This Wizer is the sequel to 'Things I love about Wizzley: No Hubpages Bull'. It is produced in collaboration with Jerrico Usher as a 'Special Edition Guest Blogger Wizer'.
The basis on which this article is produced is that 'No Hubpages Bull' received an enormous response from other Wizzley authors who'd encountered the same frustrations with HP, and had responded with 86 comments in just two days.
It's been buzzing for days on the front page of Wizzley, with interesting commentary and heart-rending examples. It evoked powerful responses.
Our authors made some brilliant points, which brought it to the attention of the head of the HubPages community: Community Manager Maddie Ruud!
But how could advantages be extracted from this initial positive outcome?
Step in guest blogger Jerrico Usher, a victim of recent witch-hunts, to discuss his
frustration with Hubpages decisions.
This is the first of my, what I hope to be many, Wizzley author collaborations. Over to you Jerrico.
Wizzley Wizer Comments Cause Conciliation, Collaboration?: Hubpages
Comments are powerful. Wizer comments cause conciliation between disenfranchised author and Hubpages staff? Wizzley authors collaboration: the Wizzley future?
This Wizer is the sequel to 'Things I love about Wizzley: No Hubpages Bull'. It is produced in collaboration with Jerrico Usher as a 'Special Edition Guest Blogger Wizer'.
The Premise Of This Wizzie
Jerrico Usher - Guest Wizzler
The Article / Wizzie that spawned this one: 'Things I Love About Wizzley: No HubPages Bull!' really started conversations flowing. It was something that effected some pretty interesting reactions for at least two people (Jerrico and Humagaia) directly, and effected policy change in at least one of Hubpages long running policies: to unpublish hubs that needed 'updating' or 'fixing' to adhere to TOS.
This used to be an automated and moderator effected process that essentially made no distinction over a small change or a major violation.
The hub would be removed from active status, even if the issue was something as trivial as the monetization capsules eBay or Amazon, which may have been set up properly, but that somehow imported the wrong products - regardless of how meticulously the 'hubber' used the right keyword.
Words Have The Power To Effect Change
The problem was this was causing people to lose revenue if they didn't check their mail or if they could have simply updated the hub without losing traction, making external back-links to the hub go dead (bad business and frustrating for those looking for that hub/article), and an unsought cause of issues- all of which weren't fair to the hub-owner-proprietor.
A hub is after all a business of sorts, and part of a collective effort - this includes the sites that send people to the article for more information and to enhance their own authority.
You could say that writing the aforementioned hub was a very good move for:
- the author (Humagaia)
- another Wizzley author and newbie to the site, that was banned from Hubpages unfairly (Jerrico), as this may very well have served as the conduit he needed to break through and get the ears and eyes of the HP staff to hear and investigate his situation,
and potentially reinstate his account - an account that brought A LOT of good business to the site.
The jury is still out (as of March 31st, 2012). We'll update you to let you know how that pans out.
- the entire base of Hubpages authors
because the policy change the article stimulated will likely alleviate a lot of grievances it's caused.
Unpublishing hubs disrupts revenue streams, as well as credibility, for the author over what were more often than not small changes that could be done quickly and without 'dinging' the author in a public way.
Unpublished pages cause dead links, lack of revenue/traffic, and could even cause other sites to remove the link prematurely, resulting in loss of traffic, revenue, and more. It truly takes a community to raise a hub, wizzie, article etc... and when that article is taken down, even for a minute, it could have lasting repercussions for the micro community that's affected by it - NOT JUST THE AUTHOR, but including Hubpages own indirect backlinks and more.
The grey screen of death!
Venting Becomes Conduit For Change
The article that caused this one, and the changes (to people and HP), was a grievance manifest, and became a policy changer! How many more articles will follow is to be seen, but..quoting Humagaia
".....if just one thing came out of it, one person was helped... my job here is done!" .
One author in particular, who had just been banned from Hubpages, recently told his story in comments that broke the Wizzley comment word limits, so he broke them into several comments labeled "1 of 4" "2 of 4" and so on.
He made a comment about using a concept called "guest blogger" to move comments with good content into the article itself. A sort of 'top billing' for them, that keeps them up front and center, so they don't get buried in the plethora of comments a page like this tends to generate (not that all comments aren't important!).
Humagaia thought that this was a great idea: but it lead into an even better one - Guest Wizzies - or Wizzley articles written in collaboration with another author to produce an article that contains content from both authors.
The author and owner of the account the Wizzley article goes on, essentially introduces the guest blogger, tells you about the article they wrote that brought about the 'spin-off', and then hand the keyboard (symbolically) over to the guest author to go to town. After checking it out, and if necessary adding anything else, it is published and the readers benefit from two perspectives.
