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SquidOffers: First Look Review

SquidOffers is the new advertising system over at Squidoo; . Here is the scoop from The Mighty Godin (long may he reign):

So we invented SquidOffers, which I hope will work for us, and which I fully expect will show up in other places soon. The idea is to combine the voting mechanism of Reddit or Digg or Plexo with the text ad mindset of a Google ad. But instead of an ad, it’s an offer.Make an offer. Pick a category. Pay a small fee ($100 a month). Then, our users vote on the offers. Get a lot of votes and you rank more highly, which means more clicks. And you don’t pay for the clicks.

Now there’s an incentive to write better and better offers (but they need to be genuine or we boot you). Offer a free sample or a free issue or a consult or an ebook. Be generous. Get permission to follow up.

It was intriguing enough that I set up an offer as soon as I read about it. The offer went live Monday. See it here. What do I think?

  • It was easy enough to create and pay for my offer (paypal).
  • Choosing a category is hard, and I made a mistake with the category my offer is displayed in but there is no mechanism to change it
  • Initially our paid-for offers were competing against entrenched place-holders, they have been zeroed now
  • Offers are not particularly visible, only the top 5 display at all, and the best screen real estate is given over to adsense. The bottom offer will be below the fold on many monitors.
  • There is not much voting action. I am lucky my offer is (was?) among the most popular but I had to ask for votes on Darrens blog comments to get them.
  • I can’t see any incentive for people to vote up offers. It might be an idea for a vote-down button for people to junk spam, of course this would create its own problems.
  • You should be able to see who voted. Right now it is way open to abuse.
  • The advertiser screen is hard to find and pretty much useless. It only shows your offer, run dates and a delete link. Where are the visitor, page view and click-through stats?

Overall it is an interesting experiment and early days. I have paid for a month so will do a follow up post about squidoffers after the month trial is over.

Update: More about my Squidoo Squidoffers

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Comments

  1. Now that is an idea so strange that if someone had told it to me a couple of years ago I would have laughed and yet now I can imagine it could work. The web has taken some really interesting turns lately…

  2. Now that is an idea so strange that if someone had told it to me a couple of years ago I would have laughed and yet now I can imagine it could work. The web has taken some really interesting turns lately…

  3. It is very strange and could work, but jury is still out right now. Nobody seems to be voting (other than begged for votes) and I am having very few click throughs (although that could be because of my crappy rushed ad!)

  4. It is very strange and could work, but jury is still out right now. Nobody seems to be voting (other than begged for votes) and I am having very few click throughs (although that could be because of my crappy rushed ad!)

  5. Thanks for experimenting. This is good to read. I’m in the beginning stages of Squidoo (haven’t started a lens), but I like the idea of Squidoffers. I look forward to seeing how you progress!

  6. Thanks for experimenting. This is good to read. I’m in the beginning stages of Squidoo (haven’t started a lens), but I like the idea of Squidoffers. I look forward to seeing how you progress!

  7. That is definitely an interesting approach to advertising, but the question is, will it be worth it from an advertiser’s point of view? As far as I can tell, it’s basically just like Digg, except for the fact that you have to pay in order to submit an entry.

    What are the direct benefits as opposed to trying to get an article promoted at Digg and Reddit, and who’s to say there won’t be “Squidoo Mafia”? I think the first article that promotes the idea of this will surely start to scare away potential advertises.

    Democracy is great, but when it comes to my own money I’m not sure if it is the best solution. Just look at how much of my earnings I’m already losing thanks to our democratically elected government is already confiscating through taxes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. That is definitely an interesting approach to advertising, but the question is, will it be worth it from an advertiser’s point of view? As far as I can tell, it’s basically just like Digg, except for the fact that you have to pay in order to submit an entry.

    What are the direct benefits as opposed to trying to get an article promoted at Digg and Reddit, and who’s to say there won’t be “Squidoo Mafia”? I think the first article that promotes the idea of this will surely start to scare away potential advertises.

    Democracy is great, but when it comes to my own money I’m not sure if it is the best solution. Just look at how much of my earnings I’m already losing thanks to our democratically elected government is already confiscating through taxes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Good points. For now I think it is too open for abuse and the ads are not visible enough for my liking, but I am ready to be convinced otherwise ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Good points. For now I think it is too open for abuse and the ads are not visible enough for my liking, but I am ready to be convinced otherwise ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I guess this is a good time to revisit my Squidoo account and actually do something with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I am curious as to how this new offer would turn out…

  12. I guess this is a good time to revisit my Squidoo account and actually do something with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I am curious as to how this new offer would turn out…

  13. Got my vote…

  14. Got my vote…

  15. @jhay – I have had a squidoo account for a while and not done anything with it, to be honest I am not entirely sure where a lens would fit in with my plans

    @Mac – Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. @jhay – I have had a squidoo account for a while and not done anything with it, to be honest I am not entirely sure where a lens would fit in with my plans

    @Mac – Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. How many visitors have been sent over and what’s the conversion?

  18. How many visitors have been sent over and what’s the conversion?

  19. About 10 a day and conversion has been negligable

  20. About 10 a day and conversion has been negligable