I really enjoyed this hub, but when I went back to visit it (looking for things I missed the first time around) I was assaulted with sound. Nice sound, but that's not what I want to experience on HP. I want to ask for sound, not get it delivered without my asking.
I've been back to the hub a couple of times through the day, wondering if the sound thing was just a fluke, but it isn't. The first thing that happens upon entering the page is that I hear "Lotus". Nice, but not what I want. In fact, invasive and annoying.
So, the video is playing without my asking for it. And it's not just me. On a phone call to a hub friend this evening, I suggested she take a look, because it's a great article for anyone who loves food...the music and video played right away for her, without her asking for it.
That's invasive to a reader.
Hope it's just a bug involved with however you folks are putting your own vids on a hub.
If this is how you feel, would it have not been more appropriate to contact Livelonger directly? Was this post really necessary?
It's not a choice the hubber made, but a matter of how HP wants readers to have an experience on HP. I find this unwanted sound invasive and inappropriate. There...I've said it.
Ok, that's fair enough. I think the point I was trying to make is that, if it's an individual hubbers choice, then they should be contacted directly. However,If this is what HP wants readers to experience, than the beef is with them, not the individual hubber.
Yes, I know, but if enough hubbers feel strongly about this, than the complaint should be directed to hubpages. There must be an official complaints channel. If not, then maybe that should be the focus.
Barring an email directed to team@hubpages, this is the official channel: Report a Problem or Suggest a New Feature.
lol. It would be nice if such an organized system existed. But email and threads in the "official channel" is often brushed aside, ignored or answered in sub par ways.
Look around a little bit in the "report a problem" threads. See how vacant it is of worthwhile staff response. Its pretty apparent.
Its a bit daft to be experimenting with auto-play. Such usability studies have been done and done.
I would just click my mute button and be unbothered. Stupid pop up ads and such are a norm for me. But as pointed out, some make these negative connections with a site and they are forever.
Dont see what could possibly be gained by this! ... someone who genuinely wants to "hear" will click play.
I started looking for studies... but it to damn obvious anyway, its common sense in web design. Dont give users here an option to äuto-play anything! .. remember myspace?
I deliberately didn't mention that, but I'm glad you did.
It is completely inappropriate, and hope this is not going to become a regular feature.
I just checked the hub out to see what the fuss was about, and the music immediately began downloading and playing - a bit brokenly because my internet isn't fast.
So I hit the pause button to shut off the sound, and my Netmeter continued to turn red as it ate up my very limited bandwidth.
I had to come out of the hub altogether to stop all my bandwidth being wasted.
It means I could not read the hub.
Bad enough that I have someone here stealing my wi-fi, but I have already used up the month's allowance of 5Gb in less than a week, thanks to the thief, and any day now my speed will be cut to an almost unusable level.
No sorry please disallow this feature.
I like it! It sets the mood for the recipe. You can always hit stop.
Well, now I want the first vid in a Hub of mine to play without the reader making the choice. That's kind of funny if you think about it.
I suppose that's why it's an experiment, to get feedback.
It seems this would be a hub that likely would receive search traffic, (which is what we all want) and some people would like it, some wouldn't. I liked the video auto-start. It made me want to watch the process, which I did. If I was specifically looking for a video as the title states, this would work.
You bring up an interesting point, essential to communicating with your audience. The title did say "Video." But you know, HP can't moderate the volume of that sound...I have everything turned down as low as I can get it, and this hub blasts.
I stopped the video and the sound, no problem. Read the hub without any noise.
Of course you did, but did you ask for it in the first place? What is your expectation upon landing on a page that you expect to read, not hear?
Well, over the last 12 months I've kind of expected to hear and read. You're quite correct, this has not been out of choice, but the way the internet has been heading, like it or not. I think for us though, we do have the choice. We do not have to play music alongside our hubs. If HP decide to make this a compulsory feature, then that is another matter altogether. If music had been played on one of my hubs, without my consent, then I feel I would have cause for complaint.
So, there's an option HP could give hubbers, to have the auto-play or not. I agree with you completely about this option being something governed by the author.
However, where does the reader figure into this? After all, it is about the reader. Without the reader there would be no writing and thus no HP. So, if HP is testing this out, I hope they are doing it with an unbiased reader base, as in, not relying on HP members to be their reader population.
