Home PageIDC Web Hosting

Great Hubbing Spaces!

On Wednesday, I asked you to share your Hubbing spaces with us, and over the past two days, we have been getting the coolest photos on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and via email.

I’d like to share some of them with you.


GoodLady‘s Hubbing Space looks particularly comfortable and relaxing. It reminds me how much more creative we can get when we allow stress and strain to take a hike. Says GoodLady:

I always write my Hub articles resting my dislocating leg on my bed in my sunny studio-bedroom - with Tinka, a very old friend.  tap tap tap

We can hear the hawks in the sky tap tap tap and see the countryside from the window, nobody bothers us, tap tap tap. so we’re very happy and comfortable.


CrisSp‘s Hubbing space- particularly the Post-It that provides her with some inspiration, gave me goosebumps! As CrisSp puts it:
This is actually the office in the house. Doesn’t seem like anything special but I am facing the wall where I see my inspiration hanging, which says:
“Be Brave. Write.”
I don’t care where I would be writing- with that simple, powerful statement, I’d be all set to go!

Angie Jardine

I’m a big fan of composing Hubs and cozy spaces, and Angie Jardine‘s space may win the award for the coziest!! Wouldn’t you like THIS to be your Hubbing Space? Angie says:
I practically live in this space although the horse riders and dog walkers who wave at me through the window are a constant distraction.
I say that’s a lovely distraction to have.

Of course, we’ve been seeing some more exotic and unconventional Hubbing spaces, too, such as this particularly mobile Hubbing space belonging to Dianemae, who explains:

I do my best and most hub writing while on my sailboat.  The computer is at the navigation station. I have a  air card that allows me access to the net. Some ports have good reception while others have no reception. The view outside changes often and stimulates me to write.

Aren’t these great?

Big thanks to the Hubbers who are sharing these hotbeds of creativity with us! Keep them coming! You can send photos directly to me at Simone.Smith (at) HubPages.com.

No Comments

Share Your Hubbing Space!

Hubs are fascinating on their own, but there is also much to be said for the craft that goes into creating them, hence there is much to be learned from the methods different Hubbers use, not to mention the timeframes they follow, the habits they form, and yes, the places where they write.

The place where a person writes (or films, for that matter) can say a lot about that individual’s style, process, and personality, not to mention the content that he or she creates.

Where do you write your Hubs? On a window seat overlooking your backyard? At the local library or your favorite cafe? Or on the phone while you wait in line to buy groceries?

We would love to have a glimpse of where the Hubbing magic happens, so we invite you to share photos of these landscapes, nooks, and crannies with us through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and our blog.

Here’s how to join in:

  • On Facebook: Visit our Facebook page and select the “Photo/Video” option, then upload your Hubbing Space image, with a little description of the place and why it’s where you write Hubs
  • On Twitter: Share your photo with the hashtag #MyHubbingSpace (and feel free to mention @HubPagesDotCom)
  • On Google+: Upload a photo and description of your Hubbing space and be sure to tag +HubPages
  • If you would like us to share your space on our blog and Facebook album: Email Simone.Smith (at) HubPages.com with the photo and some background on the space that we can share along with it

When we get a decent number of photos emailed to us, we’ll share them in another post! I’m quite looking forward to seeing where it is that you create your fabulous Hubs!


Help HubPages Change Modern Education

Though we have already submitted proposals to speak at SXSW Interactive (the tech-oriented conference of the world famous annual Austin, Texas set of festivals and meetings), HubPages would also like to have its voice heard at SXSWedu, the part of SXSW dedicated to educational innovation.

Both HubPages Head of Education Robin Edmondson and myself have submitted proposals detailing how user-generated content and online publishing platforms can augment teaching, learning, and the overall education industry.

To support a HubPages presence at SXSWedu, you can help us out by:

  1. Going to our proposals (Training Students in New Media and Reduce Reuse Recycle: Educational Waste Management) on SXSW’s Panel Picker interface
  2. Creating an account if you don’t have one already (it takes about 30 seconds)
  3. Voting by clicking the thumbs up icon
  4. Leaving a comment (It’s great to see your written support!)
  5. Sharing our proposals with your friends (should they like to help us out with some votes, too!)

