I've been here for a few months now and am starting to notice some genuinely poor quality hubs, and a decent number of air headed morons using 'question' button to ask some of what they clearly believe are life's important questions: 'What if then Sun suddenly disappeared?', 'what is the best way to comb my barbies hair?', 'what if my baby turns out to be a vampire?' - these people are not joking.
If we were more critical perhaps hubs like 'The 7 things I love about this shirt I saw Brad Pitt wear on TV' would turn up less frequently. In fact a lot of people (I am guessing out of habit) tend to tell each other what great hubs they have even when the hub is about how to get your girlfriend into pornography.
There are many writers here who are truly talented and brilliant, but I would say it is 50/50. There are people who do not tell a good story or write interesting content or even write well at all, yet many of them receive praise for average or substandard content. Should we praise average hubs to high heaven? It makes the writer feel good, sure, but should we make them feel good?
I swear that there are people on here who think they are on their way to stardom for writing about their favourite jumper, you can see them trying really hard to come across as spontaneous, yet deep and intelligent on their profile pages.
I have now taken to telling these people they are idiots, I haven't gone over board yet, but I think it is almost my duty to tell people how it is, even if this hurts their feelings.
What do you think? What kind of comments do you leave? Do you think this etiquette should be changed or shifted? What is the worst hub you have seen? Discuss...
I only leave comments if I have something to add or I truly believe it is a great hub. I was looking at a hub yesterday that I thought was not well written at all...actually without much text at all, it had a quote from someone saying it was brilliant... maybe they truly thought that or they were trying to make a friend look good.
That is my point exactly uninvited! Is it this sense of community that everyone seems to have, to say the very nicest things about nothing?
'voted up', 'sharing', 'i agree George Clooney is great, thanks for confirming that thought in my head' - we don't need the hub and we don't need the comments.
I actually think people leave nice comments on crap hubs because they think they will get nice comments in return. And vice versa. They are afraid of retaliation if they leave a negative one.
This thread was two years ago, but the subject is very valid for us here in HubPages and it's importance perennial. I would like to get some opinions on this.
This is my view. I have tried other sites and lost interest in them. What I found on HubPages is support from fellow-writers, support from Admin and a kind and friendly atmosphere.
It is natural that there are some writers that are better than others. I have not yet met any that I disliked, but then I am new. High quality writing shines and I am happy to applaud it.
Bad quality writing or banal topics. . . .well, I agree with #noenhulk and with #Uninvited Writer; best keep mum about it. Silence is the safest option. Mean critique can really crush that person who is just trying things out.
I would like to quote #mssorensson who put it so beautifully - "That is what attracted me to Hubpages to begin with In this community, I have found generosity of spirit, time and talent, genuine friehdships. sincere appreciation for others and honesty... I am glad to be in it."
I too am glad to be in it, and grateful for the support I have received so far.
If I find it crap, I just ignore it. I would only be wasting time to comment if I don't understand what the hub is all about. I obliged myself to make comments on hubs that interest me. Crap hubs means useless, so why leave comments if you don't feel like.
Calling people 'air headed moron's' and 'idiots' is rather demeaning unless that person obviously doesn't mind or care. I encourage new hubbers and give them constructive criticism. You're just being mean-spirited. You just want a reason to put people down. That's just fine. I'm happy that you are honest about it. But I will warn you that If I see any of your comments on my hub, good or not I will delete them right away. You only think you are borderline, but it seems you are just itching to cross that line if you knew you could get away with it. I don't like you, and I really hope you get caught. I'm not on Hubpages to look for the worst or the best. I like to write! Plain and simple, don't like it? Don't read it! You posted this thread on the forum to obviously gain reader support just to be mean spirited and put people down. It's like you are on a 'witch hunt' for lousy hubs (to you anyway). That's just awful!!! But its great at the same time, because at least everyone knows the truth!
...we should be more critical and offer more constructive criticism on each other's works. I always like to paraphrase Kierkegaard: '...even if you're the worst writer in the world, this is what you bring to the table'... He was referring to "status quos" and the writers in his day. Quirks and oddities in writing should be praised and not panned in my personal opinion. However, if you see a fellow hubber that makes a mistake, then by all means you should address him/her.
I think HP offers room for growth and I'd never discourage someone who puts forth his best effort. IfHP only published excellent writers, you'd end up with hardly any traffic and a very boring forum. My first efforts were pretty awful, but thanks to the support of many hp users I've improved.
nope, I don't think it's anyone's place to "offer criticism" to another "hubber" unless the person has asked for such input. I'm sure everyone who writes hubs has his/her own reason for doing so-- from enjoying creative writing to providing info on topics, etc.-- and unless something is "way overboard," it shouldn't be criticized.
All writers, by necessity must evolve, and they need a medium of expression to do it. I do not mind the writers publishing what their passion is..
That is what attracted me to Hubpages to begin with.
In this community, I have found generosity of spirit, time and talent, genuine friehdships. sincere appreciation for others and honesty...
I am glad to be in it.
I'm glad you've brought this up, I've noticed this for a long time. To be honest, I think your interpretation of why people leave really good feedback on crap hubs is way too generous, I don't think it has anything to do with community spirits, I think it is a hope that the crap author will come to their hub, leave a comment, follow them etc.
I have never left a hub with negative feedback, unless their is an absolute factual inaccuracy that I correct. I don't really see the point. Unlike you I don't think that people who publish bad content really think they are brilliant writers, they probably do it because they are hoping to earn money even by publishing complete nonsense.
But I don't see the point of leaving negative comments. If it is so bad it doesn't sound human, I flag it, if not I move on. You will never win with all the low quality stuff in the world, the best choice is to ignore it. I do think it has a slight negative impact on any hubpage visitor who might come across this kind of thing. It's bad enough for them to read a really low quality hub, but to then see comments from other hubbers congratulating them on their brilliance........I would be surprised if that person stayed on the site or ever returned.
