Sunday, March 22, 2009

Any Squidoo Lensmasters Living in the UK

The Journal of the Traveling Squid is a goodwill project of sisterhood and brotherhood, connecting Squidoo lensmasters worldwide. Through this project, we are looking to connect lensmasters worldwide. It is our mission that The Journal of the Traveling Squid will travel far and wide; that it will cover all continents. And, in our effort to pay it forward, it is our goal to raise money for charity at each step of the journey.

The Journal of the Traveling Squid
The Journal of the Traveling Squid departed from Jacksonville, FL on March 19, 2009 jetting to the U.K. JaguarJulie posted the package to Squidoo lensmaster and Giant Squid, Gordon Hamilton in the U.K.
  • Are you a Squidoo lensmaster living the U.K who would like to participate in this project?
  • Do you live outside the U.K and want to participate?
Learn much more about this project : The Journal of the Traveling Squid.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Celebrating 3 Years on a Social Platform

Celebrating 3 Years on a Social Platform - Not a Flash in the Pan! March 21, 2009 marks my third anniversary as a lensmaster on Squidoo. That is a pretty long time to be able to stay active on one social platform and not be a flash in the pan! Squidoo has been a remarkable place to BE -- I absolutely LOVE Squidoo. I originally came to Squidoo from a personal BzzAgent invitation. At BzzAgent, we learned to be word-of-mouth evangelists [not religious fanatics]; and we learned to spread the word or buzz about worthy topics.

Squidoo Love
During the past 3 years, I've authored over 404 lenses along with 6 groups. I became a Giant Squid and achieved the honors of Giant Squid 100 Club, rather a daunting achievement at the time as I experienced a crushing hard drive crash in the midst of qualification. HQ blessed me with the wonderful experience of being a Squid Angel -- putting me more in touch with my spiritual side. ;) Hard work and luck gave me 3 different lenses of the day or LOTD! Each of these LOTDs were very special lenses to me: To Catch a Thief in under 40 Days!, Jaguar Julie Lensography, and Julia Nagy -- My Grandmother, Namesake and Superhero.

So, are you celebrating a special anniversary on Squidoo, or have one coming up? I'd love to hear from you! Please take a moment to visit my signature lens, Jaguar Julie Lensography, and be sure to sign my guestbook to let me know you dropped by! Thank you and may the force be with you.

P.S. Want to join me on this wonderful platform? Hey, what are YOU waiting for! Get started now. Do you have a favorite food like stuffed cabbage or maybe basa? Have something to debate; e.g., blondes are sexier and have more fun? Experienced a sports injury like a meniscus tear and want to write about your personal experiences? Or, maybe you just want to remember your mom!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Do You Live in California - It Can Be Quite Taxing

Yesterday I received an email from Commission Junction with a very topical subject!
As you may already know, there are proposed California bills that could require the collection of sales tax for online purchases similar to bills proposed in other states and that could resemble the law that recently passed in New York State. At this time, a hearing date for AB 178 has been set for April 13, 2009. As with all laws, if passed, these laws may or may not apply to you and your business.

Commission Junction is headquartered in California and impacted by the current California budget crisis. Nevertheless, we are opposed to the recently proposed legislation and are working with a lobbyist and other groups in hopes that we can influence the rejection of the bills' passage. Rest assured, we recognize that our industry and many of our clients may be impacted by these bills.

The application of the bills is dependent on particular business and factual circumstances, and Commission Junction is not in a position to provide legal and tax advice regarding the bills. However, we encourage you to perform the appropriate due diligence as it relates to your business. You may be contacted by advertisers in the Commission Junction network as they perform their due diligence.

Additionally, following are two sources of information on the proposed California bills that you may find helpful:

If you feel that you need more counsel on the bills, we recommend you seek independent tax and legal advice.

Commission Junction

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Search for Seth Godin and Squidoo on Searchme

This morning I got sidetracked a bit when I started checking out the search site. It's looking pretty cool -- I searched on Seth Godin and then Squidoo. The cascading stacks, like an open book pages, of results were very topical and spot-on for Seth Godin.

