Handbuilt Web pages that help you find what you're looking for, fast.

The site features Google, Amazon, eBay, TypePad, Flickr, del.icio.us, iTunes, Technorati and many other services.

December 14 2005: Irvington, NY — Early last week, squidoo.com opened to public beta. This fast, free service is the next step in reinventing the way people find and create information (and meaning) online.

Squidoo leverages the power of personal recommendation. The service will scale to host millions of handmade pages, called “lenses," each a focused, useful guide to some area of expertise. Lenses can dramatically decrease a person's time spent poking at traditional search results trying to piece together information. Lenses snap meaning into focus, fast.

Squidoo lets anyone build a simple, free web page that points to blogs, online stores, maps and other information on a single topic—any topic. Each page can contain insight, bullet points, links, products and pictures, and other user content. Each page will also earn royalties for its creator or for charity.

Everyday experts, called "lensmasters," build these lenses quickly and easily on topics they know or care a lot about. Squidoo allows bloggers to build a personal, permanent pointer to their best posts (and get more traffic). It provides an easy way for companies to educate their prospects (and improve their visibility) by building lenses about what they know. And it gives everyone a platform for building credibility, spreading ideas, and raising money for their organization or charity– just by talking about what they know best.

In addition to thousands of unknown (so far) experts, Squidoo is also being used by individuals like Jeff Jarvis, Chris Anderson and Jane Goodall. Major organizations are busy building an online presence inside Squidoo as well.

"A lens is the perfect middleman between the content and expertise you’ve already got, and the surfers you’ve never met," says Squidoo founder Seth Godin.

Soon lensmasters will be able to recommend more than 600,000 items on their lenses, from companies that include Minolta, LL Bean and Barnes & Noble. Squidoo’s relationship with CJ, Linkshare and Performics allows lensmasters to feature a huge range of products for sale.

The service launched from secret beta to public beta with nearly 5,000 beta tester lenses on topics ranging from understanding the Nuremberg trials, how to make fondue, and rules for playing Sudoku to The Long Tail, graphic design, and DIY. Once startup and overhead expenses have been paid, Squidoo will openly divide the money it generates with its lensmasters. "Our goal is to act as a co-op and to pay as much money as we can to charities and to lensmasters" says Godin.

Squidoo has already been featured on hundreds of blogs and was the #1 search on Technorati on its first full day of operation.

Squidoo was started by entrepreneur, blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin. His lens can be found at: http://www.squidoo.com/seth.

Everyone’s an Expert About Something: www.squidoo.com

For more information, email megan@squidoo.com.

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Published on: 12:00AM on 14th December 2005