I started this kinda as a spinoff of the thread on liking HubPages, which seemed to focus mostly on the community aspect of the site. I'm curious as to what people like or don't like about HP, aside from the active community aspect.
Here's my (rather long-winded) start:
What I like:
Customer Service: The customer service is better than on any other writing site I've used. Not perfect--no website seems to have perfect customer service--but their email responses are to the point. The fact that most members of the team have an active presence on the forums is unmatched anywhere else I've been. Overall, they answer more questions than they raise. And they answer them knowledgeably.
Their tech team: Talented. They do fantastic work. Amazingly good compared to other large sites (sites where you wonder how the people who do the programming learned their stuff--programming a calculator?)
Few or minor glitches: The glitches that happen here are somehow less frustrating to me than those that occur elsewhere--partly because they're minor and short-lived, and also because frustration is cut off at the pass by the customer service element, which acknowledges them and says, "We're on the case!"
Customizability: That the hubs are so customizable is incredible to me. You can do so much--choose tags, URL terms, summary text, layout...you can monetize so many ways, including doing self-promotion under strict but clearly-defined parameters--the list goes on. This gives writers a lot--a lot--of power.
Convenience: I look at my HubPages account as a website in a box. HubPages serves as a kind of mall renting me space, allowing me to get busy doing my stuff. (Like any good mall management team, HubPages sets the rules and the parameters, keeps the building warm and in good shape, and lets me decorate my space and advertise it as I see fit. And because it's a kind of mall, it provides community benefits as well.)
Innovative: HubPages is always moving in some direction or other. I get the sense that behind the scenes, changes are simmering. Options are always opening up. Improvements are made at every level and in a variety of nooks and crannies on an ongoing basis.
Trustworthy: I trust HubPages as a company. I mean, Paul Edmondson, HubPages' and YieldBuild's CEO, has over 200 hubs on his own site, which means he's a customer, too. That's a subtle clue that they practice what they preach--which certain other sites don't. And more prosaically, I tested the number of impressions HubPages got vs. the number of impressions I got in a 24-hour period, and it was, indeed, 40/60.
Are there things I think could use improvement? Yes. Oh, yes.
The help pages could be better organized and written more clearly--people seem to have trouble finding the basic info they need.
I wish YieldBuild were optional, as there are times it just doesn't place ads optimally, AND it would be nice to customize the look of the ads by using different ad blocks and stuff.
Even with YieldBuild working as it is, I wish I could see which ad units are performing and which aren't. It would help me modify my layout. Google Analytics' Site Overlay doesn't give data on the ad areas (or on text links, for that matter).
It would be nice to be able to put in capsules with java/html (as in Blogger) for affiliate product images. And if HubPages could come up with a model to share in that revenue, that would be fine, too.
In fact, more affiliate opportunities would be splendid.
I'd love another option for contextual ads besides Google AdSense (in case that goes bad for whatever reason--it's a shaky proposition to invest time in scads of articles that may be worthless if something happens to one's account) and Kontera (which I don't like).
Lastly--and this is my dream for the future--I wish HubPages would be even more mall-like and allow me more control over my space--move, in fact, in a direction closer to a web hosting model where you effectively, though not literally, rent instead of own your own webspace, only in the same community environment. This is, I believe, the wave of the future of the Internet as we continue to move away from a "jack-of-all-trades" model for Website owners toward a "do-what-you're-best-at" model where anybody who can write or do art or whatever can put up their own website with a minimum of technical knowledge in a day.
There's more, but I've got to stop procrastinating and start working...
Well, I'll keep it nice and short eh ...
I've liked Hubpages more since I arrived
Gee Froggy cutie, when did you arrive? When you got legs, after you wrote your first 50 Hubs, once you had 500 fans?? When did you arrive?????
It looks like Fiction Teller is good at stating Facts! Well written and straight to the point.
I don't like that I waste a lot of time writing hubs.
I like that I spend a lot of time on something constructive.
Wow, I guess you about covered it didn't you. That's a pretty comprehensive list of likes and dislikes. Point by point, you're spot on.
I'll add one thing to your dislikes. I (and virtually everyone else) dislike the hubpage algorithm that scores things. Let's face it...the thing's just wacky. The way it rates hubber score and hub score has got to be a little more than random. I think they could do a better job in keeping it consistent.
In fact, you look like a fact teller! Very good points, most of which I would agree with you.
I have some points:
1) I would like HP to add suitable display ads other than Google Adsense and share that revenue based on Page views (in addition to ad-click revenue).
2) As you scroll down your hubs, half of the screen is empty on the right side. That space can be utilized in some way, preferably to generate revenue. Or, at least, the article can be spread wider to occupy the space so that a long article need not have a long scrolling down.
3) In the discussion forums, we should have the option to select and quote only such a portion of a previous posting for cross-reference in our posting. It is a real pain to see 2 screenfuls of earlier postings quoted by a member just for reference to his single line response!
4) Some form of watch on the quality of contents is desirable. Where the content is substandard, some sort of warning to the writers may be issued.
I seem to recall reading on the site that something of this order is in the works--at least, something about their exploring the possibility of making the text columns wider. I like it as it is, but I'm not good at visualizing how things will look beforehand, so that may constitute a real improvement. Spreading out the layout could have at least one major affect, though...Amazon.com and eBay.com modules flanking the text would no longer line up. Then again, it would be great to have more than one module size/style to choose from...
Which reminds me...about eBay.com capsules...I'd also really love the option to be able to select the topic category as a filter, as in the Amazon.com capsules.
And I'd really, really love to have Buy it Now items included, as I recall somebody brought up in the forums once. BIN stuff sells better for some product groups than others (I mean, if I were a small business owner, I'd rather not compete in auction when I'm buying a case of packing peanuts, not unless it started super-low, and if I were the seller, I couldn't survive starting my Biodegradable Super-Premium Styrofoam Packing Cashews at a low-low price.)
I've just realized I should have started this whole thread in the Report a Problem or Suggest a New Feature Forum. Only it actually belongs in the Report a Good Thing and Suggest a New Feature, Too forum...
I wish that in addition to getting paid per ad clicks or paid per affiliate sales, that we were also paid per view. Other than that, though, I'm very happy here and having a good time writing and meeting other hubbers.
I have kind of a love/hate thing going with my hub score, even though mine's pretty high. I hate that I'm a bit obsessed with it, but I love that it keeps me motivated to write quality hubs. I'd love it even more if I could reach 100! :-)
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