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It looks like a fourth of my feed lately is comprised of new people wanting the rest of us to tell them how to write. All day I get request after request for help on passing the Quality Assessment.
I mean Really?
Many of your requests are just one step above being a jumble of mis-spelled words constructed improperly.
If you want us to write this stuff for you, how about paying us for correcting your obvious lack of knowledge about; the English language, spelling and proper grammar.
Come on! Buck Up! Learn how to write first!
Couldn't agree with you more. New hubbers shouldn't inundate forums with these pointless requests. It would behoove them to study the principles of the Learning Center. Also, if one has poor writing skills, please don't go on HubPages.
Actually they are encouraged to put them on the forums, by Hubpages, for help and advice. If a hub doesn't pass the quality assessment the author is given a link to the learning pages and told to put in the forums.
I asked the same question on another thread. It seems to me that the forum is being inundated by requests for a review.
If the learning centre were more obvious to find and less like a rule book these people more inclined to visit it before they ask for a review on the forum pages.
It's not just new Hubbers. The niche sites don't have published standards. When a Hub submitted to one of them is rejected with little feedback, even veteran Hubbers are now using these forums to find out why.
I also suspect the editors are getting more aggressive with unfeaturing lower quality Hubs. But that's just a guess.
I don't mind people asking for help. What bothers me is when they ask for advice, then argue with what people tell them.
Sure, some are just hopeless. If you can't even speak good English, there's no way you'll get an article featured here. That's something they need to recognize.
However, when a native English speaker wants to think that his sloppy writing is "good enough,"and does not want to accept that it isn't, that really gets my goat.
On the other hand, some of us who have been here a long time, and have a pretty good command of the language, still need some advise from time to time.
I have never had a problem getting a hub featured, and many of mine have been chosen for niche sites. However, I recently had an email saying a hub of mine needed work before it could be moved.
I think my grammar and spelling are pretty good, but there are a few rules of punctuation that I have trouble with.
I am actually thankful for that rejection, because it motivated me to learn something new. I hope this experience has made me a better writer.
I didn't read Don's rant as being directed at everyone who asks for help, just at those who haven't made an effort to do anything for themselves.
I've also asked for help with that infamous email, and I'm also happy to help any genuine Hubber who wants to learn. I've had some very long email conversations with some newbie Hubbers, helping them to get started, and I'm happy to do that. As Don says, though, it gets trying when you see post after post from someone who's already been told three times that they need to go off and study English some more before they even attempt to write here - or who asks for help then argues the toss.
Of course, the option is to find a more sophisticated forum of writers at your own level. I rather enjoy when newbies ask about writing. It is most important to mentor new writers so they don't write below their actual writing IQ.
I'm tired of it too. But what concerns me more than the non-stop requests for help is the lack of hubbers who write articles. We are inundated with folks who are only here to ask questions and participate in discussions. That's not writing, folks. That's talking. This is not a talking site. It is supposed to be a writing site.
I think it is smart when people join and don't attempt to write hubs right away. If more people would join and hang out for awhile before attempting to write hubs, they would perhaps learn a little about the culture here and what types of articles are appropriate for the site, and how valuable the information in the learning center is.
Regarding all the requests for help on the forums, we need to remember that HubPages has set it up so that every time a writer's attempt is rejected by HP, the writer receives an email which contains a link the writer can click on for help. Clicking this link will automatically post a request for help in the forum. This is why all those posts typically have the exact same wording, and why there are so many of them. This is the way HP set it up. They prefer it this way.
Thankfully, I have never gotten a rejection email, so I'm not sure exactly what they say, but I sure hope they link to the learning center as well as the "I'd like help" forum. The learning center, perhaps the "stellar hub" piece in particular, is where most of these people need to go first, before pestering the community with the same requests for help over and over.
I would also like to point out that the learning center is a frustrating place these days. It used to have a user-friendly layout and was easy to find the topics/answers one was looking for. However, it has been revamped to scroll in a Pinterest-type format, and personally I can no longer find the answers I am looking for when I go there. I can understand how newbies might get frustrated and turn to the forums for help.
And yes, IMHO, old threads should be locked, or deleted if the information they provide is no longer correct.
Just adding my two cents for what they're worth (which is probably less than two cents).
I was one of these new hubbers, who explored the site for a couple of weeks, reading through how to make the hubs and asking questions. Thank you for all that helped, I now have six featured articles and one in a niche site. Still learning about that. But if it wasn't for people talking about what shouldn't be done on this site, I wouldn't have the knowledge I needed to make acceptable articles.
@Don and no one else,
I agree with you fully. The biggest problem is most of these people who are asking who can't speak english are just here to make money. Years ago the biggest influx of spam came from India. Very few people can write good quality hubs but its everyones right to try it.
Also, and this isn't a negative at all, but users want other hubbers to read their articles not only for enhancement purposes but to start building traffic to the page. Its a good way to get new hubs rolling in the search engines, and used to be the old purpose of the Hub Hopper. Many will disagree and say " Blah Blah hub hopper was for quality standards and self policing" but the truth is it played a good role in both giving hubs a rolling start AND motivating that person to write more. There is a monetary reason aswell, even if fellow hubbers visited a hub, it it happened to have an impression based ad on it, it would still give the fraction of a cent - after maybe 20-50 hubbers read an article that writer might get an upfront 1-5 cents that day.
A little ticked are? I can't blame you.
Would you mind giving some insight into your writing habits?
You've written over 100 hubs. How long does it take you to write one of your Hubs?
Do you do research before picking one of your hub topics? Or do you write about what you love, and do research while you're forming the hub?
When you first came here to Hubpages, what were you expecting for daily views? 25, 50, 100?
Do you use tools available online to check your hubs for spelling, grammar structure, that sort of thing, or are you confident in just your writing skills?
The reason I ask these questions , in viewing my own Hubs, I feel you are justified saying what your saying if you just looked at some of my bad hubs.
The more I've started to dig into "writing" the more lame I realize I was. Poor spelling, poor structure, etc.
Up to this point, I thought I had a decent handle on things. I now realize I've got a lot to learn.
Appreciate your contributions to make hubpages a better place to write.
If you don't mind sharing, I'd really appreciate it.
If you do mind, well I understand that response too!
