I'm sorry if this post offends anybody, but I am really getting tired of people who basically are non English speakers showing up, throwing a hub together without expending any effort to read the forums or the learning center to find out what they should be doing, and then asking for help to "improve their hubs" or "get more traffic" or "make more money". I am the first person to offer help to anybody who has at least made the most basic effort, (ie learn English adequately), but lately I keep seeing posts like this and am soooo tired of them!
The problem is that too many good hearted souls are willing to jump in with guidance, but the problem is that they are enabling these people, wasting everybody's time and giving them the opportunity to stay here and lower our ranking and thus our income and views.
People, pay attention to what you are doing here! Frankly, if English was my second language I would really be hesitant to try to write on a public venue with the hope of earning money on any kind of long term basis. The people here who ARE able to do that and who are succeeding, have done this the right way, and because of this, they have improved this site immeasurably.
I refuse to waste my efforts to reach out to those who have no business coming here, and I think if others would stop doing this, those requesting this sort of help would be forced to leave. One "correction" on the most recent post of this ilk that I read? "You should capitalize the letter I when you write". Really?
I have formally decided not to "help" anyone like this for free, as I'm here to write and enjoy interacting with WRITERS, not people learning how to start writing their first blog post on the net. It is of no benefit to me to assist such people for free and is a waste of my time.
I am happy to converse with anyone about Hubpages stuff and the general community topics, but if you want me to help you with your English, I'd be charging a lot of money for that kind of tutoring (if I was even interested).
Note: If you want to be an English tutor on HP and charge for it, there could be quite a lucrative career in it for you!
No one's teaching me Mandarin on here, which I feel might be a useful skill for my future. I certainly don't hop on a Chinese website and expect everyone to assist me in learning Mandarin for free while I masquerade as an "author" or a "writer".
It's a bit like people who've used Photoshop once calling themselves graphic designers or one bad sketch making people into "artists". It is an insult to the profession and the lowering of bar is a lowering of industry talent and perception of what it means to be a fluent English writer.
For all of those people out there who have tried and are trying very hard to learn English and write here, if you find people don't want to teach you English or don't seem to want to talk to you, do not be offended, it is lots of work for people to do this for free for you. Maybe you could offer in return to teach someone your native language? Or you could offer to review other people's hubs if they are supposed to review yours...
It is rude to expect free help from the community when you offer nothing of value in return.
For those with a reasonable grasp of the English language, I hope you can continue to practice your skills and become much more fluent in your second language. Good luck, and don't forget to research taking English lessons on the web instead of asking for assistance in the HP forums.
Be released then. Be selective.
Trust me, I am released. From all obligations to people who want want want and give me nothing in return.
sorry to hear that. I guess writers should check their grammar and spellings before submission. Maybe HP moderator should do that for newbies not the experienced writers
peachpurple: They should also do this when they write in the forums.
I don't think ignoring these people will force them to leave.
If you don't want to help people who ask for it on the forums, then don't help them. If you "did not come here to reteach the English Language.or how to write" then don't do it. No one is forcing you to.
The new member who (I think) spurred this thread wrote a thin, spammy hub using poor English skills, and the hub did not pass QAP and was not featured. Next, they did what HP suggests and clicked on the link provided by HP in the email sent to them to inform them their hub did not pass QAP. The link took them to the "improving your hub" forum, and the link robo-posted their question in the manner described here: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128255
Now Timetraveller2 is chastising not only this person for attempting to write here, but also me for answering their forum post. Instead, TT2 says I am enabling this person, and I should have ignored their forum post, which would force them to leave.
By providing an answer to their forum post, I am not bringing the site down. Yes, I told them they should capitalize the letter "i," but I also told them a whole lot more. The answer I gave them is not enabling them to post a poorly written piece. This HP member is not out of boot camp. The QAP will do its job and catch anything that is not worthy of being featured. I merely told them why their piece was not featured. The problems with their article went far beyond poor English skills. I doubt that article will ever be featured. By telling them some of the main problems with it, I do not think I am enabling them to publish it and bringing the site down. I was just trying to help them understand why their article did not pass and what it takes to make the cut here. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128532
Boot camp and QAP are in place to help keep out poorly written articles. The fact that I filled in a clueless member as to why their article was not published is not bringing the site down. I do not like poor quality content any more than TT2, but I am not enabling it to be published by helping someone understand why their article was rejected.
If you don't want to help the ESL members or answer their forum posts, then don't. It is not required.
You've expressed yourself well and I agree. HP announced that hubbers can post links to hubs which did not pass QAP. It's a choice.
If hubs poorly fail QAP because they have too many errors, there could be a different option as to how these writers receive help. If one hub fails, most likely all of their hubs will not pass QAP. Either there can be an editor helping those writers in Boot Camp or more stringent policies put in place to make sure new writers can produce readable content.
SmartandFun: Oh, I know helping is not "required", and I agree that the moderators and the QAP should catch these problems and work with these people. However, if all they are doing is sending them to the forums and asking US to help them, then what good are they?
In situations like this particular one, the writer should simply be sent an email that states something like "Sorry to inform you that this site is for people with good English skills. Your article shows that you are not qualified to write here. Please come back after you have improved your skills sufficiently by taking appropriate class work in the English language and how to use it".
I have given up on helping these people, and totally disagree with your thoughts that "helping" them is not "enabling them". What you are doing when you offer "help" is to give these people the hope that they WILL be able to improve...in fact, the writer actually responded to that effect.
People who are lacking in basic language skills have no business trying to write on this site, and someone kindly offering suggestions to improve their skills will never be enough to accomplish that goal.
I am a certified ESOL teacher with a Master's degree and many years of experience working with foreign students, and know this as a fact. So while you are trying, in your mind, to do the right thing, you actually are causing problems, not only for the writers who have these problems, but also for the site.
As I said earlier, there are numerous second language speakers who write beautifully on HP. They are the ones who took the time to learn the appropriate skills and did not need to ask for language help when they came here because they already had them. I think they would be as appalled as anybody that these others are doing these things. Wouldn't you be? Wouldn't it bother YOU to jump through all the hoops to learn what you needed to know and then come onto these forums and see what is going on? It would sure upset me!
I'm done with "helping" these folks. I am sorry they have no clue, but that is not on me...it's on them.
Poorly written hubs are not being published. The QAP gets them. The worst offenders will never get out of boot camp and never be published here.
It would be great if HP sent ESL members an email stating that their hubs must be written in fluent, proper English, but HP is not doing this. People on the forums are, if they choose to. I am not teaching anyone English, rewriting or editing their articles, or helping them get their poorly written articles published. I am telling them why their articles were rejected. This is what you want HP to do. Why is it so bad if members do it instead? I would prefer that HP do it, but they are not. Why is it OK for HP to break this news to these forum posters, but if a fellow HP member tells them the same information it is called enabling?
I think you and I are mostly on the same page.
I would love to see HP go beyond boot camp and the QAP and actually pre-screen writers, but until that happens I don't see why it is so bad for me to tell an ESL member to become fluent in English, find non-spam subjects to write about, and to let them know it is unacceptable to advertise their business or website in their articles.
SmartandFun: Actually, the QAP is not really getting all of them, and that's part of the problem. It needs to be changed and improved, and there should be initial screening. If you do much hub hopping, you will see that this is true. The reason it is OK for HP to tell people their work is substandard is that this is THEIR JOB, not ours. Quite often when another writer tries to help, he is met with anger. This has happened to me more than once, which is what made me realize what was going on here. Yes, there are some who will thank you, etc...but you never know which is which! Continue to help if you like, but I'm done with helping on this level. As one writer stated, we're no getting all those people who used to write on Bubblews. This is a real problem for HP, because there is a flood of them and if we don't stop it, we could drown.
The hub hopper is part of the QAP process. The poor quality hubs you are seeing in the hopper are not yet featured and likely will never see the light of day (or Google bots) without extensive reworking.
If poor quality hubs make it through the QAP process, it is not because I gave someone feedback on the forums, telling them to use proper grammar, avoid spammy subjects and cut out the blatant self promotion.
edited to add: http://hubpages.com/faq/#hop
Smart and Fun: Then this is all the more reason why those posts should be unpublished instead of being unfeatured. If they are unpublished, the result is permanent and there would be no need to come onto the forums to ask for help, especially if the reason for being unpublished is made crystal clear. The QAP is not being properly used, apparently.
Crowdsourced web sites that pay people for content seem to have gone through the same evolutionary process for as long as they have been around... think "Epinions," think "Themestream," think "WrittenByMe," all around the late 1990s... followed by 100s of others.
Everything typically starts out around the idea "I can create CONTENT here, and get paid for it." But as soon as any measure of viability is established, the core paradigm gradually moves towards "I want to make MONEY here, what can I do to make that happen?"
Whereas both ideas are-- in essence-- about compensation for contributions, the former is content based; the latter is income based.
As a metaphor, think about medicine. Do you become a doctor because you are passionate about healing people and would like to get paid for that... or do you just "want to make a lot of money" so you decide to practice medicine as the path to that? Where will we find the better doctors?
Seems to me there's a lot of debate here with the subtle subtext that it's somehow "unfair" to enforce standards on participants. And that we should be more open and welcoming towards everyone. But really? Getting back to the medical analogy, would you REALLY want to have your head cut open at a hospital where "people who once dissected a frog in high school" are allowed to practice neurosurgery... in service of supporting an "inclusive" environment? I'm gonna guess NO. But of course I could be wrong...
The whole open-mindedness and all inclusiveness idea is very pretty... in THEORY. But FUNCTIONALLY speaking, it's basically (to use a recent example) "The Bubblews Model," allowing whomever to do whatever and get paid for it. I suppose that's fine if your life philosophy revolves around wandering from one "quick buck" to the next... but if you prefer a little more permanence, it just doesn't work.
Why? Because real humans reading real web pages want to read real content of real value to them. And the oft touted "system" is ultimately centered around that idea. Yeah, yeah... I know. You might get a few pennies by creating some form of clickbait... but it's an approach with no lasting power and no lasting value. And I agree with your original sentiment... I have no issue with helping genuinely aspiring writers progress, but attempting to do that for those who flock here because they have heard that "You Can Get Paid To Write Articles Online!!!" and whose primary skill is "clicking for pennies" is pretty much a waste of everyone's time.
