Thanks to Derek Wenmoth for this link to SQUIDOO! Derek describes Squidoo as ” an example of one category of social software tools – those that aggregate content, the other category being those that create or maintain connections between people. Like del.ocio.us , Squidoo uses the notion of a “cloud” of words (tags) to represent the different “lenses” that have been created, and caries the size of the text of different words in the cloud to illustrate the most popular lenses.”
It seems to me that SQUIDOO also exhibits many of the characteristics of a Personal Learning Environment in that it enables the easy integration of e-learning services through a personal portal.
The granularity is very simple, just the ‘LensMaster’ (the creator) sees the lense or the lense is published and anyone can see the content.
SQUIDOO is built around a concept of ‘modules’ that the user can add and configure to perform different functions. Currently, Flickr has a module so I can set my ‘lense’ to display appropriately tagged images, and there is also an RSS aggregator. In the future, SQUIDOO intend to do much more of this “We’re working with affiliates to build quality, unique modules for our lensmasters. We’ll even offer module bundles for quick and easy lensbuilding, as well as modules categorized by function, by retailer, and by popular subject.”
I hope the ELgg folk take a look at as I think it offers some of the functionality they are aiming for but understands better that as users want to use a range of services from different providers.
I think the Elgg developers risk falling into the trap (I hope they don’t as they have some good ideas) of attempting to put all functionality into one tool rather than concentrating on ‘aggregation’ of content from different sources and the creation of a powerful ‘networking’ tool.
I’ve actually been checking out Squidoo with interest; we’re totally into the external tools concept, and this is one of the first mass-market sites to let people do this (albeit in a limited context). “Let users use the tools they want” has become a sort of in-house motto, and we’re designing around that for the future. Over the coming months you’ll see the ‘resources’ tab on Elgg expand and become a great deal more powerful.