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Sorry Seth Godin | Did I Make a Ruckus?

By Edited Dec 1, 2015 3 6
1865 Cleopatra and Caesar by Jean-Leon-Gerome with my head (RoseWrites on InfoBarrel)
Credit: Original artwork: Public Domain (Wikipedia) | Photo of author's head by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Flight delayed

cancelled my trip

Just as I was about to take a relaxing one week holiday, Squidoo made a few faux pas. I found this entertaining, so I decided to document and provide screenshot proof of what has transpired (since many former lensmasters have no idea).

If you haven't heard, around 5 pm on Friday, August 15th, 2014 Seth Godin wrote on Squidoo's HQ blog that "HubPages is acquiring key content from Squidoo."

No emails were sent out about this until Monday - I found out through a friend. So, I read over the information and wrote Can Squidoo Do This? which has received hundreds of hits. Thank you to all who have read and shared this information.

Focus
Credit: Mark Hunter on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

What Has Changed Since the Original Post

Rather than reiterate what was originally posted by Seth Godin and members of the SquidTeam, I thought I'd highlight what has changed.

Here's the gist:

Squidoo's own TOS states that "Squidoo does not claim ownership of the Content." Yet HubPages is "acquiring key content" from Squidoo.

No one knows what that key content is (and curiously, we are not told). Some have argued it could merely be what Seth Godin and other members of the SquidTeam have written on Squidoo.

My theory is that content earmarked on our dashboard as "Best of Squidoo" is that key content. By clicking on the green transfer button or by clicking some link on HubPages it seals the deal for your work made between Seth Godin and Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages.

Here's the problem: the original writer, the content owner, will not be paid for their work. I believe Seth Godin et. al will profit from it. I do not know of one writer (aka lensmaster) on Squidoo that was asked if they even wanted their work on HubPages.

When I announced this publicly, with 10 minutes my Google Analytics revealed about a dozen visits - three from Bonnie Diczhazy and three from Seth Godin. There were other visits from people I know, but I will not name them (in hopes they may confirm what's been going on).

I was alarmed by the tone in an article[4] on Search Engine Watch where the author asked at the end "Are you afraid your content won't transfer?" 

Social Media Outcry and Articles

Helped revert the payout threshold from $25 to $1

Smashed Piggy Bank
Credit: Images Money on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

In a Wise Move (But Too Late for Many Writers)

I never tried to email anyone on Squidoo, I only wrote my article Can Squidoo Do This? so I was surprised when Bonnie emailed me out of the blue. I suppose this confirms that she did visit my article three times.

The gist:

She thanked me for my feedback and mentioned that their hope was that people find the right platform for their work. And she sent me a link to the revised FAQ.[1]

Fortunately, Squidoo decided to reduce the payout threshold from $25 back to $1.

All Seemed Good At First

My 293 lenses remain on Squidoo

Beach Baby
Credit: thephotographymuse on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Seems Clear to Me

Squidoo IT folks don't even need to redirect my work

In the newly revised FAQ, I read this: 

I am not ready to transition my account at this time. Can I do it later? There are three steps to the transfer if your content is chosen to be featured on HubPages. FIRST: If you haven’t deleted your account by August 29, 2014, your data will be moved automatically to HubPages in September.

Great, I thought. Since they aren't moving content (that doesn't belong to them) until September, I'll leave all 293 lenses up until almost midnight ET on August 31st, 2014.

Since the ads are still showing publicly on all of my lenses throughout all of July and August, it stands to reason that my ad pool share (and everyone doing the same) will be paid out.

Squidoo's FAQ also stated:  

You won’t miss any of your upcoming paydays, and the money will be automatically sent to you. If you want to take your content to another platform, that’s fine.

But a Friend Pointed Something Out

Point!
Credit: a2gemma on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Susan Deppner Posted Publicly on Aug. 22, 2014

UPDATE (Friday | Critical information and dates for the Squidoo/Hubpages transition)

Susan Deppner[2] let Squidoo lensmasters know publicly about some changes that Corey Brown had written about in an HQ blog post.[3]

So, I wrote to Susan on Google Plus the following: 

I will not be able to delete my entire Squidoo account until August 31st, 2014 at 11:50 pm ET (since I'll be on vacation). What about all the people who have been on vacation before all of these announcements that Squidoo sold out?

