It has become evident to everyone who knows and loves you that you have a problem. We've stood by you through your growing pains but the sudden outbursts of extemporaneous changes that have diminished the hard work of dedicated Hubbers has to stop. I think the problem may be drug-related and a 12-step program might be indicated.
Step 1: Stop taking whatever drug it is that you're taking and build a test environment that is completely separate from your production environment. You may have one, but evidently it isn't being used properly.
Step 2: Run extensive tests of changes on the test system to determine feasibility and to churn up any unintended consequences of all new features.
Step 3: Follow industry standard best-practices. For example, auto-play videos have been deprecated and should be avoided.
Step 4: Remember that your business is built on the content provided by Hubbers. Listening to them and addressing their needs is critical to Hubpages' success. Without Hubbers you have no business.
Step 5: After exhaustive testing, invite Hubbers to opt-in for beta-testing on the production system. Hubpages staff and Beta-testers should have panel discussions as needed. Something like Skype could be used.
Step 6: Listen to the beta testers and address their concerns and suggestions, before putting the changes into full production. Fully communicate any issues that may impact existing hubs to all hubbers.
Step 7-12: Use common sense.
Remember, we love you and want you to succeed. Just say "No"!
Given the length of time I have been a part of this site and all the beta tests I've taken part in, I second everything that Bill is saying.
I would fourth it but that would be just being silly.
Having said that it just might be that Bill's suggestions would answer my recent thoughts that HP is breaking down in some way. No earnings/multiple bugs in the posting system and falling traffic ... is this the end of HP as we know it?
After going through numerous threads on the HP forums, I've come to the conclusion that these changes are knee-jerk reactions to the sudden downward trend of hits from Google. I have a feeling that Hubpages staff are pulling out all stops to try and stem the bleeding. The problem with that approach is that it leads to unintended consequences, many of which can exacerbate the problem.
I know that many of the recent changes have greatly reduced the usefulness of some of my hubs. For example, I have hubs that display screen shots containing critical technical data. The users can no longer enlarge these images and so can't benefit from the information that I provided.
Hubpages needs to chill out, reverse the layout changes, and take a hard look at what needs to be done in order to get back into Google's good grace.
I'd like to see more strict moderation, personally. Of Google wants quality, we should show it to them. In the meantime, each hubber can do something to improve the overall site by fixing up their own hubs. I've got some hubs that need a little work that I am going to work on.
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