Please have a look at Norah's blog post about an upcoming policy change regarding banners on Hubs encouraging readers to provide feedback. As of February 1st, these will not be allowed and Hubs with them can be moderated.
For those users who have reused the same image multiple times across their Hubs, we've made a tool that will enable you to enter the URL for that image once in a form, and we will remove all instances of that image across your Hubs. Please read the instructions carefully, and submit the form for each such image you might have used across your Hubs:
Please use this form
The form will be available for one week, until January 23rd.
The moderation team will begin moderating Hubs with these images on February 1st, so if you have these kinds of images on your Hubs, please remove them or ask us to remove them across your Hubs via the form, before then.
I just write a comment in the comment box as usual. I believe that if you read a hub, please be cordial enough to comment to let the author know that you have read his/her hub. This is good manners.
I used it on some of the Hubs and submitted the form with the image details for removal and also removed images from gallery. This has actually put me into a little trouble. I have a series of gemstones and astrology hubs where I want to put disclaimers like ' Information about crystal healing is not intended as medical advice or a substitute for professional medical care. This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.' Now if I use this across my over 100 hubs on gemstones, would that not be duplicate content?
Oh man....Why the change Jason? Is it looking like duplicate content?
It looks like this applies only to feedback banners. We are still able to put such information as disclaimers into text capsules, as I have seen many users do, and use them across our hubs without any danger of being flagged for duplicate content.
Thanks for making it so easy for users to comply.
Yes, our moderation team feels that "the UI for Hub feedback is now clear and prominent enough to make such banners an unnecessary distraction to great content."
This does not affect other repeated information used judiciously, like disclaimers, as RedElf points out.
Thanks Jason (and RedElf), it makes good sense. Thanks for providing a very simplified way to manage the revision!
Personally, I would never have stooped so low as to ask people to vote up a hub. I am glad you are getting rid of this tackiness.
Wow...When I first started on HP I joined a Hub Challenge where this was a recommended practice. As I link to other hubbers hub, I really didn't see this as a practice of "stooping" but rather a gesture of support for other hubbers. My banner simply stated to be sure to vote on the hubs your read, not necessarily pointing to just vote "up" the hubs.
WriteAngled, I thought it was a bit much too and never did it but noticed many have them.
Additionally those types of banners could have been placed next to adsense ads and be mistaken for asking for clicks....Glad I didn't do that as I was thinking about it awhile back!
I'm confused. Does this mean we can't say feedback is encouraged anymore or does it just ban the artwork saying that? I'm stumped.
You should avoid both. We will be moderating for the banners (artwork) though.
Wait. So even text capsules encouraging/reminding readers to provide feedback will be disallowed? Norah's blog post only gives poor aesthetics as a reason to disallow such images. It doesn't say anything about text.
Thanks for any clarification, Jason!
Oh never mind. You answered this later.
Right now it's just the banner images that are being disallowed but in some of Jason's comments he alluded that those text reminders are frowned upon as well and at some point may be disallowed. Anything unrelated to the topic of the hub is a distraction.
Okay, so I can edit my old hubs just in case since I haven't used the banners. Thanks Jason.
I have often seen these banners as well as others of a similar nature and wondered where people were getting them.
Jason (or other members of the team),
Would you also discourage text capsules that say something like "Did You Like This Review of ...? Comments Are Appreciated!" or would that be okay? I placed maybe two or three of these in different hubs since I was looking for feedback, but I wasn't fishing for compliments necessarily.
Please advise when you get the chance.
We really don't recommend it. You can encourage people to leave comments in the capsule subtitle of the Comments Capsule, but beyond that, the text of your Hub should really focus on content related to the Hub's title.
Hmm, that would be good. I have it on one of my hubs but never implemented that on others. Will do that from now on.
Jason, I'd like to give some gentle pushback on this point. I almost always edit "Comments" so that it asks a question or invites a certain kind of comment. But then if I leave it as the title of the comment capsule, there's all that clutter just above it after my article. So what I prefer to do is to leave the comment capsule's title field blank, and then enter an equivalent <h2> line at the end of the last text capsule in my article. I think it interrupts the folw of thought less that way.
