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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


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 domain name. Lensmasters continue to own their content and were offered a choice to move content to HubPages.


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