Brandjacking, Shark Jumping and Squidploitation?

I read an interesting blog post by Seth Godin about the new Squidoo initiative: Brands In Public

I couldn’t believe what I read. If I understood it correctly, it gave me a sick feeling in my stomach.

So I forwarded the link to my wife, without any commentary on my part, to see her reaction.

Her first response was “I don’t know what you want me to say about this, but I think it’s idiotic”.

Maybe she was thinking that I was thinking that I wanted her to think that it was a fantastic idea. But we don’t sugar coat anything for each other. We call it as we see it.

Now I’m not going to use this blog post to discuss the finer points of what has been described by some as brandjacking. You can read articles and reader comments about that on TechCrunch, Blogstorm and Outspoken Media.

You may or may not agree with either Seth, blogger responses or reader feedback. Maybe you’re confused. Or you’ve decided to sit on the fence. But what I want to talk about is this:

“The first 100 brands that sign up will benefit from a share of the $500,000 in house ads Squidoo will run across the site promoting the service and the first partnering brands.”

What does this mean? What are they planning on doing? And how does this effect Lensmasters?

Allow me to make a few assumptions:

1) Squidoo Inc figures that x amount of ads over x amount of time or x amount of impressions throughout squidoo.com is worth half a million dollars.

2) To promote the brandsinpublic Squidoo will use ad space on lenses, our lenses, to promote this new service.

3) Glam ads suck, no doubt about it. But we get a cut of those profits. It has been said that they don’t perform as well as Squidoo would like, which isn’t surprising because they’re so inappropriate (and at times offensive).

Now allow me to ask a few questions:

1) Do the Glam ads get tossed and replaced by this half a million dollar ad campaign?

2) Does half the revenue from the projected $400 a month from each Brands In Public lens go into the Lensmaster Co-op and get paid to lensmasters?

3) Or is this honeypot solely for Squidoo HQ’s enjoyment?

If the answers to those questions yes, no and yes, how does that make us feel?

I certainly hope that’s not the case.

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2 thoughts on “Brandjacking, Shark Jumping and Squidploitation?”

  1. One fellow Lensmaster (who wishes to remain nameless) shared this with me: “Bottom line: Squidoo should follow the K.I.S.S. principle. I think they would be much more successful. Instead, they are throwing as much sh!t at the wall as they can and waiting to see what sticks.”

  2. Hi Glen

    Sorry if my post caught you off guard.

    Glam doesn’t sell all our inventory. Unsold inventory disappears, so it seems reasonable to use it before it goes away.

    I can assure you that every single person at Squidheadquarters is fighting hard to maximize your revenue, and if we develop alternate sources of income, it gives us resources to invest in the platform we all use.

    Thanks for being here and for caring.

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