The worst thing that I remember seeing on a hub, was not really low quality writing, but a hub about SEO in which the writer offered proof of her success with SEO by showing that if she googled her username, her hubs dominated the first SERP page, that made me laugh. If it doesn't make you laugh, google your username, and see what happens.
I have been in writers' groups and speakers' groups' where constructive criticism is requested. I have discovered people don't really want constructive criticism, even when it is sandwiched between praise for what was well done. They just want to hear how great they are. I end up in the uncomfortable position of being the only one giving a real critique. Afterwards, other people who praised the writing to the stars tell me I was right in my critique.
Sometimes, on a hub I a spot a spelling mistake or some other minor thing.. I would love to use the comments to correct it, but I don't for fear of making someone angry at me.
I am the world's worst proofreader. If you spot an error in my hubs, please correct me. I will thank you.
I feel your Hub about why God Doesn't Exist was extremely prejudicial against Santa Claus. And that photo of the Duck Dynasty guy looks nothing like Jehovah (I don't care how many fluffy clouds you surround him in). I also think your umpteen articles on bread making reflects a pitiful psychological obsession with kneading your hands in warm, sticky dough. And really, did you think you could write an entire article about a secret HORATIO HORNBLOWER and NOT include even one reference to his brother, the famous early adult film star, Fellatio Hornblower? Dude, dude, you should be hanging your head in shame.
The worst hub I've seen was something like" A grown woman's love affair with a young boy" which she then changed to "young man" after I ragged on her about how nasty she was.
Exactly Janesix, why is everybody so afraid to actually tell someone their hub is ridiculous!?
That does sound like a corker by the way...
I would probably never tell anyone directly that I thought their hub was awful. I just wouldn't comment and would probably vote it down.
In fairness... if you have a 3 year old daughter then learning how to comb a Barbie's hair when it gets nappy really does become a subject of vast import...
Kirk, this is a good forum.. you do have to remember that most on here are not professional writers.. and that being said we are not professional critics.. I think some just express opinions to the value of the work. It may be useful to some and not to others..It's very difficult to find fault in a hub when the author believes it's the best thing he or she has written.. I enjoy some of the works I've read giving into the fact that it isn't a professional piece and I am not one to judge or critize poorly. I go with the flow.. and if it's not to my liking I just move on. Anyhow.. The approve button will block out most criticism.. right? Again good idea for a forum .. Frank
You might be right there about the approve button, probably had it used on me!
I wouldn't support abuse, but at least something mildly constructive in the comments from time to time would be nice to see! Thanks Frank!
Your crap and your writing's rubbish!
P.S. Except the one about the bread. That's sort of OK.
Appreciate the thoughtful way you presented your thoughts there...
At least they're not full of useless, self satisfying - glad to educate you on how to get on an underground train rubbish like yours. (Sunday roast one looks quite nice though)
Whoa. Easy there tiger. That hub about the Underground won Hub of the Day, don’t ya know.
My point Jim, should you agree to accept it, and the reason I answered you in that manner, is that although there’s a lot of crap out there, this place is a community. A lot of people are trying their best. Just because it’s not up to a standard that you and you alone are setting, it doesn’t mean it’s not valid. There are a lot of good guys out there for whom English is not a first language and a lot of people that have other obstacles to overcome of which you may not even be aware.
Words are a very powerful instrument Matthew and they must be used wisely. Criticize is you must, but do it kindly. It you feel you have to take it further, or offer advice, email them through HubPages.
If you want to see real crap, hop some hubs of an evening. Wade through the poorly spun rubbish and acres of bullshit hubs for an hour and if they don’t come up to HubPages standards, flag ‘em and give the reason. That’ll get it out of your system. It works for me.
Writing negative comments because you don’t think somebody’s hub is up to standard is cheap and easy. I could for instance criticize your poor English in your Perfect Bread Recipe hub when you say; "this was due to a dryer dough!". I think you mean "drier dough"; dryer refers to an electrical appliance. Everything’s relative Matthew.
If you want to be somewhere where it’s you setting the standard, get a book deal. If you want to be on a used generated content website, then take the rough with the smooth.
I do appreciate your point. I am not talking about the odd grammar or spelling mistake here though. I'm talking about the semi racist, sexist, self obsessed and vain but don't know it people. As a fellow countryman I would have thought that you would also find the sometimes overly nicey nicey fairy tale and wholly false side of hubpages (which isn't the case on every hub or with every hubber) slightly unsavoury sometimes.
If someone is writing about a genuine issue or a good idea or informing or entertaining me I certainly won't moan or mention grammatical or spelling errors.
I've been reading this forum, and getting more and more impatient with you, Matthew Kirk. You've just listed "vain but don't know it", when I've been thinking exactly that about what you're writing here. Your ego and judgmental attitude are popping out about every other sentence.
Why are you so determined to criticize? Why is it so important to you for another writer to know that you think the work is bad?
The criticisms you offer are not criticisms. They are put-downs, and pretty smug and hard-edged at that.
I agree with Horatio Plot. If you want to see crap and do something about it, go hub hopping. Then you can flag bad writing and let someone else make the final decision.
But, please, don't slam into other people with your criticisms. It may discourage someone who has potential.
I have seen some wonderful thoughts and wise information given by writers on HP who obviously do not have English as their first language. I'd hate to see the treatment they could get if you were in a bad mood and read one of their hubs.