Gotcha, Jason! Thanks for the answer!
Hi Jason, Being new to HubPage, I want to comply as well. I saw a few Hubbers who had cute little pictures about leaving comments, but not asking to vote up, etc. So I created this image.. just to be cute really.. nothing else. However, through my ignorance, I would upload this pic from my computer for each hub, not realizing that the photos I uploaded were stored. Oh Foolish me..
So please clarify what I need to do. Shall I put the link (from my photo gallery)in the form and submit it, and then it will automatically be deleted?
Thanks so much
Photo I was using!
Update: After reading the form over and over.. I went ahead and submitted all the photos. Thanks!
Sounds like you got that sorted. Just wanted to say... That is SO cute!
When I see the cute picture, I think, what a shame to have to remove that, it definitely IMPROVES, brightens up the rather dull HubPages design. If HubPages takes away something that is like a personal signature from us, your slave-workers, then I'm not happy about that at all.
What about a compromise: allowing us to submit images for moderation prior to publishing?
Jason, I haven't done this because I have mixed feelings about social media and excessive self-promotion, but what about reminders to Tweet or share an article if you've found it useful or enjoyable? Hubbers are very generous about leaving feedback, but the fact is, Twitter and my nemesis, Facebook, are the way an awful lot of people using the web find new content, and readers often forget about them by the time they've reached the bottom of a page.
Would it clutter the Hubpages footer too much to repeat the buttons from the top of the page next to the feedback buttons? Alternatively, what do you think of Hubbers including some kind of "please share if you liked this page!" blurb or banner at the bottom?
I'd like an answer to this too. I've never used the banners or invitation, but I liked a "please share" message I saw on the bottom of someone's Hub and was considering copying it.
I, too, would like the Share buttons repeated at the bottom, since they're so much more useful for traffic than the internal Hub buttons.
I agree. In fact, I would support getting rid of the internal buttons and just putting the Share buttons instead. I think an external share is much more valuable.
One of my mentors says never make people backtrack, people who use the internet for the most part won't roll a page back up to do anything. He recommends for long web pages having everything a person could use in every segment. It is hard to do with websites because you have to keep previewing and tweaking. It does however make sense with what he teaches to have share buttons at the bottom of the hub also.
All our sales emails contain links in every segment with more than one at the end.
This is so the reader doesn't have to scroll back to do anything. Since in a sales email that click means money it makes sense but for hubs one at the top and one at the end of the hub should be enough. We find people are sharing our work and we have no banners because our belief is if the value of the hub doesn't have people sharing we didn't do our job.
More so all the time we are using our hubs to gather interest for our business. We do this by putting links to our hubs on our facebook fan page and a facebook backlink site. As hub pages authors most of us plan on earning from them. We use ours as a way for people to get to know us and what we stand for. A while back there was a hub pages forum where people were asked to share links on social sites. This we believe is the best way to "get out there". People were only asked to share hubs they felt their friends on their social programs would be interested in.
One of the business platforms we use is the same. Share what we find to have value to our social networks. Believe me I have seen this in action and it works. The other members have sent over 400 people to my social page there in one day. Any forum and some other programs create the viral aspect so many of us seem to need. We have used hubs written by others as links in blogs we write on one of the programs we use.
So as the man says pull down the banners and we recommend using forums to spread the word. In the end those are more viral anyway and you get to read some great hubs while searching.
Agreed, Marisa. On my Wordpress sites, I make sure I have a Facebook like button at both the top and bottom of the post.
We do have a button already at the bottom (the Share one) that repeats the same three that appear at the top (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+) and then some. We believe that making the buttons available twice is enough, and people who would like to share on their own will have the buttons accessible to use.
Banners encouraging sharing are similar and we do not suggest adding them to Hubs.
Interesting, indeed there is a share button at the bottom. I never really noticed it because it is mixed in with so many other internal voting buttons.
