Giving Away Squidoo Lenses

I’ve made over 320 lenses (web pages) on the Squidoo site. Keeping track of them and updating them gets to be a real job. If I don’t keep freshening them up, they slip in lensrank and traffic drops too. Recently I decided to clear out a few lenses to make my job easier. I got the idea of giving these away in a contest, so I created Virginia Allain’s Lens Giveaway.

I tried to keep the rules to a minimum, so just asked entrants to write a paragraph about what they would do to improve the lens and why they wanted it. There’s no exact deadline for entering. Once I get a handful of entries for one lens and one of them stands out, then I’ll choose a winner.

Here’s the first one awarded today –

featured lens Dogs Don’t Make Good Pets
I see my neighbors walking their dogs. It’s raining, and 7:30 in the morning. In one hand they clutch a plastic baggie to scoop up their dog’s poop. In the other hand is the leash and they are trying to keep the dog off their neighbor’s yard.

The web page winner was A.J. Tyne. She’s a dog lover and hopes to revitalize the lens by adding lots about overcoming dog’s behavior problems and becoming a better dog owner. Originally the lens was a debate on the pros  and cons of dog ownership. She already has several lenses on dog topics.

AJ’s Advice for Dogs
A.J. Tyne has been helping people solve their pets’ behavior problems for about thirty years, working with cats as well as dogs. Her clients gave her the nickname, “the dog shrink”, probably 20 years…
Pet’s Perspective: The Dog Behavior Lens
I’ve worked with and studied dogs as a behavioral trainer for 30 years, and also worked in other aspects of the dog world, such as veterinary technician, show kennel manager, breeder, etc. I’ve even r…
I look forward to seeing what she is able to do with this lens.  Be sure to stop by the Lens Giveaway to enter to win a lens of your own.

My Top Ten Squidoo Web Pages

It’s interesting to see that topics I know well like the library ones or topics that I have a crusading interest in like saving the old barns and World War Two Letters and family memories are the ones doing great.

Library Book Display Ideas
Writing Triggers for Family Memories
Save an Old Barn: Ideas, Resources and Funding
Create a Tuscan Patio
Wine Cork Crafts
Storytime Ideas: Themes for Librarians and Circle Time
WWII Airplane Nose Art – Pinups
Saving World War Two Letters
Alligators: Fun Facts
Amelia Earhart Costume

Actually most of these lenses have received a purple star or some other honor (King of Squidboo for the Amelia Earhart one) and all have had Squid Angel blessings.

What will be interesting is to see which of these titles appeal to readers of my blog. In the statistics, I can see which one gets clicked on the most from the links posted here.

Sad Times on eHow

For several years, I wrote articles for the eHow website. Over time, the almost 500 articles started earning good residuals for me and I looked forward to that monthly deposit from Demand Media (eHow) into my Paypal account.

This past year, they switched to paying $15 upfront for articles and I was dismayed to see the flat rate articles seemed to duplicate the titles and content of some of my most successful and best earning articles. I wondered if they were just trying to divert some of the traffic away from my article to the new ones so they wouldn’t have to pay me as much in residuals. My other fear was that once they had the best earning articles covered would they just dump the originals (and the residuals)? As far as making money for Demand Media, it seemed like a smart, but borderline unethical thing to do.

This week, it appears that eHow has started a massive purge of articles that they claim are duplicate content. The writers are comparing their war wounds in the eHow forum, which mysteriously remains active even though eHow said it would close in February 2011. At this point, I think I’ve lost about twelve eHow articles. I expect more deletions over the weeks. Some writers have lost as much as 20% of their articles.

I’ll sure miss that $400 or so that I was earning from eHow residuals each month. It’s their site and they have to fine tune it as they see fit, but I can’t help but feel sad that it has taken this way of ridding itself of its writers and all the articles that earned so much for each of us and eHow over the growth years of 2008 and 2009.

I’ve been busy handing out links to my eHow and Squidoo articles that might help others through this time of turmoil on eHow. Here are the topics in case you need them:

Turn an eHow Article into a Squidoo Lens

eHow Writers on Squidoo

How to Find Deleted eHow Articles (find out what was deleted and find the cache on Google)