Susan responded:

Their lenses will be transferred over to HubPages, they'll get an email, then they can either set up an account or delete the lenses from there.

I wrote:

I refuse to click any link or button - since if my lenses are moved = theft of my content. Let Squidoo IT guys know that I will be videotaping my attempt to delete MY content on August 31st, 2014 at 11:50 pm so I can retain my "maximum" payout OWED to me for ALL of July and August. I was never asked if I wanted my content on HubPages and I never gave my permission. A Squidoo URL is simply an address. 

Susan responded:

Feel free to send something to Corey. I have nothing to do with any of that.

I wrote:

Can you let me know his address then? Bonnie did not allow me to contact anyone and apparently "Gil" was assigned specifically to deal with me (after I reported the blackhat linking scam that numerous people were involved in). Thanks in advance Susan.

Susan stopped corresponding with me for 27 minutes, briefly I told her after waiting 12 minutes I'd be offline. I really had to pee.

Susan finally wrote:

The best I can do for you, Rose, is to refer you to the official post that is linked above.

I was puzzled, since Bonnie had removed any ability I had to comment on HQ posts over 6 months ago. So, I wrote to Susan Deppner (addressing her only on Google Plus). But, she blocked me from responding to her specifically. So, I wrote the following:

Gee Susan, Bonnie banned me from commenting everywhere but on my own lenses, so I can't.

Odd that you can relay the message for me (since you work with these folks). Anyways, since I'm boarding a plane (and leaving the computer behind) I'm asking that someone else might let him know.

Of course I will be videotaping my attempt to delete my entire account on August 31st at 11:50 pm ET (for legal purposes). That way, I can get ALL of my deserved income from Squidoo (50%) that is held in escrow for me.

I refuse to click on any button or link to make $ for Seth et. al. I own my content. A Squidoo URL is simply an address. To move my work without my express permission (by altering a URL) is theft. 

I gather that once Susan Deppner realized she couldn't delete legitimate concerns of mine, she unblocked me - but not without calling me a liar first. (Guess only Google, her, and I know the truth).

So, I wrote her back:

Oh gee, Susan, I guess you unblocked me now. Thanks. Still very odd that you cannot let Corey Brown know for me - nor that Bonnie told you (I guess) that I cannot comment on any HQ posts. Bon voyage!

If Bonnie Banned Me from Posting

I must be wrong, right?

Actually, for the brief spell that I was the LOL Contributor on Squidoo, I reported someone for sending me two articles to "boost." These lenses were keyword stuffed to death and had suspicious links in them.

Little did I know, though, that Bonnie felt this person was "a good egg" so I guess she felt entitled to strip me of that status and prevent me from commenting anywhere on Squidoo except my own lenses.

It was fine, other contributors (who I hope will comment on this article) also know the whole story. One of them was kind enough to direct me to InfoBarrel (the writing platform you are reading this article on right now). 

Since Squidoo Changes Their Posts

I felt it wise to take screenshots of what transpired

Up next is a series of screenshots, my friend TanoCalvenoa who also writes here on InfoBarrel agreed to post information and ask questions that I could not. 

What ended up being hilarious is that some guy who purportedly attended Harvard Law School (who's occupation is "classified") actually left me some idiotic message. 

Sit back and enjoy the screenshots folks.

Please note, TanoCalvenoa's 2nd Post is

further down in the original comments section:

Corey Brown, Kathy McGraw, and TanoCalvenoa
Credit: Screenshot: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Corey Brown Responds

No bearing on "payment rules" and "You will be paid" (just not everything you are entitled to, it seems)

Screenshot of Corey Brown responding to TanoCalvenoa
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

TanoCalvenoa's post where he mentions me

Corey said: Only gets attributable revenue (Amazon and eBay royalties). And my my, isn't he angry sounding?

Tano mentions me and Corey responds
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

I guess there are two other sources of earnings

that even those (like me) will not be getting though:

Even if my lenses remain online (in the public's eye) until August 31st at midnight, it seems that Squidoo feels entitled to keep my share of the ad pool. And yours too.