All the best to you and yours,
John: It's good that you recognize that you have problems, but the best way to correct them is to take some structured writing and grammar classes so that you can spot your own errors and then read the learning center to find out how to produce good articles. It also helps to read articles by those here who have been successful. Don is one of them, but there are others. Nobody can teach you language skills here or there...you need to go to school and THEN come back and start reworking your stuff. It's a great deal of work, but you'll be happy you did it.
Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion.
Since I'm 64 and traveling, the idea of going anyplace in Central America to go to school for writing in English - kind of difficult.
Yup, American and 40 years out of school. Where there's a will there's a way.
Back to work
John, My title was written, as all should be "for maximum effect" on the reader and to pique the interest of the most people.
There was no intention to slam those on HP who are writing and growing their skills, and have "readable" and interesting articles, regardless of the level of their writing skills, again, as long as they are READABLE.
But this incessant release of requests for me and the rest of the world to "please review" (in other words "rewrite") their low level initial submissions to HP is beyond irritating, it's insulting.
Here, Let me write a profile of who I see (the most) that are doing this;
1- Their title alone is un-readable due to spelling and the lack of basic English sentence structure.
2- Their lack of some kind of photo that identifies them (optics are good).
3- If you look, their profile is either absent, or some very short definition of their dream of wealth.
4- They are making more than one request for help at the same time.
5- Often, their submission is what seems to be to be a copied brochure article about something in India, such as; the best Doctors for surgeries, the best Taxi companies, the Best Hotels to use, etc.
I do use my feed. I use it as my morning entertainment, hoping to find that short story or interesting article that starts my day out properly.
I do not enjoy having to spend so much of my time "blocking" these new people.
If HP really does want to stay a Quality writing site, then THEY need to force these horrible requests over to their learning centers, and not into our laps.
Didn't take your comment as a "slam". Your statement is an opinion, and your entitled to that.
Yupper about HP, quality and their responsibility.
Such is the hassle of "noise" in so many things we use.
Appreciate your response.
Don, there isn't enough time in the world for the team to deal with people who do these kinds of things. Heck, half the time you can't even decipher their requests!
So True, TT2!
But, you know, After 7 years here, I have certain basic expectations of HP, and one is becoming a need for some kind of "filtering" of these requests.
You, like myself, are making a little money for ourselves and a lot more for HP, when do we get some support on these nuisance situations?
Just doing a "look and block" on a dozen or more of these every day is eating into my morning coffee read time, as well as my "think and write" time. LOL!
I notice the change in the feed as well. It used to be the place I found my reading material each morning. I'd grab a cup of coffee and read a couple of hubs that I found interesting. Many of the old timers have moved on to other sites as a result of some of the changes we've seen over the months. Others are tired of trying to hit the moving targets of change.
I miss the lively, interactive contributions in the forums that we used to have. You're right about it being flooded with "help me" requests. Although helping others is admirable, there should be a limit to the number of pleas for help that each person can initiate.
On a positive note, the new sites are encouraging me to write again and I think, reducing the number of spammy, advert stuffed articles. Here's hoping that we're moving in the right direction.
Don, I also use my feed every day and I do not mind those "need help passing QAP" forums. If I have time to open and read the article before work, maybe I have a suggestion. People like theraggededge and TT2 participate a lot more, and sometimes their suggestions are listened to, sometimes they are not.
If I do not have time to help, I do not.
None of us need to get too stressed about that.
There are many online courses you can take no matter where you are, and many foreign countries offer ESOL classes, all of which can help you with basic structure, etc.
I especially like the ones who ask for a critique of their Hub, and then get snotty and abusive when you tell them what's wrong with it. It's comedy gold.
Well if one doesn't want answers, then don't ask the questions. It is really very ironic.
Or don't want to change it because that's their "style."
i need help with some hubs. Please tell me how to write
Yes, it is annoying when a third of your feed is made up of requests for feedback on hubs. But as Blond Logic said they are encouraged by HubPages to seek help in the forum so what can you do? There are still plenty of good writers here but maybe they are getting outnumbered by newbies.
I agree with Jodah. There are only a handful of forum regulars left. Experienced HP members are outnumber by newbies, at least on the forums.
Also, while I don't have hard numbers, it appears that very few new hubs are being written. In the old days, new hubs made up a large part of the feed. Now, with such low forum participation and very few new articles being published, there's nothing much left to fill the feed other than the incessant automated requests for help getting past the QAP.
Maybe it's time HP did away with the feed. I must admit it has been months since I bothered going to my feed page.
It seems to me 95% of the people asking for help could solve their own problems simply by looking through the Learning Center.
I've been around here a while and done okay and I would be more than happy to offer my time to help newbies if there was a sensible way of doing so. However, when it is clear they have not bothered to read the Learning Center or take any other steps whatsoever to try and understand what this site expects of them, I not am going waste my time helping them.
IMO, HubPages should pinpoint 5-10 key Learning Center articles and require anyone who fails QAP to check off that they read them before asking for help in the forum.
Also: HP used to have something called the Apprentice Program. I went through it with my first account when I first started here, and it was tremendously helpful. I know HP hasn't the time to do that now, but maybe they could come up with something where new writers could apply from some kind of mentoring from veteran Hubbers. To be accepted they would have to already demonstrate some ability to write, or at least the desire to learn.
Apprentices and Mentors could have their own forum where only they would have access. HP could monitor it, but wouldn't have to do much else. I would absolutely volunteer my time to help newbies in a situation like that.
I have to admit to being one of the folks who posted asking for help.
What seems to be missing from this discussion is that many of these posts are triggered by the process HubPages uses to discuss editorial suggestions. I’ve had of these editorial suggestions, most of them good suggestions. However, in one case, I felt like the editor had missed a subtle point, and I responded using the mechanisms provided in the editorial e-mail.
That response resulted in a post to the area ‘Improving Your Hubs’ with the title ‘I’d like feedback on my Hub:’ The inundation you see is not totally the fault of the people making the posts, but is largely due to the mechanism that HubPages has selected to suggest edits to our work, the mechanism that they have implemented to discuss the suggestions, and the fact that they have actually begun the process of helping people to become writers.
I eventually stopped following my own request for help, since it was no help at all, and the result of the editorial interaction was that a long-time ‘featured’ Hub became unfeatured.
