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HubPages, A Writers site or a money-maker for the Company?

  1. Don Bobbitt profile image93
    Don Bobbittposted 15 months ago

    http://usercontent1.hubimg.com/12550034_f520.jpg
    I don't know, maybe this is just a disgruntled Rant by myself, alone.

    I call myself a Writer. By default, this makes me a Reader.

    And, as someone who has the arrogance to think I am good enough to call myself a writer and a reader, I have opinions, on my works as well as the works of others.

    So, with these "changes" being introduced by HP, I see something very interesting. There is a fine line any company must walk, I guess, between allowing writers the freedom to present their works for others to read, and regulating what can be displayed on the site. I understand this.

    But, as I look at my options for communicating to other writers on their works, I see my options being choked down to one of tow things.

    One thing I am (still) allowed to do is write a comment at the bottom of the Hub (article).

    Now, as I look at my other options, I can actually just see one thing still left to me, a clear (yet very small) icon at the top-right of each article in my feed.
    When I select this option, I can take the Ostrich approach. By that I mean, I am allowed to "HIDE" the article, author, or the category of this Hub.

    Yeah! I did once have the accolades. And what so many if us have not mentioned is the fact that NOT LEAVING an ACCOLADE at all was a form of criticism; a polite form of saying "I really did not care much for this article".

    And, as a writer, it really does feed my ego to see that someone gave me an accolade or two. Again, I am a Writer, and a Reader, and now?

    All you leave me is the capability to allow you and your "article management geeks" to decide what is acceptable or not.
    Oh well!
    Thanks, Big Brother!
    DON

    1. ChristinS profile image93
      ChristinSposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      I hear you. I was displeased about taking away the votes too.  It was a form of feedback that I enjoyed and I received numerous votes on my hubs.  I think it helped when I used my hubs as writing samples as well.  It showed potential clients people are engaging with my work and enjoy it. When people want to hire you; they want to know that people respond to your writing, because that means that the content you write for them will also get their customers/visitors to interact with their company.

      I think it was a bad choice, but HP staff doesn't seem to care what we think about most things it seems like.  It's always an "I hear you but, we have another new better idea we're implementing.  We aren't going to tell you what that is - but it's coming soon!"... or "we plan to address that at the next staff meeting" and nothing happens or is said again.

      For all the things I've loved about this site that had me addicted to it; there have been so many changes and promises and "vague" information and changes without warning and that's highly inconsiderate to the people here who have been trying to create great content, and who frankly contribute to HP success financially and otherwise.

      I don't plan to write anymore hubs and will just maintain what I have here.  Sad, because the only reason I stay now is the relationships I've formed with several writers here who I want to stay in communication with.  A lot of us are feeling that way - and if your good writers aren't producing that new content you want so much because you're alienating them .... well good luck with that.  I'm done caring at this point frankly.

    2. Old Poolman profile image82
      Old Poolmanposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      I quit writing on HP back when the rules were changing almost daily.  The quality or content of the hub took a back seat to SEO.  This told me that it was now all about money for HP who get most of their content for free.

      But it costs lots of money to run a website like HP so they have to have some income and I understand that.  However I believe that they have crossed over the line and now everything is about money, money for them of course.

      HP used to be a great place for writers to practice and get good feedback on their writing but that is gone now.  Unfortunately I have been unable to find any other websites that are as good as the old Hub Pages.  Perhaps those days are gone forever.

    3. 60
      bagekalofposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Deleted

      1. Old Poolman profile image82
        Old Poolmanposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Deleted

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 15 months ago in reply to this

          It is.  Why didn't you report it?

    4. Solaras profile image92
      Solarasposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      You can add a poll to your hub that requests the same feedback. It might even improve your engagement.

      1. Barbara Kay profile image85
        Barbara Kayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Solaras, Great idea!

    5. Sherry Hewins profile image95
      Sherry Hewinsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      I do miss the simplicity of just giving a hub a thumbs up, and I don't really understand the reasoning behind why they removed it. Still, there are other options besides commenting and hiding, you could share a hub,  if you really liked it. You could follow the person, if you aren't already (can we still leave fan mail? I haven't tried lately.)

      Of course HP is a business. It's nice when it works for us as well as them, but that's not the reason it exists. No matter how many people rant and stomp out the door, it won't make any difference to those in charge. The ones they care about are the top earners, and those people are unlikely to cut off their nose to spite their face.

  2. Barbara Kay profile image85
    Barbara Kayposted 15 months ago

    I can somewhat understand their attitude. It seems like I heard a million dollars was invested to start this site. The owner/owners must be worried how little Google likes us anymore. My earnings are less than 1/3 of what they once were. They have to earn a living too.

    The removal of the up and down voting button is one thing I'll miss though. It is difficult to constantly be facing new rules etc also.

    1. ChristinS profile image93
      ChristinSposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      The thing is HP was warned for ages that Google was going to hit us hard, and they didn't listen.  Numerous people here warned them, time and time again I might add.

        Look how easy it is STILL to get past the QAP process they put in place.  Instead of fixing that - which is obviously SO broken, and weeding out the crap - they take things away that we do use and enjoy. 

      HP has a long history of not listening and just saying things to appease.  If they truly cared what we thought, they would maybe poll us and ask for opinions on what we think would improve the site.  They'd focus on reduction of garbage and tightening up the QAP.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard the standard blow off "we will be sure to discuss that in future staff meetings"... or "we are working on so many great things - we can't say what they are, but just wait and see!"  good grief....

      Has quality gone up over the years, yes - to some degree, but it's not where it needs to be, so instead of all these changes and throwing crap to see what sticks, they need to have a methodical plan - one they are willing to share and not just spring on people. They need to respect the people here who are developing the content that is making them money.  They aren't doing this anymore if they ever were at all. 

      What happens when the good writers leave and all your left with is dross?  I think we're about to find out. I really, really want to see this site not only survive, but thrive - but the approach they are taking in just ignoring the will of their content creators and initiating major changes without any warning something new is coming is not the right approach.  It's highly disrespectful of those of us who have put in a lot of time and resources here.

      1. Old Poolman profile image82
        Old Poolmanposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        It seems the one thing they have forgotten is the writers supply the product they sell.  No writers equal no sales.

  3. relache profile image88
    relacheposted 15 months ago

    Don, if you'd asked me this question when you first got here five years, I would have told you it was a money-maker for the company and that we already were on shaky ground even though Google hadn't acted just yet.

    Users were complaining to admin about weak and female-objectifying content for a least a year before the first Panda rollout.  Admin has actually had a lot of notice, repeatedly, from their own users about what is wrong with this site, throughout the history of the HubPages.  And in every single case, they have chosen to follow their insular, engineering wisdom.

  4. 84
    Mills Pposted 15 months ago

    Bring back ratings. Members simply cannot comment on every single piece, let alone read them all, I think we'd all like to have some record of who visited and left some record of it.

