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Squidoo UN-Deleted Nine Of My Accounts

by PotPieGirl on February 10, 2009 · 74 comments

My Phone Call With Seth Godin -


Yesterday, I talked about nine of my Squidoo accounts that were suddenly deleted. We sure have had a lot of conversation about this, haven’t we? Today, I am proud to report that all is right in Squidoo-land. All my accounts have been restored. Everything was handled today on a nice phone call chat with Seth Godin, owner and creator of Squidoo.com.



First – and Most Importantly


Before I go into ANY of this, I want to say something. I am beyond flattered and amazed and humbled and ALL those words by the over-whelming response and support I have received during this situation.

Words just will not come to me that properly express how grateful I am for each and every one of you. When I am rendered speechless, well, let me tell you – you have done something amazing (just ask my husband…”speechless” is not usually a word used in regards to me…lol).

The group of you that read here at PotPieGirl.com are some of the finest people I have never met….however, I feel like I know each of you personally. Maybe that’s because there is so much of YOU that is ME, and so much of ME that is YOU. Whether we could pick each other out in a crowd or not doesn’t matter to me. We know each other – we are friends. I appreciate your friendship more than words can express.

Thank you.



Hush, Jen – Tell Us What Happened!


Ok, you don’t want to hear me get all mushy. I get that. So, let’s get to the big question…



What the heck happened that caused nine of my Squidoo accounts to get deleted?



This evening I got home from my errands and appointments (and Mom Taxi service) and sat down to my email. Let me tell you – it was one super-dooper, uber full inbox! As I am sorting thru things, I see an email sent to me from…

Seth Godin.

Ok, I’ll be honest, I opened that one as soon as I saw it (c’mon, you know YOU would, too! lol). Part of me thought, “This must be a joke” and the other part of me thought, “uhoh… I’m in trouble”… lol! The email simply asked me to call him.

So, I did.



My Conversation With Seth Godin


Wow, he is totally the cool guy I thought he’d be. Now, I’ve never been the “star-struck” or guru groupie type person, but Seth is someone that has always fascinated me. I love reading his work and I have always found that his words resonate with me. As someone who was once reprimanded by a former boss for my customer service skills being TOO good, it was refreshing for me to come across someone like Mr Godin. In short, I didn’t feel so alone anymore (and how someone can have customer service skills that are so good that it is viewed as a fault… Well, I still don’t understand that one).

ANYWAY….

So, I called Seth Godin and we had a great chat. Now, I’m not going to go all into our conversation, but there are two important questions that we all wanted answered. I will quote those answers here (Seth also sent me a follow up email so I would have official documentation to quote here for all of you).



Why Did My Accounts Get Deleted/Locked/Terminated?


Here is the official answer to that question:


“IP tracking engaged an algorithm within Squidoo’s systems which led to your lenses being locked. The data wasn’t lost, and we’ve gone ahead and started turning your lenses back on. Squidoo works hard to maintain our Terms of Service in order to make it a great experience for everyone.”



What that means:


Apparently, there was some weird activity on other lenses associated with my ip address. This activity triggered a filter that caused the said accounts to be locked/terminated/deleted. (Note: I use those three terms because each of them has been used to me through-out this situation so I don’t know what the correct terminology is here.)

I know first hand that this “weird activity” was not ME. First off, I pinky promise it wasn’t me, and secondly, if my ip address had really triggered this filter, ALL my accounts would have been affected. All my accounts were NOT affected, only the nine in question.

Long story short, it was a freak glitch in the system that I feel sure will be corrected if need be.



How Much Power Do Volunteers at Squidoo Have?


Yes, I asked this, too. I’ve heard a lot of rumblings about the ability for non-paid, volunteer staff members at Squidoo being able to do harm to another lensmasters account. I wanted to know, and to set the record straight, as far as how much power our volunteers have.

So, I asked.

This is the answer I received:


“Our volunteers do great work and are often called on to lock lenses that violate our terms of service, but only Squidoo staff can delete accounts.”



What that means:


Volunteers DO have the power to lock an individual lens if need be so that it can be reviewed by a paid staff member, BUT, they (the volunteers) do NOT have the authority or the power to block or ban an entire account. Only a paid staff member can do this.



Now I Can Exhale


Now we know, this was not an act of spite, this was not due to the structure of the lenses, nor did it have to do with multiple accounts or anything like that.

This was a freak accident.

All my accounts have been restored. All my content is in tact. Nothing malicious or hurtful was done or caused by all this.

Everything is ok.

No, it’s better than ok because now we KNOW what happened and the fear of mis-use of power by volunteers in this situation has been laid to rest.

Squidoo.com remains a wonderful platform to have your opinions and work seen AND found. I, PotPieGirl, will not hesitate for even one second to recommend anyone and everyone to join the Squidoo site.



Seize The Moment


While all this information is GREAT news, I realized that I (we) have more questions. I had two main questions in mind that I thought an official answer would be a big benefit to all of us and maybe set our minds at ease.

So, I took a chance and decided to email Megan Casey (Editor in Chief for Squidoo.com). I THOUGHT that her reply email would end up being a follow up post, but it turns out that she answered very quickly. ( Thank you!)

I know many of you are waiting and refreshing my blog to read this post, but it’s going to take a few minutes longer so I can add this information from Megan.

