Lists Web 2.0 Squidoo Style

December 19, 2006

HubPages.
Squidoo.

I forget how I even found this, but it’s amusing. If you’re a regular Digg or other social news site user, you’re probably well aware that many of the “link bait” type articles submitted are of the list nature, especially top ten lists. I’ve written a few myself, with the distinct purpose of attracting web surfers with short attention spans.

So someone over at Squidoo obviously thought they would “Web 2.0″ the creation of lists and in turn, hopefully generate some nice links back to their site. Each list item is user rateable, and I guess a highly rated item would move places up in the vertical format.

I do have to admit, for me – there’s one thing that is missing from these “Plexo” lists. “why.” If I see a top ten list of science fiction films, I want to know the reasons why each item was rated as such. At least a sentence, even better if it’s a full paragraph, or the ability to comment. Just a list alone probably won’t be enough to retain my interest. Anyhow, it’s an interesting experiment on a common form of web content these days.

Note: Squidoo confuses me to no end (I’m not alone), with its talk of “lenses” and “Plexo.” I suppose if I spent more time trying to figure out what the heck this marketing speak is referring to, it could be fun, but I don’t have the time or the energy tonight. So either check out the site yourself, or this summary. I just think if I can’t explain a site in a sentence or two, or figure out what the heck is going on in under a minute, it becomes a chore – and I’m certainly not going to be able to complete a blog review of it.

Comments

  1. David says:

    I’m not a big fan of squidoo. There are some other “list” type sites out there. Most notably listible.com, thebeststuffintheworld.com or Amazon’s latest web 2.0 project (one of them anyway), unspun.com. All less confusing than squidoo.

    As you say, I’ve never understood the lense lingo. And this plexo business is ridiculous. Squidoo is also a brand name I just don’t get. And frankly, who the hell wants to deal with a “squidoo”? It just sounds unpleasant.

    What’s most surprising is that the mind behind this site, Seth Godin, is a self-proclaimed marketing maven (well I guess others give him credit for his marketing mightyness). But many have enjoyed taking pot shots at the marketing gurus relative lack of success with squidoo.

    But bottom line — what kind of marketing prowess does squidoo really demonstrate? My own personal opinion is that, despite some formidable traffic, squidoo seems to be hampered by some really bad product and marketing decisions. Just my humble opinion.

  2. David says:

    Oh, and I should throw in the fact that insofar as “blogs” are a *twist* on the the message boards of the past (albeit an important one). I’d also say that these “lists” are pretty much just old-school polls in a new incarnation.

    That doesn’t diminish the utility of them. I think it’s more just useful perspective.

  3. David says:

    sorry to keep blathering on about this, but I am interested in squidoo since it tries to solve some of the problems that fanpop is concerned with but in a different fashion (disclosure to other readers: fanpop.com is my web startup).

    I do think that one site that is very squidoo-like but that takes a much more simplified approach is hubpages.com. Check that one out and see how it compares with squidoo. It’s very barebones (craigslist-esque in design). But when I visited it for the first time I immediatley “got it”, whereas squidoo had some inherent quirkiness that perplexed me.

  4. Webomatica says:

    Dave… well, it’s obvious you’ve put more thought into Squidoo than I have… anyhow, there seem to be “groups,” and “lenses”, and the “lens” is like the specific category page. Maybe in comparison with Fanpop a lens = spot.

    I guess the “group” label might be needed as the number of “lenses” gets unwieldy… but to me that still doesn’t justify calling it a “lens” … what the heck is that supposed to mean.

    I’ll say this right off the bat though (and this isn’t just bias towards fanpop), but fanpop is way more intuitive to navigate around. I figured it out pretty quickly, while squidoo is more vertical (links, then amazon stuff under it?), and there’s no bread crumb so I can get back to the higher level (needed to get back to the “group”…. plus the layouts of the pages change between groups and lenses… anyhow… I found it frustrating.

    But judging from the way MySpace is designed, there may be no relationship between usability and popularity :)

    I guess i’ll check out hubpages.com … maybe that will put me in a better mood!

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