Squidoo: Can user generated content directed at marketing and making a profit from ad sales really ever be good content? I have been trying to follow some of the Web 2.0 startups and trying to fathom the principles of user generated content that these sites are hoping to build on. But after looking at some of the existing proponents of the model (such as Squidoo), I wonder if this is good for web publishing in general and the ad/search industry in particular.
I really could write a thesis on this but for starters I find myself quite dissociated with the content on Squidoo. The content looks remotely useful but also feels unnecessarily padded and somewhat redundant. Hundreds (maybe hundreds of thousands) of authors are vying for the elusive few dollars in shared advertising revenue and pumping out article after article on search engine stuffers such as Senseo Coffee makers. Squidoo reminds me of a legitimate version of Hot Nachos with a revenue sharing plan on a grader scale than Hot Nachos.
There is the argument that keyword stuffers and spammers are already using blogs to make money through advertising and this is just another such venture that benefits both the author and the company reaping the ad revenue, so this is more of the same old but with a new twist of lemon. However, I just have a bad feeling about this.
On the other side of the picture are the blogging networks. Those tend to create better content since the authors are hand picked and their performance has depended (so far) on the quality of their work, their personalities and unique perspectives.