Give the Hub Moderators a break!

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  1. lobobrandon profile image89
    lobobrandonposted 11 years ago

    Lately there have been plenty of hubs that are totally useless to the hubber community. There's a lot that can be done to make the life of the moderators easier.

    I just used the hopper again and took a note of the major problematic hubs:

    Just plan advertisement hubs  --

    Get rid of them by creating a sort of algorithm wherein a hub doesn't get approved unless it has at least a certain number of picture, text and other capsules.

    Problems: People who write poems here may have a problem with this, and I'm not sure as to what to do in that case.

    Low Quality  --

    Just 100 or so word hubs... Why not modify or create a sort of algorithm that prevents such hubs from being published? If I'm not mistaken the minimum word count is supposed to be 400 here on HP.

    This would make the job of moderators a whole lot easier (I'm sure most of the flagged hubs fall in that category right?)

    1. SimeyC profile image88
      SimeyCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The problem I see is that a poem could easily be less than 100 words - creating an algorithm to remove poor quality hubs is an excellent idea, but in practice there will always be some great hubs excluded just because they happened to meet certain 'algorithm' requirements.

      Just look at all the uproar being caused by idling hubs - imagine if a hub was out and out rejected when it shouldn't be - perhaps that is how the world ends?

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        lol  It probably would end at that, at least to read some of the posts here.

    2. DzyMsLizzy profile image86
      DzyMsLizzyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If you based it on a certain number of capsules, then the poets could easily work around that, by putting each line of the poem in its own capsule....but then again, I suppose so could the advertising spammers..(but then again--they probably don't bother to read forum suggestions)...

    3. Christine Miranda profile image69
      Christine Mirandaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, many of them are totally useless to the internet community as a whole.  I would say the top three reasons I flag are:

      1. Low Quality
      2. Advertisements
      3. More blog than hub.

      Possible solutions:

      1.) Mandatory test relating to the features of a hub and how to use them. Twenty or so multiple choice questions to prove you actually read and understand how to make a quality hub. If you don't pass with at least a 70 your account is pending until you can pass it.

      When you finally pass the test then

      2.) Make the first five or ten hubs written by a new hubber pending until approved by a moderator.

      Go one step further...

      You can't monetize your account until you have a certain number of hubs written and you pass another simple test to prove you've read and understand how they work.

      There are two types of writers on here. The ones that sign up, spend time in the learning center first and then write a good hub and the others who jump right in, don't read a thing and slap together what they think is a good hub. 

      Unfortunately if they are hopping hubs they are seeing so many poorly done hubs as "examples" that they think it is the norm.

          |_    <---Me, stepping down from soapbox now..... tongue

    4. That Grrl profile image74
      That Grrlposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Not all content can be measured in word counts. People who post art and photos make that the focus of their Hub post won't have 400 words in their post.

      1. Cardisa profile image88
        Cardisaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That is not so. There is a rule that each photo or artwork must have an accompanying minimum, 50 words to support each photo. Plus these hubs can still be viewed as substandard if there isn't enough content to support them. In other words, people posting photos and artwork still need to have the minimum requirement of text content to support their work.

  2. Cardisa profile image88
    Cardisaposted 11 years ago

    While I agree that we need to do something about low quality hubs, not every hub created will display photos and some very informative and well written hubs do not need or have photos.

    There should be some sort of algo that differentiate between poems and informative articles. Maybe then the filters would detect minimum 400 words rather minimum 100 words.

    I am not sure how you algo would work but all we can do now is flag these hubs.

  3. lobobrandon profile image89
    lobobrandonposted 11 years ago

    A poem with just 100 words shouldn't be allowed according to me. If that's what you're doing you're only harming your subdomain as a whole. Add more text explaining your poem and maybe even a picture. Of course, there should be an option where the person can request approval.

    This would be a lot easier for the moderators instead of going through them when they're flagged (The number would be less). If they find a spammer they could come up with a system where they could immediately prevent the person from requesting further approval requests.

    1. Cardisa profile image88
      Cardisaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My opinion is that the minute we start restricting poetry, we will start losing creative hubbers who only publish for the love of their art. They are not so keen on explaining poetry.

      We will lose wonderful poets such as;
      Always Exploring
      ...... many other like them who publish here just because the love it and not for money. Telling Epi to explain his poetry is like shooting him in the foot.

      I know how to optimize my poems for search engines and not all the time you want your poem analyzed or explain. There are times you just want to express and there are many great poems with three lines and few words.

      Haiku would suffer as well as other forms of short poetry. You can't restrict creativity hence you lose the creators themselves.

      There should be exception to poetry and not everyone wants photos with their poems either. It seems to me that we always discriminate against poetry when we speak about making hubpages better. Poetry if freedom and freedom of expression. Poets are free spirited and should be allowed some of that freedom here.

