I believe HubPages would greatly benefit from implementing a stronger, more thorough training period for new members. I have been writing for the internet for over seven years now. I know that may not seem long to some who have been writing longer than that. Yet in that time, I have written for several different web sites. All but two of those sites has an excellent training program. I believe that if a new member can learn and pass the training program, then and only then can they become a member of HubPages and their account setting changed to "allow publishing".
In view of a higher rate of new members coming in, I feel this would be beneficial to HP as well as the whole community. I would even be willing to volunteer my time to help implement the program.
You do not advocate for writers but for uniformity as Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot did. Sorry if that is harsh but you need a wake up call. HP is not fantastic because we all write the same or passed a protocol but because it is filled with great writers.
Unity is always needed but uniformity is wrongful and disgusting.
Would you like me to check in a 9 and out at 5?
Think hard on what you are suggesting. Do you really think you should write like me or I like you. Do you have 100+ featured hubs or over 400 published. Do you write poetry or protest pieces or teach writers or hit hard issues with your face?
Back off with making me or my friends like you~!
I have been seeing your comments in the forums and have never replied to your posts but I must say that you are misunderstanding the OP. She in no way implied that all writers here should be the same.
Though I d not agree with the training program per se, I do agree that stricter registration procedures need to be put in place to root out spammer and trolls.
I don't think HP would go as far as implementing a training program. However, what they could do, in addition to boot camp already in place is to extend that to the forums where you can't post here unless you have passed through boot camp.
Thanks, Cardisa. You are spot on, I did not imply that all writers should be the same. One of the greatest things about HP is the diversity and many differences between writers.
I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. Rooting out spammers and trolls is definitely a wise thing to do.
I want to make it clear, which I do not think I did, is that the training program would mainly be for 'how to write for the internet' and using proper grammar, sentence structure, formatting, and how to use the tools on HubPages.
You have nailed it!! We could get rid of them nasty Edgar Allen Poe's and that stupid Samuel Clemens dude and just wash any Black Southern writers and totally get rid of Waylon Jennings, little Bob Dylan. Dang me dang me they ought to take a rope and hang me - I even like "fear and Loathing" and the Monkey wrench gang.
But gollyjesus they all should oghta pass test and Phyllis and Marissa test here first.
Then we could go to parties and stick our pinkies out properlu
GM is funny. I like her picture comments. smh *snickers*
Phyllis - I agree that the site as well as writers could benefit from incorporating something like that into the process. The quality standards are way higher now than before (that was one of my early complaints). But even good writers could benefit from some tutorials on a few things. If someone simply isn't cut out to be a writer, it would be a vetting process of sorts that would ultimately save that person time (they could always take some writing courses), and benefit the site.
For the record, I did not see anything in your post that suggested censorship. I see it as a suggestion to help competent writers (those with a good command of English and a knack for the written word) learn how to translate that talent to Internet publishing. We have some tips in the learning center, and the little cheat sheet about number of words and number if capsules in the editing mode is helpful. Not quite what you're aiming for, but a start.
Marcy, thank you for your thoughts on this subject and you have some very good thoughts.
I really like the tips and suggestions that are offered in the editing mode, they are helpful as you say. I get the feeling though, that not many people read those tips and suggestions. Maybe that is the place to start by expanding a little on the tips and even put in a sorry phrase, such as: "Sorry, this hub cannot be published without the following corrections." Just a thought.
After reading through all of the responses, I've come up with a thought that may be along the lines of what you're proposing. Instead of HP simply sending a notice stating a hub doesn't meet the standards and referring people to those, perhaps they can be a little more specific in what's wrong. I know this will add to the workload; however, some people read the guidelines and still don't see which applies to their hub. They may read through all of the standards and see that proper grammar, spelling, and such is a must and then read their hub and think they've done a perfect job when they haven't. I know the people at HP who check for quality can't take the time to teach writers the basics, but letting them know where the problem is that person can then fix it or ask someone else to proofread hubs before they hit the "publish" button.