  5. erorantes profile image33
    erorantesposted 15 months ago

    I like your question mister Don Bobitt.  Writing with passion brings a lot of revenues to the company. Writing to make a lot of hubs with no interest to readers; it is no good. Hubpages always have good topics. I believe we all are good. So we need to keep writing. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Old Poolman profile image82
      Old Poolmanposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Don, I agree with that.  I always find you hubs interesting and informative so please keep them coming.

  6. Marisa Wright profile image94
    Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago

    Why would anyone imagine HubPages is NOT primarily a business?   The founders did not invest thousands of dollars to start HubPages because they wanted to do writers a favour - they invested to make a profit.  Anyone who ever thought otherwise needs their head examined. 

    We were lucky, when the site was doing well, that it could afford to be generous to writers and allow a great deal of freedom in what was written and how much expertise writers needed.  Things change.

    As for accolades and votes - I have never, ever noticed whether anyone voted for my Hubs or not, it has never bothered me. I judge my Hubs by what my external readers think of them, not what other Hubbers think.

    1. ChristinS profile image93
      ChristinSposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Who here said that HP was not primarily a business.  How is it "doing us a favor" to keep a feature that was already being used and enjoyed. No one is saying they shouldn't make a profit, but I'm glad you think that those of us who don't agree with some of the choices foisted on us lately "need our heads examined" ... probably true, but not because of this ha!

      Maybe you didn't notice on your hubs, but others of us have and valued that information.  All I am saying is focus on actual problems this site has before taking away features many use and enjoy.

      It seems to me HP gets its priorities mixed up.  It takes away a feature for example that others use and enjoy, but the QAP here is absolutely abysmal.  Wouldn't it make more business sense to address that - and the junk hubs appearing on the new main page first? I don't know.  I'm in the process of moving on. I don't have time for hubs anymore really and I mostly stayed for the community interaction anyway honestly.

      1. psycheskinner profile image80
        psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        The question is in the subject line of this thread.  And the answer is: This a business to make money specifically a revenue-sharing content host, not a writers' hangout and self-expression community.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
          Kathryn L Hillposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Sometimes there are more important things than money. If they don't appeal to that, they are going to miss the boat.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        As psycheskinner points out, I was addressing the title of the thread.

        What accolades has to do with the title of the thread defeats me - it may have been a feature which some writers enjoyed, but I don't think it was ever a highly important, critical part of making this a "writers' site".

    2. KathyMcGraw2 profile image81
      KathyMcGraw2posted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Your answer here is spot on!  Outside traffic is and always will be the real test of if an article/post/hub is good or not, not the internal accolades. 

      As for if HP is about money....yep, of course it is and writers are lucky if the Admin communicate and work with them, instead of only for themselves.  That makes for a much better site.

    3. Suzanne Day profile image98
      Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      What worries me is that if it is all about being a business, why can't they see the long term issues with dross?

  7. ChristinS profile image93
    ChristinSposted 15 months ago

    I add polls to my hubs, but that is about the content matter and asking people their opinions on the content of the hub specifically - not "what did you think of my hub"... I still prefer the old system with feedback and votes. It was simple and a nice feature.

  8. 0
    brandonbutlerposted 15 months ago

    HubPages is a money - maker for writers who wants there contents in their hubs to get maximum exposure on the internet from them being just themselves. One man's trash hubs is another's man's riches for their niche audience that knows their writing style like myself. traffic brings money to all kinds of hubs here on HubPages. There's room for one more if you are true to yourself because if you write your hub for your niche audience then they will find it some way by word of mouth.

  9. adevwriting profile image81
    adevwritingposted 15 months ago

    I think this discussion and the changes are going to demotivate a lot of people from writing on HubPages.hmm

    1. Chriswillman90 profile image91
      Chriswillman90posted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Well based on the messages that have been coming out, it certainly isn't very encouraging. I'm praying the site is at least around another year or so before I'm ready to move on to personal writing projects. This place continues to be a great platform for new writers, but it also gives me great worry because of all the negativity.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 15 months ago in reply to this

        There is a difference between being negative and being realistic.  I think you are confusing the two.

        Every single person who has commented here wants this site to succeed.  They are trying to help by giving suggestions based on their viewpoints and experience.

        Clearly, they are concerned that HP may be moving in the wrong direction.  They want to put it back on track.  This is not negativity, it is reality coupled with hope.

  10. LeanMan profile image81
    LeanManposted 15 months ago

    It does not matter where you write online if you don't write what the searchers are looking for you will not get traffic.. If you write in a subject area that has too much competition then you will not get traffic...If you write in a way that goes against what Google wants you will not get traffic...... And no traffic means no money.....

    This is a business that exists to make money while providing a platform for "writers" to also make money....

    It does this by following what the market is asking for...

    If we think that they are wrong and that we know better, we can always do our own thing....

    There is no way that HP can make everyone happy as everyone has different needs - however the overriding objective of this site is to make money and enable the writers here to make money. If something is eating up time or resources that does not help with this aim then .......

    1. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      +1

  11. ChristinS profile image93
    ChristinSposted 15 months ago

    I've been here for years, make decent money. I have been a very strong supporter of a lot of the changes made here, but  I don't have to walk in lock step with everything this site chooses to do and neither does anyone else. 

    HubPages makes money off of us too and should be willing to at least hear our opinions before just marching out change after change after change. In a relationship where both parties rely on each other for income, it should be a bit more of a two way street.  Perhaps engage your writers a bit more or give them advance warning when changes are coming.

    The reason people, even those of us who have been very supportive historically, are getting disillusioned is the constant roll out of unexpected changes and upheavals.  It gives the appearance of a staff who has no idea what they really plan to do so they are just throwing stuff around to see what sticks.  If that's the case, I can get behind that too, but at least be honest about it.

    Yes, a lot of changes without two way communication are going to disillusion a lot of writers.  I have been doing "my own thing" too, and I use HP as another source of sideline income and for backlinks etc.  I'm not a total novice and I've been a "writer" for years.

    I'm quite sure the staff at HP can take differing opinions without it being a problem.  I would think that when you roll out change after change, you would frankly expect some dissent. 

    I'll just go back to keeping my opinions to myself, I wouldn't want my "negativity" to discourage anyone from writing here.. I don't hate HubPages by the way, and if I did, I wouldn't have been here for four years and I've never discouraged people from giving this site a shot. 

    Blind allegiance to anything is never a good idea however and it's usually when we address our flaws that we grow.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      I agree absolutely. In fact it was one of the things I loved about HubPages when I joined - HubPages staff were very actively engaged in the forums and suggestions from Hubbers were listened to, and often acted upon.   If they decided to reject a suggestion, they always took the trouble to explain why.

      Things changed abruptly when Panda happened in early 2011.  It was an opportunity missed, because at that time, we had several professional, full-time writers as Hubbers (the earnings potential was so high, pre-Panda, that it was worth their time as an income stream).  Those writers were highly internet-savvy - all running their own successful sites as well as Hubbing - and had huge expertise which they were willing to offer HubPages for free. 

