I don’t like losing useful information (see Spirituality’s blog post on why the Squidoo fans list was useful). I had meant to go on a tour of ALL my Squidoo fans after I hit 1000 fans last month, but hadn’t gotten around to it. I’m not sure when I’ll have time for that, but I can at least provide a backlink at the end of this post to some of you — THANK YOU!
Grab Search Engine Caches of Your Fans List
Many search engines let you view cached copies of their last crawl of each webpage. If they’re not too efficient, their cached copy may be from just before fans disappeared from our lensmaster profiles. Unfortunately, in 2010, Squidoo started displaying only a selection of your fans and hid the rest behind a “more” link which search engines can’t see. So many fans are gone for good. But this will recover at least some.
You’re probably thinking, “What about the Wayback machine?” and rightly so. However, its archives will still be around next week. Whereas search engines’ caches only exist UNTIL the search engine crawls the webpage again. Here’s the ones I found whose cached copies — as of June 2nd — predate Squidoo’s removal of fans. I used a few international search engines since they tend to crawl English sites less frequently:
- GOOGLE. Search Google for: cache:http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/yourname
- Bing.com: search for: lensmaster page yourname
then mouseover to the right hand side of the listing, click the right-arrow that pops up, and scroll down to the bottom to find the cached link. I couldn’t get this to work on Chrome, only Firefox.
- Yandex, the main Russian search engine: search for lensmaster page yourname
then click the копия link (if you’ve got Google translate turned on, it says “copy”). This was the most up-to-date one just prior to Squidoo removing fan clubs.
- Baidu, the main Chinese search engine. Search as usual, then click the only link right under each search result. It only has some lensmaster pages. (While you’re at it — I don’t normally recommend wasting time submitting your pages to search engines, since most crawl Squidoo very often anyway, but with international SEs it may be worth it. Here’s the submit URL link for Baidu. Keep in mind Baidu will tend to favor content in Chinese and/or content of interest to people in China, plus your content has to pass web censorship, but at least some Squidoo pages are getting through the Great Firewall of China. But do that later. Let’s grab your fans first).
- Gigablast.com: search for lensmaster page yourname as usual and click “cached”. This was a fairly recent cached copy as well.
- Exalead: Who are these people? Donno, but they’re saving caches of the web. Search as usual and hit the “cached” button.
You will note that most search engines give you a date for when their crawled copy of your page was cached. Make a note of the most recent one to get a fairly accurate estimate of your fans just before they vanished. Ah, vanity.
Find More Fans From the WayBack Machine
Once you’ve gotten all the fans you can find through search engine caches, THEN go to the Wayback Machine aka Internet Archive and punch in http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/yourname into the “Take me back” search box. This will pull up a calendar. Dates with highlights represent cached copies of the page; click on one of them to go to that date. Then you’ll have a menu at the top of the screen that lets you skip forward and back through cached copies. The layout for Squidoo pages from 2010 onwards is too complicated for the Wayback Machine to reproduce correctly, but the fans list is there: scroll down to find it. Note that pre-2010 Wayback Machine caches of your lensmaster page include ALL fans from that time, since Squidoo displayed the whole list until 2010.
Copy that data into your document too. Save it.
Dump your list into Microsoft Excel. Add a row at the very top (row one) and label it “Names.” Then, to hide duplicates:
- Select the column of names.
- choose “Filter > Advanced Filter…” under the Data menu
- Say “OK” if you get a nag popup.
- Click the “Unique Records only” box and click okay.
And you can sort the column alphabetically. Alas, the result will be all your pre-2010 fans, but coverage of recent fans will be spotty.
A note on lensrank:
The Squidoo FAQ has long mentioned “lensmaster reputation” as one of the factors in lensrank. In 2009, as part of my comprehensive lensrank study, I guessed — although I can’t be sure — that this included fans as a lensrank factor (probably only a minor one). Right after Squidoo dropped the fans list, I dropped to 5-6 tier one lenses. That represents about a $150 drop in income. Ouch. I’m hoping that drop is due to the fact that everyone is scrambling to update their lenses to cope with all Squidoo’s changes, but maybe it means a more level playing field for newbies.
Backlinks for MY Fans: A Small Thank You
I only recovered half of my 1045-ish fans (wah!) but as a small thank you, here’s all the ones I’ve managed to save. The links will be very minor backlinks. (I’ve added a few more that I know were on there.) Feel free to add yours in comments if you like, and thanks again.
And now back to recovering all the OTHER stuff hosed by recent Squidoo updates. Remember when Squidoo was fun? Me, too. Well, jobs aren’t always fun either…it’s a good thing this job pays so well.
Ellen, what a labor of love! And thank you for the thank you. I have to say that I am a huge fan of you and your outlook on life, Squidoo, the Universe……
I have to admit that I am at a loss as to why fans have been removed on Squidoo, when they seem to be an important feature on other sites.
I am watching as the social aspect of networking is helping to build another site very quickly (Wizzley), which of course will help build its ranking on Google and then bring more new traffic and memebers into the site.
All we can do is speculate as to the reasons why Squidoo have taken this decision – we have been promised something to take its place but I am just praying it does not require participation on Facebook.
Thank you for being you and keep on being you XX
“require participation on Facebook” *shudder* Amen to that. SquidooHQ knows my strong reasons why I don’t want Squidoo functionality or participation dependent on Facebook membership.
And thank you, and take care!
I’m discouraged enough about third-party publishing platforms at the moment that I’m not ready just now to dip into Wizzley. But I’m glad to see more alternatives and wish it well.
Right now, my plan is (1) damage control on my Squidoo lenses (2) put more elbow grease into my Zazzle work so that it becomes a reliable income stream and (3) blog on my own website, mythphile.com, more consistently and monetize it better; the safest platform is the one under one’s own control.
Thank you Greekgeek for the great blog and providing some great information. I am also flabbergasted by HQ’s recent announcement and their move towards a less social atmosphere. I’ll be spending a lot more time on blogs going forward than I was on dooU.
I also agree with AJ, that the launch of Wizzley was well timed, even if it was a coincidence. I’ll be spending a lot more time deversifying onto a second platform this year, as I don’t know what the future may hold as a squid.
Thanks for this, Ellen. You’ve obviously put a lot into recovering this valuable data. I only had 84 fans, and was able to recover 50.
Great post & thanks for the feature. I didn’t bother going back to get my fanlist. The main thing I miss is actually not even about being able to squidcast, but about discovering new stuff by others. That’s not going to be recovered, because I’m just too busy to check find another site to log into. The reason I used it was very precisely that it was on my dashboard and it was easy to check the latest new squidcasts. Even if I was annoyed at about half of them.
I cannot imagine that I was not on your fan page!!! Anyway, I am joan4 and I have always been a fan of your work on Squidoo! and what a super list this is!