Hi Sheila. If one goes into one of their hubs to edit, the tip box shows what is wrong with that particular hub. Choose any of your oldest hubs and go into the edit mode. Like I found on my oldest hubs, I bet you will find the tip that "We have noticed you are using one or more capsules to place a copyright notice. We prefer you use the standard HP copyright notice." .... or something like that. Once I delete my personal copyright notice and choose the HP standard one, the blue box disappears to let me know all is well with that hub. This is just an example, but there are many other things in that blue box that will tell you what is wrong with the hub. The staff does not sit there and type in the tips, it is a module that does the work for HP, automatically and instantly.
I believe that Marcy Goodfleisch has a great suggestion when she wrote in her comment just above yours: "We have some tips in the learning center, and the little cheat sheet about number of words and number if capsules in the editing mode is helpful. Not quite what you're aiming for, but a start."
Thanks, Sheila. I always appreciate your thoughts and appreciate your participation in this thread.
I'll have to watch for the blue box next time I write a hub. I haven't noticed it before, but maybe that's a good thing. Usually when I get started I get the yellow boxes that say things like about being in danger of being self-promotional or having an amazon capsule in the first capsule. That happens because I usually lay out all of pictures, videos, polls, etc before I begin typing all of the text. That may seem backward, but I do it so I don't forget to add those things later. The yellow warning boxes usually disappear by the time I finish whatever I type in my first text capsule.
I usually put all my text capsules in first then go back and add image or video where appropriate. Funny you bring this up, Sheila. It is interesting to know we each have our own ways of going through the process.
I have seen pictures be added that were crystal clear and the hub start rising from a score of 85, then suddenly I will notice one day that the hub’s score is falling and go back into edit and see the blue box say something like, “is it possible one of your pictures are blurry?” and I’ll look and yes, it is blurry. I simply fix that problem and the hub begins rising again.
I’ve told a few others, never allow a hub to sit untouched. Simply editing it begins new life in it and anything can happen later that going into editing mode will reveal. Pay attention to your overall hubscore and if it falls by 1, chances are good that you should begin searching for which hub has encountered an issue like that.
I agree with you, JR. I watch my hub scores and if a hub drops I go in to the edit mode on it, find out why and do what I can to improve it. I love that blue box!!!!
I had so many notices of “is it possible one of your pictures are blurry?”, that I make an extra effort when I find a usable image to find a higher resolution copy. For instance, in Wikipedia if I like an image that is public domain, I do not copy the one on the main page. I click on the image and choose the best resolution on that second page. I have to go there anyway to see if I am allowed to use it, so I get a better image and no "is it possible ...."
Your practice of "never allow a hub to sit untouched" is an excellent tip for everyone. I have recently gone back into every one of my hubs to the edit mode and did what I could to improve them, and you are right in that doing this, it raises the score again. That has become a regular part of my routine while in the system.
You are a good mentor, JR.
Thank you. You are too.
Keep adding thoughts on how things might improve. I think the powers that be appreciate constructive thoughts.
The negativity injected was uncalled for.
The English language calls for conformity and uniformity. I don’t think the OP was calling for anyone to be thrown into a gas chamber for their inability to write properly. I think that she was making a suggestion about improving the quality of the writing and offering a helping hand.
And that is exactly what my purpose is, JR -- in your own words, I "was making a suggestion about improving the quality of the writing and offering a helping hand."
I have not implied in any way that we all become exactly alike and all have the same writing style. HP is not and never should be an assembly line of robots, but continue to be a writing site with a variety of people, styles and subject matter.
I greatly thank you for understanding my purpose and expressing it.
You are very welcome. I found that the comment he made was out of line. I believe most who read it understood your meaning completely. You had no idea that it would be taken so negatively and I felt the need to help explain.
We can’t please everyone but I understood your intent and I concur. I have an extensive writing background and even I make mistakes and to have them pointed out to me or have anyone make suggestions about how I might improve, I take it as a helping hand. I’ve seen this type of thing happen before and it comes from the ability to stomach critique (which I must admit, is very hard to do at first, but once we all realize we aren’t as good as we might think, that is the moment we actually begin surpassing our own expectations. I wish that could be taught to children as early as possible).
