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jump to last post 1-29 of 29 discussions (125 posts)

The Maven Takeover - The Facts

  1. Marisa Wright profile image98
    Marisa Wrightposted 5 months ago

    The announcements from HubPages have contained a bit too much corporate-speak to be completely clear, so I'm starting a thread where we can share what we know in as plain-speaking a format as possible. 

    Here is what we definitely know so far:

    1.  Maven  has bought HubPages.  That means they have bought the business, and the right to publish our articles.  They have NOT bought the copyright to our articles, we still own our work (which means we can delete our Hubs at any time);

    2.  Paul Edmondson and all the HubPages staff have been hired by Maven to continue to run the business;

    3. Each of the niche sites will become a new "channel" on the Maven network;

    4. ALL existing HubPages authors will be able to continue writing for the niche sites once they become channels;

    5. HubPages authors will NOT have access to write for any of the other Maven channels, (but it's possible some Hubbers may be invited to contribute in future).

    6. , When the niche sites become channels, they will retain their URL (i.e. PetHelpful.com will still be PetHelpful.com).

    You can see the existing Maven network here , but remember, the niche sites will be added as NEW channels - we won't be able to write for any of the channels already listed. 

    For those who've been saying "But HubPages is so successful now, why are we selling?" - a little reality check:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/06/hubpage … years.html

    1. kenneth avery profile image81
      kenneth averyposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      @Marisa --- thank you so very much for clearing a lot of the Hubpages/Maven change, if I can use that word. And thank you for using Plain Speak. That gesture definitely speaks to me.
      Peace.

    2. K S Lane profile image94
      K S Laneposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks so much for this! Wading through all of the people freaking out on the main thread to find actual facts was doing my head in.

    3. makingamark profile image62
      makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Incorrect re. "1.  Maven  has bought HubPages. "

      Despite the way it has been described on HubPages, I personally find this account https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/ … ital-Media to be more persuasive as an accurate description of where HubPages is up to re "the acquisition"

      "Maven Inc. (ticker symbol MVEN) agreed to acquire HubPages in a union that will bring together more than 40 million monthly unique users together in a single premium digital media network, the two companies announced after signing a letter of intent. The transaction is expected to close within 90 days.

      A letter of intent is NOT a contract.

      So a bit like when you're buying a house and you agree to buy it - but you still have time to back out.

    4. jackclee lm profile image81
      jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Is Maven a good company to invest in? It seems to me, one of the way we can help ourselves is to support the new company and buy their stock while it is still low...

      1. Barbara Kay profile image93
        Barbara Kayposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        I had that thought too and then work like crazy to help it all succeed.

        1. jackclee lm profile image81
          jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Sounds like a good plan. If you invest in the stock while it is low, you stand to make much more than google adsense. I never counted on making big bucks writing on hubpages. I just did it for fun and donated my small earnings to charity. I average 5-6 dollars per month and I have 400 articles published.

    5. Ashish Dadgaa profile image59
      Ashish Dadgaaposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      @Marisa Wright,

      Thank you, Marisa, for this useful post.

      https://usercontent2.hubstatic.com/13855903.gif

    6. ChitrangadaSharan profile image55
      ChitrangadaSharanposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Thank you Marisa for this thread!

    7. Ken Burgess profile image90
      Ken Burgessposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Thank you for sharing this information.

      I have to wonder how many Hubbers new this was even transpiring? 

      Interesting reading about the struggles HubPages has had.  But with this new infusion of employees and broader reach through Maven this will be a boon for all.

      This is coming at a very good time, there is a lot of blowback right now from the demonetization of many popular sites on YouTube, and the policing (banning of posters) of Facebook and Twitter, there are hundreds of thousands of people looking for alternative platforms and sites as I type this, places like Minds.com and blip.tv are vying to become premier alternate options to what is becoming the highly censored and demonitized Google and Facebook.

      Of course with Hubpages' current association with Google, they may fall under similar restrictions and indeed could face being placed in a very unprofitable position (blackballed from searches).

      Still much is up in the air, advances in decentralized crypto currency and the dark web, both growing in popularity, may tip the scales in the future to the point where the 'internet' and the likes of Youtube and Facebook are as out of date and unused as the B&W tv grandma has stashed away in the basement.

    8. profile image0
      Sandra Ashleyposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks so much for clearing this up for me.  I just read a different Hub and got lost in all the corporate language.
      I joined a few days ago and i'm interested to see if i'll notice a difference

  2. RonElFran profile image99
    RonElFranposted 5 months ago

    A really interesting statement in the CNBC article: "Both companies have been trying to build a business that can survive without reliance on Google and Facebook."

    I'm wondering how independence from Google can ever be achieved. Revenue still comes from advertising, and is proportional to traffic. And Google is still by far the major driver of traffic. Anybody have a clearer understanding of how Maven/HP will be less dependent on the big G than HP is now?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image98
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Not a clue. It seems to me that the niche sites are set up to rely on Google, just as much as HubPages was, so that statement is a mystery to me. 

      I think they might be saying that they're trying to create a brand that people will go to direct.  Just like when people want to buy something, they might type "Amazon.com" into their browser instead of Googling.

      1. jackclee lm profile image81
        jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        This is the first I’ve heard about Maven.
        What is it?
        Who are considered mavens?
        How does one get to that status?
        It seems to me, HubPages is more popular than Maven, at least in my world.
        How does Maven make money?
        It is listed on the OTC market but the value is very small, less than $2 a share.
        I am not understanding the connection.
        What is the business model going forward?
        I am open to any changes that improves HubPages and help us succeed as writers.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image98
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          There is a post on the HubPages blog, I suggest you read it.  Also go and take a look at my link to the Maven website and read the article I linked to. 

