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"Purely Personal"

  1. workingmomwm profile image84
    workingmomwmposted 6 years ago

    Just curious ... You can apparently flag a hub for being "low quality" if it is "purely personal." I've seen a lot of content on here that (to me) seems purely personal, but I haven't flagged it because it seems wrong somehow to flag someone's thoughts.

    What does everyone else think about this? What do you consider purely personal, and do you think it's inappropriate for this content to be kept on the site?

    1. Maddie Ruud profile image81
      Maddie Ruudposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      At times, I do feel badly when I moderate purely personal Hubs.  (Contrary to popular belief, I am not a robot.)  There is nothing "wrong" with purely personal content, to be sure, but it just isn't suited to the HubPages model.  Each Hub stands pretty much alone, so journal-type writing that depends on context doesn't work very well.  Also, it is incredibly difficult to monetize personal content, because it may address several different subjects in the same post, making it hard to target ads... not to mention the fact that the people reading it are not usually the kind of visitor that clicks on ads.

      In any case, as I've said before, the test we moderators put each Hub through is something like this: Would this Hub be understandable, useful and interesting to someone who does not know the author personally?  If so, we are inclined to leave it up, as long as it is properly categorized and stays on topic.  If not, whatever my personal feelings about the matter, I take it down.  This job certainly isn't for everyone.

      1. profile image0
        DoorMattnomoreposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        no, for sure your job isn't for "just anyone"

        thanks for the awesome answer.  smile

      2. workingmomwm profile image84
        workingmomwmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the official input, Maddie. That really does help clear things up in my mind.

    2. Dave Mathews profile image62
      Dave Mathewsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Since I don't understand what "Flag" means I'm not sure what to say here, except if it means to report it and try and have it removed, that is wrong unless they are breaking the regulations as set by Hub Pages.

      1. Maddie Ruud profile image81
        Maddie Ruudposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Dave, "flagging" means reporting to staff using the "flag" link on a Hub or profile.  It is simply a way of bringing a Hub or Hubber to our attention.  Please rest assured that flagging has no ill effects in and of itself--the Hub must be reviewed by a moderator before it is unpublished.

        1. Dave Mathews profile image62
          Dave Mathewsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Maddie Ruud thank you for explaining this for me.

  2. Len Cannon profile image88
    Len Cannonposted 6 years ago

    I think a good metric to use is "Is there a point to this?"

    If you want to talk about your experience with diabetes to enlighten and educate others, I don't think that is a problem.  If you are talking about how much you hate your coworkers newest tattoo, consider using another platform for that type of post.

    1. profile image0
      PWalker281posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      The example you give of someone making negative comments about a co-workers tattoo sounds more like hate speech or an attack to me.

      If I made positive comments about a co-workers tattoo, explaining why I like it, would that be considered "purely personal"? This could conceivably extend to book reviews describing why you liked or didn't like a book for your purely personal reasons. I think this category needs more clarification.

  3. Michael Willis profile image77
    Michael Willisposted 6 years ago

    Purely personal would be a Blog or Journal where Hubpages is not those platforms per the T.O.S.
    As Len Cannon says, experiences, or even reviews can add to the Hub presented.

    I have seen those that are just jibberish type on a page about I had a good day today or I don't like rants....and they add no value to the reader.

  4. skyfire profile image71
    skyfireposted 6 years ago

    We're not allowed to write "too personal" and "too promotional"  here and whatever that remains is a part of content farm, right ? wink Why write personal success stories on blog if personal content or marketers success stories are not allowed ? Personal touch to your writing is what makes these stories more interesting and attract more people to this place. Remove the personal variable and you get MFA page (no matter how good you write). Just because some people hate "personal hubs" doesn't mean they're useless. Of course this place is not for blog hosting but voting down these hubs in hubhopping witch hunt is just ridiculous.

    Remember we can't please everyone with what we write or post on web. Some people hate personal stuff and some people hate stats/figures/technical jargon stuff. I personally hate reading hubs of people who hate subjective stuff and still go on blabbering their personal rants in objective tone. roll

    @workingmomwm, if you think any of your personal hub violates tos or want more suggestion to refine it then send email to staff.

    1. workingmomwm profile image84
      workingmomwmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, skyfire. I haven't actually written any personal hubs yet. Well, the closest I got was the student loan hub, but that (I think) did have some value for others. I was just considering writing more personal things, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to get too close to a violation.

