And how did I find this out? Did Squidoo email everyone many weeks in advance, as Yahoo did? Did they even email anyone at all? No, and no. Here is how I found this momentous piece of information:
I have an RSS feed set up for the blog of Zujava, another site I write for. A new post came through on the feed about problems at that site (more on this later) so I went there to read it. In the comment section someone mentioned Squidoo. Uh oh... time to visit Squidoo. I logged in and there at the top of my dashboard page was a big announcement:
Big News! HubPages is acquiring key content from Squidoo
There was a link there to a post by Squidoo HQ about this. Basically, it says that as of August 29th - 13 days from today - my content will be gone from Squidoo. But hey - I can move it to HubPages! And they'll even handle the transfer.
Except I don't want to transfer. First of all, I noticed how that big announcement said "key content." What if they don't think my content is good enough to publish there? What if it doesn't fit with HubPages' style? And finally, I discovered via one of the comments after the Squidoo post that HP has a $50 minimum payout, which is twice as bad as Squidoo's. My articles are more informational than sales-oriented so they don't tend to make much. How long it would take me to accumulate $50 on HP? And what would happen if I didn't make it in a certain period of time?
There's also the issue of how long HP can survive. The Yahoo Contributor Network is gone, Helium (from what I've heard) is also either gone or going, and now Squidoo is too. Have the "content farms" run their course?
Things certainly aren't getting easier for the survivors. The Zujava post I mentioned earlier was about their just being notified by Amazon that they'd lost their Associates account - which is probably where most of their non-ad income comes from. I feel really bad for them; Zujava is a nice site, clean and well-run, and they didn't deserve this. But now, because the cancellation is effective immediately, they have to scramble to find other online retailers that will accept them as associates. Or else they'll be trying to stay alive only with ad income.
Even if Zujava survives I can't put my Squidoo content there; they don't allow that. So I made my decision. I'm not going to HubPages. And I've deleted all my Squidoo articles.
I do have copies though - as I do with my Yahoo articles - and they may end up here at some point, if Mechanical Turk - which is where I'm spending most of my time these days - goes downhill. But I'm not sure I want to put them on another revenue-sharing site.
I've updated my articles page here so that it doesn't include dead links. But it's going to look pretty sad with just six articles on it.
Still - I think they're good articles. Maybe someone will want to read them.
What a week.