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Perhaps to strike a balance between what one portion of HP users want and the rest of us...maybe we could start up a "Newcomer Thread - Q&A" that has equal staying power to some of our popular word games. There won't be an official decision to parse up exactly which content goes where on the freeform discussions anytime soon but I am willing to make an effort to help make things better if people are not happy with what they see here.
Think Tank - Go!
Are people unhappy with the current system?
The consensus seems to be that people are misusing the freeform discussion for trivial things, ultimately diluting the conversation intended for helping new hubbers be successful.
Some people believe that the freeform discussions exists solely to help inform writers about writing on HP. I don't know anything about that. I have no idea what HP "officially" intended it for. I have no dogs in that fight. The word "free" seemed self-evident to me but apparently this is a mistake.
We encourage people to report posts that have been miscategorized and suggest the appropriate forum. Moderators do look at every such report and move the threads when the reports are deemed accurate.
The Freeform Discussion Forum is the place for things like community games, writing inspiration ideas, and other HubPages Community-related threads that are not requests for help and feedback, bug reports, feature suggestions, etc.
Thanks for coming to our rescue Christie. The problem is that all threads from all topics are duplicated and clutter the main default forum page: https://hubpages.com/forum/hubpages
Could you explain what you mean by duplicated? I'm only seeing one instance of each thread on the main forum page.
On the left side of the forum page are the appropriate avenues to find what one is looking for. It's not clear to me that whatever is on the right-hand side of that page is meant to be about anything in particular.
Yes, but not only the 'Help' stuff, but anything to do with the actual business of writing on this platform. As it says 'Official HubPages'.
Freeform and all that should go over to Topical.
That is why I suggested the following in my original post on your thread Bev:
https://hubpages.com/community/forum/31 … crp?page=4
Like we got rid of the religious forums, we could EXCLUDE all forum topics from the default (main) forum page EXCEPT for the topic "Getting help from the HubPages Community" OR... Make the "Getting help from the HubPages Community" the default forum page.
If this was to be implemented, we may need to rename the default forum page "Getting help from the HubPages Community" to something more appropriate like "Writers Knowledge Sharing" or something more appropriate.
Yes, I see what you mean now. Slice out the 'need help' and put under Official. Agreed.
It seems like more people are using the freeform discussion over everything else. If the goal is to not let those leak into the "latest activity" section then I don't see any problem with that.
The issue I've attempted to highlight in this discussion is the specific content that is being seen within the freeform discussion forum. As if people should refine their content on the freeform discussion which I don't find tenable at all.
No. No-one is suggesting for one second that they can't have their threads. It's simply where they show up is the issue.
I can't keep saying this but they belong here: https://hubpages.com/forum/topical
But people are saying that and I'm sorry if it's crossed over into a legitimate grievance that you've had. I appreciate your feedback. It's helped me see the larger scope of the problem.
No, they are not, Jessie. Not one person has said that as far as I am aware. No-one wants to censor anything. Only that there is a place for non-HP threads... and people should use it. I notice that a lot of threekey's threads have been already been moved there by the mods. Now if only she'd post there in the first place so that this forum is freed up for the HP writing threads...along with Kenna's quotes and the word games.
As far as you aware. Are you seriously gaslighting me right now?
So draw a line, for me, between the reallocation of someone's posts such as "threekeys" and what you and other people have described as "crap" or "banal" content.
Rupert Taylor is CONSTANTLY arguing that the freeform discussions are meant for something that they're not.
So don't tell me that there is no other argument out there other than yours. I've heard plenty of disparaging comments toward what other hubbers post.
Gaslighting you? Are you for real?
What do you mean 'draw a line'? Haven't I made it clear enough?
Let me try again. There are TWO forums here:
Please tell me you can see and understand the basic functions of each one. Can you also see that many threads on this forum, right here: https://hubpages.com/forum/hubpages belong on https://hubpages.com/forum/topical ?
It's not about arguments. It's not about lines. It's logic. When the non-HP writing threads fill this one up, it means that people who want to read how to improve their work will miss out actually seeing those threads.
