Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Review of the Day: My Green Days

Posted: 25 Mar 2014 07:38 AM PDT

Connecting with People who Are Prominent in Your Niche: Tips from lensmaster Brite-Ideas

Posted: 25 Mar 2014 07:17 AM PDT

briteideasAs our “Country Music” contributor, lensmaster Brite-Ideas is having huge success making contact with some very important people in the country music business by way of social media.   I asked her if she’d share a few of her secrets and she graciously obliged.

Read on to learn how you might be able to build a powerful social media plan of your own.

My own personal motto is, ‘With so many people struggling to be heard online, it’s those who stop and listen who are heard the most’.
Of course, it was Seth Godin, Co-founder of Squidoo, who introduced us to the concept of ‘Go-Giving’. For those who aren’t familiar, it means to acknowledge others; give them your time, read their work, share their work and if you’re so inclined, comment on their work.

Certainly here at Squidoo, our detailed and personal reviews allow us to write about movies, music, authors and more, day in and day out. But that’s not enough.

12 Practical Steps I Keep in Mind When Building Socially
1. Try to Find the Social Platforms that Work best for Your Niche and master each of them one at a time. For me it’s Twitter at the moment – Artists, writers and entertainers tend to be active on Twitter.

2. I always tag the artist using an @andtheirname

3. I connect my Facebook Fan Page to my Twitter Page – It forces me to take the time to check for the proper tags on both Facebook and Twitter ensuring I use the correct ones, and the practical ones. It also forces me to keep my facebook fan posts short (140 characters or less). If you haven’t learned about the power of tagging, I suggest spending some time to better understand it. By the way, don’t worry if you’ve connected your accounts and other people happen to post on your Fan page, those posts won’t go to Twitter.

4. When starting in my niche, I had to choose whether to use my existing twitter account or start a new one. I wasn’t very active on Twitter at all prior to this…so I decided that I could make my current twitter name @poemslyrics work.

5. In order to better ‘brand myself’, I created a Country Music Background that I use on several platforms; My Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, and I now use it as the background on my own personal music reviews. Give this background a great deal of thought, it should say exactly what you’re about just by looking at it. Also, be careful not to put too many words on it, because Facebook backgrounds are not suppose to be ‘blatant advertising’ (or so I read in their TOS).  You can see her brand background in action HERE.

6. On Twitter, I changed my name in my settings from Barbara to Country Music Reviews, that way, every time I post on Twitter, my post shows up as ‘Country Music Reviews’. However, I’m a big believer in keeping a personal connection to everything I do, so I rewrote the header on my Twitter profile to include my full name, my Squidoo Contributorship, and two links – one to my Squidoo Contributor Bio page, and one to my Facebook Fan Page.

7. Have compassion for the Artist in particular: They’re trying desperately to be heard in a very noisy world. Honestly acknowledging their work in social media by tagging, complimenting and ‘hearing them’, is the ultimate gift. I spend time reading other posts on Twitter and Facebook, as well as listening to their music; I share it, comment on it, favorite it, and follow when appropriate. All of it comes from a real place – It has nothing to do with trying to get massive follows.

8. When it comes to Social Media I live by another motto, ‘do everything and expect nothing’. When I tag, share, and comment on an artist’s work, I expect nothing in return. If I’ve written a review about an artist or song and share it with them, I also expect nothing from them. If they choose to acknowledge it, it’s a bonus, and a gift; of course I’m thrilled (even shocked), but it’s not the driving force for why I do what I do. My social connections on Twitter are building more naturally with this approach.

9. When prominent people and other famous artists follow you on Twitter, your name shows up as someone they follow, and other musicians and artists may thus be more inclined to check you out and follow you as well.

10. When Artists follow, take the time to share and acknowledge them more than just once. How do I track this when new artists are following me daily? By creating ‘Private Lists’ in Twitter: As an example, I’ve put all Country Music Artists who’ve followed me into a list called ‘Country Music’ – That way when I go to my list I can see just those artists tweets and am more easily able to sort through them, read them, share them, fave them or comment. As more artists follow, I may further breakdown that list – for now it’s building slow enough that this is working fine.

11. I don’t think of anyone as competition. I’m building out my niche with my own unique approach – If you’re confident about how you’re building, competition is almost irrelevant. There’s room enough for everyone, we’re all individuals with something unique to offer…think hard about what your uniqueness is.

12. Artists, particularly musicians and poets write with the intention of reaching people with their words. Be open to letting the artist know in a review, that they’ve done just that. Perhaps your story will also move them. It’s the ultimate compliment to them; really understand that, and you too will be heard.

