I generally avoid the non-HP-related sections of the forums (categories like books and sports). Partly it's because all the religious and political discussions distress me, partly it's because it's a time-waster.
But mainly, it seems like an awful lot of the output and discussions in those forums are sapping ideas that would make good hubs or articles.
I suppose that when it's only a hobby, it doesn't matter, but if it's a choice between writing a post about a favorite book wnd writing a hub about it, I'd go with the hub, where my thoughts, words and observations could earn some income.
Then again, most people's forum posts aren't as long as hubs.
And then again, there are some forum posts that are longer than some hubs.
For some of the religion forum's usual suspects, there's virtually no difference between their novel-length incoherent forum posts and their novel-length incoherent hubs.
then again, there are some hubs that wouldn't even have been interesting as forum posts - its a quirky place - why we love it so! and we get to post little smileys in the forums, not in our hubs!!
I do "longies" in the forums, and I figure people can/will (obviously) skip over what they can't be bothered reading. Writing is far from a hobby for me; but because I spend so much time writing, I sometimes just need to relax and get away from "formality", and instead just think in terms of "plain, old, discussion" - not Hub-writing. It doesn't sap a lot of energy, or all that much time, for me to whip up thoughts that have come as a result of a forum thread or post. So, the "longie" post that looks like it could have taken someone an hour to write can, for those of us who type fast, really take as little as, maybe, ten minutes (sometimes, maybe, fifteen - but fifteen-minute breaks from work aren't all that unusual for anyone).
HubPages is, for me, my "break from work that earns me money". There's a point where I have to just not be worrying about earning money (for work or during my "breaks from work") - and just goof off and be a person who's interested in a discussion for the sake of having a discussion.
To be candid, every time I write a long post I feel uncomfortable about it. Sometimes I'll save one for posting somewhere other than on here in the forums. One of the things that has made me tell myself, "Hey, other people do long posts too," has been some of the "longies" you've written on the forums too. Yes, I guess yours tend to be about HubPages writing, but they could be Hubs too (rather than forum posts). Anyway, it's precisely because writing is not a hobby for me that I need those breaks. Besides, if I have something to say that I want "out there" (like the "longie" I did earlier today), that's not about my being worried about earning money for it. (If anyone knew what I deal with - and it's getting harder and harder for me to keep quiet about it as time goes on - he'd understand why I see some discussions as worth having, regardless of whether they earn me anything or not. Oops! Another longie. (My Friday night company will be here soon. I couldn't have turned this post into a Hub in that kind of time anyway. BUT, I could write four minutes' worth of conversation while I'm waiting for a guest. It's all about time management - and fast typing. )
Hee. My custom forum title on a couple sites is TL;DR, so I know what you mean about too-long forum posts. After I hit "post" I tend to gasp in horror and sneak back in with the edit button to prune.
I think I should have phrased my initial post differently; headache made it come out crankypants.
To put a more positive spin on what I was trying to say: "Hey, folks, don't forget, sometimes your great forum posts could be a hub, instead!"
But I also hear you, Lisa, about using forums to take a break from one's online work. Sometimes one craves casual writing writing and more direct human contact, even virtual.
I guess I'm still puzzled about Hubpages' initial rationale for having a whole set of "Categories" forums that duplicate the categories they want people writing hubs about. From a design standpoint, that was something that intrigued me when I first started exploring the site. It seemed like a counter-intuitive way of setting things up. I've gotten used to it, but it still surprises me sometimes.
Possibly the thinking is that it may inspire hubs, and maybe bring viewers in on a search? I think they can be great places to share knowledge we may already have written a hub about. I know I've been inspired to write on a topic after reading forum threads. One of my most viewed hubs was inspired after visiting a rather heated forum thread.
I agree that it's also nice to have a place to casually post and interact with the community. HP has a great group of people we would never have the chance to meet other than here in the forums.
The Feed can be used the same way. You can have conversations on it. Just in case, anybody didn't know.
Great point! I have in fact been inspired to write a couple of SEO hubs recently based on forums that I have read. Plus, in a Hub I can back up my point with sources and such and better make my case than I can in a forum post.
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