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NEW: Video Added | Squidoo's HubPages Opt Out Deadline and What is Wrong With It

By Edited May 31, 2016 4 15
L.A. Bank Robbery
Credit: Colin Brown on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

August 28th, 2014

Corey Brown's post

When I got home today, I checked out the comments I was following on DebWo7's article The Online Giant Squid Becomes 'Hub' Sushi: Squidoo Lenses Turn Into Hubs.

In one reply she mentioned, "the notice from Corey Brown today that indicates people who delete their accounts will still be compensated."

Immediately I wondered if they were going to do the right thing. Did this mean that people who deleted their accounts would receive more than just Amazon and eBay sales earnings for July and almost all of August as pointed out in Sorry Seth Godin | Did I Make a Ruckus?

So, I checked out Corey Brown's post titled Reminder: HubPages Opt Out Deadline is Tomorrow.[1]

And wouldn't you know it? I had a few problems with it. 

Credit: Joe Schueller on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Squidoo HQ Ignores My Reports

and I cannot comment on HQ posts

Interestingly enough, at the end of Corey Brown's post it states "If you experience any issues, please file a bug report so we can address it as quickly as possible. Thanks!"

What this indicates to me, is that if you have any problem with this "transfer" you need to file a bug report so Squidoo people (who sometimes forget to sign their emails) can deal privately with you rather than publicly.

In the comment that is posted on today's announcement (as of 10 pm ET Aug. 28th), Corey Brown stated, "no accounts have been transferred yet. We're on track for Tuesday [Sept. 2nd, 2014] though."

Remember this folks.

Some Key Problems I Have

and you might too

Does Corey Brown's statement: "you’ll still get paid for all the time your account has been live" mean ALL the monies your lenses have accrued (for all of the time they are shown online to the public)?

Specifically, I am referring to:

1) Ad pool revenue for July and almost all of August
2) Amazon earnings for July and almost all of August 
3) eBay earnings for July and almost all of August
4) "small" payments from partners who pay Squidoo later (for July and almost all of August - or any amount owed at anytime, really)
Corey Brown also states: "In order to opt out, your account must be deleted by 2 pm EDT tomorrow, August 29th."
What about all those people (and almost me) who are on holidays and have no idea?

I'm not accepting this transfer but

I wanted to show you that others cannot contact HQ

Other people who cannot get through to HQ
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved
Art Appreciation II
Credit: Dustin Gaffke on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Will Lenses Be Shown Publicly

after 2 pm ET on August 29th until Sept. 1st?

Hmm, we are not told this, are we?

If lenses are still publicly shown online from August 29th after 2 pm until Sept. 1st at midnight - they are STILL earning those four things: ad revenue, Amazon, eBay, and $ from "some partners" for Squidoo and the content owners who agreed to share their revenue, you know, the forgotten lensmasters.

Yet Corey Brown states: "Even after tomorrow’s deadline, you will have complete access to your dashboard, stats and the workshop (without publishing), and you’ll be able to continue to backup your account."

But oddly, he also stated, "After that time [Aug. 29th at 2 pm], you will no longer be able to delete your account or any lenses attached to it, because we have to freeze everything to do the transfer."

Got that?

Because they have to freeze everything to do the transfer.

Is that in order to "seal the deal" and tally the secret key content that Squidoo is bartering (selling?) to HubPages?

On Vacation? Had No Idea? Too Bad

Your account will transfer if your lenses were featured

Caterpillar 2
Credit: Bjoern Schwarz on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Squidoo will BEGIN converting accounts

Wait, what happened to September 1st?

Corey Brown also wrote: "Everything is on track for the timeline to begin converting accounts on Tuesday, September 2nd." 

Why do people need to decide tomorrow?

And again, what about those on holidays who have no idea?

Well, Mr. Brown stated: "If we don’t hear from you…if you don’t opt in or out…and you have at least one featured lens – your account will be transferred instead of being automatically deleted."

To transfer content that Squidoo does not own - without the prior consent of the writer - is theft.

Therefore, Mr. Corey Brown, I'm instructing you to not alter lens URLs or my account with any redirect or transfer prep whatsoever. I plan to delete my entire account on August 31st at midnight (since my lenses will still be shown publicly until at least Sept. 2nd and still earning money for Squidoo).

Sometimes HQ Posts are Edited

So, here's what Corey Brown wrote and what I thought

eraser red pencil
He starts out with: If you’ve already hit the green button on your dashboard to accelerate the transfer to HubPages, you’re in good shape [in other words, Squidoo makes money for your content].