Here are the official summaries of our proposals, for reference:

Robin’s proposal: Training Students in New Media

The world of publishing has drastically changed in the last 15 years. Online new media training is increasingly important to students, teachers, and professors. You may be the most eloquent writer since Shakespeare, but if your work isn’t found, who’s going to know? Learning the nuances of online writing can mean the difference between being an online superstar and your work being lost among the millions of similar articles on the web.
While our standards of high-quality writing have remained somewhat static over the years, the characteristics of successful online content have evolved significantly. Why, then, are we still teaching kids how to write for the old-fashioned print world?
Robin Edmondson will address common mistakes and best practices when it comes to teaching your students how to write articles that, while well-researched, well-written, and intellectual, will also cater to search engines, social media, and short attention spans.

Questions Answered

  1. What differentiates Internet-friendly content from traditionally good content?
  2. What common mistakes do people make when translating print / traditional content to the Internet?
  3. How can we better teach people to write Internet-friendly content?


My proposal: Reduce Reuse Recycle: Educational Waste Management

Educational institutions generate waste at obscene levels. Essays and research papers are submitted and graded, never to be appreciated again, students fail to re-visit and remember previously covered subjects, and worse still, many students fail to see the utility of knowledge gained in an abstract classroom environment.
As with conventional waste, educational waste can be addressed with the simple principle of reduce, reuse, recycle. We must *reduce* students’ workloads, focusing instead on engaging curriculum that contributes to online discourse. Students must *reuse* their work by sharing it online with the world at large. Finally, curriculum must be designed to *recycle* lessons by encouraging students to maintain an active role in online dialogue surrounding past work.
User-generated content enthusiast and HubPages Head of Outreach Simone Smith will offer tips on implementing these principles with helpful examples and pointers. Let the conservation of knowledge begin!

Questions Answered

  1. How do conventional educational approaches waste knowledge, feed disengagement, and leave students ill-equipped to enter the next stage in their lives (be it continued education or the professional world)?
  2. How can user-generated content and new media be leveraged to address problems with comprehension, engagement, and knowledge retention?
  3. What are some specific ways in which teachers and professors can reduce, reuse, and recycle wasted knowledge using new media that both augment the learning process and leave students more equipped to move on to the next stage in their lives?

We would really like to have our voices heard at SXSWedu, not only to get the HubPages name out there, but also to show people how our site and community, along with other online publishing platforms and tools, can revolutionize education.

Thanks for helping us out!


Congrats to Our First Class of Apprenticeship Grads!

Six months ago, around 30 Hubbers embarked on an epic online writing journey, forging a path on HubPages that would shape the experience of many Hubbers to come. This team of Hubbers, which goes by the name Scribe Tribe, started out as a secret beta team and helped us refine what became the HubPages Apprenticeship Program. As the first Apprenticeship team, the Scribe Tribe taught us as much as we taught them!

Today those who made it through the rigorous Apprenticeship Program  for six months in a row are graduating, and we would like to celebrate their significant achievement! Though it is already no small feat to publish a minimum of eight high quality Hubs every month (while also going through lessons and helping out fellow team members), yet many Scribe Tribe team members consistently exceeded the program’s requirements, going above and beyond with truly stellar Hubs and even themed challenges to rally the group and make the online writing process all the more creative and fun.

Allow me to present those who crossed the finish line:

Bravie to this year’s first graduating class! Collectively, all Hubbers who started in the Scribe Tribe team have created over 1,150 Hubs, and the graduates alone have published over 950. Considering that these Hubs are all longer than 500 words, contain only original and legally used images, and incorporate the best practices shared in our Learning Center (and more), they shall continue to do quite well over the coming months and years, helping these Hubbers gain more readership, coverage, and yes, ad earnings.

Also congratulations to the two Hubbers in this team who won Hubbie Awards:

If you would like to apply to the Apprenticeship Program, read through the program’s qualifying requirements, then apply through the Apprenticeship tab in My Account. Participating in the Apprenticeship Program is a great way to develop a strong online brand and portfolio, and we recommend it to anyone who would like to kick their online content career up a notch.