If I don't like a hub, or just think it's dumb, I don't comment on it. I make an occasional suggestion of something that would add to an already good hub. So, 99% of my comments are positive. When I first came here, I was expecting more critical analysis of my writing by others, but I guess if you want that you can submit it for an extreme hub makeover. I'm not the HubPages hall monitor, the only hubs I've ever flagged were complete gibberish, in that you could not actually make out what they were saying, I think they were translated by software or something. It seems to me a really bad hub will just die a natural death.
I absolutely agree Matthew. I've always maintained that Hubpages should implement a way to weed out some of the garbage, because, yeah, there is a LOT of garbage here. I have little sympathy for the aspiring yet talentless artist/musician/writer/actor who subjects the world to their aspirations simply because they've deluded themselves into believing they are amazing. This is harsh, I realize, but it frustrates me to no end when I think of all the truly talented people I know who can't get noticed because potential employers or a fan base are simply sick of sifting through the trash.
Maybe we should be more like the x factor / americas got talent; that way the misguided talent gets told haha!
What you said reminds me of a book call conquest by an author called stewart binns. I have never not read a book from cover to cover - but this is a truly awful piece of ACTUALLY PUBLISHED writing. The man can barely string a sentence together that can hold my attention.
There are quite a few reviews on amazon giving 5 stars (most give 1 or 2 stars) - either binns is making himself accounts and writing his own reviews or this strange internet etiquette nonsense is infecting everything.
But that's what the internet is all about - allowing people who would otherwise get nowhere, to have their five minutes of fame. HubPages is a platform where anyone is free to write. If what they write is awful, we can only hope they make no money and therefore don't last long.
Since quality of writing is a subjective thing, it would be hard for HubPages to implement a clear, impartial set of rules on "quality" to decide what should and shouldn't be unpublished.
There is already a clear set of rules which allows them to delete Hubs that have poor English, spelling or grammar, contain no meaningful content or are purely personal. If you see a Hub that has any of those elements, you can flag it - that means it will go into a queue for HubPages staff to examine.
Haha, yeah, I was thinking of American Idol while I was typing that response, and the confounding amount of auditionees who hear perfect pitch when there is none. Well, one thing is sure, if one wants criticism on HubPages, just write an article on politics or religion! It will come in droves.
If a Hub is crap, but not displaying a flaggable offense or violation, I vote it down.
If I think that admin should take a look at something, I don't hesitate to flag even if they are writing about a genuine issue or good idea or informing or entertaining me. Poor spelling or grammar is poor quality and admin wants us to report that stuff because Google ranks down on it.
I have to agree with you. Just because someone is writing on HP certainly does not mean their hubs are quality, even if they post in the forums often, answering questions. I don't generally leave comments but when I do, it's because the hub was well-written, informative and helpful.
Otherwise, I don't leave a comment (also a backlink) on a poorly written hub.
A large number of people, possibly a majority, reading my pages would say things like...
Written in the first person
Not about a subject
Unsuitable for HubPages
.. and so on.
I'm quite grateful they don't bother. Save it for the forums.
Those positive comments, even if they were false, gave me heart to carry on when I started. I need them less now, but the encouragement from the community is invaluable - in my opinion.
I appreciate there is a lot of rubbish but flagging or the search engine will sort that out, and it's a subjective view anyway.
True, people didn't hesitate to attack you when you dared suggest in a hub that some poetry on here was garbage
Personally I am split on this issue.
Everyone has an opinion, and collectively we have a lot of differing opinions on what is a good hub topic, what is reasonable, what is quality, etc.
If a hub doesn't meet HP standards, I will flag it and let HP decide. I rarely vote down hubs, but I have done that on a few when I wasn't sure they were bad enough to flag. Generally I just move on without commenting if they are bad.
I try to support my fellow writers by providing encouragement and tell them what I like about their hubs. If I find hubs with errors, I will message the Hubber if I think it is worth my time, so that they can correct it. We can only get better with practice.
On the other hand, I would like to know what I've done wrong, and it would be nice to have a separate place for HPers to anonymously report your errors to you or to suggest changes, but I am afraid to suggest that because there are many drawbacks to that idea - stalkers, people who make it a mission to criticize and expect you to do things their way even if they are wrong, etc. So many times I wonder what I am doing wrong, and wonder if someone knows but is just too nice to tell me.
Matthew - I completely agree with the points you made about the ratio of really awful writing on the site. Wish I'd spotted this thread earlier!
I think we see glowing, gushy comments on some bad hubs because there are several Facebook groups of writers who (well-meaning) exist primarily to read and promote each other's hubs. They follow each other, post their new hubs on FB and then post flattering comments for each other & vote like crazy. This is nice from a friendship standpoint, but it is not advancing the quality of writing on the site. It makes us look like Facebook with articles. And of course that's where you get the inane questions (Why doesn't my boyfriend let me get tattoos?). Etc.
As with Relache (you go, Girl!), I vote down bad writing and I flag like crazy when I see a flag-able offense. Poor quality is definitely an offense. The site actually wants us to do that, because it would cost them a ton of money to pay a staff to monitor and moderate the flow of incoming hubs 24/7.
Sometimes, if I see a hub thar has a lot of potential, I will mention an idea for improvement in the comments section, or send them a PM suggestion. Otherwise, I move on, or vote down, or worst-case, flag.
I truly, truly feel it is important to promote good writing on the site and to discourage (if not ban) shallow, pointless, inaccurate crap. In fact, the ranking of the site on HP may depend on that someday. Many new Hubbers (well, some, at least) treat the site like a social club and write about each other, or write blog-like hubs. Those might be fun things on a blog site or on FB, but they're not the type of content that will rank us on Google.
I think it already does. With so many changes recently and the continual google updates, I see hubbers writing anything to get views. I've noticed more blog type hubs appearing, even daily entries. Those kind of hubs belong on a personal web site or a blogger site.
