Dear HubPages Team,
I know that we can create multiple hubs and link them. I know there are flagship and capstone hub groups. I know there are related hubs and Groups that group together hubs. There are HubMobs. And there are, of course, categories. But none of these things do what I wish they would do, though they all approximate it more or less.
What would be so, so very cool would be a kind of special publishing format called a "HubBook" or something similar, which would be twenty or more short, highly linked "pages" (hubs), linked more tightly than regular hubs, with more features to make linking them together super convenient and a layout that is more unified, in which you could move capsules about inside the "book." Sort of a mini-website, if you will.
This could look like so many things. Whatever it looked like, it would be a great, well-organized alternative to capstone or flagship hubs for:
Multiple complementary hubs by the same author on a very tight, central niche topic (like "Growing Roma Tomatoes" or "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Meatloaf".)
Works of fiction or related collections of poetry
Cooperative projects between authors - who knows, might be a cool idea to have a master HubBook called 100 Chocolate Doughnuts Recipes" written by 100 hubbers...
It could be a long time in the development, but it would make folks like me, who tend to write long, complex hubs that are too short if broken down in smaller units but really too long to be advertisement-optimized for one hub, so very happy, and could even keep us from scooching elsewhere and knocking out our own websites.
My immediate reaction is that if you want that kind of thing, a mini website is exactly what you need! A HubPage is designed to be a stand-alone, magazine-style article. Groups and the Capstone concept allow you to write a series of stand-alone, magazine-style articles, just as you might publish a series of articles in a weekly magazine.
What you're talking about is more like writing chapters in a book. That's much more suited to blogging or to publishing an ebook. Given those two options already exist, I can't see why HubPages would want to try to twist their site around to provide a competing but probably less efficient alternative.
For the same reason they'd want capstone & flagship hubs...because it's profitable.
For what it's worth, here's my take on it:
The Internet is still just a baby. It's growing at a fast clip, but it doesn't have all the infrastructure it needs to build itself into the vast economic motor that it's trying to become. One thing the World Wide Web still lacks in terms of infrastructure is a super-user-friendly means for people to pop up their own little websites without knowledge of servers, FTP, HTML, CSS, etc. And no, WordPress isn't easy enough for your average man off the street. Nor is SiteBuildIt or any platform, really. Google Sites is almost there, but it's ruled by Google and has serious limitations. Folks who aren't website-building savvy, or who want to focus on writing, don't yet have a convenient platform for doing their own websites. Everything that exists now still requires far more skills than most people have.
It's kind of like when people were settling the Wild West in the U.S. The first settlers after the Native Americans, the ones who seeded what were to become suburbs and cities, were rugged individualists who built their own houses, churches, and outbuildings, hunted, grew their food, defended themselves...did it all (read: programmers, Web developers). But then everyone started flocking West, including the greenhorns who couldn't pick up two sticks to save their lives (read: writers, marketers, craftspeople, manufacturers, etc.) But they had other things to offer the town (just as the writers et al have a role to play in global commerce, today).
So people started specializing, hiring each other to do things, going to the store to purchase supplies instead of making them themselves. This is how towns and cities got built.
That, too, is how personal computers spread throughout modern society--people at Apple designed a desktop that non-techies (actually, kindergarteners) could use. That meant people in business could take advantage of the speed and efficiency of computers.
And this is how the Internet is being built. Specialization. Cooperation.
HubPages is the closest I've seen to almost being there as a platform for writers. It's so close. It has a great business model. It doesn't even have to be part of HubPages, though. HubBooks could be a separate website, for all I care...
It doesn't have to be HubPages, though. Someone will come along and do it...and make a lot of money doing it. Or someones, plural. Maybe someone who's reading this post right now.
Or so I hope and pray. Because though I am putting up my own websites, I'd honestly rather leave it to those who are very, very good at it. And I do think the HubPages team is darn good at what they do.
Fiction teller, there are already many places where you can start a website very simply. Blogger is no more complicated than HubPages, and Wordpress.com isn't much harder.
Using Wordpress.com, you can build as many static pages as you want (not just blog posts) which would give you what you want. I don't agree it's too hard for the average man in the street - it was the first site I tried and I worked it out from a standing start in a day.
Then there are sites like freewebs which offer you a free website with website building tools.
Every option has quirky limitations (including HubPages). I love Blogger. But if you want to have eBay Partner Network promotions, want to monetize adult content, or want more features and capabilities, Blogger won't do. My mother-in-law, a great example of somebody who should be on the Web, would have no idea what to do with WordPress. She knows a lot about her subject, but she has zero tech savvy. She doesn't even know what kinds of people she needs to hire.
It's a matter of degree and scale. Absolutely, there are a lot of sites that do the job for some people, but none that do it well for most people. With the convenient and easy ones, you always come up against a wall, because comprehensive flexible convenient and easy-to-use modules are hard to program and because the website services are targeting a particular niche. So when you specify a feature you want, you're told "Well, if you want that, get your own website!" What I'm proposing is something that already gives people what they want.
I don't know about freewebs, and I will look into them. But I've investigated many, many options, and if they're very easy to use, there's something that I want that's not allowed. If they're flexible and allow everything, there's a higher learning curve.
