HubPages Sucks: an experiment in censorship and corporate etc. blah blah

Experiment

So, just to see if HubPages really censors for its own nefarious reasons, or if that’s just a nasty rumor, I thought I’d have a little experiment to see how it plays out. What follows will be my honest opinion of HubPages with as much fact as I can muster, mitigated by the fact that facts are subjective and anyone who tells you otherwise is either a salesman or a fool. So, here goes:

I found HubPages (HP from here out) nestled amongst job listings on Craigslist. It looked like a job posting, saying, “Writers wanted,” or some such, and given it was placed what I consider strategically amongst employment opportunity posts, it could be construed as manipulative or deceptive advertising. I consider it to have been both, but perhaps that’s just me.

However, HP is a business, not a charity. Their graphic icon is not a Red Cross. HP is a subordinate of Google. So, to expect less than the most strategic marketing is to show a lack of understanding about business, particularly in modern cultural climes.

Morality

With the lack of a unifying God figure to lay out morality for us, we are left to our own devices. Google makes no bones about being a company, and as such, a profit enterprise. The HP terms of service are perfectly clear, and where they aren't, there are no existing moral guidelines that stand as universal for companies pioneering new terrain, no iron chains to bind the winds of words or the gusts of meanings whispered beneath the breath. The gray spaces, the nebulosity of slippery language, and the tactical deployment of ambiguous words is all that is needed to provide plausible deniability and a shadow of doubt – no matter if they hazard upon one’s hopes and dreams like explorers upon a village of primitives. Comb morion, anyone?

Until some god or another shows up and adds starch to the mudslide of subjectivity and relativism, we who scramble to stay atop and wade, running over its sucking wet surface must muck through as best we can. Seek the best of the worst and stare only at the parts of it that don’t frighten us if we think too hard on what it means.

That said, HubPages is a place to write. It’s not really a writers’ place, not in the way I think of writers – writers as people who poke at and peel back the dead skin of social decay and try to get at the still living meat, maybe sprinkle in a handful of prosaic maggots to eat away at blackening flesh, a placebo of a few mealy words to keep the body alive and red like salmon or tuna in a sushi bar. That’s the not the kind of writers this writers’ place is a place for. It’s more of a typers’ place, a place where typers can create monetary driven works with the intent or pseudo-intent of informing others about one thing or the next: some put some care into their work, others work at their work with care, and a few actually say, occasionally, something of worth about something for which I might care. In short, it’s a menagerie of typers, with a few writers kept in canary cages, all mashing and pecking at keyboards with such tap-tapping clamor as to drown one another out. Notice to be noticed by Google, carnival keeper of them all.

Typers

However, there is no sin in being a typer. Even writers are typers from time to time. And what human has not sold out this value or that when such-and-such required. There’s no shame in it. There’s no shame in sharing sameness with the rest of the human world. It is a corporate world after all. It’s a world that requires we make a buck. Without a buck we have nothing. At least nothing that the consumer world considers valuable. Food is a commodity, and we can’t grow vegetable gardens in our front yard. There’s been hubs on that.

I don’t want to see your corn stalks when I look across the street. I’d like to write well enough to eat. Fancy there’s something growing in that, but I don’t want to look at it hard enough to write about right now. Not here on HP. No one would read it.

Those thoughts won’t search, and there is no HP money to be made. Better I write about a cure for pet dander or powder to cure hemorrhoidal itch. That’s where the money is.

(I laughed.)

Needs maggots. Maybe I'll invent a maggot powder, call it Preparation M.
Needs maggots. Maybe I'll invent a maggot powder, call it Preparation M.

Verdict

So, does HubPages suck? Yes. And, No. It is what it is, and we have what we have of it. No one makes anyone write here, and they don’t have to play by your rules. That’s the song of our lives. If you don’t like it, leave. So true. Go somewhere else if you don’t like this or that or the other thing. Nobody cares if you do. There’s another commune waiting to take you in. Another forum culture waiting to hold you up and tell you how smart you are.

Until one of you, some of you, get bored again. Then rinse and repeat.

Nobody is going to pay you what you are worth, and you probably aren’t worth what you think you should be paid. Is that HP’s fault? Likely not. If you are worth what you think you are worth, then you should be being paid what you think you should be. So, don’t blame HP.

Could HP do more to keep out trolls? Unlikely. The nature of trolls, at least the good ones, is that they possess the gift of plausible deniability. Oops, there’s that phrase again. How funny in such proximity. When HP tries to give someone the benefit of the doubt, they allow trolls to exist. When they kill a troll, they kill innocents. A thankless task, warden to the borders between humans and trolls. There’s a whole genre dedicated to that fantastic sort of tale. Nobody believes it. A realm of magic and make believe.

