HubPages Suggestion regarding proper "Forum" and "Question" use.

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  1. NotPC profile image59
    NotPCposted 10 years ago

    Has anyone else noticed a serious drop in quality among the Question portion of HubPages? For the past several weeks, nearly every question that is featured in the "my account" section has been ripe with misspellings and just contain a general lack of worth in my opinion.

    I feel the reason for this is that many hubbers are unfamiliar with the Forum section of HubPages and are even perhaps intimidated by the forums. I would like to use this thread to brainstorm ways to increase user awareness of the forums and develop a better standard for what should be permitted as a question.

    The name "Question" may be a bit misleading because new and unfamiliar hubbers quite understandably mistake it as a outlet to post any and every question that ever pours from their brain. Just as a reminder, Question postings are intended to be a place to bounce concrete ideas off other hubbers and ultimately spark Hub creation.

    Thoughts? Comments?

    1. NotPC profile image59
      NotPCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      For starters, I think the forums are the least interactive place to participate on HubPages and this creates a lack of enthusiasm to participate here. Maybe we could design a more user friendly and enjoyable forum experience, especially for writers who are relatively new to the internet and and modern computer technology.

      1. Simone Smith profile image90
        Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        We're following most of the basic forum conventions, aren't we? Are we missing something in particular?

        1. NotPC profile image59
          NotPCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          That's exactly what I'm saying. Maybe there should be more to the forums on HubPages so more authors are motivated to participate. I think the type of people attracted to HubPages are looking for more than a forum. Otherwise they would have just joined a forum...

          As far as forums go though, yes this is one of the most aesthetic forum layouts I've ever seen.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image87
          Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I notice a big difference between the forums here and almost every other forum I frequent.    I assume it's because you're using an unusual forum package.   I wonder if the format is a disincentive for some people, because it's easier to plunge into a forum if you can find your way around easily.

          However I think the biggest issue with the forums is the religious and political forums.   I've lost count of the number of Hubbers who won't visit the forums because they've been scared off by the viciousness of those two topics.   Many times, I've had to spend time helping out Hubbers with problems they could've resolved easily with a simple forum question - but they didn't, because they were too scared to venture into the forums.

          I know that to us, it seems fairly obvious that you can ignore all the nastiness and just visit the threads you're interested in - but it doesn't seem to work like that.  People arrive at the forums, read a few of the "latest posts", and head for the hills (because most of the Latest Posts are fundamentalists and atheists, or lefties and right-wingers, slinging insults at each other). 

          When I joined HubPages, I didn't have that problem because the forums were split into sections - so when you arrived at the front page, you could look at only the latest posts in the section you wanted.  I think it would be a great idea if the "latest posts" page could be split into two sections - "HubPages" (which would include Official and Community) and "Topics".

    2. relache profile image73
      relacheposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      The quality of the question section plummeted more than a year ago.  How did you not notice until now?

      1. NotPC profile image59
        NotPCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I just always expected it to improve, but as of late I'm getting really frustrated when I see a question promoted on my private "my account" section with such glaring mistakes. I suppose I never gave it much attention because I thought that was normal for the Questions and I just tried to avoid it. The people who misspell simple words and ask questions just to be outrageous are punishing us all.

    3. Gail Meyers profile image68
      Gail Meyersposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      That's interesting.  I have been here about 18 months, been active in the forums, often read the newsletter and had no idea the question section was to spark hub ideas.  That does not even make sense.  I have only asked a couple of questions since I have been here, but rarely get a useful response.  It generally just hangs there like it is invisible to anyone else.

  2. NotPC profile image59
    NotPCposted 10 years ago

    Am I really the only one who thinks the quality of HubPages questions is pathetic? This is the current "promoted question":

    "Seriously, now...why does the word monosyllabic have 5 syllables? And while we are at it, why is abbreviation such a long word? What is the abbreviation for abbreviation... Just a little chuckle....maybe..."

    This question is written by a hubber with an author score of 99! I just don't find how that is useful to anyone. It sounds like a question I would expect to hear from a first grade student. Is this what HubPages has become?

    1. Simone Smith profile image90
      Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      But seriously though.... why DOES monosyllabic have five syllables? Ridonculous.

  3. Simone Smith profile image90
    Simone Smithposted 10 years ago

    We have regularly struggled with demonstrating to Hubbers that the Questions section is for succinct, Hub-title-like questions, continuously reminding people of the fact only goes so far.

    We've done our best to make the purpose of Questions clear in our site messaging, though as you can see, that hasn't gone so far- if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears!

    1. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Given that is the case, why does HubPages persevere with the Questions section at all? 

      It has long since lost its value as an "ideas bank", and I can't see how all that short, low quality content is doing the site any good.