And let's not lose sight of the fact that nobody is "entitled" to get paid for their words... you EARN compensation for your words.
Of course, that's just my OPINION. I'm probably an "old fossil" because I believe there's a better approach than running after the next "fast paying site for writers" every three months...
Denmark Guy: Thanks so much for this great comment. I had to laugh because I, myself, was thinking of the doctor analogy just yesterday. I have always said that if someone is going to take a knife and cut into my body, I want the guy who graduated med school at the top of his class, not the one who just barely made it to graduation! Same philosophy!! I think part of the problem here is that many who write on HP do not understand that this IS a business, and a very competitive one. The fewer impediments HP has, the more likely it is to be successful. It's a tough old world, so to survive, you have to be good at what you do. Trying to perform when you lack the skills to do so is always a mistake. Great post, my friend.
I so understand what you are saying.
I love to help people if they ask for help - but, as you say, not to learn English or how to write. Anyone who joins a site like HubPages should already know how to write and should have a good command of the English language.
Those who I do help are sincere and serious, want to learn how to further develop the knowledge they already have. I do help some people who need help understanding HP policies and requirements when I see they are already good writers and just need a little assistance to get their hub featured.
For those who start a thread saying " Help. I am new and want to learn how to write ..." and can't even use proper spelling / grammar, I either give them a link to the Learning Center, or just go on my way with my own things to do.
Thanks for bringing up this subject, TT2. I am sure these issues frustrate a lot of hubbers.
I understand your frustration. I know it can be difficult when experienced, hardworking Hubbers like you truly want to help and it seems like newbies aren't doing their part.
I think part of the reason so many ESL writers with English difficulties join HubPages is that it used to be the kind of place where their work could be successful anyway (or at least make them a little bit of money). They may be reading or hearing outdated info and end up believing that is still the case. Even though HubPages hasn't been that type of writing site for several years now, the reputation sadly persists.
It's probably best to politely let ESL writers with poor English skills know that HubPages is now a site that requires a basic level of English proficiency and that he/she should either seek the help of an Editor skilled in English or work on improving his/her own English skills before publishing.
That is a kind and considerate way to let non-English speakers know what is needed to have a chance of success on HubPages.
That is very good advice, Christy. I will remember that. Thank you.
I have seen where some writers have said that. It may seem harsh, but it is better than letting people think they can be successful on HP with just a few easy tips and fixes.
Kristy: Yes, and I think the people most suited to doing this are the members of your team. If other writers say these things, they do not have the credibility of someone who is involved with running this site and making decisions. What would be wrong with sending an email to such people to tell them you are closing their account because of their language deficiencies and advising them to take some classes and then come back and try again? You would be doing them a big favor in the long run, and certainly would be upgrading HP.
The simple answer to your question is a lack of resources. There is no automated way for us to determine whether a person's grammar and spelling issues are due to that person being an ESL learner or something else, and staff simply doesn't have the time to address each Hubber with quality issues personally (especially since many never request additional feedback and may not want it).
Kristy: So what would be wrong with writers here reporting articles that are poorly written and having your team send out a standardized email that advises them of the issue as stated above. You have a good number of professionally trained language teachers here who could help with identifying them. After that, it would only be a matter of placing their name on an email and closing their account here. You could even set up a cadre of volunteers who would agree to hub hop a few articles each week and file reports, etc. You clearly do not have enough staff members to handle this type of task alone, but it would be worth it to some of us to help you at no charge as it would take very little effort on our part. I'll be happy to volunteer if you decide to do this.
Seriously? When I recently applied for a writing position with The Examiner, I was asked to fill out an extensive form that included a formal bio (in the third person), a written example of my work, a description of the articles I hoped to write in a specific field that I had to select from a list, and much more than a quick sign here and begin publishing type of opportunity.
I will also mention that I was turned down for the writing position although I am an experienced writer on a number of online sites. I understood that my submission was apparently not up to their well-defined standards. No offense was taken. I will try harder on my next submission to meet the stringent standards for which I have great respect.
I don't believe that a lot of resources were required to review my application. Just one editor.
Yes, the sign up process is probably the first place to start making it into the writing site with "quality" that we want it to be (regardless of ESL or native English writers).
After that, we could focus on assisting those people already here.
Having an open door policy and no stringent standards applied at sign up means the problem will only get bigger as HP is well known across the web as a place to come and make money writing, regardless of whether you want that message out there or not.
I have seen some amazing ESL writers on here who are even better at English than many native speakers and we definitely want these people for quality and their wealth of experience and knowledge!
But we need to sort out people's writing skills to improve quality in the longer term - it is still a fair and democratic process because writers of good English will still pass the entry requirements, regardless of their country of origin.
Suzanne - I agree completely about the terrific writers we have on the site who have learned English as a second language (I am jealous of their ability to be so fluent in more than one language).
The overall skill in writing in English is the issue, not where or how it was attained. I know we don't need professorial standards here, but we do need basic literacy and the ability to write competently in English.
Without an 'entrance exam' (instead of just the QAP) water is still coming through the hull and the flow will eventually sink the ship.
Thank you Suzanne, for seeing that the bottom line starts at the front end. GIGO, garbage in, garbage out.
The only problem I see with a stricter sign up process is that it limits HP's vision of what and who this site is for. According to their "About Us" page at the bottom of the screen, "HubPages is an open community of passionate people—writers, explorers, knowledge seekers, conversation starters. Interacting and informing. Sharing words, pictures and videos. Asking questions. Finding answers..."
I've been here nearly 6 years and from my knowledge this site has never been a site exclusively for writers. I know many people who have signed up just to participate in the forums, and others that just want to ask and answer questions.
It may tick a lot of people off to see poorly written hubs by people murdering the English language, it ticks me off too and I report them when I see them, so it may be better to exclude them from publishing hubs instead of the entire site.
If HP want's a new revenue stream, maybe they should start some English Writing courses like they have on Udemy and other online learning centers.
Good point about people coming to chat, rather than write. Having some tiers where we define the writers vs the community engaged people might be useful.
However it does raise concerns about motives behind some of people who are community engaged - we do have plenty of people come on here to copy hubs, to keep tabs on what writers are writing so they get the latest thing to steal and some people come on here to post spam even though they do not publish hubs.
So a tough question would need to be asked - should just anyone be able to come on here and engage with the community? Or should there be some sort of process for that? Or should HP depend on reports for that one?
I would like to say that the forums are open for public viewing as far as I know.....so the only concern with the community engaged is should they be allowed to comment on here? Or is reading enough?
Chatting here is one thing, but publishing content is another.
Peg Cole: Thanks for this one. It's a real eye-opener!
Christy, Phyllis Doyle had some great suggestions in this thread: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128471
Reposted my suggestions from another thread as thought they might be useful to Paul:
Personally, I'd start the sign up process with a randomly generated long multiple choice questionaire, designed to check spelling, grammar and understanding of English. This is automated and answers are checked against the correct ones so that it filters and narrows down the number of people reaching the next stage and potentially interacting with staff. I'd make this have a number of random Q&A's from a pool, so that no one could tell their friends what the exact answers are (ie make each questionaire as different as possible).
These could be taken from standard teaching resources (while being careful that general, not cultural specific knowledge questions are used - someone in Estonia might not know what a koala or drop bear is, for example or someone in Australia might call flip flops "thongs").
On stage two, then I'd suggest some human assessment (eg write the first two hubs, have them analysed by Hubscore too and have them analysed for acceptance by a HP staff member - plus cross check them for copied content on the web, making sure they aren't copied and pasted from elsewhere). This would be an assessment of sorts, not a training session. There could be feedback and comments about the hubs for future improvement, but essentially people either pass the assessment or they don't.
Anyone who passes these two stages could progress onto a learning pathway suggested by Phyllis' Stage 3, so they can find out where all the HP information is stored.
After that, they are able to go ahead and be part of the community as per your existing pathway.
However, anyone who is obviously and completely substandard could be reported to the team by any hubber, for a human assessment again at any time. This is to make sure anyone gaming the entry test or anyone who gives their account to someone else, or anyone who changes their standard of English in a weird way later on is checked and filtered (if need be), and could receive that form email about what's happening and why.
I understand there are not enough resources to devote to this task. Automating the first bit and making it a very stringent and good test would help a lot. People could be allowed to take the test once every year (IP logging or email verification?), to stop a flood of people having a go every day to get in, causing technical difficulties with the servers and bandwidth. Having some human assessors will definitely be needed for stringent entry requirements - maybe 2 or 3 HubPro editors could be used for this full time. It would take a long time but be well worth it in the long run.
Imagine a Hubpages where you wouldn't have to have editors to fix anything already published! Just peers who offer useful advice for increasing engagement and traffic on hubs and a team of entry assessors (editors of a sort).
Suzanne: This is excellent. The truth is that at first it would be almost overwhelming, but as the team weeds people out right from the start, it would actually make their jobs much easier down the road. There is also, however, the problem of people who came here long ago before the standards were raised...how does the team catch them??
Susanna - I agree that the test should include questions with basic answer choices.
I don't think the next step should be hubs, though - the test should include short writing samples based on prompts. There should be a rotating list of prompts (enough that someone can't figure out what they'll be asked and trick the system). We can see from very flawed 2-3 sentence posts on the forum that those prompts would catch writing issues very quickly. No need to go to the hub stage at all - they're not ready for it. The list of 'pick an answer' questions will also catch issues - but that's too easy for people to circumvent through cheating. It's easy to open two screens and find answers, or for those answers to be put in repository somewhere.
However, having to write a few very short paragraphs based on some writing prompts will not be easy to trick. This would save us a ton of time, and would help prevent having copied content on the site. Provided, of course, that the test includes enough prompts to randomize, and they're not something a person could look up online.
If someone passes this test, including the writing prompts, they can then submit hubs for review.
If someone cannot pass the test, a graceful and kind message could be created that explains the outcome, and invites them to participate in the community as a reader and commenter. The account could be restricted to limit it to that type of access only. Or - they can comment as a guest.
The love is all one sided up till this thread...
I don't know if your post was sarcasm or humor or both; but you truly did make me bust out laughing. Good one.
