Why Are You On HubPages? Writing Groups Are Invaluable Communities
The Question of the Day
I have, at this moment, 1,422 followers on the online writing group called HubPages.
I am sure many who are reading this are thinking that 1,422 is a large number and yes, I suppose it is, but it is also a curious number to me. Allow me to explain.
Of those 1,422 followers, I would guess that I only hear from, at most, 100 of them on a regular basis. Some have stopped writing for whatever reason. Some are still members of HubPages but are no longer active on the site, and I understand that as well.
However, the ones that truly confuse me are the ones who sign on as a follower and then never interact with their fellow writers. I never see a comment from them, and when I visit their site and leave a comment I never hear from them. It is as though their main goal on HubPages is to collect followers and improve their profile numbers and that has me confused.
You see to me, HubPages is an online writing community, a place where writers gather to improve their craft and offer encouragement to other writers. Sure you can make money on these sites but seriously, how many of us can pay our bills from the money made on HP? Most of the people who hang in my circles are here because they want to become better writers. Most, if not all, are supportive and positive-minded, and over time good friendships have been formed.
But that leaves us with those who just write their articles and do not really become part of the community and so I have to ask: Why are you on HubPages?
A Definition for You
From our friends at Merriam-Webster:
b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself <the problems of a large community>
c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location.
To me, the most important phrase of that definition is “an interacting population.” Writers come together in a virtual world and interact with each other. We read the articles written by our peers. We leave comments. We offer suggestions when asked for and we are willing to help when needed. Is that not what a community is, or am I terribly confused and mistaken?
Take a tour of HubPages
What a Community Is Not
A community is not a site where one dumps their work and pays no attention to their fellow writers.
A community is not a site where one attempts to rack up numbers at the expense of the common good.
A community is not a place where wounds are delivered and it is not a place where vindictive criticism is given to writers who are struggling with their craft.
For HubPages, or any other writing group, to be a successful community, there must be an atmosphere of comradeship and support. There must be a willingness among the members to help one another, for isn’t our common goal to improve as writers and perfect our craft? How can we do that in an arena of negativity and/or neglect?
HubPages will survive financially as long as it can find writers willing to agree to the Spartan terms of payment. However, it will never survive as a beacon to new writers and a Shangrila for those in need of support and encouragement as long as members are only in it for themselves.
Why Are You on Hubpages?
This is not a competition. I cannot emphasize that enough. There are seven billion people on this planet, more than enough to go around for the hundred thousand plus writers on HP.
This is not a forum established to feed egos, and it certainly is not an accounting office where the only concern is individual numbers.
HubPages is a community! If you are shocked and disappointed that your views are low then I suggest you become an active part of the community. If you feel isolated then reach out and get involved. To borrow from JFK, ask not what HubPages can do for you….ask what you can do for HubPages.
As a member of HubPages for the past fifteen months, I have seen them come and seen them go. They stop by for a howdy and a cup of coffee and then leave disillusioned and wanting more. I find that sad but at the same time I am okay with them leaving. For a community to be healthy it needs community members who care and want to be involved.
Honestly, I could care less about the financial aspects of HubPages. They can spew forth their wisdom about SEO and keywords and I offer up a large yawn in return. This is not about money to me. For me, writing is an art form and it is one that is very important to me, and I believe I can become a better writer by working with fellow writers and not against them. As an added bonus, I believe I can become a better person if I work with my fellow writers and not against them.
HP can keep their stupid dollar a day. The day I write with the express purpose of making a dollar a day is the day I need to leave writing.
A HP Tutorial
Why I Am on Hubpages
No, it is not for the money and honestly it is not for the exposure. I can gain exposure by submitting my work to national contests and magazines, and I have several blogs that do that as well. I am still here and active on HubPages because I love the community.
I joked with Bev the other day that she and I could go on a cross-country road trip and we would have writers to visit in every state. Hell, we would have quite a few writers who would meet us for dinner and offer us a place to stay. Why? Because they are my friends! We have never met but we know a great deal about each other, and we respect each other and we care about each other. I could literally put out an itinerary of where we are heading and the days we would be in particular cities, and there would be writers waiting for us when we got there.
The same thing would happen in Europe!
Isn’t that amazing?
I have written in several of my travel articles about Washington State that I want my fellow writers to notify me when they are coming to Washington on a trip, because I want to be their tour guide….and I do! I want to sit down with them as old friends do, and laugh and share, as old friends do….because they are my friends.
I have written in several of my articles that I want my writer friends to reach out and ask for my help if they need advice or support. Why? Because they are my friends!
Yes, I love this community, and I plan on being here for quite some time, good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! For those of you who do not feel that way, and who are only in it for a dollar a day or whatever riches you envision, I say good luck to you.
Now….how can I help those of you who feel the way I do?
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)