How do Hubbers Decide What to Read and When to Comment

Paths, Bridges, Communities


Guidelines for Commenting on Hubs

This Hub began as my response to a comment Sueswan made about one of my other Hubs, “Navigating….” It quickly got out of hand (length-wise) and morphed into another Hub. So here goes:

Thanks for your encouraging comments about the Hub “Navigating….” That Hub began with a question a brand new Hubber asked me; I responded to her at length, probably overkill, and suddenly I could see my lengthy answer becoming a Hub in its own right.

As you correctly pointed out in your comment to that Hub, it simply isn't possible to comment on every Hub posted - it quickly gets overwhelming and becomes a chore rather than a pleasure.

I imagine every Hubber develops their own guidelines, a system or method for responding to posted Hubs (or maybe not). :)

Pretty early on I realized the constant announcements of new Hubs, which HubPages ever so efficiently provides) were filling up my mailbox, producing both frustration and irritation on my part (dear reader, please understand that I am speaking/writing based on my own personality and feelings, not attempting to generalize about you ). I now delete them as soon as they appear; I can read and comment when I look at the day's summary email.

When I peruse the HubPage daily compilations I try to read a few Hubs from each day’s summary, so that within a week I have commented on at least one Hub for most of the individuals I am following. There are some exceptions, of course.

If I just have no sympathy for, or interest in, the topic, it may be longer before I read one of that individual’s Hubs. If the topic resonates with me, I might read their Hubs much more frequently.

Also, if someone is a long time Hubber with hundreds of followers who leave lots of comments I may read, but not leave a comment, conversely, if a Hubber is new or struggling to build a following, I may comment more often to encourage them and to help build traffic for their work.

And then there are a few Hubbers who leave such detailed, helpful, and encouraging comments that I try very hard to reciprocate on a regular basis.

Fortunately, (because it reduces stress on my life) I am not anticipating earning any serious money with my Hubs, so I write what I want and don't invest any time trying to make them conform to Google's or Amazon's search parameters.

I certainly understand, and even admire. those Hubbers who can generate a revenue stream, but it is not for me.

I am also connected enough to reality to know, and not be surprised or disappointed, that most of what I write is of little interest to the majority of Hubbers, and I don't really care to participate in the Forum's or Question/Answer areas.

They are fine of course, but I have been there and done that at length, about twenty-five years ago, when all we had were BBS's.

For very young Hubbers, who might be confused by this acronym, BBS stands for Bulletin Board Service. They were usually local, for the most part had crummy platforms, came with no pre-designed templates, no pictures of any kind, and we used dial-up!! What can I say, it was when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

Not quite sure how and why I wandered so far afield from my original points... Oh well, it happens. I think I was trying to say that I expect my followers will be few in number, which is both understandable and fine....and I kind of have a mental system for responding to older Hubbers and encouraging new ones, which is where this Hub began.

I am sure we are all different and may have different ways of handling the reading/commenting overload. I would be interested in hearing about how you manage the dilemma of too many Hubs and not enough time in your experience on HubPages (if you are so inclined, please make a brilliant, charming, erudite, ironic, scintillating comment at this juncture).

Note: Unlike in my previous Hub "Navigating..." these are not entirely random photographs. Well to be honest, they started out pretty random. I just really, really like bridges and I decided that a series of interesting bridge pictures would accompany this Hub.

About 10 minutes later I came to the cerebral conclusion that my subconscious was working overtime on my (and your) behalf.

Bridges connect communities of people: HubPages is a community of writers who establish connections with each other. Connections are made and community established through Comments. Not so random a collection, also known as a compilation, of pictures after all. :)


Bridges Bridges Bridges


More by this Author

Your Comments Are Greatly Appreciated 86 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

I have changed my settings so I don't get as many emails. I also make sure I stop following hubs and forums, etc., once I have seen the feedback from my comment.

I do the same thing you do with comments - try to encourage those who don't have a lot of comments, and learn from those who have a lot of comments.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks Millionaire. I appreciate the response. I thought other people probably did some of the same things. :) No comments on the fabulous bridge pictures? :)

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I was intrigued by your comment that you felt both guilt and irritation when you perceived that you were unable to fulfil your perceived HubPages expectations of you.

HubPages is a magnet for people pleasers and people who crave acceptance. The reason why it is so successful depends on this. The sooner you realise this and move on from that point the sooner you start writing for your own pleasure and not for the comments you seek.

Write a couple of hubs without the comment box and see how that feels if you think what I am saying is off the wall. When you have done that at least you will have a better idea of why you are writing and why you feel guilt and irritation.

Thank you.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Interesting comment. Of course, I am aware that it attracts some "people who crave acceptance," but I also think it attracts serious writers who are quite balanced and able to give and take in a healthy fashion.