What does HP staff think about getting rid of those internal voting buttons? I think that getting rid of the Vote up+down buttons and putting the Share button first will be less distracting to readers, and will likely increase external sharing.
Also, having to click twice makes it less likely for someone to share the article.
I would also support getting rid of the funny, interesting, etc. buttons at the bottom.
That gets my vote. The "share" button is the most valuable - the other internal buttons are not really adding value and I'd love to see them go.
The internal buttons add value that is positive for retention. It is in Hubbers best interest that they not only gather up readers, but keep them once they have them.
Many readers appreciate great content, even if they are not terribly articulate themselves. Providing feedback allows these sorts of readers the ability to tell you how a piece made them feel, without forcing them to do anything. That may sound like the opposite of what you want to do to retain readers, but there are many people who want to express their opinions without giving up their name or email address in order to do so.
Personally, I wasn't sold on the idea of feedback for a long time. It wasn't until after the recent HubPatron of the Arts contest when I realized their value.* After admiring these wonderful and profound Hubs, I felt dumbstruck. I don't have Facebook, or Twitter, or any other social networking accounts, so I couldn't share the content. In areas where I have no experience (photography, for example) I didn't feel confident leaving a comment. For other mediums where I have some experience, I was rendered too awestruck by many of the submitted Hubs to formulate anything useful or decent.
We will discuss this feature and your opinions at our regularly scheduled community meeting. As always, thank you for your comments and concerns!
*I didn't participate in judging for the contest.
Hmmm, I may be missing something but I do not see how the vote buttons help with retention.
Comments help with retention because it starts a conversation, and the commenter will keep coming back to continue the conversation.
However, as you point out, the vote buttons are just a one-off thing.
Personally, I have not noticed any positive effects on traffic or earnings from the vote buttons. Of course, I only have access to my own data. Does site-wide data show a positive correlation with traffic or usage metrics? That would be interesting to know.
Thanks for taking this issue up in the community meeting. I would be very interested in hearing the discussion and results.
Even if it could be proved that pushing a button instead of taking the time and effort to comment does indeed get a hubber to come back or follow, as far as I understand, it makes no difference to earnings if we "retain" other hubbers.
Nobody coming from outside is going to keep coming back on the strength of having pushed a button. They came in to get information, found it (with luck) and left. They might or might not return to Hubpages in future, but that will be on the strength of search results relating to their subsequent information needs. Yet these are the people who impact on money earned!
Sorry WA, I edited my comment just as you posted! I agree. I don't know any Hubber who is making money by building and retaining a group of loyal readers, especially if they're other Hubbers (who rarely click on ads).
Like Shibashake, I'm curious to learn more about the metrics Norah used to reach her conclusion
Consumers of content on UGC sites that have a pleasurable experience are more likely to consume other pieces of content on that same site (and/or subdomain). This isn't a radical or controversial idea, it is a fundamental part of developing any website. If this weren't the case, there would be few if any social features on HubPages.
You say that "nobody coming from outside is going to keep coming back on the strength of having pushed a button. They came in to get information, found it (with luck) and left. "
Websites often run experiments by modifying visual and interactive elements to see what increases user retention. In one example from the last startup I worked for, slightly changing the shade of gray in the header increased retention by 7%. The sample size was about 5,000 unique visitors, and that number held up after it was released onto the main website. My point is that pushing the right button will keep someone coming back. Our challenge is finding that button and presenting it well.
Many studies have been done on the value of retention. Andrew Chen, an angel investor in Palo Alto, has written several blog posts with plenty of data for you to review.
If you have any other questions about the value of reader retention, please start up a new thread or email me directly if you wish.
Norah, I'm glad the buttons gave you an "out", but the question is, did it benefit the Hubber? Maybe if the buttons hadn't been there, you would've made more effort to leave a comment (more useful) or to tell a friend about it (even more useful).
