Here's an announcement (dated Aug 11) from Harlow-McGaw, the owners of Daily Two Cents, Writedge, and other sites:
"It saddens us to say we will be shutting down all our sites at the end of the month. We just can no longer afford to keep them going at a loss since we have so few active writers now. We'd hoped it woudn't come to this, but we've taken a loss for several months straight and with life and health issues creeping up on us it's just no longer affordable to keep making server payments."
The Harlow-McGaw sites include Daily Two Cents, Writedge, Craft Closet, Listofied, Honest Reviewz, PenStrokes, Trendzic, and The Daily Voice News.
Google has made major changes this year in both its search algorithms and AdSense program that are punishing quite a few sites.
I think the advertising-supported model requires a critical mass of writers and posts to sustain itself. None of these sites were ever able to attain that level.
The growth of web pages and web sites is far faster than the growth of advertising revenue, which usually paces annual inflation.
So a lot more writers and sites are competing for advertising than ever before. It dilutes the results for a lot of folks. HP hangs in there more than most.
All the ad revenue is being gobbled up by Facebook & Google - it's sad that so many smaller websites are being taken down in the process.
I don't like the idea of competition, Ron, but that seems to be what it's all about. Like any business, it takes time to really get started up and having a positive cash flow. There has to be a significant amount of capital behind the startup to get over the hump and establish a reputation.
The same thing applies to me as a writer here on Hubpages, along with their sister sites. You have to love to write and never lose that love. A constant momentum, not necessarily a rapid, voluminous one.
Trends and internet technologies are constantly changing. A writer has to have a certain patience and wisdom in dealing with these. Think of the great writers of the past with their rejections and frustrations in becoming published. It happens to even the best.
As a spiritual master would advise, "Keep on keeping on."
Not good when writing sites start shutting their doors. I believe I had 10 articles for them, but found it difficult to make the time to put more on there. It seems it's getting more difficult these days to find other writing sites.
Once WE and DTC stopped paying for views, allowing writers to earn only from AdSense codes in their posts, most of us lost interest and stopped adding posts. That seems to be what brought these sites to their end.
I believe that was about the time I stopped writing for them.Plus, I didn't really put in a lot of effort into those articles (I plan to keep one of them and let the others fade away). I treated them like daily journals rather than well research article on a particular subject. I believe when they changed the pay format, I shrugged my shoulders and moved on.
I got an Amazon sale from Wizzley yesterday which reminded me that the website still exists. I looked into some website stats and that site is dead, so is infobarrel. Like literally under 3k organic traffic a month according to predictions based on rankings by SEMRush.
I check in on Infobarrel every once in a while, and it's definitely moribund. The owners show no interest in maintaining the site, and the writers there are pretty demoralized.
You reminded me I don't think I ever closed my Wizzley account! I liked it there when we first discovered it and a large exodus of HP writers also wrote there. I wrote quite a bit, but never made a cent. Same thing for Infobarrel, although I had to fight to close that account. I guess we have it good on a site that is still going and aiming for higher standards. Both Wizzley and Infobarrel asked us to write 10 articles to be accepted. But later on when I looked at them, the standard was lower than here.
So are there any other sites still up and active, besides HP? I wrote on Suite101 which became Suite.io which then shut down and I lost a ton of articles from there when I couldn't get them to respond to requests for copies. It sucked! I'm still upset though it was years ago since the computer I had copies on died and I don't have a single one of those articles, many or which had sentimental value.
I am so sorry you lost your articles. Did you by any chance try Google Snapshots? Sometimes particular web pages are shown by Google the way they existed in past. Maybe you could give it a try if you still have the URLs to your old articles? Although, if it has been too long, you might not get them but worth a shot, will take just a few seconds to check.
I never had the URL's and don't even have the titles anymore since my computer fried and I lost everything on it. How does Google Snapshots work? Thanks for the suggestions.
Natalie, you can find most of your lost articles via the wayback machine.
https://web.archive.org/web/20120303193 … 0/articles
Oh my God, Glenn, Thanks so Much!!! There's only about half of them there but it is sooooo, much better than nothing! The main ones I was looking for I think are actually all there! I'm so excited. What is the Wayback Machine? I have heard of it but never knew really what it was.
The Wayback machine takes snapshots of websites over time. Think of this as a somebody taking a picture of something every so often and seeing it how it changes over the years.
