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Day of Fools: Seth Godin Megan Casey Forcing Massive Site Wide Amazon TOS Violations on Thousands

How badly can anyone screw up free?

Seth Godin and Megan Casey are running a Squidoo show with 1.5 million pages, and untold thousands of writers, who have given all that time and talent to them for FREE.

They take ALL THAT FREE TIME, and all that FREELY GIVEN TALENT, and make mountains of money from taking, no, not the half they promised from the start, but nearly ALL of the earnings from all the hard work, the blogs, backlinks and the sales made by those ‘lensmasters.’ This has created a situation where the lensmasters are dependent on Amazon affiliation to earn money from those pages. It is indispensible to almost all of them.

The gaming that goes on BEHIND THE SCENES, known by experienced lensmasters and warned about repeatedly but IGNORED, siphons off another huge portion of traffic and sales.

The gaming got into the faces of users when they introduced the gaming of monsters on the site, encouraging MORE FREE CONTENT with worthless points and the sticks and carrots of ‘modules’ and ‘themes’ and the always dangling promise of some income from that work.

The abuse of the ‘squid angels’ program is legendary and ongoing.

Yahoo pipes at minimum provides certain people with privileged access.

Squidutils claims they take 10% but there is no proof, aside from the absolute dearth of traffic and sales, that that’s ALL they take. No proof provided, none forthcoming.

The forum is and has been a disgrace. Very few even dare to enter it.

Nobody has any proof of any kind that the charitable funds donated by the lensmasters to charity are actually GIVEN to the charities, and no documentation provided that could be used by those lensmasters for proper tax deductions.

But the worst of it all RIGHT NOW is the unbelievable arrogance of new TOS that forces, SITE WIDE, massive violations of AMAZON’S TOS. Is it arrogant? You bet! A lensmaster with almost 200 lovely and original pages, given FREE to these people to suck all the income from them they can, found one of her pages, containing manufacturer’s specifications LOCKED and unavailable to her, but not only that, visitors received the implication that SHE is the wrong doer, plagiarizing content, and potentially ruining her good reputation.

They don’t even care enough about their ‘Feeders’ to answer questions about what the problem with the page is in the first place, or respond to requests to remove flags and restore pages that are improperly punished in this manner.

Unbelievably, for two such ‘internet savvy’ people, and with absolutely NO PROOF that there is even a sizeable or an actionable problem among the writers onsite, they have decided to flag or seize (lock) pages that they arrogantly claim have duplicate content, STEALING people’s LEGITIMATE WORK, and doing it because they FOLLOW AMAZON’S TOS.

Lensmasters depend on the income they receive from their affiliation with Amazon. While Squidoo may want to risk the entire site being cancelled by Amazon, we fear that Squidoo will take the rest of us down with them.

Manufacturer’s specifications are NOT ‘duplicate content’ that is penalized by Google. Indeed, Google itself follows TOS with manufacturers in properly presenting products according to manufacturer’s requirements, and if they did not, they wouldn’t have the advertising that has made them filthy rich.’ Neither is promotional materials created for the purpose of marketing products, and neither is appropriately used copyrighted material according to the Fair Use Clause. Almost EVERYTHING a person writes has probably been used somewhere on the internet or in books and magazines. Duplication is impossible to totally avoid. Public domain is exactly that: public domain.

How can Seth Godin and Megan Casey, both self-proclaimed media and business experts, be so ignorant of ‘Fair Use’ clause, and so averse to providing EVIDENCE to support their reckless and damaging actions on those who have given them their media empire FREELY.

Time for those pages to be UNFLAGGED IMMEDIATELY, UNLOCKED IMMEDIATELY, and a REVIEW OF AMAZON TOS made by headquarters IMMEDIATELY, before Amazon crushes the entire site like a bug. I suggest a review of the ‘fair use clause’ of copyright law by those who have the power to game lenses and the site owners themselves.

Headquarters wants 1.5 MILLION pages all redone to link to public domain materials? Have you lost your minds? Not everything people quote from is even ON the internet. Pictures, quotes and vids on my pages are all credited as required, which may or may not have ANYTHING to do with Squidoo. You’ve gotten it all free, off of the backs of others and NOW YOU MAKE DEMANDS LIKE THAT? Chase down all the lensmasters who have abandoned their pages, like Rolling Stone Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and National Geographic. See how much they’re willing to pay someone to provide the links and credits headquarters is now demanding! Based on what? Useless opinions and assertions in that torture chamber called the forum? Let’s not let facts or proof get in the way of opinions! Make everybody squander their time and effort on a demanding, pointless and ultimately useless endeavor to shut up a few who refuse to be placated in the first place? You can do all of it at YOUR OWN TIME AND EXPENSE- NOT OURS.