The following will be a copy paste of the email I just received from Megan that give her thoughts on the two other questions that were on my mind. In bold are the questions I asked…the rest is her thoughts.


“Jennifer

This was such a fun and thoughtful and well-reasoned email to read!

here are some thoughts back (quotable if you like) that might help.

1. Are affiliate marketers that create high-quality lenses welcome on Squidoo?
Of course they are. Absolutely. Lenses with unique (that means, created by you and you alone), personal, useful content are a good thing on the web. Here’s where the rub comes in: some affiliate marketing setups promote programs or ebooks or topics that we have to draw the line on. Hoodia Gordoni sales and Viagra reviews and Penis Enlargement and Yuwie affiliates and the like. Even if the quality of the lens itself is good, 9 times out of 10 the
topic gets surrounded by so much bad, spammer activity that we have to flag it or lock it, for the good of the whole community.

[Important to remember that while spam the verb is never allowed, otherwise our SquidDon't topic guidelines are just that... guidelines... and if you're non-anonymous, authentic and creating good content, you're welcome to request a hand review. We like to give people who deserve it the benefit of the doubt. But at first blush, we'll probably overcorrect and lock spambait lenses.]

Ebook sales lenses, in particular, have unfortunately earned a bad reputation in the Squidoo community for being cloned, cut-and-pasted content. I can’t even begin to tell you how many Wow Gold Review lenses we’ve found that have word for word identical content!

There’s plenty of room for goodness in all this, though. I appreciate that affiliate pages are high-yield, and would just recommend teaching people how to post honest, personal, gracious reviews.

2. Is it ok to have multiple accounts on Squidoo as long as they are created and used within the TOS of Squidoo?

Again, yes! I totally understand why some people want to have multiple accounts. It’s the same reason I have multiple Facebook accounts… one to joke around with friends, one for Squidoo.

Multiple accounts are fine by me and fine by our TOS.

The caution I would give, however, is that growing one’s reputation is worthwhile, and that anonymity hurts. I posted some thoughts about this on the SquidBlog today (completely unrelated to your case, by the way!). If someone has multiple accounts, but has only earned a good reputation in one of them, then it’s not really viable to expect special treatment in the other anonymous accounts. And, if we find that people have multiple accounts only to boost the ratings and comments on their other lenses, or to engage in bad behaviour in regards to other lenses, that is ratings manipuation (or worse) and is against the spirit of Squidoo and our TOS.

Hope this helps!

Megan



I’m not going to explain or interpret that… Megan did a nice job of that on her own.



What We’ve Learned


When you’re playing in a sandbox that belongs to someone else, you either play by their rules, go find a new sandbox, OR, go make your OWN sandbox. Do you agree? Thing is, it is pretty much that way when you are working online using free methods and sites that don’t belong to you.

Everyday, I hear complaints and rumblings about EzineArticles and YouTube and HubPages and tons of other “free to use” sites. Whether we like it or not, whether it’s fair or not, we either play by the rules of the owner…. or we don’t play there anymore. Sometimes, we are forced to leave the site, other times we choose to not use the site.

Regardless, we, the consumers, have the right and the power to choose which sites and which communities we participate in online. It stinks, but none of these sites OWE us an explanation for why they do or say what they do. In fact, just today with my situation, I was not OWED an explanation. I wasn’t deserving of a thing – regardless of “who I am” or “what I do” or any of that.

The sheer fact that the Squidoo staff DID reach out to me to help resolve this situation and to pass info to me so I could, in turn, pass it to YOU, speaks VOLUMES to me. Remember, I’m the one who has customer service skills that are “too good”….lol! I have the utmost respect for Seth reaching out and working with me to resolve this issue. And yes, I feel a little special tonight =)

However, I also feel a little guilty because I know that Squidoo handling ALL situations this same way is literally impossible.

In the big picture, I am small-potatoes online and I know that *I* can barely handle the email and correspondence that I receive – and my ratio of readers to me is NOTHING compared to what Seth and the Squidoo staff have going on.

Based on that, I want to apologize for being the “special one” in this situation. I hope you each feel that I represented YOU well in my moment with the powers that be at Squidoo.

Now, I am going to shut up (FINALLY) and get this post out there for y’all. Maybe I’ll prevent a few broken fingers from pushing that refresh button one too many times….lol

Yes, I will do a follow post to this if need be. Feel free to leave comments and questions here and I’ll do my best to answer (While I can’t answer FOR the Squidoo staff I will do my best to answer or guide you TO answers).

Again, THANK YOU to ALLLLLLLLL of you!!



For more info on Squidoo:

Top Reasons Accounts Get Deleted on Squidoo

Squidoo’s FAQ

Squidoo’s TOS

About Squidoo

Everyone’s an Expert Ebook by Seth Godin (I highly recommend that any Squidoo user read this free ebook. I think many of you will find it enlightening. The link opens the pdf in a new browser window).






{ 73 comments }

Bryan February 10, 2009 at 4:55 am

….and they all lived happily ever after! Glad to read the resolution and the personal attention from Squidoo owners – gives me MORE reason to promote their site. Hey. glitches happen, it is how we respond to them that makes me trust sites more. Good stuff.

one brief question – was the last post, and possibly this one, the most read ever post for PPG? You had to have set some sort of record here.