You have great ideas. Please, continue to think of ways to improve everything and share those things. I think you and I might actually think alike.
Yes, we do think alike, JR. Being critiqued is hard to get used to, yet in the long run it does help us to become better at what we do.
I appreciate your support and admire your outlook on life. Teaching children as early as possible about taking constructive criticism as improvement of self is a good thing to do. I remember that throughout all the school years for my children and then my grandson, there was always at least one teacher who became their mentor and helped them learn how to allow constructive criticism to teach them.
How much of your HP income will you give up to provide training for people that can't write?
None, wilderness -- but, I would volunteer to help and support the program, which would save some money for HP. With that said, it means that some of my time would be taken away from writing and earning.
In the past, other hubbers have offered assistance (and continue) to those who come on the forums with complaints/concerns about hubs that are not getting published. A majority of this help and support has fallen upon deaf ears. Pointing out grammatical errors or where the hub may be substandard according to the QAP process (Substance/Organization/Grammar and Mechanics) usually doesn't help.
Many of these writers that need help don't want to make the effort in improving their articles. Or they just can't comprehend, or refuse to understand why there is a need for improvement. Some will gladly accept a fellow hubber's free proof-reading services and editing but it would likely result in an ongoing situation.
I've rated over 17,000 hubs through the QAP process on MTurk and have maintained a very high accuracy rating. Since I have a pretty good idea of what a highly rated hub looks like I've occasionally offered assistance on why a hub may not pass the QAP. It was a thankless waste of my time.
Lately, I haven't noticed any of these complainers/QAP flunkies offering a "please" or "thank you" to their fellow hubbers who have taken the time to read and comment on how to make improvements. However, some of these complainers will offer argumentative come-backs because they think there's nothing wrong with the questionable hub because... their other poorly written hubs have managed to slip through the QAP.
It's also interesting to see hubbers praising these poorly written hubs by leaving glowing feedback in the comments section. I just don't understand how a hub can be "so helpful" or "great information" when it contains so many grammatical errors that make it very difficult to read. The formatting, pictures, and graphs may look nice but the wording is close to being mumbo-jumbo.
If you're sill interested in volunteering your services, maybe you can help with hopping some hubs. I don't know if the hub-hopper offers feedback on rating accuracy. But if it does, you might be amazed at what is considered acceptable.
Hi Thallia. I understand what you are saying and I know that doing work like you do and what I have done myself on other sites is often thankless. Yet, I do not expect pats on the back for offering help where help is needed. I do some hub-hopping once in awhile and realize that it is helpful to the HP team to volunteer our time and opinions.
With any programs here there may be a need for improvement and we as a community can help in that area by expressing our thoughts and offering suggestions -- even volunteering to assist.
You bring up some good points. It is good to see so many hubbers here expressing their opinions and discussing in an amiable fashion. This is how things are accomplished. Whether HP considers my suggestion or not, this thread at least shows HP that we care enough to come together and discuss issues in a mature and amiable way.
Ms. Doyle, I think what you have eloquently suggested is a great idea. New members and anyone else who is deemed rusty should undergo a training program regarding HubPage standards of writing. I applaud you for this idea.
Thank you very much for your kind words, gm. I really appreciate it. "Standard" is the key word here and you are the first to fully understand and acknowledge that -- good on you! That is great. HugPage standards should be high and most of the writers qualify for that. I would only like to help keep the standards high, for it would benefit all of us.
My apologies to all for not making my training program suggestion more clear up front. In response to calculus-geometry's comments and excellent question, I gave a more detailed explanation of the training I have in mind and I will repeat it here for all:
"In the training I have in mind, several short courses would be offered, then a quiz after each course. The scores on the quizzes would determine if the member passes and is approved or asked to come back after a specified period of time to try again. I know from experience that this type of training motivates people to do their best and also makes it clear that to be part of a community like HP, one should give it their best shot and strive for quality."
Making new members pass a "test" seems counter productive. Many might find it to be a cavalier attitude which in turn may steer them towards other platforms.
