Sunday, April 27, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ


How to use Twitter (psst…you need to get more personal).

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 07:38 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 8.36.48 AMThe web is choke full of anonymous feeds and boring drivel that no one reads. I know this because I was guilty of just auto posting my lenses and blog posts on Twitter, and you know what? No one cared. I rarely got retweets or quality people following me or personal interaction and I hated using Twitter.

Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to really study my Twitter account and I realized that it was time to put up or shut up. To start being real (which I am on other platforms) or shut it down. So I embarked on a fun journey and emerged with these tips  in no particular order which I hope help you as much as they did me.

1) Follow people that you like. I happen to love Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict. It’s one of my favorite shows and Nicole is awesome at Twitter. She’s fun and personal and generous with her Tweets so I follow her because I am engaged by her content. Don’t follow people who you don’t enjoy or  who auto post or who haven’t used Twitter since 2010. Simple as that.

2) Don’t follow just to get a follow. This goes hand-in-hand with #1. Only follow people you like, don’t follow them because you think they will follow you back. There are people on Twitter who are serial follows and they will always, always follow you back but they don’t add much value to your Twitter experience.

2) Never, never, never auto tweet. If you’ve got an anonymous feed coming from somewhere and you never check into Twitter you’re not going to engage anyone unless maybe you’re a big business who is sharing information such as deals, they get away with it. Instead hand Tweet blog posts, lenses, pins or other media yourself and change up the text to make it personal and unique.

3) Only RT (retweet) the things you care about. Over retweeting can annoy people. Do this instead. Say you see a new lens by someone you love. Instead of retweeting their post create your own with an @ to the person who wrote the lens. This is much more personal and generous. For example. I found a recipe from BritFlorida that I loved so I composed this Tweet:

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.48.28 AM

4) Don’t @ someone every single time you post. Be selective and share content with people because you think they’ll enjoy reading it. Remember if they follow you they’ll probably see it anyway.

5) Tweet daily. Being a daily active user on Twitter is very beneficial. On the flip side. Don’t over Tweet. Make every Tweet unique, interesting and useful.

6) Paper.li. Paper.li allows you to curate content into an online newsletter. It can work for niche interests. For example, if you’re a knitter and have a lot of Twitter followers who knit you might engage them with curated content. However I see a lot of really, really bad Paper.li newsletters. If you’re just mashing a bunch of unrelated content onto a page you’re not likely to engage anyone. Also make sure you have enough content to publish. There’s nothing worse than asking people to view a near empty newsletter.

7) Use hashtags. I see so many great posts that don’t use any hashtags. This is how people find and share your content. For example, if you create an awesome. DIY lens use the #DIY hashtag. This way people who are interested in DIY can find you.

8) Add a personal touch. Just sharing the title of your lens is not going to cut it. Make sure you say something interesting and use a few hashtags (3 at the most).

9) Be generous. Twitter is most enjoyable when you’re generous. Use the 50/50 rule to share content. 50% of the time use your own content and 50% of the time share content from other people you like. Also favorite posts you love and reply to people.

10) Use photos. Twitter is visual too and people like interesting photos. It’s easy to link your cell phone camera into your Twitter account.

11) Don’t share spammy content. I see a lot of  win $500 or get cash back type of posts. These will completely turn people off and they add no real value to your account.

12) Upgrade – Twitter has a cool new format for your home page. Be sure to upgrade your account and add some nice photos.

Finally, think of Twitter as an extension of yourself. Post real, interesting, hand written posts that you think other people will enjoy reading and have fun. When there’s a real person behind the Tweets people start to care (and share) more. You’ll also gain a reputation for being a quality Tweeter that that matters.

What’s your favorite Twitter tip?

Lens of the Day: Food Flasks for Sea Fishermen

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 05:25 AM PDT

foodflaskAs someone who’s been there, I can vouch for the comfort a warm cup of soup can bring to an extended fishing expedition.

Stop by today’s Lens of the Day to find a “super” product designed for anyone longing to bring a hot meal while fishing, hiking or even just to take to work on a cool day. In addition to the review, the lens also hosts instructions for properly filling the flask to get the utmost warmth and some delicious ideas for food that travels well within it.

Food Flasks for Sea Fishermen by lensmaster gordon_hamilton is just one of many lenses in our must-see Best of Squidoo Reviews category.

Review These Hit Detective Shows

Posted: 26 Apr 2014 02:37 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 5.36.21 PMHere is a selection of shows that feature detectives that have been on-the-air sometime in the last decade. See one that you like or ultimately didn't like, but watched enough episodes to give a fair review?

