Why when I search the featured hubs sections do I often find poor quality hubs written by hubbers who have not been active on HP for ages? This is not a one off. I also find hubs that lack good grammar and have images without attribution. Isn't there some way to improve these sections? How are criteria applied? I'm sure there must be better hubs out there that aren't featured. It'd be better all around if HP raised the bar a little on this one.
I think that's why HP started doing the QAP thing and the Boot Camp thing and also assessing old Hubs; in addition to tweeking the algorithms and unfeaturing Hubs for being low-quality. There's a whole lot of Hubs, difficult to find them all I'm sure, so the algorithms are catching some of those; meantime, new Hubbers have to go through Boot Camp and a strict QAP.
Well, chef-de-jour, I hear you. All that I will add to that is this:
Someone (a reader) shared with me that after reading one of my hubs, he decided to explore and read hubs by other writers. This is good for HubPages, I thought. He then asked me, "Don't the writers have someone to check their work before they put it out? There were a lot of errors." He then went on to say, "But then it made sense because the writer was from another country and I understood why his English writing may have not been that good."
All I could say is, "Yes, there is a problem with that sometimes, that our articles have a lot of mistakes." I felt bad and embarrassed about his surprise that this is an example of what you can find on HubPages. I didn't know what else to say. Unfortunately, he's probably not the only reader out there who comes to HubPages and wonders about the same thing.
None of us are perfect writers, we all have made mistakes, regardless of our nationalities or experience. Some of us try harder to mitigate our mistakes in grammar and spelling before we hit publish. But it is a valid question you raise, chef-de-jour, about what gets featured and what does not. The broader concern I raise is what impression are we giving our readers about the quality of content we have here at HubPages? It's a tough question to answer.
Thanks for the courageous post.
Yes, I was one of those writers. I still am, but believe me, I am working my as* of to improve my writing skills which should be apparent to everyone from the latest hub that I am going to publish. I know that the more I write, the less errors I will make.
That's why I deleted a few of my old hubs plagued with so many grammatical error and typos, even when some hubbers advised me against it.
You see, I don't want to be known as a grammar nazi
I have read the summary of some of your hubs on your profile page and do not see any problems with the way you write. You seem to have good command of the English language, wowtgp.
The quality of writing in newspapers and magazines has been declining for decades. Copy editors and fact-checkers are pretty much a thing of the past, even in the traditional media. And you will also read articles in the conventional media in which English grammar and usage is so poor it would make a non-native speaker blush. And you will find instances in which English usage is so poor that you can't even figure out what the writer is trying to say. This is not a difficult standard to beat.
Maybe we here at HubPages can be the ones to make a change in quality standards. I wrote for one site that had a mentor program that was very helpful. Writers could volunteer to be a mentor and they would be assigned a new writer for as long as the two chose to work together. It was very helpful for the new writer as well as the seasoned writer, for one learns more as they teach.
Our hubs and the quality we present is a direct reflection on both the writer and on HP. I still see hubs ignoring the maximum '2 amazon and ebay' limit and posting an entire row. Photos are not showing attribution and yet others are plastered with swarms of photos/videos with little text. I won't even mention some of the misspelled words that I come across. Writers from other countries that have sentences with mistakes should be excused as the English language is no picnic to learn.
Bottom line - We won't be taken serious by our readers if we present hubs full of mistakes. In a way, we are all affected by this problem.
I agree. I'm new here, and by no means do I consider myself 'seasoned'. I make mistakes just like everyone else, but I can tell you it drives me crazy once a hub of mine is published and I notice a mistake. It's embarrassing.
I mean, when you join, you have to go through the whole bootcamp like they are so strict, but then, I have to admit, it does make you wonder when you surf around and read other hubs and they are full of grammar, punctuation, and other mistakes. I'm not criticizing here, just saying that the standards should be consistent. I think that anyone who is serious about writing should also be serious about proofreading and in turn, should be humble enough to let someone point out anything they see should be corrected or improved. In the real world of writing, editing, copy writing, etc., it's a must.
Constructive criticism I think goes a long way. However, I think we are all human, and in that regard, maybe not so easily or readily willing to admit our mistakes.