Yes, I am for real. I don't think having an ego is your problem, but more so an attitude problem. A relentless dissatisfaction with other people and lack of gratitude for the site that has given you a platform to stand on.
The fact that "crap" is a word you've used to headline the issue speaks for itself.
Obviously everyone's "perfect plan" to fix everything didn't seem prudent to someone who actually works here. So, I guess you should start packing. The rest of us will be okay and Hubpages will live on with or without your utopian vision of forum reform.
There's also something to be said about how these conversations end up after you insist on hitting sour notes. I've tried to remain cordial and give you credit where it is due but instead, you backbite me. I've had enough as well.
*You* are the one 'hitting sour notes'. You haven't even addressed the points raised about the two forums. Instead you choose to throw around immature and personal declarations of 'attitude problems' and 'backbiting'. There's a definite pattern to your discussions - when you run out of ammunition, you resort to insults.
Okay, listen up. I haven't insulted you, yet you think it's okay to have a go at me. It's not the first time. TT2 summed up your character quite succinctly on another thread.
You've asked for clarification of why some of us believe a minor reorganisation of the forums would be a good idea, and I have tried to explain. You have obviously run out of arguments so you insult me. Clever.
Yes, I used the word crap... because on a section of the forum that should be to help other people make the most of HP, and possibly earn a living here, the threads *were* trivial and fluffy.
Before asking people to leave and stating that it's forum reform, you should first understand the issue. You DO NOT come to the forums through the main link. You come here through your feed. So, it would be wise if you stayed out of any discussions regarding "forum reforms", don't you think?
If it does not affect you, don't voice an opinion. This is not human rights where everyone must stand up for what is right, whether they are directly affected or not. There is no right and wrong here.
Sue, I see now that you meant some of the forum topics overlap, not that duplicated posts are showing up (if I am understanding correctly). We don't have any plans to reorganize the forums at this time.
We also currently don't allow duplicate posts in multiple forums (for example, a user may not make an identical post in Freeform Discussion and in Community News, even though the subjects of those forums are similar), so please report these if you come across them.
If you have no plans to reorganize the forums at the moment I'm afraid you are going to lose many of us oldies who could provide valuable help to newcomers because we are not prepared to sift through all the fluff that is completely irrelevant to HubPages.
Christy, the thing we are complaining about is this:
When we come to the Hubpages forums via this link: https://hubpages.com/forum/hubpages we want to see threads that are related to HubPages.
After the removal of the QnA section, the freeform discussion which also shows on this link https://hubpages.com/forum/hubpages has been flooded with stuff which rightly fits into the freeform discussion. However, this stuff drowns anything that is related to Hubpages, the only reason many of us come to this link https://hubpages.com/forum/hubpages.
So what Sue and most of us are suggesting, is something on the lines of what you guys did with the religious topics, etc. some time ago. You may not have plans to change this in the foreseeable future, and that is up to HP to decide. But this is what people have been complaining about. And when most if not all of the hubbers who help new writers here (new writers are needed for HP to thrive), are getting irritated by this, there is a very high likelihood that these helpful hubbers are not going to come back to the forums. Everyone loses.
Like Jessie here points out, some people only come to threads based on their feed, that's no issue. But when we come to the HubPages forums, it would be nice to see stuff related to Hub Pages. There were so many times when Paul has made an announcement or posted a helpful thread and didn't sticky it, and within 3 hours it was already halfway down the page. This post would have helped hubbers and therefore HP as a brand. But by allowing freeform discussions to bury this, no one is really gaining anything, other than a build-up of frustration.
I hope you see the point we've been trying to make on now 3 threads. Quite a few winners and contenders (based on whom people have said they voted for) of the HP most helpful hubbers feel this way, I would think it is important.
Thanks, I just hope Christy actually returns to read it. Considering all the messages that went around here. If she does not reply in 24 hours, I would send her an e-mail just for informative purposes. I totally understand that they have a lot on their plate right now, but this is also important in its own way. Imagine what would happen if one of the people earning 10k plus here right now quit HP because they didn't receive the help they needed on the forums when they first joined.
P.S: some parts of this message are not directed to you Marketing Merit, it's just a few more points I wanted to throw out there.
