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HubPage Subject Reviews - A Greensleeves Home Page
A NOTE ABOUT HUBPAGES
HubPages is a community website on which members (known as 'hubbers') can freely publish their own pages of information, opinion and advice, on any subject under the sun (within certain legal and moral constraints). They can also write and then publish their poetry and fictional stories. They can lace their work with photos and videos, maps, opinion polls and links, using the simple templates which are provided by the HubPages site for this purpose. And they can also earn money from these pages or 'hubs', through adverts placed on the page.
The community element of HubPages means that writers also benefit from a ready-made audience of potential readers, as well as the opportunity to seek advice and discuss the pages they create with fellow members.
INTRODUCTION TO THESE REVIEWS OF SELECTED HUBPAGE CATEGORIES
Since joining HubPages in January 2011, I have enjoyed researching, composing, and publishing a range of articles on many different subjects. In the course of writing these articles I have also seen and read very many articles by other HubPage members. Anybody is free to write on HubPages and within reason anything can be published. Consequently articles do vary in quality. But many show great creativity and skill, producing work which covers ideas or subjects not to be found elsewhere on the Internet.
One element of this which cannot escape regular readers of HubPage articles is that the degree of support and recognition which an article receives does not necessarily reflect the quality of the article. It may owe more to the popularity of the subject matter, or to the writer's ability to publicise their work. Consequently, although many attract huge interest, there are some other 'hubs' which are beautifully written with devotion and talent, but which nonetheless receive scant attention, and little appreciation.
New hubs are advertised routinely on the site, but once a page has been published for some weeks, and the visits and comments and plaudits (if any) have dried up, the work may be neglected and forgotten. I know how disappointing it can be to put a lot of effort into a published work, only for it to receive little attention. So it is my intention in a regular series to breathe new life into a few of these hub pages by selecting specific subject topics, viewing all of the pages within these categories, and then choosing ten which I feel deserve to be promoted.
Photographs on this page are currently taken from my own pages, and serve only to give examples of a few of my interests which will drive the subject selections. After publishing several review hubs, my intention is to replace my photos with the choicest images from other writers' hubs.
THINKING OF JOINING? LINKS TO THE HUBPAGES SITE
I cannot say the hubs promoted on these pages are the very best in their topic categories; inevitably there is a subjective element to this. Also there is a desire to give a representative overview (so if two articles are very similar in content, I will probably only review one). Previous HubPage popularity of the article will not be considered - several good hubs have been published for two or more years, yet not received a single word of praise - perhaps not because of any failings, but rather because they have hitherto lacked publicity. Some of the articles will be recent, and some will be old; some will be written by regular contributors and others will be by writers who rarely visit the site. The only thing the pages have in common, will be that I like them and believe they deserve recognition.
I have my own hub pages to write, quite apart from my day job! Some categories of topic on HubPages include thousands of hubs, and just spending a single minute on each of them would take up several days. Therefore, I have to limit my choices of categories to review to those with an absolute maximum of 500 pages. Many hubs could easily be published in more than one category, so I may sometimes combine two or three smaller categories in one review.
The section below lists those reviews which will be the first to be written, and this will be followed by the criteria by which I personally would judge the merits of a hub.
This is a series which is only in its very first days of infancy. The list on the left is simply a projected list of the first ten review pages.
Those which have so far been completed will become highlighted blue links to the relevant page.
The first five review hubs have now been published. Please take a look at these pages, and maybe at some of the hubs reviewed if you find the subject matter to be of interest, or check back as other reviews are published.
THE LIST OF SUBJECTS
1) THE HUB IS LIKELY TO BE OF PERSONAL INTEREST
There are many topic categories on HubPages, each divided into many more subcategories. I cannot review all topics and categories, so not unnaturally I will concentrate on subcategories of interest to me. Within those subcategories specific articles will be of greater personal interest than others, and therefore there will be a subjective element to my selections.
My interests include most of the sciences, natural history and human history. I also enjoy sport, film and television. Photography is a major pleasure, and of course so is creative writing. Most other topics will include some subject matter of interest to me which may be selected for review.
2) MOST ARTICLES WILL BE BETWEEN 1000 AND 3000 WORDS IN LENGTH
The length of a hub page will have some bearing on its inclusion. There are hubs which are no more than a short paragraph in length, and these inevitably hold comparatively little information and are less likely to be considered as great articles. On the other hand, very lengthy articles will require the devotion of a lot of time to read them, and they have to be very good to persuade me to give up that time. I suspect most other casual readers will feel likewise. However, I fully appreciate that subject matter may lend itself to more or less words, and quality of writing and presentation will always be rather more important considerations than feature length. (Several of my own hub pages in fact are well over 4000 words in length).
3) THE ARTICLE WILL SAY SOMETHING 'NEW'
Many articles, including some of my own, are simply reviews of other peoples' work. (Indeed of course this series will be reviews which may say nothing new). However, in most HubPage categories an article which is thought provoking, entirely original and unique in its approach, will score over a page which rehashes other material, all other considerations being equal.
4) THE ARTICLE WILL BE WELL WRITTEN
Inarticulate, grammatically incorrect and misspelled pieces of literature detract from the appeal of the text, and in the case of academic work may suggest a lack of care which extends to getting the facts right or wrong. Of course HubPages has contributors from all nations and all backgrounds, so one must be fair and tolerant particularly if English is not the first language. A beautifully presented and informative article, however badly phrased, would score over one which is perfectly written yet dull or inconsequential. At the end of the day most hubs are not lessons in how to write English - they are about providing interesting information or stories for others to enjoy.
5) THE ARTICLE WILL BE VISUALLY ATTRACTIVE, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, OR WITH CLEAR DIVISIONS BETWEEN SECTIONS OF TEXT
This to me is very important. There are many millions of web pages on the Internet, and huge numbers of these are authoritatively written on subjects which are of interest. Even on the HubPages site there are many thousands of good articles, and lots of of these are on topics which one might want to read about. There isn't time to do more than glance at most of them, let alone read them right through, so it is essential that articles should not only be well written, but that they should stand out visually so as to encourage a casual visitor to stick around and read. This means two things:
- It means illustrations where possible, be it photos, diagrams, maps or drawings - anything that's easier on the eye than a whole page of text. (The images from my hubs on this page, hopefully lighten the page a little, as well as serving as examples of the range of categories which may interest me.)
- It also means breaking up the text into segments. Illustrations can of course be used to do this, but in the absence of these, then using subtitles and dividers (such as the pale grey lines on this page) will help. If I have a deep passion or professional interest in a particular subject, maybe I will be prepared to wade through acres of unbroken text, but I'd be far more likely to dwell a while on an article if the content looks palatable and enjoyable, as well as informative.
6) THE HUB WILL GRAB THE ATTENTION
The hub must grab my attention. This really summarises all that has gone before. With hundreds of hubs within each particular topic category, if the theme of the hub, the style of writing and the layout cannot take a reader's interest within the first paragraph or two, then the tendency will clearly be to move on to other hubs which do.
I cannot claim the hubs I review to be the very best in each category. I can only claim that something about all of the ten promoted in each review have an appeal, such that I believe they deserve to be be read more widely.
Hopefully anyone who reads the reviews I write will then link to one or more of the selected hubs and enjoy them, and in this way both the reader and the hub author will benefit.
LINK TO ALL MY OWN HUBPAGES
- Greensleeves Hubs on HubPages
My own hubs include travel guides and film reviews, and several pages about astronomy and linguistics as well as pieces of creative writing, and many other subjects