..off to build more high quality lenses
BK

Kay February 10, 2009 at 4:58 am

Hi PPG!!
I have been following this with baited breath!! Thank goodness all is resolved!! I am only a beginner in the OWM world but already I was wondering “what am I going to do now??”
I have been so impressed with your attitude – you were more worried about us than yourself – just goes to show what kind of person you are!!
By the way – I too am a February 13th birthday girl – maybe we should start a club!! Have a great birthday week now things are looking better than they could have been!!
Thanks for everything you do – I am unsubscribing to all the other “make money online” newsletters and just following you – the blinkers are on and I’m ready for business!
All the best,
Kay

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:00 am

Hiya Bryan!

Ohhhhh yes…… that last post was definitely a record-breaker!

I am also glad, relieved, and way more relaxed now that this has all been resolved.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:01 am

Kay! We have the same Birthday??!?!?! How cool is that??!?!

Happy Birthday to YOU!

Thanks for your kind words… and don’t knock the others out there. There are other “good guys (and gals) too =)

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Chef Keem February 10, 2009 at 5:02 am

Whew…I can go to bed now. What a day, Jennifer – I’m exhausted from the tension over this situation and my hiney has a deep (horizontal) crease from sitting on the edge of my chair, all day long. Good. Night. :)

gia combs-ramirez February 10, 2009 at 5:03 am

What? I can’t be the first to leave a comment. I’m never the first on these things.

At any rate, Jennifer, Squidoo’s response was great to you. However….what about Jeff who also had 4 accounts locked? If he was following your roadmap then why would that raise a flag?

You said “weird activity on other lenses associated with my ip address”…is that geek code for hacking?

gia combs-ramirezs last blog post..Take The Vow of Nonviolence | Deepak Chopra

gia combs-ramirez February 10, 2009 at 5:04 am

Hmmm, while writing my comment, three or four others magically appeared.

gia combs-ramirezs last blog post..Take The Vow of Nonviolence | Deepak Chopra

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:09 am

@Chef Keem –

Go to bed, kiddo… the suspense is over. Thanks for being there =)

@ Gia -

These readers here are FAST, aren’t they? lol As for Jeff – I have emailed him directly about his situation. Not saying I can fix it, but I might be able to shed some light on it if I have more info.

Thanks all!

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:12 am

@ Anne - Actually, it is my twenty-first 21st birthday. Yes, I am Queen of De Nial….lol!!!

@ Mark - Yes, this is wonderful news! All is well in Squidoo and OWM land =)

Thank you both for your support and concern!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Anne February 10, 2009 at 5:06 am

Jennifer,
First off happy Friday the 13 coming up birthday! Your going to find that 29 is a GREAT year!

I’m really, really glad that all is A-ok with Squidoo. It was a tense few hours there for a while! But now we can all relax and continue making lenses!
Have a good one!

Mark Sierra at MeAndMyDrum.com February 10, 2009 at 5:07 am

Jennifer, this is wonderful news! I’m very happy to learn it was just a glitch. Since I’m only on my second day of following OWM, I was a little worried about what to expect if I continued. But knowing that Squidoo came to you with such a professional attitude and a personal touch, that really gives them high marks in my book! :)

MiMi February 10, 2009 at 5:12 am

Such wonderful news. Happy Birthday Week — and Happy Squidooing. :)

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:13 am

Thanks, Mimi!!!

James Schramko February 10, 2009 at 5:27 am

Great discussion Jen,

This is a prime reason why I don’t advocate building an entire business in somebody elses sandbox.

I have hundreds of sites on my own domains and my servers and that helps me sleep well at night.

It is better to own the race course than the race horse.

Of course using third party propoerties to juice up your own assets with links and extra income is fine but don’t bet the farm on them

Regards

James

James Schramkos last blog post..Djk Shadow Demonstration by Tim Houston

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:40 am

Well hey, James! Fancy seeing you here :)

I agree, the ultimate business model online is to have your OWN web properties. However, for many new online marketers (myself included at one time), the money and the knowledge of online business just isn’t there at first. If it wasn’t for these free to use sites, like Squidoo, I wouldn’t be where I am today. All it takes is a few good lenses to be able to afford hosting, and domain names, an auto-responder, and good info to build your virtual empire =)

In other words, race horse or race course doesn’t matter…. sometimes we have to start out as the WORK horse. Lord knows I sure did! LOL!

Sure am glad to see you here!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Kate Loving Shenk February 10, 2009 at 5:38 am

Hi all–

I am happy for all of us and for you, to hear your news–But what about Jeff???

Happy happy birthday and may the wind always be at your back.

Kate Loving Shenks last blog post..Squidoo-ing The Week Away

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:43 am

Hi Kate =)

I’ve got an email out to Jeff =)

jeffwend February 10, 2009 at 5:52 am

I have been quietly following this escapade and I am very happy to hear that you got your accounts back. Keep up the good work here.

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 6:04 am

Thanks, Jeff!!

CleanerLife February 10, 2009 at 6:23 am

Wow, huge relief!

I’m still awaiting my first commission payments, but the Lenses racking up the most affiliate sales for me are ones I built following OWM.

Even if I didn’t follow your plan exactly, I’ll get more than twice a return on my investment as soon as my first payment from PepperJam arrives.

