Monday, January 12, 2009

Bushisms Video Showcase

Although I consider myself to be considerably left of center politically, I haven't been very political on Squidoo. Offhand, I can only think of three lenses that can be considered political. One is my Molly Ivins lens. She wrote a lot about politics and wrote three books with co-author Lou Dubose about Dubya. I also have a lens for Tom Tomorrow, aka Dan Perkins, who does the weekly comic This Modern World.

The first politically-oriented lens was one I created six days after joining Squidoo, the Bushisms Video Showcase. I didn't do much with it once I created it, and several times I thought about deleting it simply because so much of what I do with Squidoo is non-political I didn't want to risk offending potential viewers of my lenses. It was a lens done by a newcomer to Squidoo, and to my now-experienced eye, it certainly looked like one. It has a short intro with a title that's a quote from Dubya:

"One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."

There were 12 thumbnails that link to YouTube videos. There are now only 10 - oops, make that 9 - because after checking the videos for the first time in a long while, I found #10 and #12 had been taken off YouTube (While updating the lens, now I find #4 is gone as well - it was there about 20 minutes previously). They were in a module called a "voting plexo." Plexo is a made-up word for something that allows visitors to a lens to vote on items in a list. Only five of the 12 videos had ever been voted on in over a year, and each one only got one vote each. I can't remember whether they were my votes or not. When people vote in these things, the items with the most votes go to the head of the list. People don't seem to be interested in voting, but then again, I haven't pushed it.

Recently, the lens has been climbing in lensrank on Squidoo, and currently it is my fourth-highest-ranked lens out of 109. That appears to be mostly because it's gotten a lot of visits lately. Apparently people want a last look at Bush's frequent manglings of logic and the English language. Nobody has ever rated the lens by clicking on the stars at the top of the lens, and that's for a lens that has been around over 14 months. The next highest-ranked lens with no stars is #54 on my list.

I was taking a look at the stats for the lens, and noticed something interesting. One of the reffering sites is listed as "". So I took a look there. I entered "Bushisms videos" and looked at the results. It wasn't the first item. After the sponsored listings, it was the sixth:

Bushisms Video Showcase
The 43rd President of the United States has always had a way with words. Whether
it's a way a president should have is open to debate.

Yep, that's my lens, listed along with the first two sentences in the intro module.

I don't know how significant that is, although I thought it was interesting that it even appeared at all on CNN. The stats only show four referals from there. By far most of the traffic is coming from Google with some from Yahoo. My lens is #1 for a Google search of "Bushisms video" and #8 on Yahoo (it's #7 on Yahoo and #6 on Google if you add an "s" to "video"). In the past seven days, 239 out of 255 visits have been from Google.

Considering how little I've done to improve the lens, and how little promotion I've done for it - virtually none - it's been surprising to see this lens ranking so well.

OK, now having written this entry, I've decided (and here, I'm the decider!) to revise the lens by putting the nine surviving videos in their own video modules so they can be viewed without leaving the lens. That does away with voting, but overall on Squidoo, I haven't seen too much activity with voting unless the lens was built specifically for that purpose. I didn't look for new videos to replace the three that were taken off YouTube. My stats show most people who view videos from the lens only look at four or five, so nine is more than enough.

Feel free to visit the Bushisms Video Showcase. Who knows, you might even want to rate it.

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