Although I no longer write for Wizzley, they read every article before it was published and this seems more of a reliable method of eradicating "bad" articles due to a jillion of possible reasons.
Although Mr. Ericdierker arguments sometimes appear as being obtuse a point is well made as to what or rather how to evaluate creative language as in poetic works.
A computer program would probably seem deficient when compared to the "windows of man into his world" and a course/test would more than likely have to be entrusted to such.
I am not extolling Wizzley's methodology as being the Utopian solution but perhaps a middle ground between theirs and HP's may be a more equitable scheme.
Having intimated this approach we must also realize that a more "human-eyes" method will in itself incur more of an substantial endeavor and commitment from HP and its staff and we must therefore ponder if this would be viable denouement to the concerns shared by many.
....................................Sorry if I came across as too decorative......darn goneit, wher's ma dam coffee!
Luis, there would not be a computer program in the type of training I suggest. Well, let me rephrase that -- it would be a module that provides the basic function that moves a person through the course, page by page and determines the score of each quiz taken. This module would not do any more than that. It would then be up to the trainer assigned to that particular person in training to go into the module, retrieve the entire course the person took and review the scores. At the end of the course, (ie: 10 or 12 lessons each with a quiz) the trainer can easily determine if the person in training is ready to be approved to publish or needs more help. In my experience, only the people determined to succeed and become good writers will go through this training course.
This is a basic training course in how to write for the internet (copyright, plagiarism, rules of the site, what subject matter is not allowed, etc.) learning the rules of the site, and to become aware of what is expected of them to succeed.
As far as "A computer program would probably seem deficient when compared to the "windows of man into his world" and a course/test would more than likely have to be entrusted to such." I agree with you. The module would provide the score of each quiz and the trainer with human eyes would review the scores to see if the person passes or needs more help (retake the course at a later date plus some personal help if needed to point out and clarify the problems).
Now there still is the issue of an approved writer publishing a poem or creative writing piece and that is where the turks, hub hoppers and HP Support team come in.
I have published some creative writing works that include language in "hillbilly talk" such as: "Aint no way Ima gonna go o'er that thar way oe'r yonder and fetch that good for nothin' obtuser to mek him unnerstan some commen sense, for he iz blind as a bat and madder than a bee stuck in a jar of jam." These hubs have been published and have done well because the language is part of a way of life for some folks in this world.
There is no need to apologize, Luis, for you have an opinion and are more than welcome to share it. That is what the HP forums are for, and I appreciate your input on this subject.
You make a great point and perhaps it would work, "This is a basic training course in how to write for the internet (copyright, plagiarism, rules of the site, what subject matter is not allowed, etc.) learning the rules of the site, and to become aware of what is expected of them to succeed."
But is it likely that HP will assign/hire more staff to do this (not taking Mturks into account ) and are these not found in the Learning Center already?
I mean I am all for instituting something that weeds out those unable to write in a manner that will satisfy HP/Google etc...but the system now in place perhaps discriminates against more creative writing (Mturks to be specific) I think that is what needs to be addressed first.
There are, I am sure, Luis, many things that need to be addressed before my suggestion is considered, I think. I am only offering one suggestion that may or may not be feasible for HubPages.
Would they have to hire more people to cope with the training I suggest? I do not think so, for the basic training course module, once in place and programmed to HP standards as the cheat sheet is, would provide the existing staff members with results they can quickly review.
My suggestion is just that: a suggestion. It is up to the owners of HP to consider it or not then make their own decisions on how to proceed should they decide to implement it.
The Learning Center is a great thing for all members here, but how many actually go through and read the hubs there? I find it of great help when I search there for an issue or how to solve a problem, etc.
I do not see where HP discriminates against creative writing and poetry. A lot of people have said this, but I have not really noticed if it is true. There are some very fine poets and creative writers here that seem to be doing quite well. Some of my poems and fiction stories I took down, for they did not do well, yet others I wrote did very well.
