Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tribes by Seth Godin, Free Audio Book Download

Like many of the other lensmasters at Squidoo, I purchased Seth Godin's newest book Tribes. It was an easy read and it was very relevant to my life.

I appreciate the insight that the book has to offer. Thankfully, everyone can now own the audio book version of Tribes by Downloading it for Free Here.

So no matter if you have already read Tribes or not, it is worth it to all of us to go out and get this free download and listen to Tribes while we are on the go and learn from Seth's insight.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Lensmaster That Will Be Missed

I just learned in the Squidu forum that eBay grandma (Pam) has recently passed away. The post talking about it is here. She was a valuable member of Squidoo and a friend to many here online.

It is never good news to hear about the death of a friend. Reading the forum thread got me thinking though. We know that it is responsible to have a will. But what happens with your online businesses, your passwords, your online friends and so on when you pass on?

If you have an online business or make money somehow online, it is important to keep a document of what your businesses are, what the login URL's are, and what your login/password info is for these sites. Otherwise, what is your family to do with what you have built online?

Wouldn't you want your spouse to be able to carry on or possibly sell what you have built?

I did some quick research for resources for helping one prepare for their untimely departure and here are some Web sites that look to be useful: - YouDeparted allows you to securely store all the details of your life, estate, and living will in an electronic safe deposit box. - What happens to your email when you die?
What Happens To Your Blogs When You Die
What Happens To My Web Site When I Die?

A Lensmaster

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama Wins!

Wow, what a run it has been. The candidates began their campaigns well over a year ago and it is over.

In this election with record breaking turn out Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States. This is a historic election not only for its turn out, but also because it is the first African American to ever be elected to president.

The elections have played a large part in the Squidoo content of late. There are some excellent Election 08 lenses. Be sure to check out the many lenses on Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain, and Sarah Palin.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tip On Joining Groups

I made a discovery today that will save me a lot of time when it comes to joining groups.

If you have hundreds of lenses like I do, it can be difficult to find the right lens why trying to join a group. One option is to try to scroll down until you find the right lens.

Tonight I found that there is an easier method. Simply move your cursor over the the top of the drop down menu where you find your lens title and start typing in the title of the lens that you want to submit to the group.

If you do this, the correct lens will show up and it can be a real time saver. Hope this helps.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Keywords and Tags

Adding the right tags can make a world of difference when you are designing your lens. This can greatly help your traffic in two ways. It can help search engines find you by highlighting your most important keywords, and it can also generate traffic from withing Squidoo through Squidoo searches and the "explore related pages".

To help find keywords related to your theme I recommend using the free SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool. All that you do is enter the main keyword that you want and hit submit. Then you are provided with a list of related keywords along with estimated daily searches on each term in the major search engines.

You can use these search terms to either help you come up with new ideas for contend in your modules. Or, you can edit your existing content to incorporate these new keywords. After a few days to weeks, you should start noticing more traffic to your lens from the added keywords.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mighty Muggs

Have you seen these things? They are so cool. I am a big Star Wars fan and these are about the coolest collectibles that I have every seen. They are sleek, cool, and stylish.

To check these out for yourself, here is a great Mighty Muggs collection. Right now, there are Star Wars, Marvel, and Indiana Jones figures available.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blue Dog Greens

One of my current projects is to help build a website for a friends local organic farm, Blue Dog Greens. I have been eating their organic produce for years now and it is the best stuff I have ever have and I am happy to help them grow their business with an online presence.

Squidoo is great. How else can a small farm that is on a budget have a website made so easily? If you are a lensmaster and you have a friend with a small business that does not have a site, why not propose making one for them?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Green Drinks

One of the main reasons that I love summer is for the fresh local produce. I love eating the greens, veggies, fruits and berries as they come in season. I really enjoy making green drinks out of kale or other greens.

Today I visited a friends organic farm for a garlic harvesting party. It was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect and there was plenty of good company has we harvested hundreds of pounds of garlic.

After the the harvest and a meal, I took the following video of Dennis Wilcox of Blue Dog Greens talking about growing kale.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Christian Jewelry on Squidoo

One of my first lenses ever is on Christian Jewelry. I have had to update it quite a bit over the past year and a half as some of my products from my Christian jewelry store are discontinued or as new items are released.

