This issue has been raised many times and many authors don't want it.
=> The links have no value to the hubber.
=> The forum links should not be public as the issues are essentially internal
=> What possible benefits apply to the author for these links
=> What benefits apply to HP that would be denied if the links were removed
=> Aren't these links likely to be seen by Google as unrelated, or poor quality pages?
=> Could authors at least have the option of including the 'forum' tag on their profiles or not
=> I have heard that Squidoo has their forum on a separate domain
=> Isn't this related to the Q&A links issue?
Can HP please provide a definitive answer on this to resolve it once and for all
Some people do not mind these links showing up on their profile , some do . I guess HP user should be allowed to choose if he wants links to his forum posts to show up on his profile or not .
Shouldn't this be in suggestions forum ?
You are insinuating that these forum links have a negative impact on our profiles? This makes sense, and I am eager to read a response. Good question.
I'd also prefer not to have a forum tab on my profile, for aesthetic reasons.
I'd also prefer not to have it. I chimed in about this on another thread a few weeks ago. (Can't find that thread now.) If I remember correctly, Simone responded that guests couldn't see our forum activity. However, when I log out and look at my profile as a guest, I can still see my forum activity listed on my profile. Am I remembering Simone's statement incorrectly? Or is logging out not enough to turn me into a guest?
I think that thread was in the "Suggestions" forum, if anyone has better search skills than I do and wants to give it a go.
To confirm - the forum links are displayed after you sign out.
Can't find the previous thread.
I think what Simone might have meant is that guests cannot see the actual forum posts, not the links on the profile.
Personally I don't mind them on my profile page. Maybe there could be an option for those who don't want it then.
When I signed out - the links show and when clicked you go to the forum - when I tried to add a comment I was presented with a sign up form which confirmed that I was not logged in.
So the links and forum posts are public!!
Forum links do not seem to make sense on the Profile page. I also believe the issues raised in the forums are "internal". I personally find it embarrassing to have these issues visible to the public. It seems to me these post would be better placed on the Accounts page.
If the Forum post listings are visible, please remove them or let me choose to delete them.
It annoys me. I look to see how a hub looks on the profile page;forget that I don't need to press the show all button to see more hubs, suddenly I am at forums. I personally would like to get them off the profile page
I am all for being able to opt out of having the forum posts on your profile.
see this post for staff update - QA + forum post links on profiles are not indexed by Google - helps somewhat.
It is still a distracting waste of real estate on our profiles!
The "paying guests" to this site most likely never bother to click on a profile link. The indigenous population of active hubbers, who would go to trouble of checking out a profile, already know who is saying what on the forums.
Certainly, I might check a profile on the strength of what someone says on the forum. However, in the 1% of cases where I access a profile other than from a forum thread, I would never bother to click on a profile forum tab to perform the reverse check.
Interesting related data point to note, the vast majority of successful Hubbers do not participate in our forums. Reasons given were mostly that it's too contentious and mean, not in keeping with their experience of the wider, generally more supportive and positive HubPages community.
Hmm, what distinguishes a successful hubber from regular hubbers?
I also read something from a staff member recently who mentioned that a true hubber publishes regularly.
That's a bit strange to read. Just because some of us don't publish regularly doesn't mean we don't benefit the site with traffic and community activity, reading and rating hubs, flagging, helping in the forums, etc.
Successful is the wrong word. I meant active Hubbers, i.e. those that have logged into the site in the last month. And I agree with you, writing Hubs is not required to be "regular" or "active" or "successful" or whatever.
My point was that sometimes when we spend a lot of time in the forums, it's easy to forget that they are not always representative of the wider HubPages community, and that a decent sized chunk of the community doesn't visit the forums.
Got it. Thanks for the clarification. I agree that the forums don't represent the broader HP community. I imagine it's a rather small percentage of active hubbers that participate on a regular basis.
I'm glad to see the removal of #number of forum posts and how long we've been here. If someone wants to know more about the person behind the avatar, they can visit our profile.
So is HP making these changes to discourage us from using the forums? That is kinda how it's looking at the moment. The forums been reorganized so that the categories are confusing, the new layout is hard to read, the 2nd header from the top now takes us to "explore" instead of "all forums," we're being informed that successful hubbers do not use the forums, and all the silly things we post just for fun can be traced from our profiles. Forgive me if I'm jumping to the wrong conculsion.