          There is a long complicated discussion on another thread about the viability or otherwise of the company and the integrity of its founder, which you are welcome to join.  Bear in mind it's a fairly new company.

          1. makingamark profile image62
            makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            Bear in mind that a lot of qualms that are being raised relate to the track record of the man behind Maven.  They're not new.

    2. NateB11 profile image92
      NateB11posted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Pretty sure they're referring to ad partners not search engines.

      Edit: CNBC says:" Both companies have been trying to build a business that can survive without reliance on Google and Facebook, which control about two-thirds of the U.S. digital ad market, according to eMarketer."

      They are referring to the US digital ad market, not the search engine.

      For certain there are alternative ad partners.

      1. Wolfy profile image97
        Wolfyposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        That makes sense. I don't think there is any getting away from Google search engine. But independent companies coming straight to you to buy ad space on your network could mean more money. If I were Maven, that's what I would shoot for.

    3. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image100
      Kierstin Gunsbergposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Maybe they'll put more effort into their social media shares? I've noticed that HubPage's social media lacks, greatly. I think it's smart to try and drive traffic from sources other than search engines.

      1. Shogun profile image47
        Shogunposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Ditto. It's extremely difficult to build a reputable social media following, but with the way HubPages operates, that could be a major boost. However, I also believe it's up to the content creator to share responsibility in creating a buzz around content - I tend to share my own stories and forum comments, when appropriate, via Twitter, Facebook, etc.

        1. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image100
          Kierstin Gunsbergposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          For sure! I share my content but I have less than 200 friends. A well-built social media presence for a company like HubPages/Maven would greatly increase those clicks.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image98
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        I know why HubPages hasn't  promoted themselves on social media historically - the problem is, how do they promote the site?    HubPages is not, and could never be, a destination like Wikipedia.   No matter how much they promote the site as a whole, I can't see anyone thinking "I need to find out about something, I'll go to HubPages", because it's not that kind of site.  So it would be money wasted.

        Now that the niche sites exist, it's becoming practical for them to do social media promotion.  They can promote PetHelpful as a destination for people who love pets, for instance. But the problem then is cost - because they need a separate campaign for every single niche site.

        I think Maven will have the same problem. Their channels are all random.  Even now I know Maven exists, I can't see myself thinking, "I'll go and see what's on Maven today".  I'm far more likely to go to sites that curate content on the specific subjects I'm interested in.  So if they are going to take responsibility for social media campaigns, they're going to have to do it for every channel individually, and that costs. 

        They may be doing it now, to make the site look good.  But I have a feeling that ongoing, they'll probably put the responsibility back on the individual channel owners to publicise their own channels (because remember, all the existing channels are owned by an individual or organisation, not directly by Maven)

    4. janshares profile image96
      jansharesposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      That stood out for me, too, Ron. Don't Google and Facebook pretty much control everything ad/traffic-related? Where else would traffic come from? Very odd statement.

  3. Urbane Chaos profile image99
    Urbane Chaosposted 5 months ago

    This is great, thank you!!

    One point, with the bullet "1.  Maven has bought HubPages.  That means they have bought the business, and the right to publish our articles...."

    The only thing I've seen on this comes from HP, but I haven't seen anything from The Maven on it.  I also saw a post saying that HP doesn't know the details for the future. 

    I make a big deal out of this but for good reason.  I had two books published a number of years back.  The deal we had was that the publishing company had a right to publish my work, but they didn't own the copyright.  I set it up that way so that I could keep the right to republish the articles.  Long story short, they ended up with both the right to publish and the copyright, and all I ended up with after the initial payout was a 9% royalty on copies sold.  After much legal wrangling, I ended up getting the books taken out of print and a shared copyright, which was about worthless.  I ended up losing about six years worth of work over the deal. (A lot of it was my fault - first time being published and I didn't review the contract like I should have)  Anyway, I'm a little leery of things like this.  I trust Paul and the team here, but I don't know hardly anything about the other guys.

    I've been looking for something definitive, but still haven't found anything.  If you run across something, please let me know.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image98
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Your example was a situation where you failed to review the contract.  You wouldn't be the first.

      The point, this time, is that HubPages does not own the copyright to our articles.  As you say, that's clearly set out in our contract with them.  Maven cannot buy our copyright from HubPages.com. HP can't sell what they don't own.   If they tried to sell our copyright, they could be prosecuted for fraud.

      If, in the process of this sale, we are sent a new contract to sign direct with Maven, or if we are asked to sign an agreement varying our contract with HubPages - then for sure, we all need to review it very carefully and make sure we're protected.  That is a different thing.  We haven't been asked to do that yet.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 months agoin reply to this

        There is a section in the other post that is concerning.  Has to do with possibly giving Maven the right to control the use of our content.  I am wondering if we will be able to remove content if that is the case.  What think you?

        1. Marisa Wright profile image98
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          I replied on the other thread.  It is a MASSIVE issue.

  4. TessSchlesinger profile image95
    TessSchlesingerposted 5 months ago

    I think we also have to consider that James Heckman, the CEO of Maven.