Introducing Idle Hubs

For quite some time, Hubbers have requested that we boost HubPages’ reputation by improving the site’s overall quality. Hubbers have also been asking for advice on when to update and delete old Hubs.  Today we are beginning a series of updates that we hope will address both requests.

Sometimes a couple of under-performing Hubs can hurt the reputation of your entire online portfolio in the eyes of search engines. As part of our efforts to improve everyone’s reputation (and traffic), beginning Wednesday, we will put your least successful Hubs on Idle. An Idle Hub is available from your profile page and to your followers, but it isn’t indexed by search engines.

Beginning today, you will able to see Idle Hubs that we identified by visiting My Account > Hubs > Stats.  A Hub becomes Idle when it is out of date, needs some editing, or just hasn’t had much interest lately.  We encourage you to update it with fresh information, text, and media. If, after being updated, a Hub still fails to perform well, rest assured that you can leave it alone without it putting the rest of your Hubs at risk. For the next 48 hours, these statuses are informational only.  On Wednesday afternoon, they will be operational.

Showing which Hubs need work (or just aren’t working anymore) helps remind us all to regularly edit our portfolio of Hubs, as keeping content up to date and carefully culled is increasingly important. Under-performing Hubs that will be affected by this update are not seeing much success via search, Topic pages, or Hubs as it is, so you should see very little change in traffic in the short run and hopefully enjoy a boost in readership over the long run.

This update is just the first version of many to come. Figuring out how to best protect Hubbers’ reputations and  improve the overall quality of Hubs will aid their chances of success.  We are confident that this first step is a very positive one! We hope you take this as a convenient opportunity to do some spring cleaning amongst your Hubs - and that you enjoy more traffic as a result.

For more information, please see the learning center entry and to give feedback and report issues, please see our forum thread.

A huge thank you to the awesome community of Hubbers that offered their feedback and helped shape this feature along the way.


New Monetization Opportunity with Slideshows

Hubbers, this week we started testing a new ad format from Google that helps monetize images.  These ads are displayed on about 20% of slide views.  The revenue is shared via the HubPages impressions sharing (swapping AdSense Ids), so you’ll see the revenue in your own personal AdSense Account.

A couple of key points

  • You don’t have to do anything.  This monetization feature is on for 20% of slide show views.
  • Earnings are shared via impression sharing (60% to authors).
  • If you have slide shows, you’ll see the impact in your own AdSense account.
  • This is a beta product. HubPages is one of a few sites testing out the service.
  • We don’t have the ability to create AdSense channels for it yet in your personal account(coming, not sure when).

The ad works by placing an overlay over the bottom of the image.

Overlay ad

After a few seconds, the ad slides down just so the top of the ad is visible in the image.

This is what the ad looks like after it has slid down.  The ad can be closed by clicking the X at any time.

I’ve set up a forum for feedback on the new ad format.

We really enjoy being able to test early products so that Hubbers get increased opportunities to earn and want to thank the AdSense team for working with us.


Help HubPages Make it to SXSW!

If you’re a fan of music, film, technology, and the tech scene, you probably know about SXSW, an Austin-based set of conferences and festivals that take place every March. Last year, Paul Edmondson spoke at SXSW about bringing back the love when Google hates you (remember the Panda days? I try not to), and this year we’d like to speak again, though we can’t make it without your help and support.

This year, we’ve proposed two different talks- one led by Paul and the other by Yours, Truly (we had multiple cool ideas- why not give both a shot?).

Paul’s proposal: Why You Should Pay People to Learn

My proposal: Blogging is Dead: Long Live the Individual

Do those sound intriguing? We hope so! I’ve provided the detailed summaries below, but first, I’d like to show you how you can help us:

To support a HubPages presence at SXSW, you can help us out by:

  1. Going to our proposals (Why You Should Pay People to Learn and Blogging is Dead: Long Live the Individual) on SXSW’s Panel Picker interface
  2. Creating an account if you don’t have one already (it takes about 30 seconds, and I will adore you eternally)
  3. Voting
  4. Leaving a comment (comments = yay!!)
  5. Sharing our proposals with your friends and encouraging them to vote for us, too!

