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Samantha, I just saw the videos on the top of our hubs using the view on hubpages option. They are about ants on all my dengarden hubs.
I see that this is not an ad, but a video that HP has made. I believe this would be a lot better if it were done the way HP at one point commissioned pictures for high traffic articles. Instead of showing videos as an ad maybe use it as a feature to possibly increase traffic to hubs where the videos are separately commissioned.
It is probably expensive to do, but definitely something worth considering.
I just wonder what the idea behind these videos is. What purpose do they serve. I for one happen to find ants very interesting creatures and would never want to get rid of them. I would never put a video like that on my garden articles.
We are trying to replace the absolutely unrelated content that appeared previously. We understand that our videos aren't relevant to every article, but that's because we've only made one for each Network Site so far. Once the player functions as it's supposed to and we have more content, it should be a much better user experience.
I'm curious how many videos are going to be made. What is the plan in regards to distributing the videos? It sounds like each network site is going to have their own video, but how far exactly is the breakdown going? Each network site has quite a few categories that also have their own subcategories.
For example Owlcation is way too broad for just a handful of videos. Owlcation-Humanites (there are too many categories under Humanities that one video simply would not work). Breaking it down even further to say Theology also does not work. Theology encompasses everything from religion & beliefs to atheism. One video would not be relevant to all that content.
Owlcation is a bit of an extreme case, as most network site categories are not quite that broad, but I was curious if there is a plan in regards to how the videos would be distributed and if it would be the same across the entire platform.
We are still working on the logistics, but ideally, we'd have multiple videos for each site that would fit larger categories. Otherwise, it is still a step in the right direction when considering how unrelated videos can be on other sites.
I am not happy with the ant video either, as it doesn't fit my article "The 10 Easiest Plants to Grow for Beginners." Can we submit our own videos that are more relevant? Or, What is the purpose of these videos? Perhaps, I need to know more about why these are being posted, so I have a better understanding.
No, sorry. That would be a liability. As I said above, we are trying to replace the former videos with more relevant content. We are working on making more.
Ok, I understand that unrelated videos would be far worse, but what I don't understand is why the videos were placed on top of the articles in the first place.
Because that's where the video player is located. We're still figuring out if there are other ways to display it.
Still doesn't answer my question: Why it is necessary to display a video player at all. Ads I understand, but I can't think of any plausible reason for a video player. However if it has to be at the page, than why don't you put it somewhere in the sidebar where it won't interfere too much with the subject of the articles.
I'm interested in how this will work in the future. Most of my work goes to LevelSkip, but I'm curious how the new changes will benefit other possible ideas I have down the road. Here's to these changes being beneficial to all writers and editors.
I am shocked and horrified that we now have a video player at the top of every Hub, occupying the whole screen.
I recall when we used to be advised to find the perfect "hero shot" at the top of a Hub to pull the reader in, because you only get one shot to engage them. This is going to do the opposite.
I predict our bounce rate will go through the roof - because the reader will click on the link on Google, arrive on the page, see a video about some other subject, and immediately click back to choose the next search result.
Even if the video is somewhat related, that won't help one bit. If someone is searching for help on tomatoes and finds themselves watching a video on ants, they're not going to hang around.
I can see it working on a blog about a narrow niche, but HubPages sites are not narrow niche sites - each one covers a range of topics within a broad subject area. The result is that a "related" video can still bear absolutely no relevance to the topic the person is searching for.
For instance, the video on Hobbylark is about hobbies and games - but Performing Arts are neither a hobby nor a game. Owlcation is about education - but it covers everything from student living to science.
I cannot see how it can possibly be of any benefit and I feel it's going to do an awful lot of damage.
Can you explain the logic behind the idea?
I am also afraid the bounce rate will soar when people click on a title and then see something different at the top of the page. I simply do not understand the reasoning behind this change. Is the video serving as an ad? And why have the profiles disappeared? How soon will people have the ability to make comments again?
