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Proposal for "Redux System" on Hubpages

Updated on June 24, 2016
Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin tries to maintain an active position in the Hubpages writing community.



Basically what I’m proposing here is a system where blogs that have been dropped from their featured status can be revived with an accompanying blog that gives an overview and critical insight by the author about the no longer featured blog, as well as a link to said blog, in the hopes of reviving the unfeatured blog’s standing.

I don’t know if I am the first person to come up with such a strategy, nor do I even know if it is a fundamentally sound idea, but I am going to detail how such a system might work in the hopes of garnering your feedback.

Where Did this Idea Come from?

It’s basic marketing. Just to give you an example: let’s say a very long time ago you watched and enjoyed the movie Dr. Strangelove, but for whatever reason, over time the film has fallen out of your conscious thought. Well, you’re watching TV one day and you happen to see that Dr. Strangelove has recently been formatted for Blu-ray. All of sudden you remember how much you enjoyed this film, so you run out and buy it.

You have some friends over to watch the film with you. One friend has never seen it before in her life and enjoys it so much that she runs out to the store the next day and buys her own copy.

Another friend is a big Stanley Kubrick aficionado, has a copy of all his films, and notices that your particular copy is a 25th year anniversary edition with all manner of never before released outtakes and commentary. The result is that this friend decides his old, basic DVD version just isn’t good enough anymore.

A common term in Hollywood for a film that has been brought back or revived in this manner is a "redux." Yes, for you word buffs this old Latin word is technically an adjective, but in this manifestation it is often used as a noun or even a verb. And I think it is a good word for what is proposed, though there is no reason not to consider other terms.

And you don’t just see redux in Hollywood. You also see it in literature: anniversary editions, special author editions, and you even see some books being remarketed because of a cult following that just doesn’t seem to die.

I think this is a good idea for blogging because so many good blogs die on the vine (for a number of reasons that we’ll explore later) and never reach their potential. I also believe that a redux of the blog, or blog series, is often better served by publishing an accompanying article than simply deleting the blog and publishing it again.

Anything can be repackaged and made new again.
Anything can be repackaged and made new again. | Source

Why I Believe Redux through an Accompanying Blog is best:

One reason I don’t think it is always the best idea to just delete an unfeatured article and republish it on the same or another blogging site to revive it is that you open yourself up to being beaten on the market by a plagiarist. Let’s say someone has copied the story you’ve revived and presented it as his or her own. You unpublish yours and republish it. The plagiarist’s version has 500 hits and your new version has 5. Who winds up looking like the plagiarist?

Another reason for doing a complementary blog redux is that it makes life easier in the case of a series. For example, would you rather write a complimentary 1,000 word blog to revive a 20 installment novella or republish all 20 parts?

And what if a year or two later this same series falls out of the collective conscious again? Repackage it with a new complementary blog.

In addition, there is following to consider: if you republish the story on a new site, you’re probably back to square one. If you republish it again on the same site, followers might think you’re trying to pull a fast one. But if you try to revive it with an accompanying blog, followers that have been with you since the beginning know just what you’re doing, and maybe it reminds them how much they enjoyed the blog, and they come back to read it. In addition, followers that were not with you when you first published it might take an interest in this blog they would have otherwise missed.

Anatomy of a Good Redux Candidate:

What makes a good candidate for redux: just any article that has lost its featured status? Actually, no. Some articles have an arc, and when that arc is over, it’s pretty much over. For example, if you write an article about a regular season matchup between the Spurs and Cavs in 2013, that is an article with a short arc. Yes, you might get a lot of hits for a few weeks, but once it’s done, it’s done. No reason to revive an article like this after you’ve gotten your initial return.

You need to revive articles that don’t go out of style. To me one very good candidate for this sort of revival is a story, especially a long story. For example, if I go through with my plans, the first work I’m going to redux is the “Melvin Haggins” series, a longish story I wrote a while back.

The reasoning for this is that unlike things that are topical, if we enjoy a story, we tend to come back to it from time to time. We don’t tend to come back to an article telling us a new zoo just opened down the street. Once we learn the new zoo opened, we know it’s open and can choose to go there if we want to; the article has lived out its function.

The function of a story is never ending, and if a story interests us once, it will likely interest us again on down the road. In addition, when we read a good story, we tend to pass that information onto friends.

Another reason why I would choose to redux this “Melvin Haggins” series is that when I published it I had maybe 20 followers. It never had a chance. Now I have around 350 followers. If I can get eyes on the story again, it will do much better, and if a few years from now I have 1,500 followers and redux it again, it will do even better than that. In addition, Hubpages now has vertical sites. If I can generate enough buzz, I might be able to get the series moved to a niche site like Letterpile, where it could find additional success.