This lens is basically hands off for me. I maybe update it every quarter. What amazes me is that it continues to rank anywhere from 900-2500 in lensrank. It also drives my Christian Jewelry website a fair amount of traffic and conversions.

This just goes to show the power of Squidoo and what it can do to help you promote your website.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bob Marley, Reggae Legend

I have liked reggae music for over half of my life. I started listening to Bob Marley at age 15. I bought my first Bob Marley poster and t-shirt at age 16.

Now years later at age 32, I made a lens highlighting some of my favorite Bob Marley Posters, CD's, and T-Shirts.

Marley is a legend that teaches love, peace, and justice. Sadly, his life was ended too early but his music lives on.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Stephen Huneck and his Dog Chapel

I am a huge dog lover. My dog, Sequoia, really is my best friend (besides my wife of course). I have grown up with dogs in the house and they have a special place in my heart.

I recently stumbled across the artwork of Stephen Huneck. He does amazing artwork and dedicates his life to dogs.

He even started the Dog Chapel near his home in Vermont. A the Dog Chapel, Huneck's artwork is featured and it is a place where people can come to honor their lost pets.

I am now a big fan of his work and I am eying one of his paintings in particular for a Christmas present to some friends of ours who are also dog lovers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Promising New BioFuel

It goes to show that lens ideas can come to you at any moment. Tonight I was watching Megyn Kelly do a report on the high fuel costs in the U.S. when I learned about a very promising biofuel source that is used in other parts of the world, but not very much in the U.S.

This source is Jatropha plant. It is far more efficient fuel source than the foods that we are currently converting into biodiesels. It is also drought resistant and can thrive in a variety of PH soils.

We really need for fuels like this to gain in popularity to help our economy. Converting to jatropha can potentially help to bring down both fuel and food costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Strategiclly Updating Lenses

I have been attempting to update more of my lenses of late and I have seen an increase in traffic and lensrank.

But not until I read CaptainSquid's recent post did I consider more strategically updating my lenses. I highly recommend reading his post, Sneaky Squidoo Lens Label Trick, to learn more about why and when you should update your lenses and how you can help organize your dashboard when you have hundreds of lenses to manage.

For now, I am just updating lenses on my different accounts that are on the edge of tiers. After the beginning of July I will start labeling my lenses into tiers like the Captain is doing to help notice changes in traffic and performance.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My First Go At The Squidoo Superheroes Project For Charity

Tonight I made my first Superhero Charity lens, on the founder of Vitamin Angels, Howard Schiffer.

Howard Schiffer has helped to save thousands of children from blindness and has also done important work in providing proper nutrition to the poor around the world through is important non-profit organization, the Vitamin Angels.

If you have not heard of the Superhero project, it is designed to help raise awareness of people who are everyday heroes. They can be people who directly influence your life, or just someone you admire from afar. The important thing is to raise awareness about the good that these people do and to help raise money for charity.

To learn more about the Superheroes project visit the Squidoo Superheroes CoBrand.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Promoting Your Own Website With Squidwho

I love Squidwho. I think the layout is great and it is easy to make a lens look good.

Tonight I made a lens originally with the intention of promoting my audio book store. There you can download audiobooks and have them ready to play within minutes. You can load them to an iPod or burn them to disc.

I made my lens on the controversial Dr Laura Schlessinger. Squidoo is great because as a website owner, I can use Squidoo to build links and traffic to my own websites, but at the same time, I can monetize the website with Squidoo's built in system.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Being a Squid Angel

Being a squid angel is an honor and I feel very privileged to be one. It is also a great responsibility. I find that I do give far more thumbs up than thumbs down.

What I look for in a lens to bless is quality. Sometimes, the lens already ranks high. These lenses are held to a higher standard than a lower ranked lens when I look to bless it. To bless a high ranking lens, it has to look good, have original content, and have that certain something that makes it stand out.

For a lower ranked lens, I may bless one if it has great content. These lenses are often not as flashy looking as the higher ranking lenses, but I like to bless these for encouragement and to give the lensmaster a reason to keep up the good work.

The lenses I ding downward are typically spam. They may have a module at the bottom of the lens with nothing but stuffed keywords, or they may be just copy and pasted, thrown together lenses.