Also, if "some partners" that allegedly pay Squidoo "small" amounts late don't come through in time (and hey, why would they?) that money will go to the Acumen Fund.

Oh, and did you know (I didn't at first) that Seth Godin is an advisor for the Acumen Fund?

Wonder what happened when I posted this information on my Google Plus profile? Well, have a laugh at a couple more screenshots next.

Rose Webster's Google Plus Post
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved
Larry Addison's comment
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Addendum August 25th, 2014

I was looking forward to capturing something dramatic and exciting when I videotape my effort to delete my entire Squidoo account just before midnight on August 31st, 2014. However, I just found Corey Brown's comment to another lensmaster in his post titled Important Update on the HubPages Transition.

I was sorta hoping for some alarm bells to go off and I get sucked into some cyberhole or something. Or perhaps after midnight, my computer would turn into a pumpkin.

Since Squidoo has been altering their posts and deleting peoples' comments or banning people from commenting altogether, I took the screenshot you see below. I felt it important for those of you who have been on vacation and have no idea what has transpired.

Our Dashboards Will Be Up and Running

until September (or even longer)

Dashboards will be up and running Corey Brown said (Screenshot)
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

What will you be doing with your Squidoo work?

Leave me a comment and let me know if you plan to delete your entire account on August 31st near midnight as well. Will you be supporting Squidoo/HubPages/HugDug URLs or boycotting them altogether?

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Comments

Aug 25, 2014 8:42am
TanoCalvenoa
I found this an entertaining read. All they need to do to avoid all the controversy and confusion is be honest, give everyone the choice of where to take their work, and pay everyone everything that they're owed. The problems are all due to unclear explanations, trying to get everyone onto HubPages, and not wanting to pay everything that's been earned.
Aug 25, 2014 8:47am
RoseWrites
Agreed. No one should have to click any button or link to receive ALL of their rightful earnings including: 1) Ad share pool, 2) Amazon sales 3) eBay sales and 4) "small payments" that come in later.

I don't mind waiting to get a "small" payment late - even by October 1st. And gee, I wonder what a "small" payment might be to a millionaire?
Aug 26, 2014 5:08pm
Browna86
I dislike hearing receiving news about supposedly "to make the site better" updates but after hearing about the sell I was distraught. The way everyone was lead to believe that the site was going to be up for a while with all the missions/quests and change to payout (but not payment intervals) made it seem like nothing was amiss.

I couldn't think straight and just started removing my stuff off the site; this was when the threshold was still at 25USD. Then some time later after checking back with the forums and posts to the news someone makes mention of the minimum payout being reduced back to a single dollar. Wasn't sure so decided to ask about it using their FB page and no one responded.

They could post new stuff but couldn't respond to my question that was pretty much at the top of the page in their previous post. The issue of bringing articles over is that a huge portion has been laid out in a way that worked with the Squidoo features. Despite that I will actually bring over two of the articles written; one is actually in the review queue.

They should've left the payout where it was during that updating phase. Ah crud...now I got to update my writing portfolio. Thanks for keeping everyone informed Rose.
Aug 27, 2014 2:03pm
RoseWrites
No problem. Let's hope this gets settled fairly.
Oct 31, 2014 2:41pm
AstroGremlin
For purposes of copyright, the particular formatting of information is taken into account. I want my content back in the format in which it was created, viz., through a website that posted it worldwide. Anything less is not my original content.
Oct 31, 2014 2:54pm
RoseWrites
True . . and not only that but YOUR user information (identity and email) was also sold to a third party without your consent. I sure hope that more people are filing IC3 reports (I know some are). Thanks again for stopping by Astro G. Take good care, Rose
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Bibliography

  1. "Squidoo and HubPages Transition FAQ." Squidoo. 24/08/2014 <Web >
  2. Susan Deppner "UPDATE (Friday): Critical information and dates for the Squidoo/Hubpages transition.." Google Plus | Public Post by Susan Deppner. 22/08/2014. 24/08/2014 <Web >
  3. Corey Brown "Important Update on the HubPages Transition." Squidoo. 22/08/2014. 24/08/2014 <Web >
  4. Ashley Zeckman "Seth Godin’s Squidoo Acquired by HubPages." Search Engine Watch. 19/08/2014. 24/08/2014 <Web >

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