If there already are places that are great and easy and fill the bill, why do I see people saying confusedly, over and over, "I'm a clueless non-techie. How do I go about starting a website?" and getting so many different answers? Why do non-techies force themselves to learn backend website stuff? Because right now, there is nothing vastly convenient and universal. Every solution only solves a localized problem and is somewhat easier than something else for some people.
But why should it be that way? Why can't websites be as easy as ready-made mall stores to lease, where you don't have to install your own wiring and plumbing and fixtures or get commercial permits or manage security or do all the back-end stuff, but all you have to do is put in your own supplies and inventory exactly where you want them in the designated standardized space (and not be forced to deal with templates, which are more conducive to restricting layout than flexibility), follow the basic rules of the mall, and pay the bills and taxes - then focus on what you do best? And the same "store" space could be turned into an e-commerce site, an affiliate site, a brochure for a business, a paid forum site, just a place to socialize, or pretty much any kind of Internet business (or non-profit) model there is. Is there any reason why something this flexible and easy wouldn't fill an enormous demand?
The problem may be that people are looking at websites as special things that people with a certain experience or skill level build. I don't look at them that way - I look at them, as I said, as infrastructure. Just as the supermarket needed cash registers to succeed - even though most people were fully capable of doing arithmetic - we need easy websites for everyone. If we want more people on the Web, we need to make it easy for them to be there.
There's a very slim chance this idea is right for HubPages, and I'm not suggesting the full extent of the idea - just a step in that direction. I've hesitated to suggest this this long because I know the chances are so slim. But I've been working on my websites, and being so frustrated as I come up against wall after wall, and one can live in hope.
You can use eBay and Amazon on Blogger.
You can't monetize adult content on Blogger, but then you can't monetize adult content on HubPages either - both are Adsense sites and they both have to follow Adsense rules.
HubPages has a restricted range of features and capabilities, too - it's deliberately kept simple and "non-techie", yet every day you'll see new Hubbers who haven't a clue how to get started.
Everything you want, you can do right now. It just takes planning and organising your content.
I probably do not know enough so probably I shouldn't get involved here but Marisa if you start building your own mini-website you need to do all the other (cr**p) with it promotional stuff etc. whereas if you're part of a community such as Hubpages where the tech-savvy team takes care of what the tech-savvy are good at whats wrong with having a section where 'book-writers' could do their thing. I mean hubpages has the categories I bet it wouldn't be that hard for them to add one for bookies like fictionteller was suggesting too (please forgive me hubteam I know I couldn't do it but you guys can do anything computerish)
I think it would be a great idea...I would use it and definitely would read longer 'bookiehubs'
just my worth
It was brought up recently and Paul Deeds makes a response in this thread.
You can't use eBay on Blogger anymore. It's no longer allowed by EPN to promote on sites you don't own, HubPages and special exceptions excluded. As far as I know, Blogger wasn't one of those exceptions. If you have a source that says otherwise, please post it.
And yes, that's right, you can't post adult content on HubPages. Did I say the HubBooks idea would be everything to everyone? I said it was a step in the right direction. I didn't bring up what Blogger lacked in order to suggest that HubPages didn't lack it. HubPages disallows AC presumably because AdSense does. I brought it up as an example of how each service has its limitations.
And yes, I saw the other thread, and no, that's not the same thing. The paradigm's different. And Paul's response refers to groups, and as my first post said, groups and all the other grouping features HubPages has aren't enough for my purposes. Close, but not quite. And yes, before you say it, I know I can go elsewhere for those purposes.
On a personal note...guys, I'm starting to feel pounced upon. I don't imagine it's your intention to make me feel as though I haven't reasoned this out or wasn't aware of the site's existing features or what's going on. I imagine you're trying to help, or possibly feeling that I'm attacking HubPages' business model and it needs defending. But I'm not. I adore HubPages. I just see a need and an opportunity. The great thing about a suggestion forum is that it's a way for a user base to feel their voices are heard, while the website's owners are free to ignore them. So please...have a heart.
In any case, Happy Thanksgiving, guys. Must get the little tyke ready for family insanity...
Not trying to pounce on you! I'm not known for dressing my responses up in pretty language. If being direct to the point sounds challenging to you, I can only apologise.
Suggesting an idea is great but it also needs to be subjected to scrutiny. There's nothing wrong with asking questions and picking holes in the argument if it results in a better suggestion.
Squidoo doesn't have a feature like you've described, but it hasn't stopped people from creating what someone once called a 'squidbook'. In fact, the name coined for it came after some, myself included, had already built such linked lenses.
I did it with a series of lessons on drumming. It has had great success, in getting traffic. Over the last year or so the revenue has dropped significantly. Traffic has remained constant, increased in fact, and more Adsense clicks, but due to the fact that I never heavily promote my lenses to the community, they don't attract five star votes or 'angel blessings'. They were doing a fantastic job of bringing in traffic and revenue, but they weren't getting a decent share of those earnings due to the mechanics of Payrank.
I've been building those lens into hubs. Daisy-chained hubs. A hubbook. Linking one to another in a series. So it gets what it deserves when it comes to Adsense revenue.
So when I say everything you want, you can do right now, it just takes planning and organising your content, I'm not pouncing on you. I really do believe we have all the tools we need, right here, right now.
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