Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blocking Spammers from your Squidoo Lens

I always set my Squidoo Guestbooks and Links Plexos to "contact me" first because some Lensmasters don't always read what should be posted there and what is not appropriate. This allows me to delete link entries without having to look at every lens every day to catch the junk.

However, recently I've had 2 types of annoying spam:
(1) I was spammed in my Links Voting (Plexo). It was not a Lensmaster that I could tell, but in 1 day they hit 7 of my bear lenses with 4 links each to Fat burning sites.

(2) I was also getting spammed by a lensmaster doing the same thing on a couple of my cat lenses for something about intantcash. I know this was a Lensmaster because when I did properties on the link they posted, they screwed up and linked to

It was all happening at the same time so I'm pretty sure it was the same doofus!

What did I do?
1. I deleted all except the 4 entries on my Save Our Bears (SOB) Group -- which had 5 votes on each -- and reported it to Squidoo. This was so Squidoo could get the IP address or Lensmaster info.
2. I reported the spam to Squidoo through the Report Spam link.
3. They were able to block the user by IP address used on the link and warn the offending Lensmaster.
4. They removed the link from my sites as they addressed the issue.

So now you know what to do if it happens to you. Report it and help stop it from happening to others. The Squidoo folks are amazing and they eliminate spammers fast.

Bear hugs, Frankie aka Bearmeister

Friday, May 29, 2009

If you want to become popular on squidoo... a purple star :)

There is something about becoming a squidangel... I guess it brings out the groupy in other lensmasters. And one of the lenses those new visitors to my lenses seem to want to know is: how do you become as popular (as you are) on squidoo... I wrote about that a while back on my How To Become Popular on Squidoo lens. Now if you'd have told me in high school that I'd be writing about popularity, I'd probably have thought you mad. I wasn't very popular at all, in fact I turned down my one chance at popularity when one of the popular girls wanted to talk clothes. I was like - you think these clothes are cool? I don't get it!

Luckily squidoo popularity works differently from high school. Fashion doesn't play a part, as nobody can see what I wear. Then again, my clothes these days look alright even working from home - I guess I've developed my own sense of style, and that works for me. In highschool I was still searching and feeling my way.

Back to my lens - it started as a rant. I realized how important ratings were to getting a high lensrank, and really didn't like that. I thought - and to an extent feel - that quality should determine lensrank. But making the lens made me realize that it's the social aspect of squidoo that sets it apart from other online networks. The fact that social lensmasters get rewarded helps the atmosphere at squidoo. And that's a good thing.

Anyhow, the purple star program has been going on for about a month now, and my lens about popularity isn't just in the top 2000 (where it got thanks to all those people whose lens I'd blessed rating it), it's in the top 300 - so thanks giant squid organizers for the honor :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I opened my email to a nice surprise yesterday. I got a congratulations email on my new Purple Star from The Squid Team for my Lens about Footed Pajamas for Adults. That was cool. But the amazing thing was that I had not even applied for that lens!

Last month, when Purple Stars were announced, I applied for a different, newer lens. But as I wrote in a post on this blog, it was not chosen. So, it was really surprising when a lens that I did not nominate was selected.

Thanks Bonnie, Patti and Robin!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Squidangels introductions - about rewarding quality

Early April a new batch of squidangels arrived - I did a short post about that then. In this one I want to explain a bit more about this program. There are more of us, because squidoo is growing so fast. For us to be able to keep up with the new lenses out there, we are assigned specific categories to keep an eye on. Like I said last time, I keep an eye on Religion & Spirituality, Books, Duels!, Squidoo Tips, Green Living and DIY and education.

Squidangels are there to promote quality and - to a lesser extent - to get rid of spam. We are collectively meant to make sure quality DOES rise to the top. Of course blessings are only one way to get to the top. Another way is simply to get traffic, but sometimes traffic comes to lenses which aren't worthy, or lenses rise to the top because they game the system. In those cases squidangels will ding lenses, so they won't be giving the squidoo community a bad name.

This batch was invite only - that is, I was asked to be a squidangel, and which categories I would want to keep an eye on. I'd been wanting to be a squidangel for a while now, but was never in the forums at the right time to apply. Luckily, applying wasn't necessary this time.

On her lens about the angels, Squidster has assigned 4 possible ways squidangels opperate:

Secret Agent - You might never know if and when this Angel was there
Ambassador - Rewards consistent quality and spreads goodwill
Talent Scout - Always on the lookout for fresh talent
Mentor/Adviser - Likes to offer encouragement and advice

I'm closest to the talentscout, but I also have traits of the Ambassador and the mentor. That is: for those who can handle my mentoring style. I'm pretty direct and will not always remember to compliment what's good, while handing out negative feedback.

But in my function as a squidoo ambassador I've been rewarding those who consistently help others on squidoo on my Thank You Lensmaster blog. I started this blog last year. At first I thanked and interviewed people who had personally helped me. Then I went on to thank and interview those who I felt had helped the squidoo community best. This means that those who give on squidoo, will receive links in return. Often thanked lensmasters include: Thefluffanutta, Semperfidelis, Jaguarjulie, Janet21, Chefkeem, AJ2008, A_willow and BDKZ. While most of these are or have been squidangels, they were often mentioned BEFORE they were assigned the role. Squidoo HQ is rewarding those who give back to squido in this round of squidangels - and they picked well.

This is as it should be of course: giving back to those who contribute. It also means that it pays to give back to squidoo. One of the reasons for starting this blog was that I think links are more important than ratings or even blessings. So the blog links out to whatever lenses and lensmasters the interviewee mentions :) But of course, now that I'm a squidangel, they also get a few of their lenses blessed - if I hadn't already. Check the blog out for interviews with many of our squidangels as well :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Squidoo and a pinched nerve

At the end of March, I got bronchitis, and since I'm one of the thousands without health insurance, I had to get over it on my own, which took quite awhile. It took weeks for the coughing to subside, and so to add insult to injury, I developed a pinched nerve from all the violent coughing. Now, this is the first time I've ever had one of these, and they are excruciating! I found that I could not sit at the computer and type, so I dropped off Squidoo for awhile. Driving was horrid, and by the time I got home from work, I was wracked with pain. It's much better now. Honestly, there really isn't a purpose to this post except to whine, moan, gripe, and wallow in self-pity. Forgive me for posting about my pathetic ungratefulness for being temporarily under the weather, considering I am otherwise quite healthy. Now, I have so much catching up to do.... (Yes, that's me complaining again ; )

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Photo Gallery Module - my new favorite!

I have recently discovered a photo module that I just LOVE on Squidoo. It is the Photo Gallery. You are allowed ten images in this module. One is large and the others are thumbprints that you can chose to rotate into the large frame or allow the visitor to click on one to examine it closer. In other words, you get lots of "bang for your buck" in the gallery module without having too much vertical space taken up by your pictures.

I have found this gallery module very useful for my vegetable gardening lenses. In my growing tomatoes and vegetable garden lenses, I use this module to show the weekly progress in my small plots of earth.

I am enjoying the documentation of the growth of my tomatoes and vegetables so much this year because I might have found two "secrets" to their successful growth. Sunshine and taking the advice of Mike Pender from Classic Gardens and Landscape in Center Point, AL. Mr. Pender has developed a tomato program that uses Ferti-lome products and a "secret" combination of ingredients he sells in a gallon sized baggie. So far, I am the envy of my other vegetable gardening neighbors. Luckily, the Homeowners Association has not elected to give me a "ticket" for any violations that I might have earned (accidentally, of course).

I have a feeling that one of the subjects of my future lenses might be one focusing on "Fresh Tomatoes Recipes" or "What To Do with a Bumper Crop".

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Module to Allow Visitors To Rate Your Lens

I learned about a cool new module developed by The Fluffanutta from Lewis Smile at Squidoo Cool. As you know, until now, if someone wants to rate your lens after reading it, they have to scroll to the top of the page. Of course, many of us (me, me, me) often forget or are too lazy to scroll up.

Now you can allow the visitor to give a rating from anywhere on the lens. All you have to do is be logged into Squidoo and click here.

Thanks Fluff

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Free Online Photo Editors

Do you use a photo editor on your photos? Are you looking for a FREE photo editor?

We have Photoshop on my wife's computer, but I do not have it on mine. So, if I want to bling up, crop or clean up a photo and she is on her computer (which is most of the time), I turn to one of a growing number of free online photo editors.

The online photo editor I am now most comfortable with is the editor at Photobucket. I love what it can do to a photo, like adding speach bubble or a thought cloud, like the ones you see in comics, as shown in the photo in this post. Or you can also easily add a picture frame around your photo with a click of a button.

Now there are many, many other free photo editors available, including online Free Photoshop. Some of these photo editors specialize in working with photos on Flickr.
There are no more exuses for having dull and lifeless photos on your Squidoo lens.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Life Between the Dash

As I was reading the post by Veronica on Giant Thoughts, my thoughts went back to a poem and slide-show presentation that I used last year on a personal family history blog. It is simply called "The Dash". The poem presentation had created such an impression on me at the time that I just had to go back to it again, watch the slide-show, and read the dialogue with each photo. I was not disappointed.

The poem has became even more significant for me because 2 years ago yesterday; my mentor, my friend, my inspiration, and my father, passed away. On his tombstone read the years 1915-2007. I spoke at his funeral giving a brief eulogy, pointing out some of the happy events that he had created for me and my 5 siblings. For you see, it was those years between the birth and death date (the dash) that had significance to us and Dad's many friends and relatives. It was not the date of birth nor the date of death.

Likewise, it is our life (the dash between the dates) that will be remembered after we are gone. As sqidooers, we become many things to many people. We never know what our influence is or will be to others who follow our lenses. Live life with "gusto", love, and laughter. Let that adventuresome spirit come through in your lenses. You will be glad you did and others will be the better for it.

Check out The DASH poem. You want soon forget it.

Are You Working On Those Summer Lenses?

Are you madly working on your summer and fall lenses yet? Now is the perfect time to get started working on those summer fun lenses, and fall lens ideas. Both will be here before you know it.

I’ve been working on a summer dessert lens, and another one for a summer garden party.

If you get a good start now you will be ready to greet those seasonal shoppers with content filled lenses. People are already doing their 4th of July, and Halloween shopping, I have some sales and lens traffic to prove it.

If you just spend 15 minutes a day working on lenses for the next season you will have a whole collection of seasonal lenses before you know it.

I put together a whole list of summer Squidoo lens ideas over at Lens Author for you to check out. I also posted a few tips to help you capture your own images for your online projects.

Happy Creating! Linette (aka Barkely)

Image (c) L Gerlach

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fillers for new Squid Product

I am putting together "Squid Kits" That will be sold to current and new squids. If you are a giant squid and have a side business, I am taking fillers to put into the bags with the other items. It could be great exposure for your side business. It's still in the planning stage but I'll be doing a lens about it soon. Just email me at if you have any questions.