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Is Hubpages Dying?

Updated on August 13, 2013
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While I am not a long timer here on Hubpages by any means, I nonetheless have been a writer on these pages for about a year and a half now. I have enjoyed myself here, met new people from far away places, expanded my horizons by leaps and bounds, and generally just had fun. But I have noticed a trend of late, and it has disturbed me.

I am now in my second block of text, having completed my entry paragraph in order to entice you to read further. My question is: why do I need so many blocks of text? Can I not separate my work via the old fashioned way of paragraphs? Do I need to be told to change to another text block? No, not really; but the New and Improved Hubpage design makes it so. Either I use the blocks provided, in the manner in which the artists of Hubpages deem appropriate or I am required to delete them. Should I not be able to use them as I see fit, and add should I so desire? This is one of the changes brought about which I feel might be driving writers away rather than enticing them here or improving them.

What are your thoughts on the Hubpages changes?

See results

I stumbled upon Hubpages by accident and thought "Hmm. A site that will allow me to make money for my words. Sounds great!" Well, not so great at making money. To date, I have written some 140+ Hubs, have about 10,000 reads and have made a grand sum of $15.65!!! Wowwee! If I broke than down to pay per word, it ends up at an astounding $0.007 per word (if each Hub contained 1,500 words). So, I ain't in it for the money.

So what am I in it for? I write because I enjoy writing. Getting my words out to people in order to better refine my writing skills; gain valuable feedback; criticism; praise. But let's face it: I am in my mid fifties and my ability to learn is seriously diminished both by my age and the time I can alot to writing enough to gain said praise/criticism/feedback. If I spend time writing Hubs, I do not write on my stories. And to do what I really want to do, I have to work on my stories. My dream is to have a book or two published. I looked at Hubpages as a means to an end.

But is it?

I see changes here at Hubpages that cause me concern. I no longer get messages from Hubbers I normally receive messages from, be it comments, new Hubs published or whatever. It feels like there are fewer Hubs being written by those I follow. Am I wrong?

Perhaps it is just the Summer Season and people are on vacation. Perhaps they have diminished their writing in order to do something else. I don't know. What I do know is that in the past I have routinely received up to a hundred notifications of fellow Hubbers a day, and now I rarely receive more than a handful a day. Something has drastically changed, and not for the better.

I have always been selective in who I follow. After eighteen months, I only follow about 300 writers, and have about 200 myself. Nowhere near as many as some other writers here, but more than some. I tend to be in the middle somewhere and that is just fine with me.

These boxes are driving me crazy. The one I just passed over said to "try to include at least three images with every Hub". Why? If a picture paints a thousand words, am I replacing 3,000 words by including 3 pictures? Sometimes I prefer to have the conscious mind supply its own pictures rather than to rely upon the literal picture to give the image.

Is this what is driving people away from this site? This requirement, if you will, to fill up the boxes; provide a detailed, rich field of information for the reader to read.

Sometimes, I just want to write. Period. No set plan, no follow the diagram, no official boxes to fill out, links to be included, pictures to be seen. Just words.

I also have been seeing my featured Hubs diminshed as the Powers That Be decide they are not Hub-worthy anymore. They were at one time; why not now? Is it because of the site's increased requirements and changes that preclude my older Hubs from being included? Or is it becuse these self same powers decide "Eh, this one has been here for a while, and while we know it is still receiving views, it just isn't up to our current standards. Tweak it; add more picures or links or videos or something to make it new and fresh again, then we will decide if it meets our new standards."?

I don't know.

What I do know is this is forcing me to spend more time writing for myself, on my book worthy stories rather than to write for Hubpages. I have seen my works here deemed unacceptable; my time spent writing for Hubpages increase for less return (not like there was much of that in the first place); and my Hubber score decrease for no apparent reason I can decipher. In addition, my commentor status has declined because I can no longer spend time working on it due to the increased time allocated to other writing demands.


So, my question remains: Is Hubpages Dying? My quick answer is: Yes. Like Walmart, here known by me as Hellmart, it may have gotten too big for its britches and forgotten what made it great once upon a time. It was a site for writers to write; to have their works read; to maybe earn a little money; to have fun. Once that aspect of fun is removed, it becomes a job, and folks I have a job. it requires nearly 60 hours of work a week and what time I have left over to spend on writing is small. I have a family to enjoy; a life to live; dreams to pursue.