We hope to make this a nice trend here on Wizzley, and would love your feedback about this experiment!
Authors Working Together Is A Hallmark Of The Inherent and Indigenous Power Of Wizzley!
As he did this he found that it was becoming a whole Wizer all it's own and suggested I tell his story in a new Wizer that people could go to instead of reading boring block text consolidated from a comment box.
The following is that Wizer.
What follows are Jerrico's words, not mine. His story, he feels warrants telling, as it may help others affected by these situations.
If you feel compelled to comment I'm sure he'll see it and respond (and I'll interject with my own comments as well!).
Please consider this Wizer an extension to the first. We're trying to save your eyesight by formatting it, and keeping the other one focussed!
Jerrico also interjects later, beyond his comments, with some of lessons learned in the process - things the first article brought to the surface, and how hope is not just a four letter word!
Thank you for your participation!
The following are the same comments (removed from the original article to avoid duplication issues) he wrote.
With that I hand Jerrico the pen / keyboard.
Lessons Learned That Enlightened My Situation
Hey everyone, I just wanted to interject here that I'm not a disgruntled hubber just one that was hit unfairly with a ban after years of loyalty and was one of the many victims of an unfair over-moderation policy that's currently in place over at hubpages and that's costing them a lot of power writers/articles.
I hold no contempt for the site but do feel strangely betrayed- although the situation is starting to work itself out (I'm in contact with the community manager, Maddie Ruud over there as is Humagaia, and things are escalating from frustration to something better.
I wrote the following comments (I think I broke the "word" barrier of the comment box!) partially to vent, partially to tell my story, as before I had not been able to email Maddie Ruud directly. I had no closure.
I too am not a vengeful person, I hold no grudges, and am quick to forgive. I'm soft spoken but a bit overly energetic by nature when I write (I can be overzealous in replying to something that triggers the editorial in me, however!).
This article is the result of both my comments, Humagaia's great editorial "venting", and the insights that spawned from the experiences I had before, during, and after (now) this whole situation landed on my desk (by way of reading his article)!
Rules Are Often Amended When People Speak Up...
There Is Hope!
Even if you've received the "...and cannot be reinstated" canned email response- Don't Give Up Yet!
If you have suffered the same frustration from Hubpages, I hope this helps you relate, and restores some faith that there is a way (potentially) out of your frustration.
They seem to be listening to a few regular guys here who chose to (appropriately and cordially) vent in a Wizz (Humagaia) and from me in a comment on said Wizz.
You have to take steps to get to them if the usual avenues of contacting aren't working. The original hub Humagaia wrote is proof that the internet is a powerful place- you talk- people hear you- even the upper crust of a company that you thought were out of reach.
For Humagaia writing this Wizz did it.
Maddie Ruud actually just "showed up" there. And for me it was this same Wizz that led to my being able to get word to the right people who can take action, or at least listen to "my side" of the issue.
Maddie heard me TOO in the same place. We're not sure how she found the Wizz. It's pretty new and likely not hitting the top of the serps yet- but, again it goes to show, like Nike says, "Just do it".
Humagaia interjects: she found it because I promote it through social media.
"Anything Uninterrupted Remains Impossible"
Never Just Take Anyone's Word For It- Especially Canned Email Responses- That May Not Fit Your Situation!
As the title above states, plus the message on the poster to the right that you can't read-
"Anything uninterrupted remains impossible"
FACT: Had I just accepted my fate and moved on completely I'd not be waiting right now for an answer from Maddie about whether or not I'll be allowed back on HubPages...
I'm very hopeful as so far they've been receptive to my words, and can verify my actions...
Sometimes a site is so automated that the "human" touch gets digitized, and this is incredibly frustrating.
I know from experience on HP!
Maddie read my words- it was the only place I was able to reach any HP staff members. The firstname.lastname@example.org email just didn't work regardless of where I sent the email from.
She proactively reached out to find me (I left a breadcrumb of my email in a comment that is no longer over there (and I omitted it below).
That at least deserves praise!
So Kudos Maddie, you may have saved HP's reputation
- at least you may have given people, who read these words, something to think about before they just banish the site for "unfair practices".
"Everybody has a voice, but it's up to you to use it"
Your words are powerful, if you have a grievance with any company don't hesitate to write it down.
Take action, set something in motion that may become the catalyst, the very conduit to effect change, for yourself and possibly others in the same raft- Humagaia and I are proof of an end result- even if it wasn't expected or planned that way!
No company out there is immune to change, especially when their fate is truly determined by the end user and users!
