I would like to see some form of mentor system here on hubpage's. Where inexperienced writers such as myself could post a request for a mentor and those with an interest in helping people and better skills could advertise there willingness to help.
It would help the new user such as myself by having someone giving productive feedback on a regular basis
It would help Hubpage's by giving another method of helping those with a genuine wish to improve the quality of there work to do so.
The mentor would benefit from knowing they have helped someone( but maybe they could be allowed some kind of privilege for being a mentor as well?)
There is already such a thing available: http://hubpages.com/forum/2
I was suggesting this in the question, not that I wanted to pay someone. What benefit or privilege could go to the mentor I do not know. As I said I am new here and do not know what would be the best way somebody could benefit.
It seems the Idea is not a good one anyway from the replies.
The whole of Hub Pages is a mentoring system, if you care to take a look.
Several people have already provided you with some good advice. If you haven't already taken it, I'd suggest you do so.
Invest 5, 10, 20, 30 hours of YOUR time in learning how a community like this works, before you ask others to invest their time in you.
Do do a bit of work. Look for people who are knowledgeable on the subject in which you are interested. Decide whether their words have any value.
Read their hubs, forum posts, and their comments in response to other hubs. Become their fan
After you have done this, you will probably have gained the knowledge you need.
If not, send them a message, asking a specific question, and consider yourself very fortunate if your question is answered.
If you can find someone who is willing to provide high quality, free, one on one mentoring, then you will be very lucky. However, I have discovered that doing this can cause nothing but problems for the person doing the mentoring.
Well, for starters, the "one extra person by email" can rapidly turn into a ravenous beast that expects you to be on call at any time of the day, by email, phone, personal "drop in" visits, and thinks nothing of making endless demands on your time and resources.
The expression "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" would sum it up pretty well.
I think that zzzoozz's mentoring idea is a good one. I also agree that currently, there is no strong reason for veteran hubbers to want to do this. So:
Who should be starting such a program? The people who run Hubpages.
Why? Because they want new users and they want to keep new users. New users = more content, more traffic, more ad hits.
What else should they do?
- Create a peer mentoring system among people who have the same interests, and similar profiles (joined at around the same time, around the same number of hubs, etc.). First step to this is to create a better search for hubbers - can search on when someone joined etc.
- Create a Featured Up-and-Coming Hubber section, showing promising new hubbers.
- Anything else to help new hubbers and keep them in the game.
Many of you veterans probably don’t remember that it is difficult being the new kid on the block. It is difficult to figure out all the things that you can and should do, much less compose coherent help questions about them. It is difficult to get hub views and even more difficult to get helpful comments and critiques on your hubs. It is in these difficult times that many hubbers get discouraged and stop playing.
When I started we didn't have a forum.
Now we do. And people only have to ask a question and it gets answered by those that either know the right answer or by those that point a person in the right direction.
Heh, glad to see that things have improved significantly, and hopefully will continue to improve. You all are definitely correct that people here are great about answering questions. But now that we have that, it would be nice to get some help getting linked in to the community. Having a mentor who would introduce you to good hubbers who are also willing to comment and critique on your writing would be really great. Or even having a more powerful hubber search so that we can more easily find like minded people and form a peer critique group would also be helpful.
I am very grateful to all the people who answered my questions and I think we have a good and helpful community. But some of these additions would make it even better for new hubbers. Doesn't hurt to ask.
There was no forum for the entire first year I was making HubPages. And the FAQ/help section was a lot smaller too.
This is exactly the sort of thing that gets so time-consuming and intensive that I don't do it for free. If anyone wants to pay me to do so, all they have to do is email me and we'll work out a rate per Hub.
I don't agree that a formal mentoring program is needed, shibashake. What IS needed is a better way to let new Hubbers know how to access the right information.
As well as the official Help, there is a host of Hubs on how to write and lay out HubPages, how to find free pictures, how to promote your Hubs, what the score means, etc,etc,etc,etc.
I can remember struggling to figure things out at first - but once I realised there were so many Hubs on the subject, all I had to do was search and study - it was all there, at my fingertips.
Reading the Hubs and digesting the information is a much better way to learn, IMO, than having it handed to you on a plate by a mentor.
Some of us have suggested, several times, that there should be a separate section of the forums where Hubbers could post Hubs for comment and feedback. That would be a kind of "mentoring lite".
The help forum gives 10 on 1 type of mentoring!
Yes that was exactly what I meant, I know about the Help forum and It seems a good place to seek advice for a specific thing but that was not what I was requesting/suggesting.