Has the internet ruined competent criticism?
Has the internet ruined competent criticism? | Source

How to Structure an Accompanying Blog:

These accompanying blogs can be structured however our creative minds find pleasing, but I’d like to suggest a standardized titling system. For example, if we go with the term redux, maybe the title would read something like this: “Melvin Haggins” Redux, or “Melvin Haggins” Reboot, or whatever term we choose to use. The point is if we have a standardized terminology and title format, other Hubpages bloggers immediately know what the purpose of the article is.

It also goes without saying that we have a link within the redux article to the blog we’re attempting to revive.

As far as content, like any Hubpages blog, it needs to be composed of original, quality material. Here is an example for format: it opens with an overview of the concepts in the blog you’re attempting to revive and perhaps a rating: G, PG, PG-13, etc, followed by some author insight to pique the interest of newcomers. Next you might have a “spoiler alert” warning for those who haven’t read the story you’re reviewing yet and then a summary that might entice people who have read the story in the past to revisit it.

Why Can’t We Redux Other People’s Work?

Here’s another idea: what if from time to time we wrote reviews of stories on Hubpages that we enjoyed. For example, I’m really enjoying Bill Holland’s When the Corn Died. What’s to stop me from writing a review of that work? I’m not suggesting a “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” system here. We have plenty of that. If you do your job as a critic, it is important to find fault where you see fault. I’m just saying, why aren’t we writing reviews of fellow Hubbers’ works?

Just as an example, Mel Carriere is a fabulous reviewer. Why doesn’t he and others with that skill set occasionally review the creative works of other Hubbers? I know the short answer to that question is that you run the risk of alienating followers, but the upside to a creative writing system where we occasionally publish reviews of one another is quite substantial.

And just to clarify, the comments at the ends of articles are not reviews. For the most part they’re just well wishing, and that is fine, but we really need the legitimacy of proper criticism if we want to elevate our writing family. The main boon to a real, honest-to-goodness review system is that it would legitimize our so often maligned writing format.

Will Hubpages Allow a Redux System?

Here’s another legitimate question: is it overly self-promotional to do something like a redux which I’ve detailed here according to Hubpages’ bylaws. I don’t believe so, as long as such a system isn’t abused. It’s certainly not unoriginal material, unless book reviews are unoriginal material.

What do you guys think?

I Want your Feedback:

I intend to go ahead with a “Melvin Haggins” Redux article within the next couple of days. I’d really like to know how you guys feel about this redux system, and I mean that. So many times I come on here with strong feelings about a topic. In this case I have strong feelings about a redux system, but I’m not so married to any of these ideas that it will hurt my feelings if you think it’s all a bunch of nonsense.

Let me know how you feel.


How do you feel when an article you've written becomes unfeatured?

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4.5 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of this idea.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 16 months ago from Oklahoma

      Gilbert: just some ideas. Probably never come to pass.

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 16 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Very helpful tips and advice, Larry.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Happy Mommy: I appreciate the feedback.

    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 22 months ago from East Coast

      I like your idea and this is a very well written article. I have had a few Hubs that have done pretty well but after a year or two have "died." I am going to take your advice. I look forward to reading more of your work!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 23 months ago from Central Florida

      I have a feeling HP would consider it over-promotional to write a hub pointing to one (or more) previously written ones that have fallen in traffic. They'll just tell us to revamp them, as they have all along.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 23 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I think it's definitely a good thought. In order to get a genuine feel for it, we must try it, and see where it goes.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 24 months ago

      Your suggestion is good but not sure the site would have the resources (money) to follow up with it. A redux system would be highly beneficial to all writers.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I agree , Larry, the comments, forums etc are more like the traditional blog. I keep reading that HubPages is to be viewed like an online magazine, whereas blogs are people's personal accounts of their views, daily activities etc. some of us do treat it like a blog. I am as guilty as anyone with my "Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer" series.

      I am continuing to follow this article because I find the discussion interesting and I want to see how much support you get for this great idea.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Jodah: just a funny tidbit. One of my first hubs to win hub of the day was called "An Overview of Quality in Blogging," and it was about hubpage writing. This was less than 2 years ago, lol. Things change quick.

      Sorry to go on, but nomenclature within a field has always fascinated me. To me, our articles are too involved to be blogs, but these comments we do and question and forums, that's more like what I think of as blog level writing.