As far as the argument about supporting writers; well, there's a difference between writers publishing informative, quality articles and hubbers pumping out daily entries for views. This is not a blog site.
Hubpages is billed as an "online community" for "everyday experts." Nowhere does it say that contributors must publish award-winning material. I am just an ordinary person who writes about mundane things that people (hopefully) search for. It helps pay for my kids' braces and sports lessons.
Nothing I write is going to be considered important, deep or even slightly philosophical. I have never written poetry or fiction or covered political or religious matters.
In fact, right now I'm working on a hub about DIY wart removal, LOL.
I flag spun stuff and spam. If other hubbers see articles they don't like, they can flag them and let admin decide whether it belongs here or not.
I would love to see this site move up in Google's eyes, but HP is many things to many people. Some see it as their big chance to publish their "amazing, important" pieces of written work or get discovered. For others, its a way to fill their free time and make friends. For others, it's a way to earn extra cash or a place to learn how to write.
I am sure there are some poor writers here with big dreams, or maybe it's more accurate to say they have delusions of grandeur. I think your best bet is flag it and let it go rather than criticize them with hopes of chasing them away or convincing them to enroll in writing classes. Unless HP decides to narrow its focus and publish only work that is worthy of critical acclaim, this site is going to be a mixed bag. I'm OK with that.
Being pragmatic is not the norm for artists of any kind unless it concerns their money, and even then, I know many of them that use money as a means to achieve experience (pathos in progress, so to speak) so as to have something to write about. As for what you write, SmartAndFun, such as the wart removal hub for instance, I personally like to know that there are minds that will be so passionately committed to sharing vital and valuable information. Why semiotics as a topic is important, is perhaps a topic for literary scholars, and if there are any on Hubpages - THEN THAT IS AWESOME! I bet they would be the ones who should offer, and would offer the best "criticism." However, that is a matter of authority, and on that note, I suggest these two links to everyone, but mostly to Kirk, because I think they will be helpful on understanding criticism, amongst other things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YY4CTSQ8nY, and you can follow that link to the second of the lectures at Yale by Dr. Paul Fry.
Now, criticism should come from one's authority on the subject, and if anything other than one's understanding of the subject that is written about, then they are overstepping, and impinging upon the author's domain and right to express him or herself freely, though, I would suggest reading Roland Barthes' book, IMAGE, MUSIC, TEXT 1977. He is a vanguard of both intellectual ferment, and himself, a French Literary Critic. Unfortunately, he is dead, but a PDF of his work is online, and to finish the idea of Barthes' - expressing one's "self" is actually understood amongst literary critics to be - quite absurd, if not impossible.
Furthermore, negative, ad hominem sorts of critiques to the author, instead of objective and cogent observations of others' writing is not only, wrong, but negligent! Negligent, because if you could read some of the "anonymous" /"guest users'" commentary, you may see why they are either so crude, or anonymous to begin with.
Why would I, as an artist - sculptor, illustrator, creative writer and novelist give criticism to a nurse on how to take blood or give medicines intravenously? That is a rhetorical question, but where you find criticism that is often ad hominem and course in its approach, is usually amongst those who have different philosophical and religious paradigm world views. They will berate and tear one another down as though their grounds of attack suggest that those whom they critique, will care enough to change by virtue of their being viciously torn a new....
But they are often negating their own philosophies and beliefs while they do so. You have probably encountered that, M.K.
I once had a horrible criticism that truthfully made me feel creatively damned. But, as it happens to be the case, the person did not have the spine to say who he or she is or was. Maybe they have changed. Perhaps now they may know that I was writing something that I would, and did then, consider to be free-associative, surrealistic, and in all honestly - an attempt to see what the unconscious mind might say if I could indeed write so fast that the mind did not recognize what was being said. The writing was about linguistic codes, and it was simply exploring an idea. Problematic of philosophical and religious writing, is that it is next to impossible to to refrain from sounding dogmatic. On this note, read Nietzsche's foreword to Beyond Good and Evil, and listen to his discursive manner of approaching the problem of how philosophers are doomed to fail at wooing a woman due to their dogmatism. He's right, and self-critical in that regard. But that is at best, where much criticism should end, and it will be the next hub that I publish. Are we better off being our own worst critic?
Kirk, or, Matthew - let me digress and reference Winston Churchill, who said, and I quote: "We should love and cherish our critics, as they show us our flaws; how can we ever grow if we are not aware of them?"
Never the less, be critical where you are certain that you feel proficient to do so, however, where you are not, do well to find out how to remove warts. Heck, one day you may get one...who knows? Finally, I will never give derogatory criticism, since it does no good, but harm only. If you disagree, or if I disagree, I can merely say so, and follow that with - "Well written hub, sir, however..." or " you spelled "THE" - "HTE" in line four of paragraph three."
That is a helpful eye, and commentary - I applaud those who would be my editors. Recently, where I should have written 'there' I used its homonym. It was days later that I found the error, and others had read it but said nothing of any merit so as to indicate that they'd discovered my error. WHY, I know not, but to criticize the critic, briefly.... we should do something as kind as that for others, where there is "THEIR," instead of THERE. But if people are reading it, and they don't see the difference before I do... then perhaps their eye is not very critical - neither is "there" understanding. Hence, "their" remains no criticism.
BUT GREAT QUESTION, MATTHEW KIRK!!!!! I BET YOU WRITE VERY WELL!!!! In fact, I like the manner in which you posed your query to the HPGS audience. In fact, I think it is one of the most important, if not invaluable inquiries ever made pertaining to all of our involvement hereon - we owe ourselves our best criticism, and our responsibility to one another as freethinking, creative authors of fiction, poetry or reference literature, is to keep our mouths shut unless we have something helpful to say!
Wishing I hadn't brought up the wart article.