Perhaps I did not explain myself adequately. During my first few weeks on HubPages I found myself occasionally feeling guilty or irritated. That is when I began thinking more carefully about what I wanted to both contribute to, and receive from, HubPages. Within a few days I had developed the guidelines I mentioned above which have made my involvement here a pleasure and a benefit.

I also intended the Hub to be a bit humorous, tongue-in-cheek, if you will. It seems as if I may not have made that clear enough. Never-the-less, even though I no longer feel guilt or irritation, which I attempted to make clear, I will think about your comments and suggestions.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

hi phdast7-enjoyed the hub. Keep on writing, as S.W. says, 'for yourself' and it will all fall into place. And yes, I did read your comment back to him, but still want to emphasize that point.

One of the hubs I really enjoyed writing, that has yet to get a comment on, was a book review for the children's book, The Wolves. I dedicated it to my granddaughter and will cherish it despite its absence of comments.

I've found comments does not equal views, which is more important to me as a person hoping to make some money writing. :)

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

Oh yes the bridge pictures were fabulous. They made reading more pleasurable. I am glad you were able to think of a tie in to the hub - great tie in by the way - but it really wasn't necessary. Some pictures just don't need a reason for being.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Denise- Thanks for the visit and comments. Glad you enjoyed the Hub. It makes sense that views and comments are not equivalent. My goal is not to earn income, so sometimes I forget how important that can be for other Hubbers.

I think it is great that you have a Hub that is so meaningful to you personally. And what a lovely idea - dedicating it to your granddaughter.

That is how I felt about the fist Hub I wrote about my grandmother and her art - it was a labor of love and remembrance for me. Writing it was very satisfying and gave me great pleasure, irrespective of any views or comments I might receive later. :)

Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

I love the tie-in with the bridges!

O totally forgot about BBSs, that's a trip down memeory lane. It's amazing how far we've come...and it makes you wonder where we'll be 20 years from now:)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Kris- I am so glad the bridge pictures worked. I think my subconscious was being extra helpful and sensitive that day, because I selected bridges first, and then later realized what a good fit it might be. :)

I hadn't thought of BBS's in years either. It does make you wonder where we will be in 20 years. :) Thanks for the comment.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Millionaire Tips- Well, aren't you generous and thoughtful? I was just being silly about the bridge pictures (tho, I do like them).. I wasn't really trying to squeeze another comment out of you, but thank you for being so kind. :) And you are so right about that, many pictures do not need a "reason." :)

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I knew you would be good at this! Congrats on 100 followers! Your students have loved you for good reason all these years.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you for all your encouragement. I guess I am a "have to be dragged to the prom" type. :) For the longest time I couldn't imagine writing about anything but history; it was probably primarily because time was so tight during the semester. Having almost all of December off has given me time to explore and express myself on other topics. Its been good, but come January when classes start, Hubbing will have to go to the back of the proverbial line. :)

Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

A very very straight to the point no nonsense , yet very interesting to read , kind of hub. I enjoyed reading.

Every line as they kept on coming, It reminds of how you set up the read at the start. You managed to nicely squeezed a funny but honest line across, to brighten your readers day, as this reader clearly understands . I see a bridge that I wish I can one day visit.#4

Like it happens -of course it does and there I catch a great smile the way it comes across .

Thanks for your honesty after joining around the same time as me. Is that true ? I'll be reading.

Bless .

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks for your kind and warm comments Sky. I do try to be straight forward, but occasionally inject a little bit of humor. I hope that I can brighten my reader's day,; what a lovely way of expressing that.

So number 4 is your favorite bridge? I think the first one is my favorite. I can imagine strolling across with friends, talking and laughing and then stopping halfway across to watch the peaceful flowing water.

I think we did join about the same time. As of a week ago I have been here three months. Before too long we will celebrate our first year on HubPages. :) Blessings.

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

The bridges is pure genius. I always appreciate getting a comment now and then just to be sure people like what I'm offering. What frustrates me at times is that I've noticed that I have hubs which others have read but left no comments. Is this good or bad? Anyway I love hubbing and will continue to do so but yes we can never read everything presented to us although I do read as many as I can and comment as best as I can.

Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

611am G/morning. I saw I made an error , and it does happen , lol . You don't have to respond but I have to put my mind at ease.

I looked at the two bridges 1 and 5 I chose 5 then write 4.the others while living in NY.1and5 seem right there next to the park or trail.

feels better.

Have a wonderful day.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Gypsy! I have to admit I love them myself. :) It is probably not healthy to be overly concerned about comments and likely we will usuallu get more page views than comments, but like you a comment every now and then is really encouraging and helpful. Like you, I try to be generous with my time and comments.

