Do the HP Mavens Really Care About Their Contributors?

Enjoy your work, reporters, but forget you are human too!

"If you don't like it, go and clean the crapper, you miserable little hack!"
"If you don't like it, go and clean the crapper, you miserable little hack!"

Maybe we should go clean the crapper!

 One thing I learned from a bunch of power-mad, egotistical executive editors over 20 years as a reporter, is that there may be something lower than a staff writer, but God hasn't invented it yet.

And they will tell you that, right to your face as if they were conferring a morsel of wisdom that you can hold-to for the rest of your life. (In a way, they are). Reporters - in general - are slightly lower on the company tree than toilet cleaners. I mean, it's hard to get a reliable person to lower his or her face to within a foot of a smelly toilet bowl and wrestle a large floater into oblivion while slipping and sliding on Friday night's vomit. But staff writers? Ha! Two a penny. No, not good ones, but who cares? The copy editors are there to polish the prose, correct the punctuation and alter the point the writer was trying to make so radically it often reduces the poor jerk to tears and plotting homicidal revenge. And the managing editor and his acolytes hover in the background ready to authorize more cuts and changes. You don't like it, lowly scribe? get a better job - as a toilet cleaner, maybe.

Newspaper reporters are like bricklayers who throw up a wall while the master craftsmen get ready to level it, point the cement and claim the credit for the ultimate result. No wonder alcoholism and tooting is so prevalent amongst journalists; wanking and suicide, too, I wouldn't wonder.

Now I am starting to notice this holier than thou attitude amongst the powers that be at HP (and Google, too).

One example is their attack upon us for using photos they don't like lately. Wrong pixies, or whatever those things are, and watermarks. We keep getting all those polite but commanding messages to sort it before we can know? Don't tell me it's just me, pleeeze!

OK, I realize I have been less than circumcised, er, circumspect, about the pics I down-loaded to some of my articles. But I gave the photog credit (In most cases!). Not once has a picture author contacted me and asked for payment or for me to remove his work (which I would be happy to comply with).

Now. I don't even mind HP doing this, after all, just because the author has his pics posted everywhere on the search engines without specifying his terms of use in nearly every case, doesn't give us carte blanche to use them. And, yes, I realize there are free downloads, etc., etc. But why does Hubpage Control have to tell me, like I was a mere REPORTER, to look at three other hubs they post at the bottom of these electronic ephistles to give me a clue of what and how to prepare a hub article!? What about my nearly 250 articles herein; what about me constantly achieving 100; what about my 20 years as a reporter and columnist; what about the three books I have published? I'm just chopped liver, eh!?

Ah, me! delusions of grandeur again; I had thought I had found some masters who really cared about me, this humble but loyal wordsmith.

To hell with it, I'm off to clean the toilet.


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Comments 27 comments

Hound Cat profile image

Hound Cat 5 years ago from Los Angeles area of Southern California USA

Had my run in with the HP staff. Wrote a Babe Ruth poem that seemed to do ok with the readership, but got the ding for being substandard. Finally, I had to delete the hub in disgust. Posted it to my blog.

diogenese 5 years ago

Ha! You'd think we were getting paid! bob

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Oh. diogenese, I don't know how to thank you. These words from my heart - about the pictures -. First of all, don't worry the rest of your 250 will be marked jsut the same.

I was already doing my nut on the famouse forum and asked questions whether it is Google or only HP management but so far not anwser. Now, I have been writing almost two years and had a good reply from HP readers and and clicks until Google had that clever idea to but us all down.

I believe when you put a big picture up, readers get more the message of your article. Most of my pictures I had from Wikipedia. So they can't be wrong. Now oned of the replies on forum I had to half or quarter them. I don't think they are impressive but tried I did and bingo I got off the hook.

Now I got 400 hubs and worked jolly hard on it and I am sure they have good contents with little money paid for it but I enjoyed it. First upset the halving of my clicks and now this caper. I think I will give up on HP.

writeronline 5 years ago

Glad to see you haven't forgotten the rule we old schoolers lived by, diogenes:- We may need to eat some shit along the way, but we need never get to like the taste! Here's to clean fingernails..

diogenese 5 years ago

Hi Hanna: As they get bigger and richer, all these companies do the same thing: make more rules; tighten up, until everyone gets so sick of them, they quit and the whole shebang comes tumbling down...Actually, for what money there is, you can take it or leave it anyway...Bob

diogenese 5 years ago

True writeronline, but the money is so inconsequential for most, they don't really care what happens and HP has to be careful...Bob

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for great reply. I was so happy here and was just getting off the ground with my clicks. It is disgusting how they treat writers which are really good one here. Not counting myself. I really HP would be different.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Excellent points, and all too true.

Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

I enjoyed reading your finely written article and think all your points excellent.

I have read a large number of people who write for HubPages and there are few who come close to your writing skills; it seems discouraging to hear this and other complaints from so many people who appear to be the best writers.

