Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Introducing ethermetic

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 05:36 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 8.35.44 AMMeet E.T., ethermetic on Squidoo. He’s a pioneer of sorts and an artist, as well as an excellent writer (he had a Lens of the Day last week). One reason he’s here is to become part of the great Squidoo community, so please read more about this talented lensmaster and make him feel welcome.

How did you find Squidoo? Often I would search for gardening ideas, craft ideas, and articles on writing and Squidoo lenses kept popping up. I must have read dozens of lenses over the years before deciding to become involved myself.

In your bio you focus on your creativity and curiosity, as well as your environment growing up, and how those things shaped the things you’re interested in and write about today. You’ve written several excellent lenses already about some of those interests. Any hints about what we can expect to read about next? I have so many great ideas for lenses and so little time to write, it’s hard to decide what to write about first. I plan on taking Squidoo on an adventure into the forest to discover long forgotten pioneer home places and decode the past with clues left to the shadows for a century. I believe in a self-sufficient style of living that includes many ways to rely on yourself to do many things people typically have to pay for. So, I plan to write more informative articles on improvised living, gardens, and health related subjects. Another set of lenses I’d like to devote to my artwork, design, and craft skills. I have a unique set of creative abilities and art styles I’d like to share with the Squidoo community.

What can Squidoo do for you? Writing has always been a passion. One reason I started writing lenses was to use it as a way to practice my writing skills and to get critique. Squidoo is also a great way for me to be able to network. I’ve always been sort of a lone wolf and never really understood the importance of community and networking. Now that I’m focused on trying to find ways to work for myself and use my creative side, networking is very important, and the Squidoo community is a great place to learn more about it, find people with similar interests, and find useful advice on an array of subjects.

Lens of the Day: Exploring Zion National Park

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 05:05 AM PDT

The Perfect Product Recommendation Lens? We’ll Show You One, Then You Decide

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 04:13 PM PDT

Bonnie asked me to share a lens with you. It’s mine, but we both think it’s pretty darned good when it comes to meeting the new lensmaking requirements on both Squidoo and the web.

What are those requirements? A good product recommendation lens should have:

Unique, useful, updated content.

There’s really nothing new about those requirements; many, many lensmasters have been meeting them for years and with just a few edits and improvements you can too.

So first maybe we should look at what my lens doesn’t have and what product lenses shouldn’t have either:

Cookie cutter content with a shopping cart, long-list-of-products approach to selling.

So, how did I come to write this lens and what did I do to meet Squidoo’s requirements while leaving out the things that Google no longer tolerates? First, I wanted to make a lens about something I love, my kitchen. I decided to focus on what gives my kitchen its personality, a family quilt and a recently-acquired collection of rooster accessories.

I took pictures, then I wrote the lens from my heart (that’s the passion part).

In the process, since I was using content that no one else could possibly provide, I created a lens that was unique. As I shared each item, I imagined myself enjoying the story, looking at the pictures and saying, “Wow, I love that! Where can I get one?” I answered that question for each item with information that hopefully will be useful to lots of visitors who come to the lens looking for cute rooster accessories. Since the lens is new, I know that the information is up-to-date. I’ll have to keep an eye on the lens and replace links and information as the current ones become old and outdated.

Rather than using the introduction to present a long (boring) narrative then following that with a list of sales links, I related my story from the first sentence of the lens to the last, interspersing photos (lots of personal photos) and a few Amazon modules (and an eBay module) throughout. That style makes the lens easy to read and much more interesting. I was careful to include a poll as well as a guestbook to allow interaction with my readers who, by the way, are the most important part of any lens. Writing to keep readers engaged throughout the whole page is always my goal. I do that just by being me, sharing enough about myself but not so much that I scare the audience away.

So, is my lens the perfect product recommendation lens?

It meets the new standards that Squidoo has been stressing these last few months. It’s personal and well-balanced with unique and useful content. No cookie cutters, no shopping carts. I think it qualifies, what do you think?

But enough about my lens. What about yours.

What should you do if you don’t have a kitchen full of roosters waiting to be written about? Choose your passion. Write about it in your unique way. Don’t overload the lens with links. (Do you realize that people would rather have a few great choices than a whole page of mediocre ones? ) Don’t try to “sell, sell, sell” stuff. Instead, share what you love and give people an opportunity to be a part of what you have. Connect with your readers; don’t overwhelm them.

Strive for excellence. If you’ve been having trouble up ’til now with product lenses, try this new style and see what happens (trust us, it’s a lot of fun).  Then come back here and share your perfect product recommendation lens.

Photo source

Editor for the Day: Photahsiamirabel

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 03:54 PM PDT

photoaToday’s Editor for the Day, Photahsiamirabel, presents her favorite lenses about “Creepy Crawlies”.