When we ask Hubbers what they value most about HubPages, the supportive and passionate community of writers is one of the most often mentioned things. We definitely don't want to discourage that.
But definitely Hubbers have also told us that the forums as they are can be an intimidating and scary place, and those are certainly not qualities that we feel are representative of HubPages or our community. This redesign does help limit the forum discussions exposed to our browse visitors so they are less likely to be exposed to the contentious discussions about Politics and Religion unless that's what they're looking for.
The new topic pages were focused on providing a better browse experience for search visitors. I agree it has left the topics that are more focused on Hubbers in a less ideal state. We'll be working on cleaning that up and greatly appreciate feedback like this discussion to help guide us.
Thanks for your reply. I am in agreement regarding the political and religious forms. Sometimes I get sucked in but in general prefer to stay out. I do like to have fun and goof around on the forums, so for me it would be great if all my silliness (or the occasional argument) was not linked to my profile. But that's just what would work for me. Perhaps others have good reason for wanting theirs linked. (Curious to know what those reasons are. Anyone who feels that way, please chime in.)
It's too bad others are scared off by rude forum trolls. When I joined HP a couple of years ago I found the help I got on the forums a refreshing break from some other forums I frequented in the past. It would be nice if HP is successful in turning the forums back around in that regard. Trolls are just trolls, though, and harmless if you don't play their game. Some people don't ever seem to learn that.
The forums are also used by the community to help identify people's place in the community, e.g. old pro vs newbie, lot's of Hubs about dogs vs lots of forum posts about Jesus. From a community reputation perspective, forum posts can be helpful. Some examples, heavy forum users may be more interested in others who are also heavy forum users, and light forum users may not wish to follow someone if they post in the forum 20 times a day.
It certainly does seem that way, doesn't it?
We have suspected and been investigating similar theories. We did some fairly extensive data mining and unfortunately found no correlation between Hubbers use of Forums or Q&A and a rise or fall in traffic. But just to be on the safe side, last week we remove both Forums and Q&A from the content that is exposed to search engines on the user profile.
We've also considered moving forums to their own subdomain. We'd probably be more likely to do that if we had some evidence to corroborate the theory that forum content was adversely effecting search traffic. As it stands right now the evidence seems to indicate that could be a dead end.
Generally speaking we try not to introduce options, so I would tend to favor finding the right solution and then doing it the same way for everyone.
We very much appreciate the discussion and feedback on this issue. Please do continue to weigh in with your different perspectives and viewpoints. Thanks.
This seems like a perfect approach to the issues, Derek. I particularly like the concept of moving the forums to their own subdomain should the findings support their negative impact (or even as a safety measure). Thanks for looking at doing what seems to be the right thing.
Derek - Thanks for the feedback - very much appreciated!!
Cheers and best wishes,
Thank you Derek - I very much appreciate your communication around the 'issue' of Forum posts. Thanks for this. I also understand and appreciate why you would like/prefer consistency with all profiles. I too like the concept of moving the forums to their own subdomain (whether or not they have a negative impact re search engines.) I do not wish to have my forum posts visible to the public. Many thanks to all who are posting here.
I couldn't agree more janderson99. Since forum posts are between Hubbers it should NOT be available for public view.
With all of the constant changes to HubPages, it seems that making the forum posts exclusive to Hubbers only is a no-brainer.
And WHAT exactly by World Standards... is a 'successful hubber?'
Perhaps those who manage to successfully keep up with whimsical and irrelevant shifting of the HP goalposts every week and not have their efforts continuously trolled or negatively manipulated!
Factually, most of the people of the world struggle to understand how to be 'successful' at anything in life! Isn't that a relevant point to consider in determining who is or who isn't deemed to be a 'successful hubber?'
I know from my own successful life experiences, that being successful at anything, relates to one's ability to perform at 'one's best' without interference from parties who in themselves have no genuine understanding of what 'one's best' represents, or who feel insecure by the abilities of those applying 'one's best' in a manner that vastly exceeds anything that those parties could achieve in a similar environment and circumstance!
The Forums here used to be an excellent and positive aspect of this community... but then lots of irrelevant and whimsical choices were made (for a variety of undisclosed reasons) that resulted in the loss of a great deal of excellent and positive people, who disagreed with irrelevant and whimsical decision making! That just about sums it up honestly and transparently!
I for one have stopped replying to most forum threads because they now appear on the user profile. I'd be more than happy if there was an option where we could decide to opt out of it.
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