I concur with one of the previous comments in the replies “If HP really does want to stay a Quality writing site, then THEY need to force these horrible requests over to their learning centers, and not into our laps.” I would add that, if the editors who make these suggestions wish to truly act as editors, that they should be open to discussion about their concern, and not foist that discussion onto a community that is here to seek help for their work, rather than being a community that is here to critique others work.
I concur with a lot of what you've written.
Trying to figure out what will please the moderator is sometimes an insurmountable task, at least for me.
I was told to change some bold print, did that and then by hub was "not featured". I've no idea why.
It's easy to tell the ones who are interested in learning and those that want someone to write for them in these forums. Ignoring, at least for me, is what I do most of the time with people.
Ignoring is always hard for an individual. One seems to want to give the asker a chance.
Like these political questions, mosts are rants, no actual information is being shared or asked for.
I totally agree with this. It is frustrating when HP editors send you an email saying your hub is awesome and then state it needs a few generic changes before it can be selected for a niche site. You can't get any further advice from the editor and they say if you need further help to ask for feedback on your hub in the forum and provide a link. Yes, that is putting a burden on the HubPage community and helping to flood our feeds with requests.
Jim, I'm sure you're not the kind of person that Don is complaining about. You speak English for a start! I don't mind offering help to Hubbers who have a decent grasp of the language and a willingness to learn the craft of writing online.
The problem is that HubPages attracts a growing stream of people from countries like India and Africa, where English is a second language. No amount of forum help is going to solve their problem - they need to go back to school and learn English first. Unfortunately they get upset (or don't believe you) when you say that, because they've learned English all through school. In some countries, it's used in daily life - so they think they're pretty fluent. The truth is that they speak a variant (sometimes called Globish) which is just not good enough to produce magazine-quality articles for an English-speaking audience. But you tend to find they don't give up, and keep on posting Hub after Hub trying to get published.
Countries like India and Africa Since when is Africa a country.
Too funny. I know people named India, and people named Africa. To me, it often is just another name.
And before you say the response is off topic - Perhaps it is an example of the sort of confusion people encounter when speaking, writing, or reading English. All too often, the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder, oftentimes with a certain lack of desire to be educated as to why others see it differently.
A few words got left out when I edited - it was supposed to say "countries like India or anywhere in Africa". I used to live in Africa, I'm well aware of its geography!
Haha I didn't mean to say you didn't know. It was just a line that made me smile since I had a classmate who kept saying it the same way.
I was born in Africa and my first language was English!
Born and brought up in India and my first language is English too.
The exception that proves the rule! Let's not split hairs, if you grew up in Africa then you know what I mean. In some countries in Africa, the first language is English - but for most of the population in most parts of Africa and India, it's a second language. Students are always taught English in schools: they may even be taught all their classes in English. However (a) they're still speaking their local language at home, (b) they're learning English from local speakers who are not very fluent themselves and (c) many have a disrupted or shorter education than we're used to. The result is NOT equivalent to a native speaker.
I am not speaking from prejudice here, but from personal experience. Firstly, I lived in Africa for three years. Secondly, I learned French from the age of five till the age of nineteen and at the end of that, I was good enough at the language to work in France. However I would never consider myself good enough to write articles for a magazine in French. The fluency required for day-to-day conversation and business letters is not at the same level as the fluency required for writing articles or fiction.
I not only grew up in South Africa but was born to British parents one of whom spoke fluent Italian. It feels uncomfortable to be tarred with the same brush but thankfully it has given me an insight as to what it must feel like to be on the 'other side'.
I was not tarring anyone with a brush of any kind! I never said "ALL" Africans or "ALL" Indians, so why do you think I did? I merely said we were getting a lot of Hubbers from those continents who had fluency issues. That doesn't mean the whole continent is illiterate for goodness sake, why on earth would you think it applied to you?
Totally agree with you here. I would say I speak decent German, however, I can't begin to comprehend myself writing anything a native German would fancy reading.
What is really frustrating is that some of these people hold advanced degrees in English in their countries and think this is enough to "get them through" on HP. It isn't. When you say something, they go ballistic! I understand their frustration, but it is not our fault that they lack the skills they need.
I'm surprised these people don't understand their limitations. I studied French at school and then at college - but I still would not presume to write articles in French. Although I was able to work in France and was often mistaken for being French while I was there, speaking everyday French is very different from writing articles.
I majored in Spanish in college and minored in it in Grad school. I also minored in French as an undergrad. I was the University Interpreter my senior year in college and was extremely fluid and, frankly, I was very much able to write well in Spanish. Would I have tried to do this type of writing even with all of that? Maybe...but if I saw that I didn't have the skills I needed, I certainly would have backed away and not kept trying to do something that was beyond me.
I think it's a case of trying to earn some money. A dollar goes a very long way in many countries.
I have a different take from what seems to be the consensus on this issue. I welcome newcomers asking for help. Yes, I see a lot of requests that are "pointless" from the old hubber's point of view. But they are not pointless to the newbie just trying to get their feet wet on (to mix metaphors) what is entirely new ground for them. They haven't seen all the hundreds of other requests for help.
The last thing we want to do is to discourage newbies from asking for help. Someone noted that the number of new hubs is much lower than in the old days. Since HP is no longer a place where you can just throw up low quality material and get views for it, that's as it should be. But how many new writers start out at the high end of the quality scale? I think HP must remain a welcoming space for people who don't yet know how to write. Perhaps only a few of them will ever learn. But if we discourage them all at the beginning, the site will miss out on the new blood that's vital to success for all of us who write here.
I admit to being as impatient with some of these help requests as most others who have posted here seem to be. Yes, many of the questions could be answered by just going to the Learning Center. But I don't get upset with them. If I don't think a request has merit, I simply move on to the next item in my feed. On rare occasions, when I think I can help, I'll take the time to answer.
I think we want the help forum to be a place where a newbie can come and feel they are in a nurturing environment. If we push away those who don't yet meet our quality standards, we'll be pushing away some who perhaps one day will out-write all of us. And HubPages will eventually die for lack of new talent.
I agree, Ron. Not only does it help the one asking, it also helps other newbies who may be reading. And even some long-term members may pick up some tips.
Ron: In many respects, I agree with you, but on the other hand I have seen so many second language speakers whose English is so terrible asking for help that it makes me wonder why they are even trying to write on this site.