It's been a tough town around here this past week. Hopefully, we'll all soon be back to our usual, lovable selves.
Apparently "tolerance and acceptance" are noble attributes... until our money is involved.
Not really clear if "these people" shouldn't be allowed to write on HubPages at all, or only if they pay us money to review their hubs, based on the offer on the other forum.
Millionaire Tips: I don't know what "offer" you are talking about, but there isn't enough money in the world to pay someone to teach a non native English Speaker enough to make their work acceptable for public consumption because it is a lifelong learning situation, which makes it a bottomless pit.
What happened to people being accepting and tolerant of our time and our efforts? There is no nobility in others begging us for free handouts without them first making the effort themselves....just rudeness, actually. Love is a two way street, not a one way highway.
Nothing to do with tolerance and acceptance. Are you saying that next time your company needs a staff member, they should just open the door and say "who'd like to do this?", then "tolerate" and "accept" whoever took the job, regardless of how ill-qualified they were for the job?
We are not employed by HubPages but we are similar to contractors. HubPages is allowed to expect certain standards from us.
You all have always stated your reasons to support your rights to exclude. I don't own Hubpages, I am allowed an opportunity here, as are you. If you all feel that others should be excluded from the same opportunity then so be it. That doesn't mean I have to agree with you. But when we mock others attempt at our language, when most of us speak only one language, and when we say we are not tolerant of others asking for help, when we can simply choose to *not help... that is simply a form of superiority which, b/c race is involved, may look very much like racism. I personally would avoid such an unnecessary appearance of ugliness.
I don't want to exclude anyone who has the appropriate skills to write here.
Anyone who does not have the appropriate skills should not be here, because not only do they drag our efforts down - they are also setting themselves up for failure and frustration, because they will not do well either.
I do not think they should be mocked, but I think the truth should be pointed out to them. Sometimes the truth hurts, but in the long run being mealy-mouthed and lying by omission is far worse.
So when you see a homeless mother and child living under a bridge, do you live by the same slogan? The truth hurts? Do you spit out, "Get a job!" Or do you offer a hand up? If you want to hold on to your money tightly for fear someone elses efforts might "drag you down"... move all your stuff to your own site where you sink or swim solely on your own merit. I may be the only one who feels this way, but when humanity is involved, personal gain may not garnish equal importance. I would apologize for rocking the boat, but sometimes saying what you feel is right is more important.
May I point out that a homeless mother with child living under a bridge who can't eat and has no internet connection is a far different issue to someone blogging on a writing site in a language foreign to them?
Why can't people who don't know English well make their own beautiful site in their native language? If they can afford internet connection, they can afford the hosting and domain name, there's extremely cheap options around these days and there's even FREE Blogger with Adsense. I'm sure people the whole world over love to read recipes, do crafts and find out new knowledge, not just English speaking people.
And just maybe I could hop on a Russian writing site, become an author and make a million dollars while asking for everyone to help me for free because I don't know Russian really well. And if I did that, and people didn't want to help me for free, I could call them racists, just like you.
Marisa: This was the whole point of why I started this thread. You nailed it. Turning this discussion into one about superiority, hate, racism, etc. is way off the mark. Also, someone here made a statement about some people who do not write as well as others...this is an entirely different subject. We are talking about ANYBODY who does not have the most basic English skills coming here out of the blue and expecting the people here to teach them what they should be going to school to learn.
Who is asking for English lessons, free editing and free rewrites? I see people asking for feedback to find out why their articles were rejected by HP.
SmartAndFun: What do you think "feedback" means when the person requesting it is unable to even construct a correct basic sentence or is even unable to make the request for that assistance properly?
Yes, the mocking is not nice and could be hurtful.
But good English skills are needed to write here successfully, that is why we are talking about it.
Hubpages should address this issue because people on the receiving end can be hurt by it and people on the giving end are frustrated and annoyed about it.
As Marisa pointed out, it is not racism at all because it is about skills, not nationality.
Well... if you read the title, opening post and subsequent postings... no one mentioned poor writers. What they mentioned were writers who lacked skill because they were attempting something incredibly difficult. "Annoyed and frustrated"... (sigh) sometimes we just need to get over our great importance and offer others a hand up. We could always do well to remember our grandmothers words... 'If you can't say something nice..." Anyway, an unpopular viewpoint, but I believe these things are still open to everyone, right?
Too true. But if Hubpages turns into the Titanic because of bad English, don't say we didn't warn you.....plus I'll let you have the bigger heart and help the millions who need it because my time is far more limited (though my time is not meant to be important to you or anyone else, only to me, it is my time after all - and I am allowed to choose how I spend it).
I'd prefer to help my ageing parents do the lawn mowing, my unemployed friend to find work after being retrenched due to offshoring, and to give $1 to the local beggar who cannot afford to live in MY country. I help those around me because help starts at home and I can help a lot there. That is my way of giving help to the world. I have to be selective because there's always people needing help and there's only one of me to go around.
It has nothing to do with ego and importance and nothing to do with racism. Now that I've finished justifying my time to you, I am going to stop wasting it refuting your overly compassionate nature and just wish you good luck with it all and that I hope others appreciate what you do for them.
However, I will continue to point out to Hubpages that we'd like to refine the English skills on this site in order to help it improve in the eyes of the Google god and to make it a better site for writers of good English.
That statement is not racist, by the way, and I hope you enjoyed my virtual hug to you!
Sed-me: Sorry, but you are missing the point here. FYI, I have spend my entire adult life studying and teaching languages. I am well trained in Spanish, and also have background in French. My senior year in college I was the u university interpreter and worked in the Office Of Cultural and International Exchange. I resent the implication that I or others who are stating our case here are in any way "racist" or acting "superior". Nothing could be farther from the truth. I think what Marisa Wright says sums the whole thing up. Read her post again. There is nothing personal in this at all, it is simply a matter of maintaining a certain level of professionalism so that we can continue on. I don't care about your religious beliefs, color, or country of origin...all I care about is that you write proper English. This is the very least anybody here should expect from colleagues.
Sed-Me This is a pretty harsh statement. Do you really think this is just about money? How about ethics? How about doing things the right way? HP is not "school"...it is a site for people who want to share information in an acceptably readable fashion. Trust me, I never came here for the money, but I do love to write and would hate to see HP go under. It is fighting for its life now, and we should all do whatever we can to help it survive.
Oh, I'm always lovable to kind and thoughtful people!
My ex phoned me up the other day to ask if I would lend him $10,000 and I said no. There was nothing in it for me at all and I really couldn't care less about his problems. It wasn't my problem and I wasn't going to make it my problem. It was silly of him to even ask really.....and expect me to be that gullible. Some people have no manners - the world seems to be increasingly filled with leeches who expect one sided love from kind givers. It's time we all stood up for ourselves and hug only those who'll hug us back.
But, for to what my hub is not traffic? Is not to help on HubPages?
What means "not featured?" Is very disappointed no to earn on site!!
Read please my Hub and tell me what incorrects!! I posts the Hub six hours past and still no earns! Is very puzzling to me!
(I'm sorry, I couldn't resist...)
There's so many forum posts with this sort of message in them each week, it's ridiculous.
You beat me to it.
Is great of minds that think alike okay! I except your thanks for being!
(Somebody stop me, I could do this all day...)
Maybe 24 hours you will earn to starting?
FatFreddysCat, you make me laugh. I have not encountered this kind of funny English grammar yet here in HP. LOL!
Thelma - you need to read the forums more often - there are several painful examples like this, every week.
Related to what TT2 states in the OP - the time and cost of filtering out incoming bad content (through the QAP and through reporting issues) is possibly counterproductive. There should be a way to screen writing ability before someone is able to even create a hub.
Long ago, I suggested two levels of 'membership' here - one for writers who have been vetted (and have demonstrated they can write - in English), and another for people who are here to read content and comment on it. The third (non-member) category would be visitors who read content but cannot comment.
If this were implemented (not even sure it's possible to do the programming) all 'members' who don't have published content could be shifted to 'read and comment only' status. They would have to demonstrate writing ability BEFORE publishing a hub.
Another suggestion (which could be timed to occur if the above were implemented) - as many have requested over the years - get rid of really, really old accounts. If someone hasn't logged on for two years, deactivate their logon & get rid of those empty profiles.
AND - can we get a committee of volunteers or something (and get authorization) to go through the really old 'hubs' to screen for quality issues & violations? Seriously - put out a call for 'helpers' and give each one of us 100 hubs at a time (the ones that have super low scores from non-active members - ought to be easy to run a list of those two filters), and I'll bet you'd see a ton of junk eliminated very quickly.
Just the other day, I flagged profiles that were 'ads' for the 'adult business' trade (including some interesting descriptions of what these people would do) and I flagged one hub that literally existed just to post phone numbers of people interested in, um, intimacy. The hub was several years old, and had comments (with phone numbers) that had been posted within the last few weeks.
Great ideas. If we'd have done this whole process properly to vet writers with very good English and help them to create the quality content needed and keep them up to date, then HP would have been in a much better situation with Google and might have attracted more quality writers to the platform.
It doesn't make sense to have an English writing site with people who can't write proper English on it. It just frustrates English readers. I suggest that there could be a significant improvement on time spent on hubs and hub engagement on the site overall if English visitors were not turned off by hubs with bad English. HP resources could have been devoted to people who already knew English well and just needed a hand with motivation and spicing up their hubs and topics.
Great ideas !
If only we had a choice whether to interact with people whose first language wasn't English.
When I see forum posters like that, I simply tell them that HubPages requires magazine-quality articles, and that means a high standard of English right from the start. It is not a place to learn how to write English for non-English speakers.
Often I get chastised for that, but I think it's the only way to answer those posters. Hubs written in poor English drag the site down. If there were no alternatives for those people I'd be far more tolerant, but there are plenty of other sites where they can post to improve their writing.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: if HubPages wants to be taken seriously as a writing site, they should be pre-screening writers. Nobody should be allowed to post a hub without first passing a basic spelling and grammar test, and submitting samples of their writing.
I agree - this is long overdue. Maybe back when the site was new (and anything in the world got traffic on Google & earned money) there was no reason to screen 'writers,' but that's not the case now.