    Business Insider says "Plus, TheMaven's publishers actually own equity in the company, Heckman said. The startup is actually a public company that was established through a reverse capitalization via a shell company, reported AdExchanger (at the time, the company's stock was priced around 16 cents – on Thursday evening it was priced at roughly $1.82). That manuever allowed Maven to avoid having to raise money from venture capitalists or private equity, Heckman said."

    BusinessWire says "HubPages’ network will be migrated to Maven’s publishing and community platform, relaunched as part of a single premium network, on one platform for advertisers."

    BusinessWire says "This acquisition of HubPages is perfectly aligned with Maven’s existing strategy and moves it forward at least two years from a scale and content contributor standpoint. This move increases our current scale by 800%, offering consumers, as well as marketers, an exciting, broad offering of professional content and a massive community."

    CNBC says "On Friday morning, Edmondson finally got his exit. HubPages, a collection of websites that cover topics ranging from pets and cars to healthy living, was acquired by a Seattle-based content company named Maven, which has a market value below $70 million and a stock that trades over-the-counter (OTC)."

    CNBC says "Edmondson was excited because he'd found a home for himself and his 32 employees (including eight that start on Monday) and he's giving them a chance to own stock with potential upside.
    "When you're trapped inside small private companies, you don't have a way for you or your employees to get liquid," Edmondson said. He added that he's been paying himself a "below-market salary."

    CNBC says: Both companies have been trying to build a business that can survive without reliance on Google and Facebook, which control about two-thirds of the U.S. digital ad market, according to eMarketer.

    CNBC says: Far from taking a breather, Edmondson is now likely to be working even harder. The company has performance targets it has to meet for him to maximize his pay, and he also wants to do what he can to help Maven's stock.

    The Street  says: Scout Media, the bankrupt college sports website network that fired its founder and former chief executive Jim Heckman in July, is preparing for a court fight over whether Heckman is now trying to interfere with its bankruptcy auction process.

    The Stret says: Scout claims that Heckman has been sabotaging the relationships between it and its publishers, who operate and maintain college team-specific sites and are paid on a monthly basis.

    The Street says: "After interfering with the debtors' contractual relationships with their publishers, Mr. Heckman has then been reporting the existence of a disturbance within their ranks to other potential buyers," Scout wrote in its motion to depose Heckman. "In the hopes that they will become concerned about the health of these publisher contracts and will either lower their bid for the debtor's assets... or refrain from bidding altogether."

    Awful Announcing has said: Awful Announcing has obtained a letter the Scout board sent to Scout publishers Sunday night, saying that they’d terminated the employment of chairman Jim Heckman for cause and alleging that he had “advanced his own personal interests at the expense of the company’s” and “abused his access to and control of company funds.”

    NYPost says: It has been a bumpy roller coaster ride for a company that forced out founder and CEO James Heckman in July — prompting a walkout by Web producers who claimed in a public letter that a team of Russian investors had grabbed control of the company in a hostile takeover.   The board insisted that Heckman was fired “for cause” — a claim that Heckman disputed.

    Geekwire says:Heckman then went on to start online advertising startup 5to1.com, selling that company to Yahoo in 2011. After that, he led global media strategy for Yahoo, working closely with Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn.

    Geekwire says: But a SEC filing provides a few more clues about theMaven Network, which was founded in Nevada in July 2016 under the name Amplify Media.   The goal is to build “an exclusive network of professionally managed media channels and interest groups, each operated by a hand-selected group of experts, reporters, group evangelists and social leaders as ‘Channel Partners,'” the SEC filing says.

    Digiday says: The job of turning around that perception falls on the shoulders, in large part, of Jim Heckman, a serial entrepreneur who has bounced around the digital media industry for the better part of two decades. Depending on who you talk to, the smooth-talking Heckman is just the man for the job or shifty operator long on talk, short on execution.

    Digidays says: It was the third company Heckman headed that resulted in a sale, having run Scout.com, which sold for $60 million to Fox Interactive Media in 2005, and Rivals.com, which sold for $100 million to Yahoo in 2007. Unlike many top ad executives, Heckman has entrepreneurial cred.

    ***

    So what I figure is this - that Maven wants to create content that draws advertisers away from facebook and google by getting them to deal directly with Maven. If this works, I think it's safe to say that HP did a good deal. Where the writers stand in that deal will be dependent on how much influence Paul Edmonton has in Maven. I don't see Heckman as a friendly soul to his staff.

    1. makingamark profile image62
      makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Well in the world I live in "bounced around" is commercial code for

      EITHER "doesn't seem to be able to stay doing one thing for too long"
      OR "moves on before he gets found out"
      OR "asset stripper"

      Take your pick!

      1. DrMark1961 profile image97
        DrMark1961posted 5 months agoin reply to this

        That must be a very shallow world. Bounced around can also be moving to a new company with better pay and benefits, or you can stay in the same cubicle and eat your lunch out of a paper bag for 40 years. Take your pick.

        1. makingamark profile image62
          makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          No - "bounced" is very much NOT a word you used about people who are making all the moves characteristic of somebody progressing their career.

          It's 'code' and it's pejorative.

  5. Marisa Wright profile image98
    Marisa Wrightposted 5 months ago

    Tess, can I suggest you edit your post.  There is NO rule against posting links on the HubPages forums. You are not allowed to post links to your OWN work.  You can post all the links you like to other websites.  It would make your post more succinct.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image95
      TessSchlesingerposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Last time I posted a link to somewhere ekse, I was told it wasn't permitted because it sent traffic to that site.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image98
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Whoever told you that, had no idea what they were talking about.  I've seen people give that advice and it has NO foundation in fact whatsoever.