Searchme search for Seth Godin
The Squidoo search results were a little more well, eclectic -- and could seemingly use some type of organization. That's the cool part -- that you can control what search results, or mini stacks, you want to be in your saved search results.

Searchme stacks information

Check out and do your own search. Check out Jaguar Julie's Blog for a bit more information on

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting With the Green - Happy St. Patrick's Day

Are you Irish or feeling a little Irish today and feel like getting with the green -- have some green beer, green eggs, or corned beef and cabbage? Me? Well, "I'm Irish! I only look sweet and innocent!" Well, anyways just for today!

Another St. Patrick's Day has come and will soon be history -- at least in about another 6 hours Eastern Standard Time. Today, MobyD's cool lens, Celtic Music: Lenses was the Lens of the Day. For all previous LOTDs, be sure to check out the Lens of the Day Blog. The Today Show has been featuring Celtic music the past couple of days with Meredith and Al in Ireland. We've been a fan of this type of music and were recently able to see Riverdance locally.

Checking the topicability index for "green" today on Squidoo produced some 969 lenses! Wow, that's quite a few. A search on St. Patrick's Day produced some 313 lenses. A search for Blarney Stone produced only 8 lenses. And, I only found one lens specifically about the Blarney Stone!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hey What is Your Star Sign

Wow, wouldn't it be cool to have some statistics on people who Squidoo and Twitter as to their star signs? A Squidoo lensmaster, aj2008, has this cool TwitterStorm, What's your star sign? I'm scratching my head, "Now, why didn't I think of this?" I absolutely LOVE this TwitterStorm and can't wait to see all you lensmasters and twitterers weighing in to let us know, What's your star sign?

star sign of Cancer
Me? Well, my star sign is Cancer. Interestingly enough, my birthday is just one day away from Seth Godin, the Squidoo King [this is my lens honoring Seth Godin]. I am so thankful each day to both Megan Casey and Seth Godin for having created such a wonderful platform of Squidoo!

P.S. On March 21, 2009 I will be celebrating three years as a Squidoo lensmaster. So, are YOU on Squidoo yet? Hey, why not join me on Squidoo?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ahem What is your lowest ranking lens

So, what is your lowest ranking lens today? Has it been your lowest ranking lens for a while or is it a different lens? Is it a lens that you feel shouldn't be a lowest ranking lens? Did you notice that usually video showcase lenses seem to be the lowest ranking lenses? Check that dashboard of yours and weigh-in on the topical twitterstorm, What is your lowest ranking lens? run by inkserotica.

What happens to be my lowest ranking lens today? Well, it surprises me to say it is NOT a video showcase, but is actually a travel-related lens of some mysterious place that I would love to visit: Carpathian Mountains -- Border Miles! This lens is actually part of a series of somewhat obscure places that I have on my travel agenda: Ural Mountains -- Border Miles, Carpatho-Ukraine -- Who, What and Where, and Ruthenia! Actually, they are all related in the sense that we are talking about Eastern Europe. I've done a lot of writing about Eastern Europe because of my family genealogy.

High Five to My Bottom Five: [update -- alas, I have deleted these lenses]
  • Carpathian Mountains -- Border Miles
  • Jaguar Julie Lensography-ography -- My Lensographies
  • Damselflies -- Mating is Unusual
  • Don't Get Bored -- Get a Board Game
  • Listology -- L-I-S-T-O-L-O-G-Y -- List of Jaguar Julie Lenses et. al.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Module Can be a Work of Art - Flickr Proves It

A Module Can be a Work of Art - Flickr Proves It. This morning I had a very nice comment on my Hey Monkeybrain debate, STARBUCKS vs. Dunkin' Donuts -- Coffee Wars! by fellow lensmaster buddy Treasures-By-Brenda. Brenda became immediately topical, hitting the topicability index, with her very green, eco-friendly comment.