Thanks Jen!

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 6:25 am

@CleanerLife -

WOOOHOOOOOO!! I am so proud of you – congrats!!!! (and btw, I like when people think outside the box…. good for you for molding OWM to YOUR action plan!!!)

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Tyla Mac February 10, 2009 at 7:45 am

Jennifer I’m so glad all turned out well. I’m happy this was just a fluke and not the result of malicious behavior or Squidoo changing the rules to play in their sandbox. I’ve fallen in love with making Squidoo lenses and I’m glad that they are still supportive of non-spammy affiliate lenses.

I hope everyone who is one of your students will make extra sure to create high quality lenses that Squidoo will be happy to have as a part of their site. I know I will. I want to thank you for sharing this ordeal with all of us. You didn’t have to do that but I wouldn’t expect anything less of you because you have proven that you’re not just trying to sell us stuff. You really care about your readers and you prove it every day.

I hope you have the best birthday ever!

Tyla Macs last blog post..Daffodils Back At Mississippi State One Year After President Ordered Them Destroyed

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 7:56 am

Thank you, Tyla! I appreciate you recognizing that this was something I didn’t have to talk about. However, to me, talking about it and putting it “out there” was an easy decision simply because it was the right thing to do.

THANK YOU for the birthday wishes!!!!!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Karl Pemberton February 10, 2009 at 9:40 am

Hi Jennifer!

The first thing I wanted to do this morning was to read this blog to see if it has all been sorted out…..

I was uber glad to see it is. :)

I new it was not your fault and my gut said it was something to do with you telling people some of your money making lense (some peeps really cannot think for themselves and and not probs copy pasting your work to their lense).

Hey… but still… something very interesting came from all this.. …. a connections with Seth and his team! (you lucky girl)

Can I phone you also ;)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ya
HAPPY Birthday
HAPPY Birrrrthhhhday

Its my b day at the end of this month

Karl

AJ2008 February 10, 2009 at 9:44 am

I am really glad this has been resolved quickly. Am also pleased to hear that the Squidoo TOS have not been changed – I liked them as they were!

Deb~Flowergardener February 10, 2009 at 9:44 am

Whew!
What a relief to hear all is fixed. Hopefully you’ll also be able to figure out and help Jeff. I’ve been up and going thru 2 pages of notes, submitting hopeful .com domain names to add to my growing stable, still no luck getting the one I want, but it helped me stay up to watch for your post :)

Now you surely can enjoy a stress-less birthday! My son was born on the 13th. Not in Feb tho, but 13 has been mine and his lucky/special number ever since, as I’m sure it is for you also! We think it’s pretty funny when the special day lands on a Friday.

Have a wonderful 13th Jennifer,
Gods Love and mine,
Deb

Cat February 10, 2009 at 9:58 am

I’m so glad this has been sorted out for you, & that you weren’t being targeting by a nasty person! And now we can all carry on using Squidoo with confidence : )

Alex at Net-Entrepreneur.com February 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

Hey Jennifer,

I was following your ordeal for the last day and a half …whpeew… I’m sure glad you’ve got your accounts back on.

You should take a day off (line) to calm your nerves… (n_n)

It is great that one can engage in a meaningful dialogue with such a service as Squidoo. Ever tried sending an email to Google? hehe

Cheers,
Alex

Alex at Net-Entrepreneur.coms last blog post..Grab a $25 Rebate for PPC-Coach.com, That’s a 50% Discount!

Sandy Peaks February 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

Phew, what a relief! Fingers crossed for Jeff…
hope Squidoo catch the Gremlin before it gets wet…lol!

Karen
SandyPeaks

Joan Adams February 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

Totally thankful and relieved! Back to work! Proud and happy to be part of this super group of Squidoo entrepreneurs! All this conversation the last couple of days helped us identify each other! lol Something good results, right?

Joan Adamss last blog post..Legally Blind Golfer

Leo Hanes February 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

Hi Jen

Thanks for the insightful update, and clarification about affiliate and multiple accounts.

“weird activity on other lenses associated with my IP address” seems a little vague….did they mean ip address ranges…..how can somebody elses lens be associated with your ip address…..or was your ip address under attack my somebody

Anyway just goes to show that programs written by people can be invaded by other people. both for good and bad

Thanks again

Leo

Ohme February 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Like everyone else here, I am so relieved to read all this good news.

Ohmes last blog post..South Carolina Group Top Lenses added

roro February 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Hi,

I am glad that they restored your accounts, me I am not so lucky. They blocked last week one of my lens, my main income one without any reason. I send them an e-mail and nothing. Anyway, this has determine me to take the decision to build my own niche websites as I am sick seeing my work go to vain(link building,articles, etc). Please, if you are new do not do the same mistake. As soon as you have the funds move away from these sites.

Jeff February 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Good Morning All!!!

As of this morning, all my accounts and lens are DELETED/CLOSED! I did try to contact Seth too, but, I don’t think I am high on his to-do list. I tried a few folks at Squidoo, but so far in last 24 hours just the canned generic emails with little or no info as to exactly why my accounts are all closed and I’m basically invisible on Squidoo. If I do hear anything I will definetly let everyone know.