        I think the myth has arisen because editors are snipping links that  aren't strongly related to the post.  People are having their links snipped and thinking, "oh, links mustn't be allowed", instead of trying to understand why that particular link wasn't acceptable.

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image95
          TessSchlesingerposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Actually, Marisa, you were one of them.

          I posted a link to another site (I'm well aware that I can't promote my own). I was told that I wasn't allowed to post links to other sites because a link on hubpages is very valuable and the search engines would pick it up and see it as a valuable link becausee HP has such a high standing, etc.

          The whole lot of you told me that.

          I wish I could find the post.

          1. lobobrandon profile image91
            lobobrandonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            If that is what Marisa said, then it's probably you pointing to a site which was copying hubs and publishing on their own domain. In such cases, we would not link out to them, because links matter. Linking to a genuine site that is actually helping people is the whole reason links exist.

            1. TessSchlesinger profile image95
              TessSchlesingerposted 5 months agoin reply to this

              That was never specified at the time.  The link that I posted was to a Russia or Asian site that duplicatedall of hubpages content.

              Nobody qualified the statement and said that it only referred to particular links...

              1. Marisa Wright profile image98
                Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

                If I failed to explain myself properly at the time, then I beg your pardon.

                You should never link to a site that's copying HubPages content, because that gives the offending site a free backlink and boosts their credibility - which obviously, is something we don't want to do.

                That is the only occasion when you shouldn't post a link to an external website.

      2. theraggededge profile image98
        theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Only if it is a spammy link, or you've replied to a spammer and the link is replicated. Other legitimate, useful links are fine.

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image95
          TessSchlesingerposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Aha. Okay that makes sense. It was about my stuff being replicated/dupliated on Russian sites, and Google not really being able to do something about it.

          Well, it wasn't specified that it was only spammy sites.

    2. makingamark profile image62
      makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      In this case I actually think bring together all the posts from other sources in one post tells the story rather well for those who don't tend to read links.

      Tess has got it down pat.

  6. Dabby Lyric profile image84
    Dabby Lyricposted 5 months ago

    Thanks fot that clarification.  Only time will tell if this works out.

  7. makingamark profile image62
    makingamarkposted 5 months ago

    I think there's something else that hasn't been stated but is credible and recent experience and therefore relevant.

    A lot of writers on HubPages value the community aspect, like the small business feel, like the personal involvement of Paul. It creates a "family feel". They feel comfortable here.

    However when you create change - like a merger - people tend to ask themselves whether it is for them - and what's in it for them. There are some who are for it and some who are against it.

    What happened with the Squidoo merger is that a LOT of ex-Squidoo people left within the first year for various reasons:
    * It didn't feel comfortable,
    * It wasn't their family
    * If people were going to have to change their lenses into hubs then they might as well move THEIR content to new sites
    * etc etc etc

    I think it's HIGHLY likely that something similar may well happen at Hubpages in upcoming months. A LOT of people may well feel that:
    * the move from a family firm to a more anonymous corporate firm will be alienating,
    * the need to dance to new tunes for some people will be too much,
    * the prospect of this all changing again in three years time after Paul has got his investment out is just too much

    You can argue facts one way and another - but at the end of the day people tend to act on what it "feels like" - what makes them feel comfortable, what makes them feel safe.

    Bottom line - based on credible experience from the recent past - whatever happens this is the end of HubPages as people have known it. It's NEVER going to be the same again - and rather a lot of people are going to walk.

    Essentially, it's all to do with the comfort factor and the need to have some certainty and control over your own life.

    I'm saying this from the perspective of somebody who was never wedded to HubPages - but am still here. However I was utterly gobsmacked at how many removed content from Squidoo before the transfer - and how many continued to remove content after the transfer. Way more left than I would have thought possible - and a lot of those who left were the more successful people and the major league earners.

    Bottom line, it's the best predictor of just ONE of the things that's likely to happen in the next 12-24 months .

    1. theraggededge profile image98
      theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      How could you possibly know this information? People changed their user names, set up new accounts, and perhaps went away and came back later. I know of many Squidooers who already had accounts on HP long before Squidoo died. We had a forum somewhere on Squidoo or Facebook (I forget which) that was dedicated to HubPages.

      Also remember that those 'major league earners' weren't writers but marketers. They produced the most awful, spammy lenses. I was part of RocketMoms for a couple of years and, to be very honest, the work most of them produced was dreadful. Ads, ads and more ads. A lot of the top 100 were nothing but Amazon modules. Remember the number one lens for a couple of years? Laptop cases.

      Then there were the plagiarizers. I bought a lens from someone I trusted, then discovered that most of the content had been copy and pasted from elsewhere. I would guess that 75% of material on Squidoo was utter rubbish and deserved to be wiped from the internet.

      1. lobobrandon profile image91
        lobobrandonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Exactly what I have been trying to tell MAM for years. Finally an ex-squid is saying it. You can't compare HP with Squidoo. One is a good and decent site and the other was mainly spam.

      2. makingamark profile image62
        makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        I count - I analysed numbers for most of my career. Counting tells stories. Counting reveals trends. If you want to know what's really going on I recommend counting as being a good place to start.

