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HubPages 3.0: Death of a Community

Shauna believes that communication is key to success and happiness. Keeping those channels open is paramount to a writer.

This author in 2011

This author in 2011

In The Beginning (HubPages 1.0)

When I first joined HubPages in 2011, I was a bit trepidatious of putting my work out there for the world to see. Then I received notification of my first follower. Then the next and the next and my fears began to dissipate. What was so amazing, and comforting, was the communication and support I received through the comments section.

Before long I’d gained not only followers, but friends. One by one, we came together as a community who shared stories, offered advice and support. We genuinely care about each other both on and off the screen.

This was solely made possible because we were afforded the ability and encouraged to comment on each other’s posts and respond to those comments on our own.

Community.

That’s why most of us are still here.

My 2016 Hubbie Award for Best Article

My 2016 Hubbie Award for Best Article

Then the Changes Came (HubPages 2.0)

Niche sites came into play a couple of years ago and they were beautiful. Bolder, larger photos, more tips for success were offered when writing and posting our articles. It seemed HP really did want us to succeed.

I remember the thrill of receiving my first (canned) email from the HP editors that one of my articles had been chosen for a niche site. That was a big deal! A major stroke to the ego and a minor stroke to the bank account.

And I wasn’t the only one. Many of our efforts were rewarded with our articles making the grade and sliding over to one of many new niche sites.

Our ever-growing community came forth as our biggest cheerleaders congratulating us on the move. Way to go! Good for you! You deserve it!

Comments increased, new writers joined the gang, and the community continued to grow and thrive.

On the downside, Amazon capsules were removed. Sure, we can embed links in the body of our articles, but for the most part, the means to earn through Amazon purchases has fallen to the wayside.

Many writers left HP after these changes were made, but many of us are still here. We’re here because of the interaction and friendships we’ve garnered through the common ground of creative souls.

Community.

That’s why most of us are still here.

A community torn apart

A community torn apart

HubPages Adopts Maven’s Platform in 2020 (HubPages 3.0)

Twenty-Twenty marks the year the world was plagued with the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-Twenty marks the year of racial and social unrest. Twenty-Twenty marks the year of wildfires and hurricanes destroying land and lives.

Twenty-Twenty marks the death of the community.

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With social distancing a worldwide reality, businesses closing or laying off employees, writers have had more time to write. Writing is therapy. Posting what we write is a way to reach out. To keep lines of communication open. To interact with fellow humans. To not feel so isolated.

Then HP adopted Maven’s bland, generic black and white platform for its niche sites.

Comments are no longer possible. We have no choice or say in the matter. Communication has been slashed at the throat.

HubPages 3.0 marks the death of a community.

It seems HP is more concerned with making money than nurturing writers and the community they’ve created on what once was the greatest platform for creative minds to express themselves.

I’m sure there are plenty of HP authors who are happy with the changes. I’m referring to those who don’t comment on articles they read or even respond to comments their readers are compelled to leave on their posts. They don’t have to interact, nor do they want to interact.

But I’m here for the community. The members inspire me to write. They inspire me to share. And they fill my heart with love.

And then…

HubPages 3.0 marked the death of a community.

Should I pack my bags and leave?

Should I pack my bags and leave?

What Happens Now?

So, what do we do besides pray our articles aren’t selected for the niche sites?

When we go into “My Account”, we’re given the option to read any niche articles on HubPages. In fact, that’s the only way we can edit them.

However, our readers don’t have that option. Our community no longer has the ability to interact with each other. We’re not given the choice.

Disabling the Comments section is akin to cutting out our tongues, rendering us speechless.

So, what happens now?

Does the community disband, go their separate ways? I shudder the thought. But what choice do we have now that HP has severed the lifeline between its creatives?

Does HP have enough anti-social authors to keep them afloat if those of us who remain because of the community are forced to leave?

Why on Earth would HP cut off our communication? It makes no sense. They grade us on our comment levels. They grade us on our comments leading to great discussions. They grade us on participation. We receive accolades from the HP community.

Lack of communication is one huge factor that has led to the current state of the globe.

Communication is key to success. It’s the key to friendships. It’s the key to survival.

Without it, what’s left?

What Are Your Thoughts?