Here is the official summary of each proposed talk, should you be curious to learn more:

Why You Should Pay People to Learn

Online communities have become big business- so big that many social media and publishing platforms are making huge investments in teaching their users to become more active community participants. In some cases, companies are even directly paying community members to participate in educational programs.

This approach diverges from the traditional means by which education is delivered (an exchange in which learners pay and educators earn). Why switch things up? Websites should pay their community members to learn for the same reasons companies should invest in employee development.

HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson will share how online communities aren’t so different from the companies we work for every day, and will also detail the multifaceted benefits of shifting our educational payment paradigm, which include more vibrant, evangelistic communities, effective and empowered users, and a virtuous cycle that benefits all parties involved.

Blogging is Dead: Long Live the Individual

The world of blogging as we once knew it is dead and gone. Independent websites run by single, mostly amateur individuals have given way to large internet media houses featuring re-blogged and syndicated content.

Where have the individual personalities gone? What happened to unfiltered content presented by non-professionals? This characteristic form of online information has largely transformed into short posts (tweets, comments, questions, answers, forum posts, wiki updates, etc) shared on large, external websites and social media platforms, which are now the most powerful (and in many cases, only viable) platforms for user-generated content.

Does this mean that high quality user-generated content tied to an influential online persona is a thing of the past? Hardly! Join user-generated content expert Simone Smith as she discusses how the individual is coming back to the world of UCG- and sharing work that is richer and more comprehensive than ever before.

We hope you’ll help us out!


Discovered by a Greeter: Haunty Interviews Ariana Philips

There are all sorts of fascinating people on HubPages- from archaeologists to zoologists! Ariana Philips falls into the former position, though she brings much more to the table than a strong understanding of history and culture. Having discovered her delightful Foodlore series, Haunty (a HubGreeter) invited Ariana Philips to be a part of our Discovered by a Greeter series. With no further ado, we introduce Ariana Philips- a fantastic new Hubber to follow!

You are a recent college graduate holding a BA in History and Anthropology. Which field of anthropology do you belong to and what are your areas of interest?

I’m an archaeologist, though a lot of my interests are in bio archaeology, which looks more specifically at what we can learn about past peoples through studying their bones. My mother was born in Sicily, so I’m drawn to the cultures of the Romans and to some extent the Greeks as well, in fact classics was my minor. I love learning about these great civilizations and even took three years of Latin courses, though I’ve forgotten a lot since then.

What brought you to HubPages and how do you like it here?

I first heard of HubPages from an ad on Monster.com. I thought that it looked intriguing and since I had some spare time on my hands, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did too, since HubPages has an awesome community. I love being able to see what other people are writing about and having a place to share all the random facts that I come across. As of yet I haven’t been able to find a technical job in anthropology or history, but writing these articles has given me a chance to keep good writing and research habits, plus it’s fun to learn new things.

You bring us super interesting and unique food tales to munch on. In this splendid Foodlore series, you share less-known facts, useful tips, and delicious recipes! Whence your interest in the subject?

As an archaeologist and a historian I love to learn about people from different parts of the world throughout time. Since I was a classics minor we were required to take a few folklore classes, and I loved hearing the different myths that people used to explain the world around them. I am part Italian so naturally I have an affinity with the kitchen, and love all kinds of different foods. These were all the ingredients, if you’ll excuse the pun, for the inspiration for the Foodlore series, but I didn’t put mix them together until I was reviewing the story of Adam and Eve one day.

Most of us are familiar with the story of the forbidden fruit. I started wondering why almost every reference to the forbidden fruit I’ve heard, besides the actual account in the Bible, assumed the fruit was an apple. This curiosity led me to do some research on apples and my findings made me think that it would be fun to combine a lot of my different interests to delve into the history of other foods as well and thus Foodlore was born.

Do you have any peculiar habits as a writer?

I wouldn’t say that I have any peculiar habits when it comes to my writing method. Writing has changed the way that I look at things, though. Now when I read a book of fairy tales I take notes about different aspects of the story. I’m continually learning and developing as a writer, which is great.

