I would really like to see a HubHall or Library where all the existing hubs can be collected and stored. All under alphabethic titles or groupings maybe like business... recipes... poetry... crafts... gardening... miscelaneous... fashion... music... tatoos... health... humor... pets... etc. Or indexed by subject...
Am I asking for the impossible? Could it be done? It probably would be a big job but the more hubs are created the bigger it would get later on. I know I would loose myself in there and only surface for air occasionally. There are many thousands of hubs that I would be interested in reading and thousands that are of no value to me at all. I spend hours and hours wading through 'Hubs' without getting anywhere near to the older stuff written. zs
Can I please support what ZBee says? Having worked for 30 years in the library profession, I share her enthusiasm for information being arranged in a systematic way so that it can be found easily.
I think it could be done quite easily, although there would be a data storage overhead to be accounted for. A search engine could be devised based on the tags assigned by hubbers, although something a bit more sophisticated than just indexing everything by tags would probably be needed in time. Starting from a basic "quick and dirty" system, something could evolve that was easy to use, access and maintain.
If my skills as a librarian and an indexer would be of use to Hubpages, I would be happy to offer my services in helping to make such a system come about - for a reasonable consideration, naturally!
Don't we already HAVE a search engine based on tags?
All it needs is the ability to refine a search within the results you get the first time, so that after searching for, say, "photography", you could then search within that for "wedding", or something.
Yes, what would be useful would be the ability to combine tags in a single search, as opposed to simply refining a first search by adding further tags. To do this, of course, one would need to know what those tags were that could be searched on.
This is not the same as "Googling", which picks up terms from within a document as well as the tags that have been asigned to it.
There is a distinction to be drawn between recall and relevance. You can have high recall, and get thousands of hits, but not achieve much relevance. Likewise, you don't want to find that you only get some of the relevant material, but not all of it. Good indexing achieves a balance between the two, and that is what we should aim for.
One problem with search engines is that they are very poor at locating items on more general subjects. Suppose you wanted a general introduction to engineering, for example. Enter "engineering" and you will get millions of hits that are useless for your purpose because they concern some very specific aspect of engineering - in other words, you have high recall but low relevance.
Using tags as search keys is itself unsatisfactory, because of the way people have assigned tags to their hubs, which is done to accomodate the way search engines work. For a properly organised system to work, it would need some form of thesaurus control (i.e. searchable terms would be limited in number and linked to each other in various ways). However, a "combined tags" search feature would be a possible first step along this road.
To achieve what Zsusy Bee really wants, namely a fail-safe way of knowing that all the hubs written on a certain subject have been retrieved, would require a considerable amount of human effort in terms of classifying hubs, assigning correct tags, and providing "see also" links to possibly relevant material. With 90,000+ hubs, that's quite a job! When do I start?!
Just a further thought that has just occurred to me. There must be many hubbers who have collected lists (in their "favourites" maybe) of hubs that they want to refer back to, possibly because they are on subjects of particular interest to them. Those lists may indeed include older, but still valuable, material that would otherwise be lost.
If hubbers were encouraged to share those lists, and to keep them up-to-date, you might have the beginnings of a classified guide to Hubpages. These could then be organised in a system similar to Sitejot, which is primarilly designed for organising URLs into groups and allowing easy access to the sites in question, but which also allows people to share their lists with everyone else. If you don't know Sitejot, it is at www.sitejot.com
There was a thread on "hubography" Hubs not long ago, and several people did make summary Hubs of their Hubs on particular topics.
I did one reviewing the top Hubs tagged "kids money" back in January, but it is too much of a pain to keep updating it as bad ones are deleted and new, good ones appear.
But I do wonder about whether it is worth the effort.
Google's whole business is about getting people what they want, first time, on the front page, regardless of what they type.
They have lots of very intelligent people working full time on solving the problem, and while they are not yet anything like perfect, they are constantly tweaking and improving their algorithms.
The human race has given up on teaching everyone the Dewey Decimal system, and is now moving towards a system which accommodates the way people actually go about searching for information naturally.
Top down structures are a thing of the past, due to their inflexibility.
We do lose some things, like completeness and uniqueness of results, but what we lose on those swings we gain on the roundabout of flexibility, simplicity, and user-friendliness.
On Hubs, the tags and the group navigation bars are effectively "see also" links.
I realise it's messy and incomplete, and not everyone agrees on the definition of a tag word or thinks of all the possibilities, but I'm not sure completeness and uniformity are achievable goals when it comes to user-generated content.
I'm not sure if we're at all talking about the same thing. I would be interested in reading hubs not necessarily looking for just any particular information. Maybe my brain is not totally attuned to just the little bits that fit onto a screen. I feel I can't access all there is offered...
I've yet to see a hub that was written 19 month ago or 16 month ago by hubbers that don't write here anymore. Chances are that I can indeed read all that Jimmythejock has written or Maddies hubs from day one. (which by the way I've read just about all)
But I would like to bet that there was some awesome stuff written by a lot of 'one or six hubs in total to their name' hubbers too.