The Christmas holidays will soon be over though and once I am teaching full-time again, I fear most of my comments may become one liners. :( Have a great day and thanks for commenting.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good morning Sky. So it is the fifth bridge. Very good choice. I like it too. Hope your day/week goes exceedingly well. :)

profile image

Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi phdast7

I remember saying to my sister, " I am a week behind in reading hubs." Her reply was, "Do you think they say it has been over a week and Sue has not commented on my hub?"

I do try my best to read and comment on the hubs of those that I follow.

I really appreciate when someone takes the time to read and comment on one of my hubs. I am sure other hubbers feel the same way.

I like the pictures of the bridges. The last one is my favourite.

Since you really really like bridges you may enjoy the follow hubs by prasetio30

Voted up up and away!

Have a good evening Theresa :-)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Sueswan- What great Hubs pasetio30 produces. I skimmed them, but I will go back later and look at them again, and probably again. :) Glad you like the bridges and your favorite the last one, is my second favorite. That you for all your comments. Much appreciated. Theresa

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

phdast7, great article. I know that I will not get rich as the writing is mostly therapeutic for me. But, if I could make a little on the side, that is great. I am careful as to who I hook up with because I am afraid that with a great deal of followers, I would miss a lot of good articles and imput. For me, I have never been successful taking an exclusively commercial approach to my writing. I try to make a point is reading the work of new people and lean toward non-fiction over fiction. But, to expand my horizons, I try to touch on everything. You have a lot of friends here.

Thanks Cred2

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

Very interesting hub, honest and to the point. I try to read hubs of people I am following but lately, it is just taking too much time. I now check the title and only look at hubs I am genuinely in. I agree with Credence's comments about this being therapeutic rather than financial (just as well, I've 'made' about $8.00 since I started 3 months ago). I write and read about what interests me.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Credence- Thanks, I had fun writing it. Nice change of pace because some of my stuff is pretty intense topic wise. You are right, there has to be a manageable balance between writing, following and being followed, or soon one has no life at all.

Like you I try to encourage new Hubbers a couple of times, but then if our interests or writing levels do not mesh, I don't follow them. Good to know I have friends. :)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Jools- Thank you. I thought direct would be fun and maybe help a newcomer or two. I am doing the same thing, skimming the titles and then selectively reading a few when I can.

For me it is definitely therapeutic, good conversations with a like-minded (and like-skilled) community, but it won't be financial for me, which is OK. I knew that coming in and I need to spend any extra minutes or hours that I have on my day job. Sadly, Lectures don't write themselves and papers don't grade themselves. I wish.... :)

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 5 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

My initial thought; Wasn't that a Twilight Zone episode? As I read the Hub, it seemed like the parallel's I drew from the Hub convinced me even more; 21st century 'Zone'. Enjoyed the Hub and your Bio.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Interesting comment! And a first! No one else has ever said that anything I wrote reminded them of the Twilight Zone. Hmmm, references to the Twilight Zone dates us, doesn't it? Thanks for the comments. :)

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

I have to admit you are an intelligent hubber..:)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Frank- Quite a compliment I think, but you almost sound disappointed. :) And this wasn't even one of my "academic" Hubs.

Of course sounding "academic doesn't endear one to the masses...but that is alright. I will settle for fewer, but articulate and smart comments over a myriad of lesser comments any day. I most appreciate the comments I receive from intelligent readers. :)

Wasn't there some kind of fabulous honor that you received today? Some list of 100 remarkable writers? Seriously, congratulations. :)

tarajeyaram profile image

tarajeyaram 5 years ago from Wonderland

Great hub and pictures. I had fun reading your hub. I love bridges. There is something about them. Thanks.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

So glad you had fun reading it, because I had fun writing it. :) There is just "something" about bridges, I agree.

GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@phdast - Greetings, stumbled across you via the comments on one of Credence2's hubs - glad to see some else appreciates the importance of paragraphs to the reader.

but... I'm commenting because of your reference to BBB's, as another commenter already noted - thanks for the nostalgic trip down memory lane.

yes, I remember them, I ran one. Also started a local MSDos club. Remember that? If you wanted to do something you had to use the command line prompt. And the blazing speed we enjoyed was earth shattering. My first computer was a Radio Shack Tandy, running at 4.7 megahertz, and my dial-up quickly moved to 9600 baud.

