I had at the end of last year started finally adding lenses to Squidoo, after being a member for some years. A couple of months into this year, Squdioo suddenly decided that it didn’t like how its lenses had been done for years, and changed the rules (it appears they had been penalised by Google). Many lenses wound up being given warnings, which weren’t explained, leaving lensmasters trying to guess how to fix their lenses.
Today I discovered nine of my lenses had been locked with no warning, or even rationale in some cases. If these were locked, I could wind up with almost all of them locked in the future.
Squidoo’s main complaint is that many lenses are “too commercial.” There is a reason why so many lenses on Squidoo could be considered commercial – it’s the only way for most writers to actually earn any money from the site.
The tier system of normal advertising payments means that unless your lens is in the top 10,000 lenses at least – and preferably the top 2,000 – it’s not going to earn any money worth talking about. If it’s below the tier 3 cut-off, it’s not going to earn anything apart from affiliate sales
This means that the type of lenses it “appears” that Squidoo wants (“appears” because some of this type have also been locked) are not worth publishing there. I’d rather add them to InfoBarrel or Zujava and actually earn money from them. These lenses will earn money for Squidoo from AdSense and IntelliText text link ads without them having to either pay anything or pay an amount commensurate with the revenue generated in most cases to the people who actually wrote them.
I noticed that the email said that “any pending royalties your lenses might have earned will be defaulted to charity.” Now, I didn’t lose huge amounts of money from the lenses I had locked, as I’m not at that stage yet, but this was done, at most, a few days before payment would have been made and the email refers to “pending royalties” being donated to charity. “Pending royalties” is my earnings from the lens. It doesn’t say whether or not Squidoo’s earnings are going to be donated. The timing seems underhand to say the least.
Recently, I was reading a pdf ebook and read a topic on this “Don’t change the rules in the middle” which discusses a site called Alladvantage.com that annoyed members by changing the rules partway through. This seems to be exactly what Squidoo have done. The reason I point this out is that the ebook was Unleashing the Idea Virus by Seth Godin – who founded Squidoo. Perhaps he should follow his own advice?
All in all, I really don’t trust Squidoo at the moment. I’m going to move my locked lenses to other sites and likely not add anything there for some time, if ever. I don’t see the point in going to the trouble to enrich Squidoo when I can get a share from a site that handles the situation better, and more fairly.