About 1/2 way through his post, I had similar thoughts run through my head after every sentence he wrote. Here is the gist:

If you miss the deadline and decide HubPages isn’t right for you, you can always delete your account on HubPages after the transfer is complete [so Seth et al. can make money from this deal].
Hit the green button [so Seth et al. can make money from this deal]accelerate the transfer [so Seth et al. can make money quicker from this deal], check it out when it’s done, and if you don’t like it, by all means, hit delete [by then, Seth et al. will have made our money from your content - so we don't care what you do after that].
If you do want your account transferred, we do encourage you to click the green button on your dashboard to opt in [so Seth et al. makes money from your work].
If we don’t hear from you… if you don’t opt in or out… and you have at least one featured lens – your account will be transferred instead of being automatically deleted [so Seth et al. makes money from your work].
If your Squidoo username isn’t available on HubPages, they’ll assign you an alternative [so HP execs can track what they are buying]. Usernames on HubPages cannot be changed, so it is best to keep this in your control.
In Summary:
It looks like the ONLY thing in our control (the content owners) is whatever happens AFTER your work is transferred (with or without your express permission first). Because for those of you who are on holidays - your work will transfer automatically [so Seth et al. makes money from your work].

Corey Brown forgot a few things

So, I added them

Corey Brown's response to a lensmaster still unclear
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

I don't remember reading in Squidoo's TOS

that they could deny me access to delete my content

My Dashboard Delete Button is Gone
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

NEW: Here's My Solution

Screenshot of my edited lens (erased everything) 29/08/2014
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Addendum August 30th, 2014

If I could, I would ask Squidoo these questions

Corey's responses on Reminder: HubPages Opt Out Deadline is Tomorrow (my questions in red)
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved
Cartoon of Squidoo/Hubpages Drama
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

When are you deleting your Squidoo account?

Or, are you just going to edit, delete modules and logout?

I still plan to videotape my effort to delete my entire account just before midnight on August 31st, 2014. I refuse to click the big green transfer button on my dashboard and I refuse to click a link on HubPages later on. If my content is moved, I will seek further legal action.

Video Documentation (only 2:20)



Aug 29, 2014 9:31am
Another fine piece, Rose. I see this a bit differently. I don't believe HP would pay for lenses they anticipate will be deleted within the first few months after the transfer. That would be like paying for nothing. My opinion is that there is some type of clause regarding compensation only for those accounts and lenses transferred and left on the site for say 30, 60, 90, or even more days. Just my opinion.
Aug 29, 2014 10:17am
The problem is Deb, that writers do not know enough information to make an informed decision (too much is not being answered and too much is kept "secret" in this transaction).

In medicine, there is something called "informed consent" (as it pertains to anything regarding our health - our bodies, which we each own exclusively). Our content is also ours, we each own it exclusively (according to Squidoo's own TOS).

Squidoo has made it clear that NOT all lenses will be transferred (so I don't think HP will have to pay for those anyways).

This "deal" could not be "set in stone" (since Seth Godin is well aware that he does not own the content). This "key content" that HP is acquiring is kept a secret.

Wonder why?

Because if thousands of writers' lenses/accounts are transplanted (either with or without their consent), then HP stands to gain a lot of activity (which will increase their Alexa ranking) even IF people simply go there to delete their work.

There will be some who are temporarily enticed by the "friendly" interaction and familiar faces that were on Squidoo welcoming them to HP too. Many of those will just "go along" with it all.

People tend to cling together in situations where they are unfamiliar/unsure/afraid. Seth Godin is probably banking on this sense of "social nesting." Sure, some will go there (maybe 50% and just delete their work). By then, it won't matter to Seth et. al (they've already made their money from this deal).

Why else would people need to open a brand new HP account?

Of that 50%, I believe that only the "Best Of" lenses (that were earmarked on our dashboard) were assigned a solid $ value (something only HP and Squidoo execs are privy to knowing). Again this is kept secret.

If even 10% of the "Best Of" lenses end up at HP (which could number in the thousands), that is still a lot of money that Seth Godin et al. made off of content he never owned nor asked permission to move (sell?)

If someone needs to click a button or a link to obtain their rightful share of earnings from Squidoo - that COULD be considered a form of click fraud - yeah, really.

I don't believe this is a "friendly" transaction either (between Seth and Paul). The fine details are most likely coming down to a gamble that Seth made (and a risky one). I feel this will backfire for Seth Godin, Squidoo, Acumen Fund, and HubPages.

Clearly people were under duress to press that big green transfer button and this is definitely not considered "informed consent" as it pertains to what we each own.

Only time will tell and I highly respect your opinion Deb, thank you so much for dropping by (while you were commenting, I added two new screenshots, btw).