      Instead, HP battened down the hatches and simply stopped listening to Hubbers at all, on the forums and elsewhere.  They became high-handed, not only making frequent changes but not even announcing some of them, with the result that some Hubbers had their entire accounts unpublished for reasons they weren't even aware of.  It was a very bad time.

      HubPages has started to talk to Hubbers again but I get the feeling they don't take any of our suggestions seriously any more.

    2. makingamark profile image75
      makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No - say some more, Yes!

      One of the more sensible comments I've read in the last few days......

  12. Mark Ewbie profile image81
    Mark Ewbieposted 15 months ago

    On the bright side the forums have woken up…

    I am probably a senior amateur having served five years here and been through various shades of annoyance with HP.  They change stuff.  They don’t fix it.  They don’t take any notice.

    I can now see why they don’t take much if any notice.  It is because almost without exception we all come at this from different angles.

    The hobbyist, retired, serious, affiliater, spammer, writer, poet – and on and on.  We all have different views and solutions and if Paul listened to that lot he would go quite mad.

    I am still hacked off because HubPages is not quite what I want it to be.  So I am doing my own thing – again – without making anything – again.  But that gives me an inner peace.  I am trying other stuff with a similar lack of success.

    Turns out it was not HubPages ‘fault’ after all.

    I have a lot of respect for Paul E the owner of HubPages for the effort he continues to put in.  Most of the other 'writing' sites have closed, ripped their writers off or make no money at all – or done all three.  I think he does his best for this site.

    In my opinion the forums have set a new level for hysterical idiocy in the last few days.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 15 months ago in reply to this

      This happened because of the way Paul worded his recent announcement.

      When you have a group of people that already are exhausted by all of the upheaval and worried about what is to come, you don't put out a statement that is vague and leaves them hanging.

      When you couple that with Janderson's comeback (which, by the way made a lot of sense), you allow the floodgates to open.

      Yes, people are coming at Paul from all sides and from different points of view, but he knows what the basics are as well as anybody else does.  That he is not following them or responding clearly is frustrating everybody and rubbing salt in their wounds.

      I have owned a number of businesses over the years, and one thing I learned is that what works is creating a clear business plan that allows for enough flexibility to keep up with the marketplace.  You let your workers know what it is, and if you need to change it, you advise them of the changes, not of what might or may happen or even discuss random possibilities for improvement that you are exploring, especially if some of those ideas might lead to leaving some people here standing at the station as the train pulls out without them.

      After all, you are talking about people's efforts, creativity and income here.

      Yes, there has been a lot of input, but among the many comments there are some very good ones that keep repeating themselves over and over because they are simple, basic and make sense.

      Worrying about some icons disappearing is a waste of time in a life and death situation.  Worrying about too much spam, low quality and other such issues is extremely important because these are the ones that will either make or break a site like this.

      When I was having problems last year, tons of people jumped in, including you, to give me advice.  These, too, came from many different angles.

      I sorted through them, researched them, chose the ones I thought would help and was able to regain the 90% of views that were lost overnight.  Yesterday, the 150,000 views I had at that time which later were reduced by 25,000 due to the fact that I eliminated a good number of hubs, became 300,000.

      This is how you run a business.  Upsetting, confusing and driving your workers away is not.

      If I was running HP and saw that what I had done was causing problems, I would at least put out a statement saying that I hear you.  Of the suggestions you made, these are the ideas we are seriously considering.  Give us some time to regroup and we will do our best to make things better.

      1. makingamark profile image75
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Another extremely sensible comment.

        There are a number of people commenting who bring a depth of expertise in management and responding to change and then managing change in other contexts.

        If you want to run a site which depends on members for content then you better share and listen to members when the going gets tough - and DEMONSTRATE that you have listened.

    2. Suzanne Day profile image98
      Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      +1. All they need to do is keep improving quality (ie removing bad quality dross) and building the site with good writers. The entry barriers should be very high for this and writers should be encouraged to produce their best works that earn long term, not a quick empire for $. For that we may need more incentives than writing for the love of it only. We may need to share info or have a better reward system (eg if you write 25 hubs, you'll get XYZ). We specifically need more guidance on topics to cover, to steer people away from poetry and other non-performing subject matter (these are great but generally don't earn anything much).

      The rest of the minor changes are pretty meaningless (ie thumbs up etc), though it's nice to have some pre-warning and maybe an explanation for those who don't understand how the small changes don't do much (keep your existing writers happy - some of us may need to understand what's going on and why). Most of the small changes are aimed at maximising traffic at the time anyway and will change frequently depending on devices and audience preference, which varies from year to year and month to month sometimes.

      Regardless of where this business model is going, we know that excellent quality content (think editorial/magazine/knowledge base/recipe/Wikipedia/tutorial style) will thrive in the long term, because people will always want to read new stuff on the internet and it's the first place they are turning. Especially anything that offers something of value for FREE, like tutorials, knowledge or humour.

      I think the Ad blockers will concern Google more than HP because that's where a lot of Google's money comes from.....so they will solve that issue for everyone else and we'll have to adapt to Google's new plan, when they tell us what it is.

  13. makingamark profile image75
    makingamarkposted 15 months ago

    I had a ponder about HubPages being "a writers' site" (don't forget the plural possessive apostrophe!)

    Interestingly HubPages does NOT make it into this listing of the The Top 100 Writers Sites
    http://thewritelife.com/100-best-websit … ters-2015/

    Just saying.....

    1. relache profile image88
      relacheposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      What were the qualifications by which that list was assembled? 

      HubPages is up to it's eyeballs in reviews and photo galleries, but it's not known as a review site or a photo site either.

      1. makingamark profile image75
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Yes - that does seem to be the HubPages theme tune. Lots of stuff but no focus and nobody much recommending it as a source of information.

        One of the interesting factors which affects a site's performance in Google and often gets forgotten is its reputation - i.e. reviews by others - particularly the negative reviews.

        1. Barbara Kay profile image85
          Barbara Kayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Google shows a lot of negative reviews for Hubpages by writers that weren't successful here. I'm sure that doesn't help.

  14. makingamark profile image75
    makingamarkposted 15 months ago

    Huh? So does HubPages run on thin air? Should HubPages not be worried about the reducing value of every hit on an advertising link on HubPages?

    I don't think you get it. Google's income from advertising in 2013/14 was $50.6 BILLION (£32.8bn)
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/news … enues.html  It is far and away the biggest earner of advertising dollars.

    The reason they're concerned about the quality of responses to search queries - and the amount of dross on the Internet is because in order to keep that advertising flowing in they need to rid their index of all dross - and the websites which produce it.

    That's precisely WHY they don't like content farms and the dross they attract.

    Google has already told us what the plan is.  The key questions are
    1) whether HubPages is compliant with the rules and
    2) if it is, why the traffic continues to trend down.

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
      Kathryn L Hillposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      … cuz the youth cant write.

    2. Suzanne Day profile image98
      Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Because the dross is still here. Dross may be perfectly written in English and make logical sense and have pretty photos and the right keywords. But if it can't hold an audience's attention or get some traffic in its niche, it is useless and costs money to host while downgrading the whole site because Google is watching its engagement factor. Poor engagement indicates a content farm or spammy site to Google.