To Your Success, Barb

Lens of the Day: My Dog Suffers From Seasonal Allegies

Posted: 25 Mar 2014 05:01 AM PDT

vegival is the “Committed Vegan” Contributor on Squidoo

Posted: 24 Mar 2014 03:17 PM PDT

val2Today we’re pleased to introduce you to vegival. She’s our “Committed Vegan” Contributor on Squidoo.

Tell us a little bit about your niche topic.

Vegan are folks who avoid the use of animal products in their food, clothing, and personal care products. The goal is to eliminate the exploitation of animals. But while doing that, we are also improving our own health, as well helping to preserve the earth’s natural resources.

Tell us about the moment you fell in love with your topic. Was it an immediate thing or did it happen over time?
I first became vegan in June of 1992. For nearly a year prior to that, I had been questioning the ethics and necessity of eating meat. Once I wrapped my head around the issues and figured out what kinds of foods to eat, that was it! I have not eaten meat since, though there have been periods of my life that I chose to be vegetarian rather than vegan for specific reasons. I have been 100% vegan since 1999.

You can also find vegival at the following places online:
Vegan Journey
Vegan Journey on Facebook
Vegan Journey on Pinterest

vegival invites you to stop by and share a review at her Review Vegan Lifestyle Books and Cookbooks lens.

Family Heritage and Culture Lenses from our Giant Squids

Posted: 24 Mar 2014 09:51 AM PDT

Last week we asked our Giant Squid Storytellers to create a new lens that shares a story about something relating to their family heritage and/or culture. Here’s 11 of the lenses we received.  Enjoy!

The Secret of Amohamed's Church Murals

1. The Secret of Amohamed’s Church Murals

Charleston, South Carolina is a beautiful city. If you come in the spring, you’ll find warm, balmy weather. The sun drapes over and warms the tents and stands in the downtown markets. Time spent outdoors is balmy, bright and cheerful. This backdrop of…

Whale Watching on the Bay of Fundy

2. Whale Watching on the Bay of Fundy

Minke whales, Finbacks, Humpbacks and even the rare endangered Right Whales come to the Bay of Fundy by the hundreds every summer. Those of us who are lucky enough to call this place home have the pleasure of seeing the whales time and again, but it’s…

My Mother's Annual Visits to Japan

3. My Mother’s Annual Visits to Japan

I left home at the age of 15 and although I’ve had a rough childhood that I wouldn’t want to relive, my adult years were mostly filled with happy memories. Once the drama of personal issues out of the way, our family has learned to love each othe…

A Yorkshire & Norfolk Heritage

4. A Yorkshire & Norfolk Heritage

I’m British and a proud Yorkshirewoman. But I have to confess to a guilty secret. I am not one hundred percent Yorkshire. I have foreign blood. ‘Foreign’, to a Yorkshire person means anywhere outside our great county so here I have to confes…

Family Get Together with Coffee Makers

5. Family Get Together with Coffee Makers

I can’t think of any family event where there was not coffee and people making coffee. Sometimes there would be a full holiday dinner, sometimes there would be tea or coffee. But, always there was coffee. The Early Days with the Drip Coffee Maker I re…

Family Culture

6. Family Culture

My family heritage is pretty much British Isles all the way. I am planning to have an ancestry. com DNA test done to see what else might be flowing through my veins. My mother’s paternal line is straight from Yorkshire and as far as I can see they liv…

My Favourite Manchester Sunday Lunch was Lovely Lancashire Hotpot

7. My Favourite Manchester Sunday Lunch was Lovely Lancashire Hotpot

I was born in Salford, a suburb of Manchester, in 1950, and rationing was still a fresh memory for my parents, so they tended to make the best meals they could from the cheapest ingredients. This was a trait for which Lancashire people were famous, and pro…

Irish DNA

8. Irish DNA

Family history is fluid and changes with each piece of evidence found. My family tree is no different. We knew we had some Irish but suspected English as well. Turns out, Ancestry DNA changed that and moved my family search into another direction. We are n…

The Brethren Prayer Covering

9. The Brethren Prayer Covering

In 1708, in the town of Schwarzenau, Germany, eight Christians who had been gathering regularly for prayer, worship, and the corporate study of Scripture, went to the banks of the Eder River and were immersed in the waters of baptism. Under the leadership…

heritage10.  A Endless Heritage        When heritage is discussed it usually identifies traits, concepts, or items from the past, not as a continually growing entity. When I joined the women’s lib movement however, heritage…

Prayers work

11. Prayers work

It is the time of the year when I give thanks to Father in Heaven for answering my prayers. Yes, prayers work. I have seen it many times and especially in my life in 2009. I wrote a story about how I survived an elective surgery mishap here . When I was in…

Image Source: Whale Watching on the Bay of Fundy by lensmaster flycatcher

Because of Squidoo, We Have Been Changed For Good

Posted: 24 Mar 2014 08:03 AM PDT

3161666413_064b32e92f_oI love Wicked, the musical and especially the song For Good. My favorite lyric from the song says, Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