      Thanks again for the discussion.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Jodah: that's my mistake. In the grand scheme of things, what we do is still a relatively new thing. "Blogging," I suppose, has become what is sometimes called a "skunked term," because there is so much truly awful writing out there under the blog terminology.

      It's actually a relief to me. Personally I've always preferred more traditional terms like "article" and "creative work." I don't really care for newfangled terms like "lens."

      In the future I'll refrain from the term unless I am specifically talking about blogging. Whether or not I go back in and change the term in already written articles will depend on time.

      Thanks for following the hub.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Just one thing, Larry. HubPages (and many of the community) don't like us referring to our articles/hubs as blogs or this as a blogging site. Cheers.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Donna: that works, and I've actually done that before, but it isn't always ideal.

      For example, with creative works and series you don't rewrite those if they're the way you want them. I remember when I first came to HP they tolerated creative writing, but without coming right out and saying it, I think it was frowned upon.

      In this last year that attitude has really changed. I'm not saying a redux system like this is just for creative writing, but it is the prototypical candidate.

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 24 months ago from North Carolina

      Your hub brings up some very good points. While I'm not sure that HP would be good with the links it provides, the redux idea is new twist on an old-fashioned writing strategy. In the old days, writers would take their old articles and look for a new perspective on the same topics. Thus, while not reusing the article, we were able to use the research from one article multiple times with completely different results. Thanks for the hub!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Just want to say this article has struck more of a chord than I thought it would. Really figured it was just going to be one of those blogs had a handful of hits and a few hollow responses.

      The responses have been wonderful. Please keep them up. I love responding to your comments, but feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Creativearts2009: I'm aware of the editing trick to get things refeatured, and I often employ it, but what I'm talking about here goes beyond that. Some sort of system that would infuse old stories with new marketing energy.

      I had a similar thing happen with an Editor's Choice Article. The biggest reason I feel it fail off and lost its standing was that it just didn't generate enough readers.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Norlawrence: thanks for dropping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Misfit Chick: some very thought provoking commentary. First off, writers on this site are as a whole far too sensitive. I used to be that way, but my new attitude is any publicity is good publicity, and what other people say can't hurt me. Grow up and be professional!

      That said, I'm not endorsing unwarranted meanness with a peer review system, just some manner of integrity in the critique system. Without that, there is nothing for would be readers to judge quality off of.

      I'm not as low on HP as a lot of folks. I think they do many things quite well, but you're right, why spend money on a system when we might be able to do the same job collectively better than a machine?

    • creativearts2009 profile image

      Cecelia 24 months ago from Australia

      When I have time, I re-edit some of my older hubs. Sometimes I can improve them. This gets them re-featured. You do not have to create a link to them. Your profile also gives you the option of choosing some hubs to feature. I mark my most signature hubs, which are my older ones. As long as I have a recent hub to draw attention to my profile, I'm covered. What I am sad about, was I had an "Editor's choice" once. It was removed when I didn't log in for a while. Surely the quality of the subject matter did not drop just because I wasn't advertising myself during that time? It is hard work getting a good idea for a fresh hub.

    • norlawrence profile image

      Norma Lawrence 24 months ago from California

      I think it would be a great idea. Never thought of it. I do not do well here at Hub Pages for some reason. I think you idea would help a lot of people.

    • Misfit Chick profile image

      Catherine Mostly 24 months ago from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD

      Yeah, a lot of us have already given HP some really great ideas that are more streamlined and make more sense to fix/revitialize this site - including using other hubbers for cheap, no-cost 'peer help' from those willing to help with things like editing. Not all of us are incapable of doing that without being obtuse about it; and hubbers need to stop being so incredibly sensitive about their writing. Professional writers certainly can't be - criticism is part of being a 'professional'.

      HP isn't interested in what we have to say about any of this. They obviously prefer to do things the hard, backwards and much more expensive way. For instance, this is what the new 'snipping' feature was supposed to be for when it was originally posted - to improve hubs that were 'almost' able to be featured or were in danger of becoming unfeatured. But instead, they have used 'snipping' on the best articles to trim the Amazon capsules out of them so they can move them over to their new 'niche sites' where those ads are not wanted. Sorry to tell you that this was a great idea - but a complete waste of time. HP does not care what we think or what our opinions are - it is THEIR site to do with as they please. They have made that clear.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      FlourishAnyway: you make an additional good point. It isn't just about stories that are unfeatured, but also ones that are good yet low census. How do we give them a boost?

      If it's just a matter of getting an unfeatured article featured again, I think all you have to do is go in and change around some pictures or something like that, but how do we get quality articles that didn't make it or have just been forgotten the attention they deserve?

