Friday, September 12, 2014

Squidoo and HubPages Big News

August 15, 2014 - the Ides of August! It was a monumental announcement delivered to the lensmasters of Squidoo. Big News! It was the kind of news that surprised the heck out of a lot of lensmasters. Many of us were feeling that the end was near for Squidoo; but those fearing the end never guessed that HubPages, a former competitor, would be acquiring their lens content!

squidoo and hubpages big news from seth godin august 15 2014
Seth Godin's Announcement - A Snippet

Seth Godin's Announcement - A Snippet:

August 15, 2014

Here’s some good news, big news, news that will open some new possibilities for you…

HubPages is acquiring key content from Squidoo, creating the largest site of its kind in the world.

For nearly a decade, both Squidoo and HubPages have provided a home for content creators online. We’ve made it easy for people to use our platforms to share content that they care about, to tell stories, write articles and link to places that matter to them. Over the years, more than four billion visits have been made to the two sites, which host content from more than five million people.

Today, we’re announcing that as a result of this acquisition, Squidoo is moving the best of its content to HubPages. They’re the industry leader, continually pushing the envelope in terms of their content, its presentation and the traffic and traction they get online. The best way we know to serve our users is to give them an even better place for their content, and when I talked with Paul Edmondson at HubPages, it became clear to both of us that combining these platforms leads to a stronger, more efficient, more generous way to share great stuff online.
Personally, I had felt, for quite some time, that things had to change. In November-December 2012, I made a bold move - a move that many scoffed at in the different forums. I began deleting hundreds and hundreds of my Squidoo lenses. After backing up each and every lens in their entirety, I hit the delete button. By February 2013, I had removed over 600!

"Oh, I would never delete one of my Squidoo lenses." I heard that quite a bit. And, others had already up and quit Squidoo and took their content with them. Others didn't have that kind of control as their lenses were locked and their accounts were deleted for them.

We were given the option of opting in early for the move. And, it was encouraged that we download backups of all our content. Boy were the gears ever cranking over at Squidoo! For me too!

At the time of the "big news" announcement, I had 219 Squidoo lenses in my portfolio. Well over 30 of them were new lenslets and lenses created within the past year. On August 15th, I did the early opt in and then I got busy. I began moving my content off Squidoo prior to the transport; and repurposing that content on my two blogs : JaguarJulie Blog On and Blondes that DIY. I then deleted those lenses and requested that Google deindex those lenses.

After two weeks time, on August 29-30, 2014, the ability to delete lenses was disabled! So, that made my decision easy. I couldn't delete any more lenses prior to the transport. But, I could still capture and repurpose that content in anticipation of the aftermath of the move.

HubPages Transport Engages

For me, my bewitching hour came on September 4th. The HubPages Emeryville, CA transport began at 1:23:13 pm EST and finished at 1:51:45 pm on September 4th, transporting over 100 lenses in approximately 28 minutes and 32 seconds. At the time of writing this blog post, I happened to notice that I got a second reconnect from HubPages Emeryville, CA transport on September 10th at 8:14:06 pm that engaged until 8:36:19 pm, involving 6 lenses. I'm not sure what that was about, but I was reporting the next day that deleted hubs were reappearing in my HubPages portfolio! Six of them. Very curious stuff.

julieannbrady on hubpages september 2014
JulieAnnBrady on HubPages

September 11, 2014 - HubPages

julieannbrady 47 hubs on hubpages
By September 11, 2014, I had 47 hubs remaining of my imported 100 lenses. All 53 hubs had been deleted by me and my content moved and repurposed on my two blogs.

I also had 144 followers and was following 137 hubbers.

julieannbrady on hubpages accolades september 11 2014
As a Squidoo lensmaster, I got used to seeing those trophies or badges on my profile. For those lensmasters who loved those, I am happy to report that you have the accolades that prominently posts on your HubPages profile pages, for all to see.

My accolades aren't as impressive as other new Squidoo-Hubbers. And, because I was too quick on the delete of newly-imported hubs, I only got the 50 hubs accolade rather than the 100!

Accolades Legend L to R: published at least 50 hubs; at least 50 simultaneously featured hubs; at least 100 followers on HubPages; Hubs have been read over 10,000 times; and level VI commenter.

Editing Hubs

All new Squidoo-Hubbers were granted a 4-month grace period for editing newly-imported hubs to bring them in compliance and clear posted violations. I worked on my hubs for one week to revise them and remove the red skulls of violation. What I found during that intense period of revision? Working in the workshop mode for each hub was actually a bit of FUN! The building blocks of our pages were now referred to as "capsules." No longer did we call them "modules" as we did on Squidoo.

Some other "fun" bits of the process? Well, to categorize your hub, you got to use a browse and search feature to scan the topics by keyword. I liked that until I got to one of my hubs that just didn't fit neatly into any category! Another cool feature was the ability to position a photo capsule above a text capsule; then, by double-clicking on the photo capsule as it is displayed in the right column under the organizing your capsules in your hub, it would jump to the right and be positioned as a half-column element!

It was also very handy that you could easily insert certain capsules here and there in your content.

All, in all, the editing process was facilitated by a handy workshop. There are lots of other neat features; but I don't want to spill the beans and spoil the discover of fun for the newbies!

UPDATE: October 3, 2014, 6:30pm - Jacksonville, FL: The last remaining hubs in my account were deleted by me after transferring and repurposing my original content on my two blogs. You see, I had been experiencing new traffic highs and lots of reader interaction on Squidoo during the Summer months; especially right before the transport. The afternoon of September 3rd, my 100 remaining lenses were transported to HubPages. Within less than ten days, I earned the 10,000 view accolade for my hubs. Traffic was going great guns until something happened on September 23rd. Like somebody flipped the proverbial internet light switch. I lost 97.1% of my traffic to my evergreen content! Now, my pages weren't salesy product pages. But, articles that had sustained the test of time and built up a readership base. When ten days later, it was still nada in the traffic department, I opted to move the remainder of my hubs.

Have you found me there yet? I'm Julie Ann Brady on HubPages. Don't be shy! Be different. If you can.