The whole point is, is that Google controls the internet and if we as a community do not measure up to standards, then HubPages will not do well and we (us writers) would not see the benefits of better traffic and pay.
I meant that perhaps some on Mturk, may sometimes see creative writing as something else and pre-judge an article as low quality. As far as HP adding more staff I see what you are saying and agree. Your suggestion is a good one I just don't know if HP will consider it but it is good of you to come forth and offer a way to make the site better and for that you deserve thanks from the community.
Well, thank you very much, Luis. I so love discussions where all have an amiable way of getting their thoughts out rather than personally attacking others. You are very kind, Luis.
I see what you are saying now about MTurks and creative writing. That is why if I choose to do a creative writing story, I always create a title that gives the name of the story followed by a dash then "short fiction". I do the same with poems: "Name of poem - Poem"
You are welcome
I was thinking something along the same lines. I think it would scare people off, no one wants to join a site to be run through the wringer and be put back in school and regimented, to get in the club. Probably would lose a lot of good writers. I think the evaluation of articles that is already in place seems effective and sufficient, to some extent natural.
I think your idea has merit. One aspect of publishing on the hub which should be emphasized is to quote material sources. Too often, I see hubs written by individuals who have no background or knowledge of a specific subject, and is a regurgitation of other Internet articles but with no reference as to the source.
This is an interesting subject, Phyllis, and one which should garner a lot of input. :-)
Thanks, Genna. I was hoping this subject would garner a lot of input. That is why I chose a forum thread instead of the Q&A option.
Whether anyone agrees with me or not, I realize it is very important to get opinions from as many members as possible.
I agree with your suggestion of quoting sources, for not only is it good practice to back up one's article, but many readers would like to know that what someone wrote is accurate and not guess work or a "regurgitation" of someone else's work. This is something I have to consider because I often write on history. Thanks for approaching that topic.
Phyllis, I agree with you and with Marcy. I am a professional editor, and I see so much drivel writing and regurgitation. Poe, et al can't be compared because they were excellent writers, and I doubt that HP would have turned them away. It seems that those with the most objections are the poor writers themselves. I personally wish I had time to take a training program for internet writing.
My only problem with HP is that they weigh the emphasis on graphics too heavily for a writing site. I would write many more hubs if I didn't feel obligated to waste my time hunting for graphics and photos.
Hi MizBejabbers, it is good to hear from you. Yes, a lot of drivel writing and regurgitation does get through QAP -- then on the other hand, I am sure a lot of poor quality we do not even know about is not published.
Marcy's suggestion about starting with the Tip Box (I believe that is what she calls the 'cheat sheet') is an excellent idea.The Tip/Warning Box could be expanded to a point where a hub is either approved or rejected. And a group of volunteer mentors helps from the beginning to make the new member feel more confident and welcome. A training/mentor program makes for a much stronger and amiable community with one goal in mind: quality work and pride in being part of a strong community.
I agree with you on the graphics and the importance that has been put on it. When the pressure to add more graphics came in, it really held me back from wanting to write new hubs. Gradually I got used to it and sometimes have fun with it, or find that a video and images can greatly enhance and back up my hub -- I see that the videos become a source to solidify and support the information I write. It is getting much more difficult to search for images, though, that are public domain, etc.
Which brings up the thought of another very useful publishing tool HP has. Every time we use an image, it goes into a library in the HP system and we can choose from the library images that already have been validated as okay to use. This is something I have to look further into and take advantage of.
Phyllis - is the photo library only our images, or does it include those from other Hubbers? My impression is that it's limited to images we have used - I'd love more info on that.
FYI - my response to the pressure about graphics was very much like yours. In the AP, we had considerable pressure to add videos (ones that we created). They finally backed away from the pressure, but it had a negative effect on me while it lasted (and my initial enthusiasm hasn't yet been fully restored).
Marcy, just to address the video concerns. Video really doesn’t have to be with a camcorder or camera. It can be with something like Keynote or Powerpoint.. If you get pressure to make a video in the future, do a simple presentation. You’d be surprised at how simple that is.
