Today I read three posts on different blogs about Squidoo. (I ended up only writing about one of them.)
The first, by Michael Arrington, is at Squidoo: Seth Godin's Purple Albatross. His main thesis is that if Squidoo is not successful, Seth Godin will lose "credibility as an expert in product marketing." Michael then points out two main reasons why he believes Squidoo will not succeed. First of all, Squidoo lacks the authority of sites such as the wikipedia, which is created and edited as a community. Second, the income levels at Squidoo are not enough to bring in experts to create lenses.
I disagree on both points. Although individual lenses are not created by a community, the overall Squid-space is. The lenses are then ranked by factors which include the number of links, the amount of incoming traffic, etc. The better and more reliable lenses will float to the top and become the ones on which people rely. So there is a mechanism for fact checking, etc. In some ways it is just more competitive rather than collaborative. This is the same mechanism which makes some blogs stand out more than others. I think some established bloggers have forgotten that.
It is true that very little money has been made so far. I received a paypal transfer of 34 cents this month. But people forget that Squidoo is less than a month out of beta-testing. During the beta test they raised $1537 for charity.
Michael's second point is also supported by this graph of Squidoo's "Daily Reach" found at Alexaholic:
(Image deleted. It turns out fuzzy now matter what I try. I'm definitely not an html expert. The link works.)
Although he says the graph is flat I see a different picture. There was obviously a lot of interest when Squidoo was first launched because of the big jump in December. I suspect that this big jump was primarily because of Seth Godin's reputation. Everyone wanted to see his latest venture. In the following months the interest decreased. This was probably the period when new modules were being developed, bugs were being worked out, etc. People may have been disappointed given their initial high expectations. I think the more important trend is between mid-April and now. Between the low point in April and now, the reach has approximately doubled. (The graph I have exaggerates the increase a little due to the smoothing done to the data. For an un-smoothed graph go here.) Mid-April is important because that is when Squidoo came out of beta testing. If it continues to double every month Squidoo will be HUGE. (And I don't shout over very many things.)
I think Squidoo will continue to grow because from now on people will be drawn to Squidoo because of the idea, not Seth Godin's reputation. I hope Seth isn't offended but I had never heard of him before I learned about Squidoo. I am not in marketing or full-time blogging. But I am an expert in a few things and I think Squidoo is a great way to communicate my expertise.
Other blogs which have similar comments as Michaels can be found at:
9rules vs. Squidoo