Baby Carrots work of art by M Kasahara Flickr photos
The major problem with all of these coffee shops, whether it is Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Horton's or any other one, is those pesky paper cups. Twenty-two percent of the litter picked up in Nova Scotia got it...Tim Horton's coffee cups. I hope you will visit my lens about Banning Paper Coffee Cups and tell me whether you think paper cups should be banned or not!
Well, I didn't visit that paper cup lens immediately, but happened upon another of hers, Baby Carrots ~~ When Is A Carrot Not A Carrot? Reading Brenda's baby carrots lens, I was taken aback by the absolute beauty in her module entitled, Carrots Sure Are a Beautiful Thing. OMG, to say baby carrots can be beautiful and a work of art is saying a mouthful. Take a look at the picture I've included above! This is a carrots mosaic on Flickr by M Kasahara. Check out more of her beautiful mosaics. She used a couple of cool programs to generate her mosaics, FD's FlickrToys and Fireshot, a Firefox extension for screenshots.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Amazon is a Cool Platform - Cool Modules

Amazon is a Cool Platform - And Makes for Some Cool Modules. One of the coolest Squidoo modules for generating a little sale or two; i.e., royalties, is the Amazon module. A module is a building block that you add to your lens when you create it. I've loved the Amazon module when there was ONLY one of these. As of the writing of this blog, there are now 6 different Amazon modules to select from.

Amazon modules on Squidoo
  • Amazon -- In this standard module, you can only feature up to 5 products per Amazon module. If you want to feature more products, you will need to add more of these modules.
  • Amazon Recommendations -- You can select a category and enter the link or Amazon ASIN and feature up to 5 products in this plexo style module.
  • Amazon Spotlight -- Perhaps my favorite Amazon module in which you select one item to promote that makes sense for your lens!
  • Amazon MP3 -- I like this module because your visitor can listen to music selections during their visit to your lens and debut music prior to purchasing -- how cool.
  • Amazon Search -- I love this Amazon module and will include it to allow my visitors the ability to search Amazon for the products related to my lens topic. You can present search results as 3, 6, or 9 results. Your reader can also use their own search terms to find items on Amazon.
  • Amazon Voting (Plexo) -- Feature items from Amazon that your readers can vote up, or vote down if allowed, to show popularity of products. You may want to monitor the links that your readers add to this module!
I'm still studying the effectiveness of these various Amazon modules to identify the better performing module of those offered. Some of the interesting Amazon sales resulting from the use of these modules include the product widgets.

P.S. I was writing this blog post JUST as the payout of royalties on Squidoo was occurring for the month of January 2009. Now that is topical indeed!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Topicability Drink - Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks coffee sleevesThe Topicability Drink - Starbucks Coffee vs. Dunkin Donuts vs. Coffee Shops. To know that coffee is topical, look no further than today's SquidU Review email from Kimberly -- Coffee Shops: We want YOU!
What do you think about when you think “coffee shop?” Do you think brick walls covered in abstract art, with the hiss of the espresso machine interrupting delightful chatter? Do you think serene walls in teal and cream, with enormous ceramic cappuccino mugs and oversized chairs that wrap you into their folds while you read? Or do you think of your own local coffee shop, with the chalkboard menu you’ve memorized, coveted internet connection, and regulars that appear like clockwork? -- Kimberly
My Sample Coffee Shop is the lens Squidoo HQ has designed to show you how to start creating your coffee lens for highlighting your very own "java central."

P.S. While you are thinking about it and what you think about Starbucks coffee, why not weigh in on the Hey Monkeybrain debate that I've been hosting at Squidoo. It's STARBUCKS vs. Dunkin' Donuts - Coffee Wars! This debate has been waging for well over a year. It was the FIRST of its kind; now there are a number of similar debates on coffee. To know that coffee is hitting the topicability index, searching Squidoo produces 986 lenses at the minimum. A "Starbucks" search yields 286 lenses; "Starbucks coffee" returned 157 lenses. I predict that number will rise very soon!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yahoo Overtakes Google as Traffic Generator

30 day lens traffic shows Yahoo at 52%There has been an interesting SHIFT in the traffic generators for pulling in readers to Squidoo lenses. Not so long ago, you would expect to see the majority of lens traffic attributable to Google searches. Now, you can clearly see that Yahoo is making up the majority of lens traffic. In this particular pie chart analyzing the make-up of 30 day lens traffic, Yahoo is 47%, Google is 19%, and Referral is 13%.

