By: Wayne Brown
It all started about two weeks back. At first, it seemed they were trying to help me but as it continued the process became quite frustrating and now it has gone beyond that point. If you are lost as to the subject of my opening statement, then let me get to the point. I think HubPages is ready for me to leave. The message gets a little clearer each time I open my account and find yet another of my writings flagged and unpublished by the moderator.
At first, they were gigging me for “pixilated imagery”. Since they are not specific in their flagging, one has to start guessing. Eventually, I figured out the photo is simply not up to their standard of quality. They make suggestions that possibly you could go back and resize the photo, etc. to obtain a better quality on the image. Unfortunately, in this jungle of a website, I have yet to find any settings that will allow me to resize a photo. I can resize it all day until I post it and then it seems to have a mind of its own
Anyway, I rolled with the punches on the first few of those and made the changes in some cases guessing until I found the right item. Note to HubPages: If you know what is wrong, why not share with me, so I can fix it! After processing a few in this manner, I started trying to guess which hub would be next to get nailed in the process. Now, as a writer, I must ask the question, “What the hell does a pixilated picture have to do with the quality of what I write and why are you worried about? I might have a blurred image of my own thumb there for a particular reason. Where does it stop?
Well, I will share this…it does not stop at pixilated images as I found out this morning. Now most of you who read my stuff know that I write a bit of this and a bit of that and change off here and there depending on my inspiration and mood. Sometimes I am inspired to write poetry, sometimes it is dark fiction, other times it is strictly nonsensical humor, and at times I get my panties in a wad and write political commentary. Aha! Apparently that is the place where my slip is starting to show.
This morning I received a notification from HubPages which informed me that the moderator had removed my hub “American Fool” from the ad revenue stream. There was no indication as to “why” other that it was a function of “a review by the moderator.” Now, I have to roam around inside this piece and try to figure out what it is that seems to put the moderator’s panties in a wad. Other than finding the use of the word “ass” that occurred one time in one paragraph, I was coming up with nothing. Then it occurred to me that possibly the moderator might be of a different political ilk than I and possibly found the entire piece to conflict with his/her interest. Thus, it would be only appropriate to flag it and take away its ability to earn a few hundred thousandths of a cent.
Given this thought, I started to see “Big Brother” creeping into the HubPages experience. As a writer, I don’t particularly care for folks who want to tell me what I can write and how I must phrase it. If you plan to do that, you better be paying me well for that privilege, otherwise, stay the hell out of my business. Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly a supporter of keeping out the porn and use of excessive profanity or the like. That is certainly an option the owners and managers of HubPages can and do exercise. But when that effort starts to go beyond that guard, I begin to become concerned that this may not be a place where I want to write anymore.
I have been here on the Hub for 14 months now writing fiction, poetry, humor and political commentary. I get frustrated to see the scoring of hubs and of writers especially in a light which I consider rather marginal to the writing talents of individuals. More and more I see efforts to “dress up” the hub using large quantities of photos, links, etc. I see the writer get rewarded for doing that…for basically playing the game in order to win the contest I assume. As I witness this, I see damn good writers sit here for months writing piece after piece of good stuff but being totally ignored for the most part. The thing that bothers me the most is that I see more and more good writers pulled into the mechanism of how to score on the Hub as opposed to concentrating on the quality of their writing. There is something that is not right about this approach…maybe the fact that it focuses more on the clothes and less on the person. Well, from where I come from, you can put a coat and tie on a mule but you’ll never hide those ears.
If you are missing my point here it is this. I came here to write not be a packaging engineer. I am not here to create a marketing campaign for a series of books on “How to Mow the Lawn.” I came here to write. I came here to concentrate on the use of words, phrases, imagination and mental images…the sharing of emotion with others; the ability to see the same things, to share the same joys, and the desire to bring a tear to the readers’ eye with my words. Sure I throw in a picture or two or a video but I don’t depend on those as the thrust of my writing. Maybe the early success of the “Aunties” displaying naked pictures of their cousins had something to do with this mindset, I don’t know. But, as a writer, I would like to think that only my words would be enough to create the imagery the reader needs to stick with the piece. If not, then maybe, I, as the writer, need to work a bit harder at my craft.
I have invested 14 months here and produced 392 Hubs of poetry, fiction, humor, or political commentary. I have achieved the 100 level a total of 11 times; my hubs have been viewed over 30,000 times, and I have accumulated almost 500 readers who following my writing. I am proud of those things but I am most proud of the writings that I have created here and the fact that I have been able to keep the quality level high. I achieved that by sticking with what I knew best and going with my gut on everything I did. Now, it is becoming a full-time job to sort out what is “wrong” with my work.
The process should be simple. If “Big Brother”, the HubPages Moderator, has a problem with one of my pieces, then send me an email…one human being to another and spell out specifically what is wrong that you need fixed so badly. This would be a far more efficient way to do business than having me guess what it is that is not working for you. It is like getting a letter from the city that I live in telling me that my house is not in code compliance but giving me no explanation as to why. It leaves me only to have to sit and guess and that pisses me off.
At any rate, if the current process continues to work in the way it has, I may just take down my tent and move on to some place where there is a focus on writing instead of political correctness and package engineering. So if you look up one day and I am gone, you’ll know the reason for my departure.
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