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Another Hub Pages Rant

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Linda seeks to provide thoughtful, well-reasoned, and sensible guidelines to support and promote physical and emotional well-being.

another-hub-pages-rant

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.

— Ambrose Bierce

The Existential Question

Why are we here? Or, more to the point—why am I here?

I love to write, and I had always hoped (and assumed) that by contributing to Hub Pages I would have a platform on which I could hone my skill, obtain valuable feedback, and perhaps find some new friends who share my love of writing.

And it worked. When I compare the hubs I penned ten years ago against those that I wrote this past week, I have to say that I am pleased. I truly feel that

  • I have gained and grown as a writer.
  • I have found a number of people here whom I consider to be friends.
  • Those friends give valuable (and often funny) feedback and make me glad to log into HP every day. We share with each other, providing support, encouragement, and insight.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad. Hub Pages, or more to the point Maven under the guise of Hub Pages, has now robbed us of the community that shares, supports, and encourages.

Practice What You Preach

Just for the heck of it, I went to the source, the Home Page for Hub Pages to understand what they see as their goal for all of us, their mission statement:

"Hub Pages is an open community of passionate people—writers, explorers, knowledge seekers, conversation starters. Interacting and informing. Sharing words, pictures and videos. Asking questions. Finding answers. It’s a rich and rewarding experience with a unique set of tools and resources to help Hubbers find and build an audience, easily create articles, and earn all sorts of rewards, from accolades to ad revenue."

Think that sounds good? It gets better. Under the heading “What can you do with Hub Pages?” we are lured in by the invitation:

“Welcome to a new world of discovery and connection, a place where people write for the joy of it. But writing is just the beginning. At Hub Pages you can create. You can inform. You can interact. You can converse."

And the lies continue:

“We’re passionate about discovering and sharing information. And about creating a community. In a very real sense, we’re in this to make an impact, to grow, to learn, to share knowledge, to connect to each other and to something bigger."

Because of Maven

Having an article moved to a niche site is no longer a blessing—it's a damnable curse that not only strips out the ability to comment and communicate, but

  • polls and quizzes no longer display correctly and so are rendered meaningless and absurd-looking
  • tables are reduced to minimalistic style with no bolding or distinction
  • author bios are removed; we are obviously of no value with no real identity

By the way, on August 31, 2020, I received the following message from Maven:

"Thanks for reaching out to us regarding your concern about comments being frozen on the newly rendered HubPages sites. We (editors and moderators) understand that comments are a huge aspect of the HubPages community and good for SEO and visitor engagement. We are currently in phase 1 of the site migrations, so there are more fixes on the way. We have prioritized the discussion around supporting user comments. Our product and engineering teams have been very busy with the site migrations (making sure the translation is smooth). We will be revisiting capsule functions and community features after this first phase of site migrations. We appreciate your patience."

My patience has worn quite thin.

© 2020 Linda Lum

Comments

Ann Carr from SW England on October 07, 2020:

Yes, not so professional and it comes over as amateurish - I don't want to be considered like that and I'm sure no one else does either!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 07, 2020:

Ann, tables no longer allow bolding so headings, subheadings, and basic text all appear the same. Quizzes and polls do not work. SIGH!

Ann Carr from SW England on October 07, 2020:

Trouble is, it's not just the comments, is it? The layout of 'Letter pile' is rubbish. But I suppose there's not much we can do about that. Sigh.

Ann

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 07, 2020:

Hi Brenda, people at HP/Maven have promised (fingers crossed?) That comments will be reinstated.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 06, 2020:

Enjoyed reading your article. I, too, have enjoyed my short time here on Hubpages.

This new effort seems to put a damper on communication and I do not know how this benefits us writers.

Maybe it is just good for Maven. I hope they think about helping us.

I love John's comment...if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Seems like that is what companies always do though.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 06, 2020:

Linda Lum This is a helpful hub for all Hub writers. I understand your concerns and everyone here is affected by your concerns. I hope the issue is solved. Thank you for writing an informative hub.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 06, 2020:

There is an old and well-known saying, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!” Well, it wasn’t broken before, but it sure is now.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 05, 2020:

Yes I've missed that too. There is no sense to all this. It was well organised and easy and IT WORKED!

Ann

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 05, 2020:

Peg, I tried searching for "Peg Cole" and was successful. That little icon in the upper right corner (looks like a magnifying glass) should do it for you.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on October 05, 2020:

Bravo on this excellent response to the new platforms. New and improved isn't always improved. And to lose the important connection between author and reader is a significant minus on the scale.

