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LaunchTags Review | Smells Like Squid to Me

by PotPieGirl on February 7, 2008

After my last post about LaunchTags, I took off to the site to sign up for LaunchTags and make my own mini-page. LaunchTags appeared to have some potential, even in its early beta stage so I thought it was worth a shot to see what all we could find out. Also, Google seems to be taking a liking to these Squidoo-like pages. Squidoo is an excellent online business model in the user-generated content market. It’s not surprising that we’d see many Squidoo clones popping up….with many more to come.

Signing Up with LaunchTags

Easy enough…. just took a while to get my confirmation email to get started. It ended up in my junk folder so if you sign up, be sure to watch that email folder, too.

Creating my mini-page on LaunchTags

All in all, not difficult. The site is still VERY glitchy and made me say a few bad words when trying to get my quickie mini-page published….but I got it. I’m too determined to quit…lol.

When you begin creating a mini-page on LaunchTags, you will come to a screen like this:

LaunchTags Create Mode

Remember to choose your title carefully with targeted keywords just like when you optimize your title tag on a Squidoo lens. Your url will be automatically created by the title you chose, or you can edit it. I recommend editing it and using hypens between keywords.

For the field that asks for your brief summary, this is you “meta description” and is really important. On Squidoo, this information is retrieved from the first few characters of your intro module and many are not aware of that. I like that LaunchTags gives you a special area for this information. This information can be edited later, so don’t get too wrapped up in it right now.

Next, pick a category. The categories on LaunchTags are pretty general so just try to find the best one for your topic. Next, click “Save this step and move on”.

Edit Mode on LaunchTags

On Squidoo we have modules that make up the total content of a lens. On LaunchTags, they call them “pods”. There are pods for text, pictures, HTML, etc and they are easy enough to add and delete.

Your mini-page edit/create screen looks like this:

LaunchTags Edit Mode

As you can see, the title, url, and description are already there. In a step between creating and editing, I was asked for my keywords/tags which I added in…and they can all be seen here, too.

That big X is where a photo/image will go just like on the intro module of a Squidoo lens. Over to the right you can see your pod choices and a text pod is already open and ready for content mid bottom.

Under the category are the buttons to publish, or to save.

Still easy enough to use….. until….

Glitches on LaunchTags

I’m tellin’ ya…. I was saying bad, bad words while trying to get my simple little mini-page to publish on LaunchTags. Every time I would hit “publish”, I would get a warning box telling me that I still had an unsaved text pod that I had to save first.

I was about to inform there where they could shove their text pods =)

All my dog-gone text pods WERE saved. Heck, when I first started trying to publish, I only had ONE text pod. Annoyed me to death! So, I took a chance and went back to “My Launch Center” (like our dashboard on Squidoo) and there sat my mini-page… Apparently it DID publish, I guess…. lol

Introducing – My First LaunchTags Mini-Page

I finally got this mini-page to where I feel alright letting anyone look at it. It is very basic, but I chose a topic I was about to blog about and is one I feel is very important for all of us in this crazy ‘make-money-online’ business world.

Home Business Tax Deductions

I found a great site that has been a very helpful resource for me in the small business tax world and I wanted to share it with all of y’all. Instead, I made me a LaunchTags page on it =) Feel free to check it out!  I have no idea why my Google AdSense ads are about ‘tiaras’ at the moment… maybe they think I am a princess??   Haha!  If they only knew!

Over-all, the appearance of the LaunchTags mini-page is clean and appealing.  I can see ways to make a mini-page look really sharp, too.

Pros/Cons of LaunchTags

While my final assessment has yet to be determined since my mini-page is so new, there are some basic things I have found just while joining and creating my first LaunchTags page.

1. WHY take so long to get a confirmation email? Other than that, sign-up was painless.

2. The site as whole could use some more work to make it better SEO optimized. This will benefit the creators as well as the site owners (ie, why not <h2> tags?).

3. The creation process is glitchy as hell. If I wasn’t so determined, I would just given up and never come back. I’d click ‘save’ and nothing would happen…. I’d click “publish” and I would be informed that I had unsaved pods (which I did not). I understand the site is still new, so hopefully these types of issues will get straightened out.

4. Why no stats? The only stat-like thing I see is a visitor count that can be seen in the sidebar of each mini-page. Apparently, java-script is a no-no on LaunchTag too, because my statcounter code wouldn’t work. (I’m currently trying the HTML based stat code now)

5. I see opportunity for bad things to happen to this site. Many mini-pages on LaunchTags are simply one text pod (module) and that is all. As we learned the hard way on Squidoo, you gotta set guidelines for publication or else “those” people will run all over you. LaunchTags already has almost 8,000 pages in the Squidoo index….might want to be proactive about this. LaunchTags TOS can be found here.

6. I liked the Summary Box option. This is good SEO.

7. What’s with the forum and community help? The forum is dead and apparently has never been very active…that’s a red flag for me.

Future for LaunchTags

I’m not sure what all will happen here. As I mentioned, I see openings for trouble if the site owners are not proactive and take charge BEFORE there is a problem. Google seems to like these little mini-pages so I will continue to track and test them.

Any feedback? Anyone else got a page on LaunchTags that they’d like to share? Please do!



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