Hubpages, go back to your previous format. Allow us to just write how we desire. Do not endeavor to teach us, or to have us place our words into pre-planned boxes complete with the required pictures and links and videos and polls. Do not require us to become cookie cutter writers: let us breathe and write as we so desire.

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    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I don't know what's happening here, either. HP keeps changing things. I wish they'd put up a poll with the change being considered so hubbers could let the technical director know how we felt about it, instead of just changing something and surprising us.

      I deleted a bunch of hubs today in the spirit of trying to organize my variable niche syndrome. I don't know if my idea about organizing my hubs will do any good.

      I do try to follow the suggested format with templates. It's a very time-consuming process, and I have yet to score a hub with a 100.

      Some of the things I see being written here almost make me embarrassed to let people know that I write at HP, but then when I explore other sites, I realize I have more control here.

      I tried Bubblews, too, but my account kept disappearing. I attempted to write under the pseudonym Time Traveler, a 24-year-old male living in Dexter, Washington. The slant was as one who had reincarnated in the jungles of South America and given the duty for find a cure for the illness from which he had died. I got likes on it right away, but, alas, the account was unstable. Emailing the staff brought no response.

      I am doing a little of my short sketches of my childhood years growing up on a farm at Triond. They are a bit unstable, too, and I can't associate my Google Adsense. My biggest hangup are the highlighted, underscored words that appear in the publications, which, by the way, are posted at various websites. (It's always a surprise to see which site they've used--can you believe they put my heart-felt walks with Grandpa under an arts/dance site?)

      So, all in all, Mike (I thought your first name was Dan--forgive me!), Hub Pages has its strengths and weaknesses. My daughter keeps suggesting I write an e-book at Amazon and sell it for 99 cents.

      Tonight I'm going through the local neighborhood with my name card to offer light yard work, mending/sewing, and house cleaning. I'm certainly not making a living at HP. (I'm about in the same boat as you--one month shy of two years and only a cumulative $22.50 to show for it, so pay out.) On the bright side, I have had HOTD and over five Editor's Choice awards, which, from what I read in the forums is actually a disadvantage for some reason, as EC hubs supposedly don't draw as much traffic.

      C'est la vie! (I didn't check the translator for spelling.)

      So, Dear One, my advice is not to let scores bother you. And if it's compensation you seek from your writing, I recommend my daughter's suggestion. With 141 hubs, you've got enough material for a great book. I'll be happy to edit gratis.

      Blessings!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I don't understand a lot of what goes on around here, but at least I have a venue for "Life at Boomer Lake with Deb." Sadly, I can't get a newspaper in OK to publish it. But I am making money, not a lot but an increase of what I have been making, and I have doubled it, and not with a lot of effort. Maybe it's the topics that I pick to write about, I don't know.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      I wish I could tell you what they desire in a HOTD. I have yet to been blessed, and I know some who richly deserve this "honor" yet have never had one either. I agree that some of the HOTD are weak, poorly written, and delve into subjects I see no reason to have featured, but who am I to give an opinion.

      I do appreciate your stop and comment, and wish you a blessed ay.

    • my_girl_sara profile image

      Cynthia Lyerly 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hubpages, Ebay, Amazon...they all are constantly working and tweaking their analytics. One day you're on top of the searches, the next no one can find you. Wish they would let us know when they change things.

      Also, what do they look for on hub of the day here on Hubpages? They overlook some really good hubs and choose some bad ones.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Perhaps Hub Pages could try hiring some professional writers that can produce the quality product they are demanding from all of us.

      Oh wait, these professional writers charge big bucks for their work as opposed to us giving it to them for free.

      I'll bet the "bean counters" would have a stroke when they saw the first bill from the professionals.

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      I read this with interest, and all I can say is, I hope not. I've enjoyed my time here, though like others, I have yet to see a check, and probably won't for the next five years :/ I will echo what others have said -- I wish they were less restrictive.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sorry to butt in, Mike, but I love Froggy's answer. If this was a question posed by me, I'd mark it 'best answer'.