I wouldn't exactly describe wart removal as something I'm "passionately committed to sharing." It's just that I know an easy way to do it that most people have never heard of, and I could use a few more page views.
However, great post, Brandon Tart. Perhaps the wart advice will come in handy some day if Mr. Kirk needs to get rid of a few. That is, if I ever muster up the nerve to publish the article. I'm already worried I've been branded the "wart lady." I'm afraid publishing the article would seal my fate.
Sounds like good, practical information to me, go for it I say!
Nah - A good branding would perhaps fair better socially than to have a wart in its stead. Scars are often socially accepted; warts, however, have the appearance of...
But the point, I believe, was taken... practical hubs are "useful." If you choose, though, to make the hub sound like Edgar Allen Poe may have waxed insightful in a medical manner, then by all means - transform the mundane. That would give new meaning to the term, "scarification." Perhaps Poe himself would have said,
"Pardon my circumlocution, never mind the swift intrusion, my hand unstayed for execution of what was new thereon, not there before.
What once grew up to sun and moon under light reflected by seas of melancholia's breaking distant shore--
though by tragedy's curse stimulated this verse, a discourse for removing the warts of yore!
I'd once no reprieve, though indeed it did leave, for I retrieved the lexis of SmartAndFun and more.
But to keep this short, and digress to address the wart,
gave a fond farewell when finally it fell
to the dark and dusty wooden floor,
where quoth the raven - "NEVERMORE.""
Romantic, yes, but wart removal of another kind may just lead to favorable romance.
Brandon Tart, I love your version of wart removal a la Edgar Allen Poe. I should just forward you my first draft and let you go with it. Better yet, you can have my entire account and turn all those mundane how-tos into something literary and beautiful. What are your thoughts on baked fish fillets?
Thanks for brightening my Sunday morning.
UUhhhhhhh. Hmm. I love fish?
No really, COOL.. I did, however, only want to make you smile. If you laughed - bonus! That is art: the ability to arouse emotions in our patrons.
But, to quote Kurt Cobain, "It's ok to eat fish, cuz' the don't have any feelings." ---- Another dead poet.
Gordan's fisherman comes to mind, but depending on where you are in the U.S., I know there are different products and advertisements, so, that may not work.
However, omega-3 fatty acids are, to my knowledge, easy to acquire from fish....
And to quote "Hudson Hawk," (film) AKA, Bruce Willis ---- "Or would you rather be a fish?---- A fish is an animal that lives in a brook; it can't write its name or read a book."
That is probably more apropos!
Cheers, SmartAndFunny! You can add my writing to your Hubs, I gladly permit it if you like it and think it will help, but that goes for you, and YOU ALONE.
Brandon Heath Tart
A long time ago I read on one of these forums that there is a Hubber score threshold of 75 and a Hub score threshold of 40 to lose the "nofollow" attribute. If this is true, it would solve the "crap" problem.
Some unhappy ex-hubber posted this article on cazort.net:
Is HubPages A Scam?
Does anyone know more about "nofollow" and such thresholds? Does it only apply to outbound links or entire Hubs? Are HP open about their no-follow policy?
The hubber score threshold of 75 is correct, but I believe the hub score threshold is much lower (less than 50, anyway).
It's true that the nofollow attribute for low scoring hubbers/hubs helps to remove the incentive to use crap hubs as backlinks, but even nofollow hubs still get direct hits and are therefore a potential source of income to their authors*/spinners*/scrapers*.
I don't know why the guy in the article is moaning about needing to have a hubber score of 75. It's not as if it's hard to achieve!
*delete as appropriate
This may appear cynical, but that is not my aim, and this may be off-hand, but when I first started on HBpgs two years ago before I deleted the hubs under my full name, Brandon Heath Tart (all but several), my score mattered a lot to me. But a grading system is, in many countries around the world, a poor way to determine something's authority, let alone, true authorship.
Author is present in both, but to be an authority, does at times, mean having more people who disagree with us - this will not only reflect in our "score," but also in the criticism given to us.
But as for the law of averages -- "traffic rising" may reflect a good title alone which sucks in the audience, but we've no way of knowing whether the visitor scanned our hubs verbatim, and finally, appreciated their intrinsic merit.
On that note, so what if they do not? That, too, may simply mean that you struck a nerve, or, spoke above their current level of understanding, which is no fault to the reader. I did not start reading Hegel, for instance, until I was in my mid-twenties, and I still revisit his words to this day, only to discover something more, or more insightful.
You are right: getting a higher score is not so difficult to achieve. However, if that is why a person is writing at all, then they may want to go back to high-school, college or wherever such a steep degree of subjectivity is supported in "averages" and averaging. Here, I am afraid, averages don't tell us that much, whereas commentary is the hallmark of a hub's worth, or not. To whom it may concern, however; comments are often average, and what does that tell you, or me or any of us?
Let me digress, and take on a term called, "common sense," with hopes that it will reify what I am saying, and make the abstract nature of our hub-scores more meaningless AND meaningful.
Common sense, is something that is common to all. Like Nietzsche, I have to agree - it seems like a contradiction in terms. Since when does anything that is "common," get such high score? And why should "sense" be reduced to what is common. While I understand the meaning of the pairing, we all tend to praise the notion of common sense perhaps a bit too much. But add up the readers that really read our works verbatim, understand them or care about them, and I bet many of our scores would drop.
Critically speaking, I get the impression at times that my score is really more about clicks in, and quick clicks out. That may reflect that my writing is horrible, or, it may tell you something more along the lines of the fact that I -
lack common sense!
Finally, to quote Nietzsche again (paraphrased) -"What brilliant writer or artist has at any point, been in anything other than conflict with his culture?"