I further suggest a true ‘spring cleaning’ of Squidoo Headquarters. With all the EXPERTS who are currently unemployed, I’m sure that there are some out there who can figure out if the entire site is being siphoned of traffic and sales, if the paying lensranks are being gamed – AND THEY ARE- and whether or not Seth has been duped into losing VAST amounts of money through clandestine means.

There are a LOT of things that have just gotten worse and worse at Squidoo, but not a soul in charge who cares about the facts.

I want my lens UNFLAGGED IMMEDIATELY. I want the locked lenses UNLOCKED IMMEDIATELY until headquarters provides EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT UNLAWFUL DUPLICATION OF CONTENT IS RAMPANT ON THAT SITE.

Oh, and you owe that lensmaster a VERY PUBLIC APOLOGY.

Just a final reminder of the TRAVESTY of ‘duplicate content’.

For YOU Seth Godin —–>Flash Mob (Orange Squids: All I want to say is that they don’t really care about us<——For YOU Megan Casey

From all of us ‘content is king’  lensmasters.  Your ‘potential customers’ who get ‘flog you and the horse you rode in on’ customer service.

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15 comments on “Day of Fools: Seth Godin Megan Casey Forcing Massive Site Wide Amazon TOS Violations on Thousands

  1. kab
    April 1, 2012

    In regards to your point on the charitable contributions. The charities get one payment from squidoo via paypal (I believe) that is for everyone’s contributions for the month. They do not break it down to the charity by how much each lensmaster donated. The money is donated on our behalf, not in our name.

    As for documentation for deducting this on our taxes, they won’t send this because we cannot deduct this on our taxes. Because the money is never paid to us, and we don’t pay income tax on it (it is not included on the 1099), we cannot deduct it.

    I clarified the tax issue in this thread:
    http://www.squidu.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=11027

    and AMK checked with some charities that they are being paid here:
    http://squidu.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=32479

    Plus, I believe there are several charities with active lensmasters who would know that they are getting paid. Friends of the Park comes to mind for one.

    • Margaret
      April 1, 2012

      I wrote about this long ago on this blog. Perhaps they don’t pay it to us, but it IS our earnings. Therefore, especially in these difficult economic times, it is FAR MORE PREFERABLE to lensmasters to accept the income and send it to the charity themmselves. This way they can take all the deductions possible to them against property or other taxes. As it is, Squidoo gets the benefits of those deductions from OUR income.

      • kab
        April 18, 2012

        Where I live, there are no deductions on property taxes (NYS). As for deducting it on income taxes, if it is paid to me, I can deduct for the income portion, but would still have to pay the social security portion on the earnings. Plus, since I take the standard deduction rather than itemizing my taxes. However, if they pay it to the charity directly, then I don’t pay income tax or social security on it.

        Plus, we do have the option to take the cash and make our own charitable contribution in our own name, so while there are many issues of concern at squidoo, this, to me, is not one of them.

      • Margaret
        April 18, 2012

        Yes kab, if you don’t run it as a business, but only as personal income, your tax would be better handled as you say.

        However, it is hardly the point of this blog post.

  2. paulonbooks
    April 2, 2012

    Short of providing an expert programmmer approved by you and an expert db analyst approved by you access to thefluffanutta’s code and records (and the records would be open to misinterpretation, I doubt if you could be satisified as to his probity,

    I for one have no cause to doubt it, I cannot see why you question it.

    • Margaret
      April 4, 2012

      Yahoo pipes has been widely known about for years among the lensmasters who pay attention. The fact that those with that privileged information who are ‘in your face’ with their targeted lensmasters is a continual affliction and has been since that flow of information began. The actual ‘performing’ lenses like coloring pages, those trafficked by click farms, and other travesties drive away visitors from the middle and upper middle class and make the place look like a summer camp for the kids instead of the ‘major media company’ claimed by Megan. The promises made to lensmasters have never been fulfilled, but there doesn’t seem to be any restraint with afflicting good writers and community people with ‘internetmarketingguruwannabees’ and ‘self proclaimed experts’ who speak beyond their knowledge, and flagging and locking out GOOD lensmasters while the true copyright violators and black hatters are supported. You don’t like it that these people including fluff are widely distrusted? Well you’re just breaking my heart.

  3. squidoospook
    April 2, 2012

    Well personally I find a lot of truth in all this. In my mind it’s akin to a hit parade where some singer or band comes out with a new song which the public like. It reaches number 1 on the hit parade for a short period of time. Then the next popular song comes along and replaces it and so on and so forth. I have had many lenses which have done this, yet never and I mean never have I managed to stay in top tier for a month. As a matter of fact said lens have never even reached a third tier payout by the end of the month. So it earned ZERO in a month and even less ever since. So yes, something smells? Whereas using the above premise on Squidoo you get people who are never out of the top tier, NEVER. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Just doesn’t seem normal or make much sense. Why have so many lensmasters who contributed so much to the site vanished? That is the question. I personally have just made nine pages on another site and not one of these pages come even remotely close to most of my pages on Squidoo. I’ll go so far as to say, probably my worst ever Squidoo lens is better than anything I have there. Yet I get more traffic on these nine pages than I do on my 102 Squidoo lenses combined. Now why is that? Strange is it not? So I can’t answer that and I would love some of the hot shots at Squidoo to answer it for me in a calm and reasonable manner and not in a huff of temper.

