On two occasions I've been asked about the publication date for my hubs. Once in a hub comment, and once in an email via my website. What possible reason would someone have to ask this question? Is this a new scam that people are pulling? Somehow they are able to steal the copyright by knowing the original publication date? I don't know... but to be asked such a strange question on two occasions sure is peculiar. Any takers?
P.S. It was for two different hubs and the requests were months apart.
I'm sure somebody else has a better idea, but perhaps the hubs have been copied, and somebody wants to know who copied who. I'd check them on Copyscape.
There don't seem to be any significant copies beyond the usual low-priority spammers. Maybe it's a teacher/examiner looking to see if a student has been copying from the web. However, the grammar in the email was pretty poor, so I don't know.
My suspicion would be that it's a blogger who is looking to copy my work and fake a publication date before my own. It happened to me once before where a blogspot page was showing a copied article with a publication date before mine. I still got it taken down though.
I was also wondering if somebody just wanted to check how up to date your hub is, but I can hardly imagine that would be an issue if it's about an historical figure like Truman, unless there have been recent revelations.
I think you're right and should trust your gut. It's possible that the person was doing a report and the teacher required him/her to cite the publication dates of webpages referenced. But a person with clean motives would have provided that context for the question. Asking it with no context raises my suspicions too.
I've had this question on one of my history hubs. I assumed it was someone who was checking for school work. It has not been copied, so far as I can tell, and I have checked a few times.
Did you notice if they were the same person or search to find out if they were related?
The first was a comment on this hub two months ago: http://hubpages.com/hub/Different-Types … e-Universe
It was from a guest commenter called hubblehartsu who just said "when was this article published". I thought it was suspicious then, so I didn't provide an answer.
Today I got an email about my Harry Truman hub from someone who gave their full name and email address, asking: "hi there, I am would like to know when you wrote your piece on harry Truman (was harry Truman the worst president in US history?). I think it is a good piece"
It's a different name, though a search reveals it's also the name of a gay porn star! It's quite a common name though.
I do not know if this is helpful, but it is interesting. I was using Meta search for 'hubblehartsu' and it asked, "Do you mean hubble'hartsu?" So I tried "hubble'hartsu+student"'. I got this - a yearbook with these students highlighted: Kimbra G. Hart, Susan L. Hartman, and William M. Hubble. Maybe the 3 of them picked that name?
I would not provide an answer, myself. I'd either ignore and deny the comment, or simply state that I don't provide my personal statistics.
In any event, I've had quite a bit of trouble with either nasty comments, or irrelevant, spammy comments full of links from "guest" users, that I now have my comments set so that only registered Hubbers may comment. That has eliminated those types of problems.
It's probably a student or someone who used it for research. The format for citing a website is this:
Last name, First name. "Article Title." Website Title. Publisher of Website, Day Month Year article was published. Web. Day Month Year article was accessed. <URL>.
Thomas, I think those are comments from school kids who need a publication date to use for a footnote or bibliography. Most adults would presume that the publication date roughly resembles the date of the first comment. Also, HP doesn't exactly make it easy for a visitor to contact a Hubber. (Most websites have a 'contact' button; that's the user-friendly way to do it.) It shouldn't be a secret when you published a Hub. Revealing that information couldn't possibly hurt you.
Thanks Writer Fox. That's what I wasn't sure about. Now that I think about it, hubpages used to give the original publication date anyway. I emailed him earlier to ask why, and he said it's because he's a history student who wants to quote the article for his coursework. So I gave him the date. I wouldn't source a random article on the web like he has, but it's flattering I suppose.
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