In a discussion on FB today I had occasion to post a link to a hub I wrote that was transferred to soapboxie some time ago. It is a serious hub, on gun control, and I wanted to present the facts gathered there to the FB discussion.
The reaction from others was unexpected: "Soapboxie!? What kind of place is that?" "Soapboxie? Who are you trying to kid?" "Why would I go to a place called Soapboxie for anything?"
When the niche was created I thought it was given a rather nifty name, but now I'm not so sure. The reactions were surprising, but a little reflection shows why; the name hardly promotes trust or belief. It sounds like a kids game of some kind rather than a place with serious articles with hard facts to back them.
Anyone else run into anything like this?
I haven't run into this, but I can see how one could. I agree that the site names could be better. I also think that the layouts should be different from one another....they all look like the same site I think they should at least change the color scheme for each one.
I think the problem might be that the commenters do not not understand the allusion to soap box as "a box or crate used as a makeshift stand by a public speaker". I personally think that the name of the site nicely evokes the type of articles you would would expect to find there: basically opinions and editorials on various subjects.
I think you're right, which is what is (I think) giving rise to the response. The hub I wrote was not intended as an opinion piece but rather a presentation of data and information with a conclusion based on that data. But that's not what the "soapbox" image evokes - rather it brings forth the picture of a soapbox on a street corner with someone haranguing the crowd with personal opinions rather than factual information from respected sources that can be checked for veracity.
I definitely see your point, wilderness. I recall this discussion during initial introduction of the site names. Your raw data about responses to the title is good information. But I wonder if anything can be changed at this juncture since they are attached to the URLs? Do millenials and younger even get the meaning of soapbox, ergo, Soapboxie?
I don't think much can be done except change the name or move the hub. Neither of which is reasonable unless lots of hubbers are having the problem.
Have no idea of the age of those that responded on FB, but yes, they seemed to understand the reference. Why else respond with such derision? They aren't interested in someone preaching from a soapbox, and when that someone is a faceless voice on the net it can only be worse. Or so it seems to me, anyway.
I agree. I think "soap box" implies a political rant, not something well thought-out and insightful. They need better names. I'm not that fond of "level skip" or "owlcation" or "reel rundown" either. For the latter, why have a site name that sounds like "real rundown" as in crappy and falling apart? In a video game, a skip can also be a glitch, like a record skipping. (None of these definitions of it are flattering either: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=skip) I think they just grabbed up the cheapest domains they could find. Or they brainstormed some cutesy names and said "good enough". Did they really think about how we would like to be represented?
There are a number of niche site names that I really don't like, partly because they do not tell the reader what the site is supposed to be about. I've had people ask me what "owlcation" means. Being cute with the names is one thing but you don't want to derail a potential viewer by making it hard for him/her to find the topic sought. Basic and to-the-point works; although it can be a challenge to find names that are unique. Still, we have niche site names that don't come anywhere near to describing the topic and that is NOT good public relations and marketing.
I love the niche sites and think they're detrimental to the growth of HubPages and the writers but I agree that the names of some of the sites don't do a good job of describing the content or creating a solid brand that can be built upon for years to come.
I took the name Soapboxie to mean: Hubs articles to be from people giving their opinions on a soap box, or campaigning, but I really don't know what it stands for, I do not go there to look for anything.
I wish you luck.
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