LOL, you could call up a program and go get a cup of coffee while it loaded. Ahh, the good old days.

nice writing style. easy read.

and... by-the-by, it is possible to write for the search engines without a lot of extra effort, or writing contortions, or changing your style and reason for writing. Why not expand your readership if it doesn't mean more work? Just a thought.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi GA- So glad you stumbled. :) Oh, the joy of reasonably short/long paragraphs. You ran a BBS? Well, then you are "older than dirt" (from your Bio). :)

I don't remember the line command prompt thingy. My husband was the computer geek/nerd early on and I was running around after three boys and taking college classes part time.

For quite a few years in the 1980s the only time I touched a computer was when I had to do a term paper. I think all my early papers were done in something called Volkswriter And then I wrote my dissertation - middle of the 1990s - using a software package for academics called Nota Bene. Talk about ancient history. :)

Thanks you for commenting on my writing style. I try. :)

I will take your suggestions about "broadening my readership" under consideration. I did try to apply for an Ad sense account (thought it was the first step, but maybe not) or approval or something and I never heard back about it. I also don't follow instructions well, will not use Face Book, and don't ever want to Twitter.

I spend 50 hours a week teaching college history classes and I teach half-time over the summer. Thene there are a couple of ongoing research/writing projects that I need to spend time with, three sons, three grandchildren, four cats, and for my own pleasure and growth HubPages.

Oh, did I mention that I am impatient and totally non-technical. If HP didn't provide such a great platform and easy to use templates, I would not even be here.

But, all those caveats aside, I will think about what you said and read your Hubs on it. I just don't want HP to become something I dread or am frustrated with. But, thanks for the encouragement. :)

GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@phdast7 - thanks for the reply and follow. I will find time to read some more of yours and return the favor.

re: adsense - adsense is a deadend on HP now, due to their HP ads program. Don't even bother with adsense unless you want to use it on other sites - my HP adsense revenue dropped by 80% when they started their own ad program

re:SEO to expand your readership - the easy way. It's as simple as typing your planned topic or title into a Google search page. Nothing more complicated than that. The details are in my hub on it, but in essence - as you type in the search box, it will begin to show you similar phrases that people are currently using to find similar stuff, so, you might see wording or phrases you can use - or not, but at least it's not technical or complicated to check

best wishes


ps. yes, I am old as dirt, and have enjoyed every step of the journey :)

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I absolutely loved how you connected the bridges on the side. Ironic, because before you stated that, I looked at the bridges and was thinking... oh... random pictures just to make it more appealing to the eye. However, you are very right, the bridges open up pathways to the communities.

Ok - so here are my thoughts. When it comes to following and being followed, it can sometimes be very stressful keeping up with everyone. Just recently I embarked on a 90 day journey that I wrote about each and every day. I realized that doing that many hubs day after day would mean a lot of my followers wouldn't be able to keep up... and it did... to an extent show in the amount of hits each article got. To top it off, I was so busy on my journey and actually writing my own stuff, that I found it difficult to keep up with my own followings. For this I realized, if people like what I have to say, they will be back when they find something of interest. The amount of followers you have doesn't mean as much as the amount that keep coming back. Some use it as a number, and some follow because they are truly interested. But there was something that will initially strike them about you which is why they followed you in the first place....

So, like I rambled a lot... and totally forgot where I was going with that. Anyway, when it comes to commenting, I comment on every hub that I read. I want them to know I stopped by. I guess it is my way of showing support. Some I might not have much to say while other times I might have a lot. I also make sure that I respond to each and every comment on my hubs. I find the conversations there can spark other ideas.

Interesting hub - definitely a thought provoker!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Glad you loved the bridge connection thing. I was pleased with how that worked out. I probably would do random pictures if I had to to make the Hub more visually appealing, but usually I can make a compelling connection.

You are absolutely right. Followers with similar interests who will read your work is by far more important than numbers alone. And actually I am pleased with the numbers. When I first joined I figured I would be lucky if there were 20 people who followed my work consistently. And there are about 45, so I cannot complain.

Of course lots of people, as you and other Hubbers have pointed out, "follow" just to see if you will respond. I am pretty careful with those follows. I read their profile page and skim a few Hubs to see if I think we will actually be interested in each other's stuff.

My only exception is when I come across someone brand hew to HP in the feed or the Hopper and they have 2 followers. Sometimes I will follow them and comment on their Hub to give them some encouragement.

I like your commitment to commenting on everything you read. I try to do the same. Thanks for responding to my email. I will definitely get in touch with your sister. How exciting that she is going back to school. :) Thanks again.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

On behalf of my subconscious, thunks.