Thanks Jen for the email, I just sent you a detailed reply with all the lens/lensmaster names, I’m hoping you can at the least see if Seth can tell you what, if anything I did wrong, so I can at least correct it and try to avoid this in the future. I appreciate you reaching out to me, that was very kind of you. Whether they help you or not concerning my accounts, I am thankful for your help with this situation.

Thanks Jen and All.

Jeff ;)

Jodie February 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Good news Jennifer. That must have been wonderful when you got “the call”. lol (For some reason I heard the Law & Order “duh dummmmm….” after I wrote that.

At any rate, thanks for the update. I appreciate the transparency with which you handled this and also the respect you maintained for Squidoo throughout. You are a bigger person that I think I would have been.

Jodies last blog post..Affiliate Marketing-Make 30000 By The End Of The Month

Jeff T. February 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Just to clear a little up, I see there’s another Jeff posting, so in the future, I’ll post as Jeff T. so you know I’m the one with the 5 Closed Accounts and 45 Lens Deleted.

Jeff T.

Mirjam February 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Hey Jennifer!

Great to see this post, and I am very happy for you they have reactivated your accounts. Plus, very happy too to see that your techniques in the OWM are fully in line with Squidoo TOS (after all, if anything came out of this ordeal, it is getting the confirmation directly from squidoo that it is ok to have separate accounts etc, right?)

I love the “In other words, race horse or race course doesn’t matter…. sometimes we have to start out as the WORK horse. Lord knows I sure did! LOL!” quote, you are hitting the nail right on it´s head.

OWM is definitely a great resource for people starting out but also for people that have been plowing away for a long time with great results, offering a plan of attack to build on in the long run (and installing better productive habits I may add ;) )

cheers to you Jenifer, and congratulations with your birthday week!

Mirjams last blog post..Are You Ready for Change?

Mirjam February 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm

sorry, the “with great results” should have said “without great results”

Mirjams last blog post..Are You Ready for Change?

Deliese February 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Jennifer,

Maybe it’s time to create a more in depth Wordpress tutorial, ebook etc. for the people ready to move on to having their own Realestate Online. I know you have a free e-course, but that is not detailed enough for me.
I know I would buy it and I’m sure many of your followers would too.

Food for thought if you haven’t already.

Thanks
Deliese

Bill February 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Jennifer,

I (OWM student) am very happy that all has been resolved. However!!! I beg to differ with you on one area of your post. YOU ARE MOST CERTAINLY DESERVING OF THE EXPLANATION YOU RECEIVED FROM SQUIDOO!!! Just as I would be and any other member. Your contribution and impact on Squidoo’s reputation is quite large but…puting that aside if I had 9 accounts disrupted I would expect the same response. I applaud what Squidoo did and the fact that their response came from the proper level. I’ve been selling for over 30 years and if I recieve a call from my smallest account with an issue that needs an immediate response…they get it and I don’t leave them until it’s resolved!

Whoa..slow down Bill. Sorry, Jennifer but your feeling hit me right between customer and service, words I know you embrace. So much so that you do it too well.

If anyone deserves that consideration…IT’S YOU!

Bill

Jeff T. February 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Just following up, I did make a detailed post here this morning, but its not showing up! Still no word from Squidoo about the 5 accounts closed and 45 Lens deleted.

Jeff T.

PotPieGirl February 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Hiya Jeff -

I approve all comments manually. Why? Because I stripped all the “no-follow” stuff from my comments section allowing those that comment to get a little link love from me (IF I approve the comment…..lol). I just got in from Mom Taxi Service and have approved a bunch….your comment should be live now.

I’m reading your email right now. Hang tight =)

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Jeff T. February 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Thanks Jenn…

I saw my earlier post, its there now, somehow my later post was showing and not the earlier one, I thought I either made an error or it got deleted, thanks for clearing it up.

I understand what your saying about the “no-follow” stuff. Thanks for taking the time to try and help me with this.

Jeff T.

joe February 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm

gl,ad it all came out ok for you! t/c

BFuniv February 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Jennifer,

I love your sandbox analogy, well done!

Well done on all else also. It will be nice to relax and coast into your birthday.

Many happy returns,

Allan

Wade February 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Thank You Jennifer for going to bat for all of us little people! Sometimes I think the term ‘algorithm’ is internet code for ‘we have no idea’. It’s the same as when a store says ‘let me check in the back’. I would think part of an algorithm would include how much money your lenses make for them!

Regardless we all love Squidoo and to see that kind of amazing customer service is refreshing and reaffirms that Squidoo wants us to succeed just as much as we want them to continue to succeed!

Thanks Again Jen!

God Bless!

Wades last blog post..One Week Marketing Plan Review

EuroSquid February 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Hi PPG

I am delighted that it worked out so well for you and pleased that both Seth and Megan contacted you. I liked the way that they handled it and take my hat off to both of them.

But the whole thing has left me feeling uneasy. I love Squidoo ALOT. Squidoo is often my break in the day when I want to escape from work and be creative. But I really feel uncomfortable knowing that I could wake up one morning and a computer glitch has closed down my account and my many hundreds of hours of work are potentially gone. I wonder if I would get the same kind of response as you? It is kind of discouraging.