Take good care,
Aug 29, 2014 11:11am
I hear you, Rose. You're preaching to the choir, however, on the one summation that Godin may gain some type of immediate compensation from unauthorized transferred accounts/lenses, I just don't see HP making that type of agreement. As for people who did nothing, and then decided to stay with HP once their account is transferred, I would imagine that once that person accepts his/her account by becoming active that it's akin to pressing the green button. Again, just my opinion.
Aug 29, 2014 11:19am
Fair enough, I think the need for a separate account, the earmarked lenses on the dashboard, and the way Squidoo is bulldozing this transfer through (even moving content that doesn't belong to them - especially content that belongs to people who have no idea what has transpired) = some immediate compensation.

Again, I feel it's based on a gamble (and a percentage that Seth Godin felt would comply without hesitation). I think it has already backfired, though.

Remember too, the buzz of activity from Squidoo/HP folks that already transferred has increased HP's Alexa ranking (kind of like paid traffic). People "just checking it out" - HP execs can't lose anything there (only positive gains). I already had a few people contact me that are (did) make the move to HP from Squidoo - and they all said (something like), "I really enjoyed your work on Squidoo and I'd like to follow you on HPs."

It's incredible the power of social persuasion (btw, I'm not faulting these people at all, they were all "under duress" in my opinion when they hit the green transfer button).
Aug 29, 2014 1:31pm
There's still so much that's unclear - although, that Squidoo has tried their best to get everyone onto HubPages is very clear. I have to wonder how many of those who have gone along with the transfer are going to regret it in coming weeks.
Aug 29, 2014 1:45pm
Sadly, I think the full impact will be felt in 4 months - when HPs higher publishing standards kick in. Unfortunately, this will also coincide with the "after Christmas/Holidays" slump in sales that is felt in almost every business (small and large) come January and February 2015.

Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting Jonathan, I really appreciate it.
Aug 29, 2014 2:13pm
I won't regret it as the holidays are coming and I want the 301 redirects, especially the Halloween articles. I put those articles on Squidoo for a reason, and if I have to shave some Amazon modules I will.

When my life quiets down I will move others to Goody Guides or my blogs. While this whole business transaction was timed for confusion and for the betterment of anyone but the writers, I have to focus on what is happening in my real world life and then worry about this. I needed the money I was owed and made my decision accordingly.

If I do not make the money I used to once these articles are on Hubpages, then the end result is the same because Squidoo is gone and I could not earn from them anyway.

The whole situation smells-no reeks-and if a lesson was learned, it was to be careful when a site's rankings and quality slide downward.
Aug 29, 2014 2:24pm
I highly respect your opinion and your work is stellar mommy cubed.

Your numerous posts (here and elsewhere) that "I needed the money . ." and "I want the 301 redirects . ." tells me (at least) that you were under duress when you clicked the big green transfer button on your dashboard.

Had you known (as I'm certain Seth Godin et al. did months ago), I am guessing that:

a) you wouldn't have created so many Halloween lenses
b) you wouldn't have had so many Amazon modules placed on them
c) you would've had time "to think" this thing through
d) you would've probably put your work directly on your blogs or other platforms

You last sentence sums it all up: be careful when a site's rankings and quality slide downward.
Aug 29, 2014 8:08pm
Thank you, Rose. I enjoy your work as well and love the analysis you have given to this topic in particular.

I spent a lot of time this summer removing my Zujava content and placing it her and on Squidoo-and most was holiday related for fall to winter. I would have put the these articles on Goody Guides instead if I was not misled.

Yes, I was most certainly under duress...with kids at home, getting my big one off to college, and life in general, who could think?

I was flabbergasted that they continued to run the site under a normal pretense when all along they were prepping it to be sold. As a Giant, I received an email with all of these Halloween quests to prep for in time for the holiday.. Seriously? Glad I did not bother with those!

Now writers who work online will see every little change as a potential red flag, especially if these changes coincide with falling out of favor with Google.
Aug 29, 2014 8:19pm
Yes, you (and hundreds of other writers were misled - intentionally).

And I am so glad you write here on InfoBarrel. I can't imagine the timing being any worse for a working mother (and I only have one to take care of).

I also received the early Halloween email quest - glad you and I ignored those.

Hope you and your family (and those kids) will come out on top through this.

Take good care (thanks for the compliment and supportive comments),

Aug 29, 2014 7:43pm
I'm wondering if the increase in themed quests had to do with them knowing changes were coming quite soon Squid Village? I participated in two to three of them and one of them made the Best of Category. And that one lens gave me my first Amazon sale ever.

Knowing the work load I was about to accumulate and the pure frustration of receiving this news I just went ahead and deleted everything. HP just did not compute with me especially after spending who knows how long searching for a direct answer to my question of payout. Don't even get me started on the earnings factor.