Does HP suck? Compared to what?

Everything sucks when compared to certain other things.

More by this Author


Comments 99 comments

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Refreshing as your inimitable style is.

I found HP the same way you did. Was that Craigslist ad deceptive? Sure, but no more than Google's promises of integrating your Internet life to the point of no pain if only you will use all of its online tools. As you said, business.

Blah blah works for me. It's all the same game; only some are better at it than others.

For me, HP works for my purposes. I wish I'd been the one to think it up, implement it, and cash in on it.

Can't resist this: The large Google ad just under your profile on this Hub is for "Discount Flies". LOL!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yeah, me too, Sally's Trove. I actually thought of it fifteen or so years ago, just lacked the knowledge, energy to get the knowledge, and financial wherewithal (again energy to develop said wherewithal) to pull it off. More power to them, I say. I think.

:)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Amen. *sigh*


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I just saw the discount flies thing. LAWL. They must be escaping from my Preparation M lab experiments.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

That's pretty much my take on it, although I lack your eloquence.

It is a good place to store an online portfolio and meet a few like-minded people. I have had a few good clients through HP, too, so they were not completely lying with the 'make money' adverts!

Anyway, must go and pick some more oranges and keep the starvation at bay for another day :)

I just see adverts for 'Love Thermometers' and 'Meet Greek Women, Now.' I would have clicked on the 'Discount Flies' ad, because they are just what I need. You lost a few cents there, I'm afraid :(


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

You're right Sufi, kept in perspective and used for what it's worth, HubPages is fine. I still think the ads were placed in such a way as to be at the very least misleading. If it were anyone else but the marketing juggernaut Google, I could say, "Well, probably just me thinking it was a 'real' job." But I don't believe in accidents on that scale. I'm fine with it; I get it. Just saying. :)

And if the Internet flies are like real flies, they'll be back, so my cents will return. lol


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

I do actually agree with you - I was on a freelance site that decided to run a similar, 'slightly misleading,' campaign and also appeared on Good Morning America. All of a sudden, you had hordes of people who think that being able to use a word processor makes you a writer.

The genuine writers and clients left, due to the plague of, if I am kind, 'enthusiastic, amateur typers.' Luckily, I had been on there long enough to develop a private client base, or I would have been screwed.

I may even send the head office a large box of flies :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hey, be glad you develop a client base through your efforts on these sites. These flies represent the bulk of what I have garnered to this point. lol


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

I do feel for you creative types - that is a tough gig. Academic writing is much easier and pays slightly better, too. All I need to do is link lots of random, long words together :)

If you interested, we have an invasion of wasps - if you want to barter some flies, let me know. You could market the wasps as: 'The Perfect Gift for your Mother-in-Law.'

I want a consultancy fee when you break your first million bucks. Such wisdom is not given freely :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

You both bring up an interesting point. The Internet has dumbed down the importance of craft and skill (let alone creativity) in writing. Where once that craft and skill were rewarded, now they are mostly ignored...keywords and what enterprising entities like HP can gain from keywords have claimed economic supremacy. Ad-based words now equal marketing success, and that has come to be called writing.

Thank God there's still a Pulitzer prize that looks at something other than keywords. Almost seems dinosauric now, doesn't it? A prize for literary excellence?

I'm all for flies and wasps. Given the right marketing direction based on research of fly and wasp demand, I'd make more money with that if I could only integrate it with HP's strategy.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, Sufi, the creative types have historically always eaten proverbial poo so I tell myself it is dues paying. When I die I will be famously famous. It will be great. Then my progeny can fight over the estate while corporate prospectors lawyer their way through it, leaving my descendents impoverished AND not speaking to one another. It is the way. (I'm not even this bitter, lol. I've been reading Pessoa, he's seeping into my brain LOL).


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Sally, I know, the Pulitzer is becoming sort of a medal for the old fogies, the people who still follow the ancient ways of long, concentration and focus. I think it's funny (ironic) that the popular culture values ninjas and similar characters from anime, beings of great focus and study, and yet demand instantaneous gratification and amusements in doses deliverable by the shot glass. I wonder if literature as "we" know it will be come "dinosauric." How funny would it be if Derrida got lumped into the same sack as Eliot, stuffed into the mini-storage of time, and written off as part of the same out-dated tradition.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

I don't know about the creative side, but there has been a shift back towards quality on the academic side. A year ago, a search would bring up the same Ezine crap, spun six times. Now, a lot of that is disappearing down the rankings.

