September 16, 2007 |
SquidWho seems to be more targeted towards building fan pages about various people (celebrities, sports stars, etc.), and it allows anyone to build and claim a page about anyone else.
Given the flaws that Squidoo has run into, including countless "lenses" filled with nothing but spam and links, does SquidWho stand a chance in providing a quality service and becoming the "single best fanpage on your favorite writer, musician, movie star, business person or politician," as they so boldly claim on the homepage?
Above the search box on the front page is the statement "Type in the name of someone famous," which gives the impression that SquidWho is more of a celebrity search engine. This is quite far from the case however, as the service will allow anyone to claim a page for anybody's name… even your own.
To test out this process, I performed a simple search for my own name, which had no result. When typing in your search query, SquidWho offers real-time suggestions (similar to Google Suggest), which made it easier to tell in advance if a name is in the database already.
After discovering that my name was not yet available, SquidWho instantly created a page with my name at the top, and it automatically gathered content which it believed to be related to me (based solely on my rather common name), none of which actually turned out to be related to me at all. I was given the option on the top right side of the page however to either claim the page and edit it or decline to accept it.
This is when I found out that SquidWho is nothing more than a streamlined version of Squidoo that automatically creates a basic lens, taking out a lot of the layout work. When I accepted my page, I was directed to select my SquidWho lens URL which actually falls under the Squidoo.com domain (http://www.squidoo.com/michaelgarrett). The SquidWho homepage appears to only provide the people-limited search box, with all other actions being handled on Squidoo.
The FAQ page provided more insight into my observations:
- Does my SquidWho lens live in Squidoo?
Exactly! SquidWho is just a new front door for some of the lenses on Squidoo. That means that the underlying data is right inside of the Squidoo database, and all the rules and FAQ of Squidoo apply. By building a SquidWho lens, you're tapping into the tools and power of the mighty Squidoo engine.
- A new front door? Huh?
Yup. By creating what looks like a sister site to Squidoo (but is actually just a new front door and a different lensmaking wizard), we get to stick out a new welcome mat for new visitors. Tell a new story. Get more specific. If Squidoo.com had launched just as "make a people page" we'd have been too narrow. But now, with the incredible traffic and people and support for the main site, we can start to experiment with new channels, new stories, new ways of making lenses… new front doors. Hope you come knocking.
I was very disappointed at how useless I found SquidWho at this point. If you are interested in having your own result page (with your name) in a people search engine, go with Spock or Wink, as you will find yourself in greater controI over the information about you that is added. With SquidWho, I would have been better off creating a lens about myself from scratch, as the auto-generated page contained absolutely nothing about me anyway.
As for celebrity searches, you may be better off looking at Mahalo (given that there is already a search result page for the given person), whose human-generated results are guaranteed to be more relevant than SquidWho's.
Look for progess to be made with SquidWho, though, as Squidoo has stated that "SquidWho isn't even in beta right now… it's in a beta-ish alpha. Or something."