For the record (responding to someone else here) - I don't think anyone here is suggesting a barrier to 'interacting' with people who whose first language isn't English. We are writers trying hard to protect the content integrity and the viability of a site we love in the midst of a difficult time.
It's perfectly reasonable for a site that hosts 'writers' to screen as to whether or not people can actually write. It's also reasonable for a site that publishes in English to screen as to whether content creators are fluent in that language.
My name is Beth.
So what can be done other than complain about it?
I don't think the hubscore is handled well, but it's been well documented by many. Threads like this come across ugly. Or maybe it is only me who sees them that way. I hope so.
It is not ugly at all.
It isn't even racist.
We don't care what nationality, race or age any hubber is.
We just want people with good English skills to be on this English website, regardless of where they are from.
The same as a Chinese writing website would expect all writers to know how to write Chinese, for example.
Sed-me: This thread was never meant to be ugly. It was written to bring up an issue that is big and is mostly being ignored. If you want to interpret it as "ugly", that is solely your personal perception, but it is not the truth.
This all makes sense to me. Boot camp should screen out writers who can't write on a professional level. If you flunk out, you get to try again in a year.
+1 to that @lisavollrath
I have run into writing sites that screen people. They pretty much say...Don't email us, we'll email you if you pass the basic writing test.
That would end up being counterproductive in a way. I guess it would be logical to assume there are quite a few new sign ups each day. Having hubpages pre-screen each of these people is going to be expensive apart from other hurdles the team would face, such as the technology needed etc.
On the other hand though, as someone has already stated on this thread, people should be allowed to create an account, but the first few hubs should be screened and passed through a quality check before they can freely publish anymore. From what I've seen around, I think this is already in place.
There's a loophole somewhere in the process which needs to be taken care of.
Lobo - the loophole is in letting people have access to publishing at ALL before there's any idea of how competent they are. It's a waste of time to let people create hubs (often they do that in good faith - they don't realize they cannot write well), and then go through QAP and are told their work isn't up to par. It's sad for the "Hubber," and it's an expense that could be avoided.
Many who join the site from other countries come here because they've heard it's all about money. Until that gateway is shut (and people are screened before they can even create a hub), the loophole is still as wide as a barn and the site is spinning its wheels.
Yes, it would be an expense to put that sort of screening in place - but there are online writing tests that can be purchased (heck - there's enough talent on the site to create a good test). Each test should include short 'paragraph' assignments, because tests simply composed of multiple choice or other 'choose an answer' questions will soon be compromised (trust me on this - I teach online courses at a university).
Some answers could be auto-graded (multiple choice, for example) and the essay paragraphs would be graded manually. They're already paying people to grade complete hubs - that is way more time consuming than catching the writing problems before they hit. The QAP program should still be in place, though, to catch things like poor layout, improper use of photos and cheaters who happen to also be competent writers but want to publish spam.
You would not see an online magazine or news site published with the type of junk we see on this site. User-generated content is being punished, and there will likely be a new paradigm for those sites going forward - one that is based on filtering out the users before they publish. HubPages could be at the cutting edge of that curve. Or, it could go the way of those sites that have folded.
No disrespect intended Marcy, but based on this thread, what do you feel is the motivation of the English writers here?
It's pretty obvious that just about everyone who is here, regardless of ethnicity, language mastery or anything else, is here because they thought, mistakenly or otherwise, that they could earn more than in other places. After all, if you simply want to spew your thoughts out over the Net, there are a number of free blogging and website platforms that will let you do it with no restrictions on content or writing style. Some of these will even let you place ads on your spoutings to bring in some potential earnings.
Interestingly, a number of people seem to be finding that if they do pluck up the courage to make the leap, they actually earn more on their own sites. I'm too lazy to do a huge move from my HP accounts, but I did use four barely visited hubs as the core of a web site that is now bringing me in ten times the income I get from my active hubs. It's not huge income, but still more than the few pennies I get here. It funds a couple of bottles of vintage Bollinger each year One Adsense click can bring in the equivalent of a month's earnings here, plus I get the odd Amazon sale too.
I'm now experimenting with a non-niche site, because I get bored writing about the same things all the time and don't need to do so since I have a good income from my other freelance activities. Basically, anything that gets unfeatured here for whatever reason is going to be deleted and transferred over there, where it will feature with various musings that I do not wish to turn into "stellar" hubs. If the site earns nothing, I've lost nothing, if it earns anything, I've gained.
Indeed. Thanks for responding. I would agree that the greater percentage are here to make money so none should be negatively singled out if that is their goal.
Sed-me: Unless, of course, their skills are so poor that their attempt at earning money comes to nothing for them and depletes the opportunity for others who do have good skills to do so.
Are you suggesting that just because someone is here to make money, it's okay to publish incoherent material that doesn't meet even the lowest standards of usage?
This thread is about substandard content, not about a social services approach to online publishing.
That has been my contention from the get-go Marcy. Had it been stated that the op simply wanted to wipe all sub-par writers from the site, I would have had definite opinions, but I would have kept them to myself. Instead, people who spoke English as a second language were singled out and I tried to make it clear that (to them at the very least) this may come across as superior and racist. Maybe I am the only one who thinks this thread sounds haughty and unkind, but I doubt it.
Sed-me: I have explained more than once on this forum that the reason I referred to second language speaker issues here is that THEY are the ones I see most often on the forums asking for people to help them with their hubs, and those requests clearly show that their English skills are limited. We all know that many native speakers also have problems with their writing skills, but you do not see them asking for this type of help nearly as often as second language speakers. So stop accusing me of being a racist and pay attention to what is going on here. You are beating this topic to death so much more than anybody else on this forum who is opposed to this concept that I am beginning to think you are doing it just to get attention. If so, know that we have all heard what you have had to say and you can stop repeating it over and over and over. Enough! What you are doing is not going to change anybody's mind.
I believe I have posted far less than some. I am not beating anything to death, I am simply disagreeing with you. I do believe you have made the repetitive point that you do not like being asked for help in this particular matter. I might suggest you read past those threads that request help, if possible, and find threads you do enjoy, but this point has been made too. I will leave now so as to allow your pov less resistance.
Sed-me: Disagreement is fine. In fact it is healthy. However, you insist on accusing and insulting and making some of your posts into personal attacks (just as you did with this one), which is why your credibility loses value. I never said I did not want help in this matter, in fact have been thrilled to hear some of the great suggestions offered by other writers here...suggestions that could really serve to help in this situation. I enjoy many threads here, and I have enjoyed this one a well. I think I'm old enough to be able to choose what I read without anybody suggesting this to me.
Aren't you confusing featured and unfeatured articles, and suggesting that they have the same effect on HP standing with Google?
No - I am referring to really old content that is beyond substandard (and the need to clean it up) and the open door policy that still allows people to spend time creating a 'hub' that will never be featured. The QAP does not catch cheaters, and the forum is often the place where frustrated new "Hubbers" turn to get help on getting their content featured. It's sad, and it's unfair to everyone (the person trying to publish here, as well as writers who try to answer those questions politely).
It's a circular system (spinning wheels) that could be stopped at the entry point and allow for resources to be used in different ways. It would also help get the word out (as Christy K. has pointed out) that HP is no longer a place for people who cannot write. As long as people can sign up and submit crap (even if it doesn't get published) that word is not on the street yet.
You are concerned about the time and effort wasted by the writer who is trying to meet HP quality standard to get featured. Well, that's interesting. And about those who respond to the call for help, they can ease their pain simply by not helping.
You're missing the point. HubPages wants to raise its stock with Google. This is the same type of logic you'd apply at a corporation, a university, or even a small Mom & Pop enterprise - you recruit the highest standard of skills you can find and afford. What's wrong with that?
This is not Bloomsbury. This is a website open to all. If those at "the top" want to keep stepping on the faces of those trying to make it up the proverbial ladder, fine, but can you imagine how bad it would make JK Rowling look if she publicly mocked the unsuccessful Bloomsbury authors. It just looks small.
I don't get your connection at all. The site is not 'open to all' - as Christy K stated in an earlier post. Poor writing does not pass the QAP. I do not hear people mocking anyone here - there's a discussion of basic skills needed to publish good content and the overall welfare of the site as it relates to the need for quality content.
Did you read the op? Any time something starts out with "I'm sorry if this post offends anyone but..." You can be pretty sure someone is about to be a target. It was followed by dozens of posts agreeing that the targeted audience was unworthy and unwelcome. I get that we all have different perspectives. I do not enjoy being the one who points out a controversial perspective, (she said as she watched her hubber score drop like a rock) but it is still one worth considering. Americans come across pompous enough. We don't need this kind of press.
JK Rowling would never publish Harry Potter in an environment where people are practising learning English for a start. She would publish and thrive in a writing, publishing, marketing and literary environment. If we want our own JK Rowlings, we need a literary environment, not an English language class. But to be honest, I don't think we're after JK Rowlings, just "quality" hubs.
Ben Aidoo: No, she is concerned that people who are doing this are wasting everybody's time as well as giving themselves false hope. These folks are not trying to meet the quality standards here...they are trying to earn a quick buck without having to pay their dues like the rest of us have done. As far as the people who respond to the call for help, after having read this post, I'm sure most will stop helping. I stopped about a week ago, and am glad I did.
You say these people aren't trying to meet the quality standards and are only out to make a quick buck. How do you know what their intentions are?
What is it to you if they waste their time and effort, and if others take a few moments to tell them what the writing requirements are here at HP?
As far ask asking for help to learn English or how to write properly, I really don't think that is what these folks are doing. When they receive an email from HP that says their article did not pass the quality assessment, the "writer" is simply doing what HP suggests and clicking on the link in the email so they can ask in the forums where they went wrong. This does not mean they are asking for anyone to teach them English or teach them how to write.
Yes, Bubblews had an open door policy, whether it was people with English as a second language or not - and we all know the wonderful standards of writing they attracted there...when people were driven by money alone.
Having substandard writing available on a site encourages more of it, because people think that it's OK or that it earns or that they can put any old rubbish up, just like others have done.