Most of the above, and I just do the best I can when I can, especially with interesting hubs. I learn a lot along the way, too, and I get to enjoy great photos.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You are welcome. :) I think all we can do is our best. Otherwise it would be overwhelming. And you are so right, it so interesting and educational to read such a wide variety of topic and Hubs. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Theresa, I enjoyed the article and the bridge metaphor. Here is one that illustrates what we do here: =:)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Winsome - I laughed out loud when I saw the picture. :)

What a precarious and symbiotic bridge! I have to admit, I really liked the bridge metaphor myself. :)

The Hubs I have done on art and Ancient Greece might appeal to your visual taste as well. Thank you for your comments, and the laugh. :)

molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Hello Theresa,

You have tackled a very thorny issue with sensitivity and charm. I try to do, more or less the same as you, in terms of comments.

I generally follow hubbers that produce hubs, that I enjoy and maybe learn something from.

It can get hectic with replying to comments especially when a hub goes through the roof in terms of comments. In that case I have found that approving blocks of comments with a generic thank you while not ideal at least acknowledges that I have read the comments.

It is always a balancing act. I had a period and still do sometimes where I spend the whole day answering comments. Fortunately I have the time at the moment. That will not always be the case. So I will cross that 'bridge' when I come to it (great pics & metaphor BTW)

You always leave thoughtful and helpful comments and they are always welcome.

I don't mind if you just leave a 'hi mike' as long as I know you are there. That sounds really needy ha ha


PS Cuddle those cats for me!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Michael- I had all but forgotten about this Hub from over three weeks ago. And thank you -- I was aiming for sensitivity and charm, but I wanted to make some points, too! Sensitivity and charm do not come naturally to me; I have had to work hard over the years to develop them.

I think you are right, block thank yous may not be ideal, but they are certainly much better than nothing and I imagine the obligation can get terribly overwhelming for those of you with a large number of followers.

But on the other hand, a multiplicity of followers means you are doing everything right, interesting, helpful, entertaining Hubs. :)

Glad you liked the pictures and the metaphor. I was pretty pleased with myself about that and I am sure that came across in the Hub. :)

I do try to leave good comments, but it is nice to know that occasionally when I run out of steam, I can just say Hi, Mike. (And no you didn't sound needy, you sounded comfortably companionable and friendly. Just right.) I will be sure and love on the cats. As if they would let me get away with ignoring them! :)


alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

I think you could probably put a subtitle here called "Thoughts for Newbies," because you cover many points of behavior and standards that I didn't know until after many months of experience. Voting this Up and Useful.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks Alocsin! Great Suggestion. Just changed the title. :)

molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Hello Theresa,

This was and has been a very useful and extremely relevant hub for me.

We never know when 'life changing events' may happen.

Sometimes it is just not physically or mentally possible to comment or even reply.

It is up to the individual hubber to decide how much commitment they can afford to give and cut their cloth accordingly.

This form of publishing is still in it's infancy.

Hopefully with great hubs like this one a clear etiquette will evolve over time.

Voted up and SHARING

CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

This is an awesome honest hub, and it has inspired me to write a hug comment, that I shall convert into a hub as well. Thanks for the inspiration, and look out for the hub soon to come, @PHdast7.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Michael- Thanks for another thoughtful and generous comment about this Hub (I changed the title a little bit at alocsin's suggestion. It is a constant balancing act to decide how much to write, how much to read, and how often to comment.

I cannot imagine how you handle it with your many, many followers, but I remember you saying that sometimes it takes you all day to respond and sometimes you simply have to do a block thank you. And sometimes as you said, it simply isn't possible. Life does intervene.

Good to talk with you. More later. Blessings. Theresa

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi CloudExplorer - Thank you for stopping to read this old, but seems to be still relevant, HUB. I appreciate your comments and look forward to your forthcoming HUB. I am very pleased to have inspired you. Have a great week. :)

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

I agree 100%. As a new hubber, you begin writing and commentating, and the positive re-enforcement cycle begins. You receive comments on your work, and you respond in kind. When you don't reciprocate all the time, it could create anxiety. Solution? Just like Spirit Whsiperer suggested, leave the comment columns off of some of your writing. I will start doing that for my poetry, and it's very liberating. Follow the people whose writing you truly enjoy, and everything else will fall into place. Thank you for sharing.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello A.A.Z. - Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I am looking forward to dipping into your Hubs in the near future.

John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Hi phdast7, this is a truly wonderful and insightful hub. I try the best I can under the circumstances. I work full time and am tired when I get home at night, so I don't always have the time or the energy to read all of the hubs that I'd like to read. Nevertheless, I do what I can with what I have to work with.

Take care - voted up


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi John - Thanks for your kind and encouraging comments. We are both in the same situation - working full-time does demand a lot of energy and time. There are weeks when it seems like all I do is grade papers and exams and there is an apparently limitless supply. All we can do is the best we can do. :) Thanks for voting Up. I hope you have a very good week. Theresa

P.S. I know you are a pianist and write on many classical topics so I am not sure what your musical preferences are when it comes to Christian music. I was raised Baptist, married a Methodist, and then raised my three sons in an Interdenominational church which leaned heavily toward contemporary music and not so much toward traditional hymns.

