While I'm being a policeman, I can't help noticing that there's a lot of self-promotion that goes on in the forums. Especially the "other topics" forums, where quite often you'll find posts with not much more than the link to the person's Hub.
Surely the forums are places to discuss things with each other and with HP staff, not swap links. If the threads get clogged up with this stuff, it will discourage people from coming to the forum to have discussions. It's certainly putting me off, because I can't be bothered ploughing through the self-promoting stuff.
At Helium, they set up a thread specifically for people who wanted to post links to their articles. If people post elsewhere, the post gets moved. That means people who are interested in providing feedback know where to go, and people who want to chat can do so undisturbed.
Maybe worth thinking about here, too?
I would be interested if some people want to post their links explaining why it is worth reading it because I don't have time to wander all over hubpages so yes a forum just for posting links would be a good idea.
Also for me, sometimes I make a post that I really consider important and I really feel upset that only people from my fans list - though I have quite a few 62 - could only be notified of it.
I asked this a little while back: Other Topics sub-forums
"Is it meant as a place to plug our hubs or to have general discussion that isn't hub related?"
I'm wondering what HubPages HQ's stance is on the matter.
LOL, I think I had my schoolteacher's hat on yesterday (not that I am one, but almost all the rest of my family in - and it's catching).
I'd like to know what the official view is, too. Personally, I think it would be a shame if the forums get overrun with people plugging their hubs.
Agreed, agreed, agreed!
I think it's fine to reference your (or someone else's) hub in the course of a conversation, if relevent, but I'm tired of seeing postings with titles like, "What do you know about xxxxx?" and then inside is just a link to what that person knows about xxxxx.
I agree guys.
Forums are for questions, networking, socializing, and getting a feel for what people want to know or learn about.
And like Maddie added... It's okay to reference in addition to a comment because some things require more information than can or should be posted in a forum.
Promos are just clutter. Hubpages offers plenty of ways to promote outside of the forums.
Take advantage of those methods because from what I understand getting outside traffic is more profitable and better for the writer's reputation.
So, I posted one to advertise a hub where I want others to contribute a Haiku. Would you think that was appropriate, or not?
If it can become a discussion, and worded correctly (in the post, not just the thread title), I don't think it would be a problem.
I think the reason behind expanding the sub-forums is to create, or at least attempt, a sense of community. A place for people to come and relax and enjoy themselves between making hubs.
I do feel that Squidoo's SquidU has managed to pull that off. Frivolous banter and off-topic chatter has grown and blossomed.
With the right nurture and direction I do believe the HubForum can spread and thrive that way too.
I think you all have it more or less right. The forums are a place for HubPages users new and old to interact. Obviously, sometimes interacting involves linking to hubs or external resources. I don't think appropriate behavior can be strictly codified, but should rather be an evolving standard that is defined, and to some extent enforced by the community (with the help of the HubPages administrators).
We delete the obvious spam as soon as we see it. We tend to let a little bit of self promotion slide for established community members. Because the "other topics" forums are relatively new the noise ratio may appear high right now because there isn't much "legitimate conversation" going on. There are two ways you can help: 1) participate yourself in a positive way, 2) report inappropriate behavior.
First, thanks for replying to all of this Paul.
Second, I rarely link to hubs (mine or others) on these forums. Because I think the Haiku hub I did link was an attempt to create a community collection of poetry, I think it is a fitting link.
I can't imagine posting a misleading title, then only have the link in the actual post. I those sorts of posts should be ignored. I tend not to click on the link.
You are all making a lot of interesting points.
Guilty as charged Perhaps there needs to be a hub review section. People can post a link to their new hub for others to critique. Just an idea.
Yes, that was my suggestion, too. Then the moderators can jump on people who post in the other threads without inconveniencing anyone (do they have the ability to move posts from one thread to another?)
Paul, I feel you have to be careful about being lenient on self-promotion, because it becomes a vicious circle. You don't remove the self-promoting because the thread is quiet - and then we give up on participating because every time we go in to help someone out, we find it's just a plug for something. I really think it's better for the forums to be quiet than to be full of the wrong stuff.
That is an excellent idea.
I started the "Critique Me" sub-forum at SquidU and it's been a raging success.
(When people aren't making more than one thread about the same lens.)
I like the idea of a hub critique forum. It would be a good place for us "veteran" hubbers to get advice on how to tweak a hub to improve it, and give new hubbers a place to post their first hubs to see if they've done them "right." Just in the past couple of weeks, I've come across a couple of posts here in the forums from newbies wondering if they could get feedback on their first hubs. I think it would be really useful.
I agree that self-promotion in the forums gets annoying.
I like the Hub review idea as well.
I don't think that's what most people here are complaining about. Your post was an invitation for the Hubpages community to interact. IMO, that's totally different.
I know. My intention was to give an example of a post that would include a good link, as opposed to the ones that have a misleading title, then only a link in the body of the post.
My advice is for everyone to ignore the ones they don't think are kosher.
I understand all that is being said. But I don't see what's wrong with posting a hub that we would like to share, especially if we've been involved in other conversations (that is, not just a one-way street). That would be a way to open up a topic with the information in the hub we've done. For example, I posted my "How to begin collecting Picassos" in the Arts Section. I feel that it's a hub with depth and a little bit of good writing. Someone may have picked up the ball (or in this case, the brush) and tossed around some cubist comments and just like that, we're off into the world of modern art....
Let's be open minded and not inclined to flame. We have a lot of other sites for that...
PS: Aching to put a link to my hub here :-)
If you put in a question in your thread, something to kick start the conversation, it would help.
I hadn't seen your threads, until now. And there are no replies. And that's not because you're not a bright intelligent human being. It's because the conversation is one sided. There is no open invitation for people to respond and share their thoughts or opinions.
To be fair though, you have made an effort to be talkative in the threads and it's not just hit and run with a URL.
Yes, I agree that if you're involved in a conversation and then mention a relevant hub, that's fine and completely legitimate, IMO.
What's not legitimate is to start a new thread by posting a link to your hub, without doing anything else to "start a conversation". That simply looks like a "read my hubs and improve my traffic" request. And even then, we're not saying people can't do that - we're just saying there should be a special thread for it.
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