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Kylyssa: thanks so much for the feedback. I've been blogging for over 2 years now and there is still so much I don't know about the art and science of interpreting Google.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

      I hear you. There are some of my earlier hubs that were well written and researched but they are now basically lost in the shuffle, not unfeatured just low profile. I occasionally edit them but meh.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 24 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I can't say it works that way for HubPages with certainty, but it has worked that way with the business websites and charities I have as clients. They have all gained substantially more Google visits to their sites once the content on their sites reached a kind of critical mass even though they each tend to have only a handful of pages that get most of their views. There also seem to be levels of critical mass, too. They get past a certain amount and then the Google views pick up substantially and when they make further increases in content volume, those views increase again.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Kylyssa: that's useful and interesting information I didn't know. Again, I'm not an expert on this stuff. You're contending that when we unfeature grammatically sound and media rich articles, regardless of if they're being hit a lot or not, HP's internet presence is impacted negatively?

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Kylyssa: I think it's a matter of moderation. If we pollute HP with an avalanche of what essentially winds up being a self promotion campaign, yeah, they're going to throw a fit, and I don't blame them, but if we write an occasional article with critical insight into a story or series we've written to revive it, I hardly see how that goes against the spirit of our site, mainly because it still serves as an original work, at least within my understanding of the bylaws.

      I'm not trying to act like an authority here, because I think the rules are gray enough that none of us are, including HP, loL. They might come down like the hammer of Thor, lol. But I'm not seeing anything malicious in trying.

      Do actual HP workers ever chime in on stuff like this?

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 24 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I believe that unfeaturing grammatically correct, substantial content is self-sabotage on HubPages' part. Google assigns value to the presence of large quantities of substantial, well-written content on a single site, whether each and every page of said content gets lots of Google searches or not. High quality material adds to the value of the site and it affects reader perception of a site positively.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      It doesn't make sense for hubs that are well written and evergreen in spectrum to just die and stay dead for no better reason than when we wrote them it was a bad time for them to flourish.

      My interpretation of the bylaws doesn't indicate to me that any aspect of this proposal would be considered an affront to our established system.

      But I would like more feedback.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 24 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      As long as you are reviewing the work of other writers, HubPages really shouldn't be able to call it overly-promotional. I think they'd crack down on it if we revisited our own work, though.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Jodah mentioned an interest in a review system. Again, I feel like there was a negativity amongst readers to how HP will respond. My feelings is they won't respond at all.

      I think I'm just going to write a critical review of one of my coworkers. I really think it will be that simple. A few ground rules I'll have for myself: I'm only going to review works that reach a certain level of quality in writing. In other words, if I review you, that means you can write. And my reviews will have integrity. I'm not going to pull any punches, nor am I going to be critical for the sake of being critical.

      I'm telling you guys, legitimate writer reviews would help this site.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Peoplepower: revisited is a fine term. I'm partial to redux because I came up with it, lol. I think if we really did this sort of thing, a list of terms and a vote would be in order. Still in our infancy stages.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      I'm getting lot's of interesting feedback here. One of the more prevalent sentiments is an overarching negativity towards the perceived receptiveness of Hubpages to an idea like this.

      I really am not seeing that HP would shoot down such an idea. Again, an article overviewing your own work, with author insights: it doesn't go against any principals that I see. It's an original work.

      As for reviewing the work of other Hubbers, I certainly see no conflict. We can do book reviews, right? Well, it's just a book review.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll tell you what is wrong with your idea, Larry: it's good! HP won't listen or consider it because, well, they are too busy making incredibly short-sighted business moves and they don't listen to the writers.

      Gee, I hope that didn't sound too cynical of me. :)

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 24 months ago from Placentia California

      I think it's a great idea, but I'm not sure how Hub Pages and Google feel about self-promotion of articles with links back to the original article. I do know that many of my evergreen articles have died on the vine, even though they are still relevant. However, HP may go for the review of others stories and articles. I would be willing to try it. How about instead of "redux" use "revisited?"

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 24 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I think this is a great idea. However, I highly doubt HubPages would go along with it. They don't seem to understand what motivates writers so I don't think they'd "hear" this in the way it's intended.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Larry, this idea for a "redux" system has a lot of merit. I have never heard the term personally as I am always trying to revamp my older or un-featured hubs and think of ways to get my newer followers to read them.

      I really like the idea of reviewing other hubbers stories etc. but as you say you need to give honest criticism, not just praise, and that could alienate the author of the piece you choose to review. I think I read your Melvin Haggins series but I'd be interesting in reading your redux of it.


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