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Please Don't Hate Me Because I Visited the Dark Side

Updated on July 16, 2009

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


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    • privateye2500 profile image

      privateye2500 8 years ago from Canada, USA, London

      There are hundreds of communities similar to hubpages.

      I am sure each one would make a hub in and of itself. Maybe that is what you should do.

      Then you will end up with a book! lol

      I recently tried out a couple new ones myself I'd never heard of...but for me; HUB is home.

      It's like I have a favorite grocery store, but once in awhile I'll go shop somewhere else; just for a change.

      it can give you ideas too.

      Happy barreling! (WHAT a strange name!) so - barrel away is what i say. lol

      OH Ya - and you are really good at headlines - I would have never even seen this hub if it had not been for your darkside headline.

    • Mia Mamma profile image

      Mia Mamma 8 years ago from Always Online

      Your hub is informative, thank you for taking the time to write it. What I don't get is why do you feel like you're "betraying" this community if you published 100 barrels or whatever other pages with other similar services?

      Regarding the fact that InfoBarrel has too many ads on a page, please don't get me wrong, but I have the same impression here, on HubPages - on this very page there are five adsense ad blocks and one Amazon capsule.

      Regarding the real person judging your work: I'd feel better if I knew that there was somebody who'd keep those spammers away, because I don't want to publish any of my writings on the same site with thousands of pages full of keyword stuffed non-sense materials.

      Besides, there's editorial control on HubPages, too. Some time ago I've started a hub, wrote about one paragraph and published it before having the chance to add more content. After a while, I've got the message that my hub is poor quality and in danger to be flagged (or something like this, I can't remember the exact terminology). Poor quality? What if my intention were to write a haiku as a hub?

      I agree that at first sight infobarrel has a more cluttered look. I've just joined it after reading your hub, so I'm yet to publish something in there, to see how the other things feel.

    • profile image 8 years ago

      It's difficult to know why you don't feel right somewhere else but it's not difficult to know you don't feel right there!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Yes, my heart is here. It's more fun here.

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 8 years ago from South Carolina

      Cool information, I didn't know you could be a traitor, to thine own self be true.  Never heard of the barrel, but I love Hubpages.  I see your heart and keyboard are here as well.