Well, I'm not their reader population. If this is experimental, then the readers will vote with their feet. HP is unlikely to advocate a false " conclusion". After all, it would not be profitable, for them and consequently us. Why would they "pretend" that readers would like a feature that ultimately would encourage them to jump off the page? There'd be no benefits in that for anyone.
HP does what it does for business reasons. Their objective is to make money, and that's why we tag along with them.
I hope HP is willing and has the means to evaluate reader response, and by reader response I mean those people who are not members of HP who find an article they think they want to read here.
Some hubbers get caught up in this community because it has a lot of stuff to offer--financially and socially. But this community is a closed community; it operates in its own self interest.
I do hope "outside" readers vote with their feet and that HP feels and hears how the feet are moving.
From what I've seen on this site, I can't imagine that posting sound-videos would ever become compulsory. Nothing else that I can think of (other than text capsules) is.
I can't imagine something not being tested on "outside" readers, but then again I'm not sure, with the mix of Hubber there are, that Hubbers would make any less a test sampling than the general public is. If anything, I'd think Hubbers would be a lot pickier about approving/disapproving than even the "outside" public may be. (We've already seen that any number of Hubbers will disregard what is recommended by HP, itself, because the individual writer believes that his view about getting/keeping traffic is more correct that HP staff's. Hubbers are going to do what they think will be best for their own traffic. I'd think the sound thing is either not going to test well at all, and won't ever become available; or else it will test well, some Hubbers will use it, and anyone who chooses not to won't have to. If enough word starts getting out, "Hey, HubPages has sound on some of their Hubs. Don't go there," I can't imagine the sound feature would be left in place on here. I'd think, too, a lot could depend on how well a Hubber knew the likely readers for each particular Hub and subject. Readers of a Hub about installing a new sink probably wouldn't like music. Readers of a different type of Hub may enjoy a little music.
Worst case, some Hubbers try the sound, discover their traffic drops and their followers start leaving; and they dump the sound thing.
Oh well, here we go, doing HP's job for them. They are so lucky to have a membership that gives up their expertise for no monetary contract...
Lisa, you bring up so many aspects of launching a new feature, aspects that involve marketing, readership, brand loyalty, and more, not to even mention beta testing.
So here goes.
Anything can become compulsory here, because it is HP's business, not yours or mine. Did you or I have any input into the recent ad layout changes or the consolidating of eBay accounts into the HP ad program? These are things we as members have no control over.
Hubbers are not the general public. They are biased because they have either a personal or financial interest. I like to think I'm objective, but I can't be in this venue, because I have something personal and financial to gain. HP needs to take its changes to the unbiased reading public for testing. There are many ways to do this, and I don't expect you or I will ever learn anything about how this was or wasn't done. And that's a huge topic.
About hubbers being "pickier", that's not what marketing strategy is based on. Again, hubbers' opinions are a matter of conflict of interest. Maybe they know what their own markets are by way of niche or reputation, but the works they choose to live in the HP house are influenced by HP's policies.
I think the most truthful test will be as you suggest, the proof being in the pudding. It will succeed or fail, testing or not.
What saddens me and also pisses me off is that organizations like HP and the IAB are creating an engagement on their own advertising terms which dumbs down the reader and the author by way of making ad space dominate copy space.
When's the last time you looked at your hubs without being signed into your account? There's more space dedicated to advertising than to your article.
So, it will be for the unbiased reader to influence how HP fares in the future. Those readers are the traffic. I have a sneaky suspicion that they will adapt to these changes, like sheep going to slaughter, and not even for a moment realize what's happening to them.
@ Sally's Trove - I just had a look. Anyway it's on auto-play, so I just halted it. You can also turn the sound down.
In fact it was fine with the sound down. Curious music but a good video otherwise. Didn't know about that stuff BTW.
I think it's an experiment. Let's see what HP says. Maybe it's like what could happen with the upcoming IAB rising star units.
I didn't know about the auto-play until a few hours ago. I found livelonger's hub because he was at the top of the list of best hubbers this morning, and I thought the topic was interesting...who wouldn't want to play with candy hair??? So, I had a bit of a skimming read on the hub and then played the vid at the top. I actually sat through the whole thing, kind of mesmerized, all 8 minutes or so of it, and left a comment. Then I was interested enough to surf the net for more about dragon's beard candy. It was when I returned to the hub to check out a few points about sugar that I got blasted by the music and then got pissed off. I'll admit I got pissed off because I was listening to Oprah and her story about Rosie. Really, if I want to read, I want to read. If I want to listen to something else while I read on the net, I don't want that choice of mine screwed with.
