Including an "About The Author" capsule in hubs.

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  1. JessBraz profile image93
    JessBrazposted 6 years ago

    Hello everyone!
    I have seen some hubs published that include a little "About the Author" blurb at the bottom of the hub.. However, it seems pretty common on Hubpages not to include that at the bottom of hubs.

    I know it is pretty common to include something like that in blog posts and more newsy type web-sites, I am considering adding one of these to the bottom of a hub I'm working on. I know we have hub profiles, but sometimes people who just find your articles on Google don't always click through to read your actual profile. Does anyone use this practice in their hubs? I like the idea of including an "about the other" capsule at the bottom, because I feel like it might make my hubs look a little more polished and professional. I could possibly include a link to my HP profile as well.

    Does anyone else do this or have any opinions about how it looks on hubs?

    Much appreciated!

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      There used to be a large photo of the Hubber at the top of each Hub, with a prominent link to read more of their Hubs.   At some point, HubPages took a conscious decision to de-emphasise the authorship of each Hub, making our photo on Hubs tiny (it was going to be even smaller than it is now, but we all howled in protest!), and removing the link.  At the same time, the "related Hubs" were added at the end of the Hub, making the Group links less obviously by the same author.   

      Some Hubbers responded by creating a self-promotional paragraph at the end of each Hub, but that ran into duplicate content issues.   Others tried to get around that by creating a "sign-off" image containing a photo of themselves and a blurb, but that's not allowed either (although I still see one or two surviving here and there). 

      Some people added a link to their profile, but it was classed as an "unrelated link" and those Hubs were unpublished.

      So what I'm saying is, HubPages is not keen on giving prominence to individual authors, so I can't see it agreeing to create a capsule for that purpose!

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image94
        DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Methinks we did not "howl in protest" loud and long enough! 
        What is Hub Pages trying to do?   Imply that it, as a corporation, is, in fact, the author of all these diverse articles?
        That makes no sense.  Look at any major magazine; the authors have a prominent 'by line.'  Hub Pages is, in essence, a magazine, albeit an on-line, electronic version; still a magazine.
        As authors who are given full rights to retain our own copyrights to our works, we are neither employees nor work-for-hire contractors of Hub Pages.  Ergo, things should be put back the way they were in the first place, with proper by lines, credits, photos and links to our profiles.
        In much the same way as any regular magazine contributor often gets at least a sidebar telling "more about this author," or the author of a book may have a blurb on the jacket or end piece giving contact information.
        Come on, Hub Pages; isn't our hard work worth this recognition?  Why was it taken away?

        1. Marisa Wright profile image95
          Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          To be fair, we do still have a byline and a photo at the top of our Hubs. Take a look at any newspaper or magazine - the byline for common-or-garden journalists is small, and may not even have a photo.  Only the featured columnists get a large image and a bolded name. We are not featured columnists, we are common-or-garden writers. 

          In fact, I think that's one of the reasons they did it.  Before we each got our own sub-domain, we writers knew our place on HubPages - we were all writers writing for one huge magazine.  Then we were given our own sub-domains and started thinking of ourselves as islands, not as part of a whole - and perhaps, we started getting an inflated sense of our own importance as individuals rather than as contributors to something bigger.   Writers were writing to attract readers to their own account, and through that, to their own blogs and websites, instead of staying on HubPages.

          So the thinking was - make it less likely that readers will visit a Hubber's profile and thence be redirected off site.  Make it more attractive for the reader to stay on HubPages and browse around other articles on the same subject. 

          There were many, many objections at the time and multiple forum threads on the topic.  HubPages did not offer any explanation then, and have never done so since.   Since then, this same question has been asked by newbies several times.  On each occasion, I've answered along the lines of my post above.  No one from HubPages staff has ever replied to dispute my interpretation.

          1. DzyMsLizzy profile image94
            DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Good points, Marisa.
            I do believe, however, that the larger photo went away before the individual sub-domains came into being...I could be wrong, of course...I often am.
            In fact, I'm thinking I should cease posting such concerns, because I am often wrong, and I don't care to stir up any drama or re-hash old news.