EuroSquids last blog post..A Broadway Revival of Hair

boshemia February 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Whew, I’m glad you managed to get it taken care of, and I’m glad it wasn’t maliciousness. This was a concern to all of us on Squidoo, I only have a few lenses up, but I put a lot of work into them and the thought of having them randomly deleted was a bit frightening.

I’m also glad that Seth came through and remembered that behind each lens is a real live person, sometimes people at the top forget that.

May this be the beginning of more great things for you and Squidoo!

boshemias last blog post..But I’m really a bad person…

Beth Partin February 10, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I disagree that Squidoo did not have an obligation. Nobody really like someone who does things without bothering to explain, especially when they affect other people. If a company is going to set up a site where people can express themselves, as Squidoo did, then that company should be willing to give an explanation for restricting that expression.

Thanks for the detailed post. It clarified a lot of things about Squidoo for me.

Beth Partins last blog post..Not Enough Gelt

Tammy S February 10, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Whew!
I’m glad everything is back to normal for ya. You sure put alot of feelings in your posts cause I was walking around yesterday really feeling anxious for you and us other OWM er’s.

Glad we can keep on OWMing!

Tammy S

Laura February 10, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I agree that it’s NOT right for them to arbitrarily lock — or especially delete — accounts without PRIOR warning and detailed reasons and giving the lens owner a chance to correct the problems. It’s just too risky. I have realized from this that owning my own web pages is the best way to proceed. I might set up a lens or two here and there for the links, but more likely will play around more with other sources like Hub pages and other free sites, but I will not put my life blood into them the way I have so far! (That’s what it feels like, HUNDREDS of hours and time spent learning HTML enhancements, and so on.) Speaking of that, aside, I also wonder why Squidoo does not make it easier to format our text without resorting to html!

CherylK February 11, 2009 at 1:21 am

All’s well that ends well. I’ve been following this whole thing because I was curious about how you would handle the situation and how Squidoo would respond. Needless to say, you both passed with flying colors. My faith in Squidoo and my respect for you are intact. That’s so great. I’m sorry you had the trauma, tho…

Marc February 11, 2009 at 1:25 am

I’m making my own sand box thank you. No way I’ll place my economic well being into squidoo’s less than capable hands. This wasn’t the first time you’ve had these kinds of difficulties and I’ve also had perfectly good lenses locked. Owning your own blogs and web sites is the way to go and that’s where I’m putting all of my efforts these days. Oh yeah, good to see your squidoo accounts are back in action!

Chris Bradshaw February 11, 2009 at 3:41 am

Congrats at being back. I knew they couldn’t keep ya down. I thought it was going to be something fluky. Now stop fuming and get back to work girl! Today was Squidoo payday and I got the most I’ve ever had ($11.79) and I’m working to get even more next month. And then more the next month…

This is just a little pothole on your own road to success and sooner or later you’ll just look back at it and laugh.

Chris Bradshaws last blog post..SquidLit: Good Books On Squidoo

David Harvey February 11, 2009 at 3:43 am

Hi Jennifer,

I am so glad you got your lenses back and that the whole incident turned out to be a glitch by Squidoo, rather than some rival trying to squeeze you out.

I have nearly finished your blow-by-blow diary. I’m already using Squidoo and EzineArticles. But with your information, I’m going to change how I do things and watch the results.

It’s good to know that nice people don’t have to finish last. ;-)

Best wishes,

David

Rika Susan's Home Improvement News February 11, 2009 at 11:30 am

Happy for you that all is well, Jennifer! My first time here. Looks like you have a lot of useful Squidoo info to browse through. It was good to see that the Squidoo support staff responded to your emails.

Rika Susan’s Home Improvement Newss last blog post..Cool Tools For DIY Projects, From How To Build A Solar Panel To Flooring Videos

Jay | Wealthy Affiliate Insider February 12, 2009 at 2:53 am

Jennifer, I’m really happy to know that it was all a big freak accident and we can all learn from this.

Now the thing thats troubling me is that this probably affected some other people as well and not everyone is a PotPieGirl who can connect with Seth Godin. I’m sure they would have been just as devastated. Did Squidoo fix it for them as well?

Jay | Wealthy Affiliate Insiders last blog post..Wealthy Affiliate Bonus – Take Your Pick

PotPieGirl February 12, 2009 at 3:41 am

Hi Jay =)

I only have heard of one other person that had anything similar happen to them. He has been here on this blog. I know his situation is in very capable hands now.

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Jeff T. February 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Just a Follow Up!!!

My 5 Accounts are still closed, all 45 Lens too, BUT, Megan did email me personally, and as soon as I get the final word, I will post it here.

Jeff T.

Success with Todd February 16, 2009 at 6:41 am

Hi Jennifer,

Glad to hear that your situation was resolved .. and how cool that you got to talk to Seth Godin.

From a more selfish perspective, I came here via a link on Josh Spaulding’s blog. I’d like to learn more about Squidoo marketing … I suspect having unlocked accounts will make teaching just a tad bit easier for you. ;-)

Nice to meet you … thanks in advance for any nuggets of wisdom I may pick up as a result of following your site.

Todd

Carl Pruitt February 19, 2009 at 4:22 am

Some random thoughts: Keep in mind that, although unlikely, it is still possible that someone spoofed your IP address in order to sabotage you.