Oftentimes, you can't even figure out what they're trying to say!
It is one thing to ask for a few pointers, but quite another to expect people to analyze you work when you have such poor language skills.
Furthermore, we are not children here. If you want to write and earn, it is your responsibility to read the learning center yourself and THEN if you don't understand, ask questions.
Far too many are simply too lazy to check things out for themselves, and the truth is that it is not our job to teach them. Help with minor issues, yes, but teach, no!
Ron, i agree that it is very good to be welcoming to newcomers. I remember my first days well and am very grateful to those who were kind enough to help me learn the ropes.
When I asked questions, though, it was not to point to a specific hub, but rather I would ask specific questions that I would look for answers for, after I had tried to research how to do something myself. I think specific questions are fine but when you just say, "please look at my hub and figure out why it doesn't qualify," you are not taking enough initiative, I think.
When you ask a specific question, you are also helping others who might have a specific question. When you ask someone to look at your hub, that is quite an imposition and shows a lack of consideration for others' time.
I think there should be more guidelines regarding this practice.
I don't think the problem is people who are asking for help. It is people who are asking for help who are too lazy to read the info in the learning center or who surely know that their English skills are far too poor for them to be writing on a site like this.
If someone is truly trying to improve, that is one thing. If someone wants writers here to tell them everything and keep asking and asking, that is quite another.
Questions like "How Can I Write a Perfect Hub" or "How Can I Pass the QAP" are from people who simply have not cared enough to expend the effort to read the guidelines.
I lose patience with them and really do not want to waste my time with them.
I've been away a few years and the atmosphere here at HubPages could use some tweaks. I remember a time when some of us seasoned then had a different outlook and seemed more helpful and willing to work with the newset of our writers. Things have changed and from what I've seen it almost seems like it's dog eat dog now. It's sad because as I recall we all respected and appreciated each other more than what I've been seeing in the last few weeks that I've been back. It's troublesome. And what bothers me even more, I see some of the comments from people I once knew who were not so seasoned and now full of themselves. Anyway ... Thank You Ron! You are and always have been a humble and EXCELLENT Hubber
I think some of the newbies need to grasp a couple of things:
1. If you ask you ask for help in the forums then you should treat any advice offered with respect. Even if you don't incorporate that advice you should be grateful that someone took the time to write a responce. Too many times I see the newbie get into arguments with people who are just trying to help. Just say thank you and move on.
2. To write on an English language site you need a pretty solid understanding of the language: things like grammar, syntax, and spelling need to be perfect or close to perfect. Everything else is essentially superfluous, if the titles and sentences look odd or are unreadable. If you aren't interested in learning English at the necessary level then HP is not for you.
I see too many arguments in the forums because the asker just has a negative, aggressive, defensive attitude to suggestions even when they are actually being offered good advice.
It's true that everyone was a newbie once. But yes - there are far too many hubs being produced where the writer cannot even form a complete sentence or use capitals...
My point exactly!
It seems to me that this is some new "trick" being passed around in certain other countries as a way to get myself and my fellow Hubbers to rewrite their very poorly constructed attempts, for them.
Sure, I've been on here for 7 years, but from day one I have tried to politely respond to questions on the "mysteries of writing on HP"; as well as asking a few pointed questions myself. So, I'm not against questions or productive "back and forth" on issues.
Again, my point here is this flood of "please go and read my article and figure out what HP doesn't like about it." requests has grown to the level of painful nuisance, and hopefully, HP has taken note and has a plan to reroute the blatant examples to another place rather than my daily feed.
In other words, if you have questions about a sentence or a paragraph, then I would love to help but if you want me to be your ghost writer, then "show me the Benjamins". LOL!
When I think of my first articles here, and what rubbish they were, I think fondly of the kind hearted hubbers who offered help. And I was a published writer (in lit mags)! There is always something that bugs people about the forums. At least we are done with the fights about religion and politics! Some people used to get real mean.
And the people who can't write but want to? I know lots of English as first language folks who can not write.
And the problem with people who get mad at help....some who write (or paint or any art) think of themselves as sensitive artists and any editing or critique is like a knife in their hearts. Their art is their baby and so, therefor, special to them. Maybe getting a bit of help in the forums will teach them not to be so easily hurt and to toughen up a bit.
Dolores, your articles were never rubbish! You speak fluent English and you're articulate, so the faults in your articles were ones which were easily fixed - you're the kind of person we are more than happy to help. I'm sure Don and the others were talking about people whose English is not fluent, but who think they can write for a living nevertheless.
The thing is, HubPages is a place for amateur writers, but it is NOT a place for amateur writers to learn to write English. Poorly written articles (i.e. poor syntax, grammar and spelling) damage HubPages'
- and therefore our - earning potential, because they bring down the site.
Marisa, Thank you! You were one of the hubbers who helped me! I have taken all my early hubs down. Creating a worthwhile hub means that you also have to understand how HP works, how long a hub should be, capsule placement, images, etc. Oddly enough, another helpful hubber who I often turned to was a woman who did not have English as her first language. I could almost hear her accent in her writing!
I think a lot of people come here looking for easy money.
There is a handful of people who spend an enormous amount of time coaching newbies who, realistically, have no hope of making it as writers in English. I've pitched in a bit as well and have lost count of the number of times I've recommended spending some time at the Learning Center (or centre as we call it here). I notice they rarely show up again - too much work?
However, although I've been in the writing racket for half a century, I frequently read the advice handed out to Jagdeep on the deficiencies of his article on the Bandra Bus Company because I often learn something.
Me don't no what you is talkings about. gud riter I is.
Looking at the long list of responders and their take on my Rant, I am actually pleased with the fact that so many are "working Hubbers" and not the ones whom I saw and still see as people looking for the "easy money" they have been told they can earn.
It's a frustration being one who had to learn and evolve my writing skills being asked for my "magic formula". LOL! DON
Truth be told, I think a lot of "working Hubbers" are never seen on these forums, or commenting on Hubs, because they are too busy to socialise and network with other Hubbers. Just try logging out and look at the front page of HubPages - you'll see examples of successful Hubbers and I've never heard of any of them.