I wanted to produce a challenging selection in a niche that would inspire people to think beyond the commonplace. I am a firm believer that every creature has its own niche in nature and that even though we may feel a little squeamish about bugs, snakes and creepy crawlies they all serve a useful purpose. My selection reflects a few lenses of the many that are written out of a real passion for and interest in animals and particularly bugs.

I do wonder sometimes at what point in life we lose the ability to wonder, to be held in awe of a simple creature? Do we learn fear, or is it instinctive? How come very young children often appreciate the beauty in a spiders web or the fascination of a worm burrowing when most adults have lost it? Those adults who retain a spark of interest in bugs and creepy crawlies often go on to become our poets, painters and scientists because their curiosity remains.

Have you ever held a snake? I have, and the feeling of snake skin and the living animal moving beneath it is quite beautiful. Without snakes, farms would be overrun with rodents too. Snakes are Nature’s pest controllers. Holding a spider was harder for me, but I am fascinated by them, would never harm them and often find inspiration in their webs – some of which are gorgeous, and others really functional and messy. Spiders are so useful in controlling flying insects that polute food or sting people. I could not bring myself to hold a scorpion as I was frightened of being stung, but the idea of edible scorpions in lollipops totally surprised me and I could see it delighting little boys!

Orchid bees and butterflies delight us all with their rich colours, cockroaches are the ultimate survivors – love them or hate them, they will outlive us by many millenia. The metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly is a true miracle that children love to celebrate. It is hard NOT to like ladybugs, but what sort of habitat could children build to encourage these useful and pretty beetles?

When you look through these lenses, be prepared for the weird, the wonderful, the gross and the truly beautiful in insects and reptiles. I challenge you to look with the open innocent eyes of a child and appreciate some truly great lenses by people who love bugs! ~ Photahsiamirabel

Beautiful Spider Webs - Photos

1. Beautiful Spider Webs – Photos

Webs allow a spider to catch prey without having to expend energy by running it down. Thus it is an efficient method of gathering food. However, constructing the web is in itself an energetically costly process due to the large amount of protein required,…

Flying Jewels Of The Rainforest

2. Flying Jewels Of The Rainforest

Orchid Bees are incredible colorful creatures, shimmering jewels flying through the rainforests of Central and South America. The different species of Orchid Bees show many bright metallic colors – deep blue, bottle green or gold – as you will see in the s…

Raising Painted Lady Butterflies

3. Raising Painted Lady Butterflies

My son and I raised two Painted Lady Butterflies from caterpillars, to chrysalises, to beautiful orange, brown, black, and white Painted Lady Butterflies! In the process, we learned a great deal about butterflies! Did you know that butterflies need the sun…

cockroaches facts and myths

4. cockroaches facts and myths

Cockroaches are considered pests by some, and appetizers by others! Although many people do not like the sight of roaches in their homes, they are still fascinated by the little (and sometimes not so little) creatures. It has been said that cockroaches hav…

Huntsman Spider - Heteropoda Maxima - Giant Spider

5. Huntsman Spider – Heteropoda Maxima – Giant Spider

If you aren’t a fan of big spiders (or any spiders), I suggest you turn back, but if you want to learn about a really cool spider, that’s mostly harmless and can be found throughout most of the world, read on. Presenting: The Huntsman Spider. A scary looki…

How Does a Caterpillar Turn Into a Butterfly?

6. How Does a Caterpillar Turn Into a Butterfly?

The transformation of caterpillar to butterfly is absolutely fascinating and it is easy to bring this spectacular event into your home to watch each step and share it with family and friends. My children and I have been raising butterflies indoors for seve…

Butterfly Coloring Pages

7. Butterfly Coloring Pages

Butterfly coloring pages are favorites of children and adults who love nature. I adore butterflies; I photograph moths and butterflies that visit the flowers in my garden. I like to draw and paint pictures of butterflies, and I draw free butterfly coloring…

Backyard Fun: How to Build a Ladybug Habitat

8. Backyard Fun: How to Build a Ladybug Habitat

Creating a ladybug habitat is educational as well as fun and a great outdoor activity. Why these garden bugs? Ladybugs are real, they are fanciful, they are story characters. Ladybugs fascinated us when we were children and learned our numbers by counting…

Creepy Crawly Insect Infested Lollipops

9. Creepy Crawly Insect Infested Lollipops

If you’re after a serious creepy lollipop for your fear factor party, then you’ve come to the right place. Scorpions, worms and ants aren’t your usual ingredients for lollipops, but they are fantastic at Halloween. They’re also a lot of fun to serve up at…

Snakes of Louisiana

10. Snakes of Louisiana

Snakes are probably one of the most controversial of all the reptiles. You either love them or hate them. Snakes are a very important link in the food chain and without them our earth would be overrun with vermin and harmful insects. Here in Louisiana ther…

Thank you for collecting and sharing this unique group of lenses Photahsiamirabel.

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