I have spent some time here, on this website. The problem I face is that I rarely see good work here--the poetry I see is childish, without craft or originality. There is seldom any prose literature, and the 'essays' are much worse than what secondary school children write. Am I missing anything?
The web lets everyone publish, but it doesn't change the ratios of expert to amateur skills, nor does it provide free editors or coaches. That means we see a wider range of abilities and experience on public display than we did in traditional publishing where editors, publishers and teachers served as gatekeepers of the printing press.
The web gives everyone a platform, and it provides opportunities for "diamonds in the rough." Many writers improve their skills with practice. They may also learn from traffic to their pages and reader responses, although responses tend to be non-critical, muting the usefulness of the critique. Furthermore, ambitious novices can study tips from experienced writers or observe and read other people's writing to learn what's effective.
The good stuff is out there. You just have to sift through the efforts of those still learning their craft to find it.
Very positive feedback, and I agree with you. I only wish people were a bit critical while calling the 'awful' simply awful. Commenting that appear on these hubs do not show that they want the "diamonds in the rough." to improve their skills, or let them just know what they are producing here endlessly.
That's my point.
I agree that the web and sites like this one has given freedom to those who might not have found that otherwise. I appreciate that.
I think in general there is mediocrity everywhere online. There have been numerous studies about how to write for online reading. The online reading experience is not the same as picking up a book or journal. I'm not so sure that most hubbers consider themselves superior writers, I certainly don't. As GG said, it gives us a place to write about topics of interest and hopefully gain recognition in our areas of 'expertise'.
As far as HP specifically, while there is mediocrity here, you will also find some very fine writing. You just have to dig around in the topics category and you'll find some excellent writing.
I had the opportunity a few months ago to read a lot of poetry during the poetry contest, and while some of the poems were written much too quickly, I was impressed with a number of poets here at HP.
If you don't mind, can you name some of those poets? -It's just that I a am a poet myself, that I am interested to read their work.
Certainly, I'm more than happy to share their names. Also if you are interested, I wrote a hub about my experience as a judge for the contest. I include links to some of the poets and their winning poems. You can find the link on my profile page.
Cris A was probably the finest poet I've read at HP. He recently passed away which saddened the community here very much. He also has links to his poetry website on his profile page. He wasn't part of the contest, he probably would have won the grand prize.
http://cris-a.hubpages.com/ He was from Manila, Phillipines.
http://tomrubenoff.hubpages.com/ Tom also is the senior poetry editor for an online poetry ezine. He lives in the US.
http://thelostdutchman.hubpages.com/ He is from Belgium, a full time writer and playwright. I love his work.
http://pearldiver.hubpages.com/ Another favorite. His writing and imagery is beautiful and crafted well. He is from New Zealand
These are just a few.
Great! -and thanks. But wait a minute: Chris A is dead? He commented on one of my hubs a month ago, and followed me. So sad to hear about him. But, life continues...
Yes, it was only a month or so ago. There are numerous forum threads in tribute to him. I'll find one of them. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/91278
You can click on my name/avatar and it takes you to my profile.
I went to your profile expecting a treat.
I was disappointed with the hubs I read
Some of the prose work and essays are very good. But you have to really work to find them. Best way ...check out the home page and work of the person who leaves a detailed, thoughtful and lengthy comment on someone else's work. Nine times out of ten they are someone I want to follow and read.
And who I follow changes, I follow new hubbers to be helpful but after 2-3 weeks either we have very different interests or they are writing for money and not quality and I stop following. Don't give up just yet.
The problem here is how to define quality. Going by hubscore, you will be directed to pages which are gaining views. Unfortunately, views gained are not necessarily a reflection of quality.
The secondary question then arises of what is quality. It seems that "quality" is increasingly seen to be a measure of pandering to the great unwashed. The criteria of quality that I was taught in my postgraduate course in library and information studies no longer seem to apply.
Dumbing right down to a 5-year-old reading age and putting everything into a pointless video seems to score far higher on the dumb-ass quality score than a well-researched article, which cites academic information sources used as a basis for the statements made.
I take some pride in the work I publish on HubPages, some of which make it into my monthly magazine. I am currently reviewing a 3-piece short story, published as three hubs by another Hubber, for possible inclusion in the magazine, which is a royalty-paying publication. There are excellent works of Western fiction published here by at least three authors, and one of those stories were handpicked for my magazine. I am not qualified to review poetry.