Lens of the Day: Non-GMO or GMO-Free Food Lists and Information Sources

Posted: 26 Apr 2014 04:52 AM PDT

gmoWhat are Genetically Modified Organisms and how do GMO Foods affect us?

Visit today’s Lens of the Day for the answer and to find information to help you include less of them in your diet.

Non-GMO or GMO-Free Food Lists and Information Sources by lensmaster happynutritionist is just one of the great lenses you’ll find at Best Of Food on Squidoo.

Lenses That Sparkle

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 09:49 AM PDT

Courtesy of our RocketSquids. Enjoy!

Ovente Glass Electric Kettle

1. Ovente Glass Electric Kettle

I’ve had my eye on a Le Creuset whistling kettle for a while, but the water here is so hard, I figured it would be a waste of money. Then my friend gifted me with one of these Ovente electric kettles and I’ve been using it for everything from tea…

How my Girls can Sparkle & Shine - If they want!

2. How my Girls can Sparkle & Shine – If they want!

Being a parent seemed easy until my wife Patchra passed away, then things changed forever! Daddy had to learn to be both, the stern dad and loving mom – say what? All the things I learned did not matter anymore & what was not known had to be picked up…

Easy Sparkling Red Punch

3. Easy Sparkling Red Punch

This is an easy punch recipe that will add sparkle to any large gathering. Mix up a few ingredients, toss it into the fridge, and you’re done! I’ve made this countless times for church events, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. Kids and ad…

The Sparkle Of Jimmy Choo

4. The Sparkle Of Jimmy Choo

Things that Sparkle, well that’s easy! It has to be the beautiful Gold Jimmy Choo Shoe! Talk about shear perfection! Shoes are my thing. I love them. ALL! To me a beautiful pair of high heels can slay any dragon or man! I am the type that will find a…

The Sparkling Art of Shawna Erback

5. The Sparkling Art of Shawna Erback

Shawna Erback is an artist whose work I only discovered about two years ago, but I am so glad I did. She quickly became a favorite and, if I had a little girl, her walls would be plastered with Ms. Erback’s paintings. As it is, I patiently wait for he…

The Stars That Sparkle In The Night Sky

6. The Stars That Sparkle In The Night Sky

The stars that shine and sparkle at night, they make the sky beautiful. Like any other child, I used to look at the stars in the night sky through the window in my room and wondered what they are, how far they are, and if I will ever be able to get hold of…

How To Make Your Own Glitter Vase

7. How To Make Your Own Glitter Vase

This is a great craft and is so very simple to do. I saw this done on a TV home decorating show and couldn’t wait to try it. I will be hosting my oldest daughters baby shower in June this year and thought this crafting project would be great to make a…

Juicy Couture Sparkle Bracelet

8. Juicy Couture Sparkle Bracelet

Add a Touch of Sparkle, Luxury, and Glamour to your Life and Wardrobe Have you ever wore something and realized everywhere you went you received a compliment on it? That was my experience wearing this bracelet. I first wore it immediately after buying it….

Introducing Marlemac

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 07:38 AM PDT

Today, say hello to lensmaster and “proud RocketSquid” (her words) Marlemac.

How did you find Squidoo? I actually found Seth Godin by reading about him somewhere else on the web, I forget now where, and found out that he started a community based platform called Squidoo. Squidoo? What kind of name is THAT? He's awesome, so I came to have a look and needless to say, found a great community and an awesome way to create webpages. I found the Lens Workshop cumbersome to work with then (2009), simply because my internet connection in South Africa was SLOW, but thought it was a pretty cool way to approach things. Kinda like building a puzzle, but making your own puzzle pieces along the way! Totally awesome.

I disappeared from the internet for a whole lot of years then because of not having decent affordable access, but I'm back now and loving the new look and approach, although it was challenging at the beginning, saying things in your own words, especially with the (still) limited time that I have – I run a very physically active business with my husband. But it's refreshing to see the accent on original when it's so easy with social media to copy and spread other's words and images nowadays, and I've now finally found my voice thanks to joining the RocketSquids!

The new Workshop is also SO much better and faster to use, so thank you to the talented team that keep on improving the site! And thanks, Seth, for dreaming this up. You're a genius!

Of the lenses you’ve made so far, which is your favorite and why? I've made a couple so far since I've returned to Squidoo, and have also deleted a whole lot from the past that no longer represented who I wanted to be here and were just re-hashed from one of my blogs (so could run afoul of the original clause) but one of the ones that survived all of that is my Lens on Land Art.