      Getting rid of the Questions section would force people to use the forums to ask questions which would be a far more sensible idea.

      1. Simone Smith profile image90
        Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I often sit, in the deepest reaches of my Batcave, and ask that question myself. If we keep it, it'll need a lot of work. If we don't, that'll also require a lot of work. Right now, we have our hands full doing everything we can to boost your traffic.

        So we'll get to this- eventually! In the meantime, perhaps I can improve the messaging. Again, any suggestions on that front are most welcome. big_smile

        1. Marisa Wright profile image87
          Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          As Relache said in her post, "The quality of the question section plummeted more than a year ago."

          If low quality pages can hurt HubPages, and you're making such a sterling effort to remove low quality Hubs, could you be missing something in the Questions area? 

          When Questions were transferred to our sub-domains, I deleted most of mine because they didn't have many answers, which meant they didn't have much content - which means Google would view them as low quality, which could drag my whole sub-domain down.  I wonder how many other Questions are like that, and could be hurting HubPages far more than poorly trafficked Hubs.

          1. NotPC profile image59
            NotPCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            I totally agree! I'm not really sure how much they hurt HubPages, but if they do, it should be addressed. With the new "featured" pages, I have a feeling that unhelpful questions may not affect seo too much. Anyone with SEO experience know about this?

            1. Marisa Wright profile image87
              Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              The "Featured" process doesn't mean the rest of the site is invisible to Google and only Featured pages are put forward.  It means that idled Hubs have the "no index" tag attached - the rest of the site is all accessible to Google, including Questions (as far as I'm aware).

      2. brakel2 profile image77
        brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        @ Mariisa  The questions make money from Adsense, so I doubt staff would want to do away with it. I tried to set up a filter on Adsense to see how much I actually made. i don't think it is working. I,m sure it is not very much.

      3. Millionaire Tips profile image90
        Millionaire Tipsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I really like the name "ideas bank".  Instead of calling it questions, maybe we can call it Ideas Bank, or something else.  I think the title "questions" is simply misleading Hubbers.

  4. brakel2 profile image77
    brakel2posted 10 years ago

    The questions in my feed have been for the most part good questions. Some of the questions on my stats page have poor quality. I have noticed that some new hubbers may not understand the question/answer procedure. I know that questions about HubPages often appear when they are supposed to be in the forum. Maybe people do not know  the questions are on the web for all to see. Is there a way that staff could make special announcements when there are problems in certain areas, like the questions? With so many hubbers, sometimes misunderstandings arise. Some hubbers may have difficulty retaining information from the learning center. The site has senior hubbers, new hubbers, and others with poor memory who are not new and not seniors. Just a suggestion to help with this issue. Thanks.

    1. Simone Smith profile image90
      Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I am SO glad to hear that, brakel2! Sorry about the stats one- yeah... those can be pretty hit or miss.

      We do give occasional announcements, and also notify people of misuse of Questions (that is, misuse that is PARTICULARLY horrendous) via email. But... it's sort of like... in the words of some nuns, "keep[ing] a wave upon the sand."

      I wish we could FORCE people to read our messaging on what Questions are for... Hmm... perhaps some full-volume audio blast tied to the "ask a question" button would help?

      1. NotPC profile image59
        NotPCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Why not have a tutorial period when people first sign up? Like have a checklist where you have to write a question, comment in the forums type thing before you can become a full fledged hubber.

      2. brakel2 profile image77
        brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Can reminder notices be put on the statistics page where everybody can see them? That would help if it is possible. Thank you Simone for your help on this issue?

  5. LauraD093 profile image72
    LauraD093posted 10 years ago

    I have had the same problem as the poster above. I generally will ask techno-questions I can't find in the tutorials or FAQ. I have seen some truly weird questions have multiple answers while my question just sits there like a red-headed step-child lol. It has never been my perception that the question section was a place to spark ideas. I also occasionally participate in the  forums but my topics don't go over well here either *shrug* I don't lose any sleep over it. Even in the 12+ months I have been here I have noticed a steady decline of rational adult discussion taking place. When I need a dose of drama I usually pop in and take a look.

    1. Sue Adams profile image95
      Sue Adamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Such questions should be asked in the forums under the appropriate heading like "Technical Problems on HubPages".  Read the other thread  What is the difference between Forums and Answers/Questions?. You will see from Simone and Mathew's replies that the Answer/Question feature is intended for non HP issues of interest to the general public and to inspire us to write interesting new Hubs. It is not intended for techno HP questions. wink

  6. Sue Adams profile image95
    Sue Adamsposted 10 years ago

    There is another thread on this:

    What is the difference between Forums and Answers/Questions?

    where both Simone and Mathew from HP staff have responded.


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