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Thoughts on Hubpages Netiquette

Updated on May 1, 2009

I haven’t been around Hubpages for a very long time. In fact, at the time of writing I’ve been here for just shy of three weeks. I’ve been around the internet for a long time, however, and I have learned a great deal about netiquette. Sometimes it is exceptionally easy to figure out the code of conduct and behavior. On my own forum I choose to lay things out quite clearly for members so that there is no confusion. My assumption is that visitors and members are highly intelligent women, but I also know that sometimes a reminder is necessary, especially considering that more and more conservative families are beginning to use the internet and their members might not know what netiquette is.

As is often the case with a community, Hubpages has its own code. Hubpages members receive a lot of slack and the staff doesn’t rule over us with an iron fist. I like that about this site. The staff treats us as the adults that we are and trusts us to resolve our own differences. I have discovered over time on the internet that the more room a community has to grow and develop on their own, the stronger the community will become. And Hubpages remains a strong community. That’s one of the reasons I am happy to consider myself a part of it!

Netiquette and Hub Creation

Having joined in the lively discussions on the Hubpages forums, I have since discovered the fact that it appears that some individuals do not understand the netiquette behind hub creation. Some people are taking the “easy way out” and are copying and pasting their hubs from other sources. Not only is this a gross violation of copyright, but it causes duplicate content (which affects search engine optimization). This appears to be one of the key problems that new hubbers experience.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this “borrowed” content is plagiarism, pure and simple. There is nothing wrong with using an information source to obtain information and to do research. If you are going to do more than blogging here at Hubpages it will probably be necessary at some point for you to do a bit of research. I do quite a bit of research myself. For me, this research is usually done simultaneously while I write a hub. I paraphrase information or relate it to experiential knowledge of which I am in possession. This is how it works for me.

If you don’t know enough about a subject to write an original hub about it, choose another subject or learn how to do effective research without “borrowing” copyrighted content! 

This includes contents that other hubbers have created on Hubpages.

Fanclub Netiquette

One of the first things that I noticed when I joined Hubpages was that I quickly got a few fans. There were some really great people who joined my fan club in those early days, and it made me feel good that there were people who were interested enough in what I had written to become a fan of mine. I wrote a lot in the first week, sometimes as many as five hubs a day. My hub score increased rather quickly, I assume because of the number of hubs that I was creating and the fact that they were getting a fair number of views right from the outset. The higher my hubscore got, the more fans I saw adding themselves to my group.

Who doesn’t love fans? I love seeing that I am climbing so quickly towards 100 fans in my fan club! I am so grateful to the vast majority of you!

You will notice, on the other hand, that I am not a fan of a large group of hubbers. Why not?

The honest truth is because I only have so much time to read during the day. I am a writer here on Hubpages as well as the mother of a young child and a wife. My day is busy. Because I do take the time to read recent hubs by every single one of the hubbers of whom I am a fan, I keep the number of people on my list to a minimum. If I love your hubs, I’ll add you. I will also read your hubs and likely add them to social book marking sites. I don’t always comment, but sometimes that’s just because I don’t have a lot to add.

I feel that I’m doing the right thing. I would prefer not to become a fan of someone who’s hubs I will not read every time that one is published. I try to treat my favorite hubbers with a great deal of respect and I try to do what I can to help them out. I join their fan clubs because I admire them or their work. Perhaps I find them funny or touching. Whatever the case, I really think things through before I add myself to a hubber fan club.

What is not okay, however, is adding yourself to a hubber fan club just in order to receive clicks on your profile and therefore on your hubs. I will usually look at  your profile if you become a fan of mine. I will also usually look at your hubs. My visits, however, aren’t going to help you to make money on Hubpages. Granted, they will certainly boost your traffic, but I can’t help you unless you give me something to which I can link or something that I can bookmark in honesty as something that is related to a personal interest.

