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The Origin Story of HubPages

Updated on July 15, 2015

What is HubPages?

HubPages is a community writing website where people contribute one-page articles called “Hubs.” Hubs are long-format, media-rich pages covering a wide variety of topics. People who write on HubPages are affectionately known as “Hubbers.” Hubbers are able to share in the revenues generated on the site from advertisements and affiliate commissions.

Me at the Bicycle Storage office space
Me at the Bicycle Storage office space

HubPages

The HubPages Garage
The HubPages Garage

The Story of HubPages

In January of 2006, Paul Edmondson, Jay Reitz, and Paul Deeds left their families and fiancés behind and moved into a three level house that already had a cat. The house, located in Berkeley, California is under construction, but that didn't stop us from setting up shop in the garage. No, this is not a sitcom, or wait, maybe it is.

Let me introduce you to the characters. Me, Paul Edmondson, I started this thing while working in a bike storage closet with no windows in San Luis Obispo, California. They say the lack of sun can make you do crazy things, and nothing is as crazy or exciting as starting a new company. My role was to come up with the idea and raise money to keep it going. I'm 50% there. Updated: We just completed a series A investment from Hummer Winblad, but it turns out I'm no where near done

Jay is one of the two engineers. With a high set of standards, not limited to how his coffee is prepared, Jay has supplied a tremendous amount of the javascript that makes the Hub tool function, and is also good for a dry side comment now and then.

Paul Deeds is the other half of the engineering. Known to be the fastest typist in the room, he hammers out the object model, and uses his gifted eye to tune the UI of the site. When he's not coding he may listen to the blues, or the Kid From Brooklyn.

Frodo the Cat is a large cat. For whatever reason, Frodo took a liking to our couch and my bed. And when I say liking, I mean he likes to pee on them frequently. After cleaning and flipping my mattress we had to retire it to the dump along with the couch.

We eat frequently at two neighborhood restaurants. Mehak for lunch is an all you can eat Indian buffet. It's responsible for a few extra pounds on me. The owner smiles and waves at us, but I can't remember him ever saying a word, even though he's there every time we come to eat. The Lane Splitter is a little bit more of a walk, but a favorite for late night pizza and beers. We've had a few memorable nights at the Lane Splitter. Most recently when a very large lady locked herself in the bathroom with her suitcase and the waitress became very upset and picked the lock. She opened the door with the lady sitting on the toilet and told her to leave. She didn't leave. I suggested she take her suitcase. It worked. The very large lady came storming out. Yelling very loudly. None of us were quite sure why she needed to be in the bathroom that long, but never-the-less, it made it another eventful evening at the Lane Splitter.

So, after nearly six months of development, one mattress sent to the dump, one couch sent to the dump, countless pots of perfect coffee, many lunches and dinners at Mehaks and the Lane Splitter, we are asking our friends and family to help us create the original footprint of content on Hubpages....To be continued, no doubt, comedy will ensue.

HubPages History

The Original Idea: The original idea for HubPages was conceived in a bicycle storage closet in San Luis Obispo by CEO Paul Edmondson. It was intended to be part Yahoo Answers and part blog. Each post was associated with a question asked by the community. The first comps were made by his brother James Edmondson, and his Father, George Edmondson, wrote the original series of articles and questions on the subject of appliances.

In July of 2006, Hummer Winblad invested $2 million in the HubPages Series A, and Mitchell Kertzman, a partner at HWVP, joined the HubPages Board.

In 2008, Storm Ventures led a $6 million series B round, and Ryan Floyd, a partner from Storm, joined the board of directors.

The AdSense API: In December of 2005 Paul Edmondson signed an agreement to use a then-unreleased product from Google that would enable platforms to share revenue with their contributors. Susan Wojcicki counter signed the agreement from Google.

Adult Content: In 2007, HubPages updated its terms of service to prohibit the posting of adult content to the service. The move was made to ensure the site was safe for advertisers.

