- HubPages Tutorials and Community
HOW AND WHY OF HUBBER FAN MAIL
By the end of this hub you will have a clear understanding of “who to”, “how to” and “why to” write Hubber Fan Mail. One of HubPages’ many charms is that with only one real exception, the rules and regulations are not set in stone. If you are the one in a million who wants to commit that exception, plagiarism, you might as well simply hop off here because fan mail is not something that will ever concern you. For everyone else:
WHO TO preferences:
Concerning being a fan, or honored with fans, there seem to be as many reasons as there are people in this incredibly diversified, global community. Your choices are multitudinous. It is my personal belief that any community on the net or elsewhere is enhanced by connecting. It is about establishing meaningful contact with people who have similar interests, whom you enjoy, admire, consider a friend, or would like to befriend. That covers a lot of ground since we all share the joy of writing, reading, and learning. It takes all kinds though and for some, HP is just a numbers game. Those people probably see fan mail as just another self promoting advertising spot (yeah for “approve” - or not).
“How we do anything is how we do everything in life” (AU).
That being the case, about the only people I have re-considered fanning, are those I’ve already fanned only to be rewarded with some form of, “You can be my fan but I’m not interested in you, reading your hubs or responding to your comments” (the quit button works too :) )
It all boils down to the fact that you can create your own guidelines, then have as much fun breaking them if you want. No one will chide or ridicule you for expressing yourself. Of course, we prefer maintaining a positive community, so if you are in a foul mood or looking for a battle, it might be beneficial to not leave feedback at all – especially not fan mail. Instead, simply post one of the following options on a forum with passion:
1) Why everyone is stupid if they don’t follow your specific religious or non-religious conviction
2) An unshakable belief that your life is adversely affected by another individual’s equal rights based on sexual preference
Yep, that ought to keep you busy for awhile! Often when our opinions differ and we react, our words can sound like the crack of a whip and as in life, there are no take-backs :(
Bearing the above in mind, the following fan mail suggestions and ideas are opinions expressed by a few favored Hubbers and my own creative surmises. In the true spirit of gratitude and giving credit where due, brief introductions to these wonderful folks are included. (Hoping you’ll float them to the top of your ‘whom to check out priority list’) Most members are willing to help familiarize us, these ones helped me, and thus I am a fan.
DISCLAIMER: Following HP’s advice, please respect their time before asking any questions and read each post in the help sections @ http://hubpages.com/search/include:help+help
Not to worry, they will still be here in a year when you finish…
So, your choice for HP is to HAVE FUN and for these fan mail suggestions \/
OH won't you stay? JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER :)
When first joining, I was a newbie here, but an oldie in business. My admiration grew immensely for the creators of hp with their foresight to include a space specifically for recommendations. We are all authors after all – who better to write a glowing reference? At least, that was on the assumption that “telling the world” meant leaving a professional endorsement to assist in advancing each other’s careers. So why was I receiving such personally appreciated but impersonally relevant fan mail as “welcome to hub pages”? Were these authors HP staff members? Maybe so because those first welcomes, as nice as they are, stay front row and center forever! The logic of this still escapes me but questions are for the forums…
After posting a few “professional endorsements” however, reciprocal mail was still not forthcoming. Questioning my writing ability, I thought, “But I have so much to share!” Therefore, I convinced myself to keep posting until I improved enough to reach that “well respected” level. I hoped eventually folks would notice – especially Google!
I thirsted for the secrets, reading how recognized hubs had to include 1500 words, 5 photos, videos, news links, etc. etc. It was taking me about 8 hours to write and post each hub and they still fell short of the essential criteria. No wonder my hubs bounced like yo-yos maintaining only a 70+ average. How had people written over 100 hubs? If they were writing on hp more than 8 hours a day, they must be making a heap of money!
Twenty-one hubs (and 2 weeks) later, my stories would have to wait. Why continue to make a fool of myself by posting sub-standard material? I nipped into the forums a couple of times, heading to the profiles of a few that made me laugh, or think. Finally posting the question in a forum, I shot off a couple emails requesting responses. WITHIN SECONDS insightful answers appeared! Were these people on the alert, eager to help anytime? "Yes, pretty much", I have subsequently realized. Thus, all of the following are truly community oriented Hubbers worth getting to know with their opinions on:
HOW TO write Hubber fan mail:
Let me offer examples to show the evolution toward finally achieving what you too may come to believe is the most rewarding and fulfilling reason to write fan mail.
evolution to rewards and fulfillment
Sufidreamer guides us through Greece
Sufidreamer : As a pro writer, making a living with his craft, he states unequivocally that he would like to live the "Hemingway dream". Surely he could benefit by a well thought-out recommendation for potential clients. As I began reading his hubs, my “business mode” became difficult because – well - I had fallen in love. He eloquently guided me on tours that filled a lifetime void of visiting places I had always longed to go. Now I really wanted him to succeed so I struggled to rekindle that “professional approach”.
Could this help hire him? “I highly recommend that you read at least a few, if not all of Sufidreamer's articles. His work sets him above the crowd with his thoroughness and professionalism. His writing style is open, honest, and easily readable by any large, targeted audience.”