Has anyone else missed the search feature where we used to be able to find other authors? Is there a workaround somewhere?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 04, 2020:

Ann, this situation just breaks my heart. I DON'T want to lose contact with my Hub friends. And, I gain new followers almost every week when someone is able to see my article and then (gasp!) RESPOND.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 04, 2020:

I have now sent various messages to hubpages and to Maven, expressing my concern on various levels. I have had no reply.

I've also managed to get round the comments block a couple of times but, frustratingly, I don't know how it happened!

I couldn't believe how bland the new layouts are and appreciate even more the HP layout and capsule facility. It looks so much better and far more professional.

I hope all the correspondence makes a difference in the end!

Ann

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 01, 2020:

Miss Dora, I am starting to see some comments from others on their posts that subtle changes are being made. I'm hoping this will all work out. Thank you for commenting.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 30, 2020:

Linda, I hear you and I understand. Thanks for the quotes from the HP mission statement. I hope that the staff will read your article. You speak for many of us.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 30, 2020:

I just read Shauna’s comment and checked it out. Yes, that is a good start, especially showing the author’s other articles on the site, at least. Now, just bring back that comment capability!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 30, 2020:

Audrey, please don't leave. I've been here 10 years as well. Fortunately I don't have to rely on my earnings here. Shauna reported that a few subtle changes have been made to the niche sites--perhaps they truly are working on it. I hope so.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 30, 2020:

Shauna, that's baby steps of progress and thanks for letting me know. Now if we can just get comments back, I can die happy

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on September 29, 2020:

After 10 years with HP, I'm considering bailing out. My earnings are less than half of what they used to be and now with the new no comment rule...

Frustrating. Just plain disappointed.

Thank you for addressing this issue.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 28, 2020:

Linda, update: I've been cruising around Delishably, specifically my own articles, and I discovered something that wasn't in place not too long ago. Well, two things, really. The first is our author bio is included underneath our name (still no profile pic). Second is what happens when you click on the author's name. It now takes you to the profile posted on our individual HP profile page, but not on the HP site. It's been copied to the niche site(s). There's also a button to "Contact This Author" and an invitation to follow, but the only options are social media sites, not follow from our profile page as we can do from the HubPages profile page (give that capability back to us, please!). Then, below that, it lists any other articles posted by the author within that niche site.

So, it looks like a couple of things are coming back to us. Hopefully they'll restore the ability to comment. I think that's the most important issue for all of us.

Small steps, and so far yet to go. But it seems there's hope on the horizon.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Wow, Joilene you've brought up an excellent point. I had forgotten about the ability to group articles. Perhaps you should weigh in with your own rant to/about Hub Pages. Your point is well taken (by me). Thank you.

Joilene Rasmussen from United States on September 28, 2020:

Over the years I have watched people I respected amd cared about drop out one, by one, by one. When I first came to HP, I felt I had found a forever home. At this point I'm only hoping and praying things get better, or I will feel forced into finding a less dysfunctional platform.

I accidentally specialized in homesteading how-to's here, as one silly article sparked an avalanche of interest around a then-obscure topic. However, I've run into repeated frustrations while trying to plan topics requiring more than one article. Remember when we used to be able to group our own articles into strings, with a link at the bottom of the page leading to the next similar article? I hated the removal of that feature. Next came a series of other tweaks that eroded our control over our articles' visibility to dedicated followers, let alone organic traffic. This final blow with the niche sites disconnecting from us as people is retarded. I'm going to have to request that a few of my articles be returned to HP proper, as I have instances of only one being moved out of what is clearly an interconnected series. The fact that each article can stand alone matters not a whit if readers can't find the rest...and can't comment or ask questions if they do. Do you really think HP proper won't eventually follow their leader, since they seem to have a nose ring installed?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

RoadMonkey, the cynic in me is not at all surprised, but I'm hugely disappointed.

RoadMonkey on September 28, 2020:

Surely, all this should have been sorted out BEFORE any migrations took place? ASTOUNDED!!!!

Ann Carr from SW England on September 28, 2020:

That's what I thought - and why I'm making a list of those I do not wish to lose contact with. They are so misguided in this - is it money driven? I suppose so, but they will lose out on that in the end, just like we will.

I'm not doing a separate article as it's all been said by you, Shauna and John - I'm just adding my support to all three of you by commenting as much as possible. I don't believe in Forums as they do not directly address HP, do they?

