some reason this is one of the hottest topics on Squidoo - go figure. Of course, there's a lot of abuse there too, people hot linking to images and stealing copyright protected content. I'm trying to be 100% legit and just use my OWN artwork and photographs to generate my OWN coloring pages thru a very cool software program I found (and only cost $8). We'll see how that goes.

I've published 3 other lenses since the beginning of the year, so I guess 2012 is off to a good start. I just for some reason seem to be battling a case of the blahs since getting back from vacation a week ago. I know I should feel somewhat accomplished, doing 5 new lenses from scratch, but it just doesn't seem like enough. My mess of an office keeps haunting me, as I'm supposed to be working on organizing it and getting started on my 2011 books for taxes, gallery inventory, etc. I just can't find the energy for it. Perhaps it's the mid-Winder/post-Christmas blahs. I've also been wasting too much time still playing around with fanfic, which I always feel these days is such a "waste" of time since it's writing time I can't/won't get paid for! But when the creative bug hits, I hate to ignore it, too. I can go years without feeling inspired to write any fiction...and lately I've been pulling out old unfinished stories and realizing I should at least finish them off for sharing, because I miss that bit of fannish sharing.

Anyway. I'm rambling and punting work again so I should get back to it. Or at least making dinner.
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And I won't cause wank because I'm NOT going to say this at SquidU...

But I just love how the "forums aren't a place for complaining" - unless you're complaining about the forum moderators and how they've moderated your posts.

Your double-standards. Let me show you them.
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It's been a busy week or so with holiday preparations, work in the office, and trying to get my old gallery re-opened briefly for holiday sales. And that's meant driving to and from Philly just about every day and working until about 6:30 at night (then about an hour on the road home). Just exhausting. I don't know how people can do the commuting thing full time.

As such I haven't had a lot of time for Squidoo'ing and other writing, although I did get a short lens up today on updates to Weight Watchers Points Plus for 2012. There aren't major changes this time around since the Points overhaul this past year, but it will be interesting to see if it addresses some of the real issues people have been having with PP.

(Interesting to see, I've gotten over 500 responses to the survey I added to my previous WW article just a couple weeks ago. And only slightly above half of those 500 have said they're happy with PointsPlus.)

I have a couple other lenses in the works at the moment but I doubt I'll get to them until after Christmas. It looks as though three of my Christmas lenses this year have settled into Tier 2 for the month, which is nice to see - the most popular being the one on our Fontanini Nativity set. But a number of the others have done well saleswise the past 2 months - right now I've got about $87 in my pending pool, largely from all those new Christmas lenses. I hope these will end up "maturing" well for next holiday season and that I can tweak some of them to be better performers.

Beyond that, my Squidoo payday this month was not great, but I was expecting that as October was a pretty "meh" month for my lenses. Only 1 in Tier 2, no Tier 1, and 30 in Tier 3. It also wasn't a good month for sales. But, I spent most of that month working on building up my Christmas portfolio instead of actively promoting and trying to improve those other lenses. I do look forward to much better payouts come January and February 2012...
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My sweetie, Dave, has finally learned how to make his Amazon and eBay purchases after/through visiting my lenses. This is good as he is basically an Italian-art book hound who must buy any new title released and is always haunting eBay for specialty Italian items. Just this week he bought 3 high-end perfumes from Florence via eBay - so now he'll smell good AND he helped some of my lenses get a lens rank boost.

On to other things - and lessons learned.

This morning I was working on my Police fan survey lens, which has been sinking pretty bad in rank. I realized two big problems, both rather late in the game:

1. I'm heavily involved in Police fandom, so I knew I could get a lot of my friends to vote in it. And boy, did they! But here's the thing - I was still early in my Squidooing days and didn't realize I wouldn't get a Tier payout on it until the month AFTER it was published! I should have waited a few weeks and THEN promoted it on the mailing lists and forums I belong to. It's a shame because I actually got the lens up to about 1,000 in the rank, and it finished Tier 2 for that first month, but I got nothing for it. By the time it entered it's first "official" month? All the hardcore Police fans had answered it and weren't checking back.

I might try to do an analysis write-up to post to some of those forums to encourage people to come back and see how they compared in their opinions to others. Because that's the only way I know I'll ever get really good traffic on that lens.

2. Lesson 2 I've been learning about ALL of my music lenses. I was dumb to put in Amazon modules with all of the basic Police albums and videos. Because the kind of fans who are going to visit my lens and want to take the survey? Are fans who already HAVE all of that stuff! What I need to be trying to sell are unique, rare and collectible items. High-end eBay auctions for autographs, gold records, tie-in musical instruments, etc. Because believe me, THAT'S the kind of stuff my Police fan friends buy. I have friends who will fight in to the thousands of $$$'s for photo negatives, reel-to-reel tapes, gold records and other really unique Police items. Again I'm *headdesking* for not realizing this earlier, and I want to rework a lot of the sales modules on my music lenses to really push the high-end collectibles instead of the basics.