The point of this long. crazy tangent was to mention two Christian bands that I like. Tenth Avenue North and Sidewalk Prophets. You may already be familiar with their music.

Every time I mention someone I have "just discovered" to my sons, they inevitably say, "oh yeah, great music, first heard them about six months ago." Sometimes being the older generation sucks. :)

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

BBS and dial-up... Oh my, you're really dating yourself with that one! Which prompts me to follow your lead and admit, although I was never a subscriber to a BBS, I WAS aware of them via a co-worker whose husband ran one in the late '80s.

Once the internet became more widely available, the BBS morphed into "mailing lists", which one participated in by email. I belonged to several lists of a genealogical, which were archived and can still be perused. Anyone who thinks genealogists are b-o-r-i-n-g need only scroll through the archives of the LowerDelMarva list from the mid-90s to be disavowed of that notion. We were quite a rowdy (and often raunchy) bunch!

I love that you "write what I want and don't invest any time trying to make them conform to Google's or Amazon's search parameters". Bravo!

As for the bridges, #9 is my favorite! ;D

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi JamaGenee - How delightful to turn on my computer and find your wonderful and interesting comments. :) BBS's does date me and I knew that it would, and I expected that it might resonate with a few other people. :) I do remember "mailing lists" as well. I was on several history lists for quite a few years when I was in grad school in the 90's. A colleague of mine at the university spends a great deal of time doing genealogical work and she loves it. So you were a rowdy and raunchy bunch? :)

I do write what I want because with a full-time teaching load, I simply don't have time for anything else. And temperamentally I don't have the patience to mess with SEO and traffic enhancers and so forth. But HP is a great platform: Hubs are easy to build, there are good writers and thoughtful readers...what more could I want. It has been great. I did decide to add an Amazon capsule to my Hubs simply because I love books so much and I enjoy recommending them to others. :)

So, number 9 is your favorite. :) Very good choice. I think 1, and then 9 are my favorites. Thanks for reading and for your comments. Nice to meet you. :) Theresa

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AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I want to thank you for writing this hub. I have a ton of emails that flood my inbox each day and I feel guilty when I delete them. I try to get to everyone, but I know that I don't and am still trying to figure out a system that I can live with. Your hub and the comments are helpful in that regard. Cheers!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Audrey- It does get overwhelming. I am glad this Hub was helpful. The greatest help for me was when I chnaged my settings so I get a single email from HP a day listing all the hubs from everyone I follow and Questions, etc. Than I open the email and answer a few when I can. I certainly can't respond to every hub, but I do try to touch base with most people about once a week or every two weeks. So far it is keeping me sane and I wasn't enjoying the guilt feelings either. :) Take care.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great hub! I think we all just do the best we can. I try to read at least a few hubs a day, mostly of people I follow, but sometimes of new hubbers to encourage them, as you mentioned. If I feel I haven't read someone in a while, I'll look up one of theirs. It is hard sometimes. There is no way to read everyone's hubs, but I think most of us do pretty well as a community. Love the bridges!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Love your bridge pictures. I read as many hubs as I can and comment on as many. Not easy to get to everyone and I don't think most people expect it. Enjoyed reading your hub.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Victoria - I think you summed it up perfectly, most of us are doing the best that we can. Thanks for commenting and I am glad you enjoyed the bridges. :)

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

moonlake - Glad you enjoyed the Hub and the bridge pictures. I just love bridge pictures too...I don't know what it is about them...its more than beauty or elegance. :)

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California


Delighted to hear there are still teachers that require students to write their exams.

Some good ideas.

Time dictates how many hubs I read and how many comments I make.

I am with you as far as encouraging new hubbers.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello tirelesstraveler - Thank you for your comments and especially for the Bravo. :) I am determined to keep them writing - it uses an entirely different part of the brain than does memorizing a bunch of facts to regurgitate on a multiple-choice test. Besides you shouldn't be able to get out of college without being able to write really good essays and a pretty good research paper. :)

We are all limited by time (and interest) and do the best we can. I do feel for new hubbers, because i so recently was one. :) Nice to make your acquaintance.

Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

phdast7: LOVE THIS HUB...AND the bridges! Terrific advice and suggestions! I sure wish I had time to reply to all the emails but I would never be able to eat, drink sleep, clean, drive, cook, and work on my book! Not to mention feeding and hugging our four cats! Voted Up, useful and interesting! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Blessings, Sparklea :)

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phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Morning Sparklea - So glad you liked this Hub. I truly had fun writing it. You are so read and reply to everything would require us to sleepless hermits with no outside life at all! You have four cats, too? :)

I have four and they both deserve and demand a good little chunk of my time. The oldest Sebastion will jump on the desk while I am typing. He used to demand my undivided attention, but we have worked out an arrangement. :) I scratch all his favorite places for five minutes and then he curls up between my monitor and the tower and enjoys the warm spot for two to three hours. He purrs while I type. :)

Thank you for your votes and the encouraging comments/ Hope you have a great weekend. Blessings. :)

dmop profile image

dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

I'm sure most of us have a system, or will develop one fairly shortly after getting involved here at HubPages. I delete all those emails too and just sift through what is on the main newsfeed. I do try to read and comment on those who have shown an interest in what I've been writing, though even that can be very time consuming. I do want to say thank you for all the support you have shown me in recent weeks it has been very heart warming and inspirational. I think the pictures fit perfectly with this Hub and add a touch of class and beauty.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

PHDast, I am finding this hub a while after it was written and I'm glad I did. One of the commentators said you had tackled a "thorny issue," and I agree. It is impossible to keep up with all the hubs you would like to read, never mind all of the hubs of all of your followers.

I have a few guidelines that I try to follow, although I am not one percent faithful to these "rules." First of all, I try to comment back on a hub of someone that comments on my hubs, if I can. If I have written a lot in one week and generated dozens of responses, sometimes I get behind and can't catch up but I try.

As well, I wait until I have about a half hour to an hour, and then just go on a reading binge and try to read as many as I can, and comment. I always have a list of "to read," and try to get to my list, but am always behind.

One trick I have now is to follow those hubs I haven't read yet but want to. That way, the notifications keep coming up to remind me, whenever someone else comments on that hub.

I loved this hub and the fact that you have tackled such a difficult topic. Voted up, more and sharing.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi dmop - Being involved with good writers on HP is great, but without some kind of system it could get pretty crazy. Although I disabled the individual notifications, I still get a daily summary of the posts of the people I am following. I am not so good at sifting through the feed; I tend to miss things or forget what I have already reviewed.

You are more than welcome and it has been a pleasure. There were 3 or 4 people who really encouraged and supported me when I first got started, so it is an obligation and privilege to do likewise (maybe that is a paraphrase of the Golden Rule?). :) I am glad you liked the pictures. There are many painters and artists in my family (certainly not me), so my creative outlet is selecting pictures for my hubs. :) Have a wonderful weekend. :)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you prarieprincess. I appreciate your encouraging and positive comments...and the Votes! :) I think you are right, we each have to work out guidelines that make sense for us. I know a couple of men on HP who simply delete all notification (or turn them off, and every now and then they will look at the feed, and make a bunch of comments. Mr. Happy says he also looks for Hubs recommended by people he already follows.

I do save the daily compiled notifications until I have time to read them. But I like your idea of following a specific hub so the notifications will keep coming. I think I will start doing that myself. A very good idea. :) I hope you have a great weekend. :)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

It is literally impossible to keep up with all the people we follow and who follow us. I wake up to over 100 emails in the morning and easily another 100 during the day and I simply can't do it. I pick and choose, much the same way you do and that will have to be good enough. Judging from the number of reads I get each day as compared to the number of followers I have I assume quite a few people are doing the same thing.

Great hub with very good guidance for newcomers.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

It is impossible there are just so many hours in the day and we all have other obligations. If we do our best and we do, it will have to be good enough. :)

Thanks for the read and the comments. I hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend. :) Theresa

Wesley Meacham profile image

Wesley Meacham 4 years ago from Wuhan, China

I think you have some good information here. This is something I've been thinking about myself, how to manage time with commenting as well as reading others comments and hubs.

Voting, up and sharing.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Wesley. I had more or less forgotten about his Hub as it has been awhile. Managing our time and comments and still writing hubs is pretty tricky at times. Since you are already thinking about it, you will undoubtedly come up with a system that works for you. :) Thanks for the comments, vote, and sharing. :)

Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 4 years ago from Asheville NC

Hi Theresa!

Thank you for your method of treating new hubbers. I let their hearts speak to me through the titles, photo's or sometime just the feelings I get from their names, profile etc. It's like the universe leads me to them. There are so many wonderful people out there. I don't care about the money either. Connection is everything.

Thought you might like to see what your hub inspired.

There was a dot on a chart called birth

I was unconsciously exited to be such a dot

Another dot called death will one day appear

the uncertainty of which is peaceful for me

between the two dots balloons an arc we call life

raising the awareness of mystery and triumph

a bridge broadened by those willing to stand on it with you

without knowing who you are...just willing to stand there with you!

