Almost no one writes articles on this site any more. Why is that?

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  1. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
    Kathleen Cochranposted 6 weeks ago

    "HubPages is a network of sites where people write about their passions!"

    No.  They don't. When I joined 14 years ago I spent so much time reading really good writing about really interesting subjects by really skilled writers - that I hardly had time to write myself. But somehow those writers fanned the flames within me and I published more than 160 "hubs" as we called them. I haven't written one in years. And I can't remember the last time I read an article here, primarily because one is so rarely written.

    What happened to this dynamic writing site? These days the only thing written here is discussion after discussion after discussion after discussion. I miss really good creative writing. Does any one else?

    1. Springboard profile image82
      Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

      It does seem "slower" here for sure since the "changes" were made to the way the site operates. Many people would likely disagree with me, but I think it made the site better. In fact, it made it better enough that I returned to the site after a very long hiatus from it.

      I didn't like the "nature" of the old HubPages, personally. Instead of it feeling like a writing site, it felt more like a social media site where the focus was not so much on what was written but being seen by others.

      If I did not interact with anyone, no one paid attention to anything I wrote. And there was nothing "organic" about the site. I wanted to write. I wanted to be read. Moreover, I wanted to be read because someone was genuinely interested in my topic instead of simply being interested in being seen by leaving a comment hoping I'd click on their article and return the favor.

      That's not what writing is about. At least to me. I did enjoy the interactions. Don't get me wrong. It was often a good source of feedback. Because I write mostly opinion, it was also a way to have a discussion, which I always enjoy.

      But who was really reading was always the question? And when it came to comments I could tell most people didn't really read anything. Instead they'd skim the article looking for something to leave a comment on. Followers SAW you posted something. But were they genuinely interested in your work or in following you?

      I found mostly they did not. They simply wanted you to follow them, and so the whole site literally became one that was "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

      And again, there was little that was organic about the site. In other words, the traffic was all internal. If anyone outside the site found your work, it was few and far between. So again, who was actually reading? Who actually cared about what you were writing?

      I'd say hardly anyone. And again, for me at least, I wanted to write to be read by people genuinely interested in my work, not just reciprocation. So, I left to focus on more organic efforts.

      I think now that Arena owns the site(s), what they saw was the potential to actually have a series of network sites that would appeal to a much wider audience, and they have accomplished that. As a result the writing has mostly improved. The quality of what articles are on here have also improved, especially the ones that are moved to other network sites. And we have a site that is writer/reader oriented more than we ever had before.

      I think it has been a massive improvement in my opinion. But again, many will disagree with me.

  2. Jodah profile image90
    Jodahposted 6 weeks ago

    Kathleen, this used to be a vibrant site and community, and I would spend hours a day reading  articles by people I followed, and writing my own. It just isn’t the same, and my last article was published four months ago.

    The fact that my earnings are down to around $5.00 per month offers little incentive. But, I am still here to stay in contact with the few people I still know, and in the hope one day things will improve.

  3. Venkatachari M profile image84
    Venkatachari Mposted 6 weeks ago

    Yes, Friends. I joined this site 10 years ago when I accidentally came across some extremely excellent articles while browsing the internet. I joined and kept on reading and expressing my nice feelings to the authors who appealed to my muses. And, gradually, I started writing articles getting inspiration from my mentors like Bill Holland, etc.

    But, now, there is no such atmosphere here. I keep on visiting daily to only for the sake of our community. Nowadays, I find some good poems occasionally that appeal to my heart.

  4. Gianella Labrador profile image82
    Gianella Labradorposted 6 weeks ago

    missing everyone here too and the exchange of feedback to every articles posted sending encouragements to one another.  i've got a new poem now on Letterpile if you guys wanna see

  5. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
    Kathleen Cochranposted 6 weeks ago

    I've moved to writing.com, which requires a membership fee but doesn't stick ads on my articles. I'll take a look at Letterpile. Why don't the entries on those sites show up on the HP feed?

  6. FatFreddysCat profile image93
    FatFreddysCatposted 6 weeks ago

    I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case HP was simply turning into a grind, with very little payoff in terms of page views or revenue.