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

So true. But HP like Facebook and the like, make it impossible to delete your membership because they can go to sponsors and say: "Lookie here at all the members we have, surely you will want to advertise with us." Hence the 'new' HP ad program. Also HP is courting many newbies because newbies don't know better like those of us here for a year or more. Great points. Pass the toilet brush please.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Wiill, Sembj and Bobbi. Thanks for visit and kind comments. Not only ain't there any free lunch, there's no lunch most of us can even pay for. Soon, the only survivors will be those in the 18 to 40 bracket who still have enough energy to keep picking themselves up and trying again...Bob

PS HP is just Google's punch anyway!

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

Bureaucracy brought down every great empire including the Roman Empire. Some people just never learn.

By the way if you want a good source of art and photos just let me know.

Don't let these people get you down, please keep writing your great stories.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks for that Spirit Whisperer. I'll keep that in mind. Bob

Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

I actually feel sorry for most the staff at HP, Bob. I don't think many of them have a clue what to do about the present situation but are merely trying to appear as if they do.

But content sites rarely give a damn about their writers other than how much money they can wring from their work before they find out how things really are. This has been my experience with content sites anyway. :)

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Well, since I write for the fun of it, I'm not too interested in managing the HP site. That's what they get the big bucks for.

However, if we all quit, they'll just rebuild from the millions of other janitors in the world, so might as well just keep on keeping on.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Yes, Randy. I don't have a problem with what they do as much as how they do it. It comes across as cold and unfeeling. I have been a reporter for a long time and newspapers - to name one venue - have learned a long time ago to stroke contributors large and insecure egos if they can't afford to pay them decent money. HP has to learn that. Bob

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Austinstar. Well, they had better realize, janitors get paid! Nice to see ya...Bob

Sophia Angelique 5 years ago

Bob, after a lifetime of writing, I have come to the conclusion that writers have nobody but themselves to blame. There are too many writers who are willing to write for nothing. I firmly believe we should have a freelancers writers' union and tell all the powers that be, that without us, they're STUCK! Big time.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

That's the heart of the problem. It was the same for a friend of mine who was an interior designer. She said "hobbyists" spoiled things for her. If the content went from the writer to the page of the publication without all the middle (muddle) men, these amateurs or talentless reporters wouldn't last five minutes. But copy editors take the rough prose (which contains the gist of the story) and knock it into readable shape. Therefore, the actual reporter in these cases means little. Of course, legitimate reporters kick up a stink if these reports are altered without their permission, but the crap are only too happy to get paid and run. You can see the truth of this on HP where amateur's work is left as recorded: so many mistakes and inappropropriate content, (among other excellent stuff)....Bob

Sophia Angelique 5 years ago

That's funny! Ironically, I have a degree in Interior Design which I have never used!

I have written extensively about writers and writing, and cover this topic in my writers thread.

I also run a group on facebook called "Writers Get Paid Appropriately."

Harlin Ellison also speaks about it here.

When I worked for the Mail and Guardian (belonged to the Guardian when I was working for them), the copy editors only really checked style issues.

However, I've noticed on the net that companies no longer hire writers. They hire people who are specialists/experts in various topics. Of course, there people generally can't write to save their lives. The copy editor then fixes it all up. Every time I read stuff on Demand Studios I want to puke. It is vile.

However, we have reached a state of over-population where there isn't room for everybody. The cake is getting smaller and the people are hungry for their five minutes of fame.

There's not much one can do except to stay one step ahead of the curve and find the places where one can still earn a living.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

I know a comfortable cave that's beckoning me from Baja!

Thanks for all the comment, Sophia x

cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

i'm sure you got an automated message that couldn't take into account your many accomplishments. if it were personal ar all, they would have realized you didn't need the suggestions. sound about right?

diogenese 5 years ago

It's all a storm in a cuppa anyway; I could care less really...Bob

Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

well, you've done it again, made my day, and true, you do need photos, but of course, your text is more valuable blah blah blah...

PS I think I answered your question on my hub-- or were asking it at all.

Any rate great hub... =)

Hound Cat profile image

Hound Cat 5 years ago from Los Angeles area of Southern California USA

Two more stories about HP staff: 1) my prayer hub was said to be substandard. I just deleted it then later sent an email to the HP staff requesting removal. 2) they gleefully sent me a quick answer for a link to remove all of my 45 hubs. Does not strike me as being very caring. ?

diogenese 5 years ago

Maybe they are cleaning house getting ready to unload the site?

Thanks rebecca and Hound cat Bob

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Here I thought it was just me they hated cuz I don't kiss their collective asses.

We are all slaving away making zero revenue while hubpages makes all the money on our hard work. If we make a penny this week they take it away next week and then give it back saying it's the next week's penny. The poor penny is going to be so worn out from backing and forthing that it won't be good for anything anyway, even if it manages to attract other pennies.

Google doesn't index any of my hubs anymore, not just the ones that have been idled. Have no idea why. Used to be that my hubs were indexed within an hour of publishing. If it takes 6 months for a hub to become successful, why are hubs being idled before that time is up? It's like tripping your child every time it stands up and tries to walk.

Does anyone else here feel unwanted? Like step-children that step-Mom would like to send to a boarding school or work camps? Doesn't exactly make a person feel like doing anything on here anymore.

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