Yes, yes - its been a while since I've added to this site. My focus has been....elsewhere. But I have been adding to the ever-expanding world wide web as of late through Squidoo.
For those unfamiliar with Squidoo, think of it as About.com done right. Created by marketing guru Seth Godin, with the help of folks like Heath Row, an editor at Fast Company, the site provides slick tools and a simple interface for people to demonstrate their expertise in anything and everything. Here's how Seth describes the site:
Squidoo lets anyone build a simple, free web page that points to blogs, online stores, maps and other information on a single topic—any topic. Each page can contain insight, bullet points, links, products and pictures, and each page earns royalties for its creator or for charity.
Squidoo leverages the power of personal recommendation. The site will eventually host millions of handmade ‘lenses’, each a focused, useful guide to some area of expertise, some glimpse of the net. Instead of aimlessly poking, a lens lets a user see the big picture—a human being’s big picture, the overview you need to get the meaning of the idea.
The heart of Squidoo is the lens. A lens can point the best hotels in London. Or blogs with pictures and articles about Paris Hilton. Or personal accounts about Hurricane Katrina.
A lens can expose a cross-section of the web, a more personal and more humanly relevant take that no computer could ever create. A lens is an easy-to-build page of links and referrals. Two lenses may be on the same topic, but they are never the same — every lens is personal, and every lens is built by a person, a Lensmaster.
I participated in the beta program, and have now created a couple dozen lenses. My personal page is here, and my fake Seth Godin lens is here. One of the most popular lenses is Chris Anderson's (editor in chief of Wired magazine) lens 'The Long Tail' (to which I am creating a spoof lens called 'The Long Tale'). I've also created lenses for some of my favorite music artists, such as Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, and Duran Duran.
Squidoo is a fantastic idea - one that I am convinced will expand and become popular very quickly. I'm waiting for the pages to start permeating the search engines. But the real change that sites like this are doing is cleaning up the glut of useless content out on the web - content that is irrelevant, unconnected, and static - replacing it with real content and real content owners. Therin lies the real value - ownership and accountability for what's up on the web. I'm sold.