Factors Contributing to the Hubbing Community
This hub grew out of a question asked by a Hubber, AllSuretyBonds. One thing that sets HubPages apart from most other writing sites, forums, and social media networks is the sense of community. Hubbers who have grown to feel that is lacking don’t stick around long; they leave, to the detriment of those of us who stay. So what are some of the factors that contribute to the sense of community? In what way does participating in this community help the Hubber personally? What happens when these factors are lacking or abused? I have selected six factors—there are undoubtedly others—and list them here, in no particular order.
Interact through Hub comments
Reading and commenting meaningfully on hubs
When you write a comment that shows you read the hub, it helps the community. Interact with the information to the extent that you can say what you liked or disagree with. This helps others who read the comments to consider whether they feel the same or not. Your comments will be picked up in searches and lead the community to this material.
The comments help the hub author by providing a backlink. It will strengthen his page rank if you used any words similar to his keywords. If you give the hub a “vote up” and feedback (e.g. useful, etc.), it will improve the Hubscore and the author’s Hubber score, which are morale boosters, if nothing else. If you do nothing more than read the hub, he at least gets a page view and that counts for ad impressions.
Following others (properly)
When you follow others for the right reasons, it helps the community. When I look at a Hubber profile that indicates 500 followers, I realize the person is more popular than the Hubber with only 15 followers. I can quickly scan the Hubber’s profile, topics, and a hub or two to see whether this is someone whose Hubtivity I would also like to follow. Other Hubbers looking at the Hubtivity of either the follower or the followee can use that as a recommendation of someone with possibly similar interests.
By following Hubbers with similar interests, you are notified every time they publish hubs or make forum entries. This is an excellent way to learn from someone whom you respect—or even just to keep an eye on the competition.
Following in order to elicit a return "follow" is detrimental to the community if neither of you intends to read the hubs and comments of the other Hubber. It simply inflates the statistics. Hubbers looking for quality recommendations can spot that spammy activity quickly. They move on quickly, your page view duration drops and so does your page rank.
Comments in Forums about HubPages
Constructive comments in the forums that relate to the mechanics of HubPages (as opposed to issues that could be discussed on most any other site) are of tremendous value to the community. This perhaps contributes most to the sense of community. Offer help and solutions. Point out potential bugs and problems. Express a feature you wish we had; maybe they hadn’t thought of it!
This obviously works both ways. Ask for help when you need it. You can generally get it quicker this way than through HubPages staff. This also contributes to your Hubber score, for whatever that’s worth.
If something really needs staff attention, email them directly rather than bitching in the forums. Losing your cool and flaming anyone—staff or Hubbers—destroys the sense of community, tarnishes your own reputation and may lead others to leave. Yeah, you knew that already.
Mentoring your Sign-Ups
When someone signs-up through your referral link, follow them, whether interesting or not. You will be notified of their Hubtivity and can mentor them. If they start spamming or breaking rules, they are going to hurt the community unless corrected. As their first tutor, you have the best opportunity and also the most at stake.
You earn an amount equal to 10% of any AdSense and HubPages Ads that they earn, so it can be profitable to both of you if you encourage them. Without a mentor, most sign-ups will never write a hub. Actually, most won’t anyway, but you’re trying to improve your own conversion rate.
The HubHop Tool
HubHopping improves the quality of hubs (and probably forum traffic indirectly) site-wide by unleashing an army of human eyes to scan what may have passed the computer filters. The HubPages staff are alerted to specific hubs to review, which saves their time so they can give us a better overall experience. It potentially saves having multiple other Hubbers waste time clicking on an intriguing title only to find that the hub is spammy garbage.
On the positive side, it gives the opportunity to be the first to comment on a hub if it appears to be a good one.That gives both of you a backlink. Being the first commenter means that most people reading to the end of the hub will see it. Who knows—you might be inspired to write a hub, a series or even a whole niche from what you read while HubHopping.
The various HubPages contests contribute to the hubbing community by providing fresh topic ideas. There is a social aspect, as well, to the contests that contributes to a sense of community in a way that the affiliate marketing programs don’t. There are usually a couple of forum threads dedicated to each contest that provide a way for Hubbers to cheer each other on.