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November 17, 2006

Everyone's an Expert (about something)

Acclaimed writer and leading Internet entrepreneur Seth Godin has launched Squidoo which he describes as:

"An Experiment: A big experiment. It's an exercise in amplifying the voices of people with something to say, at the same time that we build a community, a site that's free to use, a co-op that pays royalties to it's members, and a way to raise millions of dollars for charity - from New Orleans to Tanzania."

Squidoo enables users to create an online page called a 'lens' (think photo lens) that is created and maintained by an individual and provides a central focus for a subject that's close to the authors heart. A key premise of the concept is that as an expert in your chosen area, you can help other web users who might be looking for information on your subject. Ideally, your lens will assist others to quickly grasp the fundamentals of their search and enable them to move forward safe in the knowledge that they have researched their subject comprehensively. As a neat twist on the typical user generated content model, Squidoo also displays Google Ads on the lens and credits the author with royalties in the form of Pay-Per-Click revenue.

Squidoo draws parallels with 'word of mouth' recommendations, that typically influence our decisions in the 'real-world' and are usually based on a trustworthy source. Whether that level of trust can be achieved online is open to debate, however, given that the service is free I expect I'll set up a site or two and will report back on how things progress.

To read more about Squidoo download Seth's ebook: Everyone's an Expert (about something)


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