I hope that the same happens for the creative writers - bricks and mortar book retailers, like Waterstones, have gone downhill and serve up pap aimed squarely at my mum. Perhaps the internet could revive the market for niche writers. I certainly hope so, or we might as well let the wasps have a go at writing books.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Your prose...your imagery, are staggering, Shadesbreath. Good God, I'm speechless.

(As I should be.)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

YEah, Sufi, the Ezine crap doesn't deliver the goods over time, and I reckon the good stuff eventually starts to accumulate backlinks that get clicked and so forth, eventually lifting the good stuff out from the dross.

As for the brick and mortar... I think all that just goes back to the end or ebb of the ability to concentrate on a singular task. "Multi-tasking" is actually put as a desirable trait on job listings, as if somehow the ability to bounce from one thing to another, losing concentration and wasting time in the mental and physical shift required to switch every single time, back and forth, is a good thing when measured out over the course of a work day. How is it that the accountants haven't figured that out yet? Maybe they don't talk to the psychologists.

And on the wasps thing, I've read plenty online that is little better than what a wasp might sting out if it jammed its stabby little ass at a keyboard long enough. What's that old thing about monkeys and type writers and Hamlet? Perhaps wasps are only good enough for Twighlight, Shakespeare being beyond the insect aptitude for luck.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Lorlie6,

Your compliment is very kind, thank you.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

With you on the multi-tasking - I spent many years in the corporate hell, and I have never met so many pompous idiots. Just the mention of a 'Time and Motion Study' now sends me into a killing frenzy. Creative thinking and problem-solving was frowned upon as a weakness by the bean counters. As for the backstabbers and arselickers...

I used to like going into a bookshop where the staff actually read books, and you could ask them for suggestions. To be fair, the major bookshops in Oxford were pretty good, and the staff knowledgeable, but that is all too rare.

Careful with the praise, lorlie - we'll never hear the end of it. He will become complacent and, the next thing you know, we will find him seated on the porcelain throne, his bloated carcass wearing an Elvis costume as he chokes to death on his own smugness.

Instead, we must denigrate and jeer, telling him that he is not fit to lace the boots of L. Ron Hubbard. Driven by spite, and muttering, 'I’ll show the fools,' he will be inspired to write greater things. It’s tough love, but it is for his own good. We must be harsh muses to his creative genius.


Aya_Hajime profile image

Aya_Hajime 6 years ago

Hahaha - typers! I am proud to be a typer!

An excellent hub Shades. A good response to the recent Forum thread.

There is no need to take these things personally. HubPages is a money making business and they will make decisions based on that end goal. Similarly, we must also do what we think is best for ourselves based on our own end goals.

Different people will have different end goals, likes, and dislikes and therefore have different experiences on HP. In fact, I think we can learn much from each other, so we need not repeat the same mistakes.

Yuck on that last picture!

[That is my jeer. I am saving you from Hubbard's boots]


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Sufi, I'm with you on everything corporate. I totally get that it is a means to ... well, a means to means, but that's it. I just can't heav a sigh big enough to encompass it.

Hey, there was a chick at our Borders Books (a total corporate chain bookstore in case you don't have them over there) who when I whumped down a stack of really great books she cooed and pointed out this one and that and what she liked about them. I confess, she could be trained to do such things, fed an oatbag of synopses by corporate trainers, to make me FEEL like I was amongst kindred spirits, but, I like to think she was well read, better read than me, and that she likes books enough to have a career amongst the things she loves. :)

And hey, ix-nay on the enigration-day and eering-jay. I need people to tell me how awesome I am. Those wasps may think to make a hive in my nether-cave as it were if I don't have a regular dose of smoke up in there.

Aya, you can be proud of your work on here: I would call you one of those who "works at their work with care." Truly.

(What, I'm not wearing those boots?)

And I don't take the rest of this personally. I can be a bit whiny sometimes, perhaps in this piece even, but, well, it's not a sense of personal attack upon me as it is just resignation. Like a last dinosaur or something, not even a big scary one, you know? If I were a T-Rex, a James Joyce or Hemmingway or something, it would be fun. But I'm one of those wienie dinosaurs that nobody knows the name of, you know, the little ones that look like knee-high raptors but with leaf-eater teeth and no poison. Essentially the krill of the dinosaur world. lol. [See, I just did it again. I'm like a Whinosaurus.] :)


Aya_Hajime profile image

Aya_Hajime 6 years ago

Hahaha - you are too much Shades.

But I didn't say things very well - I was agreeing with you that people in general shouldn't take these things too seriously - both HP actions, and the actions of other hubbers. They are just doing what is right for them - and we can take that as a learning experience rather than as an insult.

