I have no problem with that. There are many alternatives. But clearly the "grammar and punctuation and style" are somewhat sophisticated by "elder" writers here. And it - based on hbscores seems to go over the understanding of some who "proof".
It makes little difference to me. It is like the 2 hour plus normal delay in reporting. I do not care. Except it makes me look less that professional.
In other words these HP folks are our editors and publishers and we are content providers. We get our cut and they get theirs. In my case it is being allowed to publish, in some it is income. I do not care the work done by us must be up to quality --- but really now HP is falling behind on their part and has to adjust to a dynamic market.
It's an interesting question, Eric, and one that is on the minds of a lot of Hubbers. I'm a bit unique in that I don't care what HP does. I use HP as my writing platform. It is a way for me to get my work online. Even if they should disallow one of my hubs, I can still use it in any of a several novels I am writing, so it makes little difference to me.
They have discontinued advertising on five of my hubs, all dealing with child abuse, and honestly I don't even care about that. The hubs were still released online, I raised awareness with them...my job was done and my needs were met.
However, for those who do this for the money, it can be a very real problem and I understand that. HP really does need to make some adjustments and I'm sure they know that. They have lost far too many writers to Bubblews over the past few months and I'm sure that is a concern of theirs.
Buddy for now just let me say that you lend so much credence to the issue that it may now be taken seriously. Somewhat we come from the same idea here. Money is not our issue with HP. Credibility and style and integrity is more of the bottom line.
But I applaud you and I hope to resound your care for the worker writers that count on the income. If writing here helps one parent or person to put one more present under a tree, one more meal on the table or one more donation to those in need you and I shall have the best present of all.
'I'm a bit unique'
Sorry, Billy, you are either unique or you are not unique.
You might think that I am nit picking but I can guarantee that a very large percentage of people will lose all faith in you as a writer as soon as they read that little phrase.
How very interesting. A shrink once asked me if I thought I was unique. I looked at him and said yes; "do you know anyone like me?" He answered and we laughed. He said yes "in clinical setting". The point being that we are all unique and yet so much the same.
I thank you Will and Bill for that interchange. It enriched me.
Yes.... in your own unique way.... You ARE nit picking WA!!!
However... in an equally uni-Q way, no doubt you've made a valid point somewhere within your posts
Hmm, never happen. Those of us who follow Bill know how unique he is no matter how he phrases it. His interests are in writing and helping other writers AND he is a great friend...that will keep us following him no matter....
Bubblews is paying better and HP is actually playing with the writer's writing ability. Everytime you cannot go on editing by adding new content or add video and so on. I do not understand their quality factor at all.
There are "spelling/grammar/punctuation/etc. errors everywhere. I have read them in novels by famous authors, and in newspapers. I have heard them on radio shows, TV shows and commercials. I admit that even though I am very careful I still make them myself. I bet that I could find them on your Hubs too.
I write as a freelancer, and when I'm hired to write for a company, one of the first things I do is ask for their Style Guide. Every company has their own style. If I want to keep my job as a writer for a particular company, then it is in my best interest to write according to their style. Like any other company, HubPages is a publishing company with a style guide to which the editors suggest their writers adhere.
There was a time when HubPages accepted writers of all levels, but that turned out to be detrimental to everyone here. Now, HubPages has a goal to rise to a higher level of writing standards. That's good news for all of us. Writers who do not want to write within the guidelines should not be surprised when their content is not featured. If it doesn't meet HubPages standards, then it doesn't meet HubPages standards. It's so simple. Before I became a freelancer, I was a technical writer for an international computer company, I had to write to the company's standards or be fired. I don't think it should be any different when writing for HubPages.
I understand creative writers and believe there is a place for divergence here. Personally, I'm striving to be a better writer. I seek out writers who have a handle on writing well, as that will teach me to write well, also. Granted, I have my favorite writers here whose content I read for pure enjoyment, but mostly, I read to learn.
Everyone has their own reason for being here. I like that there are all types of writers here. I leave the critiquing to HubPages. Knowing there is a basic level of standard for all content released here gives me confidence that when I choose a hub to read, my reading session is likely to be enjoyable. In other words, I'm not subjected to "junk".