      1. profile image0
        DoorMattnomoreposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        this might be super bad advice, (please please read all the rules before you take it.)  I don't have adsense, I don't make money here. (Let me be clear that I do not in any way want to cause problems or do things that will negatively effect others and if I find out my hubs are detrimental to others they can be deleted fast), but all my hubs are "purely personal." I know this isn't meant to be a social or bloggy site, and I sort of ended up here by accident, but I find that there IS a benefit to reading others life stories. It is a huge help to find how others have coped with and are enduring some of life's problems. As long as it doesn't cause financial problems for other people, I see no reason why you cant share a personal story.

        Maybe it all depends on the wording, but if you have lived through something and have tips on how to cope, what's wrong with writing about it?

    2. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 6 years agoin reply to this


  5. lrohner profile image83
    lrohnerposted 6 years ago

    The way that I understand "purely personal" is if the hub is meaningless to you unless you actually know the people, then it's not acceptable for HubPages.

    As an example, I wrote a hub on my grandbaby's brush with death after birth. While the tone and story is of a personal nature, the bulk of the hub describes and raises funds for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House where we stayed for 8 weeks while Cara was undergoing surgery and treatment. It has become a resource for other families about to stay there.

    Now if I had written the whole hub around my grandbaby's illness and what was going on with our family and how we were all feeling, etc., it would have been pretty meaningless to anyone reading it and could be considered "purely personal."

    1. Lisa HW profile image81
      Lisa HWposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Irohner, I have a similar take on what's purely personal, and I"m not replying here to either debate the value on some personal things or else argue that HubPages ought to change their TOS regarding personal stuff.  I just thought, though, for the purpose of discussion here (or maybe just as part of "assessing" purely personal stuff),  there may be some point in adding this:

      Note after writing and posting this:   (OMG.  I just saw how long all this turned out.   Let the record show that I don't particularly expect anyone to read it.   Oopsie.    hmm  )

      Some people (as readers) definitely rule out all personal stories that don't do what  you've described your own Hub as having done.   As a reader, I've run into some things (Hubs or other stuff online) that would be more like the kind of Hub you didn't write about your little granddaughter's situation.  As someone who hasn't had that particular experience, and as a reader, I have to say that when I've run into something like that (about a serious subject that has such personal impact on those involved), I'll often see even something that "purely personal" as something that helps me better understand what someone in that situation goes through.

      I hope I never have the kind of situation you had to go through with your little granddaughter, but even if I ever meet someone in a similar situation; I'll be able to say, "I know of some people who went through something similar, and.....".    In other words, even if I never need to know what I learned through your experience, I'm still going to come away knowing more than I did before reading.

      I know, though, there's a difference between which piece of writing "has redeeming value" and which fits in with HP TOS.

      Now, "Susie-Q's 100-word blurb on whether her co-worker's tattoo looks good, or whether "Dillon" looked at her in the hall yesterday is a whole other thing.   roll  smile

      Last week I exchanged a few comments with another Hubber, who was saying how she'd seen some personal Hubs she thought were worthwhile.  My idea is that it might be nice if each Hubber had a "little corner" of his own profile, where he could post at least a few purely personal things he thinks have redeeming value (and which could enhance his offerings as a writer, and on his profile); but which may be somehow "treated differently" what HP does, or doesn't do, as far as traffic or "mainstreaming" goes.   hmm

      I've had/got some purely personal (but with "redeeming value", of course  lol  lol roll) pieces on here.  I just included them because I thought "the humanity of them" kind of added something to all the not-particularly-striking stuff on my profile.  Some I removed myself.  Some I'll probably remove.  If any of them gets flagged or bounced in the meantime, I don't care.  I'll just put them somewhere else.   It's just been, I guess, that I've figured if anyone were browsing through my stuff and ran into the occasional purely personal thing he might kind of enjoy the read (if he bothered to read it).

      I suppose it's a liberty I've taken as part of wanting to present myself, as a writer, but also as the person behind the Hubs, within the profile.  With some Internet articles/pieces (or some writing sites) it's not about the writer or the person at all.  To me, within the context of my profile on here and the kind of writing I do on here, "presenting" the person behind the writing seems a little more important.

      When I look at a whole lot of my Hubs, so many of them make me cringe.  They look like some kind of hybrid for of writing that tries to incorporate "unique" and "useful"  by writing from personal experience, and assimilated knowledge (much of which actually has come from research at some point in my past); rather than by going to all "the usual" sources of research and re-phrasing what I (and thousand of other Internet writers) have found there.  In the meantime, all those Hubs I have that make me cringe don't very effectively accomplish what I've tried to accomplish.  (They're "unique" alright!   roll  They aren't exactly what anyone would call a "polished, professional" piece of writing.  hmm  )

