The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred and Fifteen
The Roller Coaster Ride Continues
There are weeks when the floodgates open and questions pour in, and then there are weeks when it’s like pulling teeth to get just one question. This was a floodgate week, thank goodness.
So the roller coaster ride continues and the Mailbag soars for one more week!
Let’s get started!
BUT BEFORE WE BEGIN, THE CONTEST WINNER
A couple weeks ago I offered up a challenge with four picture prompts….tons of responses poured in (a bit of an exaggeration, but still quite a few) and today I announce the winner….it is….drum roll….
Mike Friedman, and you can find his winning entry by following this link. Great writing, Mike! And thanks to all who took part in the challenge. Mike, get in touch with me, give me an address, and I’ll send you your prize.
Now, the Mailbag!
From Flourish: “Bill - Is there any topic that you will not write about? Why I ask is this -- and I need to put it in code speak so your ads won't be disabled: I wrote a song list about "doing away with oneself" in order to raise awareness and help prevent this sort of sad thing. I found that the stigma runs very deep indeed. I'm still glad I wrote about it, but it's more of a piece from the heart.”
Interesting question, Flourish. I guess I’m going to take a roundabout route to the answer, if you don’t mind.
Is there any topic I wouldn’t write about? I don’t think so, but the only stipulation I would make on that statement is I need to know something about the subject matter. There’s already enough misinformed articles out there and I don’t want to add to the total.
Having said that, I decided about a year ago to stay away from political-opinion pieces. I’m so tired of the political atmosphere in this country and I have no desire to add to that dysfunction. I usually stay away from religion as well simply because it is a lightning rod for the crazies out there and it’s a no-win situation for anyone writing about it.
So, for the most part, I write my fiction and toss in my opinions from time to time, but I let my characters voice those opinions. That way I’m never to blame. LOL
HUB WRITER NAMES
From Joy: “Here's a question for next time. How do I get a pseudonym to show up in my Hubs instead of my legal name? I know I need to use my legal name to be paid, if that ever happens; but I am not thrilled at having it prominently displayed on everything I post.”
Joy, I honestly don’t know if you can change your Hub name, but I know someone who can tell you: write to Christy Kirwan at HP and ask her that question. I went to my profile and hit the “edit” key, and I see where my real name goes, but I don’t know what happens if I try to change that, or if I’m even allowed to do it, and I didn’t want to experiment with my own name…..if I have time before I post this, I’ll ask Christy myself and save you time.
I did ask Christy and got no reply. So there you have the official answer from HP.
Again from Joy: “Here's another Hub question. I understand what Hub Networks are and I can see I might get more hits on a network. But what's the real advantage? And who do these networks belong to?”
Joy, normally I would ask HP a question like yours, just for confirmation, but there is no doubt, in my mind, who owns the rights to those Hub Networks, and that’s HP!
Listen, here’s a quick summary of where HP has been and where it’s trying to go.
When HP first started out they were kind of the big kid on the block. Their membership was huge, their readership was huge, and they, and their writers, were making decent money, and I’m talking about some writers making a thousand bucks or more PER MONTH! HP held contests and gave cash prizes and the money was flowing.
And then the big kid on the block stubbed his toe, and the toe got infected, and suddenly there were more big kids on the block, and the biggest kid on the block, Google, changed the rules and oh my goodness, did HP ever suffer.
It was like rats deserting the Titanic, and writers scurried off in many directions, and revenues dropped faster than a soufflé in an earthquake, and the braintrust at HP suddenly didn’t look quite so brainy.
So here we are today, and the HP management team is scrambling to find a winning formula, and praying that the Google gods will once again allow them at the big kids’ table to eat.
The new networks show signs of life, and that is the real advantage. My views have increased, noticeably, as have others, and that means more revenue for everyone. Will we ever return to the HP glory days?
Not a chance!
And do you know why I say that?
Because the HP management team isn’t terribly bright!
You can quote me on that.
Plagiarism on Niume
From Kailey: “Thank you for sharing your experience on Niume so far. I will check it out. Perhaps, it will inspire me to get back into writing. Plus, any site with your company is preferred. I am curious if you think there will still be concerns about plagiarism as I'm sure would be for anything online?”
Kailey, I noticed that compliment in your remark, and I thank you for it. I feel the same way about you.
Will there still be concerns about plagiarism at NIUME? I don’t think it’s avoidable. The Russians seem to be capable of hacking just about any secured site online. The Chinese are pretty darned good at it as well, and I have no doubt our own nation is swarming with internet hackers and thieves who can and will find a way to steal from the unprotected.
So yes, Kailey, I fully expect some of my articles will be stolen no matter where I post them online.
From Mel: “How do you edit a post on NIUME?”
Even though I’m new to NIUME I actually know the answer to this question, and I found out by being inquisitive and just punching buttons until something happened.
When you go to your article, just to the right of the title there are four symbols. The symbol on the far right, which looks like a starburst, is the button you want for editing. Hit that and the edit screen will pop up.
And there is the first weakness of NIUME that I have found so far, the lack of really good explanations and tutoring about how to use the site. It seems to be a “hit and miss” site with regards to getting things done….I think they think that writers are smarter than they actually are. LOL
From Mike: “I read elsewhere that an ex-Hubber, has passed the $5,000 mark writing on RedGage. Heck, I'll turn it into the form of a question. Have you heard of RedGage? Since I have not passed the $100.00 mark on HP, I am naturally curious.”
Okay, Mike, so, I went to the RedGage site, and here’s what they tell us:
“What is RedGage?
RedGage is a first-of-its-kind web site that pays people for their online content and monetizes their social activity. It's a centralized hub where you can earn money for all the things you're already doing online at places like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Blogger. RedGage pays based on the value of your content, measured by page views/popularity. It aggregates from other sites so you don't even have to regularly visit RedGage.
RedGage has redefined socializing and creating projects on the web by paying you for all of your blogs, pictures, videos, documents, and links. You will not only be able to create a stronger web identity, but will also have the opportunity to host, navigate, and review a wide variety of projects.”
Blah, Blah, and more Blah……
So here’s the thing, Mike: If I go to the HP site where they sell their magic potion, it’s going to promise just about the same thing, and to a certain extent, they all pay on their promise. Heck, I still have some current friends on HP who make a couple hundred each month. True, that’s down from the $700-$1000 they once made each month, but at least it hasn’t totally dried up.
So yes, there is money to be made on these sites. I’m currently playing around on NIUME, and I like certain aspects of that site, and there are certain aspects I don’t like.
It’s six of one half dozen of the other, in my opinion.
The other thing I think must be mentioned is this: I have yet to find a site like this that pays well for the type of fiction you and I write. These sites are content-driven and by that I mean information content. They gain revenues from views and clicks, and there are not nearly as many views and clicks for fiction…..and I’d be amazed if I saw that trend change in my lifetime.
Another writer friend, Joyce, did some research on RedGage, and found some not-too-flattering comments about it, basically saying they didn’t pay enough for writers to waste time on that site.
Having said that, I love your work and always will!
Join me on my writing blog/website
- Artistry With Words | Helping writers to spread their wings and fly
Helping writers to spread their wings and fly
Tuck this one to bed, and I’ll see you all next week for another installment of the Mailbag. Thanks so much for dropping by the Mail Room for a chat.
2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”