  15. Don Bobbitt profile image93
    Don Bobbittposted 15 months ago

    So, after going through all of the comments so far my question is;

    How does HubPages become a HubPedia?

    And, how does it get to keep our stuff without paying us, and at the same time, talk us into continuing to contribute to their coffers?

    Is the "streamlining" of all of the little things different groups of us Hub writers have come to like about HP; the many little things that personalized the site for us in the past, are they actually in the way of their "future design" for HP?

    Is our "club house' going to be torn down and is a Strip Mall being put in its place?

    Well, although I want HP to survive, I do wonder these things and I also wonder if they are capable keepers of our literary sweat?

    DON

    1. Suzanne Day profile image98
      Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      The club house is the "soul" of Hubpages and is made of the writers who like to share in its community. The problem is that the clubhouse invited tons of non-English speaking writers and bad spellers and desperately poor people looking for a buck to its hangout and they have been invited to share the fun (and have their works edited and critiqued for free because they are substandard) while the real writers are getting peeved and wonder why they should put in the effort.

      It's not fun to watch idiots get a free ride while we sweat through a writing education all of our lives for the joy of it and get involved in creating beautiful, complex, rich hubs with minimal incentives while complete dorks get to be pandered to, even to the point of changing the site direction, layout and future planning, all in the name of skimming profits from substandard work to pay for the substandard work's hosting costs, tech requirements and editing team because Google decided that it didn't like bad quality.

      Imagine if HP had spent all its money on inviting quality writers, incentivising writers with giveaways and truly useful information and encouraging new writers of quality here through their existing database and marketing instead of trying to turn substandard dross into diamonds.....

      It won't be a strip mall or a HubPedia as the real writers would lose interest, but it should be a clubhouse for real writers, not pretendy ones hell bent on publishing general fluff for a quick buck. The focus should always be on engagement, quality and growth, not SEO tricks and pretendy engagement factors for dog poo.

      It is my opinion that the internet audience is getting quite sick of impersonal and fluffy general info articles and seeks meaty, interesting and knowledgeable articles with a good personal touch to them. You know, the kind of articles you want to read yourself!

      If HP had stayed on course years ago and built on their foundation of quality writers, they would be sailing smoothly about now and about to realise their best years ahead with the "personal touch" added by the writing cream of the net. Unfortunately, they didn't, instead finding themselves reacting constantly to Google instead. No one could have foreseen the journey of the last few years, but a Plan and a Direction for creating the best content would have been very advantageous.

      Rant over!

    2. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      I don't think HubPages will ever become a HubPedia.  HP has done some silly things, but they wouldn't attempt to compete with Wikipedia - they're far too far behind!

      HP's "how to" articles are far more like an amateur version of About.com (where writers have to have qualifications in a subject before they're allowed to write about it). But there's no point trying to compete with About.com either.

      That's the problem for HubPages - there isn't an unoccupied niche for them to move to.   Google doesn't want sites that publish anything and everything, they want sites with a clear purpose or focus, and with expertise and knowledge behind them.    So I don't think things like improving quality or editing individual articles is going to be enough.

      1. Don Bobbitt profile image93
        Don Bobbittposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Isn't that what we are seeing presently?
        An HP search for a niche? DON

        1. Marisa Wright profile image94
          Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          So what niche are they looking for?  I don't see any sign of them developing a particular focus.

  16. DzyMsLizzy profile image91
    DzyMsLizzyposted 15 months ago

    WHEW!  I've read the OP's question, opening post, and about 99% of the replies/discussions.

    I agree, HP is a business, here to make money.
    I agree, HP has been hit hard by the Google zoo animals, and they are scrambling to 'get it fixed.'
    I agree, HP does make an honest effort at paying the contributing writers, if not much, at least regularly and predictably.

    However, I disagree on the following points:

    1) It is apparent that continual marketing/positioning of HP as a "writers' site," is contrary to what Google wants; they are looking for "readers' sites."  As long as HP remains committed to being perceived as a "writers' site," they will continue to be slapped by The Big G.

    2) It was said in another forum discussion that HP "...has a lot of super-smart recent college graduates..."  who will apparently make sure "things" work before they are released.  Oh. How can we tell?  "Things" have not worked for us writers, nor have they improved HP's standing with the Google god.

    3)  College book learning is one thing, but it is no substitute for the school of hard knocks and experience in the field.  That's why all kinds of jobs (including writing) used to have 'juniors' and 'apprentices.' 

    4)  Depending upon staff alone for these decisions may make them feel they are investing their money in the correct place, but they fail to see that if they put off too many of their best writers (and in no way am I implying that I am in that group; I know better!), they will fail anyway, for lack of content.

    5)  The real experts are in the field.  In the ditches, the trenches.  As my father used to tell, when he worked as a streetcar motorman in San Francisco, the experts are the operators and the passengers, not some suits from New York, totally unfamiliar with San Francisco and its unique problems (who they hired) to assess the issues. 
    Likewise, when HP dismisses out of hand the suggestions or complaints by many of changes that it has made, it would behoove them to listen, and act upon same.
    To illustrate this point, I recently reported an article for serious keyword stuffing.  Of course, the automated "We're on it" dialog popped up.  But guess what was the end result?  That same article was featured on their Face Book page two days later!!

    6) That their "QAP"  is an abject failure is readily seen, as many have pointed out, in the continual stream of inferior writing that is consistently featured on the front landing page.  Would you put out a filthy, greasy, muddy towel as a doormat to welcome your guests?  That is the equivalent of what HP is doing to themselves.  The proverbial shot in the foot.

    No, I don't expect to get rich here.  No, I don't even expect to make supplemental income of more than a few bucks a month, and payout twice a year, if I'm lucky.  But, I do expect HP to take its contributors seriously, and treat them respectfully, as partners, which we surely are by some measure, for without each other, we cease to be as a collective.

    My suggestion is that HP include in its decision-making process, to 'sit' with staff,  a panel of some of the highest-earning writers on the site who have been around the longest; have seen the assorted changes; who can speak from both the searchers, readers and writers viewpoints; and who can act as a liaison between the forums and the staff.
    These meetings could obviously take place by means of video-conferencing, thereby negating the need for travel on the part of the panel members.  It's just an idea.  Please don't shoot me.

    1. Suzanne Day profile image98
      Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Hi Lizzy,

      A couple of ideas:

      #1 Without good writers, you won't be getting consistent readers who are engaged with the writing. Hence advertising for writers is a good thing. However maybe some ideal samples of good writing could steer people better? (eg stellar hubs - show people what's expected instead of letting people assume it's all creative writing).

      #2 HP haven't done too bad with turning around their fortunes from time to time. It could have been a whole lot worse, as evidenced by the closure of other writing sites.

      #3 I agree. People who don't know English shouldn't be here, unless HP wants to make HP in other countries/languages available for them. We shouldn't be training anyone in English or doing their writing for them or paying money for staff to help them etc. The staff might as well do the writing themselves....