      1. lobobrandon profile image89
        lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Good point, but this should at least be enforced on new hubbers as most of them are just joining for the sake of backlinks and spoiling the entire site

        1. Pearldiver profile image67
          Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          You mucka round with my poems....

          I breaka your tomatoes!!  Kapeesh??  sad


          1. lobobrandon profile image89
            lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            lol tongue

          2. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
            SomewayOuttaHereposted 11 years agoin reply to this


          3. Xenonlit profile image61
            Xenonlitposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Ha ha!

          4. DzyMsLizzy profile image86
            DzyMsLizzyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            ROFL!  I know that feeling oh, so well, fact, in college one time, I wrote a short (blank verse) 'sort-of' poem in response to a teacher's "suggestions" that I change this, that or the other phrase, use some other word, in short, she wanted a totally different piece;  making all those changes  would have made it the teacher's poem;  not mine.
            The piece I turned in as a reply read thus:

            "I work long and hard to birth my poems;
            "Who would edit them, dismembers my children."

            Yes, a startlingly unpleasant and graphic analogy, but it made my point : poetry is personal, and an outsider cannot 'muck about' with it.  Either the reader likes it or does not, and you must leave it at that.  Even people who enjoy poetry have their likes and dislikes.  I've read poems on here that were wonderful; others, I've come away wondering why the person wasted the bandwidth to publish such a disjointed ramble.

            1. Pearldiver profile image67
              Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Nicely put..  smile

              A pearl well worth saving, I believe smile

            2. Cardisa profile image88
              Cardisaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              DzyMsLizzy, I am a poet....or so I would like to think.....and  Ilove reading poetry and let me tell you that I have read some really awesome and some really really aweful poetry on here.

      2. Novel Treasure profile image90
        Novel Treasureposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        What about having a select box or template when you start the hub that selects it as poetry or creative writing, similar to that of the recipe template? Then it could be excluded from some of the algorithms that have been previously suggested.

        Because I agree with you, if you we exclude creative writing we will lose a lot of great writers. But I think they should be a separate category.

        1. DzyMsLizzy profile image86
          DzyMsLizzyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I agree, and within that, there should be a sub-program (macro? ) That would allow creative use of space within those capsules, instead of forcing everything tot the left margin.
          The first poems I published, I was able to do that---break up the lines for visual artistic effect--but that ability was taken away.  Now that those hubs are idled, I dare not "fix" the status, because I've discovered that once you go in to make a change, you loose that formatting--it forces the new "standard."
          When I first started,  it was with the intent of publishing my poetry; that was before I learned about earning any money, SEO, and all that claptrap.  I also did not then understand the use of capsules, and so everything is within a single capsule, and cannot be separately edited at this point.
          So, what I probably will do instead, is to gradually remove all the poems, and take them to an e-book format.

          (One side-note,  a lament of things past:  The way I like to play with the spacing and placement of words on a page was very easy with an old typewriter--it is maddeningly difficult with a word processor program--and impossible on this site.)

          1. Marisa Wright profile image87
            Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            MsLizzy, that would require programming effort, and I can see no reason they would want to do it.

            The only people who would want this feature are poets.  As you know, poetry doesn't get a lot of traffic and therefore doesn't make much money.  Google dislikes short posts (which poems often are) and can downgrade a whole site if it has too many of them, so it's not in HubPages' interests to encourage them.

            1. DzyMsLizzy profile image86
              DzyMsLizzyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Right, Marisa--heaven forbid anyone should do more work that they are paid to do, if you'll pardon the heavy dose of sarcasm...
              I realize that...which is why I ended up by saying that I'd probably just take down all my poems and take them to an e-book....

      3. DzyMsLizzy profile image86
        DzyMsLizzyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'd have mixed feelings about asking poems to be "explained."
        On the one hand, it might help if the "back-story" (pardon that over-used expression) behind the poem's inspiration were to be told; on the other hand, it could act as a spoiler.
        Back to the first hand, I know I hated it in school when the professor would ask, "What did the author mean by xxx statement?"  Gosh--I have no clue!  I flunked ESP 101, and I'm not that author, don't have his/her view on life or share his/her experiences.
        Then again, it could be argued that some people just "don't get" poetry, and if they don't understand it, no explanation will do....

  4. lobobrandon profile image89
    lobobrandonposted 11 years ago

    It doesn't have to be a picture capsule. Anything even an additional text capsule would make the whole thing a lot better. I don't write on Squidoo, but as far as I know they got something that prevents low quality from being published.

    PS: I'm not saying that all short articles/poems or hubs with a few capsules are bad; just that the majority of them are.

    1. SimeyC profile image88
      SimeyCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      And therein is the problem - where do you draw the line.