Our profile is shown on the new sites now, though it's not obvious that a reader has to click on the author's name to see the profile. I agree with you about the video and the comments.
When I mentioned the profile, I meant as it appears on HubPages with the image and name. Yes, the name is there, but unless someone clicks on it, no one would realize that it leads to the profile page. So, as you wrote, it is far from "obvious."
The videos are not only unrelated, they are also second rate. Essentially, they are very simple lists.
Video needs to offer something above and beyond text, and the vids I have seen do not.
I hope this works out in the end but right now it could not be more wrong.
Essentially, we have poor quality, unrelated vids that visitors need to get past to find the info they are searching for.
We can't even see a video in the EU, just a huge black space indicating that there is an error, no comments, no ads and white spaces. What a disaster.
Besides that, all our own videos don't show either.
Titia and Sallybea,
Even when things load correctly, it gives off annoying and, imho, unprofessional vibes. I noticed on the regular Google Chrome display, things seem alright, albeit cluttered by trash. However, when I accidentally loaded one of my how-to's on Samsung Internet (tablet display), I was appalled. The display was initially so half-assed that if I hadn't known what it was supposed to look like, I would have assumed I had stumbled into a glitchy, amateurish set-up with a $3 budget, and student code writers. A table was displayed in edit mode, some photos and videos were missing (although those displayed had their captions), and an ad was displayed on top of a photo...literally overlapping the middle of it. The page load time was excruciatingly slow. I've walked away from reading blogs and sites for having similar problems, and swore to myself I'd never write for a platform that forced me to refocus so many times just to read 3 paragraphs of text. The "clean" layout (aka boring) is lost amongst this jungle of trash. HP and I seem to have a very different idea of spamminess. It's spammy to link to a related hub, but not spammy to bombard a reader with unrelated popups and videos? If the gods of Google are behind this, they have progressed from asking for an occasional sacrifice, to demanding blood rituals involving our infants. Not cool.
I wouldn't disagree with anything you say, lol, but my main concern is that all that spamminess works and delivers an income for writers.
Maven did not create the kind of market conditions that necessitate jamming dozens of ads into a page. I am sure staff would like the pages to be uncluttered and easy to read just as we do. But the bills need to get paid.
So my complaint is that they are not getting the money grubbing stuff right at the moment.
Getting some decent clickbait videos and placing them after the third or forth paragraph might deliver a good result, traffic-wise.
I agree, as placing the poor video at the top of the page will lead to less income for Maven, not more. (I know we do not get paid if the reader bounces back without even being on there long enought to let the ads load.I assume this is the same for Maven.)
I am pretty sure it is the same for Maven.
I originally suggested that only certain hubs have custom-made videos because in that case at least the person will see that the topic is the same and they would hopefully scroll down.
From what Samantha says, this (video at the top) seems like some sort of "website theme" thing which for some reason is not easy to change.
The best would be if there was no video, of course.
It would be great if videos were optional for hubs. My articles on goats have cat videos showing, biology articles have random facts video and so on.
I hope that at least there's work going on to create videos for all sorts of articles (of coure, in the order of traffic gains). I'd be happy to see a video about goats on an article about goats.
It's also a "team" thing according to Maven. What I don't like is the blackness of it all and the stark contrast with the white background. The video also seems to be very dark prior to playing and when it finishes.
Maybe they could commission an animation with happy bunnies advertising the niche sites?
Will, that's just it--if I thought all the ads and such served a good purpose, I'd learn to love them. But atm, the effect is similar to walking through a hoarder's house: so much stuff, who knows if there is anything valuable under the piles of empty soda cans, or not? There may be treasures, or there may be...just more empty, moldy containers.