MAKE SURE what you PUBLISH is constructive, polite, mature, and not just yelling and ranting anger.
Your words are part of your personal brand, and they can affect your reputation on AND offline.
Besides, anger never solved anything- focusing that "energy" to a positive and productive end, solves EVERYTHING!
Write Now, Edit When You're Rational (not affected by your emotions, but rather your logic)
I often write something down in the heat of the moment, then give it a few days for my brain to process what happened, and to rationally re-read what I wrote, add the other side to the mix, and write a piece that is an editorial- not a vent...
There are constructive ways to vent. You're about to read one of them. And if you've read Humagaia's first article, you've already seen one way to do that.
Humagaia said his piece but didn't push anyone into the lava pit (although I'm sure he thought about it for a split second). In fact his words were so effective, as were mine after the fact, that they got the exact people to listen that needed - without blood shed or animosities running willy nilly.
With that, below is my comment/story to THIS Wizz. So, if you haven't read it, please click the link and do so now. Then return here to read this follow-up article.
We (Humagaia and I) appreciate you're taking the time to read and participate in this discussion (not witch hunt lol)...
Comments are appreciated (feel free to leave them here or at the root "Wizzie", linked to in the previous paragraph).
------- Veteran Hubber -------
Fellow Wizzler (Newbie)
I feel your pain brother...
...but chew on this.
I had a hub that was garnishing 2500 hits A DAY, generating 200-300.00 A MONTH.
I finally added eBay/Amazon capsules to it and that was bringing in another 30-40.00 (thus far) in income and growing fast.
This same hub amassed over 1.2+ million page views in 3 years (mainly from the past 1-2), and was sending half that traffic (for the past 4 months about 1k/day) to a domain name of the same name (Get Rid Of A Pimple Overnight) expanding on the concept, and to 16 other hubs rewritten from the sites content (I figured I could earn from both). Now it's only generating dead links representing hours of work and I'm sure some angry webmasters!
This hub was extremely popular and had over 840 comments!!!
It was getting at least a dozen new comments a day (social SEO as far as G is concerned) due to all the back and forth conversations between the commenters mainly and some interaction myself (all moderated).
I spent 4 years building my brand on HP and just found out Michelle, my fiance' is pregnant (expecting in October, and was planned :)
We were thinking, wow, at least we have that nice income from HP and we're really going to need it!
Then (((BAM))), in one swift click of a mouse somewhere in San Francisco, I was shunned like a Buddhist (monk?) who killed a cockroach crawling on the table .
The really hard part to accept and just "move on" because of, is that I can move the hub here, sure, I can move them all- but all the back-links, juice, Google top position for the keyword phrase, and all the notoriety will be lost- it will be like I just published it for the first time.This thing became a phenomenon like magic, I didn't do it it just happened and became front page news of a sort- and I hate to lose all that organic magic!
I never built a single link to it or pointed any promotion to it- it was an enigma, a self sufficient phenomenon- and who knows if it will happen again over here (likely will but not before 3 years pass!)... it was stumbled by many people, reddit, bookmarked, linked back from numerous "pimple help" sites... sigh... such a tragic loss!
It was really helping people so beyond all that I feel bad that someone out there that this would have been their only hope- may not find the solution to the problem.
I took a pretty heavy blow from that, and I can understand the site protecting itself but I was one of the good hubbers, proficient, prolific, dedicated, loyal, and had amassed over 840 hubs (with 200 on the way)...
I'm still shocked it even happened. There aren't very many hubbers with 1k+ fans, almost 1k hubs published and popular, and a community participant, so I'd of thought my history and loyalty would have meant something.
If it can happen to me, I fear for the less active hubbers and especially the next generation of joiners who are in for a shock I didn't have to deal with in the beginning- that will likely get them banned eventually or make them quit all together.
I think HP is kicking themselves in the teeth and don't realize it until they see that one day their stats show a severe hemorrhaging of authors and content... (and ironically Wizzley has the opposite effect- a proliferation of new writers and articles populating the site as if by magic!).
It's Easier To Keep A Customer Than To Get A New One
It's easier to keep a hubpages author than to generate a new one! I don't hold contempt for them, but I can't say being let go so easily was the least bit fair.
The wound is still pretty ripe, honestly I feel like a man whose woman left him... lol... I consider that I'm not angry or loathsome of the site owners/staff (just hurt and feel betrayed), a pretty good sign that I'm maturing and growing as a person from who I was just 4 years ago when I joined HP.
It's a bit disheartening to consider a site your savior in that respect (learning to grow as a writer), a conduit, only to have the same people Bi***ap you four years later. That's like getting kicked in the head or beat senselessly by your parents !