A few weeks ago, you surprised us with a blissfully light-hearted poem that talks about no less than the significance of our human journey, our being stones waiting to be carved. Do you write poem regularly and what inspires them?

The poem that I shared is about our journey through life and how we are shaped by the hand of the Lord as we go along the way. I don’t write poetry too often but sometimes feelings and thoughts that I have are more easily expressed through poetry or song. Most of the poetry I have written has a religious theme and come from experiences that I have had as I’ve felt the love of my Savior. I actually wrote a lot of my poetry while I was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

It seems to me that you have a great appreciation of figurative and expressive language. What are your future plans for writing in general and on HubPages?

I’ve dreamed of writing professionally since I was about 12. I want to use my knowledge of mythology, history, anthropology and general folklore to create stories that not only entertain, but also encourage readers to go and check out more about the rich cultural past that is found in so many of the great civilizations through out the world.

As for writing on HubPages, I plan on continuing the Foodlore series, but there are many other subjects that I plan on exploring in future Hubs.

You had a great, confident start on HubPages. Based on your own experience, what advice would you give new Hubbers joining today?

Set a schedule and stick to it! I personally tend to be more of a procrastinator, so setting a schedule has helped me out a lot. When I started writing for HubPages I sat down and decided how many articles I wanted to write a week, and what days I would publish them. So far this has worked really well for me and I feel like it makes it easier for my readers since they know when they can expect my next article. I also would suggest that they take the time to really become part of the HubPages community. I’ve found a lot of support from other Hubbers and they’ve given me some really good feed back on how I could improve my articles. More than that I would say that it’s important to have fun with what you write. If you don’t enjoy writing it, more likely than not people are not going to enjoy reading it.
I feel that each Hubber brings something unique to HubPages and that any subject can be interesting when the person writing about it truly has a passion for it.

No Comments

How to Get the New Profile Design

Are you a fan of our new Profile design? While it was previously only displayed on staff Profiles, you can now feature it on your own subdomain, too!

Here’s how:

  1. Visit any Profile displaying the new design (staff members such as Robin are good people to turn to).
  2. Click on the “Upgrade My Profile” link, which will take you to the edit page for new Profiles.
  3. Update your Profile information by choosing or uploading a background image, adding Hubs you would like to feature, and inserting URLs for social media profiles you would like to share. You may also want to edit your bio, as hyperlinks will no longer work and long bios will be visually truncated.
  4. After clicking “save”, you will be asked to confirm your decision to transition to the new design.
  5. Once you have confirmed your intention, the new Profile design will be live on your subdomain!

Keep in mind that the shift from the old Profile design to the new one is permanent; you will not be able to go back once you have confirmed the transfer. That said, this design will roll out on all profiles eventually, so you might as well be an early adopter and show your fellow Hubbers how creative you can be with featured Hubs and custom background selections!


Hub Hopper, Will Help Find Hubs to Feature

We are making changes to the Hub Hopper and it’s placement on the site to help us quickly identify Hubs to feature across HubPages Topic Pages, Related Hubs and the Best, Hot and Latest Hub feeds.  This will create a better browsing experience for readers and offer more rewards to Hubbers that create great Hubs.

We’ve heard the feedback that people would Hop more if they knew what it did.  Hub Hopping helps us identify good Hubs as well as offers a way to  flag Hubs outside of the HubPages rules.  However, all Hubs were previously eligible to flow through to topic pages and other parts of the site.  Hubbers primarily think of Hub Hopping as finding rules violations.  This new Hopper is primarily designed to help us find Hubs to feature.

We would like the community’s help to Hop through all the Hubs so that we can feature high quality Hubs everyday on HubPages.  Ideally, all new Hubs get Hopped everyday so we have enough feedback to accurately feature great Hubs.

Key Details:

  • Hubbers are going to select the Hubs that are eligible to be featured by Hub Hopping
  • The initial beta is to collect data to see how well the system works and how many Hub Hops we need to get accurate data
  • All new and updated Hubs will be added to the queue to be Hopped

During the beta period, we are only collecting data (not using it to feature Hubs yet). In the upcoming weeks the Hopping selections will be featured across the site.

We’ve set up a forum to discuss the new Hopper here.

Here’s to great Hubs,