Really dislike how things have been and are currently being handled in regards to posted content on their site. At least the change isn't all bad. It forced me to break out of my comfort zone and try something better. You do such a wonderful job covering need to know information on stuff. Am curious to see how things go down in coming days.
Aug 29, 2014 7:53pm
Well I completely understand your frustration and I must add that InfoBarrel has been the best writing platform I've ever encountered (thanks to DebW07 for pointing me here). Since I'm boycotting URLs with Squidoo/HubPages/HugDug domain names, this whole fiasco may help the little guy - people with their own blogs/websites. I hope others will do the same (I anticipate that some will after they've tried for months to make things work on HubPages).

In any case, I can't see Seth Godin, Paul Edmondson, or the Acumen Fund gaining in popularity with writers or the informed public. A reputation is the wrong thing to gamble in business nowadays. Nothing can be kept secret for long and you can't ban the truth forever.
Aug 31, 2014 8:01am
To whoever it was that left me the comment that began with "There is NO WAY (eye rolls included for that part)..." you were somewhat inappropriate, so I delete your comment (but I will address your points).

Here's my opinion:

a) You stated: "I don't have a lot of lenses and I only make a couple of hundred dollars per month" [if that's the case, you probably were doing something you shouldn't have been. What will your opinion be if YOUR work doesn't transfer?]

b) I don't think you get the REASON I am documenting my efforts to delete/edit my work. I am certain Squidoo is making it impossible since they've already begun this transfer (even though Corey Brown stated "The transfer to HubPages has been planned to begin September 2nd").

Think of it this way: If a bank were to "stay open" but not allow me access to my money, it would be illegal. The ONLY thing Squidoo owns it the URL (they have no LEGAL right to prevent me from editing or deleting my content while they continue to show my work online - and all the ads, Amazon, eBay, etc. - on them to the public).

I know they have already acted in bad faith, my intention is to document it for legal purposes (not to "see" if they really did this).

c) You state:"deleting all those modules won't help either because the lens can no longer be updated. Once they are transferred to HP, your hubtool (HP's version of workshop) will be magically back with all your content."

HA! Thanks for pointing that out - you just strengthened my case that this is, indeed, a forced transaction. Why should I (and hundreds of other writers) NEED to click on HPs link [making money for Seth et al.] to access MY OWN content?

d) You state: "Regarding the owed earnings. I don't think you will be compensated your July/August earnings if you deleted your lens tonight as those earnings aren't final yet, and they haven't been added to our reserve hopper yet." [Ohh? Do you work for Squidoo?]

If Squidoo will have the "lights on until late September/Early Oct" (according to Corey Brown) I'm sure their accountant will put something together (or face a court order to do so later). I'll wait for my money (and any "late" payments), money doesn't expire, you know.

e) You state: "As for my decision - I will just let them transfer to HP. I am getting my link juice."

That's fine and that's your opinion (all you needed to write). Good luck "getting your link juice" which may be unacceptable to HubPages.
Sep 2, 2014 7:37am
I love your comic. Wonder if that responder knows of the up coming changes that will be taking place on HP? There was a lot of underhanded actions that transpired these past few weeks to months with changes to rankings, cashout minimum and the abruptly last minute transfer.

There was one other site, not really a site but online community of sorts, that pretty much informed their participants that they won't be hosting the site anymore and not to make any transactions because of it. A simple jester of courtesy is all that is asked. Well written piece as always.

Now I have to get ready to delete another site account because things are starting to head under there as well. Thanks for sharing the update Rose!
Sep 2, 2014 12:54pm
Oh hey, no problem and thank you for following me on this topic and for commenting. I have a hunch I know why so many lensmasters want this transfer to happen, because many (not all) of them found a way to link to the higher quality work of others on Squidoo.

I reported numerous veterans (and Giant Squids) on the site. Some even embedded my Bio page URL (or my lenses) into their work. I found out on CopyScape that my URLs were copied 100% by people in tier 1. I reported them; HQ ignored my reports or worse.

Another lensmaster (who had the so-called #1 lens on Squidoo), managed to stuff her lens full of Martha Stewart links. I thought the filters would "catch it" but I guess not. I gave up reporting people since HQ actually praised and promoted some of these people.

One of them even had a Lens of the Day recently. (Kinda surprised that Bonnie gave herself LotD - given all the bad PR lately).

Oh well, time will tell how many honest people remain loyal followers of this Squidoo/HubPages deal.

Glad you found IB (and good luck with this other "online community" you mentioned going under).

Take good care,
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  1. Corey Brown "Reminder: HubPages Opt Out Deadline is Tomorrow." Squidoo. 28/08/2014. 28/08/2014 <Web >

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