Years ago I'd be so angry and irrational I may have kicked in my own teeth - so to speak, or made an azz of myself, but I learned a lot over there, especially about myself, things I used to hub about as I learned and grew.
What's even worse, even ironic, is while my account was in "Moderation" mode (i.e. probation for multiple "violations of the rules") which were not big deals, was that IN that mode I had gone back to a few of my older hubs to add capsules and was in due process of updating them to fix all my past issues
(grammar, etc... that wasn't flagged as back then they didn't have any system in place to check your work hard core like now) but I wanted to add the capsules FIRST.
Then I was going to go back and fix the content. Doing this only made matters worse as they immediately moderated it and flagged it for all the problems I WAS TRYING TO FIX THAT DAY. I was dinged because I hit publish when I meant to hit "done editing"... that was the 20th hub I submitted (10th after probation mode, the 9 others were new I think).
Any new changes made the hub unpublished it until they could check it because I was in probation mode- I didn't realize this was the case at first- just thought they turned big brother on full time.
HubPages Community Manager
After seeing Maddie come here and leave that comment, my gut instinct, my intuition that is, strongly urged me to try one more email to see if the community leader would hear me out, investigate, and give me an opportunity to fix my hubs and continue there.
It may be for nought, but at least I would know I tried right? (as you'll read later this actually did generate at least a "trial" by jury of the staff moderators and the team, the verdict is still being discussed).
I'd hate to lose 4 years of tens of thousands of hours of writing, branding myself as a hubber, and the unheard of back-links pointing to that millionaire traffic hub.
What HubPages Lost When They Banned Me
(but what they'll gain if they bring me back into the fold)
Some stats that make them banning me look like just bad business:
- ONE hub got 1,284,630 page impressions (Since 2008);
- The collective 839 other hubs got 1,177,274 page impressions (since 2008 but respective to their publish dates)
Broken Down just over the past 30 days (16 rather as my account was banned only 14 days into this month):
- 14,473 in the last 16 days to that ONE hub
- 30,191 across the other 839 hubs respectively in the last 16 days
Total Impressions for all my hubs was at: 2,461,913
Which breaks down to:
- Total For The Pimple Hub: 1,284,630
- Total For The Rest (839): 1,177,274
It seems to me they lost a hell of a lot of:
- Impressions per day (avg 2500-3k a day overall)
- They lost a lot of back-links all those hubs created
- Stumble upon's
- A recent check showed the pimple hub actually had some impressive "FB likes"
- Back-links from PR 9 sites
- Various high trafficked sites
- They've likely pissed off all the sites that conscientiously created back-links to extend their content, offer their readers tips, and the many people who bookmarked the site so they would remember the formula that helped them.
They lost the same notoriety I did.
I would have gladly replaced the dirty water, so to speak
.....and they'd still have the baby to raise and earn them money...
What's scary is they didn't even take a look at any of this I'm sure
- they just banned me based on recent activities or likely accumulated 4 years of ridiculous "this hub has a large number of tags", fake dupe issues (which were all resolved by the staff as moving content over without letting Google index propagate), and other minor issues.
It's so superficial it's sickening- I wonder how many other authors who were bringing the site in more than I was were let go or pissed off to the point of leaving?
Internet provider companies and any membership site out there would cringe at these stats. As someone who worked at Earthlink in 2004, I remember them giving us this hour long speech about
"we spend 50k to bring on a new dial up (lol I know) customer (advertising and this includes the people that didn't sign up so that customer is partially their recoupment of lost users on average), and it takes us 5 years to recoup that money".
Here Hubpages had a good writer (loyal, tries, writes a lot, even writes compelling copy that brings in backlinks, traffic sales, etc...) and they didn't have to pay me a dime to bring me on, and they just flushed me down the toilet... seems like bad business sense!
Whatever happens, I can't say that all was or would be lost as I found Wizzley and am astonished by how much I enjoy this site- I didn't think I could enjoy another site as much as HP, but I really like it here better- but want to have my cake and eat it too! (my HP acct. back).
I will definitely be writing here as long as they will let me, but I'd like an opportunity to put at least my most popular hubs with 3 years of fortification (comments, traffic, etc...) back on the map to get back the bulk of my lost income.
I think with both sites (WZ and HP) I could make a killing, but I'm really glad I found the big Wizzley here, something that wouldn't have happened had I not been banned...
So if I get back in and can get my hubs back online it wasn't a total loss, actually it would become a gain big time.
I hope she (Maddie) reads it at the very least and considers reinstatement. It's frustrating to feel so secure in a realm (HP) then to all of a sudden feel shunned. It hurts, but life is about learning lessons- sometimes the hard way no?