    I got tired of taking the time to write stuff that I was proud of, but would end up getting no traffic. I felt like I was standing on the side of the road with my thumb out, while cars endlessly passed me by.

    I've written just one new article in the past six months. I'm watching its performance carefully to see if it shows any signs of life. The jury's still out.

  7. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
    Kathleen Cochranposted 6 weeks ago

    My readership on HP remains constant, which begs the question: How do they find me? Do they just go to my profile? My hubs are spread over a variety of their "publications". I don't get it.

    1. Springboard profile image82
      Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

      I think, and I am only guessing, that because the articles are handled differently, there is more opportunity now for articles to wind up in searches. People search certain terms and your articles show up and voila! You get traffic.

      That's much different from the old days when it was much less organic. If I did not interact at all, I would receive no traffic, which means that the way the site was before, the search engines found no real value in the content and so it went to page 999 in search, leaving us only to rely on interactions to bring what I called, "fake traffic" to our work.

      As I said in my earlier comment, what we are getting now are real readers who are genuinely interested in our content, and I think that not only makes the experience better here. It makes it more legitimate and it makes writing the articles more rewarding when you DO get views. Because you know it's real.

  8. mactavers profile image90
    mactaversposted 6 weeks ago

    You are correct, and the Hubs that I have written in the past have been so edited by their staff for commercial purposes that I have not had any control over.  I have only written one all year, and I also miss reading Hubs on books and poetry that used to be so good.

    1. Springboard profile image82
      Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

      At the same time, editorial control has never been something absent from the world of writing and publication. Granted, the Internet has helped to change this quite a bit. For example, when it comes to my Springboard blog on Blogspot, I am the sole editor of my own work. No one controls it but me.

      But writers have always had to contend with at least some form of "editor's evaluation." Even bestselling novelists have to have their books run through editorial evaluation before they ever go into print.

      Back in the old days, long before the Internet, you could write 100 articles and only see one actually published. If an editor didn't say, "Yeah, we'll publish that," the pages would fill folders in metal filing cabinets under "Rejected," that we'd either forget about, or try to salvage in some way to give it some life outside the rejection pile which was ALWAYS much larger than the accepted pile.

      A site like HubPages may take some editorial control over our work. But the opportunity we have as writers today to see a much larger body of our work actually published is enormously greater.

      Even Stephen King has his books sliced and diced. He has said many times, when asked about it, if it bothers him, "Not really. It actually makes the finished product better. I just write stories. The editors turn them into books."

  9. wilderness profile image94
    wildernessposted 6 weeks ago

    What happened?  Google happened.

    Like you, Kathryn, I've been here for 14 years.  I worked hard, writing some 180 "hubs" and watched my traffic and income slowly rise to something decent. 

    Then Google began playing with the search engine algorithm and traffic fell.  Then, with some changes rose.  Then fell.  Make more changes and it rose.  Then fell.  Finally, I gave up and, like you, haven't written a new hub in years.  It isn't worth it when Google has, and uses, complete control over the traffic and earnings I see.

  10. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
    Kathleen Cochranposted 6 weeks ago

    Oh, my favorite thing is when I get an email with suggestions for edits from the very folks who will no longer let my readers comment.

    NOT.

    1. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
      Kathleen Cochranposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      mactavers: I just looked at your profile. Now I have some good stuff to read again.

      Nice to meet you.

  11. abwilliams profile image67
    abwilliamsposted 6 weeks ago

    I just published article number ‘300’, quite a milestone for me, not sure if it is regarded as such.
    I am writing and publishing, but not getting the readership I once had.
    Also, I still miss the comments (which were mostly positive) and the opportunity to comment on other writer’s work.

    1. Springboard profile image82
      Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

      I had many more "readers" in the old days as well. The problem was, they weren't actually readers, and they weren't actually reading my articles. It was all about interaction and "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." Personally, I prefer less traffic so long as I know the people coming in to read are actually interested in what I wrote.

      Just my two cents.

