Brands in Public is a collection of interesting, accessible, public-facing dashboards for your favorite brands – from Zappos to Virgin America to In-n-Out Burger. Each dashboard organizes a hot list of what’s being said about the brand around the web, via Twitter and blogs and YouTube and Google Trends and more. As well as polls and debates and commenting for people who want to do more than just watch. – is how Squidoo welcomes visitors now, promoting its latest feature calledBrands in Public.
Squidoo of course is marketing maven Seth Godin’s product which falls somewhere between aggregation, article writing and blogging. In fact Squidoo defines itself simply as a free space on the internet to use as you wish. Anyone can make a lens (a page like this) and have exposure on the internet. Seth primarily pitched Squidoo asa magent for search traffic which can drive further traffic to someone’s preferred destination (usually a blog) in very basic terms.
However, while it had its share of users, Squidoo in my opinion could never create the same buzz that most of Godin’s books did and still do. Now perhaps in a bid to revive the tool in space getting drowned by microblogs and light blogging tools, Squidoo has put a totally different spin to the service.
This week Godin in his blog introduced the above mentioned Brands in Public feature to Squidoo. The feature basically ensured a page or a lens is made for brands it aggregates conversations about the brand on the that lens including tweets, videos on YouTube, blog posts, etc. Squidoo would let brands curate this page for $400 a month. As the site says, “you don’t monitor the conversation you coordinate it”.
Why would a company pay $400 a month to Squidoo?
For the same reasons that people set up lenses for free. A higher rank for these curated or brand pages on searches where people could get the dope on all the conversation on a brand immediately, then its value would rise. If you consider the earlier PR debacles that we have seen (Dominos for instance) that have happened because of improper social media monitoring, this would seem a small price to pay. And given the curating angle it perhaps gives brand a perception of some control in social media.
However, a critical element is how many people would end up visiting these lenses as they are unlikely to go to Squidoo as their first preference for info on a brand.