We shall see what happens. One of 4 things will surely happen. She will read it and respond, or she'll read it and not respond (or she will not read it at all and won't respond so I'll continue moving on)...
I think the worst of it is that I didn't really get any closure, no communication, (before) just that canned response I've read on many other pages of banned members that have quoted (word for word) the ambiguous email.
It's just cold and hard to accept it happened, granted I've moved on and found Wizzley, but the heart doesn't just move on as fast as our brains- even in abusive relationships we rationalize about what we lost being more important than the fact that moving on may be the better move.
It hurts until time allows the neural paths of association to muddy up things through overwhelming new associations that bury the memories of what was, and what was dreamed could have been... just sucks to be blunt.
They seem to like you over there Chaz, they came here to apologize for your experience... me, I got a pink slip... but who knows, maybe my faith in Maddie (I know her well from her interactions in the forum, hubs etc...), but she may not remember me) is not in jest... we shall see... we shall see :)
So far it's looking good as she's interacted based strictly on posts/comments I left on Chaz's Wizzie.
I just wanted to comment here and share... it's funny how we can write a "Wizzie" and vent, but in doing so stimulate someone to give something one more try- I never thought to contact them directly- No that's not true, I did find their "phone number" in a press release somewhere but I thought my call would fall on def ears so I just gave up...
But an email to someone who at least had heard of me (how could she forget my first year? LOL) and whom can actually quantify my growth, and realize my maturity as a person and a writer had grown since she last heard from me.
Update: March 29, 2012
Maddie Ruud HP Community Manager did in fact email me back.
It wasn't directly as my HP account lets me log in and apparently send emails but something is stopping them from reaching anyone- likely a ban protocol- maybe they don't want banned members contacting people lol, maybe, maybe an honest bug.
At any rate she read the post below and reached out with an email and a direct line to her to make sure she got it- I was impressed.
If they just wanted to throw me away they'd, rather she'd, of not even made the attempt- in the business sense if they did/do decide not to let me back in and I wrote about it it would just flame the fire of their PR (other issues) nightmare as of late- so it shows true compassion and reaching out with honesty- she was incredibly nice, even titled the email "Hi Jerrico!" note the exclamation point not a "standard" comma :)
She basically asked me to submit my email again there and thanked me for reaching out, and even apologized sincerely that I had a negative experience at the end of my tenure at HP... she also mentioned she was sick during the whole "permanent ban debacle" which sounded like, sorry I wasn't there, things may have gone different.
She replied back AGAIN (I'm starting to regain my faith in HP), the next day to assure me that she read it, thanked me for giving her my story in my own words (almost the same wording) and assured me she would present my case to the moderators and the rest of the team and..." and this was my favorite part- she said "I can't promise anything but I will talk to the Moderation team today and get back to you... I have hope that we will figure out a resolution" So it's looking good.
That was 2 days ago, but it's the weekend coming up so I expect them to debate it on Monday, I'd rather they took their time and did some investigative work than just made a decision so I'm cool with waiting- no problems there!
I'm still hopeful, more than ever now. Probably more than I should as if the answer is no I may just feel bad again, but that's the risk you take. Either way I will have closure- nothing is worse than arbitrary or ambiguous denial!
I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm really happy to have found this community- it's an amazingly positive environment and in a few years it will be a household name on the web!
I now hand the keyboard over to Humagaia who will wrap this up with some advice.
Humagaia.... ((((loud high pitched noise of the microphone feebdack)))
Thanks Jerrico, I think many HP authors can relate to much that you have enunciated.
Well, just a little wrapping up for me to do.
Why Commenting Is So Powerful
...... and a cathartic experience.
I think you have seen the power that is commenting, from the initial outcomes of comments made on the 'Hubpages No Bull' article.
If you are not used to commenting may I point you in the direction of a couple of my Wizers on the subject:
Wizzley Author Collaborations
...... call to action.
Jerrico very kindly took the time to contribute the majority of the copy in this article, for which I will be rewarded. Let's all thank Jerrico .........claps fade after several minutes.
Note to self: Now all I've got to do is remove the duplication (comments) from the original Wizer.
And there are spin-offs for Jerrico:
- My article promotion activities
- Author recruitment opportunities
- As Jerrico publishes related articles they will be linked to from here
- A chance to air his frustrations and obtain closure
- The return of Maddie to see that we have no animosity, just mature frustrations, that it would be wise for HP to listen to.
- The chance to work with me - how precious is that! ;)
Wizzley Wizer Comments Cause Conciliation?
Unfortunately not! (see comments below)