And I would love to see you in boots - bet you are mucho sexy ;)

Happy Valentines you cute little Elvis impersonator, boot-wearing, T-Rex!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, now I know what I'm going as next Halloween. lol


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Lol Shades, love your comment on wasps :)

I don't take criticism of HubPages personally. Doing that is kind of crazy. Everyone has a right to their opinion, there has been plenty bashing of other websites on these pages.

I don't earn as much as others but I consider HubPages just a waystation, a place to learn and practice.

Multitasking seems to be losing favour, more and more studies are showing that it does not work.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

LOL...krill of the dinosaur world. I think that image is worthy of a Hub of its own.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Do you guys know who Elena is?


PrettyPanther profile image

PrettyPanther 6 years ago from Oregon

This is one of the things I love about hubpages: reading a hub like this one where the comments are as fascinating and thought-provoking as the hub. I just finished reading all of the hubnugget nominations and was mostly unimpressed, so it was refreshing and invigorating to follow up with this one.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

I know one Elena, Shades, but the same one as you do!

There is a Borders in Oxford and the staff are very good. They are encouraged to read and develop expertise in a subject area. I always liked second-hand bookshops, though - the ones where every single inch of space is covered with piles of books. They smell of hidden knowledge, too :)

PS: I opened the door this morning, to find that the wasps had arranged themselves to spell out 'Shades is God.' I was about to throw myself on my knees, and bow to your greatness, when I noticed that somebody had cunningly spelled out the words with sugar.

You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

PrettyPanther,

Thank you for those kind words. And I agree, some very facile minds showed up to pipe in on this. I feel like the ugly flower that got some of the hummingbirds to fly over to my part of the garden.

-----

Well Sufi, if we're talking about the same Elena (I'm not sure I know Elena... I'm horrific with names)... so, if you could shoot me an email with who that is, so I can shoot her an email etc. :)

You know, it's funny. I am such a prude about having new books. The odd used book for a college class I totally get, but when it's a book I want to keep and go back to, I like a new one. It's all mine. It has no one's notes in them (often retarded), no finger prints, food stains or the occasional boogie dried to a page... plus I love the creak of the spine on a new hardback and the smell of those brand new, virgin pages waiting for my eye's to caress them and take their words for myself. :D

And, the wasps... well, I uh, of course not. I mean, would I do that? Obviously not. Who would waste that much brown sugar, anyway?


Elena. profile image

Elena. 6 years ago from Madrid

Hello, Elena at your service. First time HubFeed is useful at all for me! Laugh!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Sending you an email. :)


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Shades - my PM is redundant! As suspected, it is our raven-haired Spanish beauty :)

I am a lover of really old books - 50 - 100 years old or so. Mind you, I will not turn down virgin pages.

PrettyPanther - Sometimes, I think that HP can be too polarised between marketers and people who write for pleasure. Beneath the puerile banter, of wasps, flies and dinosaurs, you can see the challenges faced by the third group, the 'traditional writers.' Times are tough in a changing world :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

How do you define "write for pleasure" and "traditional writers." Just out of curiosity.

Oh, and there's no chance I'd turn down a 100 year old book, btw. Fifty, I'm not so sure. Although, I got a copy of Bunny Lake is Missing once and was delightfully surprised. So maybe.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

As we have found on HP, labels do not have a clear defining boundary, which is why I always express concern when fractures appear - many people straddle the boundaries.

We tried commercial (the SEO marketers) and non-commercial (everybody else), but that cuts out the guys like us who are trying to make a living in the 'old fashioned way' - books, journals, magazines etc. People who look to make a living out of writing without knowing about Adsense. In a multi-choice poll, perhaps we are 'Option D - None of the Above.'

If you can think of a better definition, I am all ears. Perhaps 'Dinosaurs' is the best one yet :D

I was spoilt in Oxford - there was a really good shop with old books. I have some 50 year old Ancient Greek plays, with English and Ancient Greek on alternate pages. Beautiful.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

D is for Dinosaur... WOOT! lol.

THose old plays do sound awesome. My Dad has a bunch of 1st edition Edgar Rice Burroughs stuff that's pretty cool too.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Dinosaur it is, then. Maybe we should do the decent thing and bury ourselves under a pile of crap, to slowly fossilise. In a few millennia, archaeologists will be able to dig us up and see what writers looked like in the old, primitive days.

Maybe the wasps will have taken over the world by then.