I did think Christy's reply to Sue Adams, that there were no plans to reorganise the forums, a little short-sighted to be honest. If staff had been following the numerous threads then they would appreciate that it would be far better to resolve the matter sooner rather than later.
I felt you summed up the issues succinctly Brandon and deserved credit for doing so.
Thank you to everyone who has explained further. As I'm understanding it, some people are feeling frustrated that threads from Community News and Freeform Discussion are showing up on the main forum page. The issue is that there is no simple way to exclude them for users who don't want to see them while still displaying them for users who do on a person-by-person basis. And if I'm being totally honest, our efforts right now are invested in features we hope will help to increase traffic and earnings (such as piloting the Q&A on articles). We've wanted to make some forum changes for a while, but it isn't likely to happen soon.
Yup, that's what I assumed. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
What I find confusing though Christy, is the pinned post in the Freeform Discussion thread from Paul Deeds, which states:
"...the posts in this forum will not appear in Hubtivity, so it's a good place for long meaningless threads."
Why is Latest Activity showing these posts if it was originally intended to exclude them?
That post was from 8 years ago. Paul Deeds was referring to the old HubPages Activity page where posts from Freeform Discussion were programmatically excluded for all users. I believe it remained pinned in error. (I am unpinning it now.)
I suggest that if freeform is not meant for hub topics, it get ported to the topical side of the forums where it will not clutter things up for people looking for hub-related postings.
Please Christy have a look at
https://hubpages.com/community/forum/31 … crp?page=4
to fully understand the problem.
So, if one thing pops on the forum page as "non-HP" specific then this should be reflected in its forum label. No? If I notice someone talking about homemade soap on the forum page and I'm looking for something else, I'm not going to bother reading about homemade soap. It's not too much trouble for me to refine my search somehow.
I'm not sure where the clutter is if people are posting in their appropriate forums. How can a freeform discussion suddenly crowd out everything else? Is it the sheer number of people using the freeform discussion?
As a newcomer, one thing I have never figured out is who my audience is going to be outside of my followers. If I post something to the "Psychology & Psychiatry" forum, the only difference I see is how the post is labeled. I'm not sure it makes much of a difference who sees it compared to who would see it if I posted "freeform" instead. Why does this matter? Because the issue is: one person's random post takes the place of a potentially helpful post within the parameter of the forum topic. What's more, it was never explained to me what "freeform" was but as I watched others, I thought maybe this was the "normal feed" where people could go if they didn't feel like being so strict and professional about their post.
The "status" option doesn't really seem to work like a normal news feed. People aren't engaging on those at all. It appears as if the "Freeform" has taken on the role of a network news feed. I don't see anything inherently wrong with this but others do. So, I'm not sure what to do about it other than try and talk about it.
The system is that everything on one side is about hubs, and the other is for everything else. I wish that was just enforced and the subforums clearly labeled.
So, you think the labeling is important in this case? When I initially notice something posted, it takes me a minute to actually see whether its an "article" or a "forum". From there do I actually find what the subtopic is but rarely do I really need to know what the subtopic is. If it's not relevant to me by what I can see at first glance, then I just keep scrolling anyway.
My feed also doesn't seem to prioritize what I see based on the topic or subtopic EXCEPT for posts that are getting the most traffic.
There are already 2 threads running on this topic. Do we really need a third?
There is a place for everything in the forums. The problem is that the default page for the forums duplicates all forum threads from all forum topics.
I have outlined a simple solution in this post.
Please have a look and give feedback.
"There are already 2 threads running on this topic. Do we really need a third?"
Apparently so, especially since people are discontent no matter what happens. First, there's not enough useful discourse happening and now there's too much? Lord have mercy. Forgive me as I don't notice everything that happens here.
I'll have a look but I'll retain my freedom to discuss the issue further in case there are more schools of thought out there on this matter. Thanks.
Sue and Everyone, I suggest you contact HP directly. I am sure you will get a response and information about their future plan for the forums. Continuing to post this issue on the forum(s) apparently is helping.
I emailed Robin and given her the permalink to my post
https://hubpages.com/community/forum/31 … ost3989509
but have had no response yet.