      And thus, is the challenge I've always found in my wish not to, in fact, write content-farm kind of stuff.    Part of why I've thrown in some of those personal-story pieces is my way of having a few things on my profile that don't make me cringe.  When I'm skimming my list of Hubs to see if there's anything I can do to any of them that would make me cringe a little less, and when I run into those personal stories, I'll think, "Now, THAT one doesn't make me cringe - but I know I ought to delete it."   hmm

      I don't know...  There's even a part of me that thinks a few personal stories help readers know a Hubber isn't a sockpuppet or other kind of phony persona.   Again, I'm not arguing on behalf of purely personal stuff - only pointing out that it isn't always complete and utter disregard for TOS that makes a person post something personal.  In fact, it can even be believing that adding a few personal things to a profile, to help it come across as a little more real, can actually come from thinking that maybe profiles with "some substance" can actually help detract from the content-farm image.  hmm

      1. workingmomwm profile image84
        workingmomwmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Good point, Lisa. I, too, like to know that a Hubber isn't a sockpuppet. I like to read about people's personal experiences. That's why I never flag anything personal - because most of the time, those stories are interesting to me, and a lot of times I actually do learn something from them.

        1. Mikeydoes profile image76
          Mikeydoesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Even if we do flag them, we aren't the ones that take it down. I don't flag stuff like that either, I just flag bad hubs, or short hubs.

  6. profile image0
    DoorMattnomoreposted 6 years ago

    Im not trying ot start a big fight, this is an honest question...

    what does a "purely personal" hub do that is harmful? I understand it is against the TOS and all, and this is a "writers site" BUT its a writers site for commercial but not too commercial stuff, (or a I mean, useful and informative)...

    anyway, I am wondering beyond the fact that some may not care to read about someone else's rant or date or wish list, (that's what My Space is for, right?) and instead of just not reading it, why do they want to flag it for being too personal?

    Just wondering if there is a reason beyond its "against the rules."

    1. workingmomwm profile image84
      workingmomwmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That's why I was asking the question, Door... I don't see where "purely personal" stuff is harmful. But I guess it could devalue the site, and that's why it's listed as an option for flagging?

      1. profile image0
        DoorMattnomoreposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        no clue, very good question. I think we may be on the same page here. So far I have not had anyone complain about me.

        1. workingmomwm profile image84
          workingmomwmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Hey, Door. I just had to say: I read your "night in the e.r." hub, and I thought it was beautiful. If all your other hubs are like that, I don't think you have to worry about anyone complaining about you. :-)

          1. profile image0
            DoorMattnomoreposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            awwwwww thanks. I wish there was a simley to show how happy that made me but this will have to do.


            on another note, I honestly would change things if there was a valid reason.

            thanks again and nice to meet you!!

  7. Cagsil profile image59
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    I have one hub that I am expecting HP admin to tell me to take down or simply unpublish themselves.

    It is somewhat personal, but does relay experience of life lived. So, I'm not exactly sure how it will pan out. hmm

  8. workingmomwm profile image84
    workingmomwmposted 6 years ago

    Nice guidelines, Len, Michael, and lrohner. Thanks. That makes sense - if a hub has value/meaning for the reader, and if it makes some kind of point, then it's not "purely" personal!

  9. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

    I don't flag purely personal hubs unless they're very, very short or read like a tweet or Facebook status.  I think some personal content has value to others, and can often be powerful writing, which is why some of it is allowed on the site.

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image83
      Uninvited Writerposted 6 years agoin reply to this


      1. Peggy W profile image93
        Peggy Wposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        And ditto again!

  10. Mighty Mom profile image89
    Mighty Momposted 6 years ago

    Holy moley! Now I'm getting paranoid about some of my hubs, too!

    I believe the "purely personal" is intended to differentiate Hub Pages from blogging sites. A LOT of newbies come here confusing "hubbing" with "blogging." HP is NOT a place to simply post your random thoughts. As noted above, there are other places on the Internet for that.

    I like the rule of thumb that anyone interested in the TOPIC you're writing on should gain some information, understanding or insight as a result of reading your hub. In other words, there needs to be an element of reader relevance.

    If you want to talk about purely personal experiences or ideas or rants or life updates, HP does accommodate that need, as well. Post in the forums!

    1. workingmomwm profile image84
      workingmomwmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, Mighty Mom. DIdn't mean to cause anyone excess stress! I don't think you have anything to worry about, though.

      It does seem that a lot of people think this is a place to blog. That's what I was talking about in my original post when I was referring to the "purely personal" stuff I've seen.

  11. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

    The hubs that I question come from those who write articles like 'men fake relationships', which give no outside links or documentation for the claims given as factual, expert opinion.  This person has over 1000 hubs with topics that state claims or facts with absolutely no resources or documentation of where this "expert' research comes from.