Very interesting perspective.
It is important to note here, the degree that we are talking about. HP has never really banned my work that I know of at least. And that appears to be the level that some comments are about.
No the only degree we are really talking about is "featured" versus "not featured" due to the quality. (forums and questions are different)
My point got a little sidetracked to grammar and spelling and punctuation. What I really wanted to address is that it appears that the content is being moderated as in some editors do not like a subject matter and a hub on that does not get featured.
Oh, I see!
Well then, it would be a good idea for HubPages to provide a list of topics that are acceptable for publishing. I haven't run into the issue of undesirable subjects, because I'm so limited in what I write. I'm surprised that there are some subjects that the staff objects to, because to be honest I have seen some very controversial subjects published here. Eric, I really enjoy your hubs and can't imagine you writing anything that the editors would hesitate to publish.
Let me frame the issue again. I do not post/write/submit matters that are not allowed. (once I use the word "rape" -- as in like the "Rape of Nanking" or the "rape of the English language" And finally just used another word. I get that.
What I am saying is that the raters are rating based upon whether or not they like my opinion or position on a matter. Again I have over 160 hubs featured. This is not a complaint about scratching me because of my bad grammar.
Or it possibly could be because someone predicts I will not get traffic. But that would be wrong because my last five not featured do as well as my featured. And again I do not drive traffic at all to my hubs.
There was a study a few years ago that found it only took a couple of minor spelling or grammatical errors to reduce sales from an affiliate page by fifty percent.
Correct use of English is nontrivial if you want to make money as a writer.
With or without the study I am sure that is true. Bubblews has some interesting stories, written a few myself, however, I've read some that put curl in my hair due to the spelling and grammar errors!
Correct use of English is nontrivial if you want to have readers. More specifically, it is nontrivial if you want to be taken seriously by those readers.
It's not a sign of intelligence to write with "unique" grammar. Poetic license belongs only in creative writing. Even then it is distracting and should be used with discretion.
When authors go that route, it is not "over anybody's head." Everybody gets it. We are just not impressed enough by the show of nonconformity to overlook the fact that the writer obviously doesn't care about the inconvenience of having to decipher the "uniqueness".
That's in the unlikely event that we give the author the benefit of the doubt by assuming that grammatical errors are on purpose and meant to serve some artistic vision. Most likely, the reader will just assume the writer is a moron.
Here is my issue -- who determines the correct use of English?? Is it Mark Twain style, is it Clancy, is it Poe or is it Gonzo journalism or Ebonics or Spanglish? Is it Aussie, or Canadian or GB or US. And if someone says there is only one -- well they can go with those that claim only their interpretation of the Bible is right.
(excuse any hint at antagonism -- but I really do want to flush this out)
In the first examples, you are confusing style with mechanics. Poe, Twain and Clancy write differently, however they use(d) correct grammar and spelling to do it.
Neither Ebonics or Spanglish is acceptable in formal writing. By formal writing, I mean writing that is meant to be read by a general audience rather than specific individuals. Hubpages is formal writing, or SHOULD be at any rate. Conversational language is NOT the same as written language.
U.K., American, Canadian and Australian grammar/mechanics are nearly identical. There are some minor standard spelling variations and a small set of regional vocabulary differences, but the mechanics are the same. In that case, you write either in your native version or the version of your intended audience.
Standard grammar/mechanics texts are very similar. Dictionary spellings are also very similar.
Well certainly you are not saying the "Jim" spoke and therefor Samuel Clemens wrote his quotes in proper English.
Is there something wrong with seeking a niche market instead of a broad based acceptable to all market?
My responses show my readers like my off the wall use of English. But my readers are pretty sophisticated.
(and let me apologize ahead of time -- I need to do more editing - I only use my writing as a notion that I am familiar with - I am not saying my spelling and grammar are correct always)
Tom, Huck and Jim were all fictional characters who were developed, in part, by the use of their vocabulary. It had a purpose other than Twain's desire to be a rebel... or some such. In addition, Twain used perfect mechanics, he quoted them. The purpose of quotation marks is to show exactly what someone said.
All of this isn't even college level grammar/mechanics information. This is Jr. High level.
In addition, you are not Mark Twain.