      1. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
        Kathleen Cochranposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

        Your "two cents" shows us another way to look at this perceived problem. You may be right. I still get plenty of readers. What I miss is the interaction with them.

        1. Springboard profile image82
          Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

          I miss the interaction as well. But at the same time, I can spend more time focusing on the writing.

  12. Ken Burgess profile image75
    Ken Burgessposted 6 weeks ago

    Sold to another company resulting in smaller payouts.
    Google Search Engine works overtime to marginalize all articles and opinions other than the ones it wants you to see.
    Took away the comments section in the articles, which was a major motivating factor for many writers... the loss of interaction with their 'audience'.

    1. Springboard profile image82
      Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

      I think it was too much about interaction in the old days of HubPages. It meant, people posted content not necessarily to be read. They posted it to be seen. Advertisers want a real return on their investment, and if the only point was for "writers" to make money off interacting rather than actually posting content that would be interesting for organic traffic, the site would have died had someone not changed the game.

      I think the site is better and I think the model is more sustainable. It's also better for writers in the long run and certainly when you get people reading your work now, you know they are actually interested in your work rather than simply hoping you'll go and return the favor.

      1. Ken Burgess profile image75
        Ken Burgessposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

        There was that aspect, but it could not have accounted for a significant amount of traffic.

        Despite that "return the favor" aspect, the significance of the changes in how the Search Engines operate is the major reasons for the declines.

        Don't under-estimate the ability for people to comment to impact however.

        Consider Youtube, comments are still allowed there (controllable by the video creator) that is an essential part of gaining an audience and interacting with them.

        When you take that away, you lose a significant amount of your audience because they cannot participate, their voices and opinions no longer have an outlet.

        In addition, those commentors would return to the article to respond.  Removing this feature also drove down traffic, repeat visitors to that article, though probably not any more substantial an amount than your "return the favor" theory.

        1. Springboard profile image82
          Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

          You make an interesting point about comments elsewhere. Perhaps the solution here MIGHT be to open comments back up but do it in a way that doesn't allow for a "link back." In that way, if someone truly feels compelled to comment in a way that CONTRIBUTES to the article without a quid pro quo aspect being attached, perhaps that would be better?

          And of course, leaving comments open for author moderation would be good too so that you could root out anyone perhaps attempting to SPAM and root out comments that really serve no purpose such as, "Great post," or "I agree."

          1. Ken Burgess profile image75
            Ken Burgessposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

            I don't recall but I believe leaving a link was frowned upon in the comments sections, as they are in the forums still.  Also the article author always had the ability to 'make invisible' any comment.

            But there was an unwritten etiquette that if someone were following you and commenting on your articles you should return the favor in kind.

            If you go to my profile and look at an older article such as:
            Woodrow Wilson - America's Worst President

            You will see a long comments section, which I interacted with others and facts and opinions were shared... much in the way the Forums section is used today.

            For some of us, that interaction was motivating and without that ability there doesn't seem much point in new articles. 

            In addition I used to link them to my Facebook page, and I tried it on X not so long ago, but its not the same as getting other well informed writers as well as people who went looking for information on the topic you wrote  about commenting.

            1. Springboard profile image82
              Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

              Well, what I mean is that ultimately, in the "old days" of HubPages, when you left a comment, it was essentially a link to your profile. That's mainly what I was referring to. So, sometimes comments were left in the hopes the author would click through to their articles (or Hubs as we called them back then) and thus, the quid pro quo.

              I definitely understand your point about the discussions. I admit I do miss that back and forth a bit. At the same time I do think that without the comment section, it adds a bit more validity to the "zines" themselves, if we want to call them that.

              In the old OLD days of print publications, there was no comment section either and no way to interact with the author. It did not make the content any less informative, useful or relevant for the author or the publications in which they were published.

              Writers wrote to be read, and readers sought out things they could read that interested them. It was all about the content then and the author's perspective.

              1. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
                Kathleen Cochranposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

                Just read your article about HP being better now.  You make some good points.

                1. Springboard profile image82
                  Springboardposted 5 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Thank you. I am glad you liked it.

 
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