Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Several Squidoo Things

A few things have been happening, or perhaps not happening, since my last post. One thing that didn't happen anywhere near when I thought it would was the delivery of the CDs from Maggie's Music. There was a slight address discrepancy. It took UPS over 48 hours to rectify that, which they did late Tuesday night last week. But for some reason they couldn't get it into a Wednesday delivery. Thursday was New Years Day, so it wasn't until Friday that the package finally arrived. Even then there was one last bit of complication. When the person delivered it, he or she didn't ring my doorbell or knock on the door. The box was just left in front of the door with the doormat draped over it. Since I'd already checked my mail that day and didn't plan on going out, it wasn't until about an hour and a half later that I checked the UPS website to track the package and it said "Delivered" with a time. I had visions of never seeing the package since I didn't know it was out there, but it was. (That's Bonnie Rideout in the picture, btw.)

The nice thing about getting the package is listening to all the wonderful music. I knew the package was, according to UPS, seven pounds. I found out that works out to 30 CDs. I haven't listened to all of them yet, but so far there isn't one I don't like. There were several Christmas-themed CDs, but I listened to them before the 12 days of Christmas were up.

After I got all the Maggie's Music lenses done, all 16 of them, I was able to go back and finally finish up a lens for Portland Celtic harpist and singer Elizabeth Nicholson. Her music is mostly available through CD Baby, so I used text modules and CD Baby graphic links, plus text links for those CDs available from Amazon, both .com and

I first saw her playing solo in a little corner spot at Portland Saturday Market in 2000. I remember wondering if Loreena McKennitt started like that. I bought her CD, which was titled The Lulling Hour, although now I see the one she's offering under that title has a different lineup of tunes.

I'd also gotten the idea that I really needed to make a lens for Irish singer Mary Black, as a result of hearing her music on, so I got started on that. She's released a fair number of CDs over the past 25 years or so. I used the Amazon Spotlight module, which puts each CD in its own separate module, so I was able to intersperse a few video modules throughout the lens. I guess the big push to get out all those Maggie's Music lenses slowed me down a bit. I didn't commit myself to finishing the lens in one day as I often have. Instead I spent a couple of days populating the spotlight modules, writing a bit of text for each one in addition to putting in the track listings. Then I got a bit hung up on what to write for the introduction module, something I often leave until the end because often I learn stuff while filling in the info for each CD and finding suitable videos.

Yesterday I decided to sign up with Tagfoot, a social bookmarking site that seems to be attracting other good lensmasters. I did that after spending several hours going through all the Maggie's Music lenses and getting them submitted to Delicious, Digg, Facebook, StumbleUpon and YahooBuzz by using the Shareaholic extension in Firefox. So my first project with Tagfoot was to list all the Maggie's Music lenses.

Today I was listening to LiveIreland and in the chatroom when someone there mentioned Julie Fowlis, a Scots Gaelic singer from North Uist in the Hebrides Islands. She's got a new CD out with three other folks, two of them from the Irish group DanĂº (one of them is her husband Eamon Doorley). At first all I wanted to do was add the new CD, Dual. Then I saw she'd come out with a 3-disc version of her previous album Cuilidh, so I had to add that. I also decided at first to switch from the regular Amazon module to spotlights, but then it occurred to me that I could use plain text modules with CD covers from Amazon along with text links to and

The advantage to doing that is I don't split commissions with Squidoo. I'm not sure if that means I might go back and start changing other lenses. That would certainly take a whole lot of time, and given how many people click to Amazon and actually buy something, I don't think it should be a really high priority.

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