Okay, so that answers the question as to what the Freeform Discussion is intended for. So, I'm right back to square one. I don't see the problem with how people are using it, then.
The problem is that when we go to the main forum page we do not want to read all the stuff that belongs to specific forum topics that have nothing to do with HubPages.
Who's we? I don't fit into "we". There has never been any real regularity with what I see on my feed. Why would anyone only want to see something that's relevant to the brand they're using? So much other interesting stuff is being discussed. I feel like there's an inquisition happening and it's concerning. One half of HP users are jockeying for power over content. It's ridiclous. The problem at hand is helping hubbers find where they need to go. That doesn't ALWAYS mean they need to go where people are talking about how to make amazon capsules and so forth.
This is not a dispute, no one is arguing. If you never go to the forums then why start a thread about the forums? Please look at
a simple solution to understand the problem many of us who have participated in the forums for many years want to simplify its structure so we can once again help each other and newbies in a more pleasant and efficient environment.
Exactly. But people are arguing for the supremacy of HP specific content on the Freeform Discussion FORUMS. That's what separates my discussion from the others.
And some of us don't go to the "Forum Page". I never go there. I simply browse my feed at random as do many others.
And I don't understand what the confusion is with navigating the forums based on their content. If they're all labeled as they are intended to be in terms of topic, where is the problem if not for what pops up first?
There are many problems that people are pointing out. It's not obvious to me that all the complaints are the same.
Yes. I have. But that's not the issue I've found.
I have no idea what this person means by "hijacked" if we are sticking to the intended parameter of freeform discussion. It there is a "help" forum, then there should be no problem seeing helpful things in the helpful forums. If there is, then it has nothing to do with other forums.
Freeform Discussion - fun games, neverending threads, and other vacuous fun
The "Crap" that people are talking about has to do with what they're seeing on what is already determined to be a place for whatever people want to discuss.
The problem is, Jessie, that you are not seeing what everyone who comes directly to the forum sees. https://hubpages.com/forum/hubpages
That the list of Latest Activity is choked up with topics that aren't relevant to writing at HubPages. At the very top, above 'HubPages Official' is a button that says 'Topical Forum'. That's where the non-writing threads belong.
That list is only two pages long. That means that useful and interesting topics connected to writing at HubPages are lost very quickly because of the overwhelming amount of trivia.
Okay so why not just disregard what's on the right-hand side of the page? It's the "latest activity" which filters content chronologically. I'm not one to change something as fundamental as that. Everything else can be found nearby with ease.
How can it be disregarded? That's where we see the titles of the threads. I always choose to read from that list. Not everyone posts in the correct category.
Everything appears there, including official staff announcements. However, what we can't see under Latest Activity are the Topical threads because the forum was split into two a couple of years ago. This *side* was meant to be writing-related. The 'other side' was for everything else.
The puzzle is why staff thought it necessary to include the games and trivia under Freeform, when there is a perfectly well-organised and dedicated section for all that in Topical.
Can you see the problem now? We'd like one section completely for writing stuff and all the queries, sharing of resources, requests for help, etcetera, and another separate one for everything else. And the thing is... it already exists, so why can't people take their non-writing, quotes, word-games, philosophical discussions, etcetera over to the Topicals?
I never, ever look at my feed. I, like many other hubbers, come to the forum page. And when there's only two pages of threads, it means that they are usually half-full of fluff.
You say not everyone posts in the correct category. Elaborate. Because when someone says that I immediately think of someone posting about cooking recipes in the philosophy forum.
Someone who needs help, let's say on a technical issue (that staff monitor and respond to) might post on 'getting help from the community', where staff won't see it. That's what I mean.
The words "banal" and "crap" keep popping up but that seems to be a matter of opinion. If this particular forum is intended for people to write what they feel is fun and engaging, then who is anyone to say that any of it is "crap"?
With Christy chiming in on this thread, it tells us HP is aware of the issue. Even though she said they are not considering it now, I am sure they will eventually. What Brandon wrote is perfect. I am sure HP will read it. As I mentioned early, the right channel is a direct email to HP - not on the forms. The more emails they get on this issue the more effective the message will be.
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