In general, material posted on the site appears to be of mixed quality, which may be because people write in hope of making money through advertisements, not for literary excellence.
I believe you are right. I know this website is not actually intended for writing literature, but the outlet is open. I am critical about the money-factor, because to put it politely, it's a 'misguided' conception.
However, I have seen people here appreciate very low quality work as 'masterpieces', and their writers are called geniuses! I don't get it--am I missing anything?
I have seen the same thing, but I think in public most commenters try to be primarily encouraging, hoping that people will improve over time.
I also know that quite a few of us make more pointed helpful comments directly to the individual via email. In my experience 30-40% of those I write get back to me and try to improve their work. The 60-70% keep churning out somewhat mediocre stuff. But they have every right to do so.
I think you will need to look carefully for quality, and then you may find it. HubPages is not generally a place for serious literary criticism, and I agree that comments tend to be very lenient.
Well said, Greekgeek. I happen to agree with you completely.
I believe everyone has substance and everyone has creativity, instead of us complaining about another person's work we should e-mail them and be supportive telling them what they can do to improve the quality of there work. http://youtu.be/I_Llt-7PIUs this song I woke up to in my head tell it like it should be.
"the 'essays' are much worse than what secondary school children write"
Not all of them. Keep looking.
So much depends upon whether the Hubber is writing fast and furious trying to build income or taking the time to really hone their craft. It takes some experimentation to find the really good writers, but they (we) are out there.
GoldenBird - it might be wise to alter your comment to John Holden, not sure but I think it may put your ad. account at risk.
Sorry I did not know that,I was trying to be helpful.
Back to your original observation -
When I first joined the site I thought it might have a place where writers and poets could get critique and constructive feed back. At some point I realized that there are different types of writer's sites. For me this one is more suitable for my factual writing and review type articles. However writing gave me a start to sharing my writing and I got the encouragement I needed to do that.
I am now working towards having my writing in different 'zones' on line for different purposes.
That's ok. Thanks for the support. Can you name a few sites which specializes in poetry - sites where mainly poets publish?
I find this interesting what you said: "in different 'zones' on line for different purposes." May I ask? Are you a published novelist or planning something like that?
I am thinking of looking into self publishing or an ebook in the future. However, I know that I'm not good at selling ideas or self publicity so that would be difficult for me.
At the moment I am trying to work on my own blogs and a website for my own creative writing which I also use for links to some of my stories.
GoldenBird - You might indeed be happier joining a more specific writing group, association, etc., that focuses on poetry and fiction. I would point you in the right direction if I could, but I am sure someone else will. Good luck.
I'm so glad you inserted the 'we' into your comment because I had to take a look at your hubs. I am so impressed with your hub topics, and just read Gladiator- History Film Guide. I love these kind of hubs which are so informative and generate quality, engaging comments as well. Your students and university are very fortunate to have you as a professor. [It is one of my top favorite films of all time.]
You're the second writer I've found today in the forums which otherwise I would not have known. I'm very happy to follow you.
rebekah- That really is amazing because I almost never visit the forums and I don't think I have ever gained a follow that way. Life is full of surprises and I almost left the (we) out of my answer. Theresa
I'm always thrilled to find a writer such as yourself. There is only a small percentage of writers who post in the forums, so sometimes it's hard to find the very fine writers. I hope your readership increases, you certainly deserve to be read. I'm making my way through your hubs and am especially interested in your history and artist related hubs, actually, all of them!
My issue is I don't believe HP is using their own scoring system. All too often I search right on our site here and the first article is substandard often with a score below 70 and even the Hubber's Score is below 80.
I do believe IF Hub Pages believed in the quality standards they have set, they should have their search engine mirror the scores in the internal search.
As mentioned, some writers are not here to impress. They are here to share and if it garners comments and a following, I'm sure they appreciate it . Poetry takes different forms and affects us in different ways. No response between two people will be the same. The comments that arrive will be generated due to having elicited a response from within the one, leaving a comment . HP offers them a platform to enjoy their skill whether it's amateur or professional, making some $$ is a boon. I enjoy some of the poets and glad HP offers them a space here.
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