According to Wikipeida, content is information and experiences that provides value for an end-user or audience.. According to anybody in the know about writing, original content is written work that is totally your own.
It is not spun material
It is not plagiarized wordage
It is not a bunch of photos with no meaningful or new information attached to them
It is not a bunch of ads with descriptions of the products and no meaningful information added
I don't know what there is about something this clear that some writers here do not get. I find it so irritating when people persist in writing unoriginal, spun, spammy articles and then act shocked when their work is unfeatured!
What is really upsetting is when I work so hard to produce clean copy and then see the type of work I noted above being featured, just like mine. It's insulting, and it is damaging to this website, and I'm sick of it.
It is obviously not as easy as you think. If you bring someone into a room and ask them to draw a picture without any further instructions, they have no idea if you want just a quick sketch or a masterpiece that has proper shading and perspective. They may not have the skills to do proper shading and perspective, or may not have the tools they need right on hand. They don't know if you want a picture of a puppy, a carton character, or the Mona Lisa. Even if they have all day, which they might not, they don't know how much time they are expected to use in drawing this picture.
Same thing here. Until they start looking around the site, and let's face it, they might stumble upon a particularly bad batch of examples, they really don't have any idea of the quality that is expected. They also might have gotten some bad practice, if they are used to writing Tweets or Bubbles, or may get some bad advice that explains how they can get rich quick with keyword spamming, or selling stuff. They also might have other motives such as promoting their own website, book, or business.
I would buy this argument but for the fact that some of the people who do these things have written numerous articles here and have had every opportunity to read the information in the Learning Center, the weekly blogsand on the forums about these very topics.
Yes, someone who is new might not know the ropes, but there are people who have been writing here for some time who seem to simply be ignoring the guidelines.
If someone asks me to draw a picture, would it not be normal for me to ask "what kind", "what colors" and "what size"?
We are all adults here and as such have a responsibility to learn what we need to know in order to produce good articles that will not cause us or HP to be penalized by Google. This is the very least any of us should be doing.
I know if I had a bunch of articles that went unfeatured, I sure as heck would be investigating the cause and not acting all "innocent" about what went wrong. I've seen this far too many times here lately, and feel this type of behavior to be unacceptable.
I understand, and I agree with you for the most part. There are people who have a different agenda here - promoting their own site, etc. But I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to people who are used to a different way of doing things, and haven't figured out how this site is different than the other sites they currently use or previously used.
I do see some forum posts that make me wonder why the Hubber can't see what they are doing wrong. It seems like they want to do the minimum to get the hub featured again, instead of trying to get their hub to be the best it can be.
I am all for giving the benefit of the doubt to newcomers because I know it takes time to learn how to use HP's formatting and guidelines, but how long do you think people need? A month, 6 months, a year?
Someone who has produced hundreds of articles should not still be asking "What did I do wrong?" unless they have, indeed, been making every effort to comply and improve and then suddenly get smacked by Google or the team for no apparent reason.
Those who are loading their articles with spam, plagiarizing and other fun things know what they are doing...but as long as they get away with it, they will continue doing it. I, for one, am very happy that the team is finally cracking down on these writers. Enough is enough.
I hardly see anything like that on here, unless I'm in the hub hopper. And that trash gets a quick set of 1's. But I do know what you mean!
People whose motive for being here is primarily to make money by selling products, self promotion, or boring personal diaries, are not real authors at all and they will not succeed on HP, no matter how much they rant. I am appalled and ashamed at seeing the term "HubPages Author" beside many hubbers' avatars. Authors? Come on!
The only valid motive for a true HubPages Author is an irresistible passion to create content that is new, original, and contributes unique knowledge unavailable elsewhere on the web. Such content is elaborately researched, well written and attractively presented to stand out.
I am grateful for the opportunity HP gives us to write great content.
How to Create Valuable Content Online
Thank you for saying what so many of us feel.
I guess it's the nature of some people who write online to consider themselves an author. I cringe when I see some forum threads expressing disbelief that their hubs are not receiving search engine traffic. This site has writers, but certainly is not what I consider a writer's site. I'm glad HP is getting tougher on the spammy hubs. That phase of online 'marketing' produced the need for Panda/Penguin.
Mine's all original, not the most enthralling of reads for many
But it is original. I do hate it when I, therefore, see that "has probably been copied from you" marker in my account
It makes me sad that vile, cheating, scum, have nicked my words for their own gain. I hope they're so busy thinking about their riches they'll gain that they fail to see the bus coming when they cross the road.
I so understand your thoughts and frustrations on this subject, TT2.
I fail to see why anyone who wants to write for a site like HubPages does not familiarize themselves with the Learning Center, FAQ, and TOS, then look up some help before posting for advice in a forum thread. Anyone who is serious about writing the best articles they can need to pursue help and advice from the site and not take a chance of opening a thread where ill-advised replies may come in.
HubPages offers so much help on how to create winning articles that get featured and receive high traffic. Rather than taking advantage of the help available in the Learning Center, many people find it easier to just post a question in the forum and ask for help, which is not always the best way to go about learning, for I have seen many many replies from other hubbers who give wrong information which the person needing help will take as fact.
I feel the best thing we can do when someone asks for help (if we want to take the time to help them), is to go to FAQ or LC, find the section where the answer lies and post that link (with a pleasant note) for the requester to read. It is far better to learn from the HP rules and policies posts than to get mistaken or half -axxxx guesses from others. Pointing someone in the right direction with kindness will be the best advice we can give - it also teaches someone how to use the valuable information HP gives us.
You are assuming that those people will want to take the time to read and learn. If they wanted to do that, they would have done it in the first place!
What you offer here is excellent advice that all of us should heed, however. I have been burned more than once by following ill advised advice, and I'm certain others have, as well.
A neighbor called here yesterday to advise that people were illegally parking on our condo's property and then cutting through a back way into a small shopping center that sits behind us. She wanted us to post a sign telling them not to do this and then erect a fence to keep them from doing it. Really?
I reminded her that we have no trespassing signs everywhere, so a sign would not work. I also reminded her that the point at which we would erect a fence was on the shopping center's property, not ours.
The trespassers would have to be blind not to see our signs, so they obviously do not want to "see" them. They want to do what they want to do.
I feel the same way about people who refuse to learn the guidelines here. They know the rules exist, but they also know writing is much easier if you simply ignore them!
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