When I go to the hub, I get a constant warning about a plug-in not being available, but at the same time I get assaulted with broken fragments of sounds.
This is totally unacceptable!
I'm OK, because I work from home by myself and have no idiot managers breathing down my neck. However, someone accessing this hub from work could lose their job if the sounds are heard by others.
It is absolutely disgraceful to force sound onto anyone visiting this hub! Visitors should be given the choice of whether they want noise pollution or not while reading this hub.
Had I been following livelonger, I would have unfollowed immediately as a result of this experience.
PS I did not read the hub, because I was too offended by the unwanted noise.
You brought up more issues than I thought about...being at work and broken sound for two. I'm as appalled at this as you are. When I first clicked on this hub, there was no sound, and it was a great read and video. But when I went back (several times) the sound was on each time. I've never experienced this on HP.
You also express something very important. This unasked-for experience will drive readers away from the author.
I took a look. I liked it. The music isn't particularly my kind of music, but I figure if it was enough "against my tastes" I could turn it down. In the meantime, I see it as kind of making the Hub come alive; and as providing the option of "an additional experience" for the reader who likes it. What I don't like are ads with voices/talking. (They pretty much amount to "TV commercials".) I didn't happen to turn it down because I don't need all music I hear anywhere to be "my taste in music". I wouldn't see clicking it off (if I wanted) as a big problem, though.
I "assault" anyone who ends up at a few of my blogs with auto-play music; but I figure if they don't like the music and/or don't want to click it off; they probably already don't like me or my site anyway . "I am what I am," as they say.
(There's a whole lot about the Internet that's an "unasked-for" experience. I'd never un-follow someone for something like that, at least if it showed up on only the occasional page. As long as the turn-it-off option is there, I don't see having to do that as a big deal; and since it's not an ad (or something like that), I just see it as the author's attempt to offer something nice to anyone who my enjoy it.)
I have a right to decide whether or not I want sound when I arrive at a web page.
As a matter of fact, apart from anything else, I am highly sensitive to sound and hate most of the "music" people feature on their web sites.
If unwanted sound is going to become a feature of Hubpages, I will not continue reading other people's hubs. I will also warn anyone I know to stay away from hubs.
If you consider this "getting pissed", that is your choice. I see it as a totally unwarranted and unacceptable intrusion into my life.
Did you even read my reply?
There is a very good reason my for complaint, and I cannot be the only one with this problem. At least my internet speed just gets cut down.
In the UK, anyone on a mobile contract like me has to pay extra when they go over their allowance.
And before you ask why I need a mobile contract, it is because there are no landlines here.
IzzyM, For what's it's worth or not worth, I think your complaint is a perfectly valid one, and one that anyone considering putting music-video on a page should seriously consider. I've run into similar things in the days when I had either an older computer or else a slower Internet service. No doubt, it's unnecessarily aggravating.
Technical issues aside, nobody is ever going to please everybody. I don't see the point in even trying to do that. Someone's clicking away and unfollowing will always be potential consequences, but they are now anyway. Daring to risk losing some readers/followers can sometimes work out surprisingly well for the writer (but, to each his own ).
There are a handful of Hubs that have this video feature on. We are collecting data to analyze the results as well as reading your feedback.
Look for us to share more about this shortly.
Please put this feature on my hub about lonesome train sounds, and let any of the videos there be the reader's introduction to learning about train sounds. If that's a good idea, then I just need to put my stuff on YouTube and forget about HP.
So is that a video, or some kind of ad? Be interesting to know. Looks like a video to me but I don't know, stuff keeps changing advertisemnet wise around the 'net.
The music didn't work for me... I'm using IE right now, so I'm guessing it was a browser error. Personally, I have no problem with the idea, in fact I was considering doing a tribute to the late Amy Winehhouse and I think it would be a nice feature.
I have a slow connection and the music was broken for me too...
However, I think it is just a little self-centered to expect the internet to conform itself to my connection speed.
The title is clearly marked video... it stands to reason there is going to be audio and well... video.