It's a Lens that kind of just happened and that grew out of my search for texture, pattern and art using Mother Nature. I love natural textures and patterns and when I found out there were people who exploited this to make the most astounding pieces of expression on a sometimes HUGE scale, I needed a place to bring it all together, and a Lens was the perfect solution! We truly have some amazing people on this planet and it was a joy to find them and feature them and their art all in one place in a community that I knew would appreciate it. As photos are the only things that remain once nature has obliterated their art, a Lens on their lenses *tongue in cheek* was the perfect way to capture their magnificence by displaying their photos.

What one tip would you give to a new lensmaster starting out? Only ONE? Weeeellll….okay…Join the RocketSquid University! If you REALLY want to find out about Squidoo and what makes it tick, get stimulated to create and get some great feedback on your writing and lensmaking from awesome people, then this is the place to be!

I decided at the end of 2013 that my writing was non-existent and that I really needed to get it going again, so I returned to Squidoo just to see…Well, the Squids sucked me in, the currents took me past the RocketSquid Rock and I decided to hop on and explore. It was the best thing for my creativity AND writing. It challenged me to think out of the box by doing Quests I wouldn't have thought of doing if I didn't have to…and it did exactly what I needed. It kicked my butt into writing, writing, writing. Now I'm on a roll and I am finally starting to get to what I actually want to write about and I'm all fired up and know what and where and how and…see?

Squidoo is an awesome place in the ocean of the web. There are great people leading the community and you'll find most of them on the RocketSquid rock island. And from there you'll find all the streams to the other awesome GiantSquids and their rocks where some more amazing titbits await. Follow the currents and you'll find the most astounding Squidverse Community EVER! And your fellow RocketSquiddies will form your first contact group of Squiddies that you'll swim with and give and get support to and from. Your first Squid Tribe!

And to provide a cave somewhere under your own rock: Create an unpublished lens with all the links to the rocks you've found with valuable information that you want to come back to. The lenses with advice, the pages at SquidooHQ and RocketSquid Answer Deck and Lensmaking Tips, all at your fingertips and organised neatly for your eyes only, or eventually maybe even published for others' benefit too.

I'm looking forward to many more years and lots more lenses and sharing on Squidoo. (Have I used the word Awesome too much already…?)

Learn more and see marlemac’s complete list of lenses on her profile page.

Lens of the Day: On A Pilgrimage with a Canadian Comedian

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 04:56 AM PDT

pilgrimageWould you read (and use) a guidebook that only claims to be 97.7 percent true?

The reviewer of today’s Lens of the Day did, and highly recommends it.

Stop by to read what lensmaster Aibrean82 has to say about the book before you make that decision for yourself.

On A Pilgrimage with a Canadian Comedian is brought to you from our Best Of Travel section. Enjoy!

We’re down: UPDATE – We’re back up!

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 10:59 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 6.58.52 PMSquidoo is currently down but we’re working really fast to get it back up and running.

Thanks for your patience.

In the meantime check out what’s going on at SquidooHQ.

Meet Frank Fontana from HGTV and win his book Dirty Little Secrets of Design

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 05:46 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.14.01 PMFrank Fontana knows design. He’s the host of HGTV’s Design on a Dime and the WGN 720 radio show The Design Dude with Frank Fontana. He can also be seen regularly on network TV sharing his DIY tips.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Frank yesterday about his book Frank Fontana’s Dirty Little Secrets of Design which helps people create high-style design on a budget. He also shared a few projects that he’s working including Project Home and a new book he’s got in the works…we can’t  wait for that one.

You can read the interview here: Frank Fontana’s Dirty Little Secrets of Design and win a copy of the book from Squidoo by sharing your own design projects.

Here’s how. First, get inspired by Frank, he’s got great tips all over the web.

Then create a lens (webpage) about your own “secrets of design”. Do you upcycle? Love pink paint? Have a flair for hanging curtains? Love using a specific tool?

Share your own simple DIY project with Squidoo. You can use any lens format including the how-toproduct review or traditional format. Be creative and have fun.

e-mail your finished lens to me at bonnie@squidoo.com with DIY in the subject line and we’ll pick one lucky person to win Frank’s book. We’ll also share all of the DIY lenses right here on SquidooHQ. Deadline for lenses is Friday May 2nd.

Good luck!

Lens of the Day: Selecting a Hummingbird Feeder

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 05:17 AM PDT

hummersDo hummingbirds really care about the type of feeder they drink from? Who knows?

So, when it comes to purchasing a feeder to invite these tiny delights into our yards, it’s probably best to choose one that’s easy to care for and practical for our own daily use.

Visit today’s Lens of the Day to learn all of the ins and outs of choosing the perfect hummingbird feeder for your needs… and theirs.

Selecting a Hummingbird Feeder by lisadh is just one of the many terrific “Best Of” lenses found on Pets on Squidoo.

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