I went to school for creative writing and a lot of my assignments required me to make videos for my final grades. I began just making presentations and uploading those to Youtube and it worked out great.
I tried taking my camcorder out to make some videos and found that generally, people do not like a video camera and ask too many questions. AND I certainly didn’t want myself to be on Youtube. I prefer writing but let me tell you, having a video on Youtube with your links attached is a great way to have your writing rise in Google rank. So, presentation videos from Powerpoint or Keynote make it possible to get a PR8 back link for anything you write here. That is probably why they want you to make videos.
Sorry for my digression. I thought it might prove useful.
Thanks for the initial suggestion.
As this is an official thread, if you could keep any posts specifically related to the suggestion, that would be appreciated.
You are more than welcome to start another thread in a different forum to continue your discussion.
Hi Marcy. I am not sure if the library has only my own images. I do want to look into it further, for I have seen other hubbers using the same images I do. I do know that I can delete duplicate images when I go in there. I found this out because every time I add my image to my author's note capsule, it is added to the library. Good question and something I need to check out -- it has been quite awhile since I went into the library.
The graphics pressure still sometimes influences my enthusiasm, too.
As this is an official thread, if you could keep any posts specifically related to the suggestion, that would be appreciated.
You are more than welcome to start another thread in a different forum to continue your discussion.
Sorry, Mathew. That just came up unexpectedly. Thanks for catching that and your suggestion of a new thread.
Matthew - is there some visible designation that this is an official thread? Usually those are stickies or otherwise easy to distinguish.
Regarding the suggestion of a training program - or a way to further vet writers:
One less labor-intensive way might be to implement some required reading with quizzes at the end. The site already has a quiz feature to determine whether writers can distinguish some basic spelling or grammar rules (not counting the variations in USA vs Brit spellings). Perhaps there are common mistakes you've seen?
Another idea would be (similar to the quiz) to post a series of facts or a scenario, and require writers to compose original paragraphs. This is commonly done with online discussion boards in higher ed. If I have a student who can't phrase a legible sentence on a discussion thread, but turns in a great term paper, I know something is wrong.
Also, the QAP should include a review of the summary. I cannot count the times I've seen an incoherent summary, but the hub is oh-so-well-written. Any extreme disparities like that should be caught in QAP. It is not (repeat, NOT) sufficient to require them to rewrite the summary. The hub is likely not their own writing. We don't need that on this site. In cases of simple errors, the summary could be sent back for corrections. That's the way the hub appears in Google. BTW, yes, I have flagged these hubs. Nothing is ever done.
Thanks for your feedback! We have to strike a careful balance between making HubPages easy to use and accessible while still maintaining our quality standards-- we don't want to become so harsh that we turn away many new users who might otherwise improve and become great Community members over time. We are, however, always considering ways to improve the education process for new users.
Thank you for your kind response, I appreciate it. I realize that my suggestion may seem harsh, but I have seen it work quite well, for it does deter people right up front who are really not serious about writing quality articles, or makes them realize they have to take the site seriously and do the best they can. I volunteered to be a mentor and worked closely with several people in training and saw the huge difference in their attitude and skills after they succeeded in getting through training. When they realized what they accomplished, they had much more confidence in themselves and went forward with determination to do their best and became an important part of the community.
Everyone in the community knew the new member had succeeded in training, so they welcomed the new member with open arms.
It is important to stay with those in training, help them through step by step and be there for them with any issues/questions they have. The mentor who walks with the new person in training stays with them long after the training period, for as long as needed, to help build confidence and skills. The mentor system takes a lot of pressure off the staff and more quality articles were published as a result, with far less problems.
I cannot ask experienced members to become mentors of a training program, but I know of several who already are in a mentor type role and enjoy helping others. It creates good bonds that benefit the whole community.
Thank you again, Christy -- I really appreciate it.
This thread has about run its course. HP staffer Christy Kirwan has already stated the opinion of the staff. My suggestion was only that, a suggestion -- and it will not be implemented. For those who have been able to discuss this subject in an amiable way with open minds, I thank you very much and appreciate your thoughts. I think we all have learned from each other during this thread discussion and it has been helpful.