Geez, my fellow Hubbers .... why so high and mighty? (Just a few of you ) We've all got to start somewhere ... sure would be nice to see more humble and down to Earth responses in lieu of our newer Hubbers ... Just stating a little bit of truth. Peace Out
This is not a place to learn to write. This is a place for competent English-speaking writers to earn a living. It's that simple.
At one time, HubPages allowed anyone to publish their work here. Then they realized that poor quality writing damaged the reputation of the whole site and hugely affected their earnings. It's a business, so it can't afford to allow that.
I've been out for a few years on a pleasant hiatus ... things have obviously changed and now that I'm back, I've noticed the atmosphere is strangely different compared to what I once remembered. That's for certain ... I guess that's what happens when "competent" writers deem themselves as such and look down upon those of us who are not ... aaaand I'll leave it at that
<link snipped - no promotional links>
By competent writers, I mean people who are actually able to speak English. If you've been away, you probably haven't come across the recent flood of non-English speakers who write barely intelligible Hubs, then get upset when we tell them their skills aren't good enough. That's what is aggravating the OP.
If I see a Hubber who can write a competent sentence in English, I'm happy to help them with everything else - I've written a few Hubs to help newbies with things like layout, and I often give advice here. But I'm not going to start teaching basic English grammar and spelling.
If you don't consider yourself to be a "competent" writer, then why are you here? This is, after all, a writing site!
Just my facetious-self kicking in
On the contrary, just tired of over-inflated egos
There's no need for it. Especially from the very beginning of this thread.
We are a community of writers who help fuel HubPages, and we should all be a bit more humble in our approach when it comes to who we deem as worthy writers or not. Just my two cents
Better not read the forums then, we're all egotistical in here
If you've been gone for awhile, you have no idea what the writers here have been through. You are reading us wrong, believe me. I've been here for more than 5 years and have found other writers to be endlessly helpful, kind, thoughtful, etc.
It's been a very tough go for all of us in recent years, especially the team. There have been many changes and lots of disappointments, but there also has been growth and improvement in talent.
I guess those of us who have stuck it out are not keen on someone showing up after we've cleared the way for them who starts out by criticizing and judging. It's never a good idea to do that when you are new...and you ARE new...even though you've been here before. Wait until the team catches up with you and starts editing your posts, etc. THEN you'll have a taste of what we've been through. Many have left the site as a result, but those of us who toughed it out? Well, we're quite protective of what we've created here and want to make sure that we keep what we have. Thus the rant that started this forum post!
Again, I feel another comment is in order.
When I started this forum, I was very frustrated with the large influx of new "people" who had just signed up to HP and immediately placed a horrible article onto the system and begged for "someone" to make it a better article.
These were obviously NOT sincere newbie writers, looking to improve, but rather obviously third-world people who had been told they could "make some money" on this site.
Some of them were actually using language translator software to generate what were obvious copies of commercial advertisements, tourist brochures, and articles downloaded from their local web.
These were clearly not original works, and HP would reject them for one reason or another. But, somehow, they were told they could get "help" from existing writers.
THESE were the ones who raised my ire.
On the other hand, there were some (not a lot, but some) who were truly trying to "become a competent writer" and who also were asking for help. Even I, someone whom one of you called "an OLD HP writer" (to paraphrase) would give advice. But, I did not get into rewriting their attempts. That is not a way to teach.
Oh, and I became "an OLD HP writer" by slogging through the process of improving my works, and becoming better, over the past even years. There is not replacement for practice and experience when you strive to be a better writer. We should be careful to not become a crutch, but a source of knowledge.
Criticizing and judging? I've said my peace based on the beginning of this thread, which I DID NOT start, but as a reminder, I feel it is important to not gloat about one's ability versus those who still struggle within the community. We all want to become better writer's, even myself. So much room for improvement for each and every one of us. HOWEVER let's remember to be a bit kinder and more respectful to those who wish to excel in their craft despite any differences whether it be lesser skill, one's difference in culture, or even lack of experience. SOME have forgotten what it's like to be a new writer among a sea of seasoned Hubbers who know their craft. Just something I've noticed given that I've been away and do see the changes coming from a fresh outsider perspective. It's an honest observation ... if you take what I've noticed personal then perhaps maybe you should really think about what I'm trying to communicate? We should respect each other, that's all I'm saying. The way in which this thread was originally communicated gave a feeling of elitism and A FEW of the comments bordered on cultural bias. There are better ways to present an argument without ridiculing one's place of origin or language barrier. Keep it professional. I'm done with this thread
Yet you come in here calling regular forum posters 'high and mighty' and guilty of having 'inflated egos'. Where's the respect?
You'll find that most of us here do our utmost to help other people, especially those who are genuine in their aims and ambitions. It's true we do have a bit of fun with those who ask for a critique and then throw it back because they know better, but it's quite rare.
The thread began because of a huge influx of ESL hubbers. Some have worked hard and made the grade; most tend to fall by the wayside. Some may take the advice, go away, improve their English and come back to give it another go.
So to judge us (and you did, despite what you proclaim) on the basis of one slightly moany thread is unjust and uncalled for. When you have spent the hours that many of us do in helping others, then you can criticise, okay?
SOME and A FEW ... are NOT all Hubbers . You shouldn't take it personal when aimed at the few whose comments were uncalled for ... perhaps you should read my comment again. ... thank you for your input but I do understand the need to justify. I felt the same way
Says she who shows up out of the blue and feels it is acceptable to lecture others about her distorted values before she even understands the situation.
Lots of luck with that!
It's certainly been a while. Just realized that I once enjoyed your Hubs. Despite the fact that we have differences of opinion, I think you're a talented writer and I'll continue to enjoy your Hubs. If you're offended by anything I've stated by way of a few other people's comments then I'm sorry. My aim was generated at some insensitivity toward cultural comments. Your talent is appreciated
I was not offended. I was just trying to point out that sometimes what people think they are seeing isn't actually the whole story and that it pays to give things time before you make judgments.
Just about everybody who responded to this post is someone who has paid his dues and knows the score. Each has spent countless hours helping others (including the OP). They should be respected, rather than chastised.
You really hurt yourself when you take a stance like this because some day it may be YOU who asks for help, and these people may not be keen on providing it to someone who has told them they are disrespectful and uncivil.
