HubPages, a better Squidoo?

Paul Edmondson, the founder of HubPages in Berkeley, California, thinks Squidoo is onto a good idea, but needs improvement in a number of areas. And he’s in the process of building something he says will be significantly better, both for publishers and readers.

Squidoo has basic tools for publishers to create “lenses”, which are topic specific websites. For example, see this site on Web 2.0 by Joshua Porter. The idea is to allow an expert to create a site, combining static/evergreen and refreshed content. Better sites bubble to the top and publishers have the ability to earn a share of advertising.

But Squidoo is stingy when it comes to sharing money with publishers. They split profits, not revenue. And they give 5% to charity before splitting profits.

We divide up the money we receive in a very public way. First, we pay our bills. That’s direct out of pocket expenses like rent and servers and salary and benefits expenses (our CEO doesn’t take a salary, and neither does our board of directors). Then, with no other deductions, we pay 5% of our post-expense revenue directly to the charity pool, 50% directly to our lensmasters and retain the rest to pay off investors and employees.

HubPages is taking a different approach. They are promising more tools to create and promote sites, as well as an aggressive 50/50 revenue split with publishers.

Hubpages purpose is to provide easy-to-use tools and traffic to help anyone to produce content and monetize their knowledge by creating webpages. There will be monetization programs to choose from consisting of products, advertisements and lead generation tools that each person can easily incorporate into their pages. Hubpages will split revenue with the content creator. The pages are organized in the Hubpages website based on algorithmic quality index that promotes the best pages throughout the hierarchy (based on tags) of the website. Each author will earn a reputation score called a HubScore that can be referenced to meter the quality of the content by an author.

Hubpages will be positioned to take advantage of the significant numbers of new web content providers that want to supplement their income through content like many people do on eBay by selling goods.

The Hubpages team is founded by three guys out of Microsoft that were part of the successful startup MongoMusic. The team includes Paul Edmondson, Jay Reitz, and Paul Deeds. Most recently, Paul Edmondson was the Group Product Manager for MSN Entertainment, Jay Reitz was the Development Manager, and Paul Deeds was a developer in Windows Media Internet Services.

Sign up for the HubPages beta at