Panda: In February of 2011, Google introduced the Panda Algorithm and HubPages lost a significant amount of traffic. In response to Google Panda, HubPages switched the entire site to be organised by subdomains for each Hubber in August of 2011. The hope was that each Hubber would be individually ranked by Google based on the quality of his/her own writing rather than based on the quality of the site as a whole.

HubPro: In 2014, HubPages launched the HubPro program where professional editors review and make changes to existing Hubs as well as commission original illustrations and photography. The program was created to improve the quality of most widely-read pages on HubPages.

Squidoo: August 2014 HubPages acquired assets from Squidoo LLC. Assets included the squidoo.com domain name. Lensmasters continue to own their content and were offered a choice to move content to HubPages.

Questions & Answers

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      • integrater profile image

        Certified Noob 2 years ago

        Got this from the HP twitter feed. Interesting hub. First comment was made 9 years ago !!!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Interesting and informative hub!

        I am glad I found this. Thanks for all the effort and dedication. I enjoy my time at HubPages.

        Thank you, voted up and shared!

      • Dressage Husband profile image

        Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

        The whole Hubpages story should be told in detail and how you have done on those millions put in!

      • David Trujillo profile image

        David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        Continue the story!! How about the first years, first obstacles? first million dollars????

      • afriqnet profile image

        Joe Njenga 4 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

        Very inspiring story of how HubPages came to be. Its encouraging to those of us who want to be part of this community for a life time. Thank you

      • movielardatadare profile image

        movielardatadare 5 years ago from Texas

        Wow! I'm going to use your timeline as a skeleton in starting my own website. Can't wait to implement the ideas that you guys used to make hubpages so awesome. My venture should be able to have at least 5% of the success that you guys have had--thanks a million for this wonderful blog.

      • Sinea Pies profile image

        Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

        I love to hear the story behind the success. Cannot thank you and the team enough for HubPages!

      • ezhang profile image

        Edward Zhang 6 years ago from Bay Area, CA

        The history of HubPages, this hub should be featured in the blog or something!

      • lakeerieartists profile image

        Paula Atwell 6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

        I just read this for the first time. Great story. :) I will read on. . .

      • Ari Lamstein profile image

        Ari Lamstein 6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

        @ped, I think that HubPages should implement a "follow" feature for hub comments, so that people like deeds can follow comments on hubs like this one. Without this feature I'm going to have to email him this link, or ask him in person, which seems like *such* a hassle...

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        I don't know. But deeds does.

      • Ari Lamstein profile image

        Ari Lamstein 6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

        What happened to the cat?

      • Storytellersrus profile image

        Barbara 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

        Congratulations on a successful project! Your team did us all a big service and I thank you.

      • kimbrewaa profile image

        kimbrewaa 6 years ago

        So 4 years later and here you are!! WOW, great job with the site, I bet you have experienced things you never would have imagined since the birth of Hubpages. Well, keep up the good work, I am new and I am ADDICTED!! LOL I just really need to learn this "monetizing" process and I should be fine. I love to write but I also love to make money ;) I have a feeling I will be here for a good long while!

      • profile image

        wordsforhire2009 7 years ago

        I WILL write today, and Hubpages is the incentive I need,

        xoxox

      • Kind Regards profile image

        Kind Regards 7 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

        Paul Edmondson, Found this hub through an excerpt from fellow hubber, Chuck. Good reading. Kind Regards

      • elayne001 profile image

        Elayne 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

        No way! I have met one of the founders. My pleasure! Aloha!

      • profile image

        nu2uall 8 years ago

        This is a new experience for me and I am so looking for to being an active part of a creative adventure. Thanx for the invite and the background.

      • frostwind361 profile image

        frostwind361 8 years ago from OKC,Oklahoma

        ITS PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME OOOOOO YAHHHH

      • einron profile image

        einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

        Still behind you all. I am following the story though I do not understand all the jargon used. Hoping to learn. You said I can ask you anything. I still do not really understand how RSS works though I have read what it means. Can you tell me in simple English. Thanks.