I'm glad you have enjoyed my hubs. I write them to help people because I don't want them to have some of the problems I have experienced in the past. As a former teacher, I like helping people...but you will see in time that so many of those who ask for help end up arguing and defending rather than listening and learning.
These are the ones Don was talking about, and I can't agree with him more.
God helps those who help themselves!
I don't see that I was being uncivil any more than those who were criticizing the "newbies" and I do stick up for them because I remember being there once myself before I had to leave HubPages - I was available and participated in reaching out to newer writers and did put my fair share in as much as possible without disrespecting or giving the impression that I or anyone else was better than them. The community atmosphere back then was so much more congenial and almost like family. But you must know, it's not only this thread but other threads that I've seen lately that make me feel disappointed about the complex changes that have put SOME in an elitist mindset. Something that I admit and humbly - do not understand since I've been away for a while. Why I had to leave HP is a private matter that leaned on safety and security for myself or I would've still been hubbing - right along like the rest of our seasoned Veterans but life happened. Thanks
"Cultural comments" - so that's what pressed your buttons, I see.
When we talk about people who can't speak English, it's no slight on any culture. It's a statement of fact. We're not against foreigners on principle - we have some great Hubbers here, who speak English as a second language. However, the big difference is that they speak it well enough to put together a coherent sentence. That's all we ask. If someone is at that level, then we're happy to help fix the occasional odd sentence structure.
I repeat, we're talking about people writing Hubs that would have to be TOTALLY rewritten to make them good enough for publication. These are people who would need another three or four years' study of English to be able to write coherently.
HubPages itself is now elitist, in the sense that it has set strict guidelines for its articles. If you want to make money here, your Hubs now have to be good enough to be accepted for the niche sites, and that's why our advice focusses so much on high standards.
I do understand your point and I agree, however what I did not agree with is how the subject was addressed in one particular thread of comments. I think most involved in this thread understand what I'm trying to communicate whether they agree or not ... Good luck to you
Quit being so arrogant. I am a newbie to HubPages but my motivation for being here is to make money from my writings. I believe that's the case for the majority of us, which is why it makes sense to participate in these many forums, discussions, Q&A's, etc. Because we want to actively engage folks to raise our profile on HubPages. Furthermore, it benefits us all when there is quality content available in the space. I can't believe that I have to say this but the opportunity to earn increases when the size of the Hubpages community grows so do what you can to encourage the growth of the site.
I think that was the point I was trying to make earlier ... there's no need for elitist attitudes from SOME here in the forum. BUT it is what it is ... I just feel that this attitude creates a divide, and it's unfortunate because there are so many who crave to learn and excel but when you see this type of resentment, it's intimidating and kind of a downer, especially if seeing it for the first.time. Quality is important but so isn't mutual respect within the community. This will probably be my last forum response ... just my final reflection.. Cheers to all and Good Luck
*You* are the one trying to create a divide. You haven't responded to the reasoned arguments put to regarding the problem of people who A. can't write English to a satisfactory standard. B. ask for help, then don't want it. There was no dispute going on in this thread until you came along chucking insults around.
Anyway, you've told us four times already that you won't be posting on this thread any more, so see ya.
Edit... not one of us here wouldn't help out a new writer who is obviously trying their best. If this is the wrong place for them, then we'll tell them. If they need direction and encouragement, they'll get it. Quit your assumptions.
I have to agree. If anything, I think hubbers are sometimes too helpful. Someone who clearly has only a very basic grasp of English, yet tries to pass themselves off as a native speaker, or produces articles through nefarious or blatantly illegal means, such as copying, spinning, etc. does not deserve anything more than short shrift.
That's not "elitist", it's sensible from every angle.
Your tone is terrible, extremely bitter. You lack diplomacy and that's kind of sad for an Alumni member who's been around for a while. It's obvious you worked hard to get where you are. I questioned myself and how I presented myself, but now I realize after reading some of your previous posts on this thread to others before myself ... that's just who you are ... combative, and it's your approach. And yes, I'll go now ... ciao sweets
Go read your first few messages on this thread. You came in here combative and rude. One thing I can't stand is people who come in 'on the side of right' and presume to understand how it works. Why not take some time to familiarize yourself before wading in?
You can call it 'combative', I call it 'straight talking'. Some people appreciate it; others don't. I don't care. I'm never intentionally rude unless someone is rude to me first, or is obviously taking the p!ss by posting copied/spun content. Take it or leave it.
Apparently you don't "get it" that constructive criticism does encourage growth on this site. Conversely, encouraging people with poor writing ability to remain is very damaging.
You either have the goods when you get here, or you don't. If you don't, you need to educate yourself and then try again...not depend on others who write here to do your job for you.
BTW: whose arrogance were you addressing with your comment? The only arrogance I saw was with the poster who decided to chastise people for things she assumed they were doing before gaining a true understanding of what was really going on here.
This thread was started 8 months ago. I sometimes wonder if HubPages should remove some of these old threads before they can be rehashed again.
I think I agree!
My original posting was a response to what was happening on HP at that point in time, and now?
It presently seems to be a contest between a few who have that strange disease called; "I must have the last word"
This was not meant as a criticism of your original post but I am sure you agree that enough is enough:)
Jeez, Don...that's a nice way to respond to people who are supporting your point!
TT2 - Again, I have the utmost respect for you and your works. And, you're spot on with what you are saying. But, it seems that "another person" cannot just stop "baiting"; me, yourself, and others in our community with repeated reiterations of the same position.
I was just saying to them, politely, that they were suffering from "the beating a dead horse" disease. I, like yourself and other more seasoned HP writers, get sucked into such battles, simply, or so it seems to me, because we CARE and do have some unique seasoned perspectives to share. Have a great Day, TT2.
I wasn't aware of that or would never have posted. I tend to forget to look at the dates. I agree with you, Sally. Old posts should be deleted.
No one minds constructive criticism. What is constructive about labeling new writers in a negative light? If being a professional dancer and business owner at a very young age taught me anything, it is that some individuals can only feel validation when they tear others down. That isn't professional.
Even the famous writer Stephen King offers new writers the opportunity to learn more about their craft without labeling.
When you learn to offer your "opinion" and not those controlling mandates like "MY way or the highway," you earn a higher rank of professionalism.
