What’s a Squidoo?

Damned if I know — but I’ve got one. Or rather, I’ve got a Squidoo "lens." Yeah, it sounds goofy to me, too, but what do I know? I thought "Google" was a pretty odd name for a search engine the first time I heard of it, and we all know the punchline of that anecdote!

Last October Kevin Newcomb of ClickZ News described Squidoo.com, the brainchild of "author and online marketing guru" Seth Godin, as a cross between "About.com, Wikipedia, blogs and social networks."

Join thousands of people making their own "lenses" on their favorite stuff and ideas, sez the site’s home page. It’s fast, fun and free. (And you could even get paid).

Well, I’m still waiting for the part where I get paid; I think it has something to do with somebody’s expected advertising revenue but I’ll leave the marketing fun to Guru Scott. It’s not all about money, though. Squidoo’s ambitions are loftier than that: we Squidoo lensmasters are invited to donate part or all of our earnings to our favorite charities with management’s assistance. Me, I think I’ll wait until the bucks start rolling in before launching my philanthropy career, but that hasn’t stopped me from making my presence felt in Squidoo Country.

And I seem to be doing pretty well so far: I see that four people have already accessed my lens and they’ve collectively given it a five-star rating. That’s one-and-a-quarter stars per person! I feel positively jet-propelled!

Actually, the stated purpose of Squidoo is to foster knowledge by allowing participants to share whatever they know about the assorted topics that engage their intellects or push their fannish buttons. That’s the Wikipedia part.

But I’ve got this blog to wax wise in, so I’ve devoted my own Squidoo space to sheer mercantilism. Go there for one-stop shopping at the Howard Cruse store, folks: I’ve listed every branch of my life that’s potentially income-producing along with links to the three branches of my main site and a couple of interviews with me that are still lingering online.

I first learned about Squidoo because I maintain Cruse Goodies, a CafePress online shop from which I peddle cool merchandise decorated with my cool cartoon drawings. CafePress seems to have formed a marketing alliance with Godin’s brainchild and is encouraging us shopkeepers to use Squidoo to promote our wares.

Now, I often ask myself why I bother giving a damn whether anybody buys my print-on-demand mugs, mousepads, clocks or t-shirts. There’s probably no other branch of my professional life where I make less profit when somebody coughs up bucks for my art.

I can’t defend my shopkeeping inpulses rationally. I just enjoy the thought of people contemplating my drawings while sipping java in the morning or while feeding baby food to a beloved drooling tot who’s wearing a Howard Cruse bib. Eddie’s sister has a clock on her wall in Florida that sports my "Manic Howie" drawing on its face. Seeing that silly clock brightened my day while we were visiting Eddie’s folks last weekend.

It’s fun to spread my pictures around. That’s what it boils down to. And if I make an occasional penny in the process, it’s frosting on the cake.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
This entry was posted in Life & Art. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to What’s a Squidoo?

  1. feeding babies may be a bit tiring but i enjoy this job specially when the baby smiles back at you .;,

  2. i love to feed babies specially when they burp and smile after feeding them ,,