Be genuine in your fanning! Don’t join a fan club to boost your own traffic! I find that this is quite honestly counter-productive. If I am interested in your writings, I will very likely find you through other hubbers. If I love what you write, I will probably add myself to your fan club and bookmark your hubs as well. It means a great deal more to me (and other hubbers) if you are genuinely interested in my work when you add yourself to my fan club!

Oh… Yes, I would prefer to have a smaller number of genuine fans than a bigger number of self-promoters!

Comment and Fanmail Netiquette

One of the best and worst things about Hubpages and blogs is the comments feature. I believe that most writers just love to see comments on their hubs. We appreciate knowing that others enjoy what we have written or find it useful, and many of us enjoy discussing our interests (and therefore our hubs).

The same goes for “fan mail.” It’s great to see that someone has left another comment about your profile for others to see, and it’s great to know that you are admired by someone who has added themselves to your fan club. I don’t know about you, but I get a warm feeling every time I am notified of a new comment or fan mail!

There are some great things about comments and fan mail. There are also some nuisances about comments and fan mail.

  • Please do not post "spam mail" to a hubber's account. This type of activity is frowned upon and is very disrespectful to the hubber. As with fanning, you should never post a comment or fan mail purely with the attention to drive traffic to your own profile!
  • Be genuine in your comments. "Nice hub" can feel good to a hubber, but it means a good deal more if you take time to make your comments personal. "I like how you talked about your mother's cooking in this hub."
  • If it appears that the hubber is willing to take feedback, offer it. Discussion is also usually acceptable in comments.
  • Do not use the comments to either flame or troll for flames. Insulting the hubber is a good way to get your comment ignored. Please comment intelligently and appropriately.

Forum Netiquette

I am not going to take this directly from my own forum's netiquette post, but the advice is very similar:

  • Don't flame people or engage in flame wars. If you find yourself becoming highly emotional and/or irrational, it's best to back off. I have recently been put in this position and realize it has taken a change in me, personally, to separate myself from the situation.
  • When reading posts, try to keep in mind that in general, posters don't intend their messages to be a personal attack on an individual. Most forum posters are real people who have the same ability to think and feel that you do. I say "most" because on occasion you will run into a "sock" (essentially a false account with a different member behind it pretending to be someone else).
  • Attack the idea, not the person. If someone says something that upsets you, rather than calling the individual names or making assumptions about their intelligence or lifestyle, counter with your own thoughts and opinions on the subject at hand. Try not to get personal: you probably don't know the person to whom you are speaking, however much you might think you do.
  • Don't troll. People, seriously: Please do not become "that" member of a community who is constantly making defamatory remarks and inciting other people into a flame war. It isn't attractive and it isn't going to make you more popular.
  • It is also very poor netiquette to post simply for the purpose of increasing your forum post count. I have seen this on several occasions. In one case, a member increased her post count by more than 5 thousand posts in the course of three weeks by making double and triple posts. During that time period I managed 500 posts on a forum on which I am very active.
  • I try to always assume that the person to whom I am speaking is intelligent. They might be having a difficult time communicating on a given day, but I consider people intelligent until they prove themselves otherwise.

In the whole, it is a good idea to simply make yourself aware of the fact that a community is a group of people with common interests or ideas and that there are going to be disagreements. Don't consider yourself free to disrupt that community by trolling or flaming people. Treating other individuals with a genuine kindness and respect will get you much further in this and any community than will trolling and flaming!

This hub is a hubnuggets nominee! Please vote in the poll using the link below!
This hub is a hubnuggets nominee! Please vote in the poll using the link below!


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    • msorensson profile image


      6 years ago

      It is the perfect article for me to read at this moment..Thank you.

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 

      8 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Your point about the need for specificity in commenting on other people's hubs is very well taken. There was another hubber who made a similar point in her profile page I think it was; but she was a bit harsher than you.

      Generic comments like "nice hub," or "thought provoking" are like empty calories, if you cannot explain what was nice about it, or what was thought provoking, then perhaps this is a sign that someone is trying to snag hits on their profile, drive traffic to their own hub, and so forth.