Those books sound wonderful - truly heirlooms to be passed down to your progeny. It will give them something else to fight over when you have started the fossilisation process.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

LOL. It's so funny you said that. As I wrote about them, I had to resist the urge to say, "When my dad crokes, I totally want those books." I mean, I was just thinking, you know, eventually, but somehow typing it makes it sound so... so... vulture on a branch-like.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

I don't have kids, but I have been to enough funerals to know how it all works. They really can bring out the worst in people! To be fair, it is rarely about money (I have never had rich relatives), but random junk. More a case of 'You didn't want it until I said I did.' Pfft..families!

I usually find a corner and get quietly drunk, instead. I try to swipe the contents of the drinks cabinet and imbibe the evidence before anybody notices :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

DUDE, yes, exactly! Or wait... Hey, you didn't want that tequila till I said I did!


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

You mean this Tequila...erm...if you give me a couple of hours, I will be able to fill it up again.

Don't worry, Shades, if you go before me, I will pour a bottle of finest malt whisky over your grave, every year. I hope you don't mind if it passes through my kidneys, first.


Misha profile image

Misha 6 years ago from DC Area

Gave you some backlinking boost Shades, along with Oli and SF :)


ateenyi profile image

ateenyi 6 years ago from Chicago

Excellent Hub!!!!!

The hub is very much informative. The main area of focus seems to be business. The Google makes no bones about being a company, and as such, a profit enterprise. Thanks a lot for sharing such interesting information.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

capitalism at its best! sad but true, ---

call it the deterioration of the kinds of material and stuff we want to read, gone are the days when we want to read stuff with importance,

pople are into kind of stuff which advertisers are willing to pay..viagra etc--

capitalism dictates the kind of articles people write - how tos, tips, easier life, easier everything, no more history topics -- intellectual kind of stuff

HP is just a microcosm of a bigger capitalist world, google, then government then liberalization etc..

Thank you for this one, nice style of writing

Maita


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Wow, Sufi, fine malt whiskey you are so... kind. Really. Thanks. lol. Actually, once I'm dead, I probably wouldn't care. Who knows, it might still work filtered down through the dirt and stuff. :)

---

Thanks Misha. I love backlink love. Especially since I'm too lazy to promote. I keep telling myself someday I will, but I never do. Two years later, I think it's time to just accept it ain't gonna happen on any of these hubs of mine. Just have to let Google gravity work or (or not) with no help from me. So, again, thanks. :)

---

Ateenyi, I appreciate the comments, thanks.

---

And Pretty Darkhorse,

I agree, that combination of capitalistic reality and modern technology is what it is. If people don't like capitalism, they can try to do someting about it, but the lack of deep reading probably will hinder their capacity to fathom the nature of the problem or the nature of a "cure." We're probably doomed to the same old cycle as the last 10 or so thousand years, but I suspect we're not quite to the proletariate uprising stage. I believe someone of intellectual merit said at some point way long ago that "democracy ends in facism," so we have to do that first. It's coming, as it seemingly always does, but we're probably a century or so away still.


jiberish profile image

jiberish 6 years ago from florida

I saw that ad on craigs list and while it said that you can make money, it didn't say you could live off of it. Deceptive? No! Just good advertising. Good Hub. I'm glad to join the typers club.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

It is effective advertising, there is no doubt. "Good" or "misleading" are all terms that fall into that subjective place that begins to move outside the microcosm of Google and into conversations about who we are as a society. In the meantime, a squirrel just needs to get a nut, right? :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I just knew this would be good as soon as I read the title and saw the author. As usual Shades you never disappoint.... well done :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

PS. Well done on the 100 Hubber score :)


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

There is the art of decepting others, and also the art of being easily decepted. That could also be called being naive. Not saying you are or were. We have to read between the lines a little bit, especially when it comes to something that requires a little bit of talent to be successful at it—like writing, like songwriting or singing, like being a doctor even. No amount of education will ever make you rich and famous for what you do. 20 years in college won't make you a great doctor—hell, neither will 8. So if you come in the door thinking it's it. The end all to be all. The Holy Grail of success...well...

What can I say?

Other than great hub.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Thanks Misty. It almost turned into a rant, but I think I reined it in. And lol @ 100 hubscore. I never stay at 100 for more than a day or so. I write a new one, I get up there, then a few days go by and it's back to the mediocrity of the mid-nineteis again.

---

Springboard,

You touch on a really critical issue. You're quite right that people bring what they wish to what they say. Glasses half empty or half full and all that rot. The balance between "caveat emptor" and "pride in workmanship" is the issue I think. To relegate the relationship between those ads and the desire to believe that something written means what it appears is not as simple as either naivete on the readers part OR as deception on the advertiser/writer's part is to over simplify and to ignore the relationship.