        I counted the numbers before the announcement at Squidoo and had trend charts on a private forum showing how it was sinking in the Google rankings (via Quantcast Top Sites https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites/ ) and why what happened was inevitable.
        I counted the numbers on the Squidoo dashboard and what happened to those from 12 months out to the period after the announcement to the actual  date of the transfer. I know how many went from the top 10,000 because I know how many I had in the top 10,000 (c.20) before the announcement and at the end (c.100)!
        I counted the hubs on HubPages from the point where the transfer happened (i.e. they took far too many - not just the top 80,000) and as they diminished over time.

        I agree there was some trash - but it certainly wasn't all trash.
        If we're going to talk laptop cases then we can also talk acrylic loo seats (made by one of the administrators)! wink smile

      3. Jeremy Gill profile image94
        Jeremy Gillposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        A few basic questions:

        1. If HubPages ever shuts down, and an author hasn't backed up their work, it will be impossible for them to access it, correct?

        2. Additionally, based on what I hear about the Squidoo transition, we would likely be given time to back them up in such an event?

        As someone who is only semi-involved in forums, I could certainly see myself missing an initial announcement by a few weeks. My apologies if I'm veering.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image98
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Yes, if HubPages shuts down and you haven't backed up their work, it will be impossible to retrieve your work.  That has applied to every other writing website that ever existed, so it applies to HubPages now and will apply once it's part of Maven.  The Wayback Machine may have some pages but often doesn't have every single page of a website.

          In the Squidoo transition, authors were given time.   When Today.com (another writing site) closed, the first authors knew about it was when we tried to log in to the site, and it was offline.  So it's not safe to assume there will be any notice period.  I guess if the debt collectors arrive, they'll just switch the servers off before they put them in the van!

          You're right, many of the Squidoo members who complained about "not having enough time" were simply late to the party.  I recall quite a number of Squids arriving on the forums going, "What happened?  My lenses have been moved to HubPages, how the %^^& did that happen? Where's Squidoo gone?"

          Look at this Maven announcement - we've got a lot of chat on the forums, but it's mainly those who are usually active here.  I suspect the bulk of Hubbers are blissfully unaware at this point.

          And no, I don't think you're veering.  I was trying to focus on simple facts and getting questions answered, you've asked some good questions.

          1. makingamark profile image62
            makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            They weren't late to the party.

            Nobody had ever told them there was a party.

            If you are a signed up member then you should receive an email when changes of signficant magnitude occur.

            1. theraggededge profile image98
              theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

              They were people who changed their email addresses, or didn't bother checking them, or missed the announcement at the top of their account pages. It was very, very visible. There will always be those who complain at being left behind. They'll be showing up here in six month's time, for sure.

            2. Marisa Wright profile image98
              Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

              I know for a fact there were Squidoo members who missed the announcements and were here on the forums, in a panic, at the last minute.  Another tranche arrived after the transfer had happened.  I was here and I corresponded with them.

              Some people don't read emails.  Some people don't visit forums.  Some people don't realize that newsletters or emails from their writing site have been going to their junk folder for years.  Just because you're organised, don't assume everyone else is.

          2. Jeremy Gill profile image94
            Jeremy Gillposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            I see, I'll have to make some backups soon, just in case.  My eager (that's a positive spin on "lazy") self would rather work on new material, but best to just bite the bullet while I can. Thanks for the answers!

        2. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image100
          Kierstin Gunsbergposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Jeremy, I just have to say this and I don't mean offense to former Squidoo writers - Squidoo was truly awful. I never wrote on it but would stumble upon it searching random stuff and every time it came up I was like "Oh, hell no. This isn't even information." In contrast, the HubPages/Niche content that shows up in searches is actually really well researched and put together. I'm not saying nothing will everrrrrrrr happen to HubPages but the two, in my opinion can't even be compared.

          If I were you, I would keep creating content smile

          1. theraggededge profile image98
            theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            HubPages was pretty awful too big_smile Some hubs consisted of a paragraph and some Amazon capsules. HP staff had some truly bad hubs of their own.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image98
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      This is supposed to be a thread documenting the FACTS about the merger.

      There's another thread where people are speculating and reflecting on the consequences, let's not get off topic.

      1. makingamark profile image62
        makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        So are you saying it's not a fact that this will change HubPages forever?

        Are you saying that it's not a fact that this will cause disquiet and lead people to review their options?

        The predictable things that happen when mergers happen are why managers have to be very well briefed about how to handle change management and what actions they need to take. There's a whole industry out there based on it!

        1. Jean Bakula profile image96
          Jean Bakulaposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          If you go to Themaven.com, it looks very much like our niche sites on HP do now. You click on the area of interest, and see articles all about that. It's basically the same layout of one of our niche sites here and now.

          Maybe this has been in the works for longer than we knew, and the changes to niches was the first step to make our material acceptable at Maven. They have niches, but many are not on the same topics we have here. Common ones are, like recipes, beauty, hobbies, very popular areas that people care about. There are also articles for transgender folk and pot which would get us thrown off of HP. So we could have more latitude in what we can write now. So theoretically, a whole niche of ours could be moved there and it could work the same way. At least the writing part.

          I would keep getting more hubs on the niches here. After HP swept the main money makers off to niches, I've kept moving the two a month. It's goes so slowly though. But when I reread them, they had good bones, and I've been able to fix them up without a lot of extra writing and get them on niches. I didn't have to ever do a total rewrite, and deleted a few that weren't worth the trouble. I just have a few left.

          The bigger issue is that this all is so time consuming, I haven't written anything new in ages. But all my work was evergreen, so it hasn't hurt me. I think we need to wait and see. If things look good, I have a lot of ideas and new topics I would write about now. I'm bored to death working on moving hubs I wrote years ago.