As a person with true “flair”, he reciprocated in kind: “SEM Pro has the ability to adapt too many fields of writing, from light-hearted, feel-good hubs to hard-hitting philosophical articles. Her writing style is very readable, yet backed up by depth and substance.” YEAH! My first longed for professional recommendation! Thank you Sufi!
More importantly, he solved the whole dilemma with his email/forum responses: “…I tend to use fan mail for personal messages. I have had a few clients through HubPages and they tend to hire based upon the articles. The other nuance with HP is that the first four fan-mails stick, so that means that people only see the “Welcome to HubPages mail”. Then, continuing in his helpful, a friend everyone would love to have manner, he privately offered a few tips for potentially increasing success.
Smile if you appreciate HubPages :)
Misha - active, helpful & sharp as a tack
HP staff (who may be entirely too busy to get to know us all), have an enormous number of fans because we want to keep abreast of pertinent information. I initially thought writing fan mail for Paul Edmondson would be merely repetitious with all of us saying, “Love HP – thanks!” Making it personal would be necessarily self aggrandizing as we included our own reasons for being here. After awhile, I realized of all the people in the world I'd like to pat on the back and say thanks to, it's our one and only Paul Edmondson, the FOUNDING DADcEO! After all, none of us would be enjoying this amazing HubPages community without him.
Unlike the staff, Misha, the next amazing Hubber, somehow has time for everyone! Bet he would be the first in thousands to help in a heartbeat and make your day with a laugh while at it. Misha’s (at the time of this writing) 1,457 fans clicked because he is active in the forums, there if you need him and sharp as a tack. His profile clearly shows what he enjoys, telling a wonderful story with links (and yes, I followed his inspirational lead revising my own).
Realizing whatever fan mail I wrote would not improve his already great driving or popularity a bit, I could not help wanting to connect and let him know one of the reasons, he is so loved. “What a great mind - glad you are on HP! And thank you for the welcome. Appreciate it - and [appreciate] you.”
Naturally, the warmth returned with an additional welcome via fan mail – making me smile every time I look at it. Responding immediately to the forum questions with his usual acuity and precision:
The Nature of Fan Mail - feedback requested
- The Nature of Fan Mail - feedback requested
1) Do outsiders read our fan mail? 2) Which do you receive more of: recommendations or personal messages? 3) Which do you prefer to receive? 4) Which do you leave - and why?
"Umm, ok, let me see what I can come up with
1. yes, once approved it is visible to everybody.
2. personal messages
3. personal messages
4. personal messages - cause I like it this way
Hope this helps "
LOL – did I mention a sharp mind? No ‘grey’ misunderstandings on “how to” there. Yes Misha, it helps, thanks :)
A fellow Canadian, Dame Scribe chimed in sharing an opinion worth considering before touching a keyboard: “1) recommendations are good if you know the person...personal messages are more real...least I think so... I leave what I know n that usually is that my fellow HP author/friends and HP team are truly wonderful and one will enjoy themselves...least I do anyways... 3) why? I prefer honesty ...personal experience is a recommendation in itself, yes?"
Reverting to my original fan guidelines, I haven’t yet sent her fan mail because she isn’t a reciprocal fan - leaves something to look forward to. Taking her sage advice of honesty and personal experience, guidelines were becoming clearer with the inclusion of reading a Hubber’s profile to get a sense of who they are/what they enjoy and at least a few hubs before fan mailing.
JamaGenee connects - personally and in her writing
JamaGenee is a true authority on fan mail with almost 4 pages of actual mail. Just photos could mean true and honest fans or there could be a string of “number fanatics”. Hers are also more content driven, showing she truly connects.
Her guidance: “For new hubbers I choose to fan, I try to leave something more than "Welcome to Hubpages". If their first hub(s) really wow(s) me, I'll say so and add "looking forward to more!” I try not to fan anyone without leaving fan mail too.”
Now that is genuine offering a definite key for all of us. Why fan someone if you don’t enjoy them or their work? Moreover, if you do, why simply say WtHP? Thank you Ma’am!
By way of an introduction (fan mail): “You are an INCREDIBLE writer JamaGenee! With each of your stories, I feel as though I'm there - whether touring England, or empathizing and laughing in hindsight on the Mother's Day tradition. Thank you for sharing all so beautifully!!!
Adding this element that fan mail could be an introduction, explains why HP states, “Tell the world…”
G|M = true "GEM" as a friend offering assistance!
G|M with a little less free time :)
WHY TO FOR HUBBER FAN MAIL:
(answers to same forum questions)
GeneriqueMedia : "1. I know I tend to. Especially if I want insight on who the person is...by knowing who the gel with I've a better picture of whether or not I would be interested in following their work. Though, I don't discount them if they just have cool writing. 2. I get a lot of personal messages. I love those. 4. It depends on the situation."
How many situations can there be? Before I knew it, the question was answered: “Glad you posted on the forums. =) You have a lot of neat things to say!”