I was suggesting the ability to forge a mutually beneficial relationship with an experienced Hubber on a one to one basis spanning a period, not just asking a help question as one arises.
I'm curious as to how it would be beneficial to the mentor?
And I'm sure there are many people who would see themselves as mentors, but I'd hate to be an impressionable newbie getting teamed up with a person who overestimates their own abilities.
I have to ask the same question as darkside - are you suggesting you would like to make some sort of payment for this one on one mentoring?
I too am a little confused as to the benefit to the mentor.
And there are any number of "experts" without a clue - not just here, but all over the 'net
I can see why someone would prefer one on one to 10 on 1.
Sure, when you ask questions in a forum you know you'll get a lot of good answers, but that doesnt always mean you'll know which is the best answer. If it's to ask something like how to get adsense working then the forums are fine but what if it's to ask about writing style? These kinds of things have to be personally adjusted and when you have people who randomly answer questions they may not know you well enough to truly give a well-rounded answer that pertains specifically to the question-asker.
Now ...the benefit of the mentor. Yeah, I cant see one other than pride. But if you already spend time answering questions in the forum, what's one extra person via email?
To start with the last paragraph ...
I pointed out the possible danger of not getting a good mentor, but the other side is also fraught with drama... getting an apprentice who turns into being a pain in the butt.
In a perfect world there'd be people who are experts in everything and will willingly divulge all that information and swiftly delivered in the most concise way possible. But here at HubPages we find some who are clued up on writing style, some who can give a mountain of fantastic ideas on promotion, another who can direct a person in the quickest way to get a surge of traffic, and others who can explain the finer points (and quirks) of using HubPages as a publishing platform.
Is there anyone who is an expert of each of these and so many other important factors that I've forgotten to mention? Maybe. And they're probably too busy making lots of money to want to spend it grooming the next internet prodigy.
When you ask a question and only get one answer and you choose to believe that it's the best answer, then the system has failed you.
There's too many variables in the experience, intelligence and creativity of those who are the mentor types and those that are the apprentice types to be able to guarantee or even predict success.
Anyway, getting back to the opening paragraph...
This still sounds like it's everything the Help forum was set up for.
Ask a specific question and those with an interest in helping people and the skills and answers that have a solution to the question are always willing to help.
I've done one-on-one mentoring for internet writing in the past, and I no longer do it for free.
If your looking for somewhere to "forge links" your there. Forge away! As to the mentor/apprentice mutual benefit system, why not set it up? With your new found mentor it will be a great project. It should keep you busy forever. Why not start your own website doing just that? Forge some more links with some web designers, a graphic artist ,more writers maybe a major multi-national corporation or two why not. Go for it I say.
In fact, most of the senior hubbers are mentors in general. You just need to get in touch with them. Its easier than you think. Just use the 'contact' form on their profile.
There are some brand new hubbers who are professional writers and editors, whose feedback would be more valuable that feedback from a veteran Hubber who can't spell. Some new Hubbers are veteran internet marketers, too, and the veteran Hubbers flock to them in the forums to learn new ways to drive traffic to their Hubs.
I think you have a false impression that "has been here longer" means in some way "better".
Veteran Hubbers know more about the ways in which the Hubbing software works, and the things that can go wrong, but all other knowledge - that is not HubPages-specific knowledge - is just as likely to be known by a newbie Hubber as a veteran.
I think you are insulting the large amount of writing, marketing, and technical knowledge that new Hubbers have by refusing to consider their advice as worthwhile.
I may be able to help you sort out your RSS feed, for example, but I have lots to learn when it comes to writing HTML and BB Code. A brand new Hubber could come along and teach me that tomorrow.
Give up looking for a guru and get to know your peers - the veteran Hubbers included.
There is no knight in shining armour who will come riding up on a white charger and rescue you.
Just do what everyone else does - roll your sleeves up, read the FAQ and the how-to Hubs, do what you know how to do, and ask questions in the forums when there is something you don't know how to do.
That's true. I have joined HP for 17 months but I felt like I am a baby here at the moment.
It was definitely not my intention to insult anyone or to suggest that somehow being here longer means you are a better writer. Also I consider all advice worthwhile. I regret if my earlier posts came across as elitist, because that is not something that I subscribe to.
