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Is Hubpages Dying?
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?
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.