Thoughts on HugDug

We've spent the last few months working on a new project, and I wanted to share an executive summary with you…

It's called hugdug.

The backstory: So far, hundreds of thousands of people have posted millions of reviews on Amazon.

If you're aggrieved, the negative review makes sense to me. Someone is on Amazon, about to buy something that you don't like, and here's your chance to make a stand, to say your piece…

On the other hand, the positive review, particularly the long, well-written, impassioned review, feels a bit out of place to me. After all, the shopper is already here, finger poised on the Buy It Now button, and has already found the item in question. A simple, "I love it," ought to be sufficient.

But what if there were a third-party site, a place just for rave recommendations, a place where you could help people discover stuff they didn't even know they were looking for? Not just books, but anything sold on Amazon?

What if we can elevate the art of the review, what if we can make what you review a way to tell the world what you care about?

Since we started Squidoo, we've paid our users and their designated charities more than $18,000,000. That's far more than sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which of course pay those that create content nothing at all.

Hugdug is our new project aimed at spreading positive reviews about great products. And we're earmarking half our profits to good causes.

The design goals for HugDug were to make it mobile, generous and beautiful. We wanted to create a platform that makes it easy to speak up and speak out about products you love, and we wanted to make it easy to connect with people who respect your opinion.

Why charities? Because it's the right thing to do and because it feels good. The Amazon products reviewed don't cost anything more on our site (we get paid an affiliate fee by them) and the idea of giving away half our profit is really powerful. What if every site that used user-generated content did this? By all means, I hope you'll donate as much as you can afford to the causes that you care about. Along the way, though, a commerce and recommendation engine that also generates good feelings and worthy donations is a step in the right direction, no?

The best way to understand HugDug is to give it a try. Perhaps you're interested in:

Wrinkle-free packing,

an executive shaving secret,

a future of work, or even,

the best dog toy ever.

(Here are all of my reviews).

And, if you want to try writing a review about something, here is a list of movies to choose from, or even some of my favorite books

Thanks for giving it a try and for sharing it. I'll be posting some great reviews by my readers next week, would love to see what you care about.

PS by request, there's a bonus link about presentations added to yesterday's post.