My point was only that it would be nice to have a program where a mentor helps to "link you in" to the community and teach you its nuances and culture. Someone that has been here longer (and that is also active in the community) will probably be more comfortable doing that. When I first came to the States for college, each international student was paired up with a guide/mentor (usually a junior or a senior) who would show us the ropes for navigating in a new, unfamiliar, community. We were not lazy, we did not rely on our guide for everything, we did not expect them to hand us everything on a silver platter, we did not make outrageous demands of them, and we did not expect them to be our knight in shining armor. However, it was really helpful to have someone I could turn to since I was a stranger in a strange land. For me, a program like this was very helpful. I am not trying to whine, or complain because I am too lazy to do my own homework. I was just expressing my point of view that zzoozz's suggestion of a mentoring type plan is a good feature to have on hubpages for the purpose listed above. I also think that the mentoring lite program that marisa suggested is a great idea and it would be a feature that I would love to have.
Also, I am all for a peer program. I said in an earlier post that I would love to have a search engine with a broader number of search attributes so that we can more easily find like-minded hubbers, with similar profiles, for a formation of a peer critique group/writing group.
Yes, being a mentor/guide will definitely take up a chunk of time. As I said in an earlier post, I totally agree that there is no reason for people to do this currently. But the people who run Hubpages may want to support such a program because it will help them attract and keep new users, which in turn is good for their business model. They can easily construct a reward system (monetary or otherwise) and whomever thinks its worth their time may participate. Yes we already have some nice tools to connect with fellow hubbers; zzoozz's mentoring idea or marisa's mentoring lite idea will be additional tools that, IMHO, can help enhance the community, especially for many new users. Something like this can get new hubbers connected into the community quickly, so that the learning curve is not as steep, which will help with new hubber retention - something that the Hubpages admin. may care about.
I really like the mentor-lite idea.
Whew. Now I'm going to watch some episodes of Monty Python. Thanks for the lively discussion
@ inspirepub. Very valid points you've made Jenny.
*** Warning: Deliberately provocative post ahead! ***
When you ask for a a mentoring system, Aren't you REALLY asking for a big, free slice of somebody's time?
Attitudes about information vary. I guess it all boils down to whether you are time poor or money poor.
Money poor people often consider that it is their right to expect to get everything for nothing, and that people who have invested years learning about various things should be expected to share them totally freely. This is the "information should be free" school.
The thought of actually PAYING for something that might save them thousands of dollars, or hours and hours of frustration is a totally foreign concept.
The fact that SOMEONE has put in thousands of hours of work, or millions of dollars into something is irrelevant. They want it. They expect it. For Free. As evidence, just look at the demand for pirated software, videos, musis, etc.
Time Poor people tend to think that paying someone for specific information they need is a blessing, because it can save them money - or hours of time.
So - how much would you be willing to pay for someone to mentor you?
To give you their undivided attention, and provide high quality advice to you?
If you could ask someone 5 specific questions per week, how much would you be willing to pay? $10, $50, $100 ?
And I fully expect that most people here would throw up their hands in horror at the mere suggestion of such a thing! :-)
And I recognise that there are probably many knowledgeable people who may be willing to enter into some kind of mentoring arrangement with someone.
But I think that the already discussed forum system, combines with the excellent hubs that have been written, are an excellent resource for anything you may want to learn about hub Pages.
Eric - I expected better than that - you didn't even raise my blood pressure! Please try harder in the future!
Welcome to the club Eric - You are now a fully paid up member. All it needs now is for some soon-to-be-banned hubber to write the hub.
Ohh ohhh.. Does this mean we might have more sock puppets and snake oil salesmen to laugh at?
Seriously, though - Eric has it about right. I think I may also like Marisa's "mentoring lite" idea, but at the same time, can you imagine how full that forum would be of day one forum posters who don't look at it as a place to get advice on their hubs, but rather a place to "earn backlinks" or hub views? I shuddered just thinking about it.
A sub-forum called "Critique My Hub" would be a good place to start. Though it wouldn't provide any significant juice in backlinking as it'll just be an internal link.
Extra hub views would only account for a couple of dozen, and wouldn't translate into revenue because for the most part we're not likely to click on ads.
And how much fun would it be to jump on the heads of people who have more than one thread on the same hub! When can clearly state that it's not allowed in a sub-forum sticky and then anyone breaking the rule would mean game on for the rest of us!
I agree, it's a risk - I suspect that's why HP haven't implemented it, although it's been suggested many times. However the fact is, such a forum exists on other sites. It can be quite useful, actually, because the spammers give themselves away by highlighting their spammy Hub on the forum, so it gets flagged and deleted all the faster!
This is interesting because a lot of articles that are written by bloggers are those that help others become acquainted with the field of internet marketing. For a novice a lot of learning can be done by just taking some time to scoot through blogs and articles from other writers. It helps tremendously and you get a variety of opinions rather than just one or two which you would under a mentoring program!
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