I just do not see the point in destructive criticism that has zero value to the literary world. Perhaps, since I've been a tech writer for nearly 3 decades, an SEO copywriter for almost 2 decades, my perception is that some very petty and insignificant writers have a need to make themselves look better by pretending they outrank others. Let me know when you are on the NY best seller list. Till then, how about cutting the newbies some slack?
You totally lost me with this one. Who here said "my way or the highway?". All I've seen is people saying that this is a site for people who have a good command of the English Language and is not one for those who don't have even the most basic writing skills.
Your rant, while elegant, does not address what has been said here.
Wrong. Read the silly petty, childishness of the other posters. If you are on a public site like HP, you don't get to make the rules for social communication.
HP provides provisions for setting up your own private little whiner club where you can criticize each other to your heart's content. If you publish a hub for all to read and comment on, you get what you asked for...public comments.
As I recall, we in the US still have 1st Amendment rights. Yours doesn't supercede anyone else's.
Along with the Freedom to strive for success is the Freedom to fail in our endeavors.
With that said, and accepting the fact that HP is a financial site designed for writers of GOOD and INFORMATIVE articles; then we are here on HP to make a few bucks through being allowed exposure to the "Great GOOGLE System" of ranking our works and compensating us for the best and most popular ones.
STOP dodging this basic fact; HP exists to make money and we are here to make money! If you wish to be a literary phenomenon, then you're on the wrong site. Go somewhere else where you can write, read, and compete with your fellow literary genius'.
For those of us who have been here (on HP) for a while, laboring to improve the popularity and thus the "sell-ability" of our articles, to get into this kind of verbal conflict with the few I see here who demand we not seek a higher level of fellow writers but rather that we drop our standards to include these incapable invaders we are talking about, is shocking.
I say shocking because this is the same "liberal" argument that demands our nation just keep lowering our children's education standards until everyone can be passed on to the next grade, even if they can't spell their own name or write a coherent sentence, or even work simple math problems without a smartphone.
Get over yourselves, people. We live in a world that pays the best for their best, and not one where you can live on what you can "suck" off of others.
To my original point, once again. For HP to be successful, it needs writers who are successful. Then, and only then, can we HP writers and HP make money together.
Otherwise HP could easily go the way of so many other web writer's sites I have watched close shop over the past 7 years that I have labored here.
@Ewent, you came late to the discussion and you may not be fully aware what started it.
We are not talking about newbie writers, who can write a coherent English sentence and just need some help with polishing, or understanding the ins and outs of online writing. In my experience, that kind of newbie will get help here, not brickbats.
The original post grew out of frustration at the number of people with poor English language skills who are writing Hub after Hub after Hub which are borderline unintelligible.
In those cases, the best constructive criticism is to be honest and advise the person to go away and study English before trying again - or hire a professional editor. Encouraging them to keep writing, when they're clearly several years away from having good enough English, would be unkind and give them false hope.
If you read through the posts, you'll see that she has been made well aware of what you just told her. She just wants to stick with the assumption that those of us who responded as well as the OP are self absorbed, newbie-bashing people who want to build our egos up by putting new writers down.
She just doesn't get what you tried to explain. I wouldn't waste one more breath on her.
Im a newbie and all my articles are featured. Now i just need more readers
Agreed that this is a business and even more so with the creation of the niche sites. You can't expect to write here if you don't understand basic grammar and English.
We can give advice on minor details but not to the point where the entire article has to be rewritten. No one should claim superiority either because most of us aren't best sellers, we're just trying to make a few bucks to maybe pay a bill or get dinner that's all.
Ha ha, Chris, I like the food comparison. I used to equate HP income with cans of beans. For some time I earned enough to buy one can of beans a day. Before Panda hit, I was earning the equivalent of enough beans that I could open a bean warehouse. Of course that is so longer the case.
It looks like a fourth of my feed lately is comprised of new people wanting the rest of us to tell them how to write. All day I get request after request for help on passing the Quality Assessment.
I mean Really?
Many of your requests are just one step above being a jumble of mis-spelled words constructed improperly.
If you want us to write this stuff for you, how about paying us for correcting your obvious lack of knowledge about; the English language, spelling and proper grammar.
Come on! Buck Up! Learn how to write first!
*It looks like a fourth of my feed, lately, is comprised of new people wanting the rest of us to tell them how to write. All day I get request-after-request for help on passing the Quality Assessment. I mean, really? Many of your requests are just one step above being a jumble of misspelled (the irony of him misspelling "misspelled") words constructed improperly (redundant). If you want us to write this stuff for you, how about paying us for correcting your obvious lack of knowledge about (do not separate a list of items when they proceed a verb or preposition) the English language, spelling and grammar (obviously, you're referring to proper grammar). Come on! Buck up! Learn how to write!
**Lately, I have noticed that too many "writers" on this site ask for guidance about things writers should know. All day, I receive countless requests for aid in passing the Quality Assessment standard. To make it worse, too many of those kinds of questions are poorly constructed themselves! Misspellings, poor construction, and other grammatical errors abound. In addition to the headaches, not receiving recompense for providing this information to these "writers" furthers my discontent. Please learn to write properly before uploading any more Hubs!
I am a retired Language Arts teacher and can tell you that there are very few people who always write correctly (even me and you), especially in more casual situations such as forums. For example, "request-after-request" is incorrect. You don't need the hyphens. See what I mean?
Posting an attack like the one you just made has no place here. Furthermore, it shows that you clearly misunderstood the point of this post.
If you read any of Don's articles, you'll see that his language use is totally correct.
His point is that there are a number of people who come to this site who have very poor skills and consistently ask writers here to "proof" their work. What they really want is a full edit, meaning that they want us to rewrite their articles for them. This is wrong on many levels and should not be happening.
Do you get it now?
Don should refrain from condescension, when his writing is imperfect.
Describing my corrections as an attack is extreme. How can I have attacked him without having criticized him or degraded him? Corrections is all they were.
Basically you were criticizing him...that's the whole point here.
Don can say whatever Don wants to say. I don't have a problem with it. Apparently you do. Rather than go after Don for his opinion, why don't you let the newbie writers know you are available for tutoring? Or did you just want to be a bully? Hey, if you did, that's ok too.
Don should also be able to take it if he can dish it.
I think you may be confusing names. TT2 is supportive of Don and certainly not bullying, as you suggest.