The unfeatured tool is a polite way of telling a writer that he is not meeting HP quality standard, and should try elsewhere. If I were a newbie and my first 3 articles were unfeatured, I won't need anyone to tell me, I better try somewhere else. The system HP has in place, to my mind, is working alright, perhaps not as fast and ruthless as you wish, but it's working.
I couldn't care less about being ruthless and it's not the sort of thing I really want to chase on a daily basis.
This thread was one of many responses to suggestions to improve the "quality" (whatever that is, we're still debating it on other threads) asked for by Paul Edmondson, as hub "quality" is causing problems for the HP site with Google and it was mentioned that the future of HP looked gloomy unless "quality" was vastly improved and quickly.
That's why everyone's having furious debate over it. It's not just me and TT2 and others getting excited over nothing - this is about keeping the HP ship steaming along, rather than a personal argument. None of us want HP to drop in the rankings and die because of something we could have talked about and fixed.
Ben Aidoo: But the system obviously is not working because people who have had their articles unfeatured continuously do not give up, they come to the forums and ask people to teach them what they should already know or have taken the time to learn themselves either through formal education or reading the help section here.
They are simply following a link in the rejection letter HP emails them. Maybe you should petition HP to stop providing the robo-post link in their rejection emails.
How do you know they do not give up after they post their threads and are told what the writing requirements are here? Do you have statistics showing these writers continue to attempt hub after hub even after they've been told their English and/or writing skills are not up to par? Even if they do, why do you care as long as their poor-quality hubs do not pass QAP and are never featured?
It's about time there were some sensible posts on this thread.
HP's systems for keeping out poor content (regardless of who wrote it) are adequate from what I've seen.
I think some of those here should use their critical minds to take a hard look at their own work. Some of it is so dull they'll have searchers clicking their back buttons in droves, which could be argued is worse for the site overall than some grammatically incorrect, unfeatured (and therefore invisible) hubs.
Maybe we need a test to weed out these kinds of hubs?
I agre with SmartandFun and Susana. If HubPages does create a test, many of us who think we are wonderful writers will fail it, and some new people who is a wonderful writer will not take the test for fear of not making the grade.
A system is already in place - the boot camp, and unfeaturing of hubs. Since we can't tell which hubs are unfeatured, and some Hubbers seem to think that the low quality articles are available and competing with their own articles, maybe we shouldn't judge so harshly.
This is not a matter of 'competing' with articles that are of better quality, it's a matter of bringing down the site.
I doubt seriously that even moderately competent writers here would 'flunk' the test, because the hubs that get through QAP demonstrate the threshhold is set to allow a wide variety of writing styles and abilities.
What I do worry about is that the QAP can encourage copied & spun content or other forms of plagiarism. A test with prompts to determine basic writing ability would prevent people from signing up and submitting copied material. There are far too many examples of 'perfect' hubs that have summaries written in broken English - this is because the QAP doesn't catch those things. I'm not sure why others don't see this as a problem?
It is not that I don't see it as a problem, I m just addressing the original post which started this thread. The OP doesn't want us to help people in the forums, as they equate it with teaching English or teaching how to write.
My major problem with this thread is the way it is presented. There are many kinds of low quality hubs on this site. Singling out the people who are learning English does seem racist to me too. The ones that irk me are the ones that are promotional and are only here to promote their business and service. Most of these are also low quality, and it seems like they may have hired someone to write their article. There are people here who use English as their primary or only language, but can't be bothered to take the time to write a hub. They want to know the minimum requirements to be featured so they can earn their residual millions.
I do not like low quality hubs on the site. But HubPages does have a system to take care of them. There is bootcamp and QAP. Hubs appear on our feeds so we can report them. We can also go to the HubHopper and report them. The QAP people can rate them (and report them). They can become unfeatured not only for quality but also for traffic. There is a system in place. Just because these hubs are available to us and we see them regularly does not mean Google or the public does.
Looking at my own hubs, I can see I have some high quality ones with high scores and traffic, and I also have low quality ones with low scores and no traffic. I have featured hubs and unfeatured hubs. I am not going to be throwing any stones because I know I live in a glass house.
It has already been suggested, and I have agreed, that summaries should also go through the QAP.
There is always room for improvement and I am not against a test or any other means to screen writers, but I don't see what the big deal is if members whose hubs are rejected come to the forums looking for answers as to why they were rejected.
SmartandFun,SusanaS and MillionaireTips: You really need to read some of the posts by Marcy, Marisa, Suzanne and Dr. Denmark. I'm not going to try to reiterate what they said or add to the terrific suggestions they have made. All I will say is that people who lack basic English writing skills have no place on a public writing/informational site. As for people who think they are good writers being afraid to take a basic language screening test...really? That statement makes me wonder what you folks can be thinking in terms of what a test would involve. I consider it something so simple to do that anybody with a basic grasp of grammar can pass it...items such as always capitalizing the letter "I", spelling properly, writing an organized paragraph, etc. I have seen very few "good" writers here who would not be able to pass such a test.
As I have already stated, I am all for a test and will take one if that is required.
But if newbies ask for help in the forums, I will help them if I want to.
TT2 I have read the other posts. A language screening test may help weed out people with language issues, but there are other types of low quality hubs on the site. Even people who use English as a primary language make grammar errors (it's / it's, too / two / to, etc). Just because they are common to native speakers does not make them a higher quality than other types of errors.
There is already a system in place that weeds out low quality hubs. Currently, HubPages chooses to unfeature them instead of unpublishing them, although from the stats it does look like more and more are being unpublished.
SmartAndFun: Those questions should be answered by the people who rejected their work because another writer cannot really know the reason because he or she cannot even see the article...so the suggestions are always given "blindly", even though they are well intended. Furthermore, people's opinions can vary and can cause confusion rather than assistance. We also have to remember that it costs money for the team to publish, moderate and sort, and that money would be better spent making technological and other improvements to the site, employing more staffers, etc. It may be free for US to write here, but it is not free for THEM to provide this platform. We have many goodhearted people here who think they are helping, but in reality many are doing more harm than good in a number of ways. If people want to reach out, that's fine. I just think it is a waste of time because small suggestions here and there are not going to bring about enough improvement to help people. What many of them need is formal educational training. It is out there, and most of it is free...so why aren't they taking advantage of it?
TT2, are you familiar with the new feature that HP instituted a couple of weeks ago, which allows the rejected article to be viewed for one week if the writer follows the link in the rejection letter and posts their request for help on the forums? I linked to this program earlier in this thread, but I guess you didn't check it out. Here is the link again: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128255
I was not giving advice blindly, as I could see the entire article. I gave advice based upon what I read in their article. They in fact did not capitalize the letter I, but that was just one of the problems with the article. If you would go back and read that thread and the article, and read the HP announcement about this new help program for rejected articles, you will have a better understanding of the situation.
I am not attempting to give anyone formal education and training, or teach English. I simply took a quick look at their hub, and told them why it was rejected. I did not give the writer false hope. If anything, they were probably discouraged from writing here once they saw the long list of problems with their article.
If that was a waste of my time, it was MY time which was wasted. Why do you care?
Millionaire Tips: I think you and some others here have misinterpreted my intent with this post. It was written at a time when I was really tired of seeing the flood of "help me" requests from people who clearly had no business being on a writing site. In this case, the ones I was seeing most were those by people who are second language speakers, so those are the ones to whom I directed the post. However, I am well aware that many of the issues you just mentioned are equally important and should also be addressed. In many of those cases, people can be helped to improve because they already have many of the basic language skills, but those are a different situation. Second Language speakers who do not have the appropriate educational background will always have a difficult time with writing in English, no matter how much "help" we give them. I have said it before and will say it again...HP is not school. They need to go to school, get the skills they need, and then return here and have a chance at being successful. This is not "picking on" anybody, and it is not "racist", as some believe. It is just common sense and good business. The team has always supported the desire for good quality in our work, and this is one way we can provide some of that. The other issues you mentioned are subjects for a separate thread, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. There are too many people trying to game this system!
Actually, I was not aware that the team had implemented this new program. Thanks for showing it to me. However, while it sounds great, it also sounds to me as though the team is pushing their responsibility off on their writers. This new program is probably the exact reason why we have seen so many "help" posts lately. As I have said before, it's up to the individual if they want to help, and if they want to waste their time, that's fine. In some instances this would be a good thing, but in the situations to which I referred in this post, I doubt it.
I'm glad you have now seen that HP announcement. On the issue of wasting time, I feel as though my time has been wasted in this thread, as I have been beating the same dead horse over and over with little result. Normally I would have dropped it and moved on long ago, but I really did not appreciate that you pointed your finger directly at me, accusing me of harming the site because I critiqued a newbie's poorly written article.
As I stated earlier, when I was a newbie and asked for help on the forums, I really appreciated the help I got from experienced Hubbers. Everyone was so polite and helpful. I would not have become a successful Hubber without this interaction. I try to return the favor every now and then. Never in my wildest dreams did I think someone would accuse me of harming HP by offering a critique.
If you have an issue with the way HP is handling feedback on rejected articles, take it up with them, not me.
Got to agree with all you've said, especially regarding the MCQ's.
My question on the issue is this:
Doesn't HP have a policy where you have to publish 5 hubs that need to be approved by the QAP in order to be able to publish more? Or does this feature only prevent them from being featured?
I would vote against having a general writing test, because formatting of a hub and placing headings, images and videos etc. are other factors that if done wrong make the content look like spam. So rather than having a single writing test, competence should be tested on a single Hub. They could have a sought of checking system where people with low quality writing have their accounts terminated, but if the video, images and general formatting is an issue, they could be directed to the Learning Center.
Lobo - I see your point about the need to screen for other skills, and I don't think that should be jettisoned. The bigger problem, as I see it, is incompetent writing (along with abuse of the site by using it for spam or copied material). Those issues can be addressed considerably by a writing exam. People who cannot write coherently will be screened from the start. Those who can write well, but might need to learn online publishing, can go to the next level.
Most people signing up to spam or post copied content would not want to waste their time taking a test. Some might, though, and the test should create filters to figure out who might be trying to circumvent the system just so they can get online and spam.
We know we aren't catching everyone the way things are now. Just start comparing summaries and comments posted to hubs (or the forum) to the content. It's easy for some people to post copied or spun content (our QAP is not catching all of it), and we still see academic quality hubs with tell-tale summaries. I don't understand why this is allowed to continue. A writing exam (with a large set of rotating essay questions - so they'd be more difficult to circumvent) would catch the substandard writing skills that are slipping by the system.