    2. ravi1991 profile image73
      ravi1991posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      @JessBraz  I believe that you need not to add that additional column. The reason is that what makes sense to the reader is the content. And if your content is impressive enough he/she will be surely fascinated to know more about you and your hubs. And then he will visit your profile. What I do most of the time is adding EPILOGUE at the end.

      Best wishes for a wonderful day

  2. Lisa HW profile image57
    Lisa HWposted 6 years ago

    This is something I've been thinking needs to be included in some of my Hubs (maybe most of them), but I've been thinking of just including it on my own.  The reason, at least in my case, is that the stuff I write is from either lots of personal background/experience and/or previous research; which means that I don't, most often, research for Hubs - mainly, too, because my whole aim is to share something that isn't generally included in expert research. 

    As it is, I'm only struggling with going between a little referring to "I" or "me", mainly to make sure people know it's more along the lines of insight, rather than information.  But, the challenge is that I only right about stuff that I've really, really, had a lot of background/experience on (to the point where I've learned more than, say, going through something once or twice).

    I won't do what other people do (and I've seen plenty of this), which is to be afraid to write in first person (for fear that it doesn't look professional), or to write in a "authoritative tone" (in an attempt to make it look more professional).  So, either my Hubs look like they're low quality, missing research (and maybe there was years of studying up and/or experience - just not for the particular Hub); or just generally kind of weird.    hmm

    So, while I think the profile is fine for "about the author in general", I think that kind of thing aimed specifically at each Hub (at least when applicable, and when the writer is writing in his own voice/from his own experience - and maybe the whole point of the Hub is to try to offer something other than "all the rest of the research out there"), would be really good.

    The person who writes as a "straight, article-writer" and writes "straight information" almost doesn't need the "about the author" thing with his stuff.  The same with people who write something like fiction, poetry, or even political "thoughts".  The person who writes non-fiction but "non-straight/information-article" is, I think, the one more likely to need what I have in mind.

  3. Cardisa profile image91
    Cardisaposted 6 years ago

    Here is my take.

    A website has one "about us" page. All subsequent pages are for information alone and may contain the author's name. The pages in the website do not contain the author's bio, you can find the info about the website on the about us page or a page dedicated to its authors.

    I have a subscription to the Huffington Post and though they do have a tiny photo of the author with their name, there is no "bio" there.

    We already have a profile page on which to tell the entire internet about ourselves. It would be a bit over promotional to place a bio on every page we publish. Readers understand how these sites work and if they want to know more about us, they will click on the link to our profile, if not, I don't think it's a good idea to be all up in their to speak.

    1. Lisa HW profile image57
      Lisa HWposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I generally agree, provided it's a website on which writers are all writing researched, information-only, type of articles.  Where I think things are different with this site is that it allows people to write material other than "as writers only".   When I write "as a writer only" I don't think anyone needs to know, or cares a whole lot about, me or my background as a writer.  Under "normal circumstances" (or writing straight, information-only, articles) a well written piece that offers research for that specific piece is all anyone really needs.

      If I write about how to get children through their "two's" without temper tantrums I can't write "how to" without including research, because I'm not a child-development expert and don't really have a right to write a "how to" without approach it that way.

      What I often do, though, is write "how-I" articles.  I'm not being self-centered with that.  I just prefer to write "how-I" over "how-to", because I want to write what I, in particularly, have some area of strength in.  Nobody's really going to care about "how-I" did something if I a) don't say how I did it, but b) point out that the thing comes from first-hand experience (but solid  experience, combined with things like reading from personal interest, previous research for other projects years ago, etc.)  In an example like this, I want to let readers know that I didn't just have a child or two who happened not to be "terrible" when they were two; but I also want to emphasize that it is a first-person thing, and that I'm not an expert and can't write from the voice of an expert.