However, taking a look at the pie chart for the same lens for the previous 7 day traffic, you see that Yahoo is gaining on Google! Yahoo generates a majority of 52% of the traffic while Google has dropped by 2% to 17%! Interestingly, Referral traffic has held steady at the 13%!

In a previous Topicability blog post -- The Topicability of Traffic -- It's Just NOT Enough! -- I presented another pie chart which showed that Google was holding a commanding majority of lens traffic easily exceeding 55%! That doesn't appear to be the case any more!

P.S. Have you participated in the very topical Hey Monkeybrain debate, GOOGLE vs. YAHOO -- Which side are you on? Now is the time to be heard!

The People Who Make My Day

stuffed cabbage rollI've been online for more than 12 years, first with free websites and later with several of my own websites. I've sold online through eBay, eCrater, iOffer, and Overstock; now I only have an eCrater store. Next, I tackled blogging in 2004 and still manage to do a bit of blogging although not always daily. On March 21, 2006, I joined Squidoo and began my quest toward the Giant Squid 100 Club.

Today, I have authored over 400 lenses and spend many an hour weekly administering to my lenses, groups, and comments -- while also taking time to visit other lensmasters' lenses to offer my advice, encouragement, or to just plain make a thoughtful comment.

Well, I've had my share of some pretty remarkable comments through the past 3 years. Today, I was particularly touched by the comment I received on my Stuffed Cabbage lens. My reader Erin Baxter wrote:
I remember quite clearly the smell of stuffed cabbage floating through the house when I was a child. My family called it Sodoma (I'm not sure of the spelling) and it was my Great Grandma Fox's recipe. She was of Croatian and Slovenian descent. I never liked it but my mother still loves it although she is disabled now and can no longer make it. I am the one preparing it for her now. I put all of the ingredients together in a crock pot but instead of cooking it at my house, I take it to hers and my father and her not only get to enjoy the taste, but they get the aroma as well. Here's my family's secret ingredient - when everything is in the pot and ready to cook, you pour a pan of bacon grease ( what is left in the pan after cooking a lb of bacon) over the top. How unhealthy is that?! But my family swears by it's deliciousness!!! This recipe and other recipes of old world food MUST be passed down from generation to generation! Food is the international language of love! God bless
Join me on Squidoo! Create a lens or two, participate in the community and meet some great people like I have!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Topicability of Numerology - Square Root Day

The Topicability of Numerology - Square Root Day or NOT. Yesterday bore a significance in that it was a memorable day for its numerology. March 3, 2009 = 3/03/09 OR referred to as Square Root Day. I recall seeing a couple of lenses promoting that day; now those would have been an appropriate Lens of the Day [LOTD]! Too bad no one asked me about my opinion for a good LOTD!

1999 Twitter Update by Jaguar Julie
Well, today may not be a Square Root Day for me, but I did just notice the MOST curious coincidence when I posted about my dead battery on Twitter. You see, immediately following my Twitter Update, @SquidRich Actually, it's a 1999 yellow roadster as seen here -- "I keep it garaged" dead battery and all >, I noticed that it was my 1999 update! I actually think that I was hearing the Twilight Zone movie music playing.

Isn't it interesting to note the topicability of numerology on the internet? Just yesterday, @Scobleizer was talking about how cool 66,066 would be for number of followers --> The next person who follows me will be 66066 -- that is a cool number!

P.S. It was because of my car having it's second dead battery that I am sitting here doing this topical blog post!

P.P.S. And, I am now reflecting on a related topic, Chirp, Chirp, Chirp -- How Often Should You Send a Twitter Update?