      As I stated in my earlier comment, if you choose the 'article' format you don't have a formatted template giving you capsules you don't want. In the article format you bring in what you want and place it where you want. I use the article format for everything I post here. I wrote a hub yesterday, which I won't post until Thursday (when Perspectives Team does the monthly post) but I used the article format and carried on as I always do. It helps to watch the upper right hand box when you're in edit mode. It gives you recommendations. If you have all the boxes checked by the time you're ready to publish, you shouldn't have any issues with your hubs being featured. Shouldn't being the operative word here.....

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 4 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      As a veteran of Hubpages, I must say that I don't believe it will die. I am considering buying my own website and moving some away from here, but it is still a great place.

      I have watched similar problems here before and they always work their way through them.

      As for the format issue, you do not HAVE to follow it directly. It is just a recommendation. You can delete text boxes. You can make it look the way you feel the most comfortable.

      When I do buy that website, I will be also opening up sub domains in which I will probably offer spots. We will look it all over and see.

      Those who are flying to the Bubblews, you may want to think it over. You only get 50% of Adsense there--60% here. You do not have the ebay and amazon revenue there.

      Keep in mind that no matter where you have your stuff, there are thieves. There are ups and downs. Hubpages has a great core behind the scenes that, I believe, do truly care about their writers.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Good place to share your hubs. This is StumbleUpon: http://www.stumbleupon.com/about

      This is my SU: http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/Untilnevercome

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

      Google is all about revenue. Ads all over the place. You can't do a search and not be confused at the top of the pages where the paid ads end and your search results start.

      Also, didn't we used to get paid on views resulting from comments? I believe we did. Anyone know?

    • my_girl_sara profile image

      Cynthia Lyerly 4 years ago from Georgia

      I hope you all will stay on hubpages. It's been a good experience for me so far. The money is not great but am still hoping that will grow. I, too, just passed my $50 mark finally. Hubpages is nice because I don't have to worry about SEO although I do wish I could add some tags like we used to.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Lastheart, thank you for stopping by and reading this. I am sorry to hear your works were stolen; I never even thought about something like that happening. Guess I am naive (which is Evian spelled backwards). What is this StumbleUpon you speak of? Is it a writing site? At any rate, you take care and thanks again.

      Sallybea, congratulations on receiving your first payment. Evidently you have done fairly well here and may you continue to work and gain friends for as long as you desire. Perhaps if you and I and all who read this raise the topic high enough we might make a difference here on HP. There is always room for hope! I will have to look you up on bubblews. And I wholeheartedly agree: that site does not feel as good as this one to write on. Seems kind of shallow, you know? Take care.

      definitions, oh pshaw and many thanks! I appreciate the good comments just as much as I appreciate the criticisms. It continues to build me up and make me a better writer. What you say about limited web space has its merits, I must admit. Perhaps there is a way we can all accomplish our goals without driving away those we have come to enjoy. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Be safe down under!

      Adept2012, you are welcome. Take care.

      Doodlehead, I never thought of htat. Going public, eh? If it makes money, you might just be roght. Keep writin' okay?

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

      it doesn't matter if it is dying. The point is it makes money. The other point is someone is going to buy this or have it go public. My prediction is that it will be Yahoo.

    • Adept2012 profile image

      Adebayo Adeolu Ibrahim 4 years ago

      thanks you Mr Archer for the information

    • definitions profile image

      definitions 4 years ago

      The irony of this is that you are such a good writer! Such natural flow, rhythm and a genuine way with words. I think the point you raise has merit - that HubPages is losing the appeal it once had. I'm a new user but recently one of my friends left HubPages. At the same time, I can empathise with the position of the HubPages team; that they have limited web space available and want to ensure this space is only allotted to quality articles. I think your article raises salient points about this definition of quality. Thank you for writing.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Mr Archer I have watched the decline in numbers and the general feel of depression and gloom on HubPages with some alarm. I have grown to respect some of the writers and also built up a small following though not as large as your own and would expect to receive my first payment this month. For me some of the attraction was money and it is a shame that we are cannot be rewarded more for our effort because make no mistake, writing on these pages takes a lot of time and effort.

      I wish that the powers that be would take a more proactive role in the forum, as perhaps Simone did, always ready to give an answer. Sometimes it seemed that she never slept because she was always there to give an answer. I think that if we are to survive here this is very necessary, in order to regain the trust of writers who are quickly abandoning ship.

      I too joined Bubblews, thinking it might be an easier way to earn money and I believe it is, having earned two dollars in less time than the pages took to dry. The money attractive though it is, does not feel quite the same as writing on these pages.