I think that is part of the reason for hopping some hubs. We have to maintain the quality of writing on this site by objectively evaluating other hubs. I have done eight so far. There was one that was so poorly written that I thought I was being generous when I gave it a four on substance. It was extremely atrocious.
I do like the Boot Camp and QAP process though. However, I think we have to be more diligent in peer reviewing other hubbers' hubs for a long term sustainable improvement.
Chris, I think you are right that we should utilize the hub hopper to evaluate hubs. I do not go there, for I find it too time consuming. I much preferred the old hub hopper where we could just vote up or down. I guess I should try harder to find the time to hop hubs and evaluate hubs.
I applaud writers who make an effort to write in English when it is not their first language. The occasional grammatical error just adds flavour and character to their work. Occasionally I might send a friendly email making a few suggestions.
It is the lazy hub from someone who clearly speaks English as their first language that annoys me most.
Any suggestion as to what a non-native speaker like me should do to improve writing skills?
wowtgp, I know that you try to write quality and I admire you for that, due to the fact that English is not your first language. My suggestion is to start a group of hubbers who are willing to help edit hubs for those who want help. I do not think that someone should just jump in and start criticizing or giving reviews without being asked to do so.
Quality writing is that which comes from the heart or from excellent knowledge of the topic, or both -- it also takes deep research for many hubs/topics.
I strongly support a "boot camp" program to get new hubbers trained on how to write for the internet, but to tell you the truth, I have not heard about a boot camp here at HubPages till I joined this forum a minute ago and started reading posts. Where can I find information on this boot camp? I would like to know who are the trainers/mentors and whether or not they follow up to support new hubbers.
I would be willing to help edit hubs for those who ask for help, but, I want to make it official in some way, with HP approval. I also think we all need support from each other on many issues here that are not clear to us. Even reading some of the "help pages/hubs" are not very clear to all. I have been writing for the internet for seven years and do not understand a lot of the details that HP puts out for help.
I see many hubs that are featured quite embarrassing for lack of quality. I do not understand how some hubs can be approved. I do understand that people from other countries may not have control of the English language and that is not something to be put down -- in fact, it should be applauded for the great effort and courage they give to their hubs.
We need more people like you here who is willing to help others. I hope that HubPages do something to help those who have just embarked upon their journeys.
Well thank you very much. I believe we can all help each other on this journey. Best wishes to you.
"...who are willing to help...." since you used the plural "people" then "are" should be used instead of "is". Sorry -- you did not ask, but I wanted to help.
I knew that, but somehow.........
You see, it's a good start
I am about to publish a hub which is of more than 2,000 words. I bet you won't find any errors in it
I also fail to understand why , the ads have been disabled on some hubs, ( due to emphasis of some sensitive subject matter ), while there are similar hubs on hubpages, where ads are present.
Secondly, there are several hubs which are overly promotional, with many of the Amazon or ebay capsules, which are without any stipulated 50 words reference to the items ( of Amazon or ebay ) in the content of the hub.
I agree with all of this, having also noticed terrible grammar in some hubs, etc., and being a very picky writer myself. Here are my suggestions:
1 - We, the writers, are the main monitors of the site. Whenever you see a hub that is particularly egregious, flag it and explain why to HP. (Flag - top right corner).
2 - If a hub is particularly promotional, I often look at the hubber to see what their purpose is in being on our site. If it looks like they're only there for promotional reasons, I'll flag them instead of the hub.
3 - If the hubber is from another country, I'll often look to see if they have a single main issue with English that I can point out, or if it's just the one hub that has one main problem. If the hub, you can compliment them in the comments and add a request for that one correction. If the problem is more widespread, you can become a follower temporarily, and send them tips in a private email.
4 - If you are a non-native English speaker and know that there may be errors, add a line at the end of the hub telling readers and asking for tips.
5 - Do a search on a topic you're interested in writing about. Look for a hub that is really badly written and write on the same subject, but do a much better job. Then flag them.
Hub hopping is a great way to catch new hubs and prevent them from being posted, but it doesn't catch the old ones. How do you find those? Do a search on your favorite topic or search on a topic you're about to write on. Then browse through the hubbers or read the hubs that come up and flag whatever is low quality.
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