  8. agvulpes profile image85
    agvulpesposted 5 months ago

    Are 'We' the mom and pop or small publishers that Heckman is referring to in the quote "It's over" or am I reading too much into the quote ?
    "Paul and I are aligned because we both agree that mom-and-pop or small publishers no longer have a sustainable business," Heckman said in an interview. "It's over."

    1. lobobrandon profile image91
      lobobrandonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      What they mean in my opinion is that individuals cannot set up their own websites and make it big without a lot of blood and sweat. They are up against giants and in order to compete with giants you need to get huge yourself.

      1. makingamark profile image62
        makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Actually what they mean is that the owners can't make a lot of money unless they're big - because the venture capital won't invest and feel secure about getting their money back.

        It's perfectly feasible for individuals and lots of small enterprises to have a good business online - but you have to be a specialist.

        Indeed one of the characteristics of today's internet is that individuals continue to change the way business is done online - and thumb their proverbial noses at the way big business behaves.

        It's one of the real joys of the internet. You can publish your book, get your music heard and sell your art without needing a third party distributor.

        1. lobobrandon profile image91
          lobobrandonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          True.

  9. lobobrandon profile image91
    lobobrandonposted 5 months ago

    Thanks for the CNN link Marisa, that one cleared up a lot of stuff. Now I know why Paul decided to sell, I would have done the same thing had I been in his place.

  10. Shogun profile image47
    Shogunposted 5 months ago

    A very good idea for a thread, Marisa. Definitely will be some interesting times ahead for HubPages and the community in 2018... let's see how it turns out!

  11. TessSchlesinger profile image95
    TessSchlesingerposted 5 months ago

    Always amazes me when people don't have copies of their work. I always write on MS Word first, and then copy and paste to hubpages.

    The point is moot, though. What does one do with the body of one's work when one has removed it from hubpages. What other markets are there for writers?

    1. theraggededge profile image98
      theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Me too, I'd never write straight into a capsule unless making tiny edits. I always have my original in Scrivener with links to my research sources, quotes and material left out which might be relevant later. And I also back up the completed hub as an HTML/complete webpage file.

      All go into Dropbox, which I can access from any device, anywhere. I also keep my original images in folders too. I still have all my Squidoo lenses intact... somewhere. In fact, my whole life resides in DropBox big_smile

      No hubber should neglect keeping a back-up of all their work. If you haven't done it, do it now, people. And don't rely on one device, either.

      1. jackclee lm profile image81
        jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Here is my suggestion on backup. Use the browser and save the whole content of the hub as a PDF file.

        1. Dabby Lyric profile image84
          Dabby Lyricposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          That's a great idea.

          1. jackclee lm profile image81
            jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            I have been reading up on this change and my thinking right now is this may be good for us. It seems maven concentrates on specialities that are geared towards a specific topic. Some of my articles will fit very nicely in this model. The trick is to establish yourself as “a maven” on a particular subject matter. The niche site will be a “go to” site for any followers of that content.
            Does anyone know how a hubber can get to become a maven? Is it by invitation only? Or can we apply for a position?

            1. Marisa Wright profile image98
              Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

              By invitation only, is what the blog post said - did you read it?

    2. Marisa Wright profile image98
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      There's still a few writing sites, but unfortunately none of them is doing very well.   Wizzley and DailyTwoCents, for instance.

      We've discussed your situation before.   I maintain that making money from a blog IS achievable, but I agree that it's not for you.   I think you could find a specialist subject, and you could learn how to monetize effectively.  However you also need to have the skills to create yourself as a brand.   Personally I'm uncomfortable with the idea of having to market myself - I'd like to think I'm entitled to my privacy and my writing should stand alone - but to be really successful as a blogger today, you have to put yourself out there and build personal relationships with your readers.  It's one reason I reverted to blogging as a hobby rather than a business.

      1. makingamark profile image62
        makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        You really don't have to market yourself (personally) as a brand.
        You market the brand name of your site.  Nobody knows the names of the CEOs of the big brands - but they all know the products, what they stand for and what their branding looks like

        It's amazing how many people think I'm a bloke called Mark! wink

        On the other hand I'm constantly amazed at how many times I get stopped in London (normally in art galleries) and asked if I'm "makingamark". The weirdest one was turning the corner on Trafalgar square from the Strand to Whitehall and somebody stopped dead in front of me and said "You're makingamark!" I gathered from this that using your photo extremely rarely means people remember it!

        PS You also build personal relationships with readers as your brand.
        It can also be as an individual with a real name but it doesn't have to be and if you think it needs a real name then invent an identity and use a pseudonym. Lots of people do.

  12. Kenna McHugh profile image87
    Kenna McHughposted 5 months ago

    This makes sense, thank you. I worked for Demand Media Studios, a now-defunct company that produced how-to videos, as a contract talent/content producer. Whenever Google changed, it was literally painful for all the talent/content producers. I don't want to go into details, but I worked with them for 3 years until the end of it all. Painful. With that, I would be more than overjoyed to work with a company that outmaneuvers Google and reaps the benefits.

    1. makingamark profile image62
      makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      To my mind that's totally wishful thinking rather than reality.

      This is not a network that's ever going to be as big as Amazon or Facebook who are the only people who can seriously compete against Google

      IMO they're still going to have to jump through all the hoops every time Google changes the algorithm.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image95
        TessSchlesingerposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        I don't think Mave are going to try to compete against Google or facebbok. I think that Maven is probably going to hire a team of reps to sell advertising against relevant articles that will be appropriate against the articles. Then they are going to use HP articles to draw traffic so that advertisers get good value for their money.