It doesn't have to be complicated. The hubs can be listed a for apple b for bee etc. This Hubhall that I'm suggesting doesn't have to be cross refferenced by tags, clipps, snips or what you may-call-its...just a plain old list would be great
Zsuzsy, I can't remember how to do it, but there is a feature where you can get a screen composed of random profile photos of Hubbers. Click on a photo that appeals to you and you're taken to that profile, and you can read that person's Hubs. Every time you go back to the main screen, you get a different selection of photos.
I do think it's a pity it's not more obvious how to get there from here....
One thing that might be worth considering is an equivalent of Amazon's "Listmania". Amazon members can compile lists of their favourite books on a topic.
Marissa! I use that random profile search on occassion but those are hubbers not hubs sorted in a per topic listing...I can't explain it any other way. If I wanted to find all the hubs about health or music or games or all the famous peoples birthdays if that was one of my interests.
Thanks for your suggestion though regards Zsuzsy
Go to Google.
Type in site:hubpages.com hub
All 90,000+ will show up.
They don't fit on one page, of course ...
Have you checked that site out? I'm still not getting you to understand what I'm looking for. I'm interested in gardening for an example. I don't want to waste time looking through hubs that are about the forextrading systems or how to make money online or how much money can I make or what the dodo birds foot size was. I would like to see all there is to read about gardening soil samples maybe or how to set up the next 25 acre garlic field...Or I would like to see what eveyone has written about crafting here on the hubs or everybit of poetry... If its not possible to do or if no one else has any interest in this then so be it. There is a place here in the forums where we the hubbers can suggest or ask for new features that is what I did. I don't think I need to be told that I can find hubs on google they still will not show up in a 'kind sorted manner' zs
Zsuzsy, I don't understand your question then.
If you want to see all the Hubs with poetry, why would you not just type "poetry" into the HubPages search box? Why would you need to create another list that just contains exactly the same information as the search result?
That's the whole point of tagging the Hubs - so people who search for them can find them.
You can be as specific as you want with a search - you can search for "poetry sonnet shakespearian" if you want to, and you will only be shown the Hubs that have those three tags.
I have several Hubs with sonnets on them, but they all start with different letters, and you couldn't tell by their names whether they were sonnets or not anyway, so an alphabetical list wouldn't give you any insight.
Or are you saying you would like a page on HubPages that lists all the existing TAGS in alphabetical order? So you can click on them instead of having to type them into the search box?
P.S. That might be kinda fun, seeing all the spelling variations people have used ...
I think both Zsusy Bee and Jenny have a point. Yes, it would be great to have a properly organised database of hubs so that it was easy to achieve the desired balance of recall and relevance when searching for something. Yes, tags provide a method of searching, but it is next to impossible to bring such an unwieldy beast as 90,000+ hubs to heel.
To answer one of Jenny's points, the Dewey Decimal Classification is alive and well - I have used it all my working life and continue to do so on a regular basis! However, it works best for discrete, fixed units of information, such as books, and would not work for the fluid and changing world of hubs.
Using tags as a subject key would be the "quick and dirty" solution - you will get results, but you will never know if you have got everything that you might find useful, and you will also get masses of stuff that is not useful. We're back to recall and relevance!
The major problem with search engines is that they do not work well at the upper levels of subject hierarchies. Suppose you want a hub that takes a general look at gardening, and there are hubs to which the tag "garden" is assigned. Also in the system are hubs on "garden sheds", "garden ponds", "garden design", etc. If you want to find just "garden sheds", that is what you enter and, if everyone has tagged their hubs correctly (a very big "if"!), you get perfect recall and relevance. However, you just want a general overview of gardening, but if you enter "garden" as your search term you will get all the rest as well - high recall but low relevance.
That is why I reckon that the most practical approach is for hubbers to make their own collections of favourite hubs, on a subject basis, and to share their lists with each other. We already have the beginnings of this with the "Topics" lists, but this could be taken much further. We might even take a leaf out of Helium's book and assign "stewards" to keep an eye on certain subject areas, to ensure that new hubs were not overlooked, and old ones were also brought to peoples' attention if they were still useful.
This solution would not be perfect, but it would share the load and be relatively straightforward to start and to maintain.
I like this idea. It is similar to Squidoo's concept of "groups," which I have found as useful, in a different way, as HubPages's.
I also think, however, that the problem could be partly solved if people were to make a conscious effort to seek out useful, related hubs and link to them from their own hubs. This sort of thing is easy on Squidoo because of the Lensrolls, although that system tends to get abused by some with links that are more reciprocal than relevant. It's up to individual lensmasters to choose to be useful, and I think the same would be true on HubPages, in the end. One advantage we have here over Squidoo is that on HubPages, the URL trackers allow such inter-Hub linking to benefit both authors, as well as the reader. In theory, we could even do "hubography" type hubs that focus on single topics rather than a catalog of our own hubs - it would be an easy way to maintain a more organized collection of favorites as well.
Zsuzsy, I agree that I'm not understanding your problem. If I want to read Hubs about poetry, I just type "poetry" in the search box and I get poetry. If you want gardening, type "gardening". What's not working about that for you?
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