Although, they may also be talking about those stupid “ratings services” that give lenses a bunch of ratings for a fee. Someone near you in the IP address range may have been doing that.

I’m confused about how they determine which IP address they call “yours”. I have signed in, created accounts, and worked on lenses from many different IP addresses. Sometimes I am working from my home computer, sometimes from my office computer, and sometimes from my laptop in numerous different locations like coffee shops and even the public library.

Alex Newell February 19, 2009 at 7:52 am

I am glad the trauma is over Jen and that it ended well for you. I’m sure you can dine out for years on your Seth phone call – I would ;-)

All the same I draw from this – “Stay in your castle” or sand box to use your phrase. I’m really pleased to get such clarity about their TOS tho’ – I was tippy toeing around a bit.

I had my first Hub frozen ( Gad – there were 2 links in it) and it looks like a tumblr blog is , gasp, GAWN.

Ah well – their VRE, their rules.

for me – I may well put more time into squidoo now that I’m clearer about their views.

So thank you

:-)

Alex

EelKat February 19, 2009 at 10:18 am

WOW! What an experiance! I had one of my top lenses locked last year, but it was a troll attack (as was later found out about 2 months after the lens was locked). Someone with multi-accounts had clicked the “report as spam” button again and again. (It was my Lord Sesshomaru lens, which, is in no way spam.) I emailed Squidoo and asked why my lens was locked, and they told me it had been flagged several times, and that they had to look into it. It was a whole month later before they got back to me and said that after checking my lens they determined it was not spam and that they were now looking into the accounts that had reported it. So I was without my lens for 30 days, and spent the whole time fretting over it.

But what you went through! OMG! All of your lenses being locked all at once like that! I’d have been freaking out big time.

After reading your post here, I wonder, could it have had something to do with you having multiple accounts and using them all on the same computer? Maybe that triggered some automated spam alert or something?

Wow! 9 accounts? How do you keep up with it? I have enough trouble keeping one updated! I’d go bonkers with just two! LOL!

I’m glad you got your lenses back though. That must have been so scary. I know how I felt just having one lens locked, and what happened to you was so much worse!

~EK

EelKats last blog post..added info, and pics

Vince8151 February 21, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Hi PPG,

When updating a six month old lens about cold sores last night, Feb. 20, 2009, I triggered the spam filter and this lens is now under review.
Two of the edits I made were un-maxing and deleting the Amazon module I had.

I really don’t do much with Squidoo any more because it’s so slow but I do have 35 lens. I use Blogger more because it is so much faster for me. But now I’m pretty good at making web sites so I really just concentrate on that.

The last time I updated anything on Squidoo was on Jan 13, 2009 and didn’t have any trouble, including the cold sore lens. I updated about 32 lens that day.

Now, a month and a half later I’m a spammer.
Is it really a glitch?
I think my lens is pretty good, with helpful information. It has affiliate links but nothing I think would be considered spam. All the products retail at around 30 bucks or so.

I feel the same way. At one time I always encouraged people to use Squidoo, helped in any way I could and made many crappy lens myself, but nothing that is spam or promoting bad products.

Then they pull the plug, just like that.
I wouldn’t mind too much but the cold sore lens pulls in over 100 bucks per month.

Now I have to wait.

I wonder how many of the robot forex lens are under review on Squidoo.

Being a long time stock market trader, I have looked into the robots. I can attest now, with my hand on a bible that they are a complete rip off scam as ever invented by anyone. The results are faked and the software is faked. They are a complete rip and steal millions from unsuspecting people every day.

Yet Squidoo has over 450 active lens on this.
I can understand CB selling this crap, but Squidoo allowing these lens?

They are more of a scam then the Acai Berry/ Colon Cleanse rip off that’s been going on for awhile now. There are over 800 lens on this stuff.

So I guess the moral of the story is when you have a lens that pulls in some dough, get it the heck out of Squidoo ASAP.

And that’s too bad because sites like Squidoo, Blogger etc are easy, especially for new people, you don’t have to worry about domains and web hosting etc…

It just bugs me, after months, all of a sudden?
And I won’t update anything else until I find out if I’m a spammer or not.

There has got to be something else going on.

Take care Jennifer,
Vince

Jeff T. February 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Just a Follow Up!!!

Been over 2 weeks since Squidoo locked all my accounts and deleted all 45 lens. I have kindly emailed the locked@squidoo email, I received an initial reply from Megan on February 10th, that she was going to look into it, and help me out. Its been 2 weeks, I belive I have been extremely patient. I have emailed Megan a couple times since February 10th, to see what the deal is, and I haven’t heard back since. So, I’m not sure whats going on.

I wish I had the pull Jen has at Squidoo, its very scarry for those of us without that power, to have to basically sit and wait, with no recourse or no control for weeks at a time. I have decided to move ahead, without Squidoo in the mix, the fact they can just erase months of work, without any real decent explanation, or any chance to learn from whatever caused this, is really sad.

I would never give Squidoo that much control over my business. They haven’t acted very professional in my case. I realize they HAD to fix Jens lens asap because she makes them a ton of money, but as for us little guys, we don’t get that extra love as seen in my case.

Jeff T.

