"..a bardy view!"

Zujava….(or the A-Z of Squidoo)




I'm writing about Zujava because it conveniently puts my "catagory" list with a range from A – Z.

Prior to that I had to settle for Wizzley as my last word.

Coincidentally both of them are online writing sites, both of them appear to have spun off from Squidoo lensmasters, and both of them seem to have the same people contributing. 

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January 27, 2012 Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Hubpages, Humour, Squidoo, Wizzley, Zujava | , , , | 9 Comments


I read much about writing platforms eg Squidoo, Hubpages, Helium & etc, and I always hear about keywords, SEO and trending, and I also notice that such espousal is deemed crucial for making money from output.

I hear about the power of blogs, I read advice that an article should be linked to this and linked to that, and shared here and shared there, and that facebook and twitter are the conduits to get the stuff noticed.

I read advice about joining forums and making a presence. I hear words of wisdom about being part of a community, about making comments and seeking feedback, about linking articles to back-links, and so on and on.

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September 27, 2011 Posted by | Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Hubpages, Squidoo, Weblogs | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coconut Water (part 2)…

Coconut Followers of this blog will be aware that I have a bee in my bonnet about coconut water.

I wrote a Wizzley page about it recently, which has garnered substantial interest.

Meanwhile I was looking at my Squidoo lens on coconut harvesting and saw a Google adsense link to coconut water. I clicked on it out of curiosity and it brought me to a UK company selling the magic nectar.

"Coconutty" says in their blurb "There’s a revolution happening – from Madonna to Rihanna, from marathon runners to premier league football teams, coconut water is now becoming mainstream. More and more people are opening their minds and mouths to the incredible hydration of pure coconut water. Once the secret of the tropics, coconut water is now being embraced everywhere as the new sports drink of choice."

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September 14, 2011 Posted by | Coconut Trees, Conservation, Education, Squidoo, The Philippines, United Kingdom, Wizzley | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Wizzley Wizzley is an online publishing site similar to Squidoo and Hubpages. The model is more geared to the latter.

I've always found Hubpages much simpler to create content, and Squidoo has developed so many tentacles in recent times that they appear to be getting knotted with their own appendages.  

Whatever is going on at Squidoo is not for me to figure out, but when they started giving out cartoon characters similar to kindergarten cuddly toys as trophies, it was time to cut and run.

As a Squidoo pioneer I was awarded with some kind of demented gremlin high on speed. I regarded it as contemptious and pathetic. Surely they could have thought of something better?

It gets worse – take a quest which I have been invited to complete: "Duncan Diggity is coming up short of ideas for a fun summer vacation for his wife and squids. Help him by creating a NEW travel lens and you'll collect 200 SquidPoints." Wow – goody goody, can't wait to play with Duncan Diggity!! 

But back to Wizzley. The founders have clearly looked at the aforementioned and attempted to strike a happy medium. As with all, the emphasis is on affiliate advertising, so Amazon, Youtube, ebay, Zazzle, et al are fundamental to a page. As with Hubpages, Wizzleyers (wizzlers?) are expected to have independent affiliation with the advertisers, even down to the google adsense – unlike Squidoo which mainly pools it all and distributes it in their own peculier way.

There is no question that Wizzley has learnt some lessons and is attempting to incorporate the best of what's available, nor is there any question, which they may deny, that they are poaching Squidhubbers. They would no doubt argue that they are just creating another sea to swim in. After all, that's what competition is all about.

But loyalty manifests itself in several forms, and whilst many may be tempted to dip their toe in the water, how many will actually swim? Old habits die hard, and although some may jump in at the deep end (writing lots of Wizzley's, gathering fans etc), surely the mercenary will just see an opportunity to promote their established work which is elsewhere? Is this a recipe for opportunism, or a genuine alternative to create refreshing new content?

Its early days, and too early to see what the financial returns may be. Nevertheless, there is room for Wizzley, and the chance to regain a healthy and personal community long lost from the original idealism of Squidoo. It took less than four years for Squidoo to lose its compass.

Lets hope the navigators at USS Wizzley have a greater sense of direction. I will be on board, and will support it.

I just hope I don't feel the need to jump ship in three years time. But by then I may be pushed anyway.


June 3, 2011 Posted by | Current Affairs, Events, General, Hubpages, Squidoo, Weblogs, Wizzley | , , | 2 Comments

Is imitation the best form of flattery – or just downright plagiarism?

So there I was contemplating my navel – as we do – and it occurred to me that all my words written in so many places are just whispers on the ethernet wind. I've been laid low with a trapped nerve in my rear and consequently am somewhat immobile. I tell you, it's no fun, especially when just going to put the kettle on sends me into spasmodic agony. Anyway – far be it for me to complain – there are plenty folk out there with more serious problems.

But this period of physical inactivity has given me time to spend analysing the internet. For example, courtesy of Copyscape – a site which identifies copying and plagiarism -  I've discovered that whole sections of my work have been hijacked with impunity. There are travel sites in South America which have used my "Trek-Philippines" intro as their own. And don't get me started on the Philippines, where an abundance of sites have stolen my words.

I've come across respected global news media which have nicked my stuff. Take this for example about Audrey Hepburn: "Feminine beauty can be defined both within and without. Yet there are few women who exude both. Marilyn Monroe – stunning, flawed and vulnerable. Rita Hayworth, stunning, confident and – vulnerable. Sophia Loren, stunning, strong etc."

Well, excuse me, but those are my words and thoughts, first published on Bardiness.

And what about: "Whether you are careering in a bumpy multi-coloured jeepney along chaotic streets, or trotting gently in a horse drawn calesa through historic avenues; scuba diving in some of the world's finest waters or taking on the challenge of a mountain trek, the Philippines has everything to offer the adventurous traveller…" First published on Squidoo in 2007. This has been used in abundance around the web, by so-called "reputable organizations".

There are scores of other examples. Now don't get me wrong. The saying that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is a compliment of sorts, but it is a 19th century proverb not designed for the 21st.

I don't mind people using my stuff, but an acknowledgement would be nice or a backlink, or even a request to use it. After all, it's my work, so why should others assume they can take it for free?

I could of course visit all these sites and express my legal rights, that's what the Creative Commons License is designed for. But the prospect of spending time on this fills me with more agony than my current ailment.

I went to one today, a site which looked like a legit outfit, and gave them a piece of my mind, but it was just a "blogger" site. How many have already copied my stuff from there for example? Where is it now? That's the big question!

March 11, 2011 Posted by | General, Squidoo, Travel, Weblogs | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

VE Day – 65th Anniversary

Two days after the UK general election, the Victory in Europe anniversary falls on May 8th. The country will be suffering an election hangover and the media will be awash with analysis and post mortem scrutiny.

Celebrations will be taking place nationwide to commemorate VE Day, and I can only hope they get their just attention. I fear they will be considerably overshadowed.

Still, in an attempt to support them I have created my own small contribution with a Squidoo lens: VE Day – 65th Anniversary

Its the first and only lens about the subject on Squidoo, which is a rather poor reflection on what interests people on that site.

Anyway, I do hope that my few modicum of readers here will give it a look and support it.

If we can just take a brief moment to reflect upon the occasion before being thrust back to the world of politics, it would be something. After all, without VE Day, there may have been no election in the first place.

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Events, London, Politics, Squidoo, United Kingdom | , , , | Leave a comment


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