Proposal for "Redux System" on Hubpages
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.
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.
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.