For the record, I agree with Don. The forum is filled with requests from individuals who are unable to string a simple sentence together. It's such a shame that Don is unable to freely express his views, without being subjected to personal attacks.
My guess is that you're agreeing with Don, since you've quoted his statements without expressing an opinion.
No, he's 'corrected' Don's paragraph.
It's a forum post, mate, not a dissertation, or even a hub. And it is streets ahead, grammatically speaking, of some of the stuff we are asked to look at.
So, again, what's your point?
Actually, some of these are not direct quotes of what I have written. Putting words in my mouth makes you a good candidate for our Liberal Press?
He thinks he's being clever, Don. Take no notice.
It's a shame Travis didn't take a similar amount of time to help an ESL hubber. He could have made a real difference to someone's day, but hey, why bother, eh, Travis?
Thanks Bev - I am constantly amazed by the few who think personal attacks are as acceptable in a public forum as a generalized complaint!
I never attacked any person, nationality, race or sex. Rather, I saw an "American English" competency issue (with freshly joined newbies) that had peaked to the point where I felt, it needed to be controlled, in some way.
But, I stand by my opinion that HP needs GOOD writers, and it does not need for GOOGLE to slash the whole HP community down (in search results) because a few save-the-snailers want to teach.
I say, please, please, take your new charges and go somewhere and teach them, just don't drag me and my valuable time down with you as you do whatever it is you want to do?
That was completely unnecessary on every level, and there was nothing clever about it.
It reminded me of troll posts where the person thought they knew better yet ironically they made the same mistakes they accused others of doing (hypocrisy much).
Chris, was it unnecessary? Don wants people to write correctly. I corrected Don's writing mistakes. Should he not be thankful somebody took the time to educate him?
Point out where I made mistakes.
Read my post and you'll see where you made a mistake.
TIMETRAVELER2, I made one mistake.
The difference between Don and me is that I do not take time out of my day to target a whole group of people about their writing, in a post rife with errors. Don took a condescending approach and deserved to be called out for it.
I am still confused as to how I attacked him. What was it in my original post that caused some of you to perceive it as a personal attack on him? I simply corrected him. He should be thanking me.
Travis, as I have explained several times.
1. Don's original post was expressing frustration at the sheer number of people who ask for help in the forum because their English is not up to the required standard. I'm pretty sure he did not single out any particular 'group', as you suggest.
2. This is a forum. It doesn't matter if a post here is grammatically correct or not. What's important is that *published articles* are coherent and understandable.
3. You took it upon yourself to correct Don's *forum post*. You thought you were being clever. Most of us see it as rude and uncalled for. If he asked you to rewrite it, then fine, but he didn't. Now you are taking the 'he should thank me' line. Perhaps you should take a step back and ask yourself why you felt the need to belittle someone you don't know in public?
4. If you think your English is so good, then instead of attacking Don, why don't you take the trouble to offer some feedback and help to those who ask for it?
I do not care for Don's mistakes; it is his condescending attitude that caused me to reply: It speaks to the contempt he feels for others who he believes are inferior to him, and displays an irritating sense of pretentiousness.
I am not perfect; I consider my writing to be poor, and I am always striving to make it better.
I am still waiting for someone to answer my question regarding this alleged attack on Don. My original post did not even mention him directly. How could it have been an attack?
Please point out where Don was condescending to someone or some specific group of people, Travis. I don't think you'll be able to. Yet you are being very condescending towards him despite the fact that the point he is making is entirely valid.
Here is the premise of his post, if you didn't understand it:
There is a veritable wave of people attempting to write for HubPages who do not have a reasonable grasp of English. This means that, due to HubPages' 'system' of rejecting their hubs and then encouraging them to post requesting help here in the forum, that people's feeds are swamped with such requests.
There is no specific group or ethnicity which is being put down here, just that the forum is rather full of 'I need feedback on my hub' posts. Some people are fed up with it. Personally, it doesn't bother me as I like helping new people, especially the enthusiastic ones who want to learn. But I can also see it from Don's point of view.
This is a forum for HubPage users. Members are allowed to vent at a feature that bothers them. You are welcome to disagree and debate, but you chose not to do that. Instead you took it upon yourself in an "irritating, pretentious and condescending manner" to correct and rewrite his post, when you weren't requested to do so. Don did not name names or single anyone out, while you most certainly took aim at one person. Can you see the difference?
theraggededge, why help ESL students when native English speakers struggle to communicate correctly? That's exactly what I did here, so why am I being criticized for it? Don should be thanking me.
Because Don did not single anyone out. He described a problem that HP is experiencing and that some of us, feel obliged to deal with. You, with your snidely post, tried to belittle him publicly. Like I said, it's a forum post, not an article.
I think you should apologise.
Don, I copied your original post, followed it with an edited version, and finished off with a more concise, better worded one.
I do not want to put anything into your mouth.
@Marisa, I agree with Don that we should aspire to write correctly, which is why I corrected him.
It seems to me that if a person doesn't want to use Hubpages as a "talking" site, they could just not go to the off topic forums, or any of the forums at all? Forums are kind of... talk-y.
I've been here six years and HP has repeatedly changed things for the worse.
This is another example of this practice.
Don: I think the main reason we old timers find this practice so offensive is that we had to learn on our own what works and what doesn't. Shortcuts seem like an excuse not to put in the time and effort to learn.
There is a lot to be said for watching and taking your time to find your way around here, but you do it by reading other people's work, reading the comments they receive, and applying the good to your own work.
So True! Just as a Shark cannon, simply cannot breath without swimming, in my opinion, a Writer cannot breath without telling his or her story. And if he tells it well, he breaths better with every word, construction and plot he perfects.
Of course, those looking for the easy path, using someone else's work as a crutch, will inevitably run out of patsies and move on to another scheme.
I guess the easy way is to be like the once great James Anderson who wrote so well but now just puts his name on his co-writer's works to make another buck.
Me? Am I a great writer? I understand that I'm not one of those, but I keep working on my craft and telling my stories.
You see, I AM a writer, and I do not like seeing these people "going for the easy road", so I spoke up. Shame on me, I guess!
So, those of you who believe we are "teachers" and should put our true passion aside to teach? Good for you. Just please take these poor people aside as you do so! I'm too busy to listen to you anymore!
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