Following the release of the new workshop, we’re getting ready to release a new experiment we’re calling “Lens Formats”.
Squidoo has always been a flexible platform, allowing you to mix and match your desired content in any way you see fit. But what if you just want to review a single product? Write a specific How-To? Share your photos or art in a gallery?
Having the ability to choose a focused format – beautifully designed with intent for that sort of content – will help guide you to making the best page you can for that goal.
The first Lens Format release is Product Review.
Product Review lenses will feature two to five modules max, with at least 250 words of unique commentary about your favorite things… books, music, movies, kitchen gadgets… and the rest.
The lens starts with a new special introduction. Lensmasters will recognize this as an Amazon-style module, but with a twist. The first twist is in the editor. We’ll help you find the things you’ve shared and loved already, plus items that we think you might already own and love too. You pick a single product and write your unique take on it (again, in 250 words or more). It ends with a guestbook, so people can comment with their opinions, ask questions and more.
Those two modules are all that’ll be required to publish, but if you want to supplement your review with some useful additional content, you can do that too.
You can add videos which show the product in action, the band performing a song from the CD you’re promoting, the author discussing the book, or anything else that adds value to the reader.
You can add three more secondary Amazon products. These can be add-ons for the product in focus, or alternatives.
Or, you can decide to add a Poll, more text, a recipe (if you’re sharing a kitchen product and have the perfect one to match), or a call out.
This new format will also allow you to set a background image behind your lens.
This is completely optional, but we’re sure lensmasters will find great and unique ways to dress up their lenses with imagery that helps tell the story – beautifully.
Of course, you’ll be able to continue to make lenses the same way you do today.
We’re rolling this out to a small group of beta testers soon, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek before then. Seth wrote a review on Malcolm Gladwell’s upcoming book, David and Goliath using this new format. Check it out.
And be on the lookout for this new experiment soon!
UPDATE: We’ve decided not to run ads on Product Reviews at launch. That may change over time, but as with any lenses now or in the future – if they don’t have ads, they aren’t part of the ad pool or payout tiers. Product Review lenses are lenses though. They get lensrank, they earn revenue through affiliate sales, they go through quality scans and TOS applies. So attributable revenue will be paid just like they do on the lenses in place today, including Amazon. The focus on these particular lenses is sharing a product you love, so we want that to be the primary focus on the page.