      #4, #5, #6 - agree. Writers just don't feel heard by the staff. The long term direction is a problem. Short term reactions to Google are a little beneficial but would be unnecessary if the long term was implemented properly regarding good writers, quality and engagement. How this will happen is up to the boss, as we've all made our opinions and ideas clear in the forums repeatedly. I'm guessing HP looks for short term, affordable solutions instead of the real answer to direction which is much harder to achieve but would ensure a better future with less reacting on a daily basis.

      Something that would help writers a lot is a guide to what topics to cover exactly. Maybe if HP stopped polishing duds and spent money on researching profitable topics and keywords to share/allocate to its good writers, things could look up for all!

      Having said all this, I will remain at HP regardless as I like the community, the forums and the platform. I just want to see where it's going....

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image91
        DzyMsLizzyposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Hi, Suzanne--
          Regarding #1--you are correct; I was writing quickly to get all my thoughts down., and I guess I left out part of the statement.  Of course, attracting readers requires good writers--they go hand in hand.  What I was referring to is the way HP markets/positions itself vis-a-vis Google....

        1. Suzanne Day profile image98
          Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          I think Google has a problem with the engagement on HP, too many people not reading pages, just clicking away from dross and boredom and spammy pages.

          Hence the "success" of Hubpro. It doesn't matter if HP advertises as a recipe writing site, a tutorial sharing site or a writing site, the aim is to get the quality content whichever way it can. Advertising as a writing site wouldn't hurt HP in Google's eyes I don't think. It doesn't tag HP as a content farm (it doesn't tag any websites), it simply knows it is because engagement is not as good as it could be regarding amount of pages vs time on page.

          Plus the fake hype surrounding HP's social signals with everyone and their dog creating their own social media shares outside of the specific hub's niche areas might cause a problem as Google sees a lot of irrelevant "liking" instead of relevant ones. Only guessing at this social media phenomenon though....

      2. makingamark profile image75
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I absolutely disagree about HubPages doing the research for writers.

        Writers should be writing about what they know and love and not for SEO per se. We now have a semantic web based on data, structure and expertise - not one based on keywords - and that's because Google reckons it can tell the difference between words written by people writing for keywords and those who actually know what they're talking about.

        We need experts not writers per se - and we certainly don't need people who are treating HubPages as some sort of English Language School who are diverting the energies of engineers into trying to work out how to automatically edit our content for spelling and grammar without our permission!!! (a.k.a. known as "how to really annoy decent writers in one easy lesson")

        1. Suzanne Day profile image98
          Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Actually I do agree with you about people writing what they know, rather than what they don't know. However, I do think some guidance is needed with a HUGE variety of topics/keywords because some people write absolutely delicious hubs which get no traffic due to them not knowing SEO. These quality writers offer fantastic engagement in their subject expertise but have not cracked the magic key words because there's too much conflicting advice out there and it seems too hard. That's the only issue - hence assistance with this would help the quality writers who do not know SEO to shine!

          I think everyone would agree that doing this would be far easier and money better spent than making diamonds out of dog poo.

          1. makingamark profile image75
            makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            But Suzanne - you miss the point. The nature of the Internet has moved on. Google no longer fixates on Keywords.

            Rank has got nothing to do with whether you hit the keywords button
            It's all about semantics - this is a recent article which explains it well http://www.peasoupdigital.co.uk/blog/po … ing-search

            It's entirely to do with whether they regard you as:
            * a reputable author (i.e. one that is referenced by others)
            * writing with recognised knowledge and expertise (i.e. they can tell!)
            * use keywords within natural language related to ordinary search queries (ie phrases not keywords)
            * add value and fill a gap in the knowledge on the web
            * on a reputable site - preferably one not ranked "low grade" because of the complete and utter dross it harbours within its midst

            1. Suzanne Day profile image98
              Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              Mmmm, I see what you mean, the bar has moved on.....to natural writing containing lots of appropriately organic similar words surrounding the topic that engages an audience. Why am I not suprised?

              Yes, the dross has to go if we want a better future, for sure. I believe dross can best be identified by its lack of engagement - people leaping off the page instantly.

    2. makingamark profile image75
      makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Bang on point!  EXCELLENT post.

  17. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago

    I think they are trying to find a space where a generic content site is still viable--and doing better at that than any other content site I am aware of. The only question is whether that is still really a viable strategy.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Psycheskinner, I agree that HubPages are still doing a better job than any of the other "generic content sites".    Whether that is still a viable niche to aim for is another matter, and that's the point I was trying to make to Don.

      1. makingamark profile image75
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Now that's not quite true is it.

        Both Wikipedia and About.com and one or two others are more highly rated sites.

        The issue is surely about a generic content site which allows anybody - subject to "quality controls" (in theory) - to make websites and make money

        i.e. a site where the authors don't just do it for the love (i.e. wikipedia does it better ) or because they're employed (ie as an expert editor at about.com)

        In a way it's like creating a marketplace of stalls all selling their wares - some for free and some for a decent return

        1. psycheskinner profile image80
          psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          About.com is doing essentially what Hubpages is with similar results (i.e. mixed, mostly not great).

          Wikipedia on the other hand is not a generic content site.  It is a highly structured Wiki crossed with an Encyclopia--as we all know.  It is not content because topic pages must be centrally approved, no one writer owns them, it is not advertising monetised, etc.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image94
          Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          I used psycheskinner's term but by "generic content sites" I meant sites like HubPages - and as psycheskinner confirmed above, that was her intention too.   Wikipedia is clearly a different animal.  About.com is a different animal too - it's a community of experts. 

          I think compared to the other sites of its ilk, HubPages is still doing better, surprising though that may be.

          1. makingamark profile image75
            makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            But the only thing that really differs is how the content is produced.

            In every other respect if you asked the ordinary punter in the street they wouldn't see much difference - apart from the fact that, for example, both Wikipedia and About.com look a lot more professional.

            But the real issue is that those sites are always going to be the competition for search query traffic and that fact isn't going to go away.

            Let's look at some of the competition, their different content creation models and the traffic (in the US) that they get.....

            Answers.com - 48 million people a month - exact same topics as HubPages - Focused on specific Questions only - written by experts and enthusiasts

            Wikia.com - 43.5 million people a month (has HUBS!) Focus is Fans of comics, TV, music, books, games, lifestyle) - anybody can contribute and build  or help build a wikia for free. Volunteer based - hence no remuneration. Content included is under free licence and hence can be copied and used by anybody

            Wikipedia - 42.5 million people a month - Volunteer based - hence no remuneration. Focused on Information - specifically on any knowledge subject of note (criteria is it MUST be notable) - content contributed for free by enthusiasts and anything which is not verifiable and in good English gets binned or corrected fast - by other volunteers who protect the quality.

            About.com - 37 million people a month - Focused on Information. Content written by "experienced online freelance writers who are credible authorities in their fields and capable of conveying information to users in a friendly, enthusiastic, and compelling way"

            HubPages - 13 million people a month - and getting very close to dropping out of the Quantcast top 100. Focused on? Anybody can write about anything and everything - within categories - even if they can't write English and/or other people aren't interested in the topic. QA needs major improvement to eliminate the dross.