      Just hanging out in the forums, you wouldn't beleive the level of anxiety people seem to have over this - its like they have dollar signs for eyes!

      When I first came to hub pages, I was a bit shocked myself to see some of the statistics about what hubbers maintain how many hubs and have hundreds of "followers." But what does it mean to "follow" another hubber (or blogger)? Right?

      I focus on this because it is striking how much we forget once we get out of school. I know folks were taught in their sixth grade English class that saying "something sucks" is not a sufficient critique. Why does it suck, for heaven's sake?

      Its like people regress sometimes

    • charanjeet kaur profile image

      charanjeet kaur 

      9 years ago from Delhi

      This is another great hub, very detailed and to the point. I am impressed with your speed you sure are my inspiration to do more on hubpages man you really have made it big in such a less span of time. I love that you have shared your secrets for other hubbers and which makes you a better hubber for me. Cheers for many more to come ***this is no spam*** hahahah just a pointer lol

    • Choke Frantic profile image

      Choke Frantic 

      9 years ago from Newcastle, Australia

      Thanks for the tips, alot of people still need to know how to act on the net.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      I am generally *very* busy on Hubpages and don't often leave fan mail. I'm also ridiculously guilty of not commenting on every hub that I read (though I always try to respond on my own hubs). You might notice that I often post a hub a day -- each hub takes about four hours to write. So yes, I'm pretty busy on here ;)

      I get fan mail. Not a ton of it (I certainly don't have 157 pieces of fan mail!), but enough to tell me that people actually appreciate what I've written.

      It's odd though, when I fan someone I almost always leave a comment on a hub saying that I've done it... I need to rethink that one lol

    • SEM Pro profile image

      SEM Pro 

      9 years ago from North America

      Yes, thanks EM. Just posted a forum question concerning the nature of fan mail too. If everyone left an actual message, why they did so would be more easily revealed. If impressed, I think we could all help each other out tremendously with recommendations. Hope you have the time to add your thoughts too - I'd love to hear them on there.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      The way you're fanning is fine. The big "no no" is "I'll fan you if you fan me." There is honestly no point in that -- you want your hubs to get read, not just to see your fan list get bigger.

      I hope that makes sense!

    • SEM Pro profile image

      SEM Pro 

      9 years ago from North America

      Wonderfully readable and you seem very genuine and likable EM :) I too am new and initially just wanted to share some of the pearls I'd been blessed to learn with the world. Once I started to cruise around, and some of the amazing fellow hubbers started to connect, I realized hp was more than simply a spot to publish, but a community I wish I'd found years ago. I've become a fan to a few simply on some of the witty comments they've made on the forums. Becoming a fan puts them on my agenda to read their work whenever I can squeeze in some time to do so. Is that improper netiquette? You seem more versed than I on other sites and in general - thus, I look forward to your response (and reading more of your work too). Congrats on your nomination - it's well earned.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Debby, the truth is that a lot of the hubs have been "fixed." There are still a few very short ones, but I was churning them out in the beginning. I hadn't written in a long time and writing for a writer is like breathing :) It felt good to get a good breath of fresh air again, if you understand where I'm coming from.

      Now it is taking me about four hours to complete a decent hub. I am about to start working on what I hope will be some unique historical hubs (probably not seen anything like it in these parts before) and those will most likely take closer to ten hours apiece. Still working on the Wordpress articles, too. Just feeling... Meh.

      I look back and ask the same question: How did I ever write that many. There are a few other newbies who did the same and I'm shocked at how they keep up with the pace. I've decided that if I can't even do one a day I'll survive and just work on what I have going. It all works out well in the end.

      Thanks for visiting!

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      9 years ago

      You have done amazingly well on Hubpages in a very short amount of time. Your articles are well written and easy to read, with many good points. How did you figure all this out? It takes me 4-6 hours to write just one hub. How could you write 5 in a day? Yikes!