I can't argue when you put it that way I thought it would be easier for them to write a hub so that they can be judged on the end product (The actual Hub), but when you say it would lead to frustration, that's totally true. A simple writing test followed by a Hub Test could be a probable solution
It might seem counterproductive to have an entry test, but in the longer run, there would be no need for constant site cleanups, for "fixing" quality and spam etc etc. It's a long term solution. Better to collect 50 quality writers per 6 months who will stay for the long term and produce great quality content, than 300 substandard writers who cause the site to have a problem with Google.
The rate of growth is slower that's all, and there's less hassles and money spent later trying to fix these problems...
If the really incomprehensible hubs were unpublished instead of merely unfeatured, I think people would be less aggravated about the issue. Unfeaturing gives the nonfluent authors false hope since realistically they have no chance of ever getting featured at their current level of English, and it makes them waste their own time in futile attempts to get featured. Unpublishing is the humane thing to do; they will get the message loud and clear. Just my two cents.
Which makes sense, and could be stated in such a way that includes all sub-par writings and not a specific group of ppl.
Yes, though I didn't read through the thread entirely and didn't know it was about certain authors of incomprehensible hubs.
To me, unfeaturing hubs rather than unpublishing them is the equivalent of breaking up with someone by not returning their phone calls.
I don't understand what exact group of people were "targeted" in this hub, Sed-me. I used Chinese writing sites as an example only. It seems you are looking for any excuse to call people racist. This is a discussion of appropriate skills.
I agree with the idea of not giving people false hope.
Read back then and see that it has been stated that if one of these threads is necessary, and you all feel it has come time to bring down the sword... don't single out people groups... single out poorly written hubs. English is taught in most countries now to the kids in school as a second language. Many of them speak as well as we do and they teach their parents and grandparents. There is a reason for that. People aspire to succeed and are taught that to get anywhere, they are going to have to learn English. Imagine being one of those people, trying to find any opportunity to hone those skills, and hoping there is a chance that in time you might actually be able to make money to feed your family. You don't know that even one person might not find this kind of success if they just work hard enough. I don't want to be the --------- who tells them they to give up and stop dragging me and my ilk down. Do you? I've made my points Suzanne. I'd like to move on. Maybe you could redirect your focus now. Thanks for the convo though.
I'm not sure about "redirecting" my focus. My focus is on the hubs written in bad English, regardless of nationality - these should not have been published on here in the first place. This is supposed to be a writing site for GOOD English writers, whatever country they come from, otherwise they won't earn much at all and will have false hope and cause a problem with the site rankings.
What part of that is hard to understand?
But you're right, we've spent enough time rehashing the same conversation over and over between you and I.
Best of luck going forward!
calculus-geometry: I referred to non English speakers because those are the hubs that are the worst ones as far as structure and usage are concerned. Certainly there are other writers here who could stand some language training, too...so an initial screening device would take care of all of it, wouldn't it?
TT2, as I think you know, a lot of HP's traffic is from India. They need Indian writers to add Indian-focused content to the site. If many or most of them have trouble with English, HP has made it clear they don't care. They will not enact any policies that could decrease readership from that part of the globe. It's a losing battle I'm afraid.
Calculus - we actually have many outstanding writers from India - they're extremely fluent in written English and create great content. The issue is not where someone lives, or what their first language is, it's whether they have a sufficient command of English to write well (and to write in a way that Google will not penalize).
Many writers whose native language is not English have written hubs that are beautifully executed, expertly written and attract a broad base of readers.
As others have said here - this isn't a site where you 'learn' to write, or learn English. It's also no longer a site where you can post junk and get rich. Or get by with it.
calculus-geometry: I was not aware of this, but I will say that some of the best articles I have read here have been written by people from India, and I don't think that is where the problem lies. It seems to me that since Bubblews started having problems, a good number of people have migrated from that site to this one, not realizing the difference in the two venues. On Bubblews you could write anything and make money, and many who wrote there had terrible skills. Not many, as far as I could tell, were from India, but more likely from countries where educational opportunities are quite limited for many.
I see Hubpages as an English language site that anyone with a basic understanding of the language can use to communicate his ideas.
As long as I am able to convey my ideas in a clear and understandable manner, there should be no problem at all. I do not need to be extremely good in the language to use the site - in my opinion. If my readers can understand what am trying to communicate, then that is enough.
Yes, there are some people who write gibberish, but that should be captured by the Quality Control process. In my opinion, not everybody can master the English language to the level that is being suggested by some. But that does not mean I should not strive to continuously improve my skills in the language.
Practice makes perfect, and if one is aware of her limitations, then they can make a conscious effort to improve. Shutting out people because they are not perfect might be counter-productive in the long run.
People from poorer country fall into the black hatter schemes often paying for the "get rich on the internet" seeing that Squiddo and babblews have gone tits up they are now flooding here. I think that Hubpages have to make it crystal clear that this is not a "get rich quick site" and probably put that in different languages so there can't be any misunderstandings
Gitachud: The point is that the language should be used correctly. Google uses correct Englilsh as one of their ranking factors, and not using English correctly affects the entire site. Nobody here is a Shakespeare,but all should know how to write correctly.
We are not talking about perfection here, just that people should have a good basic understanding of English grammar, structure and use. Nobody here is perfect, and all of us make mistakes...but this is, after all, a writing site, not a school.
There is a lot of ranting about English speakers this and English speakers that and mocking of persons who actually have the common sense to know more than one language. How many of you actually read any of these people hubs?...I dislike the fact that some hubbers find it funny and actually make jokes about other human being inabilities. That is no different than mocking a person with speech impediment. If you don't want to help then just don't. People here ranting as though someone has hired them to help poor English speakers and not cut them a paycheck. It is up to hubpages to publish or not to publish these articles. Rant with hubpages, not the writers.
We were ranting with Hubpages. But people decided to make it a "racist" thread. And as far as I can tell, anyone honouring requests to assist people with the poor English skills on their hubs ISN'T being paid...yet...
Good luck to those who want to assist for free. Some of us are angry that we come to engage with writers in English and instead find ourselves engaging more and more with people who couldn't write English to save themselves. It is very annoying for those of us who have spent years honing our craft to be asked to hand over all our time and secrets for nothing...that's why we don't want to do it, regardless of nationality.
You are possibly having a hard time understanding the English language here Suzanne.
If you're going to resort to insults then I refuse to waste my time any further with you, apart from pointing out that if it gives you pleasure to waste your life on other people who will use you, then feel free to do so. I won't even call you racist or tell you your heart isn't big enough or that you have an ego problem, though you certainly pointed those at me and everyone else in this thread. Go for it - help everyone - be my guest and knock yourself out! I don't care!
Do try to practise compassion with the non-volunteers you preach at if you wish to be a person of substance though...
My point was that you were having a hard time understanding me. I don't believe you have gotten the full gist of what I was trying to say from the beginning, and that's ok. It is easy to have misunderstandings in this kind of medium. Why don't we just do as I suggested earlier and move ahead... we could allow others to have the floor for a while.
Sed-me: Suzanne understood you completely, she simply does not agree with you. We each are entitled to our own view.
I'm hoping not to get into this subject too much, I know it usually goes nowhere. But, at any rate, no doubt these discussions often turn racist. I've seen it happen. While some people are just talking about improving the quality of the site, it's inevitable someone jumps in with a racist statement about people from such and such country, etc; or making fun of their speech, ethnicity, culture. Sometimes it's blatant, sometimes not so blatant. I've seen it happen multiple times. Of course, it's nothing new; I've seen it many, many times in the not-cyber world.
Also, part of the time they're totally unaware of what they're doing; sometimes pretty much doing it on purpose. Either way, it's enough to turn my stomach, I admit.
Just to clarify and repeat myself again.
This thread is not racist.
We don't care what nationality, race or age any hubber is.
We just want people with good English skills to be on this website, regardless of where they are from. This is meant to be a site where people write English.
To be successful here, you do need to be fairly good at English.
You also need to read the English in the Learning Center like the rest of us did and understand it, instead of hopping on the forum to ask for help or ask about how to make money all the time. There are plenty of threads already answering lots of people's questions.
To help the quality of the site, you need to write good English.
If you can do this, you are to be congratulated!
If I am correct, the article that started this discussion was not featured. How does it affect HP standing with Google?
It is an ongoing discussion and there's been a forum thread which I think spurred this thread. Check it out here: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128471
Actually, this little thread http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128532#post2705953 is the one that set TT2 off and spurred him/her to start this one.
Yes, you are correct. That article was not featured and surely never will be.
I wonder if one would say "good English writers" or "those who write well in English." I don't know... Im no expert. I probably don't belong here either.
No harm was meant. I am not up with the latest political correctness because I write hubs instead of volunteering to help others learn English. Sorry to disappoint you, it's just what I prefer do with my time....in a non racist way.
Im afraid you have taken personally something that was never meant to be targeted. Maybe though you are feeling what others may feel when they believe they are being singled out?
No, I don't think you are singling me out. I don't feel upset.
I just feel that if Hubpages needs to improve quality on hubs, then they need to get on with it instead of allowing years of posts in the forums asking for help with hubs that are, quite frankly, pretty bad English.
A few years ago, the forums were fun and interesting. These days it's all about people asking for help all of the time and it is insulting to people who have mastered English and want to engage in a community with good writers of English.
Sed-me: Your English abilities seem to be quite good...so how do you see yourself as someone who doesn't belong on a good writing site?
Sed-me - to all you've said in this thread, +1. Don't worry. You make perfect sense. Brave soul.
And now for some blabbering on that may make some kind of sense or may just seem...well...utter, irrelevant nonsense...
It's hard not to notice that threads similar to this one are popular on the Internet, reflecting widely-held sentiments. You may already know that we're currently in an economic depression (not just recession). World-wide. Not acknowledged as such yet officially. It's happening because we're transitioning between economic models, globally. (The models can be defined many ways - one way to look at it is we're moving from an oil-based model to an electricity-based one. Yes, electricity was harnessed a long time ago. Yes, it's taken us this long.)