            (Traffic source: Quantcast Top 100 https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites/US/1 )

            The above ignores the competition that also comes from the freely contributed product reviews and book reviews on places like Amazon, GoodReads and all the other review sites.

            The world has changed significantly since HubPages was created and I submit that HubPages hasn't kept up

            I found this article of an interview with the new CEO of About.com to be very interesting
            http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewcave/ … about-com/
            Definitely worth a read re a website which reinvented itself and how it operated

            1. Suzanne Day profile image98
              Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              Although this might be beside the point, I want to suggest that out of the sites you mentioned, HP has the most potential to add a personal touch. Eg, if you were to ever see a Wikipedia or Answers type tutorial, it would be a "professional" humanless thing. Many people prefer the inside story from a real person with real person photos etc. Hence I submit that recipes, tutorials and SOME types of reviews are still fantastic for HP because the other sites don't seem to cover them adequately with the personal touch - and what better way to add a personal touch than having a writer writing their own story with their own homegrown photos!

              I'm always advocating quality, but that doesn't mean it has to be generic or humanless.

              Generic tutorials and reviews written by someone who is regurgitating information or has nothing personal to add about the subject should be avoided - this means we won't need to compete against such sites above because we are different and not generic. Only desperate writers wanting to pump out hubs would really go for the generic spin type article.

              For example, I can prettymuch guarantee that any zippered bra bag tutorial (if it existed) on any of the above websites would not have the personal touch that mine has (ie, it looks like it was written and made by a real person, not a robot). This will be increasingly important when robots write the articles.

            2. Marisa Wright profile image94
              Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              I'm not sure of the point you're trying to make?

              In each of your other examples, the site has a specific angle on the crowd-sourced concept.  With Wikia it's fan-based (and volunteer-run), with About.com all writers go through an application process and you have to have qualifications, and so on. 

              Psycheskinner and I were making the comparison with other sites where "anybody can write about anything and everything - within categories" - which describes a multitude of revenue-sharing sites like HubPages, Squidoo, Wizzley, Persona Paper, Daily Two Cents, Infobarrel, the list goes on.  The kind of sites Hubbers discuss when they talk about where else to write for money.

              HubPages is not in competition with any of the sites you mention, as you say - they are further down the food chain.  But they are still further UP the food chain than any of the other sites where "anybody can write about anything and everything - within categories".

              However I agree with you that the concept used by those sites has had its day.  In fact if you look at the earlier discussion, that's exactly what I was saying.

              1. makingamark profile image75
                makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                I understand the point that the "anybody can write about anything and everything - within categories" has a bunch of sites which are similarish.

                I know you get the point that the whole economic context for selling content and products and advertising has changed since HubPages invented its way of doing things.

                The point I'm making is that ALL the "anybody can write about anything and everything - within categories" sites are after the exact same readers (and associated cash) as those which the larger sites cater to.

                It's the old supermarket/versus corner shop issue (or Mom and Pop store in the US)

                Small sites survive and are successful by
                1) being distinctly different - offering a better service to a reader in some distinct and definable way that you can tell people about
                2) serving one locality really well which the big boys ignore.

                If they try and compete for the exact same audience as the big boys - without 'being different' - then they will ultimately be wiped out by economic forces.

                We've seen very many of the smaller sites go out of business. Squidoo made a strategic exit stage left just before the pips started to squeak. We can't assume that every website that is left is OK - especially when we look at traffic trends on Quantcast.

                Let's not forget that newspapers are closing down because print advertising is being wiped out by digital. Nor that those carrying digital advertising have a lot to fear when the next Apple Operating System comes out - because the rumours are that this will include an embedded digital ad blocker......

                1. Marisa Wright profile image94
                  Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  ...which is exactly the point I was making earlier.   Pyscheskinner then popped in to point out that, of the "bunch of sites which are similarish", HP was doing the best.  As you say, none of them are doing well so that's not saying much - but it is still true, IMO.

                  1. makingamark profile image75
                    makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                    Interestingly I think one of the advantages that a smaller site COULD have is if it sticks to a mega niche topic e.g crafts or homes & gardens.

                    That would then reduce a lot of the flyby spammers and also create a site which could become 'known' for its subject

  18. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 15 months ago

    It's great to see a thread that's a) current and b) a "real" discussion (as opposed to yet another, "please give me feedback on my most recent Hub" thread (and we all pretty know what many of those "feedback and a link" threads are really about.  This thread pretty much looks to me like a matter of pretty much everything everyone has said is correct.  Some people have one or another type of Hub in mind, which makes for some differences in those correct ideas; but, for the most part, I think so much of what has been said on here is right.

    I always feel like I have to say, "Don't go by my Hubs because I'm making my own changes and figuring out what to clean up, etc.";  but I think much of the talk about extremely poor English and spam (etc.) being the crud on this site is emphasizing a more obvious problem (but a problem that can be/is being dealt with more and more).

    I think whoever said that some people who write really nicely done Hubs (and I'm not one of them these days) could use some SEO help on their Hub is correct.  I think, though, that people could use some clearer guidelines with regard the "add personal experience to your Hub" thing. 

    Since I want to be really clear about the fact that I'm pulling examples of subjects and styles off the top of my head (and not referring to any particular Hub that's shown up on here in most recent times), let me say that I'm going to refer either to subjects that I've read on here in the fairly long-ago past or else read on other sites since "everyone" has tried to jump on the how-to-improve-quallity bandwagon; OR that I'm just going to make up an "imaginary" example.

    Ever since all the talk about things like the appearance of the page and not-too-muich advertising started happening, people have grabbed onto what was being discussed as "what Google liked" and gone with those things.  It drove a lot of mediocre quality "underground" among many people who are perfectly capable writers.  It was ages ago now that in these very forums there was an example of "great looking" (I don't know if those were the words) blog.  When I clicked on it I found - yes - a great looking blog with some really great (and glossy looking) pictures and background.  It happened to a food blog (which isn't my thing anyway).  But, when I looked at it, it was pretty much a big pile of nothing as far as I was concerned.  But, the big pile of nothing was certainly presented in a polished, professional looking, and very attractive way.  Upon closer look, I even found grammar issues in some of the limited words that were used not in sparse text that went with pictures but in some "title type"/"navigation type" words.

    That one little example isn't the point all these years later, though.  The point is that a whole lot of mediocrity and "nothing-ness" put together by people who either knew how to make things look good or at least had a normal command of the English language.   The point is that somewhere between a little before then and now, people started to keep trying to adjust and cater to what they thought the latest thing was that Google "likes" or "doesn't like".