      • bgamall profile image

        Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

        Nice story. You and weird Al. SLO is on a roll!

      • darkside profile image

        Glen 9 years ago from Australia

        I love a good backstory!

      • Jerrico Usher profile image

        Jerrico Usher 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

        wow what a great find.. the story of hub pages revealed! any updates? still in the attic? still chasing crazy ladies out of locked bathrooms? do tell..

      • profile image

        Dennis 10 years ago

        Paul, THANK YOU for this wonderful site!! And vehicle for me to reach dog owners with problems. Gratefully, Dennis Fetko, Ph.D., aka "Dr. Dog"

      • Sindicut profile image

        Sindicut 10 years ago

        Thanks for giving us a way to post our opinions!

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        Guru-C, Thank you. We're glad you are enjoying the site.

      • Guru-C profile image

        Cory Zacharia 10 years ago

        I'm so enjoying this means of expression. Thanks for creating such a great site and I wish you incredible success!

      • YoJDawg profile image

        YoJDawg 10 years ago from Arroyo Grande

        i'd like to see some more on how the company is doing and where it is now

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        AskSusanPeters, I'm glad you're enjoying it. You pet pages are great. Thank you for answering my questions about dogs. It's experts like you that make HubPages work.

      • AskSusanPeters profile image

        AskSusanPeters 10 years ago from Oklahoma

        Wow, you guys have really done a good job on this hub thing! You've gotten me addicted. I like the spirit of the thing!

        Susan Peters

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        gooadam, Glad to read your getting great traffic and making a bit of money.

        Good luck on the startup. Let me know if I can help you out with any startup questions.

      • gooadam profile image

        gooadam 10 years ago from san mateo

        I like the extra money. Thanks for the idea bank thing in November. I will try to add more to those later. At least you got the spot in Berkeley, try three guys many miles and states away putting in the work in the evenings. :) Luck on this, great traffic so far. I will contribute more as I can.

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        Hi Rachitha, I'm glad you're enjoying it and I look forward to seeing more of your posts.

      • rachitha profile image

        RACHITHA CABRAL 10 years ago from Mangalore

        Really happy about hub pages.You can express all you want.all i do now when an idea pops in to my mind (even something very trivial)is to write about it in hubpages.Way to go Paul.

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        Madame Sosostris, Thank you for the kind words. We hope you enjoy HubPages and feel free to send us feedback.

      • Madame Sosostris profile image

        Madame Sosostris 10 years ago

        What a marvelous saga! Your hard work and devotion are evident all over the site! Thank you can't wait to see what wondrous works are in store for the future!

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 11 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        We don't allow html now, but we may soon. Thanks for the feedback.

      • armchair birder profile image

        armchair birder 11 years ago from Vancouver, BC

        I like Hub so far. Still playing with the functions.

        Where can I add my own HTML -- which capsule?

        Keep up the good work.

        I am a Grandma and love learning new stuff.

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 11 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        Hi Rovi, Thank you for the feedback. We are listening and incorporating it into the product. Look for more functionality soon.

        Thanks again for the feedback,

        Paul

      • profile image

        rovi 11 years ago

        Its a good idea. I think it will go far. A little bit more functionality, a bit more of a single hub page with ability to add on (al a Blogspot etc), and a little less showing the backend (capsules on the page the public see) and all will be well with the world. love the idea.

      • geek profile image

        geek 11 years ago from Shanghai

        awsome Post, I like Hubpages so far, it's a good way to spend my time,

        keep that up!

      • Paul Edmondson profile image
        Author

        Paul Edmondson 11 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        Thanks Arahorn! Love to hear your feedback on what you would like to be added or improved.

      • Arahorn profile image

        Arahorn 11 years ago from The Entrace

        Nice to get to know everyone!! Loving the site so far, cant wait to watch it develope!!

      • YoJDawg profile image

        YoJDawg 11 years ago from Arroyo Grande

        Hub Pages for life