Communication is a two way street, all of which has been broken down a zillion times so I'll not wear it all out again, but the message as envisioned by the writer must be received by the reader through the medium of written language. The "plausible deniability" that I mention, speaks to the idea of intent. Was the intent pure? Was the message written with pure innocence, as in, if Google read my opening and said, "My gosh, he thought that? Wow, how could he possibly have assumed that a listing placed like we did, where we did and written as we did could mean anything other than a position writing content for us that would - with massive effort on the part of the writer - eventually, over a span of years, possibly generate enough money, to pay one singular utility bill? How did that happen?"

If that were the case, if they really, honestly constructed that message believing it was perfectly clear the nature of how HP works for generating income, then I'd say it's fine.

If, on the other hand, they placed it there, purposefully vague, situated with actual job postings on the local section of the city-based site, with zero explanation at all about the nature of the writing and a realistic 'salary' expectation, because they KNEW it would work with the optimistic nature of people, particularly those seeking employment A) due to a hazardous economy, or B) in a field like writing where, for many, it's a dream thing... then I would call that intentionally misleading. Which, again, is fine.

That's the rules in our modern society. Honor (if it ever existed) is one of those quaint old customs like medicinal leeches and respect for your elders. Melancholic longing for yesteryear suffices nothing. My point in mentioning that particular part of my HP experience was in the desire for candor. I merely shined my light on it. What it means, I can only prod at with my dull writer's stick and wait to see what crawls out.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Love love love this Hub! Love the "Go somewhere else if you don’t like this or that or the other thing!"


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Love, love, love when people say that about my hubs. :)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

Shadesbreath, You made some good points, though I did not like some of the visuals.

We don't really get paid for working here. We get paid for how our product fares on the market. This depends more on other people than on either HP or ourselves.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

LOL, yeah, I'm with you on the visuals. That last one makes me squirm. Which is why I put it there. It should make people who care about art and truth squirm. Or at least that's the way I see it. Who knows what it actually is doing. Once we write our stuff, it's just out there, discovering what it really is.

And yeah, see I need a product. I just don't have anything I care about. I wrote on Coors Light a few times. Could do one on Advil I suppose, I believe in that product. But I don't think they really need my help. I just don't care about products. I'm a crappy capitalist. :(


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 6 years ago from United States

Now here is an article you don't see every day. I've noticed that there is a distinct 'no fly zone' when it comes to discussing the shortcomings of hubpages or sites like it (ehow sucks hardcore). They lure you in with the promise of making money, but the reality of it is that you don't really make the decent amounts of money unless you're writing to sell a specific product (rather than create meaningful articles). For those of us trying to make our articles something to be proud of, we barely scrape by a penny a month.

I'm curious to see what kind of reaction you get from the powers that be (HubPages) because I haven't yet managed to figure out their regulation methods. They seem more accepting of a large variety of articles, and yet I can't help but wonder how the 'pictures of hot ladies' are approved as articles, or even writing for that matter.

I do enjoy writing for HubPages, but it's not because I think I'm actually going to make money from it. In the next few years I might earn enough money to buy myself a pepsi. *crosses fingers*


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

"HP is a subordinate of Google. "

It's more akin to a partnership.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

M.T. Dremer, I'm with you on being curious to see how my experiment works out too. Although, I've been with HP for a while and I'll be honest, I will be surprised if they have an issue with this article. It doesn't slam them at all, it points out what to me seem truthful, but not overly condemning, and gives them props where they should be. I've also watched the staff at HP mete out discipline etc., and I seriously doubt they will take issue with this. They all seem pretty even-keeled. But, we shall see.

---

Nicomp, you may be right. I was going for the "less than" part of that word more than the part of a singular hierarchy thing. My diction may have failed there, but for the moment I am unmotivated to fix it. Too early in the morning to think that hard.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

"Nicomp, you may be right."

I don't read that very often. My next hub will be a tribute to you.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

LOL! Yes, that is a phrase that's hard to come by. And my enormous, narcissistic delirium and me will be waiting every moment for my tribute hub. :D


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

Remember, I'm almost completely left-brained. I did my best.

http://hubpages.com/community/Hub-337-In-Praise-of...


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Interesting Hub.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I hope so, Sandy. :)


spryte profile image

spryte 6 years ago from Arizona, USA

Sorry...not inflammatory enough. There are no nekkid pictures and not a single person has mentioned one sexual device in the comment section. :)

If Brittany can still have a job after shaving her head and showing her pubes, I'm afraid you don't stand a chance of being censored. Better luck next time!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

LOL, Spryte. I thought I'd try! It seems HubPages might be more reasonable than some might think.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

This is your first hub that I've read and I just fell in love with your writing style. Powerful to the last dot, it almost staggers you with it's impact. "...writers as people who poke at and peel back the dead........sushi bar." god, I loved all these lines!