In some ways you're confirming the point we're trying to make. A reader can feel virtuous if they vote the Hub up or click a couple of buttons, and therefore won't take the extra trouble to share or leave a comment - both of which are more valuable.
Half the time I forget to vote or click on a button. I'd rather leave a comment.
Except that the most common comment is
I detest those and delete them. I had a banner advising people not to do that and to use the buttons instead, but I've submitted those for automatic deletion, so now I'll have to go back to manually deleting those useless comments.
The vote up and vote down buttons are used not just to say I liked it or didn't like it. If a hub gets many negative votes it does go up for moderation or at least this is what I believe.
Instead of removing the useful, interesting, etc from the hubs remove the share option and place it above the vote up etc. But don't leave it as share now expand it and let visitors see the variety available. I guess this would help?
No, a hub goes for moderation if it is flagged. The vote up/down buttons and potted opinions are just a game for people to play, which saves them the effort of having to think of intelligent comments.
A dumb question: you are not referring to using my own original photo in multiple hubs, just images for banners soliciting something or another.
A dumb question: you are not referring to using my own original photo in multiple hubs, just images for banners soliciting something or another. Oh I get it. Never mind.
What about Banners promoting hubpages on Hubs such as 'Make Money on Hubpages'
I have not seen too many of these banners, but the first time I saw one, my internal reaction was that it was too much personal promotion to an otherwise excellent article. I am glad they are being removed.
I have been using a feedback banner, and didn't think it was annoying at all. I tried to keep it a nice discreet size, and was simply a reminder to the reader to provide feedback before moving on.
There were several reasons I liked this banner. I liked that it gave me a chance to subtly personalize my hubs. It also gave me a chance to put my user name at the bottom of the hub, so people could remember who they were reading. It also put some space between my words and the ad that shows up right there. It irks me that the ad looks like it is a part of my writing when it is not, and I think that some people may click away when they get to the ad and not keep scrolling to see the feedback buttons.
I also tried to make the banner a high quality, attractive one. In fact, I was working on creating an even better one.
While I don't agree, I have submitted to this request and sent in my form. Thank you for providing a convenient way to do this.
So, I'm a teeny bit confused. I've never placed any capsule, artwork, banner or anything else soliciting feedback or comments, although I have seen it on others' hubs.
I guess this means I'm "safe," and do not need to submit any links to images?
I'm presuming (because I know what "assume" spells... ) that the promotional capsules some folks use for inviting off-site readers to come write for HP don't count in this new rule?
(I've not yet used any of those "invites" myself, as I'm unsure how to do so...from which area the link is to be grabbed, etc.)
Clarification much appreciated.....
I am glad to see this change. While some say that this is a great way to remind people to vote (and this is a very valid argument), I always saw the "please vote up" as a form of panhandling. I usually vote up when I read great content, but seeing these banners is a huge turn-off and sometimes I don't vote on great hubs because of these banners.
I would want to know that people vote up and share my hubs because they like them, and not because my readers see it as a form of charity. That's just me, though.
I find much of these explanations to be baffling.
Hp places ads in that location now and as a result has legitimate issues with any banners that may be misconstrued as promoting the clicking of those adsense ads.
That would make sense, at least (to me)
But "we feel the UI is blah blah blah" is subjective - pointing to tests at other locations doesnt prove a thing about engagement and retention at HP, the former comments were accurate, readers dont backtrack.
The share button only highlights facebook and twitter - after clicking many other options open up. I would love to see the numbers on how often those share services are utilized and how anyone could imagine that intrasite gimmicks should ever hold more important space then powerful tools like twitter/fb/digg/+1
Considering the announcement of the effect of +1 on personal search .. why would that share option be left unconnected to the "share" feature and stuck only in the opening of each hub?
But the Hubbers themselves are likely the ones that admin needs to stay on the page longer, increase retention rates and interact .. prob these views help greatly in negotiating ad contracts and pay out to HP
Thats the only reason I would see in some of the actions and question skirting. Thats not a bad thing or anything, HP users are still probably getting earnings from intra hub views also. But, when we ask question about effecting "external views" they(HP) prob arent on the same "page" as ALL views benefit the site especially in regards to padding the stats. The users at HP are a marketable product, not just for their writing.