But I guess, these are just the things we learn from experience. I used to feel weird pushing expensive merchandise on Squidoo...then I had someone come to my Pink Floyd survey page last week and buy about 30 items in one shot, all Floyd related, on Amazon including collectible figurines at about $150 a shot. If I'm targeting hardcore fans, I've got to try to sell them hardcore merchandise. That's the path to better sales royalties that I'm seeing ahead of me. Now, to implement it for success.
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Well, after enduring a dental appointment to get my first crown today (ugh), about all I felt like doing when I got home was working on some lenses. I don't know why it was so draining but it actually was more painful/uncomfortable than when I got the root canal on this tooth. I like this dentist but he only gave me one small shot for the pain this time...I think when I have to get one other tooth done up for a crown in January I'm going to say I need more numbing. Plus all the yucky taste of the glue and crap in my mouth...ugh! Not fun! And tedious too, spending about 2 hours in the chair either clenching my teeth shut or having to keep them open while waiting for this or that step.

Anyway. So I got home and decided to do a little more lens work. I'm really keen on maximizing the potential of eBay modules at the moment. I kind of ignored them in the past or just threw them on without a whole lot of thought of how to really utilize their potential. Then I read a really great lens this morning on Ebay commissions and how to maximize them and I learned a lot. Especially about trying to get those sales quickly instead of "whenever", so I went thru some lenses to see where I could switch from "list auctions ending any time" to those ending either within 6 hours or the next day. Not every search term has that many auctions running right now, but for instance, my Fontanini Nativity lens does as there are lots of listings for their nativity figurines right now. So I souped up that lens with more ebay modules and switching what I could to soon-ending auctions. We'll see if it makes a difference.

I'm on a mission next to see where I can add relevant eBay modules to other lenses or how to better tune the ones I have for maximum performance. Yesterday I apparently had three eBay sales from my da Vinci gift lens - for Italian perfumes of all things, each about $50-60. I'm not complaining, though I think it may just have been Dr. D buying them as I know he's just an addict for that stuff and probably surfed over to ebay after browsing the lens at work :-P I'll have to ask him tonight when he gets home...
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Note to self: Next time I begin a lens overhaul project, I'm going to take a before screencap so I can really show the changes I've made to (hopefully) improve the lens.

The last two days I've been working on re-doing my lens on BYOB Dining in Philadelphia. This was another one of my early lenses, kind of revamping some info I'd put in a previous article at Associated Content. Knowing Squidoo like I do now, there's not really much chance this is ever going to be a blockbuster lens - Tier 1 or even likely Tier 2. However, if I could get it to stay in Tier 3 I'd be happy, honestly, as that's still a little $$'s in the pocket at the end of the year. But it's been floundering in the 100,000s and 200,000s since I created it in March, so time to do something about it.

Besides revamping the intro text, I added a more thorough link-list of BYOB restaurants in Philadelphia, broken down by cuisine. Sometimes it's hard to find timely information on that subject, as I've found in Google searching a lot of other indexes were out of date with closed restaurants, or made it difficult to find the website URL for the restaurant.

I checked my traffic stats to see what search phrases were leading to the lens and tweaked some module titles - also added a bullet list to address the top questions that seem to come up about Philly BYOBs. I added a Twitter search module on Philadelphia BYOBs, so people could see which places are currently being talked about. I added a new sales module on current wine guides, especially small pocket-books that people could take with them while shopping for wine. I also worked on the sidebar, adding my related lenses and two Philly-area food blog rss feeds (including my own). I realized I only had 5 tags on the lens as well - oops! A couple more photos added and it's done. Well, for now. I know I have more BYOBs to add to the list, and I want to spruce up the photos once I get the chance to find or take some more related to the subject.


Dec. 3rd, 2011 04:07 pm
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I am so NOT HAPPY about Squidoo's New Gift Guide "feature" which basically rips public information off of Facebook. I'd rant about it more, but I'm drained from complaining about it in the HQ blog comments and on Squidu.

I know, technically by the letter of the law and Facebook's TOS that there may be nothing wrong with it. But I find it horribly skeevy and creepy and about the last thing I want identified with myself as a Squidoo lensmaster.

Remember, folks, be VERY careful what you allow Facebook to share about yourself publicly. Because as far as Facebook's concerned, that's just more info they can sell or market to outside parties to profit from.



As such I feel kind of icky even mentioning that I finished a new Squidoo lens this morning: Gift Ideas for Your In-Laws. I know, I know, I wasn't going to write new lenses this month. But I'd already claimed this title, and somehow been credited sales from it potentially through a bug if someone else had had a lens by that title in the past that was recently deleted. So I figured, what the heck, get it done. I can always go back and polish it later.


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Nicole ("sockii") Pellegrini

January 2013

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