Squidoo is live
Seth Godin's latest project, Squidoo, has launched a public beta.
Squidoo's tagline is "everyone's an expert on something". It's got an about.com vibe to it, with people creating guides (or "lenses") about different topics.
I played with Squidoo a bunch, and aside from one hiccup where the page went into an endless loop trying to reload, it seems stable.
The process to create a lens is relatively straightforward. You first define the structure of the page, add content modules, modules of URLs, photo modules from Flickr, etc. It's got some really nice Ajaxy drag-and-drop action to lay out the modules on the Lens page. After you define and lay out the content of the page, you get to add content. Save and publish, and your lens is live (see my ultimate frisbee lens here).
The Squidoo team has taken advantage of Ajax to make the customer experience very nice, not only when laying out the Lens page, but also throughout the rest of the site.
I'm wondering whether the idea will take off, but given the positive response and great content written by FOXSports bloggers, I suspect it will. I don't agree with Barry Diller when he said "there's not that much talent in the world". I believe there is a ton of talent and knowledge out there, and Squidoo is an interesting attempt to tap into it.
One other thing, too: in the aftermath of Anil's and Caterina's conversation on paying people for generating content, it's interesting to note that both Squidoo and Newsvine pay people for revenue that their content generates. It was Rich Skrenta from Topix.net who had this great line at Web 2.0: "The best way to build a successful business is to help other people make money." I'd lay down dollars to donuts that this will be a requirement in building a successful web-app as customer-focused companies embrace the genius of "win-win" when building new products that leverage peer production.