      I agree with much of what you say. It must all be authentic original work on hubs and I always treat everyone with respect.

      in health


    • Muse Peggy profile image

      Muse Peggy 

      9 years ago

      Hi EM - it is late. Your writing impresses me so I just read 2 of your posts and a bit of a 3rd but honestly the technical part was more than my brain could process right now so I'll check it out another time when the synapses are synapsing ;) I am new to blogging and didn't totally understand all the 'networking' aspects but did notice that someone was a 'fan' the first day on my blog but her blog didn't have much to do with anything I was truly interested in so I didn't become her fan and later saw that she 'unfanned' herself if that is the proper vernacular. Maybe she was trying to use that to move traffic to her site I don't know as this is all pretty new to me. Thanks for this hub as it sheds a little light for me. I'll do my very best to write with integrity and sincerity and read and research as much as I possibly can. Keep up the beautiful writing - hopefully I can read some of your older posts and keep up with the new ones.

    • kea profile image


      9 years ago

      Great information! I'm new too to hubpages and I've come to similar conclusions. There seems to be this mandatory reciprocity thing going on sometimes. I notice it on twitter too. Like you, though, I read the other person's stuff to see if I like it and become a fan, accordingly! Stay vocal.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      goldentoad, when you offend you do it on purpose. I think that's different. And anyone with a sense of humor takes you for what you are, especially if they have the intelligence to read your hubs and know what you're all about. You've had it rough and you bring a lot to the table, but you're also very off-the-cuff. I like you more and more every time I read your profile and hubs and always feel bad for not commenting because frankly, you hit so close to home.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • goldentoad profile image


      9 years ago from Free and running....

      I like the fact, you pretty much know how to work it. I came in knowing nothing about anything on forum and comment behavior and I am sure I stumbled and offended plenty when I first came around(I'm sure I still offend though). Its good to see you and whikat(newbies) with hubs about hubbing.

      spam/fanners are really annoying and insulting really, but if I see one of my fans posting what has to be stolen articles all day, I quit their list, and hope they go away.

      I've never been on any other site except to see what they are about, but I think most of the pretend article writers are everywhere now. So I guess I have to deal with it, even at hubpages.

      And I would like to mention, Very good hub with lots of honesty.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      @ripplemaker: Thanks! I didn't notice it yesterday when I glanced at the Hubnuggets. Go figure!

      @Lifebydesign: I'm at the point where I can't keep up with fan adds. I notice the number going up but I have to dig through a *lot* of hubtivity to find everybody who has added me. I am not always reciprocal. It really depends on what the person writes about and the quality of their work. I don't want to get notified of something that doesn't interest me, if that makes sense.

      I'm going to be working on that some this weekend, once I'm done catching up on G|M's novels!

      @gamergirl: You know what's funny? The part that really had me upset when I started to write this got left out! I was planning on editing it today and then totally forgot! Oops! I will get to it next week: I was going to talk about the Q&A section and not spamming it!

    • gamergirl profile image


      9 years ago from Antioch, TN

      Nice hub.

      LOL! Anyway - you make some very good points, and I hope that you feel better after getting all that out. :P

    • Lifebydesign profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Great hub, seriously. It's clear, it's concise, and just good sense.

      What about the courtesy thing of joining another's fan club? Not to increase hub score but as reciprocity? It's like acceptance, community type stuff to me.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I am enjoying this..another hub on the hubnuggets list! I salute you Everyday Miracles! :-) To vote for this hub click here:

      Congratulations for a job well done! Thumbs up!

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Kelsey, I research too, I just do it in a weird way. I have one window open with research in it and another open with the article in it. I'm not taking notes on paper, just mentally *and* I'm still not just paraphrasing. I'm often learning while I write.

      Other things are more "off the cuff" but that's just how I write :)

    • Kelsey Tallis profile image

      Kelsey Tallis 

      9 years ago from USA-Ohio

      I love your writing style: it's clear, concise, and flows very naturally :-). And your productivity absolutely amazes me! I tend to write slowly and while I also do a lot of research, I tend to constantly rethink and question what I write. Lots of good advice here too.