It seems like it would be only a marginal improvement on the existing QAP, which checks every article using human readers and raters. If someone can't write in English, his/her articles will be made invisible to search engines, which means almost zero earnings, which forces the writer to either give up or improve.
If HP made some kind of automated training module that forced new users to click through all the articles in the Learning Center before they could publish, what's to stop someone from just clicking without reading? If the training module culminated in a test, how would it force anyone to consistently stick to the rules even after passing the test? That's what the QAP does already.
Yet, I see many hubs pass the QAP that should never have gotten approved. I did not say that the training would force new users to click through all the Learning Center articles, I said that new members should educate themselves by reading those hubs, FAQ and TOS. This is expected to be done on all writing sites. Those who do not do that are heading for a lot of frustration and confusion for they do not know what is and is not allowed and what are HP standards.
In the training I have in mind, several short courses would be offered, then a quiz after each course. The scores on the quizzes would determine if the member passes and is approved or asked to come back after a specified period of time to try again. I know from experience that this type of training motivates people to do their best and also makes it clear that to be part of a community like HP, one should give it their best shot and strive for quality.
Since you weren't specific in your original post, I could only guess at what sort of training you had in mind. It's an interesting idea, but what solution would you offer for the more notorious offenders who already have publishing permissions and whose hubs seem to be passing the QAP? Perhaps the QAP could be made stricter so that more questionable stuff (e.g. religious rants) are unpublished rather than merely unfeatured.
That is a good question and one I do not readily have a solid answer to. Making the QAP stricter would definitely prevent poor quality hubs from being published. I think the answer to your question would have to come from Paul Edmondson on what to do with the "notorious offenders". If it were up to me I would give those offenders who already have publishing permissions a second chance by putting them into the training program. I think your thought about unpublished rather than unfeatured may be a wise option.
In the long run, I feel a training program as I suggest would take a lot of pressure off the QAP team and make their job easier, for more people would be writing better hubs. Those who are only here to earn money and do not much care about quality, are here to troll or spam, or simply be a nuisance in the forums, would not want to take the time to go through training and take quizzes. So, the training could very well eliminate non-serious writers up front.
I do not know how the final decision is made on the publishing, but the Hubs go through the Hub Hopper and are voted up/down by other Hubbers. Perhaps the Hopper should have changes made to it.
I think that if a new user can read and follow the rules from the get go, they should be left alone. It's not all that difficult.
Training Program - QAP + Realities of Traffic and Engagement
That is true, it is not all that difficult to read and follow the rules. Yet few people do it. How many new hubbers have you seen start a thread with something like, "my hubs are not being featured and I do not know why. Can anyone help me?"
The Apprentice Program only helped a few of its participants financially.
We already have a training program in place:
Learning as we go along using the LC, reading hubs on how to hub, interacting on forums to share methods of working (as we speak).
The only effective way to prevent "notorious offenders" joining in the first place is adding a couple of 10 sec.quizzes as suggested by Marcy during the sign up process, a bit like sophisticated Captchas.
To clarify my comment about quizzes (I got interrupted by a phone call & didn't get to edit it), I did not mean the site already has a quiz for writers. I was trying to say there's already a feature that let's us install quizzes, and it could easily be adapted for writing. I'd suggest a series of the quizzes, for various things (including perhaps the rules of publishing here).
Also, if there's a wayntomdomit, rotate the questions or scramble them. For online quizzes with courseware, we can create a pool of, say, 12 questions, of which four at a time will be randomized. It helps prevent cheating (or thwart it at least). On this site, it would help be a firewall of sorts to prevent people from scamming or abusing the site. Or publishing junk.
Restricting membership access creates an air of elitism. It also discourages new membership.
Not only that, but your perceived problem alleviates itself with a little patience; low-quality posts will, given enough time, "sink to the bottom", forgotten. Let them try and succeed or fail on their own - don't simply deny them the opportunity because they don't measure up to your standards.
Now, if you're talking about *voluntary* training, I'm all for that. Give them the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. Testing which is mandatory for membership, however, I do not agree with.