      100 word poem, 300 word poem, 500 word poem?
      100 word article, 300 word article, 400 word article?

      Some writers can say far more in 100 words than others can in a thousand - so a simple algorithm may stimulate 'fluff'!

      1. lobobrandon profile image89
        lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Ok show me a example of an informative article in 100 words smile

        1. SimeyC profile image88
          SimeyCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Read a newspaper - there are tons of very informative articles with less than 100 words!

          1. lobobrandon profile image89
            lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            They're on newspapers. If you want your stuff to be found on the web you need to write more. Btw I've never come across anything other than a news based article that is less than 100 words. (this is around 50 words - so double this makes a hub?)

            1. SimeyC profile image88
              SimeyCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

     - has many reviews that are close to 200 words or so - there are a few that are less. The point I am making is that having a generic 400 word limit cuts off a lot of writing. For some hubs I write I have to add extra facts, or additional information about something that doesn't really need to be there to get to my own personal 500 word limit....

              http://www. mtv .com/movies/movie/452127/moviemain.jhtml

              This is a 230 words long review of a Rush documentary.

              1. Marisa Wright profile image87
                Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Simey, you're missing the point.  If you want readers, you have to please Google first - otherwise readers will never even see what you've written.  Google hates short posts and will dump a whole site if it has too many of them.  Of course Google won't tell us how short is too short, but most internet gurus recommend 250 words as an absolute minimum, while posts 400 words+ do much better.

                So if we want to avoid Google slaps, a minimum word count is very important.

                1. Jean Bakula profile image95
                  Jean Bakulaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  When I hub hop, I often see writing which is good, it just needs to be expanded on, if the person can write a few more paragraphs about the topic. If I see a hub like that, I always compliment the person, and remind them that the word count needs to be over 500 words, so they can fix it up. Poetry is harder, although we don't see many 4 line, 20 word "poems" anymore. I guess it's OK to write a little explanation of your poem, what brought about the circumstances, or why you felt moved to write it. But that's what the poem is for, no? There really need to be different rules for poetry.

                  1. Pearldiver profile image67
                    Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    I try to never publish anything under 500 words and the bulk of my work is poetry and haiku. 
                    Good poetry does justice to the subject and while many can argue that it requires nothing more than a structure of skinny words with a fat message... I personally don't agree (when it comes to hubs and publishing on sites like this one)...

                    Here, to do well, (as with good writers) poets MUST compensate for the overall site performance, lack of direction and all the follies associated with providing a Sales and Marketing platform for Dross! 

                    Poetry is not generally appreciated or understood by those who have little interest in the art of writing or the power of words...

                    So, poets need to use their creativity more to think outside the box and to compensate for 'other issues' without it appearing as though those issues dictate what is or is not good poetry! 

                    And from a moderator's perspective... that point needs to be kept in mind!

                    I don't have any problem with the format I chose to use 3 years ago..

                    I have always written a solid lead-in to my subject that compliments my poetry... I believe it must be, in itself, solid enough to stand up without the poem and visa versa.  The downside to this (here) is that such a format is not catered for enough to do justice to the structure, the quality of the writing or the hub!  sad

                    In that way, my readers get far more to consider and enjoy than they would otherwise get. Plus it serves notice with authority, that I know and understand what I am talking about, within my chosen subjects.  Perhaps the importance of that point alone is overlooked too often by many... after all it is an SEO prerequisite, is it not?

                2. SimeyC profile image88
                  SimeyCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  I do get the point - I just find it very annoying that Google decides that anything less than an arbritary 250 (or whatever) cannot be quality - some of the best writers in this world would never have made it on the Internet simply because of Google's algorithms.

                  As I say, my own minimum count is 500 - but in many cases, especially with my Excel tutorials I end up adding paragraphs that really do not add anything to the article simply to get to the 500 mark - if it's fluff that Google likes then I'll give it - but sadly as someone who loves reading succinct but brilliant newspaper articles, I am sad that we will see an end to that art...

                3. relache profile image73
                  relacheposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  You mean like the Q&A section?  Funny how so many authors started having traffic issues once those sections got attached to subdomains and people started pumping out questions thinking they'd make some money...

                  1. 2uesday profile image65
                    2uesdayposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    My traffic is currently not going down and I have never bothered with Q & A's so I think this might be a clue to the  problem.

                  2. Marisa Wright profile image87
                    Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Good point!

                  3. lobobrandon profile image89
                    lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Yes, I don't have any such traffic problems and thinking about it. I stopped posting questions. Just left the ones that have good answers and plenty of them.

                  4. Pearldiver profile image67
                    Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Excellent point and very likely a contributor to the mayhem..