I so agree with everything you say, and in many ways I hate it when I have to 'prostitute my writing' (to quote you) to make hubs that people will read. Yes, sadly enough, 'typers' is the word.... Anyway, Brilliant hub...!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Thank you, that is very kind of you to say. I thought I may have over-written this one a bit for what it is, but I think it is working after all. Thanks for the kind words. :)


denise mohan profile image

denise mohan 6 years ago from California

Not really prostituting ourselves more like tramping. Prostitutes get paid enough for rent. Not only are u writing for nothing here, I have found my topics and titles on porn sites...believe it or not...

It does have alot of heart though and so much great information.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hey, you should be honored if they rip off your titles for porn sites. Only great art gets parodied by porn. :D


anonymous 6 years ago

Wow, Shadesbreath doesn't know what the h**l he or she typed. He or she must be a really f**ked up hypocrite for typing that sh**. It makes me wonder why he or she his or head in his or her a**, especially when it comes picking on other people.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Oh goody, an angry person! How fun.


Benson Yeung profile image

Benson Yeung 6 years ago from Hong Kong

Hi Shadesbreath,

You never disappoint me, not even once, certainly not with this piece.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

BENSON! How goes it, dude? Great to see you on my humble hub, and as always, compliments coming from a mind like yours are high honor! Thank you. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

This is an excellent Hub full of meaningful and needful information. Thank you for the good word.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

You're welcome, and thank you for the kind word. :)


TheGlassSpider profile image

TheGlassSpider 6 years ago from On The Web

Oh Shadesbreath...I believe I've found a favorite writer on HP. You really do a wonderful job; your work actually makes me smile and laugh out loud...and I just love the silent comment you made with the picture of corn and preparation H placed together. Keep up the great work - you really make me want to step it up in the writing department. I used to be a writer...but these days I fear I'm only a typist. Take care.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I have no idea what you could possibly mean about the corn and the Preparation H together, as I am a fan of decency and propriety and would never condone even tacit commentary of the nature you suggest, ever. It would be wrong. :)


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

What a great hub and great comments - easy on the Prep H though!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yeah, the comments are usually the best part. I'm always happy to see how fun, clever and insightful HP people can be.


Brenda Durham 6 years ago

Interesting article.

I think I'm gonna read more of yours.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, I hope you like them. You may have to overlook the occasional ideological conflict that comes up between us, but I think you might enjoy the humor of some of them. :)


Brenda Durham 6 years ago

I understand. I wasn't saying we're on the same page idealogically, just that I liked your insight in several posts, and this hub, etc.

Wishing you happy success in your writing and in life!


Falsor Wing profile image

Falsor Wing 6 years ago from Lodoss the Accursed Isle

Damn you I'd just gotten to a place where I could more or less my sense of integrity; now its back.

That being said I agree.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

LOL, all I can say to that is, "Yes, I agree too. Probably." :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

-I came here by accident, surfing on the Internet.

-I am not registered with any money making entity

- I write for my own pleasure first, but I enjoy it tremendously when like minded people understand the covered meaning of what I write.

- I spend hours trying to find talented writers to read, often without success.

-You are one of the few exceptions :-)

- The few good ones I have found I treasure and if it were not for them, I would stop my writing (such as it is)

So, in conclusion, even a money making machine such as HP is fine, as long as it gives a chance to some of us to reach out to like minded people to share a smile with through the written word.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I totally agree with you, De Greek. HP has a lot of annoying stuff, but it has a lot of good stuff too. Like anything, you take the good with bad (because you can't do anything about it anyway.) lol


Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from Ireland

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge on this topic...


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

You're welcome, and thanks for reading. :)


RiaMorrison profile image

RiaMorrison 6 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

I don't mind HubPages, really, though I do disagree with some of their policies. HubPages is the first place that allowed me to write things for money, even if that money might just be a few pennies a day through AdSense.

There is the major downside of having to write only really popular stuff or controversial stuff to generate income, though. You can write the world's most awesome and informative Hub on something that isn't a hot topic and you'll see nothing of it, but write some tired rehash of an age-old debate, complete with spelling errors and grammatical issues, and you can rake in hundreds of dollars.

Still, until I become famous and have my own website where I can post my articles, I suspect I'll stick around here and continue to make my pennies. :P HubPages has taught me a lot about writing online for money, if nothing else, and I think it's actually pretty good as a sort of beginner tool for those interested in paid online writing.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Ria, I totally agree with you. I am up to a whopping $12.50 per month right now and frankly, I'm pretty pleased with it given all I do is rant and be either sarcastic or absurd in almost all of my writing (well, and occasionaly an overbearing, bombastic grammar snob, but I digress).

