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When Hub Weeds stifle my Hubpatch
It was about a week ago when Ryan came bounding onto the forums like an excited puppy who had just found his master's slipper under the bed. "Ahoy Hubber mateys! I'm doing this challenge, who'll join me!" Attracted by his drooling salivating jaw, we followed him into the forum, lapping it up as specks of drool dripped on us every time he shook his big puppy dog head when another excited thought entered his brain. Hordes of Hubbers followed him into the forums as if he were the Pied Piper playing a magical tune. One has to wonder, if like the Pied Piper, he isn't leading us to our hubbing deaths.
The challenge was set, 100 hubs in 30 days, or for those who have a life and a job, 30 hubs in 30 days. Hundreds answered the call and took up the challenge. Little enticers were cunningly placed in the forums, comments that activitated our greed and promised hubbers of added clicks and the possibilty to earn more money. Greed gets people every time. Instead of earning your usal 53 cents, if you take up the challenge, you'll get more clicks and perhaps earn a whopping $1! "Wow! Simply amazing, I have to do it!" was the response of many. Others thought the challenge might stretch them and came up with the 'airy-fairy' bullshit, that the challenge will stretch them as a writer. Hogpuppies I say to that! This challenge ain't stretching anybody as a writer and it's definitely not making your writing improve. If aything, it's making you regress.
So, why did people take up this challenge? There are three reasons why people do anything. Gold, Glory and God. Some people actually think that this challenge is going to make them rich, so that they'll be able to give up their day jobs and work full time churning out pieces of crap that are filled to the brim with keywords, so that the actual writing makes very little sense and isn't even readable half of the time. Others do it for Glory. "OMIGOD I managed to write 100 pieces of crap in 30 days! Aren't I just so wonderful and smart!" Others do it because it's a great vehicle to bring others to the Lord and share their Good News with all and sundry who take the time to read their hubs.
But in this case, there is a fourth reason, which is why I said I'd do it. It's called Mob Mentality. It's why we have riots and people doing stupid things they'd never usually do, like breaking shop windows, pouring petrol on people and setting them on fire. Mob Mentality is what made many of us jump on the bandwagon without any thought of the consequences. They're all doing it, so it must be a good idea, so I'll do it. So, I said I'd do the 30 day challenge.
For every action there's a consequence
Like I tell my own children and the kids in my class, for every action, there is a consequence. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the action, we don't always think about the consequences. Then, when the consequences come up behind us and bite us in the bum we are astounded and amazed and often aghast. I have a sneaky suspicion, that the powers that be did not take the time to think about the potential consequences when they thought this challenge might be fun. I think initially, they were caught up in the whole Greed and Glory thing.
There were hubbers who saw past the hype and voiced their concerns. They were dismissed like we dismiss homeless people on street corners with signs begging for money wired around their necks. We were all so caught up in the moment, that we never listened. For those who came onto the challenge forum, and were a little hesitant, we all coerced them to join with our little encouraging messages, "Way to go! You can do it! So glad you've joined!" Whatever our intial reasons for joining, we got swept up in the Mob Mentality, and those who had prior commitments, or saw the flaws and didn't sign up, were left behind like outcasts, dismissed like lepers left on an isolated island, to fend for themselves in the Mob Mentality hub feeding frenzy.
Hub Weeds are choking the life out of my patch
While some people are trying to maintain the quality of their hubs they had before, many are churning out mindless crap, spamming hubtivity with nonsensensical badly-written hubs that are filled with keywords and not much else. After a week, the challenge is taking it's toll on those who take pride in their work. There is something about pressure that dries up creative juices, like a piece of kitchen towel soaks up the spilt tea. I fear that the talented and gifted hubbers in this challenge might achieve burn-out as they overwork their brain cells to continue to create under such pressure. Some are already considering changing from 100 hubs to 30 as they will not sacrifice quality for quantity.
But in the meantime, many of us have turned off the email notification option as our mailboxes have been overflowing with email notifications every time one of our fans writes a new hub. Now, we have no way of seeing when hubbers who write what we like to read, write new stuff. This affects the Hubbers who did not take up the challenge as well. I can only imagine how irritated they must be with all this. In fact, as a result, some have left the Hubpages Community. The Hub Weeds grown out of this challenge have stifled the life out of their little patch in the Hub Community.
I used to enjoy reading and commenting on hubs of my fans and finding new fans on the hubtivity. This creates harmony in the Hubpages Community. This is how we tend our little Hubpatch and maintain it so that it grows. However, all this challenge has done, has filled the Hubpatch with weeds, some of them rather toxic, so that the good plants are finding it difficult to continue growing. Some plants have become so stifled by the weeds, that they have withered and died. I fear for my little patch. I write for enjoyment on Hubpages, not money. However, this challenge appears to be a joy-killer.
This hub is dedicated to CC and others who have had the joy-killing weeds stifle their patch.