What can/should Hubpages do to improve/moderate the quality of the published content?
Let's face it, a large proportion of stuff published here is of really dismal quality and as such, the negative effect of the Panda update is not a surprise. What practical steps can Hubpages take to control content quality without stifling the free publishing platform spirit which makes Hubpages what it is?
This is a good question. Personally I think some of the low quality hubs get past the moderators.
Before a new hubber publishes their first article, I think they should be evaluated and approved first by Hubpages. Then if they need some direction, Hubpages can direct them to the learning center.
I think the hub hopper is good and I am seeing less poor quality hubs on there. So some things are working.
I also think some of the forum comments are downers. There is a lot of negativity on there and personally that negative effect discounts a site like this.
Well, that's my opinion anyway. Thanks for asking.
I think there are 2 issues to be taken care of:
1. Duplicate content: I'm not sure how it works here on Hub Pages, but I think each and every article should automatically be scanned by Copyscape before being published. Maybe you already do that...
2. About the quality: the best thing would be the first hubs of new members to be moderated. However, I'm not sure if it's possible to be done due to the number of hubs / moderators.
Anyway we must find an efficient way to keep the high standards of Hub Pages.
It's already being done. See the "Site Update: Content warnings" post in the "Official HubPages Announcements" forum. HubPages has been working hard at this since the Google Panda Update.
In addition, I am noticing many hubs being deleted for poor quality or content. For that metter, I had to remove some dead links from my hubs that went to other Hubber's hubs which were removed.
And the new flagging criteria helps the moderators keep up with it too, as long as we all work with it and use it when we see a problem (spam, obvious spun hubs, and so on).
There should be a negative evaluation scale where hubbers can vote the negative traits of articles such as poor grammer, poor description, offensive content etc and this should get open only when someone votes down the article.
Place buttons on the Hub Hopper that alert the author and moderators to specific issues such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, poor content, too short, bad formatting, etc. They can even include a box for entering details about the error you encountered and how the author might correct the situation.
It really is that simple!
If the hub has been flagged for a specific "technical" reason (not one based on bias concerning that author's writing), such as one of the specific technical issues mentioned above, it can then be corrected and sent through the Hub Hopper once again.
In addition, hub scores (or karma) should be more heavily dependent upon one's participation in Hub Hopping.
The idea of Hubpages is that we all participate in a concerted effort to generate income and gain public exposure through a common medium. I think that is the purpose anyway. If this is the goal then I am all for doing like we did in grade school and grading and correcting each other's paper (so long as Hubpages makes sure, in today's very contentious world, that personal bias against a work does not fit into the equation).
I do recognize that some written works may not be appropriate, but I am also alert to the warnings that Ray Bradbury gave in his Coda to Farenheit 451 (printed in the 1991 edition), in which he stated that, "the real world is a playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws." It is because of that statement that I believe we should all be working together to resolve technical issues, but we should allow the public at large to decide whether or not they approve of what we said.
I am not the best at technical details concerning proper grammar, but I do know how to think and I have plenty that I would like to say. I for one would welcome constructive criticism that would enable me to be a better writer, and I know for a fact that the world is full of anal retentive grammar nazis that would be more than happy to oblige (you know you're needed).
Some extremely useful suggestions here which, hopefully, are being picked up by the moderators. Looking at the HP stats, with the total hub count nudging ever closer to 1.2 million, the task of detecting and deleting poor quality/spammy hubs is clearly formidable when done manually. If a publisher is too lazy to care about the quality of their output, maybe they should do the right thing and go solo on a personal blog or website. Barring that utopia, the rest of us have to actively do our bit flagging up the spam etc.
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