Frank February 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I just read this whole ordeal. I have heard of squidoo for years but havent looked into it too deeply until just the otherday when I bought 2 courses Sqidooprofitsystem and a course by SquidooQueen. I was quite excited to discover how effective squidoo could be when learning and getting started in IM. Jennifer you obviously conduct yourself with a lot of integrity and honesty which is what drew me to you after discovering your work through James Schramko. But at this point I am utterly discouraged and disappointed in Mr. Godin, Megan and the team at Squidoo and how they have handled this affair. For Jeff’s situation to be neglected this long and for them to be able to exercise this kind of power without adequate explanation or redress- whether they own the site or not is unethical in my humble opinion. Your exchange with James resonates with me but now I am not sure I should invest the time and effort into Squidoo considering how they have conducted themselves regarding his situation.

Kay February 24, 2009 at 4:28 am

Well having followed this thread with interest who would have thought I would soon be joining the “I’ve had my lens locked club!”??
I was updating a lens that had been around for a month or so – I think I was adding a new lens to the lenslist and my lens got locked – I chose the “to be reviewed by a real human option” and waited for over a week – I was pretty sure I was not spamming and if there was a problem I wanted to know what it was. The answer was the very vague TOS/Spambait topic line. My lens was about yeast infections, I wrote it all myself, there are 4 text blocks and yes affiliate links – but not loads of them. I thought it was quite informative and cannot see what the problem is.
As a newbie to Squidoo I must say this has really taken the wind out of my sails – I have not touched any of my lenses since – it has made me feel like anything I do could tip a lens over the edge into Squid don’t land. I agree with a previous comment saying there are plenty of lenses that are definitely piles of rubbish and yet they seem to get away with it. Any advice of where I go from here – do I bother trying to get my lenses reinstated or just delete it and carry on with my other lenses?

Jeff T. February 24, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Kay, I can feel your pain. I have emailed Megan over 5 times in past 3 weeks, all I kindly ask her is to tell me if the lens will be reinstated, or if not. She hasn’t replied since February 10th, after initially saying she would look into it for me. I don’t think 3 plus weeks is appropriate or sending a good message to potential users.

They jumped quick when Jen was angry and the potential lose of clients got their attention quick. I had no power or leverage to get them to help. I can only summize that my 5 accounts and 45 lens just don’t affect their bottom line likes Jens did, so, my concerns are basically tossed aside.

I believe I was extrememly patient, I waited 3 weeks for help, I believe I was extremely courteous, I even apologized for whatever I did wrong, without actually knowing what I did? I basically was left to fend on my own after the 10th. No one at squidoo will or has even attempted to help after that point, even after I emailed every 5 days with a reminder my 2 months of work was disgarded in haste.

Like I said earlier, I will never allow 1 company to have that much control over my business. I can say I listed exact same things on Hubpages last week, and have been having GREAT success there. They actually appreciate and respect my business there. So, unless I hear from Squidoo, this should be my last post on the issue.

I can say from experience that they made a huge mistake and will not even come to the table to discuss, but, thats ok. One door closes, another one opens. Off to make some money….later…

Jeff T.

Vince February 24, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Squipoo has decided that my lens is spambait and it’s locked until I edit it. They got back to me fairly quick, just a couple of days.

I told them to jam it. Actually I was much ruder.

Sorry PPG, I just can’t help myself when I get riled up. It must be that time I spent in New Jersey.

With my lens, I had 7 modules of which two were amazon stuff. I was also maxed.

When I edited it, I took out the 2 modules with amazon and un-maxed.

So I was left with 5 modules of which 4 had affiliate links.

There may be where the problem lies?

If you are making some money, move your stuff away from Squipoo ASAP or you take a chance of getting locked out.

Vince

Dave B March 5, 2009 at 10:02 am

Hey Jen,

Great news and a great job with your follow-up with Seth. There’s no way they would ban your stuff… it’s too good for that.

Be interesting to see what they make of my new ‘grim’ friend (you know who I mean). He’s trouble writ large! But I’ll keep a tight reign on him. This is a timely heads up. Keep up the great work.

You really are a GIANT (for a girlie. LOL!)

XX
Dave

Dave Bs last blog post..Niche Marketing Reaper – A New Fun Squidoo Lens!

Kay March 9, 2009 at 7:12 am

Well, I finally recovered from having one of my lenses locked and decided I would delete that one and carry on with my others. I updated one of my existing lenses – about male infertility – I added one text box – no links in it – just some info about vitamins which can help and…… my lens has been locked – same as before – “do you want a human to look at your lens” so I put in the comments “please tell me what I am doing wrong” I thought about that the other day – if a “real human” is checking your lens why can’t they give you a more specific reason for them locking it?????????????? HELP!!!!

Prepaid cell phone Guy July 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I believe that Squidoo has made a major mistake. Why should anyone work on the Squidoo site? Random acts of deletion.

First rule of getting ahead on the internet.

Build your own properties.

Guy

Brian Alaway September 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Well it appears that the problem was simple. Just as you were too good at customer service, you’re too good at Squidoo!
Ain’t technology great – when it works. As someone who’s worked in the tech field for over 15 years I find it more than disconcerting at our willingness to rely on technology that is not only unproven but in most cases woefully untested. Many of today’s frictions could be easily resolved if the problems simply involved reasonable thinking human beings. But alas they are an endangered species soon to be replaced by “tech stuff”.

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