The critic is a helper, numbers are a helpless crutch. It is a strange logical fallacy, to me at least, how some numbers on HBpgs can rise simply by granting commentary - but when you get it, what methods should we impart to determine whether the criticism was average, or, fair enough to help someone's LEVEL rise?
"Delete'em all, let God sort it out? Perhaps! But unlike Nietzsche, here, I don't think that is such a "dangerous perhaps."
The "no follow" attribute applies to outbound links, and discourages spammers from using HubPages purely to promote other websites. As you probably know, readers can still follow "no follow" links, it's just that Google won't count it. The idea is that it's unlikely a spammer would write Hubs of sufficient quality to reach the 75 threshold.
HP is open about their no-follow policy in their Help section, but a lot of people never bother to read before they start writing!
How Does HP Clean Up?
So apart from spam protection by the no-follow provision,and HP staff getting around to checking flagged hubs (by overworked authors), what else is being done by HP to implement the rules?
How come, when I go to Hub Hopping, I find three out of four new Hubs to be sub-standard? These Hubs infest the site until their authors finally give up? But such authors would probably not even even bother to close their account, let alone delete their inferior quality Hubs. Who does? Isn't there a way to prevent sub-standard hubs being published in the first place? Is there a way to clean up the site? Losing a large number of crap Hubs might cause a temporary drop for the site as a whole, but surely, a cleaner site would ultimately be more appreciated both by Google and by readers.
I still think that the key is:
"Isn't there a way to prevent sub-standard hubs being published in the first place?"
To t.o.p., Leaving nasty comments won't help, only create retaliation.
I agree with you, and so do many others. HubPages has several automated filters which catch the worst offenders, but there is so much that can't be moderated by a robot.
HubPages have said, several times, that they don't have enough staff to institute a process where by new Hubbers have to submit their first few Hubs for approval. Besides, they're convinced the wait would discourage some new members.
I think that's debatable, but let's say that's true. In that case, I've suggested that one or two moderators could be allocated to monitor the "latest Hubs" feed and pick up the spammy Hubs as they are published.
Of course, I've been making that suggestion to deaf ears, since HubPages staff don't frequent these forums any more.
If HP staff don't frequent these forums any more, then why are we wasting our time on the forums? This forum thread is really about quality control. As the site grows, without better implementation of the rules that are supposed to control quality, HubPages as a whole is getting saturated with crap, more and more out of control.
To be fair, most of the forums are for Hubbers to network and socialize, so there's no need for staff to be involved (except to moderate problems).
However, in the early days, the "Report a Problem or Suggest a Feature" forum was exactly what it says - a place to report a problem, or suggest ways to improve HubPages. HubPages staff actively monitored the threads, responded promptly and were happy to debate proposed improvements.
All that changed with Panda. The staff were all frantically busy, so Jason Menahan was given the job of being HubPages' face on the forums. Questions were no longer answered - in fact, Jason told us he was not allowed to pass any of our questions or concerns on to anyone.
I was hoping that would change once the dust had settled, but it has continued. The only way to report a problem now, is to email HubPages. There is no way to suggest improvements.
You may have noticed a similar pattern with the announcements of the new Hub design. When it was launched, there was dialogue with the project owners, and some changes were made. However there came a point where Jason started answering instead of the project owners - and after that point, all further suggestions were ignored.
Even emails don't get read or answered it seems. I emailed HP about the Amazon payments problems to non USA authors and never got a reply.
Sue - if you read hubs in the newest order (go ti Explore, Hubs, New), the ratio of junk is even higher. Lots of spam, extremely bad writing, blog-style hubs, etc. HubPages was created with the philosophy (so it appears) of opening the gates to anyone and moderating afterward - through flags and other input. They would have to revise that approach, and then add a good amount of staff. And going through the archives of hubs dating back for years would be a nightmare. I hoe there's a way for them to somehow address this issue, though. As I've mentioned, I believe it can lower the ranking of HP on searches. Although, on Quantcast, HP is 60. That's pretty great!
I wonder if they could make a system where if a hub's score remains below say 50 for a certain amount of time, say 3 months, it would be unpublished. Although I've seen some pretty bad hubs with high scores. How a hub gets scored is a mystery to me. In fact if I just let an unpublished hub with only a title sit for a while the score seems to climb to 60, so scratch that.
Maybe they could go by pageviews, oh but that puts them at the mercy of Google, maybe not. It would be nice if there was a way to automate it, but I should be careful what I ask for, might not like the result, I guess nothing replaces a human being actually reading it. Just some thoughts.
Having one writer criticize another writer is simply an opinion and not fact. If someone likes my work or someone hates my writing style - they are just opinions and no one (except the staff) should be more critical than anyone else...cheers
I write funny and fun Hubs sometimes. The serious ones are opinionated and mostly based on what I know and have experienced. If I haven't experienced it, you can believe it's not within my articles.
Personally, if I can't read a person's hub then I just don't. If I can't read it because of so many bad spellings, no formatting in their sentences, etc.. I leave and put nothing there. I don't vote it down or say anything. There's nothing to say, I didn't read it. Whether their article gets visits or not is based solely on their own writings. It can't harm my hub activity.
So no, I don't think we should spoil someone's fun or hurt their feelings.
If someone is critical of my Hubs then expect to get fiery words back. Mine are all about how I want you to read them. My hubs reflect a bit of my attitude. My short stories are all about the vision and story I'm giving you. If I don't give you details, trust me, you don't need them. I think this is the idea with anyone's story; how we all write.
So if you're reading and you only like your style of writing, then you'll have a hard time. This is what a lot of Hubbers do. They read another Hubber's work which isn't their style of writing, or a style they're familiar with and shoot it down. I don't think we should proceed to encourage anyone to edit their work based on our own opinions, which is about as expert as the next random Hubber.