Yes when those writings "sink" they take the whole site with them.
Simple solution: you "clean up" the bottom periodically.
Yes, it's always better to bail water AFTER the ship sinks.
Like it or not, Google judges us by our least. We like Google... OK, we hate Google, but we have to curry favor with them to succeed. The problem with waiting for Google to start slapping us because our least finally got bad enough, is that Google slaps for a VERY long time. Seriously. And it slaps very, very hard.
Lou, you do not understand: you wrote "don't simply deny them the opportunity because they don't measure up to your standards."
It is not my standards, although I adopt the correct standards as part of my responsibility here at HubPages. It is Google and HubPages standards. Since your assumption is wrong, let me point you to the Google WebMaster Quality Guidelines that everyone on HP should be following. You will find the guidelines at
If we all followed Google standards and HP standards, there would be no need for this discussion, but, few people follow the guidelines and new members are usually not even aware of it.
Following Google guidelines would help HubPages become an elite site and what is wrong with that? We have many very good writers here. What is wrong with helping those who need to learn by raising their level of knowledge and writing skills and giving them the confidence they need to go forward?
Quote Lou: "Restricting membership access creates an air of elitism. It also discourages new membership." Not restricting, but, screening. Not discouraging new membership, but discouraging spammers, trolls, and people who are not serious about writing quality articles.
Ok. First off, I understand perfectly well. You created a thread to address your perceived issue (that being that some new members' material doesn't "measure up"). Therefore, yes, it is your standards which are not currently being met. While your suggestion, if followed, would lead to others' standards being put in place by which to "screen" new members, that's not what's happening at this moment. That your and Google's/HP's "standards" are apparently somewhat aligned bears no significance.
I don't contest the idea that screening new members for quality (or whatever) would "elevate" HubPages - hence my comment about it creating an elitist atmosphere. "We're talented enough to be here, but we know that others are not. It is up to us to educate and share knowledge, since we are the writing elite!" Yeah, no.
And what do you think "screening" is? "Screening" and "restricting" are concepts of different scopes. When you are screening, you are restricting access - but when you restrict access, you're not necessarily screening.
Rather than restrict membership access, simply create more stringent guidelines regarding the generation of Hubs. Another way of saying that is: improve Hub moderation. If a Hub doesn't "cut it", then unpublish it until it does.
... Let me put it this way: If there had been any kind of testing or other, similar requirement for membership to HubPages, I would not be a member. Plain and simple.
Well, it looks like you have your own perceived issues based on a negative source that I will not get into. I know what my suggestion is all about. It is offering a helping hand to those who would need it.
I do not know what your issue is other than wanting a debate which you won't get from me -- for, negativity is not my idea of a debate and I do not, as you tend to like doing, attack people. I work with people, offer my suggestions and listen to theirs.
No, Lou, you do not understand at all. You came here to argue and attack. So be it.
Christy Kirwan and Mathew Myer of HP staff have already responded and stated very politely and firmly in their own words that my suggestion is not feasible at this time -- I accept that. So, what is your issue or problem?
For starters, at no point have I attacked you. I disagreed with your position and expressed the opinion that you are wrong; at worst, I was antagonistic when I explained the relationship between screening and restriction. If anything, you attacked me; I felt rather insulted that you assumed that because I disagree with you, I lack some sort of understanding - hence my slightly heated response in kind.
As for my involvement in this thread, I responded to an item in my feed. If you didn't want responses from the HubPages public, you should have stated such.
But, I have said my piece, and see no reason to say anything more.
My apologies if you feel I have attacked you. We each have our own thoughts and opinions and I am okay with that. However, you put me on the defensive when you came in with your statement of "don't simply deny them the opportunity because they don't measure up to your standards." and I tried to explain to you that they are not MY standards, but, GOOGLES, which you do not seem to understand or chose to ignore.
To just let the poor quality go and allow it to sink to the bottom takes us all down because of Googles standards. HP staff works hard to keep our standards up and all I am doing is offering a suggestion to help out.
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