Well, unless you dont bill advertiser for views from logged in users?
i think thats a cool tool though, good to see consideration is now being taken of retroactive policy changes
In the last couple of weeks I've written several hubs about different types of first names, and included lists of names in each hub. In each hub, I've put a text box at the end of the hub, above the comments box, asking readers which names they've given their own kids, whch names they love or hate, and which names they think I should add to my lists. It's not so much that I'm panhandling for comments, I just want to know what people's feelings are about names, as this is a subject I'm interested in. In some cases, I've added reader-suggested names to my lists, so the readers' info has been valuable.
I just want readers to know that I value their opinions and will be checking in to actually read their comments and consider their opinions. I'm letting them know that I really do want to hear from them.
I do not mentioning voting at all. How does my situation fit into the new rule?
I think everyone has a valid point to what they are sharing here. Some people use the banners wisely and with good taste. Some don’t. Sometimes, I read a hub that is so inspirational that I want to share it with my family and friends. But, when I see a big blazing banner in the middle of the hub, I don’t share it because those banners can be intimidating to people who are non-hubbers. I don’t think people mind seeing ads around an article, but when ads are placed inside the article, it just seems to take away from the point the author is making. To me, it’s sort of like a hiccup in the middle of a sentence.
I agree with MarleneB, most of these banners are poor quality and pixelated. Not very attractice at all.
I'm voting up the change. I've never used banners because I think its like asking for a compliment. Overall, I like HubPages' approach to cleaning up distractions from content.
paradigmsearch, that's perfect and about sums up those banners. I've always thought they do a giant disservice to some otherwise excellent Hubs (and the Hubber who created them) in ways not worth mentioning here (since they're going). I think HP is doing those writers who have them a service by "outlawing" them, and it's nice those Hubbers who have them don't need to worry about editing "zillions: of Hubs.
I know HubPages isn't "some big, lofty, exclusive, publication" or "heavy-duty-professional" publication/site, but I don't think it hurts to present even the most casual (even fun) writing in a more professional, polished, way.
Well, mine were not begging for anything. I just wanted to discourage those useless two word "Great hub!" comments and suggested that IF they were tempted to do that, I'd rather they clickety-clicked instead.
Which reminds me - I think I have few with the text equivalent, so I need to go ferret out those and delete them.
I'm contemplating using it as my next avatar.
While you're at it, why don't you disallow those text modules at the end of a hub that say something like "If you enjoyed this hub you might also enjoy these" then provide a long list of the author's hubs.
Isn't that what groups are for and don't you already place a 'related hubs' module in the sidebar?
Those types of text modules are completely unrelated to the hub and become a distraction or beef up the word count so that more products can be placed.
The proper way to link to related hubs is with keyword links within the body of the text.
I personally don't have a problem with the banners, I tried them once but they looked tacky so I got rid of them. I do have a problem with the placement of the social buttons at the TOP of the hub. I think sunforged mentioned that readers rarely backtrack so those buttons should be at the end of the Hub and before the comments module.
Write well, engage your readers, and answer the main question you present in your topic and that is how you get comments and encourage sharing. As a marketer, you must ask for the sale but never the share. That doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't use reverse psychology within the body of your text... ie... "keep this between us," "here is a little secret," "your neighbors are going to freak out when they see you with this." Let your writing sell your reader then shut up and let them do what comes natural, unless your ego is so inflated that you know what is best for them and have to tell them. See how that works out for you
Darn it! My score is covering the food word. I'll have to redo.
My latest fan mail as of a few minutes ago.
"you are a real go-getter! good luck."
Sometimes I really didn't understand why you need to even ask for a 'Vote up' when the Hub was so well written! Yes, I think it distracted..
"I, too, would like the Share buttons repeated at the bottom, since they're so much more useful for traffic than the internal Hub buttons."
I second that.
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