I never leave comments unless the hub really is well written and grabs my attention because of good content. If you praise a bad hub you are only endorsing their work--and what does that say about the person doing this? Others see you endorsing their work and will look past your work thinking it is substandard as well. Many times I just vote it down and move on and if it's bad enough or poorly written I will flag it. Hubpages doesn't need these sort of writers pushing poor content into the world wide web...it makes us all look bad!
Libby - I agree with you. If we are able to help monitor the site and flag bad or inappropriate content, it will help achieve and maintain the quality of writing the site hopes to have. I do believe site admins read the forums - it's one of the only ways they have to monitor user feedback. I don't view it as spoiling someone's fun if a hub is flagged. The site has quality standards, and 'fun' shouldn't be allowed at the expense of those standards.
I would prefer to read a poorly written article on how to teach a rhino to grin, if it has been written by a professional who hails from a family of animal trainers than read a "researched" article written by somebody with excellent language skills.
I am not suggesting that my way of looking at it is the right way, but it's just the way I view it!
A great and interesting thread indeed!
But is it our job or HP staff's responsibility to monitor the site's quality? And if it is their responsibility, what are they doing about implementing the rules apart from having us authors flag sub-standard hubs?
It is certainly true that the accuracy and facts of an article are as important as the quality of writing. Sadly, many of the articles lacking a good quality of writing also lack factual information. Some writers think that because they have minimal experience in something, they are experts and because they have a computer, they are writers. Writing for publication is a profession, and a good writer knows how to research accurately and thoroughly. Good writers also know how to translate complicated terms into understandable English, and they convey information from engineers, physicians, scientists and many others for audiences of all types. This includes writing for professionals in those industries.
I never give my opinion of the work's subject matter (unless I agree) and I only usually pipe up if there's bad mistakes or spelling. When I'm hub hopping I see that lots of us here struggle with English as a second language, but they don't have it down pat, yet. Or if someone is blatantly throwing tons of commas and bad punctuation around I might say something. Oh, and once I flagged a piece because it was only 153 words and purely personal. But, I thought that's what we're supposed to do... so I've often wanted a different button to hit for giving advice, for instance a way to tell the writer "You missed capital letters on all the names" that isn't public for everyone to see. If the writer moderates the comments it could be done, but you don't know that when you're commenting, just afterward.
I'm sure everyone who writes hubs has his/her own reason for doing so-- from enjoying creative writing to providing info on topics, etc.-- and unless something is "way overboard," it shouldn't be criticized.
Ah, Hurrah! Now that I can post again I'd just like to make one thing clear.
Way back when, when I said that Matthew was crap and his writing was rubbish I was trying to use humour, sarcasm and irony to make a point to the OP, as I explained in a subsequent post. If I failed in that, of if my understanding of those concepts is off the mark, then I apologise.
If on the other hand I was banned from the forums because someone failed to grasp the point I was trying to make then please feel free to email me an apology.
Either way I think my little delve into the world of the forums is over for the time being. I have a bitter taste in my mouth that I can’t seem to shift.
I certainly didn't report anything Horatio and understood the context. Think my own forays may well be over for the time being too!
Don't be angry mate... someone who really does write like you described found it a perfect butt to kick critically!
I've gone through that too - some have no ability to balance humor in their lives and so they become vindictive and powerful at their ability to flag!
This is a site based in the US. In my experience, many people in the US are inacapable of understanding sarcasm and irony. Instead, the words spoken are taken at face value - hence your ban.
One of the SOF truths is "Quality is better than Quantity." It appears a large number of writers "freewrite" with regard to a writing process. It definitely shows. I've seem some poorly written material as well as some completely erroneous material. It is amazing how people sell their credibility for pennies- even down to false praise. Poor writing and research definitely degrades the Hubpages brand.
I'm inclined to agree with Relache and a few others about what makes a quality hub.
If there are spelling errors, errors of usage, and run-on sentences, it really doesn't matter that the thoughts are good, or that the hubber is writing about an important or useful subject.
I guess my biggest pet peeve is writers who use more words than is necessary to convey a thought. If they get repetitive in their sentence structure, I'm not their fan, and I don't follow their work. However, I do not vote their work down, and rarely do I leave comments on their hubs.
The best thing that any writer can do is to take some creative writing classes. I learned so much from each writing teacher, even if I didn't particularly like their assignments. They helped fill in some important knowledge gaps that I, as a college English major, didn't even know that I had.
I've received some nice comments from fellow hubbers, but the best compliment of all came from a reader who emailed me. She said that it was obvious the amount of work and time I took to communicate my thoughts clearly. This reader was employed at a major communications firm in Dallas. There can be no higher praise.
I've noticed that some of the highest earners here are not necessarily the best writers. They work on quantity above all else, it seems. Some of them have an excellent sense of sales and marketing, and it shows ever so subtly in their work. I have a good friend (not a hubber) who has great and big and marvelous thoughts about marketing concepts, but who cannot write anything without punctuation, spelling, or other errors. This suggests that she is a big picture person at heart, one who cannot be bothered with the fine points. If she were employed at a marketing firm, she'd have proofreaders following up to make sure she is letter perfect!
Oh, and as to subject matter for hubs, as long as you stay within the site's rules and guidelines, you can certainly write about all the many things you like about Brad Pitt, but you'd better be interesting and insightful. You'd better have a unique turn of phrase to describe him. There are authors who write rivers of prose about celebrities, do it well, and are paid well. It's not my cup of tea, but for some, it's not only their cup of tea, it's their daily bread.
I went back to the hubber' I flagged several
months ago and suggested he fix or get someone to help him fix his grammar and sentence structure and punctuation. I also made some positive comments. I feel good about being honest about flagrant errors.
