Sunday, July 22, 2007

My New Role As Community Manager on Squidoo

As many of you know, I've been a Squidoo user (lensmaster) since March of this year and have enjoyed it immensely. I've created a personal lens on my life, a lens on being a single dad, published my Dad's first novel (we call it a Squidovel) and created a gallery of wonderful photography, travel destinations and video clips that I've Stumbled Upon. I was recently honored with the title of "Squid Angel", along with several others, a role that charges us with promoting the best content (lenses) on Squidoo and I've also become a Jurist in a monthly "Top Lens" contest. You would think that would be enough to keep me busy but I still had too much time on my hands.

As of last week, I have a new title (drum roll please). I am officially the Community Manager for the eBay Seller Community on Squidoo a wonderful group of sellers who use Squidoo to promote their eBay Stores, Websites, and online content. This community reminds me a great deal of what eBay was like in the early days. The community is very strong and active, with over 200 eBay sellers already taking part. Meg! This is the real "Social Commerce"

Now, here is the best part, this is not a staff position, I am a volunteer. I am committing my time and energy to make this a success because eBay Sellers need every bit of help they can get. As you know, I have not always spoken kindly of eBay's decisions over the years and I've done what I can to encourage sellers to open their own websites and diversify their businesses. I've said over and over again, "stop calling yourselves eBay Sellers" and begin to think of yourselves as online merchants. I'm still going to continue to do that but at Squidoo, we've created a community for online sellers to promote their businesses, it just happens that we are gearing the community around eBay sellers. It doesn't hurt that I have many years of experience with eBay.

Seth Godin has recently written a post entitled Jobs of the future, #1: Online Community Organizer and what he says really hits the spot.

"If you want to hire a union organizer, you probably know what to look for. Someone with resilience, passion, persistence and excellent interpersonal skills.

What if you want to hire someone to build an online community? Somebody to create and maintain a virtual world in which all the players in an industry feel like they need to be part of it? Like being the head of a big trade association, but without the bureaucracy and tedium..."

eBay sellers, understand the role that community plays in their success and they get excited about finding ways to reach new customers (especially when they are free). What Squidoo allows them to do, is build their own brand and develop their own expertise, sharing that experience with a whole new group of customers on Squidoo. Sellers are the experts on their particular product and they can drive targeted traffic to their listings, blogs, lenses and WebSites. In fact many of them are already doing that. Several sellers get over 10% of their eBay Store traffic from Squidoo. I get a growing portion of new visitors to my blogs from Squidoo and I know of one seller who is doing very well driving traffic to her own website; see it can be done. I'm very excited to be a part of this.

The power to succeed, is in the will of the individual, not in the marketplace. Being an eBay seller provides an instant connection with over 200 other sellers and my job will be to harness that power and channel it into a community that I hope to grow exponentially.

If you are an eBay seller and are interested in more information on Squidoo, please visit the eBay Seller headquarters or my new eBay Squidoo Blog for more information.

Squidoo, is the Web 2.0 tool I've been looking for. It is much more community oriented than MySpace or Facebook, it empowers the individual to speak about subjects they are the experts in. It rewards users (lensmasters) as it grows, by sharing the revenue with them and it provides eBay sellers a vehicle to promote their products, on or off eBay.

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