I’m glad you’re excited Natalie. Eric answered your question, so no need to repeat that. I just wanted to add that you probably could find your other articles too. The link I gave you only shows articles you published prior to March 3rd, 2012.
If you published anything after that, just click the years in the timeline and search around the highlighted days in the calendar. Each highlighted day is a day when the machine took a snapshot of your articles.
You can go back and forth in time with the Wayback Machine. Just don’t try to click into the future because that might create a serious flaw with the spacetime continuum.
Woohoo!!!! A searchin' I will go, a searchin' I will go, high ho the dairy oh . . ."
Not to worry - I'll exercise restraint regarding the future and not mess up the space time continuum. I'd hate to meet up with myself in 30 years! I'm having enough problems with the grey hair at this age!
I once tried to use it to go 100 years into the future.
The good news: In the future the HubPages Network Sites are some of the most popular websites in the world, and most Hubbers get millions of views per day.
The bad news: 100 years from now HubPages is owned by an off-world syndicate from Zeta Reticuli that only pays writers in Intergalactic Credits.
I don't even know if any other good writing sites exist.
Sorry you lost your work, Ouch! I always write on Word, but also had computers which died over the years. I still back everything up on a flash drive, but I guess that's an ancient thing to do now? I do have a copy of anything I wrote though, on sites, and pieces I never put on sites.
If you have a personal Google account you can back your writing up online with Google Drive. This is what I am doing.
Take the main text and copy into a word document and there you go. Might lose the formatting but at least the text is backed up.
It helps to keep a copy on a flash drive if you are a serious writer with copyrighted material. Blessings!
I wasn't even aware that infobarrel still existed. Before long HP/Maven may be the only game in town.
I posted a couple of articles on InfoBarrel back in 2016. The views were pathetic. Heard it was impossible to get articles off of there, though I can edit them. Was surprised when I got a comment on one of these articles last week. Checked my account and views are better. Revised the article and will see what happens.
I believe at least some of those sites were started as a refuge for ex-Squids when the site shut down. Hard to believe that was four years ago. That's a pretty good run, all things considered.
What happened with Squidoo was a shame. I love HubPages, but it would be nice if there was still another big writing site out there.
I've always liked Wizzley too, and often wish it was more competitive.
It really makes you appreciate how HubPages has evolved over the years in order to not only stay in the game but thrive.
I consider the key sentence in the OP to be: "we have so few active writers now".
In other words, people are willing to put up with only so much BS before saying to heck with it.
Out of curiosity about that sentence I checked posts on WE, DTC, and DV. Over the last year, the frequency of posts went way down. As you say, people just didn't feel they were getting a good return on their time and effort. I certainly didn't.
Natalie, I wrote of Suite 101. I am sorry to hear you lost your articles. Dang.
Interestingly, my thoughts drifted around this today. I check job boards regularly and sometimes I snag a good writing gig that lasts and pays well. Lately, the jobs being offered hardly pay anything, and they demand so much from the writer - its robbery. With that and doing the math, HP revenues pay way better because it is a long-term commitment that keeps on paying. We own the articles to boot. I feel sorry for the other sites, but it appears, HP stays on top of the Google machine.
At least there were notifications... With Triond, which had a whole set of network sites since the beginning, there were no such notifications. No errors either, when one tried to access the websites. The server just stopped responding. There are other websites, which kinda stole the articles. The sites are up and running, although I am sure not making that much money but whatever they are earning, they are definitely not ready to share with the authors.
Then there are other websites, which keep your articles even if you delete your account.
HubPages was and is different. They always were transparent, quite strict (relatively) about the quality of content since ever, and I think that's a good thing.
It is interesting to see other sites struggle to keep up while HubPages does great in comparison.
I thought of trying to write for websites other than HubPages, but I decided to stick with this platform. I am happy I did seeing how things turned out.
Competition is a good thing. We’ve always thought of our competition as the do it your self sites like Wordpress. There are advantages that come with scale, but I think two things have helped HubPages. Willingness to change and the investment in quality - great authors, editing, and moderating.
Paul -- the investment in quality is, to me, the most important thing that you could have done. Sometimes it hurts (speaking as a writer), but I feel like I can always glimpse the bigger picture and see how much strict standards matter to the health of the site.
I once thought about all the crazy and badly written forums posts I made when I was a teenager. I imagine it will be worse with newer generations. I only first found about Facebook when I was 16.
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