If you have a lens that you would like for me to review for a blessing, feel free to leave a comment here with your lens URL. If your lens makes the cut, you may just find a boost coming to your lensrank.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Longest Word In The English Language

I feel like the only time that I have been on Squidoo of late has kept me updating my groups. My Natural Health Group has been a lot of work reviewing every lens and only allowing and featuring the best.

Tonight, I needed a break and made an experimental lens. I wanted to see what kind of traffic a lens could get as an oddity. I made a lens on the topic of antidisestablishmentarianism.

I'm looking forward to see if this lens gets any traffic or interest to speak of.

I'd like to encourage my readers to try the same thing from time to time. If you ever have writers blog, or need a break from a tedious lens, make a fun, quick and light hearted lens just to mix it up and see what happens.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Adding Sites In Featured Lens Modules

Thank goodness for Squidu. I went there because I was at a loss on how to add an lens to be featured in my Natural Health Group.

I did a search on and found these results.

To add an lens, Christine Suggested: "for:
use: best-cameras-ever"

Sure enough, it worked great.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Still Updating Groups

Boy, updating my groups has been very time consuming. I hope that the work will be worth it. I am only about a third of the way at the time of this post on my Natural Health group. So far, the work seems to be paying off as it is now number 2 in the health category.

I am hoping that Squidoo will find the time to fix the groups. They desperately need new modules and tools.

It has been so time consuming that I have barely had the time to make any new lenses. I snuck in a quick Squidwho site today on one of my favorite mixed martial artist, Urijah Faber.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Squidoo Groups

Squidoo groups are generally neglected. Only a few lensmasters responsibly handle their groups.

There are many reasons for this problem. One problem is the ease of making a group. Anyone can start one, but few actually regularly moderate them.

There there is the problem with auto accept or manual accept. Manual takes a lot of time, but is the best way to ensure quality lenses to be included into your group.

Recently, Cinetech contacted me and we had a discussion about my Squidlit group. He helped to inspire me to actively run this group and to promote ever lens that is accepted. After spending the last few hours of booting lenses that do not belong, and featuring the others, If feel that me lens is ready to be viewed. So here it is for your to see, All Squidlit.

If you have any quality Squidlit lenses, feel free to submit them and if I like them, they will be accepted and featured.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Using Squidoo To Promote A Charitable Event

My wife came to me to ask my help in regards to lens building. A friend of hers from work has a son named Ausin who recently passed away from neuroblastoma. This June, they are throwing their third annual cancer crushing carnival to help raise funds for neurblastoma research.

The carnival is small, mostly friends and neighbors. It was always fun for both kids and grown ups alike, and most importantly, they have raised a decent amount of money at every carnival.

This year, they wanted a website, but did not have any funding for building one in their budget. This is where Squidoo comes in.

Thanks to Squidoo, we build a free site to help promote the carnival, give directions, and to get a head count.

Being a lensmaster is really a blessing, not only can we help supplement our incomes, we can also help others. Keep your mind open to ways that you too may be able to help with a charity or a fund raiser.

To learn more about Austin's fund raising carnival, visit Cancer Crushing Carnival

Monday, May 19, 2008

Using Squidaholic For Lens Ideas

Tonight I was watching Hannity's America and he did a piece on crystal skulls. I later was watching another news program and the same topic came up.

This made me decide to go to Squidaholic to see if crystal skulls was a top search term. Sure enough, It was number 5 on the list of most popular searches on Google for the day.

So that inspired me to make a quick lens, If you are ever stuck for a topic, don't hesitate to check out squidaholic for some inspiration on hot search topics to make a lens on.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Using Amazon Spotlight To Promote Star Wars Books

For my first post about lenses I want to talk about how great Amazon Spotlight modules are. Amazon Spotlight modules promote one particular product instead of up to five like the traditional Amazon Module. You can see how I use these modules at my Star Wars Books lens.

In my opinion, the Amazon Spotlight is the best choice if you are highlighting 1 item, or in this case several that are all on the same topic. I did not use the traditional Amazon Module because the individual books would have been clustered in groups of 5 and I believe that they look better and are more detailed with the spotlight.

I also took advantage of using the Amazon ratings and the list price which can be selected when editing the module under the display options.

My First Post From A Giant Squid

I created this blog to help showcase some of my favorite Squidoo lenses. Some of these will be my own, and others will be from some of the best of the other Giant Squids out there.

I will also be sharing tips and tricks for building lenses and some of my favorite methods of lens promotion.