        This is a different model to the one fb and google use which bring up ads according to what the browser searches for.

        When Maven finally teaches a point where that model is working well, they will sell out to one of the big boys for billions in which case Paul and everybody else will have made their money, and we-the-writers will still be paupers...

        1. jackclee lm profile image81
          jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Does anyone know how to start a conversation on the Maven website?
          I signed up this morning and it appears there is very little activity there. Also, it is not clear how one get started? I must say the user interface on this website is not up to contemporary standards.

          1. theraggededge profile image98
            theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            Jack, you really need to read all the information posted by the staff. You are not required to sign up at Maven. You can't just start writing there.

            1. jackclee lm profile image81
              jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

              That is not what I want to do. I just want to get a feel for what this company is about. I went to the website, signed up and am having difficuty using the site to post questions or comments...
              Also, there seems to be no way to contact the company...no email, no contact form, no phone number?
              What kind of company is it that does not seek feedback?
              I also find the layout very confusing.
              Am I the only one?
              They seem to have a long way to go as far as user interface is concerned.
              Just one new user’s opinion.

  13. Dabby Lyric profile image84
    Dabby Lyricposted 5 months ago

    Hello All,

    Have CPM's gone down for us all?     Forgive me if this question has been covered, I have been trying to keep up with the posts. I have noticed when traffic is up, cpm is down and vice versa. WHY?

    I also notice pending articles take alot longer to pass now while your article gets views. Problem is, those are missed chances for you to earn....if ads were there. I have 15 views for a pending article...those are missed chances of earning. Those people wont come back to re-read just so i can profit from it. We need to change this.

    1. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image100
      Kierstin Gunsbergposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      CPMs are definitely down for everyone right now but that happened before the news of the acquisition (at least for me it did).

      1. Dabby Lyric profile image84
        Dabby Lyricposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks for responding.

        Do yo know why cpm's seem to go down when traffic goes up?

        1. Jeremy Gill profile image94
          Jeremy Gillposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Hmm, perhaps post-Christmas is influencing the cpm decrease.

        2. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image100
          Kierstin Gunsbergposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          I don't, and it's kind of weird. My best guess is that, like Jeremy says, it's post-Christmas and advertisers are offering less. I did look over my history and this was a dramatic decrease but I personally believe that's because there was a dramatic INCREASE this past year in how much advertisers were paying. I don't think the traffic has anything to do with it.

  14. janshares profile image96
    jansharesposted 5 months ago

    Thanks, Marisa for the clarity. Very helpful, especially the link to the CNBC article.

  15. darkside profile image82
    darksideposted 5 months ago

    As always Marisa, you are very articulate and have answered all the questions that I didn't even know I was going to ask! smile

    Thank you.

  16. Jan Saints profile image89
    Jan Saintsposted 5 months ago

    If he's been paying himself a "below-market salary", maybe he could have raised the revenue sharing to 45:55 or 50:50 instead of going to Maven!

    1. Urbane Chaos profile image99
      Urbane Chaosposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      I agree with this. 

      I've made more on HP with many of my articles over the years than I would have made selling them outright.  In the end, I'm still ahead of the game.

      1. robhampton profile image98
        robhamptonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        So will this now show as "maven earnings" instead of Hubpages earnings? Can we still toggle between the ad program and AdSense? Will I no longer be a Hubber, but a Mavener?

  17. Miebakagh57 profile image48
    Miebakagh57posted 5 months ago

    No problem. Whatever the new policy to be added, we hubbers can go along writing good stuff.
    Thankyou all.

  18. Miebakagh57 profile image48
    Miebakagh57posted 5 months ago

    No problem. Whatever the new policy to be added, we hubbers can go onwriting good stuff.
    Thankyou all.

  19. jackclee lm profile image81
    jackclee lmposted 5 months ago

    btw, their stock mven, jumped up over 12% this morning.

  20. RJ Schwartz profile image93
    RJ Schwartzposted 5 months ago

    I noticed the same thing Jack - very few posts and the ones showing are aged (from May, June, and July of last year)
    Also they have regular members & Premium members - and Paid Memberships with "auto-renewals"
    Here are the Terms of Use if anyone is interested
    https://www.themaven.net/the-maven/page … KQnpC4KDVw

    1. jackclee lm profile image81
      jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Mven now up 23% for today...
      This stock is on a tear, I’m not sure it is due to the HubPages acquisition but I like it.

      1. robhampton profile image98
        robhamptonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Do us hubbers have the option to purchase stock? Would be nice. (Like a percentage of our earnings could go toward Maven stock) just a silly thought

  21. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image100
    Kierstin Gunsbergposted 5 months ago

    I'm researching how to buy Maven stock too.

    1. promisem profile image98
      promisemposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      I suggest you research the public financial statements of Maven before investing any money in the company.

      1. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image100
        Kierstin Gunsbergposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks, promisem smile

  22. RJ Schwartz profile image93
    RJ Schwartzposted 5 months ago

    It's a public company - yes, you can buy stock in it

    1. jackclee lm profile image81
      jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, I already bought 5000 shares today and have made 10% already...

      1. jackclee lm profile image81
        jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        I made in one day more than I made on Hubpages in 3 years...in fact about 10 times more.

        1. robhampton profile image98
          robhamptonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Damn! How do I get on on that racket?