Ann

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Eric I'll take your company any way I can get it, but I'd prefer happier times.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 28, 2020:

Hey just another little note. Thanks for this, I realized it validated my own frustration. How does that go? Misery loves company.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Bill, you old softie. You're the lover not the fighter. Better hold onto those reins pretty tight, it could be a rough ride.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 28, 2020:

I'm just going to ride this horse as far as it will take me. Hopefully there is still a long journey ahead, my friend.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Shauna, I hope someone takes notice but I'm not going to hold my breath (although blue is a good color on me).

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Flourish, what would they do if they no longer had content on their fluffy niche sites? Should we go on strike?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Ann, I look forward to your own personal rant; I know it will be eloquent. One thing I failed to mention is that not only do they no longer permit author bios, they do not even allow for "contact the author."

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 28, 2020:

Excellent avenue to take in bringing to light the negative toll the recent changes have taken.

Quoting HP's mission statement is brilliant. When was the last time HP took a look at those words?

Everything is about the community, or so they say. What about now? They've cut us off. Taken away our ability to interact. Placed our articles in an ugly format. I don't know about you, but it's hard to be proud of having something posted in such a dry, cold format.

HP used to be as colorful as its writers. Where has their pride gone? Where has the support for the community gone? Why the hell did they think they had to merge with Maven in the first place? We were doing just fine before they came along. And don't tell me it's a merger. It's more like a takeover, as is evident in the recent move to Maven's up-front format.

I find it interesting that Maven responded to your query. Where's HP? It's becoming quite clear that Maven is king and HP is a subject, not a partner.

I wish HP would sever ties with Maven. Maven? More like Raven, if you ask me.

Thanks for posting this, Sis. I sure hope our voices are heard and our concerns are addressed in a way to give the people what they want.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 28, 2020:

It seems like if people want their articles to go back to HP they should be able to either request it or do things to the article to get it “demoted.” If that’s what a person wants. I know this is frustrating. Let’s hope a collective message gets through.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 28, 2020:

Well done for this succinct and structured 'rant'! I like the use of their own words to highlight the hypocritical attitude which seems to exist. I agree with everything you say. You and Shauna have summed it all up and voiced all our concerns.

I will send my own message directly, in support of our feelings.

I'm in the process of making sure I have proper contact info for those I would like to continue to talk to!

Let's hope HP take notice.

Ann

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 27, 2020:

Well Eric, if it moves before you can comment, you always know where and how to find me. Stay in touch.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 27, 2020:

And a great position paper that someone mistakenly called a rant ;-)

I never submit. I never get moved. For my weekly I run a congregation larger than most community churches. I sure hope I stay under their radar.

I get really aggravated when you get moved before I can comment.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 27, 2020:

Pamela, I write twice a week on Hub Pages--the Monday Q&A and an article about a specific dish, ingredient, etc. The Q&A's never go to a niche site (my editor despises them), but the Tuesday posts typically go to the niche site on Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. Every one of them.

I always enjoy the comments--sometimes they're better than the article, but they certainly always add to the post itself but also to our bond with each other.

I'm not going away, but I can't sit idly by and allow this to happen. "They" don't seem to care about us, but without us "they" would not exist.

I appreciate your friendship as well Pamela. {{{hug}}}

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 27, 2020:

John, I look forward to your article; I know that you will be clear and concise, presenting a well-thought-out discussion (as did Shauna). I'm the crazy old lady who goes off on a tangent.

It's a good thing I'm not doing this for the money (although the monthly check is nice). I complained to my editor

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 27, 2020:

Linda, my friend, I have been here for 11 years and I have come to some ot the same conclusions. Hubpages has made all these changes and put some of our articles on these special sites and in addition to losing the comradaerie it pays much less then it did a few years ago.

I wrote for a freelance site for period of time that paid well, but I don't write for the money. It is the fellowship of Hubpages that I always loved and I don't like losing it. I appreciate your friendship, Linda.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 27, 2020:

Thank you for adding to the concerns of so many others in regard to the migration to this new Maven style network sites. I have read and commented on Shauna’s article as well and I tend to write one myself.

The changes seem to be totally against HubPages’ mission statement. At the moment I want all my future articles to stay on HubPages and not move to the niche sites, so that comments at least remain active.

We all need to make our feelings known to HubPages staff. So far concerns seem to have been ignore or seen as less important than the need for constant change.