All posts by Glen

Squidoo

This email was sent to several Lensmasters. One of whom has suggest I post it on this blog rather than it be buried in a thread on Squidu Yuku.

Today I want to address a problem that’s been brewing and about to boil over.

Here’s the deal as straight as I can put it.

For the past few months I’ve been putting out fires that are started by various negative comments that are being made on SquidooHQ, the Squidoo Forum, Facebook groups and the Yuku Forum. Yes, I know that Yuku exists, not because I read it but because I have lensmasters sending me threads that they believe are inflammatory. I am simply tired of putting out fires that take time away from other community activities.

What you say off of Squidoo is your own business as long as you’re not publicly calling out other lensmasters or the SquidooHQ team, that is a TOS violation and not in the spirit of the Giant Squid program or the Squidoo community.

However what you say on official HQ blogs and forums is my concern. The constant negativity and inflammatory remarks are coming across as extremely mean spirited as opposed to constructive criticism. They are also affecting the overall health of the site. There are tens of thousands of people on Squidoo who want to participate in quests, create new lenses, read HQ tips and enjoy the site and that’s very hard to do when their comments, suggestions and ideas are met with constant negativity.

Reacting to a new features or tools by asking questions or giving feedback is fine. Expressing your opinions is fine. However what I am seeing time and time again is a steady stream of hatred in various degrees toward the members of the Squidoo HQ team and the site itself.

So here’s what I’m saying loud and clear…

You’re welcome to participate, create lenses and otherwise use the sight as it was intended. We’re happy to encourage and support the positive efforts you make here on Squidoo.

However…

If you were banned from the SquidooHQ forum there was a reason for doing so.

If you have feedback or a complaint please use the feedback form and refrain from e-mailing the SquidooHQ staff.

If you find that you’re no longer happy with the policies and community here on Squidoo you’re welcome to move on.

Sincerely,

-Bonnie Diczhazy
Squidoo Head of Community
Squidoo.com

What are the thoughts of other lensmasters, past and present? Has Squidoo gone from being guided by friendliness to being ruled by fear? What would you do if you were running the place?

As one lensmaster said: “When a company treats people like crap, they should expect for those people to say so. Publicly.”

NOTE: This is my last post on this blog. This blog will remain here, but myself and my web partner Greg are moving on to an exciting new project. A niche which has an already large audience, not one with a readership that is shrinking.

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Seems we have sprung a leak

Set says “the boat is slowly sinking“.

Set is a man of analogies, and sometimes they fit quite well. On one hand his admission in that post surprises me. Don’t get me wrong, it is obvious, but I’m surprised that he’s come out and admitted it. Though on the other hand I wish he splashed out on an extra 500 words to tell us what his intentions are.

Here’s an analogy of my own:

Squidoo used to be a yacht. A beautiful splendid yacht.

Spammers thought it was a speed boat. A swift fast speed boat.

Recently Squidoo HQ have been treating it like a Roman galley. A three tiered trireme with lensmasters chained to every oar and being whipped because the guy manning the rudder took us into pirate infested waters.

What are your thoughts about Seth’s open and honest assessment? Here what others are saying.

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Goal posts being moved and new hoops to jump through

sNXE0REI originally published this as a forum post and the response and what people had to say really blew me away. Go check it out after you’ve read this.

Squidoo right now reminds me of a spouse who tells you how they want the house cleaned, and their dinner cooked, and you do that and then after a week they have a mental snap, and they start slamming doors and yelling abuse and throwing the plate of food you’ve given them at the wall and scream at you because you didn’t hang the washing out on the clothes line correctly.

Then they tell you how they want it. Or they don’t, they leave some things for you to guess and get right on your own. And like a submissive spouse you do as they say. And everything is calm for a while, and then suddenly….

BOOM!

They flare up again. Another violent emotional outburst. You’re forbidden to enter some parts of the house, the front door is locked and you’re not allowed to answer it, and there’s a message on there letting any potential visitors know that you’ve been up to no good.

You thought you were doing all the right things, they even gave you a scorecard and you were getting ticks across the board, but yet the goalposts got moved again.

I could go on with this analogy forever.

My advice, and the advice of countless others who see this sort of thing happen in real life, don’t stick around in an abusive relationship.

Don’t feel like you’ll be leaving your kids (lenses) behind, you can take them with you, and the move might be a bit difficult at first and it’ll take a while for them to find their legs, but long term they will be much better off for it. And so will you.


PS: I won’t apologise for the comparison between Squidoo and an abusive spouse, I am not making light of such a situation, I was once in an abusive relationship (for the record, long finished before I found Squidoo). I know that many of you are strong people who would not put up with that kind of relationship in real life. It’s a shame to see goal posts being moved and people having to jump through new hoops on a regular basis.

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Seth Godin and Airports

I read a very interesting rant (blog post) by another blogger last week. He saw, and took umbrage to, a blog post by Seth. It was published almost 6 months ago.

You can read it here (CAUTION: Colorful language used).