I've learned a ton too, so, it's a good experience overall, so long as you are willing to let somethings that matter go in favor of other things that matter too. Too bad we live pendulous lives, or HP would be perfect.

Thanks for the great comment. :)


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

No unifying figure? I thought Google WAS God?

Hello Shadesbreath, I've noticed you on the forums brandishing your sword..or is it a cigarette holder?

Well..I was hoping there was a niche market for sarcastic and absurd..but 2 years and 65 hubs @ 12.50 a month is not encouraging.Looks like I'll have to go for those toothpaste reviews after all. I found a real writer here, who peels back the skin of social decay, but he's had so little attention here I'm afraid he might go away. He's only got 3 hubs but they're good ones.

http://hubpages.com/profile/Dixon+Steele

I've only been here 3 weeks but I do like HP...I like it too much...I'm developing an addiction. I found it during one of my many fruitless searches on *how to make money writing*. Never having blogged before, I'm enjoying the access to instant publication but what I really like is the diversity of people, even if that can be a terrible distraction. I'm spending way too much time reading and not enough time writing.

Cheers


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Jane, it's been my experience, both actually and vicariously that reading begets better writing anyway, so, read on (well, assuming you're reading decent stuff in the mix lol). As for sarcasm, you can write it and hope to be discovered somehow... Dave Barry stumbles across your stuff, calls his agent, says, "Hey, I found someone to replace me." But, yeah, probably not. Just write for joy. The instant publication at least means 2 people will read your stuff, which is better than none if you aren't the type to submit religiously for X reason.

Anyway, beer and Crown prohibit me from rambling further as I have no idea what I've already said - a good place to start writing toothpaste articles though... hmmmm....


Grills Guy profile image

Grills Guy 6 years ago from Santa Cruz

Did you ever believe that HP was just a service to us all? Of course it is a business, just like google...or yahoo...or the red cross. The sad thing is that everything is about money, and nothing is ever going to change. Live with it, embrace it. Great hub anyway, I really enjoyed reading it.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi Grills Guy. The short answer is, no, I never thought they were ever about anything but making money. My curiosity was to whether there is room for anything else. That answer appears to be, a little. And you're right. Money is power, goes the cliché for a reason.


Grills Guy profile image

Grills Guy 6 years ago from Santa Cruz

Well I guess it's a cliché for a reason...


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

ah yes we are typist and I have indeed became a swift typist at that it's the dumbing down part oh my does it stick, when you realize your not understood otherwise but here I set before a machine, money making machine conforming. I enjoyed your expression.


purpletiger profile image

purpletiger 6 years ago

So do you make money out of this hub?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yes. Isn't that a delightful piece of irony. Although I don't make much, and its not really that ironic in the end. But then, I don't make much on any of my hubs. There's not much money in satire, and opinions are like, well, you know how that one goes. No, my real reward is reading comments and discovering opinions, fathoming attitudes, and, sometimes, toying with the ones where people haven't read it or missed it entirely.

I'm not here for the money, although I get just enough to realize if I put a tiny bit of effort in, I probably could at least get a check every month. I don't suppose I will though. I'll accrete my HP wealth as the impulse strikes.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Shadesbreath - I think that there are tons of somewhat misleading ads for writers out there. But, reading this, I have asked myself the question - why am I here? Sure, when I was young, I had a dream of being a novelist. I even had some short stories published. Big deal. Things went nowhere. But I remembered the advise of the great writer Kurt Vonnegut on writing, if you can't get anywhere 'be a hack.' Okay. So I'm a hack. At least I'm writing. This time, getting paid a teensy bit for it.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I agree with you, Dolores, HubPages is a way for people who are not lucky enough, or ruthlessly pugnacious enough, to be "main stream" in a world where whatever that means is changing anyway. I still believe the cream will rise to the top, so, your success is likely more to do with your skill than your hackness, all things factored in, but you do have a point in that HP allows the cream to find a bucket in which to rise.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Interesting Read Shadesbreath. I actually like Hubpages and haven't got much more to comment, than quote your words back to you:

"No one makes anyone write here, and they don’t have to play by your rules. That’s the song of our lives. If you don’t like it, leave. So true."

Best Wishes.

Ps. Try Redgage - You'd love the 404's.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi, Lady_E. Thanks for reading and commenting. I like HP too, even though they annoy me sometimes with logic defying rule enforcement sometimes. I get it though, so it's all good.

As for Redgage and 404's, whatever that is, I suppose I will now go find out what that is. :D Thanks.

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