Please Don't Hate Me Because I Visited the Dark Side
Please don't hate me... I wrote an article for InfoBarrel dot com...
Please let me explain. Hang with me to the bitter end, then pass judgment on me. After over 100 Hubs and extensive Internet research I gave in to the sirens' call. I wrote a barrel.
Are they called barrels? I dunno. Anyway, I wrote something and stuck it on a HubPages pretender.
I started by creating a new account over there. The account creation process requested my first and last name, address, and other personal information. I was hesitant, but I entered it. Later, I revisited the page and erased all the sensitive info. I left everything blank except my age, gender, email address, and Google ID. InfoBarrel seemed OK with that.
Relative to HubPages, the InfoBarrel interface is much more confusing to navigate. It felt impersonal; HubPages inundates even the casual visitor with profiles of other Hubbers and their current articles. InfoBarrel is more mechanical and impersonal. Links to important operations are much smaller and more difficult to locate on the screen. InfoBarrel seems intent on cramming ads into every crevice on every page at the expense of building any sense of community. HubPages feels much more expansive and welcoming.
Once I got the account created, I waited for my validation email. Smooth sailing there. They liked me!
Creating a barrel is similar to creating hub. The editing tools over there are much more elaborate, however. I get the impression that one could compose a barrel that looked like a typical get-rich-quick web site with incongruous fonts and eye-watering color combinations. I kept it simple; just a few headers and lots of text in simple paragraph format. Hopefully the words would speak for themselves.
So I finished my screed. I wrote about 1000 words on a relatively controversial subject. I
wasn't looking for trouble but I did want to stir it up a little. I had visions of cultivating a HubPages alter-ego on InfoBarrel. I could vent my literary spleen without polluting my carefully crafted Hubs. It was all good. Perhaps I'd make a buck, perhaps not.
The barrel didn't get published. At least not immediately. It wasn't launched with the traditional flourish that accompanies a brand new Hub Page. it was put on hold. My barrel required vetting by a real person.
Wow. A Real person would be passing judgment on my work? I hadn't expected that. Perhaps the barrel makers don't trust me? I felt self-conscious. How long would this process take? Reading that my article was on hold deflated my ego a bit. The adrenalin rush accompanying a Hub launch was missing. Would my work ever see the light of cyberspace?
A few minutes passed; another email arrived, informing me that my article had been approved and published. Whew. I immediately browsed to it. Without going into too much detail, note that finding your stuff on InfoBarrel is a little more difficult. The interface just feels clunky and obtuse.
My article appeared to be intact. No edits or annotations. So far so good.
Almost immediately I received one well thought-out comment from a reader. It was long and well written. That was cool. He addressed my points and presented his rebuttals without resorting to insults or belittling comments. I enjoyed reading what he wrote. I wrote a grown-up response to his comment. The entire process was fulfilling.
I haven't written any more barrels. I promise. My original composition has been sitting there for over 3 days. One lonely barrel in the cooperage. I visit it often to see if anyone else has commented. No one has. If I ever chose to edit it, I will be again subject to the approval of the InfoBarrel editor fairies. No real time responses to comments at this place.
If you were to browse to my barrel, you would see Google ads. As we know, Google ostensibly serves ads that dovetail with subject matter. After over 3 days, my ads are all barrel related; wIne barrels, barrel making supplies, Crate and Barrel, and barrel racing. No kidding. The obligatory University of Phoenix ad pops up now and then. Only 5 tags are permitted per barrel, but trust me; none of my tags are remotely related to barrels of any type. Nor is the subject of my barrel.
My barrel has recieved over 84 views in only 3 days. It doesn't seem to have produced any Google income, however. I'll keep an eye on it and report back!
Some images may be courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/