|Headquarters||Hastings on Hudson, NY, USA|
|Key people||Seth Godin, Founder;
Megan Casey, Cofounding member, Editor in Chief;
Gil Hildebrand, Jr., Cofounding member, Chief Engineer;
Corey Brown, Cofounding member, COO
Squidoo was a community website platform that allowed users to create pages, called "lenses," which could then be used to sell products for profit or charitable donation. The site reportedly consisted of 1.5 million "hand-built lenses" as of October 2010[update]. On August 15, 2014, Seth Godin announced that HubPages had acquired Squidoo.
Development on Squidoo started in 2005, with the launch of a beta testing period in October of that year. The launch team consisted of Godin, his book editor Megan Casey, former Fast Company employee Heath Row, Corey Brown, and Gil Hildebrand, Jr. The first version of the website (1.0 version) was developed by Viget Labs. Following the end of the website's beta testing stage two months later, Squidoo subsequently reached 100,000 lenses within the first six months.
On August 15, 2014, Godin announced that Squidoo was acquired by HubPages, and stated that the aim is to relocate some of Squidoo's content to its new home at HubPages by October 1, 2014. In the announcement on the Squidoo site, Godin explained:
They’re [HubPages] the industry leader, continually pushing the envelope in terms of their content, its presentation and the traffic and traction they get online. The best way we know to serve our users is to give them an even better place for their content, and when I talked with Paul Edmondson at HubPages, it became clear to both of us that combining these platforms leads to a stronger, more efficient, more generous way to share great stuff online.
Squidoo was a user-generated website that used the lens concept as its primary feature. In his ebook Everyone's an Expert, Godin describes a lens as "[focusing] light and [showing] us what we need to see." The site also allowed content creators to earn revenue from referral links to websites like Amazon.com and Ebay. Squidoo was notable in that it allowed users to create multimedia pages without an understanding of HTML.
The users who created lenses were called "lensmasters". A lensmaster could be anyone with an interest in a specific subject—they did not need to be externally recognized experts. In Squidoo's early stages, Godin noted that Martha Stewart and Jane Goodall's lenses did not receive large amounts of traffic, whereas lenses on MySpace and the online game Line Rider were among the site's most successful. Squidoo contained lenses on 35 different topics, including "Food & Cooking," "Green Living," "About Me," and "Business." "SquidMonsters," "SquidTrophies," and an experience points system were additional features that were later introduced.
Godin explained in January 2006 that the company intended to start a profit-sharing system for participants based on advertising and affiliate links, whereby lensmasters would receive a commission if their lens included links to buy products.
After its debut, Squidoo was profiled in CNN, The New York Times, MSNBC, and The Washington Post. The site was given top prize in SXSW's community/wiki category in 2007. Squidoo challenged established information websites like About.com and eHow for traffic, while it remained similar in unique visitor numbers to newer models like Mahalo.com and HubPages.
- The next free ebook (Squidoo!) Seth Godin's blog. October 7, 2005.
- "Seth's Blog: How to Succeed in Business (to Business)". sethgodin.typepad.com. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- Interview of Seth Godin on Squidoo Stone Temple Consulting. June 20, 2007.
- Squidoo.com Washington Post. January 8, 2006.
- A Home Where Bloggers Can Plumb Those Obscure Passions The New York Times. April 10, 2006.
- Tahmincioglu, Eve Beware of social networking overload MSNBC. July 21, 2008.
- Squidoo Honored at 10th SXSW Interactive Web Awards on Vigit Labs. March 14, 2007