Economic shifts like this one inevitably bring about political, economic, and social volatility. The last time this kind of thing happened was the period between the 1930's and WWII.
So what happens is that the old economic model continues to sink while a new one is busy rising up, and during this craziness, the economic competition between people becomes fierce. We scramble around in a massive effort to preserve scarce resources, even while we're shedding old roles and limitations and exploring a wealth of new opportunity. Both the old and new models are unstable. Fight mode is on. We all find life especially hard now - all people, not just the obvious "have-nots."
So we see conflict after conflict between groups - not the familiarly defined and formed groups (liberals/republicans, racists/anti-racists, pro-life/abortionists, etc.), but spontaneously arising groups without apparent linkages to each other, engaging in increasing discrimination about who is helped or deserves help and pinpointing who is blame-worthy.
It's kind of a scary climate to me - that which breeds contempt for "other" - but I believe there is hope. As the old model dies and the new one stabilizes, the trend toward ruthless competition will lessen and, if all goes well, our instincts to pull together will overwhelm our instincts to protect ourselves from each other at a cost of preserving an economic model that's rapidly sinking.
I tend to agree with you although I hadn't attached such significance to the goings on here. Thank you for sharing that point of view. It makes for good discussion at the least and enlightenment at the most.
This is so true. They call it the Great Recession. It is part of the Third Industrial Revolution - if you will Google it, it will tell you that the next stage is about machine-to-machine communication in factories, rendering factory jobs obsolete. There is also a growing component of off shoring of service work in developed countries and plenty of competition for hard jobs in other countries where the resources are scarcer and the wages smaller.
I agree everyone's finding it tough until tomorrow's jobs appear. You're right, we're in fierce competition and not in a patient mood. If that's what Sed-me was trying to say, then I can appreciate that, though I didn't understand this message from Sed-me's communication.
However, all the jumping up and getting excited about bad English is to do with Hubpages staying afloat. We all want that - we've all invested ourselves here. Paul mentioned the other day on a forum post that he didn't want to talk "doom and gloom" scenarios, but that far better quality in a large amount of hubs was needed. One of the suggestions was to set a higher entrance requirement for writers of English, so that all quality will be higher when newbies join. Many people think this would help a lot and we wonder why Hubpages staff don't seem to be doing the suggestions made (not just about the English, but other suggestions too).
I think many people here are a bit frustrated as to why HP is not doing more regarding future planning or telling us what's going on.....and Paul spooked us with the doom and gloom talk.
The reason HubPages can't change their model too much is that they are crowdsourced. Scaling this is the biggest challenge ever for companies relying on large numbers of people for their survival. Figuring out how to scale down quality is a primary part of building the infrastructure of a digital economy and nobody has a proven, effective model for it that works in all arenas, although retail companies like Amazon.com are getting there. It's a new bird.
Scaling down is the equivalent to taming the Wild West - it would enable a safe, stable environment for the economy to grow at its natural pace with a minimum of disruption.
(Same problem exists with scaling down quality in creative writing. Remember the Golden Age of fiction? Lots of creative production; much quality; much junk. How do you weed for quality in the subjective, creative realm of fiction in our even vaster digital sea of publication? Equally challenging: how to monetize it, so growth is kept up? The problem's compounded by a lagging ability to reach across language barriers. )
So, to scale a crowdsourced site....do you use editorial methods that were well-suited to a print-based publishing model with physical distribution, but that are less scalable to a digital publishing model?
If you filter writers, how do you do so? We actually don't know a way to filter quality writers in a way that still allows for sufficient economic expansion. If we just go with the kind of talent that has worked in the old model, then we lose the potential of brand new, possibly raw talent, the fount of growth.
See, the new model is its own experiment; it can drive itself. It's very, very cheap to publish, and the Internet is an organic engine that runs constant computations to determine quality. Too much pre-programming of that engine based on old-model standards means that what gets built in the new model might NOT be what's suited to it. You need, in other words, to leave crowdsourced stuff as alone as you possibly can, not only to profit from it, but to allow the possible growth to expand to its potential.
If that makes sense...!
Thank you for explaining a new way of thinking about the problem.
I'm not sure what the right answers to all this are, but if leaving the model alone is working already, then why was Paul in the forums trying to get suggestions on how to edit as many hubs as possible to improve quality quickly?
We cannot know what is going on statistic-wise with the team because we do not have the information and overview they have. All we can do is offer our thoughts, suggestions and ideas on a plate and hope they figure it out.
The more ideas we provide and the more we debate the merits of different suggestions, the more likely we might be able to help the HP team...if they really want our help as much as they indicated they wanted it.
The main debate and call for suggestions was in regards to quality. Defining "quality" might be a less controversial way forward to figuring out which suggestions have merit and which don't...
Suzanne: One area where it is very easy to determine basic quality is in the ability or lack thereof to use language correctly. That one is a no brainer. And I disagree somewhat with what the two previous posters said is that good language use never changes. The standards have always been the same, regardless of the language. I do not see how this one thing has anything to do with crowd sourcing or creating new business models. It is one of the most basic skills people need to be able to communicate well.
That is true TT2, but business models do change over time, though language is far less fluid.
If all of our traffic and earnings are suddenly coming from one particular part of the world, then the business model may need to take that into account and work with it, if it is expected to become an enormous profitable future market going forward. That's why there's all this chat about different models and what they might mean.
Great explanation. Puts it in perspective. Also, inspiring.
I was always under the impression that a HP moderator checked all hubs before they were featured. Generally speaking, the quality of English on HP is a thousand times better than what I was reading on Bubblews.
Paul: Of course it is. HP is a writing site. Bubblews was a social networking/twitter type site that had absolutely no writing parameters whatsoever. That's why it died.
TimeTraveler, I understand that you are the only great Englis teacher on Hubpages. Thanks for the lecture.
Hi Mike, English is spelt "English" not "Englis".
Thank you very much Suzanne Day , this was worth a millions.
Mike Uzochukwu: I did not state my background for the purpose of bragging, but rather to let people here know that I am not just talking out of my hat on this subject. I have professional training and extensive background and know, as do all other ESOL and Language teachers, how very difficult it is for people to learn English...even those born in the US!
What if HP encourage hubbers to write in their own language? There are many of us who would read Spanish or French or Chinese. In fact, each time I read a hub on Spain written by a native, I wish it was in Spanish because some of the nuance is lost when written in English. HP, then, will be addressing its target market, the world and those who are offended by awkwardness in English will be appeased.
This is what I was going on about here, http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128285#post2701285
You had foresight.
I think separating these requests for help is a good idea, as apparently some people find them quite bothersome. I, for one, love that the religion and politics forums have been sent away to their own spot on the site.
Right now, out of 30 forum threads showing on page one, four of them are the robo-posted "I'd like help" variety. That doesn't seem too intrusive to me, but obviously that is not everyone's experience. I have no problem with help requests being posted in their own little corner.
The last time I tried to help someone with words that they used in their hub which were not correct, it engendered a confrontational diatribe from that particular Hubber. English is not their first language, and all I was attempting to do, was help. The hub was a good one, but contained words that were misused.
Hence, I have been cautious when attempting to help. I can barely squeeze HP into my already hectic life, and would like to help those who sincerely need and will appreciate a few tips. That particular experience was frustrating, and I felt as though my time was wasted completely.
Well. It would be no different if we, as excellent specimens of English use, did a hubpage and, when it did not succeed as a featured hub, ask everyone, WHAT can I do to improve this hub, when the greatest answer is
firstcookbooklady: I don't get the connection here. Someone with good writing skills whose work goes unfeatured usually has this happen for a very clear reason such as lack of focus, improper linkage, etc. This is not the same thing, and I would never advise someone to delete such an article until giving them advice about what could be wrong with it. Totally different situation.
Timetraveller! I agree with you. Though, English is not my mother tongue, yet I have survived here on HubPages. I am having Masters Degree in English Literature and know very well how to write in English. Only those people can survive here, who have got some expertise in English. HubPages should check their language skills before allowing them to write here on HubPages. On other sites, you will have to pass many tests to write for them like 4writers.net. I had to go through various exams to write for them.
Rafiq23: You have the kind of attitude and work ethic that makes you an asset here at HP, which is exactly why you have been able to survive. Bravo!
This person is one to whom English language isn't first language and your message relates to me. Being aware of my limitations, my intention is to stay as close as possible in this group continue learnt to the acceptable level where my presence would be somehow tolerable. My ' ego ' won't be heart ( there isn't any anyway ) when in case of my interference by improper message/words, structure of sentence etc. any of you prominent writer would contact me by email , offering correction toward necessary improvement. Your effort would be highly appreciated and I will owe you an earnest gratefulness .
Thank you and God be less you.
Michael-Milec: You are one of the people who is trying to do this the right way, and I commend you. I hope you have the time and patience to take some immersion classes for ESL students (there are free adult ed programs available everywhere) because this is where you will get the kind of help you really need. Good Luck.
I agree with you, Time Traveler 2, that Hub pages is not the place to get trained on how to compose sentences and fit together well with cohesiveness. You are correct that you are not here to teach English. I do think that their lack of knowledge inspires me to write new INFO pages. They, of course, won't read it.
wow! there's so much heat in this room! I'm 'bout to pass out any second now!
But TT is right. HP is not a place for anybody that's can't write the English language. I think most of those folks come from sites where they tell them to "get paid to write" so they think writing anything in ABC will result in millions flowing in their bank account.
I thought the purpose of featured hubs was so to weed out these non English articles?? HP are you listening to this post?!! This would be the arena to use the hub pro program not messing up the good articles already! (sorry couldn't resist saying that too haha!)
Question - for anyone:
Does Google filter the comments on this site when they assign a value to HP? Or when they rank us in the search engines?
Read some of the comments posted on hubs by those who struggle with English. I commend these people for jumping in and being a part of the community, but there's a log of broken English being posted. Check the 'Activity' log in various profiles and you can see whether there are consistent problems with English usage in comments to hubs. You'll see the same problem in posts to the Q&A section.
I'm asking because of a concern about how that might affect the site, not because those readers and comments are not welcome. Bad content and poorly written comments should be unfeatured (in terms of Google seesing it) no matter where it appears.
