Squidoo is a really interesting website. The idea behind is that people can create a 'lens' about a subject that interests them. You can see my 'Twitter for Librarians' lens for example, in which I have linked to various different resources under different headings that Squidoo has helped me create. I can add in various modules quickly and easily to link to Amazon resources for example, and I can get reader feedback and so on. It's been around for several years and it's seen off competition such as Google's failed 'Knol' attempt.
But here's the thing - their grasp of social media is just about zero. They used to have a bookmarklet that made it really easy to add new content to a page - they're very common and resources like Scoop.it, Pinterest and of course your blogging tool all use them. Recently they dropped the use of it. Now, if I want to add something to a lens, I have to do it manually, and I don't have time to do that, so my lenses are not going to get updated as much as they would have done, and that's a shame. I tried to find out why, but Squidoo isn't talking. Nothing on the site told me why it had been withdrawn or if there was some sort of replacement - there may well be, but I couldn't find it. And if I can't find it, it's pretty damn well hidden. But hey, if they want to emasculate their product, that's up to them, and that's not the point of this post.
I wanted to talk to someone at Squidoo about it, so I found their Twitter account. Take a look at it. It's really interesting, because it's a great example of how NOT to do a Twitter feed. It's broadcast only. They don't respond to tweets, they don't interact with people, they just throw stuff out promoting the product. Even when people tweet about a lens or a trophy and refer to @squidoo it's completely ignored. They very seldom actually RT anything, and while they promote specific lenses, it's in their own interest to do so. That's not cool Squidoo, not even a little bit. They're so clueless, they haven't even filled out their biography - and I expect that only of people who are just starting out with a Twitter account.
So let's take a look at their Facebook page instead. Again, we find exactly the same thing - their Facebook team writes AT people, it doesn't engage with them. Indeed, someone posted a question to their wall recently and after a delay with no answer posted a rather plaintive 'Is anyone there?' Quite clearly there isn't. Their use of Facebook is exactly the same as an old, out of touch company that thinks putting content onto a website and throwing it out there is top level interaction with customers. Well it isn't, Squidoo, not even a little bit. The point of a Facebook page is to interact with interested people, to have discussions with them, to listen to what they have to say and to respond to it.
Surely they must have something though? Well they do - the Squidoo forum, Squidu. The problem with this is that right at the very top of the forum page it proudly states "A Squidoo ideas forum run by lensmasters for lensmasters. Not moderated by Squidoo employees." Interestingly, even if you're logged into your Squidoo account and visit the forum, you have to create another account to access it. So even on that level, Squidoo doesn't want to know about, or talk to its users.
Is Squidoo anywhere else? Well yes they are - they have a Flickr group. It has a grand total of 309 members who have posted just over 800 images. That's about as lightweight a group as you're ever going to get really. There's also a discussion page on the group as well. 19 months ago someone posted the question 'Alive or not?' and the most recently posting, asking a question remains unanswered after 7 months. There are various Google+ pages that related to Squidoo, but nothing I can see is official. Individual members of Squidoo (and it's only a team of six) are on Google+ though, so let's see what they're up to:
Seth is the guy who started Squidoo, and he's generally regarded as a very big cheese in the whole social media world. Busy guy, and probably far too busy to use G+. Perhaps the co-founder is a little more proactive?
What's amusing is that in one of his more recent posts (Aug 4th) he says "Anyone notice that Google+ has really quieted down in the past few days?" Gil - y'know, before you start commenting on other companies use of social media, you need to take a close look at what your own is doing, because it's not exactly setting a good example.
So his own page is a good 2 years out of date. His 'about' section, written by himself says "Seth Godin is the bestselling author of more than seven books. He writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect." Seth - really, if you treated your customers with respect, you'd update your own pages, you'd encourage your employees to interact with them, and you'd treat us with something less than the contempt that quite clearly you feel. I thought I'd take the time to visit his blog 'Seth's Blog' to drop him a note, but unlike this one, and most others that I read, his doesn't accept comments. Still - be fair, he's at least got a blog, unlike Megan Casey.
So really, it shouldn't come as any surprise that Squidoo is not interested in talking, discussing, sharing and getting involved with users, since the founders of the company are - well, not very good at it. So if anyone is going to be attending anything they're speaking at in the near future, please do ask them 'If you know what you're doing with regards social media, why aren't you doing ANY of it yourselves?'
As a final thought - if you'd provided me with an answer to my 'what happened to the bookmarklet?' and actually interacted on social media, this post would never have been written. Seth, Megan, Gil, Corey, and all the other Squidteam players, you're most welcome to comment on my blog because, unlike you, I actually appreciate the value of social media, and interacting with people.