Part 5 in a continuing series on What Web 2.0 Means for Your Church
The basic idea is that computer-generated search isn’t good enough. Squidoo gives self-proclaimed experts (which Squidoo calls lensmasters) the chance to build a single web page (which Squidoo calls lenses) telling people whatever it is they need to know. So you’ve got the personal knowledge of experts instead of the shotgun approach of Google.
For example, why stick with Google’s results on dog modeling when you can ask someone with dog modeling experience? Or say you want to know more about the cartoon superhero The Tick? Or the defunct ska band Five Iron Frenzy? Or the self-promotional practices of one Kevin D. Hendricks? OK, I admit it, all those lenses are mine. But you get the idea. Squidoo puts personal knowledge to work.
The fun catch is that you can also make cash. Each lens has text ads and referral links to e-commerce sites. So Squidoo can earn some dough, which they share with you or the charity of your choice. Not a bad deal.
Squidoo and the Church
So what does this have to do with the church? For starters, Squidoo is an exceptionally easy way to set up a web page. You can add pictures, text, photos, RSS feeds—whatever, and it doesn’t require skill other than working a mouse. It’s also all about informing people. So you can build a lens to tell people whatever you want:
- The merits of infant baptism
- An overview of your church’s ministries
- Everything a visitor to your church needs to know
- Details of an upcoming event
- All about your pastor
- About all the bloggers in your church
You get the idea.
Squidoo at Work
Here are some examples of how folks have put Squidoo to work.
- Church! @ Bethany
- Leesburg United Methodist Church
- Messiah Episcopal Church (I created a lame lens about my church just to show you how it could start)
- Starting a New Church
- Multi-Site Church
- Church Marketing Sucks (yeah, I whipped up a quick CMS lens, too)
Not everybody gets it. Or likes it. I get that. It’s yet another thing to update that can quickly be out of date. It can also be full of less than scrupulous people who are just out to make a quick buck—of course that describes a vast chunk of Internet users in general.
It’s just another tool. It could be helpful. It might not be. You’ll have to figure out how to maximize the benefits for your church.
But if you do decide to use Squidoo, sign up here. We can both earn referral cash ($5 for me and $5 for you when you earn your first $15. Of course I haven’t earned anything yet, so it could amount to nothing. But if it amounts to something I’ll donate it to CFCC.) And let us know. We could set up CFCC as one of the charities you can send your Squidoo earnings to. If there’s enough demand we’ll look into it.