      I hope that HubPages will take notice and plug the leaks in the boat before it really does begin to sink.

      Well done on raising the topic and I do hope we get the answer, Is Hubpages Dying?

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Mr Archer wow! I feel so normal after reading from the beginning to the last comment. Actually, I am in the same position. It was very frustrating to know that one of my hubs was stolen identically and nothing is being answered or done. Something is happening, just like StumbleUpon, too many changes and fast without considering the individuals that are making possible their website. I know that mu free spirit and dignity will not permit me to stay very long. Hope all comes better. If I stay like I did in StumbleUpon will be for those lovely friends I have.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Doodlehead, glad to meet you. It is sad that we have been given this "direction" and told to live with it or not; the powers that be don't care. I do appreciate your stop, read, and comment though. This is what I intended with this Hub: for us to talk about it and maybe, just maybe Hubpages would listen in.

      Poolman, glad to hear from you. I have tailed off considerably and it bothers me. I still think I have something to say but the hoops, man the hoops! I will still write here because I do have people such as yourself I value opinions from. And I agree with you: bean counters who look at nothing but the bottom line are the death of many a great idea. When it becomes about the money, it fails. One can see that time after time in American businesses. As for Coke, I am a Coca Cola man from way back and make mine the original formula!

      HSchneider glad to make your acquaintance today. I find myself walking somewhere between following the tips and doing my own thing. I have never yet, nor do I believe I will have a HOTD, but that is not the reason I write. As billybuc said so well, one writes because one is a writer. I think, therefore I am.

      Gawth, I am pleased to make your acquaintance this evening as well. I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comments. We are "free" press, giving away our words for others to use as they see fit, and to make money on our backs. While we are not slaves and we can leave when we so choose, we are still bound by our need to connect, to be heard and they are taking advantage of us. Someday they will see us for what we are and we will be gone. Those of us who are older, experienced, and have something to say might just be gone for good to be replaced with lesser talents not saying anything worth hearing. And if Google is behind it, may they see the error of their ways and beg us to stay.

      Thank you all for reading this and taking a moment to comment. I truly appreciate it.

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 4 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      Mr. Archer, I also am curious about what is happening at Hubpages. I have been on here for several years and have watched a lot of my friends go away. Either they are discouraged or they were vaporized.

      It takes a lot of the fun out of it because I miss the feedback we have been able to give each other.

      I am not sure what is happening but I have a theory and there is no conspiracy about it.

      It appears that Hubpages, being a business, earns its revenue by taking give-away "almost free" writing and uses it to obtain advertising revenue from the World Wide Hub. Apparently Google is getting more particular about what it publishes and now Hub has become more particular about what constitutes a "featured" Hub.

      So if you follow their templates they have a better chance to get YOU published and they make more money.

      The problem is that it ISN'T any fun anymore.

      And you're right about the money. If I remember right they don't actually put money into your account until you've earned a total of $50. So at my rate of production, I am going to be working ten years before I get a check.

      I got my first newspaper job in the 1960's writing sports reports of independent basketball games. The editor paid me 5-cents per column inch and he edited heavily. I was 14 then. I said I would never work that cheap again. But, I think I have been.

      But the money is not the issue. Like high school, it's the "principal" of the thing. If it quits being fun, why do it? I don't know. I can't decide. I liked it better the way it was but I haven't quit.

      I miss my friends who have quit and I am writing a whole lot less but I still enjoy a good Hub from my friends (new and otherwise) and I guess I more like being a comment-er for free that a nickle-an-inch writer. I also miss the freedom-of-the-press we once had.

      Underneath the whole requirement to use more images and videos is the increased possibility that you are going to have to personally pay a lot of money because you accidentally used a copyrighted image or video. It's not easy to separate the free fodder from the golden wheat.

      I suspect Google is the one who is most changing the way we used to do business.

      As for Coke....make mine Diet Coke, it was a "reasonable" alternative to an established product.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      The new rules are annoying, Mr Archer. Personally I ignore them. I am in this just for the pleasure of writing about subjects I care about. I do not think it is dying but HubPages is scaring away many good writers. I agree with Old Poolman. The bean counters and Google are driving this. It is all about money and not love of writing.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Mike - My guess is that Hub Pages was taken over by the "bean counters" who can see no further than the bottom line on a balance sheet. I gave up trying to learn the new ways and just quit writing on Hub Pages.