Now assuming that you are striving to be the next Hrabal, or actually in your case the anti-Hrabal, more power to you. Alternative authors have always existed and have never used mainstream publishing to do it. If that is your goal, a blog platform is really more appropriate.
As far as sophistication goes, I think we might be using different standards. But that's neither here nor there. Your grammar isn't zany, it's incorrect. Markedly so. 360+ hubs with less than 100,000 views tends to indicate there is an issue. Grammar is the most obvious one I see. It's likely the most obvious one Google sees. It's apparently the most obvious that the raters, including myself, see as well.
Now, the question becomes do you think HP is going to change it's grammar requirements for you? I'm guessing no. So, your choices are not be published a certain percentage of the time, write correctly or move your writing elsewhere.
Really helpful and interesting points. I will take them to heart. Thank you for taking the time to dig deeper into your rating process.
I am not the least bit unhappy with the percentage of my hubs rating a "featured" status. And I am pleased with views and comments on unrated or "not featured" ones.
But again I am a bad example. About 80% of my hubs since June 2013 are featured and I am slowly bring older ones up to standard. Also I do nearly zero networking and the like to drive traffic and I do not do this for a partial or full living.
I was born and brought up in the UK, and I've lived in Australia for nearly 30 years. Like all Brits and Aussies, I've been heavily exposed to American films, television and books. I have no difficulty in understanding all three variants of English, because they are, as Melissa says, nearly identical.
If you want to create your own version of English, that's your privilege. Many writers have done it, but they generally do so in creative writing - not when they're writing opinion pieces or factual articles. As Marlene says, if you want to write for a magazine, you have to follow their Style Guide - and HubPages is no different.
There's a good reason for that, too - HubPages is reliant on search engines for its income. If no one visits your Hubs, HubPages earns no money! Google doesn't really explain how it judges quality, but it's a no-brainer that they're going to use any tools available to them. Grammar and spell checkers are very easy to implement, so if Google isn't using them I'd be amazed.
I think perhaps, that to a lot of HP 'writers' a Style Guide is a totally unknown quality standard
Will Apse - That's pretty interesting. Do you remember the name of the study or who it was carried out by?
I wrote a hub about it, but rather than link it here I thought it might be better if you read it from a reliable source.
One of the bigger points brought out there is that of phishing. Speaking for myself, spelling/grammar errors are a huge tip that the email or site is fraudulent. Even one trips the "watch yourself here!" switch.
Google agrees with you. Three of the things targeted by the Google Panda algorithm when it was introduced are:
1) Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
2) Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
3) Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
Poor spelling and grammar don't cut it on search engine results.
Which is, of course, the second major reason it hurts so badly in revenue. The SE doesn't like it, won't sent traffic and therefore revenue falls.
Next question: Is (or will) Google use authorship to downgrade a site when the author uses poor English on other sites? Facebook, forums, etc.? Will sloppy work in the forums get a hub dinged?
Seems the natural course to take...
Google bots cannot crawl most of Facebook because the pages require a signup. Most forum posts are NoFollow these days, so Google isn't going to follow those links back to the author. I think you can safely whack away at the English language on this Forum without affecting your Hubs' rankings on Google.
What does affect our Hubs is that so many Hubs on HP are riddled with spelling and grammar errors and that affects the entire website. Most high-ranking publishers require letter-perfect content. I wish that HP would follow their example. The fact that many Hubbers do not speak English as a first language is no excuse.
For now, I would agree - Google does not care or is unable to put it together.
For tomorrow, I am not so sanguine. It would not surprise me at all to find that giant of the net both able and willing to follow us nearly everywhere we go and watch what we say. If G can read our emails (and it can) it can read a facebook post.
Hubpages is a content site, they are pretty much going for people who are going for a broad audience so they can make money.
But I thought that niche markets for writers are better. I think Bill has some references for that. HP's broad base would be from a broad base of writers. I give you recipes for example and religion for another.
Certainly Huck Finn type characters are not broad based.
But I look forward if you correct me. I cannot really stand on those thoughts, my own base is not broad enough -- referencing my brain not my followers.
"To say that I am ecclectic would just be being polite"
From your profile Eric.