    It's been years since we've had the thing on here about how if someone has a recipe Hub they need to add a whole, big, story about how their grandmother in Boston used to make whatever the thing was.  People looking for recipes don't want whole big stories, so that emphasis kind of went away.  While it used to be "write anything if it's  useful or helpful it may make you some money" ,  we've gone through phase after phase of "latest thing in terms of quality".  These days I think the latest thing is often the thing about being expected to know, first hand, what one is writing about; and/or to come up with a really, really, comprehensive and impressive Hub that's based on research alone.  I don't happen to think the two can be mixed very "graciously" and then be expected to keep any readers more than five seconds.

    Where I think I've seen real weakness (in this site) is with that emphasize on personal experience/exposure.   (Again, examples I'm "dreaming up"smile  To me, it's easy enough for people who, say, bake cakes as a hobby, to come up with really decent-quality Hubs about that.  Those are the people who CAN offer something solid that isn't being offered by authority sites. I think, though, that even the most conscientious of Hubbers who only want to write Hubs that will be considered "of decent quality", still need guidance with regard not to only to what "solid personal experience" is, or at least guidance with regard to how "some personal experience/exposure, but not "solid") could/should be presented.

    With the emphasis on "write what you know about", what has been showing up has been stuff like Hubs about, something like "living with a narcissist"; and then the person goes about living with an ex-wife or ex-boyfriend who "was a narcissist" (according to the writer) for five years.  OR,  you get the same kind of thing with, say, someone who was an alcoholic.  Then the writer will slap on a list of, say, traits of whoever/whatever the problem was (that he got from research that can be found everywhere and anywhere else online, on TV, in magazines, etc. etc.  Worse, it sometimes doesn't take long for a reader to figure out that, say, the "alcoholic" in question was someone that the author dated in college thirty or forty years ago (and maybe was/maybe wasn't actually an alcoholic at all).  Or, it doesn't take long for a person familiar with the subject to spot that there's, say, a good chance that, say, the "narcissist in question" either wasn't really the narcissist she was thought to be, or else (again) maybe the "narcissism" was a matter of people's being late teens or early twenties and being nothing more than the usual self-centered typical of that age.

    Particularly when it comes to subjects that are already well dealt with by authority sites, I think there are ways even the imaginary, alcoholic, college-boyfriend, thing can be presented in a Hub; but I think there needs to be some guidance with regard to how such a Hub would be presented.  Maybe the imaginary writer went through a horrible time with that drinking boyfriend.  Maybe she's got something to share with others going through that kind of thing.  It was only one boyfriend, though.  She broke up with him ages ago.  Maybe, however, she's dealing with having raised the baby she had with him alone (or that type of thing).  How anything is presented isn't the only thing that's important.  So is awareness of what, exactly, makes up "substantial personal experience/exposure"

    With something like, "I've been baking cakes for forty years" or "I've baked sixteen Halloween cakes", "substantial" experience isn't so hard for the writer to know how to recognize.  With subjects that aren't about, say, out-and-out hobbies (or at least, say, the person who has baked such-and-such a number of whatever cakes for her own kids and their friends) it gets trickier.  With my examples of something the alcoholic boyfriend or "narcissist" ex-wife or mother (or whatever) (and assuming the person figures out the reasoned, logical, and objective angle) to even a first-person subject); I don't think there's anything wrong with links to more authority sites/information.  It's only my own opinion, but I don't think a list of rehashed traits within the Hub does anything for the Hub (particularly when the reader can easily tell that the subject of "living with an alcoholic boyfriend" focuses on all the things that are "wrong with alcoholics", or all the things that were wrong with/about that old boyfriend; rather than on the writer's own having to figure out what to do about the situation, or what she, herself, dealt with.

    Then, too, there's the thing about whether the boyfriend was actually diagnosed by a professional; or whether the writer just thought the boyfriend was whatever she thought he was.  Again, with the imaginary (and maybe just presumed) problem college-boyfriend; I don't see any point on emphasizing the generic, available-everywhere, information about living with an alcoholic as part of that particular Hub.  To me, since that info is already covered on authority sites, the person shouldn't even bother writing from the "research" angle and should focus instead on the personal-experience angle.  BUT, to me, if the only personal experience the person had was that one boyfriend that she went out with, or lived with, for a couple/few years way back then; she's got to be really objective about that one experience, AND she's got to be very careful about what she presents as her "personal knowledge" and how she presents it.

    Ever since it seemed that the whole "Apprenticeship Thing" and "Stellar Thing" kind of fizzled (for whatever reasons), it's looked to me as if where the guidance from the site has been increasingly needed (at least when it comes to Hubs that people hope will be useful, insightful, different from authority sites but "legitimate") .  Who does what with fiction/poetry Hubs or political/religious "talk" Hubs isn't even anything I ever deal with; and I can see how those types of things can certainly have a place on a "general" site.  With the Hubs that people want found by search engines because someone was looking for something "solid" (not necessarily "all-gloomy-and-serious", by the way), I think if HP better and more clearly defined all the different ways in which personal knowledge/experience can be defined, the angles from which different types of experiences could be addressed (without straying beyond accuracy, reason, objectivity, etc.) then some of those "underground" quality issues could be fixed by the authors themselves.   I don't think that just saying (or reading) that "Google wants first-hand knowledge/experience" is enough for people who are trying to aim their Hubs at "pleasing" Google (and on a site that wants to improve quality enough that people won't immediately click away (if they even click at all in the first place).   hmm

  19. Don Bobbitt profile image93
    Don Bobbittposted 15 months ago

    I mentioned a HubPedia site because our articles are becoming more and more "hard information sources" if we want them to be used and stay what they call "green".
    Poetry, good or bad, are dropping form my feed, compared to a couple of years ago, anyway.
    Short Stories are like "flashes of flame" that also tend to drop down our lists over time, so goodbye "green" there also.
    Recipes? Well, they absolutely be formatted with the tools HP provides, or even they slide away into low readership.
    So, what's next? Information rich articles? OK, that's mostly what I write now anyway, almost all on camping and motorhomes. At least they stay green for a while.
    And, I'm afraid to edit the popular ones. Once I do, it drops into their review process, and gets slammed. This is curious to me because. they may be very popular with regular reads, but on 100% of them, after I make a change or update, they are instantly "UNFEATURED".
    Curious, No?
    Anyway, my purpose here was not to complain, because God knows I have searched for an equally good site.
    But, if my tools keep being taken away from me, when will HP be just another "encyclopedia of facts" requiring good writing grammar, and creative writing becomes unacceptable?

    That's all I was saying.
    Is it HP's fault, these changes? Or, is it Google's fault? I don't really know, but I'll stick it out and watch this new evolution of HP.
    DON

  20. makingamark profile image75
    makingamarkposted 15 months ago

    I think the key points are threefold

    1) Sites must first and foremost satisfy the reader - but it's also important to keep the writers happy
    2) Every site has to differentiate itself and offer something UNIQUE that people want - with an associated revenue model that stacks up.
    3) Every author needs to decide for themselves what they want to get out of their writing and which site offers the best options for them as an individual.

    For example, I enjoy contributing to Wikipedia as a volunteer but also like the notion that I'm rewarded for my writing.

