This may be controversial. However, it's just an idea, so keep calm!
I was thinking about the whole discussion about what Hubpages is and how to ensure that there is maximum quality writing and minimal spammy yuck. And *ping* I had an idea.
But first of all, let's clear up one thing. Since its inception, Hubpages has changed and evolved. I don't really know what it was like five or six years ago, but it is quite explicit if you join today that the mission of Hubpages is to make money, both as a company and for its writing community, by producing the highest quality, search-friendly informational articles on the web. Period. It's written in black and white.
I am aware that poets and fiction writers and personal bloggers don't rub along with this - but there are other sites for that sort of thing, both new and well-established. I think with certain kinds of fiction - if you are an exceptional writer - you can make that search-friendly and profitable but that's a different story and you'd still need original or properly attributed images, a minimum word count and so on. I'm not knocking the creative writing people - Lordy knows the world needs you guys - I'm just being honest, as a relative newbie, about what Hubpages presents itself as to the world today (rather than half a decade ago).
But spammy or inappropriate or poor quality work abounds on the site - although not as much as there used to be, I suspect.
When I first started, before posting anything, I assiduously studied the Learning Center articles which are totally fantastic: clear, helpful, rich in usefulness. I got off to a good start that way.
So my idea is this:
In order to sign up for Hubpages in the first place, study of the Learning Center should be obligatory.
I know that would be hard to enforce, but if at the end of each page there was a check box or something - at least folks would have to go to the LC and while some folks might just click through, many more would end up reading at least some of it.
I would have thought it easy to set up and no skin off anyone's nose who was serious about writing.
Well (deep breath) what do you guys think?
The site would not fundamentally change the site quality in any discernible capacity. And no more new users would wind up reading the Learning Center than do or don't read them now.
But it would make more work for the programmers and mods in implementing the changes initially and then answering a never-ending stream of questions about how that's really supposed to work or why it was decided to make all that clicking compulsory.
Just because one person chose a path for themselves and thinks it's a great idea doesn't mean the same process should be forced on everyone else.
Its a good idea in principle, although as you mentioned, it might be tricky to enforce.
I do agree with you though that ensuring writers and hubs meet a certain level of quality is essential for HPs longer term health.
I believe that the QAP addresses some of this, and over the time I have been here, the QAP system has gotten quicker, and seems to have done a pretty good job of weeding out a lot of the garbage, spun hubs. (Its not perfect yet, but small steps!)
One of the things that I have seen other sites do (e.g. Zujava) is to not publish any of a writer's articles until that writer has produced a certain amount of high quality pieces. That's something that would also help here (so you'd have to have at least three hubs QAP at 70 or better, say, prior to getting any of your work published.)
First of all, it's very obvious that you're a newbie. It's the fiction writers and tall-tale tellers that worked their tails off and got a lot of folks reading and joining Hubpages initially that has made the site the success it is. It was only after a period of time that the "how to walk and chew gum folks" became the preferred writers on Hubpages and creative folks were told to peddle their wares elsewhere. If you're going to write on Hubpages you will now write what they want you to, how they want you to and when they want you to -- and they'll even look over your shoulder and make suggestions as you write. As a writer/author I find nothing rewarding about that at all -- unless one is writing strictly for the money and then perhaps it's a win-win for both Hubpages and the writer. I just wanted to point out -- as you were quick to suggest where creative writers could move on to and "do well" -- that the "how-to" writers wouldn't have Hubpages in all it's glory if a great many of us hadn't gone on before you and paved the way by writing stories and articles that truly interested our readers and attracted them to Hubpages in the first place. To be sure -- we're well aware we're no longer welcome and it's time to move on -- but we sure did a grand job of getting the site started before we fell out of favor.
That sounds like a good way to never get any new hubbers.
Well, that's the Catch-22, isn't it?
Either you have a lot of new hubbers with little control over the quality, or very few new hubbers with a much more rigid standard. The former might make a bit more money in the short-term, but it would come at the cost of the site's reputation, whereas the latter is much better for building reputation and devoted followers.
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