I was beginning to understand because this was warm, personal, and inspiring for me - I LIKED IT :)
On a trip shortly thereafter with a reformatted laptop that refused to co-operate, GeneriqueMedia, aka G|M became [a] “GEM” to me by emailing and offering to help fix the darn thing. Just offering relieved most of my frustration – being there for me was a “touch” that will always be remembered and cherished.
Words can be potent, powerful and express our gratitude. In the form of fan mail, they last a lot longer than in a fleeting IM, chat, and blog or email message.
Thus (fan mail): “Some folks write great hubs, some folks have great messages, some inspire us, and then there are some who not only do all the above, but once connected, they are true friends who reach out and help you when in need. THANK YOU SO MUCH G|M! You have earned my eternal gratitude and loyalty! I am a fan for life :)
There are some Hubbers who do not write fan mail at all and Lisa HW offered her version of why: “…I've often thought how I should put something in my profile that says”, I’m not very 'brave' about new 'social situations' unless/until I really know how things 'work'". The only reason I mention this is because I imagine there are others like me; and I guess I hope to "promote understanding" that not sending fan mail does not always mean not admiring other Hubbers' work. In the meantime, I am going to do some more looking into the whole "fan mail" thing (it is about time, eh?). I pretty much "fan" people when I've seen a two or three of their Hubs that I find to be well written, well thought out, and/or useful.”
Lisa is a wise woman because for the first few months here, I too (obviously) saw fan mail as one of those possibly “cloudy” areas.
Putting all the information received together, I realized refining my own guidelines would save time and eliminate the “maybe yes, maybe not, why bother when life is so busy” aspects. My guiding plan of action:
1) To get to know my own fans because I truly appreciate them
2) To be honest and personal, essentially requiring reading at least their profile and a few of their hubs
3) To write fan mail in a way that might be inspiring to the recipient so they will keep writing because I love their work
4) To encourage any new and/or great writers so they would not go through the same self-questioning I went through
You'll be welcomed into peoples' homes!
ART, TRAVEL, FAMILY... where do you want to sneak off to?
Naturally, this commitment meant I had some catching up to do! Starting to read, I found myself on an exquisite free trip around the world with the absolute best companions and tour guides a person could want. Not only did we visit new geographical locations, I was welcomed into peoples’ homes transcending time as they shared their most intimate moments. Everyone was willing to partake in discussions, explaining their art, talents, family traditions and feelings, political views, philosophies and personal trials, tribulations and challenges. We discussed life, aging, hobbies, passions and everything under the sun with my new friends more than willing to help me through my own dilemmas or questions.
No newspapers, TVs or radio were necessary because many prepared for my arrival in advance with relevant photos, videos, and links/feeds for each unfolding discussion. Others would visit to join in on our discussions and I even took off with a few of them to listen to their stories and become part of their lives.
It was a journey I will remember forever with its laughter, tears, love, hope, new wisdom, and awareness at every turn. Not a thing was missing! Best of all, I have made new intriguing, caring, supportive friends all over the world I can re-visit absolutely anytime I want! Now that is what HubPages offers us all. I know life is hectic. Yet when you can pop around the world, share anything from recipes through passionate ideas on how to save the environment and each other, why not make time for such a rejuvenating treasure?
Try it, I guarantee it will be the adventure of your life! Before you know it, you will more than want to offer the same to others. After all, "strangers are just friends you have not met yet" (au). I wanted my new companion/tour guides to stick around, their friendship now an integral and cherished part of my life. The ultimate reward then is recognizing other Hubbers who are on the same journey and inspiring them to keep going with you. We all appreciate a little encouragement now and again.
Positively Impact everyone you touch
Did this help in clarifying FAN MAIL or encouraging you to write more?
I wish you - - - whatever success means for you!
Even though Lisa HW may be uncomfortable writing fan mail herself, it no longer mattered in the least. Without a doubt, I want her to keep writing her amazing stories!
My fan mail started coming from the depths of my heart and soul to someone who brightens life: “Keep taking me to worlds I've never known Lisa! Your easy story telling style makes me feel as though I am a privileged "fly on the wall" - complete with emotional narratives for awareness. Thank you for sharing... thank you for being you :)
Fan mail itself was re-defined: It is not a message scurrying quickly through time, nor an advertising spot for anyone but that particular author's talent. These mini messages are where your valued fellow Hubber can return to as often as they want to feel warm and fuzzy or a visitor to know why they too will have a tremendous experience taking a few moments to read.
It is a place to express our own sincerest sentiments shaping the powerful words that are our tools as we commend them. It is to offer an eternal encouraging note of recognition and gratitude for the talent they have shared and consideration in doing so.
In short, Fan Mail is offering that particular Hubber an honest message to return to when they need a pat on the back, a boost in the butt or a hug because the world is a better place for them sharing their thoughts and experiences.
Yep, my admiration continues to grow for the creators of HP and their insight in providing a space specifically for – "fan mail" :) If you've enjoyed even a moment on HubPages, why not head straight to Paul Edmondson’s site (AFTER you finish voting UP and adding your cherished comment), to offer him your pat on the back and gratitude?
To sum up fan mail then, and for the last thought to remember on this subject, let me share the beautiful words of one of our newest members. Her reciprocated mail shows the exact sentiments I now FAN MAIL hoping to elicit: