Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Baby!

On 24 May, the newest member of our family arrived. He is healthy, happy, cute and VERY time consuming. With midnight diaper changes, cuddling, song singing and book reading, I am having difficultly finding time for Squidoo or blogging. I expect this to last for several months. So, while you may not see much of me on this blog for a while, I am confident that my fellow Giant Squid contributors will pick up the slack and continue to add valuable content to this blog. So, please forgive me if I am absent for some time. I will return when my little guy and I are able to sleep longer hours.

Some time ago, I created a lens about some of the baby products that we are buying for him and us. We have made some remarkable discoveries. Some of the products we thought would help alot (eg swaddlers) have turned into remarkable failures, while others (anti-stretchmark cream and post-partum girdle) have really been helpful.

I hope to update this lens as soon as possible, as I think it will be very helpful for other expectant parents.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Purple Star Surprise

I find it interesting that we never really know how someone feels about or evaluates a lens we do. To some extent we know by the lens ranking, but that can be somewhat contrived with the proper advertising. I have always found it interesting that my top ranked lenses were usually lenses I would not have anticipated to be as highly ranked as they were.

So, imagine my surprise when out of the blue, I get an email saying I had received a purple star for one of my sites. I have been so busy with family and other endeavors lately that I have not had the time to be as concerned with Squidoo and my lenses as I previously did. (A temporary status, I hope.)

When I first did my lens on my home town of Rome, Georgia -- it was a labor of love. I had no marketing content and was not concerned with whether anyone cared or not. I did it because I enjoyed doing it. Yes, I hoped it would be of interest to some, especially those from my home town. Yet I never would have considered it to be of interest to as many people as seem to have visited the lens since I first published it.

So first, thanks for those who considered it worthy of the purple star. It is an honor.

Second, to those who wonder how they can get a purple star for a lens they make, I have some advice. Don't seek after it. Enjoy what you do; do every lens as a labor of love; and let your peers evaluate it when it comes to their attention. If it is really a quality lens (from their viewpoint, of course), you will get the appropriate reward when your time comes.

Although, I am proud of the lens and thankful for the purple star, I would not change anything in it purposely to seek an award. I'm having fun and the purple star is simply a mark of how much fun I had creating this lens.

I hope that other giants will have the pleasurable feeling of receiving a purple star award for their favorite lens. With or without the awards though, keep enjoying the journey. My journey has just begun.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Groups and Purple Stars

Have any of you Squidooers noticed all the new groups that are forming out there? Rocket Moms, Senior Squidooers, "giant" groups? And what do you think of these purple stars?

Personally I have joined several of these groups and I have been awarded a purple star on one of my lenses. (My Vegetable Garden--just in case you want to check it out!)

What do I think of my groups (RocketMoms, WiWon Team, and others)? I love them. I have been getting lots of really helpful critiques from the members. I also get new, fresh ideas for lenses and ways to manage the ones I have. Needless to say, I am also getting noticed. Why is this good? Visitors, ratings, etc....

The purple star helped in the lens rank of my article for about a week. But, it has stayed near the top of own lenses in rank for a longer time.

I think that the influx of groups and the purple star is Squidoo's way of helping all of us "non-spamming" lensmasters. Squidoo is promoting ways to make better lenses. It is encouraging me to be a better lensmaster! It is a good thing. Yes, it is OK to want to make money on the internet. Yes, it is good to have tons of new lenses on Squidoo. The more lenses visited, the more money Squidoo makes and divvies up to all of us lensmasters on payday. The groups, all the awards and giantness, does help me get more cash from Squidoo.

I do not make a living from my membership on Squidoo, but I am feeling pretty good about what I do make -- FYI: my last paycheck was for less than $20. I consider it my "found" money. I am having fun on Squidoo and learning, too.

I can also say that I have made acquaintances with people from around the world. I love it!

I believe in Squidoo so I want to participate. I am not trying to become "the most popular" lensmaster. Actually, I do not think I have the talent that JaguarJulie, fluffanutta or ChefKeem and loads of others have. I probably don't have the energy, either. These lensmasters work at what they do. They also do it very well!

But, what I do have is a desire to get better every day.

I also like to get an occasional pat on the back.