I say just write! Let it rip from your brain, from your heart or any other origin in between. Living is the bridge to which you so eloquently refer!

An inspirational hub...Thank you for the photo's too!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

God Morning Bruce - About to crash- have to teach all day today. This is my last week of summer classes and things have been real hectic...

Just a few words to say I will get back to you soon about this comment and the lovely comments you left about my poem. You are much appreciated. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Bruce -- So good to hear that connection is the point and not money and like you, I do believe the universe leads us to each other. Its older, formal language, but my childhood preacher would have described them as divine appointments. Perhaps they are. And I do like what the hub inspired. Very cool and full of meaning as well. :)

I am getting better at just writing and spontaneously responding to people or to issues that I care about....quite a change. When I first joined HP, I couldn't imagine ever writing anything other than the research papers that I was used to doing for history conferences and seminars. You are very welcome - I am glad you found it inspirational and enjoyed the photos. I have to admit when the bridge concept coalesced with the pictures I was very happy. Thank you for your encouraging comments. :) Theresa


John-Rose profile image

John-Rose 4 years ago from USA

Hello, loved your little comment strategy. Tomorrow evening I'll be posting my first hub and I look forward to having to deal with the guilty feeling of not being to respond to all comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello John- Comments may come slowly at first so don't get discouraged. And of course people are more likely to come find your hubs after you have made "good" comments on a couple of theirs. Don't forget, most people with over 300+ followers aren't being rude they are just overwhelmed trying to respond. Before too long, you too will have the "guilty pleasure" of not being able to respond to "all" comments. :) More later, of to teach history to college students...They are so excited...not. :)

Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I also feel the same way. New hubs do not attract my attention unless it is someone who writes interesting. Besides it is much more interesting to read hubs which are not for commercial purposes.

Your bridges are great but it seems you want to break them... :) asking people to unfollow you:)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Pavlo - Like you, I greatly prefer hubs written with no particular commercial purpose in mind. :) I like the bridges, too Oh, no, I would never break a bridge... just slow down the foot traffic a little. I have such a hard time responding to all those who cross the bridge. :) Clever and funny wordplay on your part. :) ~~Theresa

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

And, here I was going to tell you how brilliant the choice of photos of bridges was to this hub's topic! LOL Seriously, Theresa, this is a great hub full of great advice for new hubbers. Well said and written! Your subconcious is brilliant in choosing the bridges. I got the connection right away and understood it. Thanks for a thoughtful piece!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Evening Suzette - I like the sound of that, "my brilliant photo choices!" Apparently my subconscious is pretty smart. If I can just get it to talk to my conscious mind more often. :) You are very clever in seeing the connection right away. I actually had hubbers who wrote to me and sad, "I liked them, but I sure did wonder what the bridges were all about." People are funny and we are all different. Thank you for your wonderful comments. :)

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

This is an excellent hub. I really like your style. Holding on to this hub to read from time to time. It's so good for new hubbers. Very kind of you to spend time putting this information together. Love your Bridges concept. Brilliant!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you vocalcoach. Quite a compliment coming from you. I rather liked the bridges motif myself. :) Sorry for taking so long to respond; I have been under the weather. Hope your weekend is going well. :)

Rebecca Furtado profile image

Rebecca Furtado 3 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

This is a very useful hub. I only have one commnet . Posting in the question forum helps me to get thinking about topics that I may whant to write about). Preposting( which is a made up word about something I might due means I can focus a topic by getting feedback if i make it a question.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Rebecca - Thank you for your kind comment. I guess we are all different. :) Ideas for Hubs come easily to me, so I never thought about using the forums in the way that you do. Glad that it works well for you. My great problem is simply finding enough time to read and write as much as I would like too. I spend about seventy hours a week at work or driving to and from work, but I am not complaining -- I realize how fortunate I am when there are so many people who don't have a job at all. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 3 years ago from Asheville NC

Hi Theresa!

I'm glad I revisited this hub for your bridges and communities metaphor renewed a vision of peace that lay ever within my mind. Oh and by the way, I enjoy the fact that you are cognizant or aware of those less fortunate. I hope that time will be a little kinder and permit you a few extra moments to spread your gifts under the proverbial planetary Christmas tree!

Peace be with you,


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Afternoon Bruce. I am glad to be revisited any time and especially by you. I haven't looked at this hub in a long time, and its nice to find that I still like it. The bridge pictures I will always enjoy, I think.

We must at least try to stay aware of those less fortunate. Often people feel like they can't do anything, the problems are so great, but even the smallest effort is worth it and can help lift a person's load. I love your phrase, "the proverbial planetary Christmas tree." That is just great.

I hope you and your family have a Happy and Blessed Easter Theresa

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