I jumped into WebAnswers a few weeks ago. I find I get plenty of WebAnswers help there from the community, although there are no forums. Community help is structured through questions and answers, so, no religion and politics and no just-for-fun discussions. It's all about business. I feel I'm getting work done, with respectful community support. Refreshing.
What would you think if HP limited their forums to HP user-focused technical and business issues?
What!?! And never get to see another one of these...?
Yeah, I don't think HubPages should do away with forums. So many people get a lot of benefit from them, even the trolls and never-do-wellers. If anything, the forums get these people off the streets.We could look at the forums as a community service. But, it's our own choice to participate in the forums or not. If we don't like what's going on in a room, we can just leave. And, I have been known to leave - even when I'm the one who starts the forum. Once things get muddled, like at any other party, I leave. My demeanor can't take all of the name calling, finger pointing, and various other demeaning nonsense that goes on in many forums.
Like you, I enjoy Web Answers and wish people here at HubPages would see a question and then answer it. I once asked a question about how to go about cleaning a recreation vehicle. I was hoping to get a legitimate answer to help me tackle that job. Instead I got nonsense answers. One person went as far as to tell me that my question was not controversal enough. What? Anyway, had I asked the question at Web Answers I would have learned what solutions to use and the best process to follow to get the job done. I'm partial to Web Answers just because I get good, solid answers to questions. It's not like that here.
You are a breath of fresh air.
Forums here invite snide, snarky stuff. And that's OK if your expectation is that you're going to have a joust. But, as you say, too often, a question that needs a practical answer gets ditched to somewhere else.
It is what it is, as they say.
But to be fair to HubPages....
I too have recently started answering questions on WebAnswers, and there's a great deal that I like about it. I like WA and HP for different purposes and in different ways. But I have read some of the answers over there that have told me that WebAnswers did go through a period when they had a lot of people offering nonsense answers. WebAnswers has had its ups and downs and has found ways to deal with them, as far as I can see. HubPages is dealing with other ups and downs. Maybe one day some of the forum problems with be a higher priority than they are now. One can dream....
I wouldn't go that far.
My suggestion would be this. When you go to the "Latest Activity" screen, there would be a drop down box where you could choose to view "Latest Activity in Official forums", "Latest Activity in Community Forums" and "Latest Activity in Category forums"
That way, those of us who are not interested in the Category forums could ignore them completely.
I think it would be foolish of HP to limit topics of forum discussion. Many threads rank quite high in the search engines, this brings traffic to Hubpages, some of these readers wish to participate in the discussions so they sign up to HP. Once here they may decide to produce hubs to get their point across more thoroughly. If they do not decide to participate and sign up, perhaps they would find their way to reading hubs, this would create an opportunity for both HP and its users to receive additional traffic and possibly revenue.
Once signed up and producing hubs, Hubpages would be receiving revenue from their hubs. So in a marketing sense, the HP forums are brilliant. There are also members that enjoy taking part in religious and political threads as well as the never ending just-for-fun threads.. These users would not have the same experience here if the forums were diminished.
With all due respect, and you are not the only one that questions the subjects of the forums. Why would you want to limit what other users are obviously enjoying just because YOU would prefer a different forum experience? It is not mandatory to engage in any discussions on a forum, why would you just simply not participate and leave others to enjoy the experience? If another forum is more to your liking, why not just post there? I hope this does not come across as sarcasm, that is not my intent. I am genuinely curious!
You didn't come across as sarcastic, RB. Maybe a bit argumentative. But you bring up good points about traffic, I guess (I'm not the traffic expert). It's just a question I posed here, because I'm finding WA an interesting and very different experience, not because it's a Q/A site as opposed to a "writing" site, but because the community behaves differently, most likely because that's the way the owners designed the site.
As you can see, I don't participate in the forums here very much. Every now and again, I'll contribute something I think might be helpful, but for the most part I don't engage, especially not to put YOU in capital letters. I do have an opinion, but it's not for me to impose it on anyone else. This is a conversation, that's all.
I did not intend to be argumentative either
I used the capital "YOU" only to try and make the point that each individual would have different preferences and HP could never design a forum that would satisfy everyone. It was for emphasis only.
I do not participate in religious threads myself, but I understand that there are users that seem to enjoy these types of discussions. Personally, I cannot even read through these threads without falling in to a massive bout of boredom. I do not know the numbers, but I would be curious, how much of HP's traffic originate in the forums.
I enjoy civil discussions, I actually realize that I learn quite a bit from disagreement. Another point is that I have been motivated to write hubs based on forum discussions. If suffering from writers block, a short time lurking through threads can easily ignite a passion to write.
The HP forums used to be a good place when they frequented mainly by people who were active as authors of hubs as well.
While religion/politics were always heated topics, it was quite different visiting those forums when it was possible to get to know the participants as individuals. I ended up following a number of people, with whose views I did not agree at all, but whom I came to respect as individuals because of the way they conducted themselves on the forums.
The current status of the forums is abysmal, with numerous trolls, who have no intention of ever producing a hub, opening endless numbers of pointless threads or chiming in on contentious and controversial topics in a way that is obviously aimed at s__t-stirring.
I consider that the forums as they stand today reflect very poorly on HP. Were I to come across this site through a forum thread found in a search, it is highly likely I would want nothing to do with the place.
I wouldn't go as far as Sally's Trove suggests with respect to forum topics, but I would love to see forum access limited to people who have produced some defined number of quality hubs. In addition, there could be a very strictly moderated "help" thread, open to all, which would be purely for obtaining practical help relating to hub production, feedback on hubs, and similar topics. This would allow newbies to ask pertinent questions concerning their problems here as hub authors.
Agreed. I think this idea has been proposed many, many times. Apparently to no avail.
WriteAngled, I couldn't say it better. I agree with you completely. I began to participate in the forums quite soon after showing up here, but I also write. Much of my character and personality is revealed in my writing, and like you, I followed (or was followed) by folks with much different ideas from mine simply because we'd grown to respect each other through forum interaction as well as our hubs.
I'm with you on this one.
I didn't suggest going anywhere with forum topics. I just put a question out here.
If there was a traffic/monetary reason for changing posting requirements (e.g., a threshold number of hubs) I'm sure HP would suggest that.
As a frequent forum "gladiator" I see participation from all types -- from hubbers with 1,000+ hubs to seemingly obvious trolls/plants who do not intend to hub.
And I'm ok with that.
I also see posts with so much detailed information and thought-through logic that I wonder that the poster does not make a hub about the subject instead!
We do always have the option of staying away from the forums.
Can always post and/or answer questions as a more focused, genteel way to "talk shop" without the vitriol.
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