      Lots of sites don't want material presented in a way other than in the style/tone that a professional, article-writer, would present it.  There's no confusion there.  On a site like this, which tells people to write from their own "passion", "expertise", "enthusiasm", etc.; it can present a challenge in terms of making the article honest and credible.  I have subjects that I've spent ten/twenty/twenty-five years essentially researching (that have nothing to do with children, by the way); but because I'm self-employed and essentially "specialize" in subjects that are generally either written by writers in the "article-only" style, or else written by experts in one field or another (and yet that don't cover the "angle" that I want to cover, or don't uncover some of the stuff that someone needs to uncover); my stuff often (most of the time, especially now that I've hacked up my subdomain) looks a lot lower in quality than it otherwise would (and there's really not room on the profile, or even on Google+) to include background in one area or another without making it look like a big, ridiculous, book about me (that nobody cares about, no matter what article/piece of mine they may decide to read/not read.    hmm

      If HP came out and said, "We don't want anything but straight, information-only, researched" material (without any first-person insight, experience.and/or information that isn't covered in a lot of research)," then I'd just say, "OK" and not write anything on here.  That'd be fine.  But so far, they haven't said that.

      Either way, though, I really think it can sometimes depend on how/what is presented in a Hub.

  4. JessBraz profile image93
    JessBrazposted 6 years ago

    Very interesting insights! Marisa, I wasn't aware that providing a link to your own profile in a hub might result in your hub being unpublished. Thank you very much for the heads up! I've been working very hard on my next hub and I would be devastated if it got unpublished over something as silly and easily fixable as a profile link.

    I understand that due to the subject matter of a lot of the hubs posted on Hupages, (i.e.. Informational hubs, how-to's etc.) it isn't really necessary to include an "about the author" blurb at the bottom of a hub. I have never done so in any of my previous hubs, because, well it would just look out of place. (Example, My hub about Havanese dogs... I'm not a professional havanese breeder, a vet or any kind of recognized "expert" in the field of havanese dogs.. so it would look rather self promotional and frankly weird to include an "about the author" in a hub like that... What would I even put? "The author loves Havanese dogs and frequently dog sits her brothers Havanese Rufus?") In a situation like that it would probably detract from not only the overall look of the hub, but it might make readers think "So?!?" and think less of an author.

    I was considering putting a little "about the author" blurb at the bottom of my next hub because it's something I have actual knowledge in and is dedicated to a provincial park that I love dearly and visit very often. I thought it might be a nice way for readers to know that I didn't just pull all this stuff of the internet and that I have a genuine interest and experience on the subject matter of this particular hub. Now I'm not so sure if I will leave it in there when I publish it.  Maybe referencing my own personal experiences at the park throughout the hub might achieve this as well. I'll have to think on it some more.

    I can certainly understand Hubpages not wanting writers to simply write sub par Hubs and include links to their external web-sites or blogs in an "about the author" section. However, I don't write for any other web-sites and take great care in trying to publish hubs that HP can be proud to have on their site. I guess this would be an example of a few rotten apples ruining it for the rest of us.

    You all have given me lots to ponder. smile

    PS- I apologize if this question has been posted on here several times before. I actually went back through the forums and tried to find a previous post regarding this issue before I posted this... but there were too far back and I couldn't find them.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That makes sense and wouldn't be a problem, because it will be more "why I'm qualified to write this Hub" and different each time, not a "hey look at me I'm a writer:.

      I'm not so sure they are all rotten.   Many writers use HubPages as a part of their writing portfolio, so although they refer to their own blogs or websites, and have links to those on their profile, the Hubs themselves must be high quality, too.  It's just that under the old system, that side of things was getting too much emphasis.

      No worries.   It's not that easy to find old threads on these forums and it never hurts to ask questions again - sometimes someone has a new answer!

  5. Millionaire Tips profile image91
    Millionaire Tipsposted 6 years ago

    Even though the question has been asked before, it was a long time ago, and it is a great idea, so I think it should be re-visited from time to time. 

    It isn't evident to me that the link to the name will take people to the profile (my family members didn't get it until I told them.).  Besides, they need to have that link AFTER they are done reading my hub.  A short (maybe limit number of characters?) and simple blurb at the bottom of the hub with a link to the profile would be great, especially one that is already added, and we can customize it for each hub.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, but a couple of Hubbers had Hubs unpublished a while ago and it was finally established that the problem was a link to their profiles, which was classed as "unrelated".


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