                    I did find it interesting that we were asked to sign an 'ownership' claim to that particular area of the site... without any transparent reason and in expectation that a wonderful accolade could served to us along with an increase in potential traffic{problems}.... lol

                    Umm... I wonder if Greenpeace could be a suitable vehicle to highlight the toxicity of that dump site?  big_smile

                4. That Grrl profile image74
                  That Grrlposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  It's nice that you want Google to read your posts. But, I'd prefer to write for actual human beings. Most people will only skim a longer post. So all your words over their skimming level are just there for Google. But, Google doesn't actually read. So...  what are you writing all those extra words for, really?

                  I would rather write what I need to write, tell what I have to say, give the information I have than provide filler/ fodder for Google.

                  1. Marisa Wright profile image87
                    Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    The point I'm making is this:

                    Of course, we all want human readers to read our Hubs.  That's what all writers want.  But if Google ignores what we write - or worse, penalizes it - then human readers will never find our Hubs.

                    Ask yourself, how do you find content on the internet?   Mainly by searching on search engines.  So whether you like it or not, pleasing search engines IS important, in order that human readers can find it.  Otherwise you're writing for no one.

  5. Robie Benve profile image95
    Robie Benveposted 11 years ago

    Every time I hub-hop I get frustrated too, but my impression is that most people are not even trying to get backlinks or use the site for personal gain, many seem to just have no clue.
    I remember when I first joined there was the warm advice to read through the learning center before starting publishing.
    Could this be made mandatory? Maybe new members need to have to go through some videos, hubs (tests?) to make sure they get a basic knowledge of what the expectations and site benchmark are before they can publish.

    1. Cardisa profile image88
      Cardisaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. At least we need a review of new hubbers hubs before the are published but I guess there is the lack of staff to deal with that. If we could get a team of 24 people or so as reviewers who voluntarily review and approve new hubs, that might work. These people would have to be selected carefully.

      On the other hand these hubs must undergo a 24 hour waiting period before they are published and this might not sit well with the public.

      1. derek gulbranson profile image79
        derek gulbransonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        This is pretty much exactly what happens with Idle hubs, except you can "publish" it but your crap article, it just doesn't go into search indexes.

  6. derek gulbranson profile image79
    derek gulbransonposted 11 years ago

    Thanks lobobrandon for the suggestion. Just to make sure I got it right, I think your suggestion is that we should try to automatically remove articles that are obviously spam or otherwise crap articles so that we don't overburden the moderators.

    It's of course a great idea, and something we already do. The problem, as you discovered from the responses, is that it's a lot more difficult that it initially seems like it should be to programmatically discern the crap articles from good ones. We do it, and we currently catch about half of the complete crap that people try to post before it gets published.

    In the next few months we plan to work on some changes to the Hub Tool. One thing I'd like to include is a way for the author to specify that a Hub is creative writing, which might allow our automated filters to be more aggressive on things like article length.

    But we do have these processes in place. They are as sophisticated as we know how to make them and changing constantly to keep up with new spammer tactics.

    1. Cardisa profile image88
      Cardisaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Derek, it would be so nice to finally have authors differentiate between articles and poetry so as to then have the filters know whether to publish or not.  I think the hubtool you mentioned is great. While you all work on this please bear in mind that poetry and creative writing are different, and the acceptable flash fiction word count is 500 with an exceptional 300 word minimum.

      With this in mind then we can now decide on quantity for non-fiction creative writing, flash, short stories, series episodes and so forth. I think it would be great if the technical team programmed it that way. I know it's hard work but it would save a lot of future tweaks and forum discussions on whether or not to add them.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image87
        Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        HubPages already has a method in place to exempt poetry from the minimum word count (provided it's placed in the poetry category).  So it shouldn't be hard to put a similar exemption in place for a "flash fiction" category.   

        Then the rest of the site could have a 400 word minimum without any problems for anyone.

        1. Pearldiver profile image67
          Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Wow... that's interesting... I thought the poetry hubs like mine just went into the idle section.. apparently they don't drive traffic - so what's the point in having poetry in a SE friendly, progressive place like this!  lol

          1. That Grrl profile image74
            That Grrlposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Poetry and creative writing is important. It would be a shame if HubPages became all about posts geared to selling Amazon links, shopping posts. There are many sites which do this, they are bland and boring but sure they get traffic. Most likely the traffic comes from other spammer types looking for tips.

            The creative writing and the posts about hobbies, etc. bring life and colour to HubPages. I don't need to read a post about how to cut my toenails or which black purse I should buy.... blah. I want to find out what people are doing and thinking.

    2. That Grrl profile image74
      That Grrlposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If you have option for posts which are creative writing will you do the same for posts which are showing art and photos versus text content? I don't think art should be expected to come with a lot of words as filler. The art is the content.


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