I was inspired by those words to ask our Giants to share a reason or two about how Squidoo might have changed them for good and here’s what they had to say:

The various quests on Squidoo have provided me with the incentive to write about topics that I never would’ve considered; plus, their point and trophy reward system makes writing fun. In addition, the opportunity to participate as the “Disco Queen 70′s Contributor” has given me a reason to continue “Dancing Through Life” (I also love Wicked). ~DebW07

Squidoo has brought me out from under the bushel where I was hiding and given me the confidence to write and grow. Even more it’s given me the gift of sharing, something I never expected. ~Merrci

Squidoo is my life, I love every minute I spend writing commenting, making new friends all around the world. We have such a wonderful group of writers, I personally feel they are all part of my family, I have got to know them so well..
I would be lost without Squidoo, it keeps me young and my mind active in old age. ~Kiwinana71

Squidoo and the support of this fabulous community gave me renewed hope that I can do anything I put my mind to, even as a budding Senior Citizen. After a difficult layoff and job search during the height of the most recent recession, I was determined to exploit my entrepreneurial spirit…. Squidoo has allowed me to do that; I’m truly grateful. ~fullofshoes

Squidoo has helped me define myself in a way that is true to who I am. Although we are many things in this life, honing our true inner passion can sometimes be challenging, especially when life gets in the way..we’re so busy doing, we forget to ‘be who we are meant to be’ – Squidoo has helped me not only stay on track, but find that track again..the one that’s been in my heart all along. I wrote this well over 15 years ago, and Squidoo has helped me to remember my own words: “The voyage traveled is my narrative, remembering who I am imperative, it is my contribution to this place I signature in stone, it is not the battles failed, it is the journey flown’ – Thank you Squidoo ~Brite-Ideas

I have been blessed with many talents and interests by God but I was getting really tired of people trying to 'pigeon hole' me. Either this OR that; not both or all of them. Squidoo has been a liberating experience for me! I am able to express myself about ALL (yes, each and every single one of my interests) without having to 'cut out' parts of me. I am also a continuous learner, so I am also able to explore other interests through the 'expert eyes' of my fellow lensmasters who share so passionately about what they love and have learned. I am a whole person here! So, yes, I have been changed for good! ~FreshStart7

Squidoo has given me a “home” for my online presence in crochet design and dog rescue. I no longer maintain separate websites for each, because there is simply no need. My whole life is on Squidoo!

I keep a mindset I call “Squidooing.” As I go about my life, I make it a point to think, “Would this activity/thing/place/whatever make a good lens?” My phone camera journals everything I do, and it later turns into Squidoo lenses!

My 330+ active lenses on Squidoo are finally starting to produce some actual income for my dog rescue! It’s small, granted… but it’s steadily growing and will always be there. Every lens I write is a seed planted for the future. All I have to do is care for it, keep it updated and fresh, promote it, and it will keep attracting readers. ~SheilaSchnauzies

Squidoo has given me the courage to pursue the life I’ve always dreamed of and I will forever be grateful for that. ~Smine27

Feel free to add your own thoughts about how Squidoo has changed you for good in the comments here.

Image Source

Review of the Day: The Movie with the Best One Liners Ever

Posted: 24 Mar 2014 05:45 AM PDT

Lens of the Day: The Archbishop Romero El Salvador Tour

Posted: 24 Mar 2014 05:33 AM PDT

Welcome to the Movie Club!

Posted: 23 Mar 2014 07:34 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.57.37 AMMovies move, inspire, educate, make us laugh, cry and cheer. Films are woven into our lives via the big screen, DVD and most recently streaming.

Movies are such an important part of modern culture and the the topic of many great conversation. Think about it, when you see a movie you often times share your review with a friend. That’s what the Squidoo Movie Club is all about. Sharing!

So your mission for your first Movie Club Quest is to share a movie that made you laugh. Here is the link to create a Movie Review lens:

A few tips…

1) It’s all about you. Share why YOU love the movie not just a summary of the film.

2) Get personal. Did you see the movie in Paris? Did you go with your best friend? Did you get an extra large popcorn? How did these things add to your experience?

3) Share your review on social media. This is really important. We’re pretty sure your friends are interested in why you loved “Frozen”. They value your opinion and will share with their friends. A good movie review is shareable (and priceless).

Not a member of the Movie Club yet? Just e-mail me at bonnie@squidoo.com and I’ll get this quest up on your Quest Tab.

Later this week we’ll be sharing your review on SquidooHQ and our own social media sites. Can’t wait to see what makes you laugh this week.

Review of the Day: Astronauts: Awesome, but Not Perfect

Posted: 23 Mar 2014 06:55 AM PDT

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