I don't think you are doing anyone any favours by praising sub-standard hubs...hubpages is a great place for writers to learn and improve their writing skills, and praising work that is below par isn't helping the author of that work to improve.
That being said, I think that constructive criticism can be offered in a compassionate and positive way. Referring to certain authors as 'morons' and 'idiots' isn't really conducive to the positive community that hubpages tries to foster (in my opinion). I'd really hate for hubpages to become a site where people use the anonymity offered by an online community to be cruel and rude to others. I really honestly think that the people writing for this site are passionate about their writing, and have a desire to improve. I think we can all help each other become better writers (regardless of where we are starting from) by giving praise where it's warranted, and suggestions when needed.
I love hubpages for the fact of community, for the sharing factors, and for the fact that there's a huge amount of topics to choose from to write about ranging from hubs about hubs, spreading hub love, and so many others that help to empower the strength of the hubpages community.
When I see threads or posts where people are somewhat downgrading others, and their activities within the hubpages system here, its truly disheartening to see.
One thing I do know is people are imperfect and this is why many of us may seem to fall short, when it comes to high quality writing, or maintaining the higher standards of hub excellence.
Hopefully those who are writing the most intolerable hubs here, won't get discouraged after finding this forum here, but instead can find a way to improve on their writing on hubpages as a whole.
We must as community members ban together like on facebook socially, to help groom those who aren't making the cut. I agree with many of the veteran hubbers here, and the most talented ones who've posted wise and intelligent feedback, as to how they personally decided to handle such things as a questionable hubs and leaving insightful comments both praise worthy and those that help out a struggling writer.
As for leaving good comments on crappy work, well that's called spam comments to me. As for my activities here, I've flagged many lower quality, questionable hubs in the past, and especially when the much older hubpages format was still in effect, but for the most part though I enjoy sticking to my favorite hubbers I've chosen to follow here.
I do this mainly, because my favorite hubbers I follow seem to be the most consistent at writing powerfully expressive hubs, that make a difference for myself, as well as my friends, family, colleagues, ex-classmates, and acquaintances I share much of their writings with daily and nightly on FB, google plus, and all of my professional networks.
Oh and yes I definitely love writing hubs about other hubs, and spreading the hub love, but only when those hubbers deserve the praise, and I will not stop the flow when it comes to that, no way no how.
Good luck anyhow and I hope folks can find a more logical or better way of being judgmental of others writing, or sharing methods, because hubpages needs unity, and not separatism. I never give credit where it isn't due, that's just senseless, and makes you look bad as well.
I try my very best not to respond to these specific types of criticisms.
Unlike yourself, I have been on Hubpages for almost 5 years now. There has surely been all types of hubs presented here: good ones, bad ones and those in-between. One aspect of Hubpages that I truly believe most of us hubbers appreciate is the presence of a "no-judgement zone". Acknowledging the existence of a poor or futile hub is just, but offending others directly in the process is in violation of site regulations and etiquette. If you stick around long enough, you will see that we are a wonderful and friendly community here. I, for one, will like it to stay that way.
More importantly, if you don't like a hub for any reason, simply move on to the next.
I'm still learning a few things or two about Hubpages, but I'm really liking it so far. I believe that is good to help each other, without be critical or analytical about subjects and things of that nature. I'm finding that it's a pretty great way to make some money on here and a good way to explore my creative side.
Ya know... I am or am not so tired... Did not bother as to report as to where. is where. Let me explain. Two years. You know what? Perfectly still valid as of now?; I have no idea. I have not read this thread. Maybe I shall read this thread in the future. Do not do this to me again (I may or be not be kidding).
I was on the freeway the other day. There was a traffic jam that went on for miles.... except for one lane. No one was in that lane. It merged with the one we were in in a mile or two so the traffic just sat in one endless line of weary travelers.
Having a passengers perspective, I told my mom she could use that other lane for at least a mile so she moved over, but there was one car just sitting there. No one in front of him, yet he wasn't moving. We couldn't figure out what he was doing so we went back into the stopped lane. A semi came up behind the stopped car next and pumped it's breaks and blew his horn, but the car wouldn't move. He finally drove on the dirt to get around the car. Was the little car actually trying to block the giant semi? Car after car after car was blocked by the stopped car. In fact the only time he moved was when he turned his wheel to block the moving traffic... with children in the back btw. We realized the dude did not like ppl passing in this lane, and he had taken it upon himself to impede any and all traffic by "parking" in the only moving lane.
That's what the OP's post reminds me of. Why do some of us feel the need to control the environment around us? I know some would argue that bad writers bring the whole site down, which affects "me" personally etc. etc. But when do we let our egos get so out of check that we can't pat someone on the back and just say, "Good luck, I'm rooting for you" and go on our way?
Great story. I think the moral is: You are not the world's policeman.
Well said Sed-me. The world [and HubPages] would be a much better place with a live and let live attitude.
So, does that mean that if you saw a fellow worker doing his job extremely badly, to the point where it was putting the entire company at risk, you would shut up and say nothing?
When a site is penalised by the search engines for poor quality content, its very survival is in jeopardy - as we know from the closure of Squidoo, Helium.com, Yahoo! Voices et al. So if you want HubPages to continue to exist, then you can't afford to "live and let live" entirely.
The OP didn't seem to be talking about those hubs that were non efforts. He seemed to be saying that ppl who were putting out an effort should be told that their efforts were sub par. As if some how that would give them sudden ability or cause them to stop trying. Either attempt seems a little short of kindness to say the least. Humanity should always trump, imo.
I am happy to agree with you #Marisa Wright - in that kind of scenario. But is it often that essential to save the site?
What I am proposing is that a collaborative attitude is more likely to promote the site than a competitive one.
But there are times when your proactive stance would be useful.
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