Sources for Writing Hubpages Articles.
Finding Sources for Writing Hub Articles.
The most difficult aspect of producing readable, entertaining and informative articles for Hubpages is finding new sources. This is much easier for working journalists, because they are reporting on the news as it occurs and are exposed to new events daily, either by being directed by the editor; having a regular "beat," or by thrashing the bushes of their community and scaring-up stories.
Hubbers would appear to have some sources immediately available. They can do first-person stories on their life and times; on their homes, gardens and what they make in their kitchens, or what they do at their work. Some fortunate hubbers are in professions, such as the medical field, etc., and they can use this to produce appealing, popular articles. Or others can comment on the news stories of the day, adding from what has gone before; what may lie ahead, or what they have seen in their own experiences.
They can. like regular reporters, do what our journalists in the first paragraph have to do, get out and report stories, people and happenings that they come across in the local area, or, as is often successfully done in Hubs, on their travels. Travel stories, if they can avoid tourist fluff, are some of the most popular reporting for publication in any journal or medium.
The trouble with being a real reporter, putting in the time and effort and writing for the internet, is no one is going to give you a salary. Well, few have that luck. So you are doing it all for love of your craft - writing - and/or gambling you will make enough from Adsense, Amazon and Ebay advertisements, etc., to justify your time and expense. Of course, it might be a matter of options rather than choices: if no one is offering you a staff writer's job - and good one's are like hen's teeth in today’s market unless you are a jolly old chap from Oxbridge - but you do want to make it as a writer, then your own website, Hubpages, or the other sites might be a good (and the only) way to start.
Then we come to the certainty a huge percentage of hubbers must source quite legitimate articles from other people's work without committing the cardinal sin of plagiarising. You can't obviously select a large chunk from a Wikipedia article, etc., and download it verbatim onto your article. Hubpages watchdogs would pick it up in a second and you would get warned...it's amazing what they do latch onto as well! I once downloaded a piece of text without making changes from an obscure Mexican website and, bugger me if they didn't catch me out right away...and serve me right, too!
So that's number one, you cannot use another's text in the way they have written it, nor can you use their flow of thought and ideas that provide the bones of their work and write your story with different words to the same plan, (you might escape detection doing the latter, but it‘s not on). But you can get a lot of good ideas from what they have written about and develop it in other ways, adding your own meat, either from your personal experience, or in sourcing other information from the internet or other books. And as much you find on the internet particularly is in note form, or extremely brief, you can put it into flowing, meaningful prose. I mean, there is little really new under the sun, unless you are on the cutting edge, which means you becoming a working, investigative journo and writing completely new stuff.
You can put quotes from other's work into your story - it adds to the authenticity of the information - but they have to be credited to the person or institution that produced them. Same with photos, and many of us - including myself - get lazy about attributing pictures; this lassaiz faire attitude might arrive to bite us in the bum one day, (especially likely if you are perceived as becoming a success and your stories are getting a lot of attention and photogs see their beloved snaps adorning your story!).
I have found good sources are in all these little books you find in the library or in charity shops, such as those from "New Scientist" publishing the many opinions of the erudite among the public on all sort of weird and perplexing subjects - like "What Eats Wasps?" and "Why Don't Penguin's Feet Freeze?" The questions are easily answered (if you know what and why) but the answers lead onto all sorts of other possible stories on wasps, penguins, etc., etc. What these little gems do if you have any imagination at all, (and you'd better if you want to write) is KICK-START YOUR BRAIN INTO THE CREATIVE MODE...and give you ideas to follow through on.
A popular hubber just mentioned the other day that she thinks not a few articles on Hubpages have been copied from other hubs and published under the sinner’s names. She said that hubpages seem to eventually catch them and remove them, but that they seem to survive for far too long. Shame that anyone would do that to their fellows in the community. But there is always some weeds in the flower bed. And I have seen that many articles have been copied from the original source without much change and I expect they have been flagged. Writers publishing a lot of travel articles need to be careful if they haven’t actually been to the places they write about. It’s not impossible, but you need the slippery skills of a Mandleson to avoid being detected for plagiarising, which you would have had to have done.
Some wise old bloke once said that a few hundred years ago one man could store the sum total of human knowledge in his brain. But today, one man couldn’t know and store all the facts known about one blade of grass. Human knowledge has grown so exponentially that it has become a feast for writers. There are a billion stories everywhere you look, and a million ways to write about them. Publishing your articles on them is competitive and the internet is becoming an information mob- scene, yet there seems some left for everyone. Like the universe, it started with a big bang and may expand indefinitely. Even if someone beats you to any given subject, there are things they might have missed and there’s still some meat left.
A huge part of producing internet articles is that you are writer, proof-reader, editor and desk-top publisher. You also have the power to continually edit, update, add-to, catch mistakes and polish your work even as it is out there to read. This gives you tremendous scope and control over the finished article, although it can be intimidating at first. Younger writers benefit a lot because they are computer savvy in most cases, and this helps to give them the innate skills to download all the bells and whistles to their hubs. It also helps guide them through the intricacies of advertising on their articles, a labyrinth that leaves this writer in baffled fury!
I would be interested - as I am sure other readers would be - to see just how many contributors source articles: there must be many ways I have missed.