    Something smells all right and it smells rotten?

  4. 1scot
    April 4, 2012

    Squidoospook and Margaret. I have read many threads. comment after comment on such topics and to be truthful, I have come to the conclusion that I fear you are both on the right path, now some may not agree, thats their choice, but lets all be grown up here and do away with the childish comments

    • Margaret
      April 4, 2012

      What makes you think I’ve done any commenting? The preposterous idea that I’m being childish when coloring pages, cupcakes and stupid celebrations is almost the only thing Squidoo values nowadays beside black hatters is outrageous and doesn’t do a thing to resolve a situation that has many people justifiaby angry in the extreme. Published authors, highly respected, have had their lenses LOCKED because they quoted their own works, their own promotional materials. The lensmasters aren’t going anywhere, but there are secret groups all over where they are discussing what to do about this if things don’t turn around pronto. The childishness is NOT at our end.

    • Margaret
      April 4, 2012

      In the interest of 1scot’s concern I will revise my reply to paulonbooks. See below.

      • 1scot
        April 5, 2012

        Margaret my comments were not directed at your good self but others who were responding with childish replies to your blogs, of which has opened many eyes I may add and does bring home a few truths 🙂

      • Margaret
        April 5, 2012

        Thanks for clarifying that, 1scot. I am trying to make sure lensmasters take care of themselves and are taken care of by headquarters to less-than-stellar results. Keep up the good fight, I’m astonished at how many great lensmasters are so angry about these events.

    • squidoospook
      April 6, 2012

      Thank you.

  5. Michey's Blog
    April 7, 2012

    All this info is 100% correct, what bother me is the they dare to sent back in development mode lenses without any explanation.
    If they have that great algorithm which do this, then they have all the info “why” … so it is just a problem of courtesy to printed down and give to the lensmasters.

    There is more “untold rules” which bother me… they force us to stick with Squidoo for life without to have time to grow and do other projects… because we suppose to up-to-date all the time our lens to rank better… so just think about it, if somebody has 200 lenses, and we have to spend 20 min for each of them to update at least twice per week… do you have time to have a life?

    When I write an article on EZines or in one of my blogs… I am never force to come back and update, babysit the post… it is there forever and the customers decide if they like or not my writing…

    So what is more tempting for me… to write on my blogs where I have in widgets permanent-Amazon links and if the blog is on my domain I also can have how many affiliate links I want… or write in Squidoo?

    Yes, I agree they don’t think about us and by the way, They did a campaign for quantity, Squidoo giants were created to encourage “quantity”… and now they cry for quality!!! and stupid us, we have to come back and work again….

    Never the less to say about “charities”, the are huge companies, they don’t need our money, this is such manipulating tool without proof…. they better give the money to lensmasters …

    Regards
    all the best
    Michey

  6. foovay
    April 9, 2012

    Ah, another lensmaster wakes up and smells the coffee. Expect to be punished immediately and forever. Your lenses will drop precipitately in rank and be almost but not quite duplicated by those four or five “top” lensmasters who will then get them magically in the top 100. You’ll never see Tier 2 again and be lucky to be in Tier 3 and expect your best informational articles to be slammed into WIP and stay there. My punishment for blogging openly about Squidoo’s bullshit has gone on for a year and counting. I know it is personal punishment because I’ve given lenses away and watched them rocket back up in rank with a new name on them.

    BTW, I was one of the first two people to do coloring pages lenses. Both of us drew (and still draw) our own artwork. My first Squidoo lens was to promote my website featuring my own original hand drawn coloring pages. And then along came all the people stealing not only my ideas, but my own work (telling me that they found it marked “public domain” but they couldn’t remember where, as if that made it okay to use it without my permission). My original art on lenses sank like a stone while people stealing artwork, my own, and commercial work such as Disney soared. Squidoo is lying to you folks. They do not want original content nor do they reward same.

    I like it that they are honest enough now to make it a game. Because that is what it is, a game. They hold out that carrot – those four or five shills, I mean, “successful lensmasters” – and promise you’ll make lots of money if you do this, that and the other. Well, I’ve done it and it isn’t true. Feel free to play at Squidoo and waste your time and give away freely your creations – lots of people give away their work online (intentionally and otherwise) – but if you seriously think you can create great work and make lots of money from it, you probably need to seek another way to do so.

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .
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