I think that is accurate. I am raising these issues because I think it is important. I have over 160 featured hubs. I certainly can and often do right to the specifications required.
But sometimes it becomes clear that a non-featured status is the result of bias regarding subject matter or perspective.
Nope. The rating system is set up specifically to avoid bias. If a rater is biased, they are inaccurate. If they are inaccurate, they are no longer a rater.
Do you understand the process of how hubs are rated?
By rater, MelissaBarrett, do you mean the human/Mturks only? I remember when a call went out last year for hubbers to participate in the rating system, I wondered how bias could be prevented completely. I wish I could find the forum from late last summer. Anyway, my question is what if an Mturk and a hubber had a disagreement in a forum and then that Mturk randomly gets that hubber's hub to rate? Or even when we use the hub hopper to rate hubs and come across someone's hub you had an issue with. I have on several occasions come across a hub I rated and knew who it was so it can happen. The same with giving feedback on hubs: are raters/hubbers completely objective, especially if they've been around a while and get to know a lot of hubbers? I think I recall an HP Exec staff saying that the system is built to throw out a certain number of ratings to avoid bias. But I'm still not clear about how it works.
It goes back to the test hub thing. There are both test hubs rated by staff and test hubs rated by other turkers. If ratings are off by more than one or two points cumulative, we lose accuracy percentages on the gold star (staff-rated) hubs. Same thing on the turker-rated hubs, except it's at least three separate turkers being compared.
There is a fairly high percentage of test hubs each day. We rarely know which ones they are but our percentages are accessed every 10 hubs. When we do know, it's because HP has set up specific test hubs and given exact ratings on them. Those ratings are displayed to us, along with our ratings, to know where we messed up.
Those hubs often have controversial topics such as abortion, religion, gay rights, politics etc. They are real hubs.
So, if you have a decided bias against a topic, it's going to affect your accuracy. You will get caught at some point.
As far as fights on a forum, I generally have absolutely no idea who's hub I'm reading. The profile and writer's information doesn't show up unless it's in the text of the hub itself. There have been a few, Mark for example, who was so distinctive that I generally knew his hubs when they popped up. I returned them because I knew my feelings about him as an author would affect my ratings. I like my bonuses.
In addition, you can be assured that Eric's ratings have now been pulled up and examined. Any complaints of bias are going to be looked at. If the rater was obviously biased, they aren't going to be a rater anymore. Turkers know that as well. Just speaking for myself, turking pays quite a few of my bills each month and HP makes up between a fifth and a sixth of my income a week there. I've never hated anyone/anything enough to be spiteful over one hub being featured or not when it means the loss of 5-6 thousand dollars a year.
Edit: Excuse the atrocious typing. I've got a sleeping child between me and the laptop.
Thanks, Melissa, very thorough explanation of how rating works. Your typing is fine. I really appreciate you taking the time. I also appreciate your work ethic.
You're quite welcome. Snarky is pretty much my first mode of communication, but I really am trying to help Eric out. It sucks to think that something is out of your control or that you're being singled out.
And thank you for the complement on the work ethic, although it's really not a work ethic so much as being spoiled by the luxuries in life like food and electric.
I think they use "OMG" these days. It has a flare to it. My elder baby - 3.5 interferes with my typing also. I just think you should get some award or something for all your hard work and explanations. I think you are doing it because you think it is the right thing to do. I think that is outstanding.
Super duper glad you are helping HP to be the great place it is.
Melissa that just does not make sense. A system is designed that every rater is rated and watched. Then why would you not just have the watchers doing the rating?
Whether it makes sense to you or not Eric, that's exactly what it is.
OK. Thank you for confirming a really wasteful and unhelpful redundancy. And a reason why many Great Hubs are not featured.
I was right in the assumption there is human bias by untrained people hurting HP. HP needs to fix that. They are paid well to edit and publish it should not be such a flawed system.
Could you provide an example of an unfeatured hub of yours where you believe the reason for being unfeatured is solely due to its subject?
Sure buddy, here is one and it is only 1100 words or so but I have many with less that are featured so that would not be the issue.
<link snipped>"Too Much Information. TMI How much is too much."<link snipped>
Over forty visits, decent comments and no bad feedback.
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