          1. jackclee lm profile image81
            jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            Just go to your broker or your etrade account and buy MVEN.

  23. RJ Schwartz profile image93
    RJ Schwartzposted 5 months ago

    I don't see poetry or creative writing on the new site - has anyone really dug into it?

  24. paperfacets profile image90
    paperfacetsposted 5 months ago

    It is a fact that the Internet is for everyone. It is not just for writers, but for those who like writing. Letting people express themselves in a community and platform that does not do a lot of judging, but lets you enjoy writing, is a good idea. Checks and balances are needed and HPs is developing a good model of that.
    I hope we can continue to express yourselves on HP and earn a little spending money. The Internet should not be only for the big guys, the people with big money or the professional writer.
    A Jeep is under the Chrysler umbrella and still is a Jeep. HP can be under the Maven umbrella and still be HP. Time will tell.

  25. Dabby Lyric profile image84
    Dabby Lyricposted 5 months ago

    If anyone needs help converting their Hub Links to PDF's, go here:
    https://www.web2pdfconvert.com/

    I just used it and it worked! Just copy/paste your link into the input box and click Convert to PDF.  You can have the PDF sent via email too.

    1. makingamark profile image62
      makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      You can only use 30 times per month for free
      see http://www.web2pdfconvert.com/membership

      However if you print your page you can also save as a pdf rather than print

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Why couldn't you save your hubs as text files instead?  What would be the difference?

        1. makingamark profile image62
          makingamarkposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Because I wanted a file that preserved live html links so I could check them out as to whether or not they were still current before doing the transfer

  26. Kenna McHugh profile image87
    Kenna McHughposted 5 months ago

    Dabby, Thank you.

    1. Dabby Lyric profile image84
      Dabby Lyricposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      You are welcome-got all of mine done.

  27. MelRootsNWrites profile image91
    MelRootsNWritesposted 5 months ago

    I'm not sure if this is the best thread to ask questions, but since it's set up to discuss facts about the change, it seems as good as any.

    I spent a little time moving around The Maven, looking at pages yesterday.  One thing I did not see was Amazon affiliate ads.  I saw adsense style affiliate ads, but I don't recall seeing any items in Amazon style ads.

    Does Maven allow Amazon affiliate ads?

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 months agoin reply to this

      I don't believe so.  Maven has stated that there will be no ads on any writer's pages.

      1. MelRootsNWrites profile image91
        MelRootsNWritesposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        TimeTraveler,
        Thanks!  That's what I suspected.   

        Well, this means I will most likely remove my 2 most popular Hubs even though they are on a niche site.  They are the ones that consistenly earn me Amazon revenue.

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Don't get too excited yet - Kristy is indicating that hubs will remain where they are and be treated just as they are now.  Presumably that includes Amazon ads.  Check the main thread about the buyout.

          https://hubpages.com/community/forum/14 … ost2935559

          1. lobobrandon profile image91
            lobobrandonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            Yes, it includes Amazon ads too. They stay for the foreseeable future. She just clarified it.

            1. MelRootsNWrites profile image91
              MelRootsNWritesposted 5 months agoin reply to this

              Thank you for clarifying!  I'm trying to keep up with the different threads, but it's difficult with so many posts flying back and forth.

        2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 months agoin reply to this

          I wouldn't remove anything yet until we see what's going to happen.  We've been getting spotty information and mixed messages, so now is not the time to do anything but "wait and see"...and make sure you have backed up all of your articles just in case.

          1. lobobrandon profile image91
            lobobrandonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            Nothing is changing. You don't have to wait unless you want to. Everything stays as it is and to us hubbers it is as though this takeover isn't happening at all. Other than a few tech benefits the hubs may receive in terms of ad revenue.

            1. psycheskinner profile image82
              psycheskinnerposted 5 months agoin reply to this

              Things are going to change, thinking otherwise ignores the reality of what happened to the other sites they acquired--they changed.

              1. lobobrandon profile image91
                lobobrandonposted 5 months agoin reply to this

                The conditions on which those were acquired were different. Those were complete takeovers not mergers in the same way as hubpages. Christy has clarified this too.

              2. TessSchlesinger profile image95
                TessSchlesingerposted 5 months agoin reply to this

                I trust Paul. Things may well change, but basically Maven may well consider that Hubpages outlasted all the other content sites, is making  money, and the reason is that it adheres  to a professional standard in regard to its writers. The other sites did not.

          2. MelRootsNWrites profile image91
            MelRootsNWritesposted 5 months agoin reply to this

            I am taking the wait and see approach. 

            I did do a full back up of my hubs yesterday just to make sure I had a current full back up.

  28. TessSchlesinger profile image95
    TessSchlesingerposted 5 months ago

    I also took a look at the stories. Quite apart from the fact that it's a really shitty site, there are no names of writers. It's all by 'editor, Maven.'

    1. jackclee lm profile image81
      jackclee lmposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      Agreed, they can use a lot of help from HubPages staff in user interface design.

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 months agoin reply to this

      That's because Maven owns the content and can "use it as they see fit".

  29. Hypersapien profile image39
    Hypersapienposted 5 months ago

    Content is king.  This will give Maven a ton of new content and - presumably - visitors.  That means that ultimately Maven will be able to charge advertisers a hefty fee for all the additional eyeballs they now expect to have on the site.

    In the end, however, I think Maven will have the same problem that Hubpages did - at least in one respect:  Google's constant tweaking of its algorithms will result in an ongoing loss of traffic.

 
working