It clocks in at 3625 words so make sure you don’t have anything on the stove. You might find yourself agreeing with him or disagreeing with him. But the man does make some valid points.

The blog post was brought to my attention in a small closed Facebook Group, which isn’t about Squidoo at all. What’s interesting is that one of the people after reading it, and Seth’s original post, changed out Airport for references to Squidoo HQ and came up with this:

1( No one is in charge. Squidoo doesn’t appear to have a CEO, and if it does, you never see her, hear about her or interact with her in any way. When the person at the top doesn’t care, it filters down.
2) Problems persist because they defend their turf instead of embrace the problem. Only when the user’s problem is the driver of behavior things change.
3) Like airports, Squidoo sees customers as powerless transients. Hey, you’re going to be gone tomorrow, but they’ll still be here.
4) By limiting the number of employees, Squidoo creates failure. In order to increase profit, Squidoo works hard to get the maximum productivity out of each employee, each day. By assuming that their customer base prefers to save money, not anxiety, they create an anxiety-filled system.
5) Squidoo is ruled by superstition, not fact. They act without data and put on a quite serious but ultimately useless bit of theater. Seven years later, the theater is now becoming an entrenched status quo, one that gets ever worse.
6) There are plenty of potential bad surprises, but no good ones. A possibility for delight has been removed. It wouldn’t take much to completely transform the experience from a chore to a delight.
7) No one is having any fun.
8) Squidoo mistakes its market domination for a you-have-no-choice monopoly (we do have a choice, Zujava, Wizzley, HubPages etc.).

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Trolls and Negative People

This post originally appeared at the Squidu Yuku Forum. It resonated with me so I asked permission to republish it.

The author of this post listened to the latest conference call recording from Squidoo HQ the day it was posted and pondered for a few days over a couple of comments. She was particularly interested in Seth’s comments about negativity and trolls. Here is what she has had to say….

My last corporate job was for a very successful large Fortune 500 restaurant company. I worked as a Senior Tax Analyst. One of the important things I learned while working there (unrelated to tax) was about customer feedback. Their policies were crystal clear from the day I started my employment. Any customer calls or emails to the corporate office are taken very seriously.

Why do you think restaurants are always in your face about feedback? Why do they put comment cards at the tables? Why do they offer you free desserts and appetizers if you visit the website listed on your receipt? Hint: It’s not because they want you to tell them how great they are, or their need to surround themselves with cheerleaders. It’s because they want, no they NEED to know when customers aren’t happy. Their viability depends on it. People who complain are a blessing. They give the company an indication of the public pulse. When a restaurant gets a “troll” at least they have the opportunity to know the issue, evaluate it, and try to make things right. And if there is enough negativity about a topic, they can determine if they need to change course.

The customers they have to REALLY worry about are the ones that never say anything, quietly slip away, and never return. Worse yet often they go on to tell their friends and family about the bad experience. It is estimated they outnumber the trolls exponentially. I just wonder, for all the complainers in the Squdioo forum, how many lensmasters are just not saying anything because it’s too much trouble or don’t want to upset the cart? How many are quietly slipping away and not coming back? No two companies are the same. and of course Squidoo is nothing like a restaurant, but I’m not sure Seth’s general position on negativity is the right stance. Especially voicing it publicly like he did on the call. I definitely understand the need to make Google happy and on the one hand I suppose Google is a customer. Google obviously doesn’t hesitate to relay their complaints in the form of the “slap”. But the writers are customers too. In my opinion Squidoo is doing itself a disservice by not listening.

As for me, I’m one of those people that never complain about anything (at least publicly).

For a long time now Squidoo HQ have not cared about the pulse. When they publicly announced that they did not go into the SquidU forums anymore, that’s when they put away the blood pressure apparatus and the stethoscope and lost touch with the heartbeat of the community and the health of the site.

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Aussie Battler loses job due to Queensland floods and can’t get a fair go

Anyone here in or know anyone in the Australian media?

A Facebook friend of mine, a guy named Chris who I went to high school with back in the day, lost his job 3 weeks ago “because of the floods”.

He worked at a Zoo. I’m not going to say which zoo.

He went to Centrelink (Social Security) that day and now, 3 weeks later, is finally approved for payment.

But when he’s supposed to get paid he is informed that he isn’t eligible for a payment this fortnight because of the amount that his partner earns. “So how do i live?” he asks.

To get back on his feet and a change of career (I can’t imagine there being many other zoos within commuting distance from here he lives) he has signed up for a course today.

A 5 week course, Certificate II in retail.

He is told he can get petrol vouchers to get to the course and was asked “how much do you get from Centrelink?”

He told them that they couldn’t pay him anything this fortnight to which he was told “sorry we can’t help you then either”.

So spare a thought for those who slip through the cracks. Who may not have lost their lives or their homes but their livelihood. And who can’t get a fair go.

If anyone can help with regard to the media giving this guy a voice, then contact me via my Facebook profile.

Together we can make a difference in one persons life.

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