    I find it highly amusing that HubPages unpublished one of my hubs when I'm the person who wrote the bulk of the Wikipedia page on the same topic which has remained largely unrevised for years. I'm so sorry that HubPages feels no more than two links to the same domain are possible. It's not a problem I've ever encountered when including reference links at Wikipedia! smile

  21. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago

    Comparing Hubpages and Wilipedia is like comparing apples and armadillos. They vary on what the content is, how it is made, who uses it, and why.

    1. makingamark profile image75
      makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      I'll say it again - who makes it and how it gets made is irrelevant IF you are focused on what the readers choose to do.

      First rule of marketing - study what the market does and what choices consumers makes.

    2. Don Bobbitt profile image93
      Don Bobbittposted 15 months ago

      All of this back-and-forth is great. And, I have a new and broader perspective on where we, as writers and HubPages are.
      Are we partners? No!
      Do we "work for them"? No!

      If we admit it, we are "trapped" by our desire to;
      1- Read and learn from others on HP.
      2- Write! That's it, we just have to write. Letters are a thing of the past, owning your own site does not get the exposure of a major site like HP, so we want to write and say things about numerous subjects.
      and, 3- We are thrilled to get a Buck or two from a system that attaches ads to our writings.

      So, what is a realistic suggestion for us, the writers, and HP to implement as we go forward?
      DON

    3. makingamark profile image75
      makingamarkposted 15 months ago

      Do we own our content? Yes!
      Can they change it without our explicit permission? No!
      Will authors leave if they do? Yes!

      I rather suspect the solution will depend on whether HubPages wants to talk to
      1) those authors who earn a fair whack from their writing - and this is just one of the websites they use
      2) those who are using HubPages to learn how to write.

      Problems arise because HubPages tries to have site rules to cover very different people.

      HubPages needs to work out what it needs to do to keep the people who actually generate the income and the content that brings traffic. Otherwise they find themselves short on funds to run the site.....

      Squidoo failed on that score and the site was closed after rather a lot of the moneymakers (and their traffic) left the site. Google didn't kill Squidoo - the management did. It's what happens when you leave things 'up in the air' and try new things every 5 minutes!

      1. Don Bobbitt profile image93
        Don Bobbittposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I agree whole-heartedly on the need for Quality Content.

        I myself may not be great with my articles, but I do try very hard to present useful data in a clear and concise way to my audience (in English).

        Am I Great? Honestly, NO, but I do think I am pretty good when do I take the time to go back and repair my spelling.

        Actually, I quit complaining about the "dross" or as I, an old Sailor, would say; "Crap" that I now end up "Hiding" from myself each morning.

        At first, I'll get some agreement on the bad grammar and spelling, and then I start to get numerous "save the snail" responses about how "mean" I am complaining about the others who are essentially incompetent writers. Face it, the many Crappy articles (bad grammar, bad spelling, delirious sentence structures),  that are in my Feed as well as in the new "home page") are what is pulling the rest of our reputations down.

        Face it! Most of us are not here, on HP to be "goodie-goodies", we are here to write quality articles and stories and poems. This IS NOT a Training School for the incompetent. I mean, look at the constant Google and HP changes! Have any of you seen any bulletins from either of them stating;
        "Please send me your horribly written articles on subjects no one cares about, and write them in a way that they cannot be read or understood by a normal human brain."

        In my opinion, HP needs to step up and establish categories of writers. Look at About.com. they at least categorize their writers as being EXPERTS that they utilize for articles.

        I propose that we all go through some level of "digital interview" and then let our writing skills push us naturally towards one of these categories.

        What's wrong with there being categories of writers who can be something like; an EXPERT, a KNOWLEDGABLE SOURCE, or even a NOVICE in certain fields like Poetry, Short Stories, Science, Travel, Entertainment, etcetera?
        And, honestly, what's so wrong with there being a REJECT applied to the most unacceptable of the incomprehensible. You see, HP is a business, and not a Church or US border that allows everyone in. (Whoops, i went political there.).

        Let each of these categories of writing skills, in each defined field, be based on a writing resume as well as personal writing examples.

        Then, let HP figure how to present these writings to the world and the Great Googles Spiders.

        Again, first of all, the flood of Crap must be stopped by HP, not by myself or you, my fellow writers. Then, once this fact is accepted, we all need to be organized by our level of skill in generating top quality works.

        Oh and PS to all of the Bleeding Hearts,
        Please do not try to turn the subject here from; quality writing and  "our HP" to some, as I said, "Save the Snail" diatribe. If I hurt someones feelings, please feel free to start another Forum and berate me and my opinions to your hearts content.
        DON

    4. Mark Ewbie profile image81
      Mark Ewbieposted 15 months ago

      With all this good advice we will surely be wealthy by Xmas.

      The forums have proved their worth yet again.

    5. Mark Ewbie profile image81
      Mark Ewbieposted 15 months ago

      Perfect English is over-rated.  It is not how most internet users communicate.  Text speak, shorthand, slang - that is what the one billion Facebook users who logged in today will mostly use.  They will share the stuff they are interested in with little regard to whether the author has a degree in journalism.

      One man's crap is not the same as another's.

      I particularly dislike the sales pages and those who carefully 'research' their keywords, check other pages and 'create' their own version of a third party experience.  Wiki is a prime example of mass plagiarism.  And boring too in my opinion.

      Given that there is so much supposed knowledge, experience and wisdom on here - so many people with answers - I cannot see why they would not form a group and create the best web site on the internet.  It sounds easy to do if only HubPages would listen to the advice.

      Those people who might dismiss the ESL writers might pause and consider the fastest growing economy.  It is not the USA or UK.  It is India or China.  That is where the traffic and the money will be going.  Their stories might be the saviour of HubPages rather than more of the same old.

      We can and will argue about this forever.  Meanwhile HubPages have their business to run. I suspect (and hope) their decisions will not be based on the views of a few loud forum posters.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Interestingly, the writers here who hail from India and China, from what I've seen, have very good English Language skills.  As a former ESOL teacher, I can assure you that there are both good students and lazy ones.  Personally, I prefer to be working with the good ones because they produce readable and interesting work.

        Those who produce gibberish that is barely understandable have no place here...no matter where they are from.

        Furthermore, personally, I do not want to be a person who contributes to the dumbing down of the public by presenting poorly written work.

        But that's just me.

    6. mattforte profile image92
      mattforteposted 15 months ago

      Is HubPages a money maker for the company?

      ....
      Is Taco Bell a money maker for YUM! brands?
      Is Windows a money maker for Microsoft?
      Is the iPhone a money maker for Apple?


      No s--- it is a money maker for the company, before anything else. Otherwise it would have no purpose to its existence. Why would they go through the effort of building and maintaining it if it wasn't going to make money?

      Journals aren't sold because they want to benefit a writer...they're sold because the writer wants one and is willing to pay for it. HubPages exists to entice people into making money for them, by putting in work to hopefully make money for oneself.

      I suppose the fact that they allow creative writing on this side clouds that issue. Personally, I would probably come back to HP more often if they removed all of it.

     
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