Thanks, Jerry. I ought to mention that I'm autistic, and the majority of ads don't work on me at all. They are worse than meaningless, because my emotions are activated differently than those of neurotypicals. Yet I suspect I'm not alone in this here. For me, a page full of ads is an incredibly frustrating experience, as it is similar to being interrupted in conversation every few seconds. If I look up how to make puff pastry, and am bombarded by ads on cars and games and toilet paper, I will back right out and look for instructions with less invasive advertising, just to save my sanity. Modern advertising is literally an assault on the senses.
I'm going to bet that the majority have the same opinion.
Lobobrandon, I suspect you're right, that the majority of people feel assaulted by ads rather than welcomed in. I've studied ads quite a bit from different decades, and there is a huge difference between a webpage display today and the TV ads of the 80s or 90s. Ads used to be annoying but not directly painful. Move back a few more decades, and even farm magazine ads from the 30s and 40s are on average lovely, informative, and even inspiring. Radio announcements sought to be focused and informative, if smacking of propoganda. I think I can claim this for roughly 1 out of every 200 or so on the internet now. Remember the explosive reaction to the big banner ads in the mid 2000s (if memory serves)? We've come a long way, baby!
I feel exactly the same about ads! It gets very difficult to concentrate.
I'm in the UK at the moment and I can see the videos on most (but not all) visits. I have never seen any ads. No idea what that is about.
I think Maven is trying to follow the approach of many downmarket news sites that use attention grabbing videos to keep visitors on their pages.
You visit a page to read about covid and end up watching a string of videos about skateboarding dogs.
Problem is, the videos on our pages (the ones I have seen, at least) are utterly amateurish, banal and definitely not going to hold anyone's attention.
If you are taking the low road you need to spend the money on the click bait.
Also, the niches sites are not news sites. I haven't noticed other kinds of site using this technique. So it may not be an appropriate strategy.
I thought the original niche sites a great idea and they have worked well to generate increased views etc but I must say I hate this new Maven “front end” format. Firstly the video taking up the whole page at the top of the article, secondly the boring appearance making all articles look alike, badly placed ads, (or ads not appearing) and last but not least, the inability to post comments after the article is moved.
It seems views and earnings have already plummeted. I can’t see any benefits at all at this stage. It just seems like change for change’s sake, not for any realistic benefit to anyone. Can we request our future articles just stay on HubPages?
I don't understand what benefit it is for no one to be able to comment after it is posted on niche site.
I see new changes on Letterpile. Good, good! Anyway, is there a way to still see traffic on individual hubs on Letterpile?
Thank you! Apparently, I can also open the Letterpile hubs on Hubpages and see which countries visited. Fascinating!
Maybe we should post a detour link for readers to the old version of sites until all the bugs are sorted and construction work is complete?
What a great idea, and a reasonable approach to the problem!
Totally agree. Been thinking the same thing. I believe the new changes are well-meant and strategic, but I feel they have been launched somewhat prematurely. The ideal approach would have been to create an offline test environment where all the tweaks and adjustments are perfected first before launching into production and going live.
If the video is some kind of branding thing rather an attempt to keep people on the site longer, then it needs to load faster and have more impact, at the very least.
And Eubug is right, the pages seem very gloomy as they slowly load.
Interestingly I just checked one of the other Maven sites, Glam, and ads don't display either, just white spaces and the grey bar at the top. Also this site doesn't have a video on top.
So is this ad issue a Maven wide problem?
If other Maven sites don't have a video on top then I wonder why it's not possible to remove it from the HubPages layout?
From what I've understood the video needs to be on the top with the layout/theme they are using. It is not by default present and it needs to be added or activated (or whatever else). There were no videos on the first move, right?
But, now that we have chosen to display a video, it has to be on the top, for the time being until they do their tests, etc.
I would rather ask, if the others don't have it why do we.
For me in the EU, the video at the top seems to load ok all the time now. Ads appear also, but if the page is reloaded or I navigate to another article, they don't appear. If I clear the cache, I can view them again.
Will we be able to give comments to articles on these sites?
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