    • maggs224 profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny Spain

      I have only been on hubpages a few days so I have found this page very interesting. There seems to be so much to learn, becoming a hubber is a little like coming to live in a foreign country with a new language to learn and new customs. Thanks for the information it has helped. I like the way you write and I look forward to reading more of your hubs

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Digg is a lot of work. There's nothing wrong with digging the people you support, but I get stuck on Digg and then nothing else happens for the rest of the day. I'm doing reasonably well by building my traffic organically :)

    • Aya_Hajime profile image


      9 years ago

      Some great points with regards to fans and forum etiquette.

      I left Digg because there were so many fan spammers there. The "if I Digg you, you better Digg me back" people. I have seen one or two here on HubPages, but I think hubbers are pretty intolerant of that type of stuff, so they tend to go away pretty quickly.

      Also like your candid style of writing. I'll be back for more!

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      ROFL! Love being under the microscope!

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      9 years ago from Earth

      Apparently, then, if you've given good're a whole new emerging science. ;) Rock on, specimen Miracles!

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      ROFL! Yeah, you're so right about that! On my first hub I published here I got the weirdest comments. I thought at first that they were real but just from people who really didn't speak much English. Since then I've been fanned by a few people who really *don't* speak much English and they do a lot better at making a comment personal!

      Funny, that first one was almost a blog entry... very personal. And the comments said that I gave "good information." LOL

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      9 years ago from Earth

      Thoughts on Netiquette

      Great Hub. I come in, please follow.


      Spam..when will people learn its best in a can?

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Oh, I research too, G|M! I honestly think that most of the best informative articles on Hubpages are researched!

      What's funny is I never covered the item that caused me to create this hub in the first place! I'm going to have to edit it tonight to include information about how to use the Q&A section! I got irritated by all the spam in there and went off on one in this hub! LOL

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      9 years ago from Earth

      Great Hub..

      Three weeks and you've 43 articles? Ahh, and I thought I was moving along in a speedy fashion. ;)

      You've used your time well, and you show considerable skill. Glad to have you aboard, from one noob to another. =)

      I can say that while I may reference many articles I always put my own spin on things. I've never cut and pasted anything that wasn't mine, to my knowledge. I take in info, spit it out through my artistic rainbow.

      Granted, I try to remain unbiased, too, but that only stretches so far when you're not dealing with the people or situations outright.



    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      AEvans, that, I believe, is the nature of a forum. The less moderated the more likely you are to see trolling and flaming. It's very common on Usenet, for example. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't each strive for something better on a personal level though!

      Thank you both for your comments!

    • AEvans profile image


      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Well thought and quite informative you are quite genuine with your thoughts and emotions and have offered some sound advice for everyone. There will always be wars in the forum but the lesson there is how you would respond when presenting your comment. Your article is a reflection of what your thoughts are and what you feel. Great Hub!!! :)

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      This is a good guide for new well as for some of us older ones. Thanks!

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      You could be right! I got some spam comments within the first couple of hubs that I wrote. I have spammed them now so they aren't showing, and mine all need to be approved as well. It was the default setting on my account, so I didn't fool around with it :) It's always been the same way with blogs for me: I won't let things just show up without approval. Too much really bad spam there!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi EM, I am sorry to hear that you are getting spam. I have been very lucky and grateful that I have not received any. You do have more hubs and probably more traffic than I do, maybe that is why I haven't received any. I also confess that a few of my hubs I have set them so that I have to approve the comment first, that may also deter them a little. LOL they probably fiqure why bother spending the time if it will not get approved anyway.

      It could be that you are a sweet christian woman they might be trying to take advantage of that. I on the other hand can be very bitchy and not fun to deal with if spammed.:-)

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Thank you, Whikat. I don't know what your experience has been but I have had to deny several comments and even some fan mail recently from people directly telling me to "go to their sites." I might need to add something later about e-mailing people. I had forgotten about that bit! Oops!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very well thought out hub. You have a very polite way of writing your feelings.


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