    1. EmpressFelicity profile image77
      EmpressFelicityposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I've just read the hub you're talking about - sheesh.  All I can say is, would you like some keyword stuffing with your turkey?

      Surely this is the kind of hub that HP should be focusing on getting rid of, because it's exactly the sort of article that pulls the reputation of this site down. 

      If I were being really cynical, I'd start to wonder whether however poor its quality, "Men Fake Relationships" gets to stay published because it earns the site Adsense revenue, whereas the "purely personal" stuff doesn't.

      But I'm not a cynic.  At all.

      1. Michael Willis profile image77
        Michael Willisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I remember seeing a couple of Hubs that were obvious keyword stuffed to the hilt! Every sentence in some cases or at least every other sentence filled with the chosen "keyword or keyword phrase.'
        It was not even interesting after the first paragraph since you could see it was purely written to advertise.
        During all the Google uproar I have read so many articles on the reasoning, good and bad, and Keyword word stuffing was one of the key points in the lower rating of articles and sites that promote this type of writing.

      2. Maddie Ruud profile image81
        Maddie Ruudposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Actually, it stayed published because nobody had flagged it until you did 6 hours ago.  Thanks for doing your part.  If everyone would flag Hubs instead of posting forum threads saying, "Why is this published?" these things would come down a lot faster.

        1. EmpressFelicity profile image77
          EmpressFelicityposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          OK, fair comment!

          Actually, I would recommend trawling through this particular hubber's 1,000 or so hubs because she has a lot more that are of a similar, er "quality" to the one I flagged.

          1. Maddie Ruud profile image81
            Maddie Ruudposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks for the heads up.  Will do. smile

          2. rebekahELLE profile image91
            rebekahELLEposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            I agree. I flagged another hub from that profile and noted in the comments.
            Sometimes we just don't know, but after reading one or two, it looks a little suspicious, especially with so many hubs.

            Thanks Maddie.

  12. camlo profile image83
    camloposted 6 years ago

    I was hopping this afternoon. I hopped every Hub there was to Hop, and only two were worthy of not flagging, and one of those was a borderline case.
    I understand HubPages have done something to prevent any duplicated material from ever being published - couldn't they do something similar with regard to w/c and quality of language?

    1. Maddie Ruud profile image81
      Maddie Ruudposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      There isn't an easy way to automate this, camlo.  Generally, the only way to identify low-quality English is for a person to read through the Hub.

      1. camlo profile image83
        camloposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        That's what I thought, just as I suspect most spam is almost impossible to detect. But w/c couldn't be so difficult, I imagine. At least half the Hubs I hopped this afternoon had no more than about 50 words, some only ten or less.
        I think most of us aim for at least 400 relevant words, as I believe HP recommends.

        1. Maddie Ruud profile image81
          Maddie Ruudposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          We are constantly working on new ways to automatically identify and block/moderate substandard and overly promotional Hubs.  I don't want to say more, as there are plenty of folks out there constantly trying to figure out how to work around such measures.  It's a constant game of cat and mouse.

          1. camlo profile image83
            camloposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Just me expressing some of my ideas, but I don't have a clue as to how any of this actually works, hence my 'I think', 'I believe', 'I imagine' etc. I'm sure you and the team have had the same (and better) ideas. smile

  13. EmpressFelicity profile image77
    EmpressFelicityposted 6 years ago

    Are we reaching the stage where it's necessary to introduce an editor approval stage before someone can publish a hub?

    If that's too unwieldy/cost intensive then you could try a probationary period for each new account - say, a person's first three hubs are screened by a human being, after which they're allowed to publish unscreened, so to speak.

    Be a bit of a shame if that has to be done - I rather like the freedom of just being able to join a site and publish straight away.

    1. White Teeth profile image58
      White Teethposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      EzineArticles, Buzzle, Infobarrel and other sites that work in the way you describe with human editors got hit just as hard as Hubpages, so it is not clear how worthwhile an endeavor this would be. Maybe the energy could be directed towards something more productive (and people are just guessing what that would be).

    2. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Uhh....Demand Studios works that way...it is more of a "content farm," and has "too many cooks spoiling the broth," with many copy editors, hundreds of rules and standards, and it seems that most of  the copy editors don't know what they're doing vis-a-vis understanding the topic of the article they are attempting to edit/approve.
      Granted, DS is a work-for-hire direct pay site, but it is very frustrating, and the added stress of 'not knowing' if your article will be accepted or rejected after all your hard work is why I prefer Hub Pages, even if the Google AdSense program is a very slow (extremely slow) buildup to any payout.

  14. sunforged profile image66
    sunforgedposted 6 years ago

    You should certainly make profile picture upload part of new hub creation requirements. Its not a step that is currently automated.