I'm almost certain that Google does not see these posts, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. Interestingly, I see poorly written posts all the time, but when I check a few hubs by those people, the language use in them is akin to perfect. It makes me wonder how many are "spinning" articles and getting credit for them. This happened just today when a post was so horribly written on this thread that I stopped to check, and the post was as well written as any I've seen, except for the fact that it was almost all photos and very little content except for recipe directions attached to specific food photos. Sure made me wonder!
I may know the account and post you're referencing. Check the comments on the account's activity log. It's interesting.
If we are thinking of the same account, I looked but see nothing strange...maybe I'm missing something?
I might be thinking of a different account. I checked comments the owner of that account (the one I referenced) made on hubs by other Hubbers - very revealing.
I don't even know how I ended up here, but this entire thread amused me to no end! Hahaha... I've written articles and participated in communities on other user generated content sites, so I am well aware of this issue. It saddens me when I see native English speakers write in a similar manner.
MadeByMeka: Why should a discussion that involves improving a writing site by eliminating substandard content make you sad? This is a business, and it should continually strive to improve itself. Upgrading the quality of content is one way to do this. Many people here earn part of their income here, so they have the right to be concerned when something is getting in the way of doing that. If you took the time to read all of the posts here, you would see that. In addition to the financial issues, there is the issue of ethics. Professionals want their colleagues to be of the same caliber as much a possible. Substandard work eliminates that possibility. I see nothing funny or sad about this issue. It's a real problem.
I agree, TT2 - one issue seems to be that HP did not narrow the focus of the site when it was originally created, so anything and everything was posted or published.
Since HP advertises for writers, the site needs to be cleaned up to make it an attractive place to publish. The site expects skilled and competent writers to publish here, with the trade-off being revenue based on our own success. That's fair. What is NOT fair is to expect competent and ethical writers to put our material in the midst of a sea of flotsam, copied content, incoherent writing and other low-quality junk.
This is not a place to learn to write, or to learn English.
TIMETRAVELER2: I apologize for trailing off. I should have included in my last statement that I am saddened when I see native English speakers write in a similar manner offline and outside of hubpages. If my comment about my amusement offended you, I apologize for that as well. That was not my intention. My intention was to throw in my very subjective opinion from my very subjectively similar experiences interacting with people both online and offline.
I agree, this is a serious issue as it directly affects the competent dedicated individuals who rely on this site as a source of income.This is a pervasive issue affecting every user submitted content site on the web. So, my question is...
How can you realistically catalyze change?
We're all offering lots of suggestions on this one! Paul Edmondson would love to know too!
And a side note, all people with substandard English skills should be subjected to the same tests applied to entry to a writing site. That includes native English speakers too...after all "quality" on here is about having good written language skills, apart from other things.
MadebyMeka: Apology accepted. Change begins by shining light on the problem and having thoughtful, objective discussion that results in concepts that can be used productively to create changes. That is what is going on here. If you read these posts carefully, you will see some extremely good ideas that could be used to improve this situation, such as reviewing and testing writing skills prior to allowing people to enter the site as writers. Although some here want to make this a personal issue, it really is not. It is an honest attempt by those who truly want HP to succeed to voice their views with the hopes that the team will listen and work to make improvements. Learning language is hard, and learning it to a good level of competence is even harder. Lots of people like to take the easy out, but it shows in everything they do. I agree, this is very sad, indeed, because their lack of skills impacts society in general significantly.
Let me get one point across, native English Speakers don't necessary write well. I've only read through the posts on the first page of this thread, and from what I've seen, I can say the problem isn't clearly defined.
The problem at hand, is the writing quality, irrespective of a persons native language. Whether English is you're 2nd or even 10th language shouldn't matter, if you're no good with words, you shouldn't write. You need not be worthy of publishing novels or possess skills to publish articles in the best of magazines. It all comes down to reader satisfaction, nothing else matters. If you're good at expressing yourself with words using the general rules of the language, that should not be a problem at all.
English being my first language I can't really comprehend the problems faced by people who are really determined to portray their thoughts through words in "English". They can always practice on free sites such as blogger maybe and read up on other peoples works just to get a hang of written English before they venture onto sites like HubPages where they share a common platform with other users who demand a certain level of fluency.
Lobo - any college instructor who teaches courses where essays are a big component can tell you you're absolutely right - speaking and writing English does not equate to being a competent writer for publication purposes. I've seen many (many) native speakers who simply cannot write. I'm not a math expert, and I would not try to pass myself off as one. But - many people think that being able to text on the phone or post comments on Facebook means they're able to write for publication.
This is why a competency test would be useful before anyone can even create a hub. I don't blame people for being frustrated if they've spent hours creating something and it doesn't get published. Those people could be helped by a filter that lets them know they might need to improve writing skills before giving this site a shot. This is different from the broken English examples - that's a more serious learning curve. They need to not only learn to write, but learn the language in which this site is published.
Lobobrandon: You are absolutely correct, but the reason I discussed second language speakers was because they seem to be the people who most often come onto the forums and ask for help correcting their hubs. Many, many Americans have very poor English skills, but those who write here do not seem to understand that they do need help, and thus remain quiet unless a hub goes unfeatured.
I would like to add here that learning to listen to and speak a foreign language is much easier than learning to write in one. When you write, you must understand the grammar and all of the nuances of a language, and that takes many years of concentrated effort and formal training to learn.
Lobo you've said it. There should be a firewall between the writer and his article, and it shouldn't matter whether English is his first or 10th language. It shouldn't matter where he comes from, or what type of source he puts on his steak. He should be judged on the quality of his work (I'm using "he" rather than "he or she" because it does sound redundant). And like what Marcy is saying, some people with English as their first language can't put two coherent sentences together, which makes my point.
Dude, when you see some post lacking perfection, just keep scrolling nobody was born educated, and just so you know those kind of peope you're critisizing, they speak more languages than you, some of those people are becoming a threat to English natives with low skills, no offense to those who give you tips and forgot about it, just because they have high morals.
Not a threat, more of an annoyance actually.
The jobs requiring multiple languages are still lovely, beautiful, rare jobs around the world requiring high fluency skills, not just in the Western workplace.
There is no threat because if someone cannot use English correctly to communicate with other people who use English, then they won't have a hope of selling anything or engaging them for whatever purpose.
People with substandard English make people in developed nations think twice about hiring. It also makes them think twice about their intelligence because of the way they appear through their language skills. This is not racist and is not my opinion, I'm just telling you what I see around me...
As a new economic model emerges for the world, we'll see what it is.
People's jobs were replaced by computers decades ago and more people will get replaced by machines and robots - it's happening right now. It's a change that constantly happens everywhere and it's stupid for anyone to be afraid of this, because it will happen whether anyone fears it or not.
Don't worry, one day your turn to face change will come too...same as anyone else.
Anyway, I'm done responding to trolls who want to get a stir out of me. This will be my last post responding to people who are not being constructive.
How do you know they speak more languages than me or anybody else. Many Americans are bilingual.
I don't mind taking a test. If HP institutes one, I will take it and do not fear failing (at least not all that much, lol). If HP wants to tighten qualifications here, I am all for it.
However, I do think the screening they've put in place is working fairly well and is miles beyond what it was just a few years ago, which was nothing.
I might go months without responding to forum requests for help. but if I am in the mood and feel qualified to answer the question, I will offer help to newbies. Yes, they could always refer to the learning center, but all that information can be overwhelming. When I was new here, I asked plenty of annoying questions which had been asked a million times before me. Yes, the answers were in the learning center, but sometimes I just couldn't face that place. I am happy to report that no one in the forums was rude to me. Everyone who answered was very polite and helpful. In fact, SusanaS (above) even emailed me and extended the offer for me to personally email her with questions at any time.
I try to return that favor to other newbies, when I have time and am in the mood. Everyone deserves to get a polite response, whether they are native English speakers or not. If I don't have time, am not in the mood or am annoyed by the same questions popping up over and over, I just don't respond.
I have done the same thing as SusanS did for you many times, and others here have done the same for me. When I first came here, I understood nothing about writing on this platform, but through my own efforts as well as those of other hubbers I learned, and I continue to learn. I always try to be polite to those who ask for help, and I offer help, too...as long as I feel they have done their part first. Unfortunately, I have seen a change in this recently and have felt that people are not trying to find their own answers before asking for help. This is why this entire issue has been so frustrating for me.
I think the change isn't necessarily that a lot of these people are really in need of "legitimate" help. It's one thing if someone comes on here and asks a question that obviously requires something close to a one-line answer. It's easy enough to believe that someone ran into some unique problem with something they're doing on here and just couldn't locate an answer in the Learning Center.
When you get this business of "Please outline in detail for me exactly how to increase traffic to my Hubs you can't help but suspect that the only real help the individual needs is help with someone who can write a nice, long, answer in good grammar, which they can then post somewhere else in the hopes of making money now that English grammar matters and up-close-and-personal experience with the subject matters, maybe, even more.
I don't want to unfair or suspicious to people who legitimately just ask for help; but again, it's usually in the Learning Center or else can easily be answered with a line or two. Sometimes someone may not really care how "legitimate" the "askker" is (after all, it gives the "answer-er" a chance to show expertise in the forums here. Sometimes the "answer-er" doesn't care because he's bored and can whip up a reply in no time. I've done that myself in the past - and before there were quite as many asking-for-a-certain-type-of-information theads as there seem to be in more recent times.
There's always been all kinds of "baloney" that goes on in these forums, but there used to be a better variety of it : I suspect that's one reason some of these apparently more substantial discussion threads among well established Hubbers get as many posts as they do these days.
I'm not saying that everyone who asks for help (beyond just asking for the one-line kind of answer) is engaging in "baloney" OR hat anyone who engages in "baloney" is necessarily someone who can't use English grammar very well. It's just that - really - if someone truly wants to learn on here they can go to the Learning Center (or ask those quickie, technical, questions if they have to); so they're either lazy or else engaging in on or another kind of "baloney" a good part of the time.
I know that too much sincerity and honesty are waaaaay too much to expect on the Internet :; but for any number of reasons it makes no sense to spend too much time bothering with a lot of of those questions-in-question.
by Will Apse 3 years ago
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