      All of the changes have to do with making every hub that is written Search Engine Friendly.

      A huge number of my favorite writers have left and gone elsewhere. Others that used to write almost daily are down to once a week or less. I would guess that the "bean counters" don't understand that the hubs we write at no cost to them is the only thing they have to sell. They may someday learn that all of the changes they have made will come back to bite them in the butt.

      Remember when Coke came on the market with New Coke? It was a total failure as I recall. Why make changes when the product you have is selling very well?

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

      I joined and had just figured out how to mtake some money and everything changed. That was two Google changes ago.

      I feel with the the new changes as if I am in romper room, that is a very structured environment which is why most writers are not here.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      K. I'll have to check you out!

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      same as here all lower case letters. mrarcher

      Earnings are at just under $4 to date.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Hmmm. What's your bubblews link? If you don't mind my asking, how much have you earned there?

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      That is exactly what I am talking about. My hubs are saying the same as your with regard to "what's wrong" with them.

      I am exploring bubblews at this time for no other reason than curiosity. I have 13posts, have a little over 250 views, am "connected" with no one, and have made more there in the past ten days than I have in the past two months at Hubpages. I do not particularly like the format, but it is an exercise in a very short format style of writing, requiring only 400 words per post.

      I no longer worry about the money, I merely mention it as an aside. What I do worry about is the freedom to write how I want, about what I want, in the manner I so choose without restrictions that are being set forth on me.

      I too wish HP would quit fixin' what ain't broke!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Mike, when I post I choose the article format. That allows me to pull in additional text capsules as I choose. Same with photos, videos and polls. At least that's the way it was when I last posted, which was July 15th. I also went back to over 50 of my hubs that weren't featured and tweaked them. They became featured, however, the other day I was notified that one of my previously featured hubs was taken off the cycle due to lack of engagement. I went in and added a poll and now it's been deemed unfeatured due to (lack of) quality. As far as hub scores go, according to the latest newsletter they sent out, our hub scores now reflect the average of the scores of our hubs - not participation in forums, comments and questions as it has been up until now. I have the lowest hub score I've ever had in my nearly 2 years with HP.

      I've seen a lot of hubbers move over to Bubblews. I have no interest in moving. I'll just keep on truckin' here at HP where I've met friends for life. As for making money, I just this past month made the $50 mark. Hopefully, I'll see notification from PayPal that a deposit has been made to my account. I'm obviously not here for the money. I was in the beginning, tho. If nothing else, I've learned to stay away from pay per click sites when I'm looking for freelance work. I hope HP quits fixin' what ain't broke, cuz I love the freedom to be creative on this site. If they start implementing too many rules, they'll take the creative out of creative writing and they'll lose some talented writers, which if they think about it, directly affects HP's bottom line.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      It is strange, this Hubpage issue. I just checked your home page a few moments ago and saw that you created a new Hub article some 12 hours ago. I did not receive notification of it. I went back and checked my inbox on my email, searching for something and there is nothing there. Don't understand...

      As to this, I tend to think like you do - I don't need these templates, these boxes to fill in. Is it because we actually learned how to write in the good old days? Those in school today may not have that luxury so require this to write in an understandable manner.

      I will continue to check in now and again, primarily to view my friends here such as yourself. By the way, I saw your Hubber score was the same as mine: 88. If ANYONE here deserves a higher score it is you. What did they do? How do we go from a 98 or 99 to an 88 overnight? What is their criteria now?

      Anyway, good wishes, prayers, and thoughts to you and Bev. As a side note I have to say I now know how you feel living in the Northwest. Since April 18, we have AVERAGED a quarter of an inch of rain a day!! I haven't watered my garden in weeks! The pickles keep coming when they should be dead by now. 150 quarts and counting canned so far...

      Be safe my good friend. Stay safe and sane!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Mike!

      I don't know if it is dying. I know they have lost a great many veterans. I'm in the process of cutting way back from HP, for the reasons you mentioned. Writing is not templates and planned blocks and it is ridiculous to think it is....besides, I was never very good at following rules. LOL I'll follow my favorites and my friends here but my writing here will be greatly curtailed by the end of August.

      Have a great week buddy.