Am I the only person who is tired of generic "How-To" columns???
Like; How to Tie Your Shoe, How Not to Fall For Email Scams, How to Wash Your Hands???
Or is this what HubPages was designed for? I'm a little confused here.
Maybe that's the easiest way to make money, by posting mindless drivel. Maybe that's what the majority wants??
Studies say the average web viewer reads at about the 8th grade level.
Does that give you a hint of what they want?
Maybe not - most kids that age already know everything so don't need a "how to" hub anyway!
They make markets for Google adsense ads. So if you are interested in having money making ads on your hub, you may want to embrace them yourself. But thats why there is so many. They are money makers and get a fair amount of search engine traffic. Its all about the search engines.
Actually, most websites that are successful, that are NOT news or commentary, are how-to sites.
Just look at eHow or Lifehacker.
I just posted my own How-To hub about guys at bars. I wonder if that will make me tons of money (sarcasm)
Everyone is entitled to write about something. They are creative minds that choose to write about those things. We will not always like to read what others write. But we have to have love the writer who takes time to do what they love to do best. How-to's now on the Internet is what makes the world go round. Not all children can tie there shoes but they use the Internet. So someone out there is teaching somebody a thing or two.
I think it's good to use it as a reference to avoid writing the same topic but How to's are useful for people that don't know how to [insert activity] I think you can change the appearance of your window - what's to appear remove, etc.
It's not just on the Internet. "How to's" have a been a big thing for awhile now in the offline world. I stopped reading magazines because of them. I mean.. You get to be a certain age and you pretty know now to balance your checkbook, buy a house or a car, put on your own make-up, remove common stains from common stuff, or (and I love this one in particular) "deal with losing an hour of sleep when one of the year's two daylight-savings clock-changes takes place, and you lose that hour of sleep).
Well... Amazon's publishing program won't even allow "how-to's", so that gives you an idea about the popularity/lack of popularity of them (depending on how someone views it). In fairness, there a place and a need for SOME of them. I just think, as with so many other Internet-writing things, people had heard that "how to's" tend to make money and things got a little beyond reason overall. (I think the media often just uses "how to's" as fillers, and a lot of people emulate what they see on TV and in magazines too.)
I pretty much don't know how to do anything that most other people don't already know how to do too (or can't figure out on their own, the way I did); so since I'm not expert enough to tell people how to do something I need to learn how to do (by researching), I figure I shouldn't be writing that kind of "how to" anyway. I'm more guilty of "how I did 'whatever'", which then gets into the murky territory of first-person pieces that either are, or aren't, acceptable (depending on who's judging). (It also comes across as pretty self-centered too because people don't always realize you're trying to "share what worked for you" and not necessarily expecting more of/from your own "sharing" than that. )
hmmm... debated responding, decided no. But then... well it's such a tempting target... so,
If you needed to tie your shoes, but didn't know how, would a how-to appeal to you then? Ok, so there are 876 how-to tie your shoes articles, well, could there be 876 different ways to tie different shoes? oh well.
If you know how to do something, why look at those articles? Should someone who could benefit from a how-to be deprived because you don't think they're needed? (ps. ever use a food recipe?)
I don't need a how-to to tie my shoes, but just recently I did need one on how to change the upper control arm on a 95 Ford Explorer - glad there were several available online. It helped alot. But I wonder if an experienced auto mechanic would have pooh-pahed the writer for bothering to write such an obvious piece?
anyway, should have listened to my first instinct to not respond, you probably just wanted to rant.
Of course you should have responded here, and of course you're absolutely right. (My own point above was more about the "how-to's" like "how to deal with daylight savings time" or "how to dress in a way that's most flattering for your shape". The ones I think a lot of people find out-of-control are the ones that tell people how to do what most people do figure out for themselves - not the ones that give specific information about doing something "the general public" doesn't eventually figure out how to do on its own.)
I don't think your post was at all a rant. It was correct and had its point. I kind of think, though, you may have interpreted sentiments similar to mine as not leaving room for the very useful and worthwhile how-to's that are, when all is said and done, what a good "how to" really is supposed to be.
A how-to on something like dealing with the change at daylight savings time really does stretch it when it comes to thinking people need that kind of "expert advice" on that kind of thing. Even with something that's relatively useful "like how to dress for your own build" - one or two of those out in the media and on the Internet is kind of enough each year. We don't need them in every magazine and on every talk show for - like - 30 years of adult living. The overall need for THAT kind of "how to" really is grossly over-estimated.
I think for me, it's about the author's inspiration behind the How-To hub. If someone is really interested and committed to hubbing about how to tie your shoes, that's great. But, I think the majority of the How-To's are created solely to generate hits and money. And I guess that's ok, if that's what people are here for. But for me, that kind of takes away from the "art" aspect of writing.
Actually, I could use a good "how to tie your shoes" article. I already know of course, but knowing it and teaching it are two different things. Especially if the kid you are trying to teach has a different dominate hand than you.
I guess my point is what many of us think of as common knowledge might not be so common to other people. I didn't mow the grass until I was in my late twenties. I confess I did look it up on the internet From the amount I was laughed at for it, I assume that most people know at a much younger age.
Hey! I have a Hub on that (but only sort of), and the reason I do is just for the reason you described: different dominant hand. It tells people how to solve the un-tied shoe problem anyway (better than nothing, I guess). My theory on the shoe-tying/hand problem is that it presents just enough of a challenge for "other-handed" kids that some of them need another little bit of time before they can overcome their handedness challenge.
You never know. My mother never once put gas in her car until she was in her 70's. They live in Oregon (no self-serve) and when they left town Dad was always there and did it. Not until Dad died did Mom ever have to gas up her own car.
Maybe a hub on how to gas up the car? Take the cap off...put the nozzle in...pull the trigger...
One of my most popular hubs is How to write a check. I got it from HubPages when they had an idea bank.
Seriously? How to write a check? Wow, that's incredible. I just published my own How To hub today, but I don't think it will be overly popular.
I wish they would bring that back. I loved it.
My "How-To" hubs are my most visited, too. Mine are more along the lines of how to sew this, or how to cook that, though, so maybe that makes a difference, I don't know...
New technology alone guarantees the existence of many "how-to" articles across the web.
I write these kinds of hubs (not about technology, though). Some areas of life are complex, and my take is just as worthwhile and unique as some other writer's.
For instance, when I was trying to train my new dog to use the doggie door, I read at least 10 how-to articles. Then I found my own way of doing it.
Perhaps it's the topics that most annoy Cooldad. How to tie your shoes is quite a bit different than How to teach your child to tie his shoes. "How do I" or "How can I" or "What is a" are a common denominator is searches because people are less quick to hire an expert or contractor to do things for them, like install laminate flooring or replace a window awning. I agree with Cooldad that generic topics are off-putting, but a good How To article does make money.
Hm, well, I recently posted a series of How To's - Rule the World, Make a Million, Become Famous - all with success guaranteed )Do they fail the shoelace test? Off to read How to Recognise a Bar DB. Given I have no idea what a Bar DB is, this should be interesting
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