As long as it doesn't violate TOS, then your issues with the hub are just that, YOUR issues. If you don't like the video/music... then there is a little arrow at the top of your browser that will solve your problem rather quickly.
Or... conversly, we can all visit YOUR hubs and tell you what you should put in them...
When I go to this hub, I am given a message that the plug-in to display the content is missing. Nevertheless, I am assaulted with noise, which makes it impossible to read the text that I can see. I suppose I could go into my settings and turn off the sound, but quite frankly, I feel too offended to want to spend any time on content that imposes noise on me whether I want it or not.
Even if I do knowingly go to a video, I expect to be given the controls to start and stop it at times when I wish to do so, not have it thrust down my throat as soon as I arrive on the page.
As for the missing plug-in, I certainly am not going to search around to find a solution. I can view most videos if I choose to do so. If any web site requires yet another download, I'm afraid my choice is not to bother to try. There are plenty of other sites where I can probably find the same information without having to do this. With luck, there will be sites that will give me the information in writing that I can read at my pace rather than forcing me to watch a video with someone droning on at a tenth of my reading speed.
You have eloquently described a very unsatisfactory user experience. You write on HP and have an inside view about what's going on with experimentation and testing. But the non-member visitor who comes to this site and experiences what you did...well, what's he gonna do?
It is a great hub! I enjoyed the music, it created the setting. But I understand it can be annoying for some who read it.
It is a good hub...there are other things I'd have done with it, but that's beside the point. I enjoyed it enormously. The music, too. But at the first reading, I CHOSE to play the video and listen; at the second and subsequent readings, that choice was no longer mine.
There are two major issues. One is slow internet that the majority of people suffer either all the time or occasionally, this means that music and video downloading makes a crappy experience for the user, having anything auto-downloading leads me to immediately shut down the page as the fastest way out of the problem. The second is the unwanted and unexpected noise for a variety of reasons from being at work to up late at night with everyone else in bed.
From a simple users point of view I would agree with Sunforged who has constantly proved himself to be 'expert' - they are a bad idea and should not be used, however, if there are compelling reasons to use this feature then it should at least have a big "starting in 10 seconds" escape button to kill the damn thing if it is unwanted.
Well said. As I replied to sunforged, that about sums it up.
I know HP is listening/reading...wonder what they might have to say?
I am still wondering what HP are thinking of?
They've negotiated some great new ad contracts. They have really tightened up on content. They have set this site out to be wonderful - again.
Then they test out sound hubs? At a time when sounds ads are against TOS (or certainly against what they want), and the whole internet is much against any kind of intrusive website actions like uninvited downloads, that they choose now to test out a new theory in what people might want, now (as opposed to 3 years ago, or whatever).
Something doesn't make sense here. I've got a bad feeling.
Lololo! It is hard for me to take you seriously Izzy with that adorable Avatar you have. I honestly do love your Avatar it is soooo cute! (((Hugs))
This crap is inevitable if we fail to exercise our voices. We can be the cow or the camel or the bull with a painful nose ring, being led here and there, or we can put a firm foot down and say, NO WAY. I wonder which it will be.
I ran into a hub with sound that started automatically and while I enjoyed the video, it did startle me at first.
I never was a fan of pages where audio starts automatically.
I am so used to playing online games, watching movies, and listening to music that I ALWAYS have headphones on at the computer even when I'm not listening to audio (it's like I'm climbing into a damn cockpit each day when I work.) ANYHOO, someone recommended this particular back link site to me so I went to check it out. Some sort of video started on this site immediately and with my headphones on and everything, it scared the bejeezus outta' me and I actually had heart palpitations. While it's probably part my fault for predisposing myself to said palpitations my consuming a large quantity of caffeine AND wearing headphones, but I totally avoided that "cool backlink site" because of the whole ummm scaring the crap outta' me dealie. Just my two bits on audio starting automatically.
Well said...more than well said.
As of now, we don't expect sound on entering a site, and when we do get that sound, we're very likely to never visit the site again.
However, when the expectation becomes that we are going to get sound on entering a site, and that won't be too long from now, then we might as well go "baaahhhh", as in sheep led to slaughter. Wimpy us if we let that happen.
I clicked on that hub just now, and the audio is all there in your face (ears). The only way I found to get rid of it is to click the stop play on the video. This is nuts.
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